Around 250, at Smyrna, St. Pionius, martyr. Pionius, who revered the memory of St. Polycarp (February 23), was a learned teacher. He was arrested with Sabina, a slave who had been ill-treated because of her Christian faith, and Asclepiades. The three refused to offer incense to the gods. Pionius was then burned at the stake in the stadium. His last words were “Lord, receive my spirit.”
In 817, on the island of Samothrace, St. Theophanes the Chronicler, abbot. Theophanes was the son of very wealthy parents. He was pressured to marry when he was young, but he and his new wife distributed their property and became monks. Theophanes was called to the Second Council of Nicaea where he supported the veneration of images. He wrote a very important historical chronicle for the years 281-813 AD. When he refused to support Leo the Armenian’s iconoclastic policies, Theophanes was scourged, imprisoned for two years, and finally banished to Samothrace, where he died after seven days.
In 1022, St. Simeon, the New Theologian, abbot. Reared in Constantinople, he was motivated to change his way of life after reading the lives of the saints. He was trained at the monastery of Studium. He had intense mystical experiences of God. He became abbot of the monastery of Saint Mamas, and his Catecheses to his monks is a spiritual classic. His demanding spiritual teachings became controversial and he was sent into exile, where he continued to write hymns and works in defense of his spiritual teachings. He died in exile in great peace of heart.
In 1940, in Italy, St. Luigi (Aloysius) Orione, founder of the Congregation of the Little Work of Divine Providence and the Little Missionaries of Charity. After spending time with Don Bosco (January 31), Don Orione became a diocesan priest. He was energetic and creative in ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of all he met. His boundless zeal carried him through the rough waters of the church-state and Modernist controversies, and enabled him to stand up to the Fascists.
Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.