Tag Archives: Emperor Marcus Aurelius

St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis, Bishop

St. Apollinaris
Today, the Church honors Saint Apollinaris, the illustrious second century Bishop of Hierapolis-Phrygia.  The great Church historian, Eusebius, and St. Jerome, both acknowledge him as a great apologist famous for his treatises against the heresies of his day, showing the error of the heresies to be borrowed from the pagans.  Most unfortunately, his writings cannot be found, and only some extracts of his writings are available.
He lived during the time of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.  In or about 177, he addressed a defense of Christianity to the emperor, the Apologia, who shortly before this defense, had obtained an important victory over the Quadi, a people inhabiting the country which is now called Moravia.
By way of background, one of the emperor’s legions, the twelfth legion, was composed primarily of Christians.  The army began to perish because of the lack of water.  Accordingly, the Christian soldiers fell upon their knees and invoked the Lord’s assistance.  Their prayers were immediately answered, whilst a copious rain fell, and aided by the storm, they conquered the Germans.  In fact, the emperor named this Christian legion, the “Thundering Legion.”  St. Apollinaris reminded the emperor of this victory, requesting his protection and an end to the persecution of the Christians at that time.   The emperor complied during his reign, but the persecution of Christians continued thereafter.
In addition to the Apologia, he wrote two books against the Jews, five books against the pagans and two on Truth. 
He died in the second century, wherein the actual date of his death is unknown.  We applaud St. Apollinaris for his strong defense of Christianity and for his love of Truth.  May we remember his example and defend the Faith against modern-day heresies, especially secularism and relativism.
Respectfully,
Joan
Sources:  The Catholic Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, traditionalcatholic.net, and ucatholic.com

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