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.
St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and mother, but ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the Loves of Cecilia and Valerian, written, like those of Chrysanthus and Daria, Julian and Basilissa, in glorification of the virginal life, and with the purpose of taking the place of the sensual romances of ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Charles was the son of Count Gilbert Borromeo and Margaret Medici, sister of Pope Pius IV. He was born at the family castle of Arona on Lake Maggiore, Italy on October 2. He received the clerical ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes