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St. Apollonius the Apologist

Saint Apollonius the Apologist


Apollonius was a senator of Rome in the late second century, and well-educated in philosophy. Through an equally thorough study of Holy Scripture, he converted to Christianity, during the reign of the Emperor Commodus. As a favor to a high-ranking Roman woman, Commodus had briefly relieved the persecution of Christians that had continued under his father Marcus Aurelius. The laws remained in force, however, and a slave of Apollonius publicly denounced his master as a Christian. The slave, in accordance with another Roman law, was put to death for his accusation, while Apollonius was ordered to renounce Christianity to save his life. He refused, and was brought before the senate. There Apollonius delivered a magnificent defense of the Catholic faith before his fellow senators, earning his title of “Apologist”. Though the address has not survived, St. Jerome extolls both its eloquence and its accuracy. Apollonius was condemned to death and beheaded, as customary for Roman citizens, around the year of Our Lord 186. He is honored on July 23rd in the East and on April 21st in the modern calendar.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 18th

AT Rome, St. Apollonius, a senator under the emperor Commodus and the prefect Perennius. Having been denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves, and being commanded to give an account of his faith, he composed an able work which he read in the Senate. He was nevertheless decapitated for Christ by the sentence of that body.

At Messina, the birthday of the holy martyrs, Eleutherius, bishop of Illyricum, and Anthia, his mother. Illustrious by his holiness of life and his power of working miracles, he was, in the reign of Adrian, laid on a bed of red-hot iron, on a gridiron, in a pan filled with boiling oil, pitch and rosin; he was cast to the lions, but, remaining unhurt, he finally had his throat pierced with a sword. His mother suffered a similar punishment.

In the same place, St. Corebus, prefect, who was converted to the faith by St. Eleutherius, and died by the sword.

At Brescia, St. Calocerus, a martyr, who was converted to Christ by Saints Faustinus and Jovita, and under the same Adrian terminated his glorious combat for the confession of the faith.

At Cordova, St. Perfect, priest and martyr, killed by the Moors for inveighing against the followers of Mahomet.

At Milan, St. Galdini, cardinal and bishop of that city, who, at the conclusion of a discourse against heretics, gave up his soul to God.

In Tuscany, on Mount Senario, blessed Amideus, one of the seven Founders of the Order of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary, very celebrated for an ardent love of God.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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