Bishop and Martyr: First Century
+ We know very little of the life of this historic martyr.
+ Honored as the first bishop of Ravenna, Italy, tradition tells us that Apollinaris was from Antioch (not Antakya, Turkey) and later carried the Good News to Italy.
+ Saint Apollinaris was martyred near Ravenna during a persecution ordered by either the Emperor Vespasian or the Emperor Nero.
+ The liturgical commemoration of this ancient martyr was removed from the liturgical calendar in 1969 but was reintroduced in 2002.
+ Saint Apollinaris is invoked against epilepsy and gout and is the patron saint of several dioceses in Italy and Germany.
The 6th-century Basilica of Sant’Apollinaire in Classe was built to honor the memory of Saint Apollinaris and is considered a treasure of early Christian art and architecture, particularly because of the sumptuous mosaics that beautify the basilica’s interior.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.”—2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Direct your faithful, Lord, in the way of eternal salvation,
which the Bishop Saint Apollinaris showed by his teaching and martyrdom,
and grant, through his intercession,
that we may so persevere in keeping your commandments
as to merit being crowned with him.
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)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.