St. Daniel, Martyr

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Today, February 16th, the universal Church honors a brave martyr, St. Daniel.

Daniel and his four companions, Elias, Isaias, Jeremy and Samuel were Egyptians.  They decided to visit the Christians who were condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during the persecution of Maximus, so that they could talk with them, comfort them and give them hope.


Note: Cilicia (colored dark red in map below) was an early Roman province, located on what is today the southern (Mediterranean) coast of Turkey. Annexed to the Roman Empire in 64 BC by Pompey, Cilicia remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for several centuries, until falling to the Islamic conquests.



They were apprehended at the gates of Caesarea, Palestine, and then brought before the governor, Firmilian.  The crime they were charged with was being Christians.  Daniel and his three friends were all brutally tortured and then beheaded in 309.

Porphyry, servant of St. Pamphilus, requested that the bodies be shown respect and that they be buried.  Because of this demand, he, too, was tortured and then burned to death, because his persecutors determined that he was also a Christian.

Seleucus saw Porphyry executed, wherein he applauded his loyalty to his faith in spite of the terrible torture he endured.  Accordingly, then Seleucus was arrested by the same soldiers who executed Porphyry, and by order of Firmilian, he, too, was beheaded.

Daniel and his friends, as well as Porphyry and Seleucus, showed their great love for Our Lord Jesus Christ when they attempted to visit the persecuted Christians who were working in the mines.  That kindness became the jewels in their martyrs’ crowns, being murdered for their courage and charity.  Let us look to these heroes as incredible examples of true Christians, not afraid to love their neighbors, not afraid to “see Jesus in disguise” in those Christians who were so miserably treated at the mines.  Dear Lord, we hope to have that same courage and love!

With respect and love,


Sources:  Vatican website;

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0 responses to “St. Daniel, Martyr

  1. Thank you, Joan, for this reminder that we Christians today owe so much to the sacrifices and blood of martyrs like St. Daniel and his three friends.

    • And thank you so much Dr. Eowyn for setting forth the helpful map of Cilicia in addition to the helpful explanation of this area. God bless you!

  2. It is interesting to note that after all the passage of centuries of time, Christians around the world are still being subjected to horrible atrocities. God Bless all who stand firm in their belief and faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. . . and thank you Joan for your efforts on our behalf.

  3. The history of such saints leaves us Christians of today in great shame. At least since the 1990’s, Christians have been murdered in the Sudan and elsewhere, especially by Muslims, and I have not heard a word from the pulpit about it How can the silent look the martyrs in the eye when they meet in heaven? And today, Christians in the United States are paying al Qaeda to kill Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere. I know that can not be immediately stopped, but we should at least speak up about it. In Jesus’ name, God have mercy! Thank you, Joan, for helping to wake us up.

    • Excellent comment, marble! I cannot recall any priest at any Mass in any homily mentioning Christians being martyred today — NOT EVEN ONE. Shame on these clerics.

  4. I thank all of you above for your important and gracious comments. We have started a practice when we sing the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 p.m. every afternoon, of giving Our Lord Jesus our prayers and petitions and thoughts before we begin. The third petition includes our prayers for all persecuted Catholics and Christians of all other denominations, that He give them liberty, safety and security and everything they need.

  5. Let’s pray that at worst the army of Christ is A.W.O.L., not guilty of desertion.


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