Daily Martyrology for July 25

In the first century, St. James the Greater, apostle. He was John’s brother and followed Jesus with him. The two brothers witnessed the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, Jesus’ transfiguration, and Jesus’ agony in the garden of Gethsemane. He was executed by Herod Agrippa about 44 AD, the first of the apostles to die. Tradition says that his body was transported to Spain and buried at Compostela, which became a great pilgrimage shrine. In his role as apostle and martyr, he is depicted with a cross or a sword. As a pilgrim, he carries a pilgrim's staff and scrip decorated with scallop shells. As patron of the reconquest of Spain from the Moors his emblem is a knight on a white horse.

Probably in the 3rd century, St. Christopher. There undoubtedly was an early Christian martyr named Christopher, but nothing is known for sure of his life. The Golden Legend told of him carrying a child across a river; the child turned out to be Christ. For this reason Christopher became the patron saint of travelers

In 408, St. Olympias. She was tutored by a well-educated and devout woman. She married, but her husband died soon afterward. At Santa Sophia in Constantinople she established a community for women who wanted to devote themselves to church service. She was a friend of St. John Chrysostom, who urged her community to found a hospital and orphanage. When John Chrysostom was sent into exile, she continued to support him, and for that his successor Atticus suppressed her community.

In 1471, at Angers, Blessed John Soreth. As prior general of the Carmelites, he worked to reform the order. He drew up a rule for Carmelite tertiaries.

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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.