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Saint of the Day for 20 July: Sant’Apollinare of Ravenna

The martyr who enlightened Ravenna with his faith and testimony


Sant’Apollinare of Ravenna


Bishop and martyr


1st Century, Antioch of Syria


1st Century, Ravenna


20 July


2004 edition


O Saint Apollinaris, our glorious Patron, intercede for the faithful whom you have protected for centuries. We are your people, lambs of your flock: raise prayers for us to the Son of God. O God, the eternal reward of thy faithful servants, who hast sanctified this day with the martyrdom of the holy bishop Apollinaris, through his intercession grant that we who venerate him, master and protector, may experience the sweetness of thy mercy.

Patron of

Emilia-Romagna, Ravenna, Russi, Bucine, Sant’Apollinare, Mercatino Conca, Crosio della Valle

Protector of

epilepsy, gout

Roman Martyrology

Saint Apollinaris, bishop, who, making the unfathomable riches of Christ known among the nations, preceded his flock like a good shepherd, honouring the Church of Classe near Ravenna in Romagna with his glorious martyrdom. On 23 July he migrated to the eternal banquet.


The Saint and Mission

Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna was an example of missionary fervour in his efforts to spread the Christian faith in the city of Ravenna and beyond. His mission was rooted in the witness of life and proclamation of the Gospel, bringing the light of Christ to his contemporaries.

Apollinare faced challenges and persecution with courage and determination, remaining steadfast in his faith and in his commitment to spread Christian truth. His life was an exhortation to live according to Christ’s teachings and to share God’s hope and love with others.

His testimony prompts us to reflect on our mission as Christians in the world. St Apollinaris invites us to be witnesses of the faith with humility and courage, to live according to Christ’s teachings and to bring the light of truth and God’s love to those around us.

The figure of St Apollinaris reminds us that the mission is not only a matter for apostles and saints, but is a task for every baptised person. We can follow his example in witnessing to our faith in our daily lives, through our words, our actions and our disposition to help and serve others.

May the example of St Apollinaris of Ravenna inspire us to live our mission with passion and dedication, bringing the light of Christ to the world and offering hope and love to those in need.

The Saint and Mercy

St Apollinaris of Ravenna was an extraordinary example of mercy in his life and mission. He embodied God’s love through his compassion, generosity and commitment to serving others.

Apollinaris dedicated his life to bringing comfort and hope to those in need and suffering. He showed a deep sensitivity towards the poor, the sick and the marginalised, offering them concrete help and his loving presence.

His mission of mercy was rooted in his faith and love for Christ. She understood that God’s love is manifested through service to others and lived her life according to this principle.

St Apollinaris’ testimony prompts us to reflect on the importance of living mercy in our daily lives. He invites us to reach out to those in need, to share what we have and to show compassion towards others.

The figure of St Apollinaris reminds us that mercy is not just about words, but requires concrete actions. We can learn from him to live our mission of mercy through small gestures of kindness, understanding and forgiveness.

May the example of St Apollinaris of Ravenna inspire us to be instruments of mercy in the world, bringing God’s grace and love to those around us. May we be channels of blessing and hope, spreading God’s mercy with every person we meet along our path.


S. Peter after Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit, went everywhere preaching that the time of salvation had come and faith in Jesus Christ was necessary to have eternal life. One day when the Apostle was teaching these truths in Antioch to a small number of people, he spotted among them a young man of fine appearance, sharp intellect, and pure heart: his name was Apollinaris. When Peter found himself alone, he called him close, and with fatherly ways, helped by God’s grace, he ended up winning him over completely to the faith.

The young man’s parents, still pagans, after much resistance, opened the door to divine grace: not only did they become Christians, but they allowed their son to…


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