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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Holy Martyrs of Alexandria (c.357) - March 21

The following is taken from Magnificat Magazine March 2011, Vol 12, No 13 

Catholics in Egypt suffered greatly under the Roman Emperor Constantius II (350-361), whose wife was an adherent of the Arian heresy that denied the divinity of Christ.  Philagrius, the prefect of Egypt, instigated a wave of hostility against the Church among the non-Catholic populace.  Churches and baptisteries were torched. The pagans in particular profaned Christian altars, using them for animal sacrifices to their false gods, uttered blasphemies against Christ, and burned the Scriptures.  Hideous crimes were committed against the Catholic population, including the violation of women.  On Good Friday of 357 or 358, the Arian bishop Gregory together with a pagan official led a raid upon a Catholic church in Alexandria.  Thirty-four virgins and matrons as well as a number of men were scourged to death by the invaders.  The martyrs of Alexandria who died on Good Friday are commemorated on March 21 in the 2004 Roman Martyrology.  

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