Bishop and classical scholar. Caius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius was born in Lugdunum, about 423. He was from a noble family and received a brilliant education in the classical style. Entering the military, he married Papianilla, the daughter of Avitus, who became emperor of the West in 455. Living at the imperial court, Apollinaris survived the deposition of Avitus in 456 and subsequently served as the chief senator and prefect of Rome from 468 to 469. He then retired to Gaul, where he carried on a vast correspondence that gives considerable insight into the political period. In 469, although unwilling and not yet a priest, Apollinaris was named bishop of Avernum. He was chosen because of his piety and because he was considered the only one capable of defending the people against the invading Goths, under Alaric. Apollinaris assumed the humble lifestyle of the bishopric and learned so much about ecclesiastical affairs that he was soon recognized as an authority. He opposed King Euric of the Goths in 474 and was exiled briefly. He was an outstanding orator and poet, and he introduced the days of public prayer called "Rogation Days." Twenty-four of his letters and poems survived and are a valuable resource on the period. Apollinaris is considered to be the last representative of the great classical culture of Rome which was being overrun by the Germanic invasions.
On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in certain Irish calendars a Saint Bean in Ireland, who had been confused with the St. Bean whose feast is still observed in the Scottish ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Barbara lived in the 4th century and brought up as a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. Here, in her forced solitude, she gave herself to prayer and study, and contrived to ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
John Gonzales de Castrillo was born at Sahagun, Leon Spain. He was educated by the Benedictine monks of Fagondez monastery there and when twenty, received a canonry from the bishop of Burgos, though he already had several benefices. He was ordained in 1445; concerned ... continue reading
In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital alone. And many of the people who died were those who were needed to tend ... continue reading
By Billy Atwell
In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October 17, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch. St. Ignatius of Antioch is a bishop and martyr of the Church who died in the year 107. He was torn ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes