January 5

From the Prologue

Apollinaria was the daughter of Anthemius, the regent of the adolescent Emperor Theodosius the Younger. She was the eldest daughter of Anthemius whose younger daughter was insane. Apollinaria, who did not wish to marry because in her heart she was betrothed to Christ, withdrew into the Egyptian wilderness. In men's attire and under the masculine name of Dorotheus, Apollinaria entered a monastery for men, where she lived an ascetical life, uplifting her spirit continuously toward God and burning with love toward her Creator. Someone advised the imperial regent Anthemius to send his insane daughter to the ascetics to have prayers said for her. According to the Providence of God, it so happened that the elder sister through the power of prayer healed her insane sister. Only when Apollinaria died was her secret revealed that she was not a man, but a woman. The valiant bravery of this holy virgin remained as an example and stimulus to many throughout the ages who contemplate their salvation. She died in the year 470 A.D.



These innocent virgins, for God and their souls,

Became faithful followers of Christ.

Pleasures, luxuries and laughter, they abandoned

To the angelic world, lifted up their souls;

In their bodies weak, lighted torches, they were,

Their souls, by the Holy Spirit, wonderfully illuminated,

For centuries shining and showing the way,

Rejoice in heaven, with angels holy.

Apollinaria and Syncletica

In your hearts, the Holy Spirit glows,

You, He strengthens; you, He leads and teaches,

He wedded you and betrothed you to Christ.

Pray for us, O wondrous ascetics,

Heroines brave; immortal virgins.

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