« Apollinarianism St. Apollinaris St. Apollinaris »

St. Apollinaris

St. Apollinaris

One of the first great martyrs of the church. He was made Bishop of Ravenna by St. Peter himself. The miracles he wrought there soon attracted official attention, for they and his preaching won many converts to the Faith, while at the same time bringing upon him the fury of the idolaters, who beat him cruelly and drove him from the city. He was found half dead on the seashore, and kept in concealment by the Christians, but was captured again and compelled to walk on burning coals and a second time expelled. But he remained in the vicinity, and continued his work of evangelization. We find him then journeying in the province of Aemilia. A third time he returned to Ravenna. Again he was captured, hacked with knives, had scalding water poured over his wounds, was beaten in the mouth with stones because he persisted in preaching, and then, loaded with chains, was flung into a horrible dungeon to starve to death; but after four days he was put on board ship and sent to Greece. There the same course of preachings, and miracles, and sufferings continued; and when his very presence caused the oracles to be silent, he was, after a cruel beating, sent back to Italy. All this continued for three years, and a fourth time he returned to Ravenna. By this time Vespasian was Emperor, and he, in answer to the complaints of the pagans, issued a decree of banishment against the Christians. Apollinaris was kept concealed for some time, but as he was passing out of the gates of the city, was set upon and savagely beaten, probably at Classis, a suburb, but he lived for seven days, foretelling meantime that the persecutions would increase, but that the Church would ultimately triumph. It is not certain what was his native place, though it was probably Antioch. Nor is it sure that he was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, as has been suggested. The precise date of his consecration cannot be ascertained, but he was Bishop of Ravenna for twenty-six years.

Acta SS., 5 July.

T.J. CAMPBELL

« Apollinarianism St. Apollinaris St. Apollinaris »
« St. Apollinaris St. Apollinaris Apollinaris (The Elder) »

St. Apollinaris

St. Apollinaris

The most illustrious of the Bishops of Valence, b. at Vienne, 453; d. 520. He lived in the time of the irruption of the barbarians, and unhappily Valence, which was the central see of the recently founded Kingdom of Burgundy, had been scandalized by the dissolute Bishop Maximus, and the see in consequence had been vacant for fifty years. Apollinaris was of a family of nobles and saints. He was little over twenty when he was ordained priest. In 486, when he was thirty­three years old, he was made Bishop of the long vacant See of Valence, and under his zealous care it soon recovered its ancient glory. Abuses were corrected and morals reformed. The Bishop was so beloved that the news of his first illness filled the city with consternation. His return to health was miraculous. He was present at the conference at Lyons, between the Arians and Catholics, which was held in presence of King Gondebaud. He distinguished himself there by his eloquence and learning.

A memorable contest in defence of marriage brought Apollinaris again into special prominence. Stephen, the treasurer of the kingdom, was living in incest. The four bishops of the province commanded him to separate from his companion, but he appealed to the King, who sustained his official and exiled the four bishops to Sardinia. As they refused to yield, the King relented, and after some time permitted them to return to their sees, with the exception of Apollinaris, who had rendered himself particularly obnoxious, and was kept a close prisoner for a year. At last the King, stricken with a grievous malady, repented, and the Queen in person came to beg Apollinaris to go to the court to restore the monarch to health. On his refusal, the Queen asked for his cloak to place on the sufferer. The request was granted, the King was cured, and came to beg absolution for his sin. Apollinaris was sixty­four years old when he returned from Sardinia to Valence, and his people received him with every demonstration of joy. He died after an episcopate of thirty­four years, at the age of sixty­seven, his life ending, as it had begun, in the constant exercise of the most exalted holiness.

Acta SS., October, III.

T.J. CAMBELL

« St. Apollinaris St. Apollinaris Apollinaris (The Elder) »





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