Daily Martyrology for April 1

In 304, during the persecution of Diocletian, the martyrdom of Sts. Agape and Chionia. With their younger sister, Irene, they were arrested for hiding copies of the Christian scriptures. When they refused to sacrifice to the gods or deliver up the Scriptures, they were burned to death.

In the fifth century, in the Judean desert, St. Mary of Egypt. After a dissolute youth in Alexandria, she converted before an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jerusalem. She then spent the next 47 years as a solitary in the Judean desert east of the Jordan River. Her story was often retold in the Middle Ages, which saw her as a model of repentance. She is usually depicted with the three loaves she took out into the desert with her, or with a lion, which her legend says helped to bury her.

In 1132, St. Hugh of Grenoble, bishop. He went to Rome to be consecrated bishop of Grenoble by Pope Gregory VII and to receive spiritual advice about temptations from which he suffered. As a bishop he was an ardent reformer, seeking to free his diocese of simony, concubinage and ignorance. After two years he went to a Benedictine monastery, where he stayed for a year. The pope ordered him back to his diocese. He supported St. Bruno’s effort to establish the Grand Chartreuse and would have become a Carthusian if the pope had allowed it. The feast of his nephew, Hugh, abbot of the Carthusian monastery of Bonnevaux, is also celebrated this day.

At Györ, in Hungary, in 1945, Blessed Vilmos Apor, bishop and martyr. After studying for the priesthood at Innsbruck, he became parish priest in Gyula, where he was outstanding in his commitment to the poor and to ecumenism. In 1941 he was made bishop of Györ. He protested forcefully against persecution of the Jews by the Nazis. During fighting between the Germans and Russians in 1945, Bishop Apor housed food, supplies and refugees in his basement. On Good Friday, drunken soldiers assaulted a young girl in the cellar; he intervened and they shot him. He died on Easter Monday.

Previous Day   |   Next Day   |   Pick a Day...

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