Around 165, in Rome, St. Justin Martyr. Justin was a Greek, born in Samaria. He studied various philosophies in a quest for the vision of God. One day on the seashore he met an old man who told him about the Hebrew prophets and Christianity, and Justin’s search was ended. He became a Christian philosopher at Ephesus, and then at Rome. There he wrote his major works of Christian apologetics. He taught that the divine Logos had been at work throughout human history to prepare the world for His coming in the flesh. Justin was beheaded with six other Christians under Marcus Aurelius.
In 1035, at Trier, St. Simeon of Syracuse. Born in Sicily, he was educated at Constantinople and became a monk in the Sinai. He was sent on a harrowing journey to Normandy to raise funds for his monastery. On the way he became friends with Abbot Richard of Verdun and Abbot Eberwin of Trier. After accompanying Archbishop Poppo of Trier on a pilgrimage to Palestine, he returned to Trier where he became an anchorite. He was the second person to be formally canonized by a pope.
In 1905, in Piacenza, Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini. He came from a devout family and was ordained by the bishop of Bergamo. After serving as a seminary rector, he was appointed bishop of Piacenza when he was thirty-six. He visited all 365 parishes of his diocese five times, held synods, reorganized his seminaries, helped the poor, and promoted workers’ associations and cooperatives. He recognized the need for a ministry serving northern Italians emigrating to the Americas, so he organized the Missionaries of St. Charles.
In Sicily, in 1927, St. Annibale Maria di Francia. He grew up a free-thinker, but experienced a sudden call to the priesthood. He worked among the poor, promoted vocations, and founded two religious orders.
Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.