February 26 — Porphyry of Gaza

Porphyry of Gaza (ca. 346–420) (aka Porphyrius) at 25 left his cushy life in Thessaloniki to seek a monastic calling. He spent some time in Scetis*, Egypt, where he lived under the rule of Macarius the Great (Jan 15), and met the famous Bible translator Jerome (Sep 30). After a brief visit to the Holy… Continue reading February 26 — Porphyry of Gaza

February 25 — Tarasios of Constantinople; Avertanus and Romeo

Tarasios of Constantinople (ca. 730–806) (aka Tarasius), quondam imperial secretary to Constantine VI, became Patriarch when his predecessor, Paul (a repentant iconoclast[1]), retired to a monastery. When the Dowager Empress Irene asked Paul to name his replacement, he named Tarasios. There was some grumbling about the idea of elevating a layman to Patriarch, and Pope… Continue reading February 25 — Tarasios of Constantinople; Avertanus and Romeo

February 24 — The First and Second Findings of the Head of John the Baptist; Adela of Normandy

John the Baptist is our commemoree today. Or to be precise, his head. Or to be more precise, the first and second findings thereof. Fans of the gospels will know that John the Baptist, aka John the Forerunner, was Jesus’ cousin, baptized people (including Jesus) in the Jordan River, and heralded Jesus as the coming… Continue reading February 24 — The First and Second Findings of the Head of John the Baptist; Adela of Normandy

February 23 — Polycarp of Smyrna

Polycarp of Smyrna (ca. 69–155 or 156 or 166 or 167 or 177) was a disciple of John the Apostle (Sep 26) and bishop of Smyrna on the western coast of what is now Turkey. He is numbered among the Apostolic Fathers*, who are not (as one might think) the fathers of the apostles, but… Continue reading February 23 — Polycarp of Smyrna

February 22 — Thalassius and Limnaeus; Margaret of Cortona

Thalassius (d. 440) (“maritime”), commemorated today with his disciple Limnaeus (“lake dweller”), became a hermit in Syria sometime in the fifth century, living either in the open or in a cave near either Cyr(rhus) or Targala for thirty-eight years. One of his special ascetic practices was silence, which he must have practiced when not instructing… Continue reading February 22 — Thalassius and Limnaeus; Margaret of Cortona