When in 840 the Phrygian city of Amorion (Hergan Kaleh, Turkey) fell to invading Moslem Saracens, forty-two Byzantine Christian soldiers were taken captive and brought back to Syria. The men were shackled with chains and kept in dungeon cells, where they became ill from the harsh conditions. Doctors were sent to treat the prisoners in order to persuade them to apostatize, but all the men persevered in professing the Christian faith. They were thereupon kept in prison for seven years. On March 5, 848, the officers learned that they were to be executed the next day. In preparation, they spent the whole night in prayer. Before their execution, the Saracen caliph made one final effort to persuade an officer named Theodorus to apostatize. The latter confessed that in the past he had faltered in his profession of the Christian faith, but that now God was giving him an opportunity to atone for his past infidelity: "He is presenting to me this favorable occasion of dying for him. I hope that he will receive my sacrifice of expiation and wash me in my blood." Theodorus and his forty-one companions were beheaded.
Bishop of Trier, Germany, from 332, and a miracle worker. He was probably born at Silly, France, and succeeded St. Agritus as bishop of Trier, giving refuge to St. Athanasius in 336. St. Paul, the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. ... 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
Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family at Forli, Italy, in 1260. As a youth he was active in politics as a member of the anti-papal party. During one uprising, which the Pope sent St. Philip ... 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