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St. Claude Apollinaire

Name: St. Claude Apollinaire
Date: 8 January

Claudius Apollinaris, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, was one of the most illustrious prelates ofthe second age of the Church, which began with the edict of Constantine in 313, makingChristianity the religion of the Roman Empire. Notwithstanding the great eulogies bestowed onSaint Apollinaris by Eusebius, Saint Jerome, Theodoret, and others, little is known of his acts, andhis writings, which then were held in great esteem, are apparently all lost. He had written manyexcellent treatises against the heretics and pointed out, as Saint Jerome testifies, the philosophicalsect from which each heresy derived its errors.

Nothing rendered his name so illustrious, however, as the noble apology for the Christian religionwhich he addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius about the year 175. This was spoken soonafter the miraculous victory the emperor obtained over enemies, through the prayers of theChristians. Saint Apollinaris reminded Marcus Aurelius of the benefit he had received from Godthrough the prayers of his Christian subjects, and implored protection for them against thepersecutions of the pagans. Marcus Aurelius published an edict in which he forbade anyone, underpain of death, to accuse a Christian on account of his religion; but, by a strange inconsistency, hedid not have the courage to abolish the laws then in force against the Christians. As aconsequence, many of them continued to suffer martyrdom, though their accusers were also putto death.

The exact date of Saint Apollinaris’ death is not known; the Roman Martyrology mentions him onthe 8th of January.

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints

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