Saints and Holy People

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Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna (first century)

Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna (first century)

Feast day: July 20

Tradition teaches that Saint Apollinaris was sent to Ravenna, in Italy, by Saint Peter to preach the Gospel. The pagans of the city were angered at Saint Apollinaris and allegedly attacked him before expelling him from the city. He then preached in the area surrounding Ravenna, returned to Ravenna, and was beaten and banished again. As the bishop of Ravenna, Saint Apollinaris continued preaching and entering the city until, on his fourth return, he was tortured and killed.

In the sixth century, a beautiful basilica was built in Classis, a suburb of Ravenna, where he was killed. This cathedral, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, is now a World Heritage Site. However, his relics were later moved to a basilica in Ravenna itself, originally built in 504 and dedicated as “Christ the Redeemer.” It is now called the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and is also a World Heritage Site.

(Image from Saint Mary's Press)