If you enjoy this daily blog of lesser-known saints, see my book, which contains short biographies of saints for every day of the year. Saint Wiborada (d. 926) was born in Klingnau, Switzerland, into a noble family. By the time her brother became a priest, their parents had died, so Wiborada joined him, cared for him, […]
If you enjoy this daily blog of lesser-known saints, see my book, which contains short biographies of saints for every day of the year. A biography of Saint Amator (344-418) written more than a century after his death is our best source of information about the saint. Setting aside some of the extraordinary details in that […]
If you enjoy this daily blog of lesser-known saints, see my book, which contains short biographies of saints for every day of the year. Saint Wolfhard (d. 1127) was a German maker of saddles and other equipment for horses when he traveled to Verona and decided to settle there. In time, his fellow citizens noticed that […]
If you enjoy this daily blog of lesser-known saints, see my book, which contains short biographies of saints for every day of the year. Saint Joseph Cottolengo (1786-1842) was a parish priest of Turin, Italy, when he was called to the bedside of a poor, pregnant woman. The woman had been refused by hospitals because of […]
Saint of the Day
An ancient manuscript describes the martyrdoms of the Christians of the cities of Vienna and Lyons in the year 177.
According to this document, the local governor resumed the persecution of Christians under the orders of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. But, as is often the case, persecution didn’t begin with arrests and executions. Instead, Christians were first publicly ostracized; they were prohibited from using the public baths, selling in the marketplaces, and assigned other serious but lesser restrictions on their freedoms. Having turned popular sentiment against the Christians, sporadic and random mob violence against Christians soon followed.
The local authorities then arrested and tried prominent Christians. Some of those who were arrested renounced their faith out of fear, and pagans who were arrested because they were servants of Christians made up ridiculous stories about their masters because they were afraid they would be arrested and killed too.
Many Christians of these cities remained faithful, however, enduring (though sometimes also dying from) torture. The bishop of Lyons, Pothinus, was ninety years old when he was martyred.
The other Christians of Lyons and Vienna, young and old, male and female, held fast to their faith in Christ despite being brutally and publicly executed. Which, as often happens, simply prepared the way for many conversions to the faith in the future.
Holy Martyrs, help me love and forgive those who ridicule my faith and those who have abandoned the faith out of weakness.
Want to read about a saint every day? The “Saint of the Day” blog posts for the entire month of June on this web site are designed to help you do that. Every day of the month of June, there’s a blog post about a holy man or woman you’ve probably never heard of, but who is formally acknowledged as a saint or blessed of the Church. Just like the book, Saints: Becoming an Image of Christ Every Day of the Year, these blog posts show you how to start (or interrupt or finish) your day with a brief, inspirational life story of a saint. Each biography concludes with a short prayer to help you identify some aspect of that saint’s life that might help you in your own spiritual life.
(Note that none of the saints in these blog posts are included in the book, Saints: Becoming an Image of Christ Every Day of the Year, but they are present in the Church’s latest official list of saints, the Martyrologium Romanum, dated 2004.)
As Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, there is nothing new under the sun, and the problems we face today are often startlingly similar to the problems that holy men and women of the past faced in their own lives. Other blog posts discuss saints celebrated in the current month or who have something to teach us about our current difficulties, such as dealing with an epidemic or how to handle suffering.
The saints and blesseds of the Church teach us that holiness is possible for anyone, in any state of life, and in any historical time period. We only have to be open to God’s grace so that He can form us into images of Jesus Christ.