SAINTS

APRIL 18: ST. APOLLONIUS THE APOLOGIST

(Died 185 AD)

Apollonius was well versed in philosophy and an illustrious man of his time. It is believed he was a Roman senator.

He was denounced as a Christian to the Pretorian Prefect Perennius. Summoned to defend himself, he read to the senate. St. Jerome recorded that Apollonius gave “a remarkable volume” in which, instead of recanting, he defended the Christian faith. As a result, he was condemned to death on the basis of the law established by the Emperor Trajan.

The erudite speaker was subjected to two investigations, the first by the Prefect Perennius, the second, three days later, by a group of senators and jurists. The hearings were conducted in a calm and courteous manner. Apollonius was permitted to speak with only rare interruptions, aimed at getting him to tone down his remarks, which were making him liable to punishment.

Apollonius was not afraid to die, because, he said, “There is waiting for me something better: eternal life, given to the person who has lived well on Earth.” And he argued for the superiority of Christianity’s concepts of death and life.

The sources disagree on the manner of his death. The Greek Passio says he died after having his legs crushed, a punishment inflicted also on the slave who denounced him; but in the Armenian account he is decapitated.

Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: Online, C. (n.d.). St. Apollonius the Apologist – Saints & Angels. Catholic Online. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1499