December 31 – Melania the Younger

Melania the Younger (ca. 383–439) was a member of the famous Valeri family, one of the richest, Roman patrician families, or the richest, depending on whom you asked (somebody from the family or outside of it) and who was asking (a doting plebe or a tax collector). They had honors granted no other Roman family,… Continue reading December 31 – Melania the Younger

December 30 – Zoticus, Feeder of Orphans; Egwin of Worcester

Zoticus, Feeder of Orphans (IV cent.) worked for Constantine the Great during the conversion of Byzantium into Constantinople. When leprosy broke out (a breakout of leprosy is a lot worse than a breakout of acne, although our teenaged readers may not believe me), Constantine ordered the lepers to be driven from the city or drowned… Continue reading December 30 – Zoticus, Feeder of Orphans; Egwin of Worcester

December 29 – Marcellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones; Thomas Becket

Marcellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (d. 485), was born in Syria. He didn’t keep his parents long (through no fault of his own), and gave away his inheritance shortly thereafter. He wandered into Ephesus, found a spiritual director and a job copying manuscripts, and spent his off-hours being ascetic. His spiritual… Continue reading December 29 – Marcellus, Abbot of the Monastery of the Unsleeping Ones; Thomas Becket

December 28 – The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia; the Holy Innocents

The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia (IV cent.) suffered under Emperors Diocletian and Maximus in Nicomedia, then the eastern capital (Ironic) (or maybe Doric) of the Roman Empire. Our story starts with Domna, a pagan priestess who somehow landed a copy of Acts+Paul (it fought hard but she played it a long time). Her heart burned… Continue reading December 28 – The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia; the Holy Innocents

December 27 – Theophanes and Theodore Graptus; Fabiola

Theophanes & Theodore Graptus (literally, “Written-upon”) (d. 845, 842, respectively) were brothers from Jerusalem (or from Trans-Jordan) who settled into the Mar Saba monastery and became noted for their intelligence and model behavior (either they were very smart, or the other monks were—no, it doesn’t bear thinking about). At the insistence of the Jerusalem Patriarch,… Continue reading December 27 – Theophanes and Theodore Graptus; Fabiola