July 10 – The 45 Martyrs of Nicopolis; Rufina and Secunda

The 45 Martyrs of Nicopolis (d. 319) suffered under Licinius, coregent at the time with Constantine the Great, although somewhat less inclined to be well-disposed toward Christians. Licinius was threatening Christians with death if they didn’t convert (or re-convert) (or de-convert) to paganism, and what is more, was making good (or bad) on his threats.… Continue reading July 10 – The 45 Martyrs of Nicopolis; Rufina and Secunda

July 9 – Pancratius of Taormina; Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá

Pancratius of Taormina (I cent.) was taken as a lad by his parents to see Jesus preach. He may well have been one of the children our Lord bade come unto him, although none of our sources mention this, and far be it from me to interpolate. After our Lord ascended, he (Pancratius, not Jesus)… Continue reading July 9 – Pancratius of Taormina; Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá

July 8 – Procopius of Scythopolis; Withburga

Procopius of Scythopolis (d. 303) was (per his contemporary Eusebius) the first martyr in Caesarea. Unfortunately for historians, but wonderfully for us, there are many versions of his story. In the most pedestrian (Eusebius’, so likely the most accurate), he was born in Jerusalem and moved to Scythopolis, where he was a reader, a Syriac… Continue reading July 8 – Procopius of Scythopolis; Withburga

July 7 – Kyriake; Pope Benedict XI

Kyriake of Nicomedia (d. 289) was born on a Sunday (her name means “Sunday”) to aging, godly, wealthy, barren parents in answer to their unceasing prayers. As is so often the case in these stories, she grew up devout and beautiful, wishing to dedicate her life to God, but was plagued with wealthy suitors, eager… Continue reading July 7 – Kyriake; Pope Benedict XI

July 6 – Sexburga of Ely; Godelieve

Sexburga of Ely (d. 699) came from one of those families that makes yours seem like a den of iniquity. She had three and a half sainted sisters and two sainted daughters (one of whom was a queen consort). All three of her sons became kings (in good time) (if the seventh and eighth centuries… Continue reading July 6 – Sexburga of Ely; Godelieve