In the middle of the third century, a plague spread through much of the Roman Empire. The illness was so lethal and so contagious that in just one day five thousand died from it in Rome. The plague was similarly catastrophic in Alexandria, Egypt. Frightened by the disease, many of the pagan residents abandoned those among them stricken with it, casting them into the streets to die alone. The dead were left unburied, filling the city with the stench of death. Amid these horrors, many of Alexandria’s persecuted Christians, the clergy and the laity, voluntarily came forward to nurse the dying pagans as well as their own plague victims. These Christians knew the grave danger of contagion to which they were exposing themselves. Many contracted the plague from those they had tended. The bishop of Alexandria who recorded these events, Saint Dionysius, regarded the Christians who died from the plague in this manner as virtual martyrs of Christian charity in having sacrificed their lives to nurse those who had persecuted them. Their identity as martyrs was later promulgated in the Church’s book of recognized saints, the Roman Martyrology.
Sister of St. Louis and daughter of King Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, she refused offers of marriage from several noble suitors to continue her life of virginity consecrated to God. ... 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
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
Franciscan missionary and traveler. Born Odoric Mattiussi at Villanova, near Pordenone, Italy, he entered the Franciscans in 1300 and became a hermit. After several years, he took to preaching ... 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 ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes