Saint Apollinaris (1st century)
for July 20
Tradition teaches that Saint Apollinaris was sent to Ravenna by Saint Peter to preach the gospel. The pagans of the city were angered at Saint Apollinaris and allegedly attacked him before expelling him from the city. He then preached in the area surrounding Ravenna, returned to Ravenna, and was beaten and banished again. Saint Apollinaris, the Bishop of Ravenna, continued preaching and entering the city until, on his fourth return, he was tortured and killed.
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Saint Apollinaris displayed unrivaled courage and faith through his perseverance. Knowing that he faced certain excruciating torture and eventual martyrdom, Saint Apollinaris persisted, without hesitation, to bring the good news to the people of Ravenna. In light of the extreme sacrifice required by Apollinaris, take time to imagine what must have been the depth of his love for Jesus and the extent to which Jesus must have shown Apollinaris love in return. Do you love Jesus this much? Do you experience the love of Jesus as fully and deeply as did Apollinaris? If not, know that you too can experience Jesus' bottomless supply of love!
Ask Jesus to learn to love and live as Saint Apollinaris.