St. Apollinaris Claudius

April 16, 2022

Today’s Saint of the Day is Saint Apollinaris Claudius.

Apollinaris Claudius (also known as Apollinaris, the Apologist) was a bishop, Christian leader, writer, and apologist of the 2nd century. He was a great supporter of orthodoxy in the early days of Montanism. There is a possibility that St. Claudius Apollinaris was one of the Quartodecimans who maintained that the fourteenth of Nisan was the day of Pascha.

Apollinaris Claudius was appointed bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia in the second century, which is today Turkey, during Marcus Aurelius’ reign. He became well-known for his polemical works against the heretics of his day, in which he demonstrated that their theological errors were derived from the pagan religions of the day. Apollinaris Claudius also wrote five books: “Against the Greeks,” two “On the Truth,” and two “Against the Jews.”Even though none of his writings are still around, he wrote a lot, including an apology for the Christian religion to Emperor Marcus Aurelius. In light of the miraculous triumph over the Germanic barbarians, Apollinaris asked the Emperor for protection against the persecution of Christians.

Apart from his writings, Apollinaris Claudius reminded Emperor Marcus Aurelius of what happened when his army was almost wiped out in an endeavor to subdue the Germanic barbarians: Christians among his troops prayed for relief and victory, even though Christianity was forbidden.

The exact date of St. Claudius Apollinaris’ death is unknown, but it was most likely around the year 175, just before Marcus Aurelius died.


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