Daily Martyrology for July 23

In 1373, at Rome, St. Bridget of Sweden. She was the daughter of a powerful nobleman and married another, with whom she had eight children. When her husband died, Bridget spent three years at the Cistercian monastery of Alvastra. She had visions, and as a result of one built a monastery at Vadstena, which became the beginning of the Order of the Most Holy Savior. Each monastery in the order was to include both nuns and monks. It spread throughout Europe to number 70 monasteries. Bridget moved to Rome where she worked to get the pope to return to Rome from Avignon and to bring peace between France and England. Throughout her life, Bridget was active in helping the poor.

At Ravenna, at an unknown date, St. Apollinaris, bishop and martyr.

In 435, at Marseilles, St. John Cassian. He was probably born in Eastern Europe. He went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and became a monk in Bethlehem, then went to study the monastic life of the Desert Monks in Egypt. Around 400 he was ordained a deacon by St. John Chrysostom (September 13) in Constantinople. After John Chrysostom was deposed, Cassian joined a delegation who traveled to Rome on his behalf. Around 415, Cassian founded two monasteries in Marseilles. He wrote two books on monasticism and spirituality, the Conferences and the Institutes, which were very influential.

In 1976, at Presov, in Slovakia, Blessed Basil Hopko, bishop and martyr. He was ordained in 1929 for the Greek Catholic church and served in a parish in Prague, and later in the seminary in Presov. He was made an auxiliary bishop in 1947. In 1950 the Communist Party declared the Greek-Catholic church no longer in existence and Bishop Hopko was arrested and tortured. He was sentenced to prison for fifteen years, and there was given small doses of arsenic to undermine his health. Released in 1964, he served as auxiliary bishop until his death.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.