Feast of Saint Apollinaris Claudius
St. Apollinaris Claudius, also called St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis, was a bishop in what is today Turkey. He became famous for his polemical writings against the heretics of his day, showing that their theological errors were taken from the pagans. His most famous work was an Apologia for the Christians addressed to Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the year 177 A.D. In it he reminded the Emperor of a miracle he received because of the Christians: when his army was nearly defeated in an attempt to conquer the Germanic barbarians, it was the prayers of the Christians among his soldiers which obtained the needed relief and the military victory, even though Christianity was illegal. In light of this miracle, Apollinaris requested the Emperor’s protection of Christians from persecution. St. Apollinaris’ work earned him the moniker, “Apollinaris the Apologist.” His writings are largely lost, and what we know of his work comes to us from other early Christian writers including St. Jerome and Eusebius. His feast day is January 8th.
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CLAUDIUS APOLLINARIS, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, was one of the most illustrious prelates of the second age. Notwithstanding the great encomiums bestowed on him by Eusebius, St. Jerome, Theodoret, and ethers, but little is known of his actions; and his writings, which then were held in great esteem, seem now to be all lost. He wrote many able treatises against the heretics, and pointed out, as St. Jerome testifies, from what philosophical sect each heresy derived its errors. Nothing rendered his name so illustrious, however, as his noble apology for the Christian religion which he addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, about the year 175, soon after the miraculous victory that prince had obtained over the Quadi by the prayers of the Christians. St. Apollinaris reminded the emperor of the benefit he had received from God through the prayers of his Christian subjects, and implored protection for them against the persecution of the pagans. Marcus Aurelius published an edict in which he forbade any one, under pain of death, to accuse a Christian on account of his religion….”
Butler’s Lives of the Saints
Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”
Saint Clement I, pope
Saint Apollinaris Claudius, apologist, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.