St. Apollinaris was born in Antioch, Syria, now Antakya, Turkey, in the first century AD. According to tradition, Apollinaris was sent by St. Peter to Ravenna to become bishop there. The miracles he performed attracted many converts but roused up some non-believers and they beat Apollinaris many times. In one beating he was cut with a few knives and searing hot water was poured on his wounds and he was put on a ship to be sent to Greece. But he faced beatings over and over again and eventually he was put on a boat going back to Italy. When either Emperor Vespasian or Nero decreed the banishment of Christians, Apollinaris went into hiding. Eventually, he came out of hiding and was leaving the city. As he was passing through the gates he was recognized as “the leader” and he was beaten so savagely that he only survived 7 days after that. In that short period, he foretold the persecution of Christians would
get worse; he died in 79 AD. He is considered one of the first great martyrs of the church. He was beatified during the pre-congregation period, so his Veneration Beatification and Canonization times are not listed.
Direct your faithful, Lord, in the way of eternal salvation, which the Bishop Saint Apollinaris showed by his teaching and martyrdom, and grant, through his intercession, that we may so persevere in keeping your commandments as to merit being crowned with him. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.