About Today

Saint Apollinaris by See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

July 20

Saint Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr

Optional Memorial

“It is fitting that his name was Apollinaris, since according to the injunction of his God he lost his life in order to acquire it for life everlasting. Blessed is he who so finished the race and so kept the faith that he truly was found to occupy the first place among the believers.” [1]

According to tradition, St. Apollinaris was born in Antioch and became a disciple of St. Peter. His successor as bishop of Ravenna, St. Peter Chrysologus, preached a sermon in his honor in the 5th century. In it, he recalled how in the Church’s infancy, St. Apollinaris showed deep faith and dedication in the face of punishment. [1] Two beautiful churches in the onetime important Byzantine city of Ravenna are dedicated to him. [2][3][4]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] St. Peter Chrysologus, “Sermon 128,” in Fathers of the Church Volume 3 of Selected Sermons (CUA Press, 2005), quoted in William B. Palardy ed., www.books.google.com
[2] Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater, Butler’s Lives of the Saints Volume 3 (Indiana:Ave Maria Press, Inc., 1956), 167.
[3] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St Apollinaris.”
[4] John Paul II, Message of the Holy Father to the Archbishop of Ravenna, July 23, 1999.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

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