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

July 5 – Athanasius the Athonite

Athanasius the Athonite (ca. 920–1003) was born in Trebizond, baptized “Abraham,” orphaned, and raised by an adoptive mother who happened to be a nun (actually she was probably a nun on purpose). He grew up a model scholar, but longed for a monastic life. When his foster mother died, he “was taken” (by whom? it’s… Continue reading July 5 – Athanasius the Athonite

July 4 – Andrew of Crete; Elizabeth of Portugal

Andrew of Crete (ca. 650–712 or 726 or maybe even 740) was mute until he was seven years old, when he was miraculously healed upon receiving the Eucharist. At fourteen he moved to the Lavra* of St. Sabbas, whence he was plucked and archdeaconified by the Patricarch of Jerusalem (well, the locum tenens, meaning “crazy… Continue reading July 4 – Andrew of Crete; Elizabeth of Portugal