Phocas earned his living by cultivating a garden near the city gate of Sinope (now in Turkey). The quiet and beauty of the plot he cultivated proved quite conducive to his exercise of prayer in the course of his labors. He shared with the poor what he earned from his gardening, and opened his home to travelers lacking a place to stay. Phocas' Christian identity became known to the pagan Roman authorities. Soldiers were dispatched to find and arrest him. Upon nearing Sinope, they stopped at Phocas' door and received lodging from him, unaware that their host was the man they were charged to capture. At his table, they spoke openly of their mission before retiring for the night. As the soldiers slept, Phocas kept watch in prayer to prepare himself for martyrdom. The next morning, he revealed to them his identity. In a turn of events similar to the martyrdom of Saint Eudoxius (see September 5), the stunned soldiers were at first reluctant to carry out their orders against their kind host, but in the end they beheaded him. Phocas is venerated as a patron saint of both gardeners and mariners.
One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at Dufton, at Westmoreland, England, and studied at Oxford. Becoming a Catholic in 1576, he went to Reims and received ordination in 1581. ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
St. James the Less, the author of the first Catholic Epistle, was the son of Alphaeus of Cleophas. His mother Mary was either a sister or a close relative of the Blessed Virgin, and for that reason, according to Jewish custom, he was sometimes called the brother of the ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes