In Ravenna, the natal day Not the birthday but the day this saint died and was “born again” into Heaven of St. Apollinaris, bishop. After the Apostle Peter ordained him in Rome and sent him to Ravenna, he underwent many different tortures. Afterwards, he preached in Emilia and converted many people from the worship of idols. When he returned to Ravenna he suffered a glorious martyrdom under Caesar Vespasian. — Roman Martyrology for July 23
According to the Passion of Apollinaris of Ravenna, the saint was commissioned by St. Peter to preach in Ravenna, where he had great success and converted a goodly portion of the population, who were much impressed by his preaching and the many miracles he performed. The pagans and their leaders, however, were enraged. They had him tortured on several occasions and exiled him to the lands across the Adriatic. When he returned and persisted in preaching against paganism, he was beaten to death by a pagan mob. The story is also told in a 13th-century stained glass window in Troyes: see the second picture at right and the description page, which explains the episode represented in each panel.
The first picture at right is the most famous image of St. Apollinaris, in the mosaic behind the altar at Sant'Apollinare in Classe. He is dressed for the celebration of the divine service and wears the pallium that signifies a metropolitan An archbishop with authority over a number of adjacent dioceses . Everett (143-44) suggests that the tonsure and the white hair and beard are intended to associate him with contemporary images of St. Peter (example) at a time when the churches of Ravenna and Rome were closing ranks against heretical tendencies in other centers.
Prepared in 2014 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University, revised 2015-08-02, 2017-01-24.