In the sixth century, the king of Yemen, Dzu Nowass, a convert to Judaism, undertook a violent persecution against the Arab Christians under his rule, demanding that they convert to Judaism. To the largely Christian city of Nadjran the king sent a messenger bearing a pole-mounted cross and conveying this ultimatum: "Whosoever will not show insult to this sign shall be destroyed by fire and sword. Whosoever remains Christian...shall perish by fire and sword...Therefore, citizens of Nadjran, choose my favor, or your religion of the Crucified." Following the people's refusal to deny their faith, the king ordered a series of massacres. 427 priests, deacons, monks, consecrated virgins, and lay Catholics were thrown in pits and burned to death. The city's governor, Prince Arethas, known to Arab historians as Abdallah Ibn Althamir, was beheaded. A far larger massacre followed, in which over four thousand of the faithful were slain in various ways. As the head veils were stripped from a Christian noblewoman and her two daughters in preparation for their beheading, the Jewish women among the spectators wept in sympathy for the martyrs.
Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November 24, 1713, and took the name of Junipero when in 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. Ordained in 1737, he taught philosophy and ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
The 24th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions 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
St. Fina or Seraphina, Virgin A.D. 1253 The old town of San Geminiano in Tuscany treasures with special veneration the memory of Santa Fina, a young girl whose claim to be recognized as a saint lay ... 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