Saint Blasius, the martyr bishop
Saint Blasius lived between the third and fourth centuries and was bishop of Sebastia in historical Armenia (i.e. the current city of Sibus, located in Turkey). He is considered one of the last victims of Roman persecution, as he was martyred by beheading around the year 316 AD. Christianity at that time was a legal religion under the rule of Emperor Constantine, so historians attribute his martyrdom to the conflict that took place between the Emperor of the East Licinius and the Emperor of the West Constantine. In the eighth century, some Armenian believers moved the relics of his body to the city of Maratea (present-day Potenza) in southern Italy, where a church was erected in his name. His veneration spread throughout the Middle Ages in the entire Church, due to his fame in performing miracles, among which was the fact that he saved a boy who was about to suffocate due to a haskah. From here it was customary to bless the throat on the day of his remembrance.
Saint Agatha, the Virgin Martyr
“Agatha” is a name that means “the righteous” in Greek. Agatha was a girl who was not more than twenty years old, and she vowed her virginity to the Lord. The ruler of Sicily, Quinzianus, saw her and fell in love with her, but when he was refused, he decided to take revenge, taking advantage of the severe persecution practiced by the Roman Emperor Decius against the Christians. Sicily). Her honor spread in the church since ancient times, and in the fifth century Pope Symacos dedicated a church to her in Rome. Its name appears in the First Eucharistic Prayer, which is one of the oldest prayers used in the Roman Latin Mass.
Blessed Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX was born in 1792 AD in the Italian province of Ancona. He served the universal church in the Petrosian seat from 1846 until 1878. He had to bear many burdens, including the revolution that took place against the church, which forced him to leave the city of Rome. Despite this, he did not neglect his spiritual tasks, so he encouraged the dissemination of some formulas of piety, including prostration to the Holy Communion, worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and honoring the Virgin Mary. He cared about defending the righteous faith against the heresies that spread in his time, so he held the First Vatican Council, which declared the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome from error in his teaching about faith and morals. He also proclaimed the doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Mother of God, Mary. In addition, he cared about the missionary side and supported missionary missions in Africa and Asia. He was one of the greatest popes, his pontificate lasted thirty-two years. Pope John Paul II canonized him in the year 2000.
Saint Cyril the monk and Saint Methodius the bishop
Cyril and Methodius were two brothers, born in the early ninth century AD in the Greek city of Thessaloniki (its current name is Thessaloniki). In Constantinople, Cyril acquired a high education and became a monk. He traveled to Moravia (eastern Czech Republic) with his brother Methodius to preach the Bible. They invented the Slavic letters, which were known as “Crelian letters,” and translated the Bible and Latin liturgical texts into this language. They wanted to help people pray in their local language, and they endured a lot of trouble because of this apostolic work. Their message was supported by the Roman rabbis, as Pope Hadrianus II approved the use of the Slavic language in the liturgy. Krillos slept in Rome in 869. As for Metodios, he was appointed bishop of the city of Sirmium (its current name is Sremska and is located in the Republic of Serbia today), where he preached the Bible with great jealousy. He was imprisoned for three years, then Pope John VIII freed him. Rest in the Lord 885 in the city of Velehrad in the Czech Republic.
Saint Peter Damiani, Bishop and Teacher of the Church
He was born in 1007 AD in the city of Ravenna in Italy. His father died, and he grew up in the care of his brother Damianos, from whom he took his second name, Damiani. His brother encouraged him to study until he became a professor, but he chose a life of devotion, so he became a monk in Fonte Avellana Monastery. He was characterized by a life of extreme austerity and prolonged prayer. The monks chose him as head of the monastery, so he worked with determination to reform the monastic life in his monastery and in all parts of Italy. During the difficult days that afflicted the Church of Rome, he stood by the side of the Roman rabbis, through his writings and his participation in missions to churches. Despite his love for a life of solitude and contemplation, he sacrificed it when Pope Stephen IX appointed him as Cardinal and Bishop of the city of Ostia. He rested in the Lord in 1072. and the people honored him and considered him a saint immediately after his death. Among his sayings: “Where there is righteousness and the fear of God, the ordeal that comes from difficulties is not seen as the torment of servitude, but as a father’s upbringing of his son.”