April 18

St. Apollonius the Apologist

St. Apollonius the Apologist

Early Life

There are various sources that document Saint Apollonius’ life. Thesesources however do not provide much detail about the great Saint.

Saint Apollonius was born in Rome on an unknown date. What is for sureis that he was born sometime in the 2nd century.

There is no document detailing the Saint’s early life. There is no knownrecord about his parents, siblings, or where he gained an early formalrecord.

Saint Apollonius was a hardworking Roman citizen. He was well-learnedand well-spoken. He was not only intelligent but he was also a devoutChristian.

He was said to be extremely talented and well-educated on subjects likePhilosophy.

Saint Apollonius was a senator. He controlled lands and slaves that manthe lands. He was a distinguished member of Roman society.

Saint Apollonius was so deeply invested in Religion that he took aspecial liking to Jewish writings about the Church. He spent timegathering extensive knowledge about the religion.

Dedication and Devotion

Impressed by the writings and in awe of God, he allowed himself to bebaptized. He was said to have spent his time praying or meditating onthe writings and the scripture.

In those times, the early Church was being persecuted. The persecutionswere however sanctioned by Emperor Commodus out of respect to themistress of Commodus, Empress Marcia. Empress Marcia was a devoutChristian.

The Christians experienced peace for some time as trouble quieted but itwas only for a while. Soon, these persecutions started again.

One day, One of Saint Apollonius’ slaves accused him of practicingChristianity. After this was brought to the notice of the authorities,The Praetorian Prefect called Sextus Tigidius Perennis ordered thearrest of Apollonius.

The slave who had made the accusation was equally arrested. As the lawshad commanded, the slave was put to death for being an informant. He hadhis legs broken before he was executed.


Saint Apollonius was not only investigated but also called to hearings.In these hearings, he was allowed to speak freely and convince thepeople that he was not wrong for being a Christian.

Saint Apollonius was offered freedom on the basis that he would denounceChristianity. A man of Faith, he refused and instead chose to debate hisway to freedom much to the chagrin of his friends.

Saint Apollonius acted as his own deserved. An eloquent speaker that hewas, he spoke at length on the advantages of his faith. He offered factsto support his beliefs.

An avid reader, he showed the authorities that pagan worshipping waswrong. He claimed the scriptures showed what true religion was.

Despite his many facts, the court found Saint Apollonius guilty ofChristianity. He was condemned to death.

Death and Canonization

Saint Apollonius was beheaded around the year 186. He died as a martyrfor the sake of religion.

Although he was condemned, the years later, his arguments and‘apologies’ were found to be very important to the Church.

Saint Apollonius was not recognized as a Saint and Martyr until theMiddle ages. He was canonized Pre-Congregation.

Saint Apollonius is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church on the 18thof April and on the 23rd of July by the Eastern Orthodox Church.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Apollonius

  1. Did you know that Saint Apollonius is the patron Saint of
  2. Did you know that in some accounts, Saint Apollonius had his legs
    crushed before he was executed?
  3. Did you know that Saint Apollonius was confused for other Saints
    like Apollo of Alexandria and The Apollonius in literary works?
  4. Did you know that Saint Apollonius directly debated Sextus Tigidius
    Perennis’ view of religion in the court? He was not afraid to talk
    about his faith even in the face of enemies and death.
  5. Did you know that Saint Apollonius was investigated by Prefect
    Perennius and a group of senators? On both accounts, there was
    nothing bad found against him.

Prayers to St. Apollonius

Lord God, you call us to live a life of holiness and sanctity. Throughthe example of St. Apollonius, we may be strengthened to proclaim OurFaith to the people who know You not. We ask this through Christ ourLord. Amen.