When in the late fourth century the patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt obtained permission from the Byzantine emperor Theodosius to convert a pagan temple of his city into a Christian church, some of Alexandria’s pagans rose up in revolt. In the ensuing rioting, many were killed. A contingent of pagan militants turned the temple of the idol Serapis into a base of operations for their violence, going out on raids to capture Christians and drag them back to the temple. They then ordered the prisoners to offer sacrifice to the temple idol. The Christian captives, upon refusing to venerate the pagan god, were executed with great brutality. Having learned of these events in Alexandria, the emperor Theodosius recognized the victims as heroic martyrs. So as not to cast any shadow upon their sacrifice, the emperor acted with clemency toward the perpetrators, pardoning their crimes. The subsequent destruction of the temple idol Serapis accelerated the conversion of Egyptian pagans to Christianity, as the people came to realize that pagan prophecies of doom if the idol was destroyed had proved false.
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Less than twenty years before Teresa was born in 1515, Columbus opened up the Western Hemisphere to European colonization. Two years after she was born, Luther started the Protestant Reformation. Out of all of this change came Teresa pointing the way from outer turmoil ... 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. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of all universities and of students. His feast day is January 28th. He was born toward the end of the year 1226. He was the son of ... 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