December 16 – Theophano the Empress; Adelaide of Burgundy

Theophano the Empress (d. 893 or maybe 897) had ancestors, but her contemporary biographers didn’t know who they were (or if they knew, they were too polite to say). Her story is closely tied up with that of her husband, who was not a saint, as you shall see. Leo the Wise was the son… Continue reading December 16 – Theophano the Empress; Adelaide of Burgundy

December 15 – Stephen of Surozh; Virginia Centurione Bracelli

Stephen of Surozh (VIII cent.) was born in Cappadocia (“docile cap”) to Christian parents. From an early age he shunned the pastimes of your ordinary, not-destined-to-become-a-saint lads (football, motocross, Dragon Ball-Z marathons), preferring instead to read Scripture. At fifteen he ran away to Constantinople to pursue an education in philosophy. Patriarch (Saint) Germanus took him… Continue reading December 15 – Stephen of Surozh; Virginia Centurione Bracelli

December 14 – Philemon, Apollonius, and Arianus of Alexandria; John of the Cross

Philemon, Apollonius, & Arianus of Alexandria (d. 286) were martyrs. Apollonius, a Christian, devised an ingenious scheme to avoid being killed for not sacrificing to idols: he convinced pagan Philemon to swap robes with him and sacrifice in his stead. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Philemon converted to Christianity on his way to Apollonius’ trial. “I changed… Continue reading December 14 – Philemon, Apollonius, and Arianus of Alexandria; John of the Cross

December 13 – Lucy

Lucy of Syracuse  (ca. 283–ca. 304) lost her father when she was five (I don’t mean in the shopping mall; I mean he died), and was determined not to lose her mother, so when Eutychia (her ma) came down with a bleeding disorder, Lucy trundled her off to the shrine of St. Agatha in nearby… Continue reading December 13 – Lucy

December 12 – Spyridon; Our Lady of Guadalupe

Spyridon (ca. 270–348), a Cypriot shepherd, used all of his earnings to tend to the poor and needy, in reward for which he received the ability to wonderwork. He used this gift to heal the sick, cast out demons, and stuff like that. When his wife died, his daughter became a nun, and he became… Continue reading December 12 – Spyridon; Our Lady of Guadalupe