January 5

St. Apollinaris Syncletica

Saint Apollinaris Syncletica

Life and Devotion

Saint Apollinaris Syncletica lived so long ago that it is impossible toknow for sure how she lived. No data is detailing what she didthroughout her life.

What little is known about Saint Apollinaris is thought to be gottenfrom tales, traditions, and even a mixture between earlier saints thatmight have shared her name.

She might be a mystery that is still being discovered, however, she is arespected part of the Roman Catholic Church.

There are books written by contemporary biographers that might havetrace Apollinaris back to her roots. Most of what is known remainspeculation or exaggeration.

Saint Apollinaris was said to have been born in Constantinople. It isnot said where exactly in Constantinople she might have been born orwhen.

According to tradition, at a young age, Apollinaris was to be given outin marriage by her parents. She continued to refuse every suitor thatwas brought to her by her desperate parents.

Eventually, she was able to convince her parents to leave her unmarried.

The truth was that Saint Apollinaris had taken a liking to the thoughtof seclusion and ascetic. She was deeply in love with God and wished toretire to privacy to serve him properly.

After much convincing, her parents allowed her to make a pilgrimage tothe Holy city of Jerusalem. The child of distinguished parents, she wasnaturally followed by slaves who were to tend to her aid and every whim.


On arrival to Jerusalem, Saint Apollinaris was said to have set all herslaves free, with the exception of two who had agreed to stay willingly.She was said to have bought or bribed a habit.

On her way back home after her pilgrimage, Saint Apollinaris was said tohave donned on the habit. She fittingly escaped her slaves and went intohiding in the desert.

The casting of her former clothes was said to have been symbolic of thethrowing away of the worldly things that she grew up with.

Saint Apollinaris’ slaves and parents looked all over the city for her.Seeing that she couldn’t be found, her parents gave up and assumes shehad sought refuge in a monastery.

Apollinaris was said to have left her hiding place and left to Wadi ElNatrun in the Nitrian desert. There, she found a reclusive community ofmonks.

Finding their lifestyle impressive, Saint Apollinaris was said to havejoined the men in living in caves. The problem, however, was that shewas not a man.

To solve this, Saint Apollinarius adopted the name Dorotheus and swappedher feminine habit for masculine clothes.

Macarius had taken a liking for the young Apollinaris whom he assumedwas a man. She was immediately accepted into the monastery.

At home, Saint Apollinaris’ parents had other problems. Their seconddaughter had suddenly become possessed by a demon. To save the girl,Apollinaris’ parents sent her to be exorcised.

Macarius was said to have suddenly been motivated and knew the rightperson to cast out the demons were

Dorotheus. Saint Apollinaris who was falsely known as Dorotheus agreedand prayed over her sister.

The demons were cast out successfully and the girl was sent back home.Soon after, she fell sick.

Assuming that she was pregnant, the young girl accused Dorotheus ofdefiling her.

Angry, the parents ordered poor Dorotheus be brought to them. It wasthen that Saint Apollinaris rid herself of the male habit and presentedherself as she was to the shock of everyone involved.

Needless to say, her parents were glad to have her back. Apollinarishowever returned to her secluded home some few days later.

Death and Canonization

Until she died on natural causes around 420 A.D, none of Apollinaris’brothers realized her real gender.

Saint Apollinaris Syncletica was canonized Pre-Congregation. She isremembered in the Catholic Church on the 5th of January.