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.
Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, Germany, in 1577. A practicing lawyer, he traveled across Europe as a tutor to aristocrats but then started defending the poor. In ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Irish abbess and disciple of St. Abban. When St. Abban founded a convent in Ballyvourney, County Cork, Ireland, Gobnata was placed in charge. A well there bears her name. 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
Louise de Marillac was born probably at Ferrieres-en-Brie near Meux, France, on August 12, 1591. She was educated by the Dominican nuns at Poissy. She desired to become a nun but on the advice of her ... 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