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And today we celebrate...

Sunday, May 20
Saint Lydia

The First European Convert to Christianity

SAINTS
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(First Century)

Her life

+ What little we know of Saint Lydia comes to us from the Acts of the Apostles.

+ Saint Luke relates that Lydia was a successful businesswoman in Thyatira, who was a seller of highly valued purple cloth. For this reason, Lydia is sometimes known as “Lydia Purpuraria.”

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+ When Paul, Silas, and Timothy traveled through Philippi, they met Lydia and she subsequently asked to be baptized. She is considered the first European convert to the Christian Faith.

+ Saint Lydia is highly regarded in the Orthodox tradition, where she is given the title “Equal to the Apostles” in recognition of her historical importance and personal holiness.

+ A church in Philippi is said to mark the site of Lydia’s home and the traditional site of her baptism is honored as a place of pilgrimage.

For reflection

After [Lydia] and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.—Acts 16:15

Prayer

Pour out upon us, Lord, the spirit of knowledge and love of you, with which you filled your handmaid blessed Lydia, so that, serving you sincerely in imitation of her, we may be pleasing to you by our faith and our works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Holy Woman)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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