Saint of the day
Serapion lived in Egypt in the fourth century. Those were exciting times for the Church and for Serapion. As a young man, he received an impressive education in his Christian faith and in all the usual subjects taught in school. For a while, he directed the famous Christian school that taught the faith in Alexandria. Then Serapion went out into the desert and became a monk. There he met the famous hermit, St. Anthony of Egypt. Serapion tried very hard to learn from Anthony and imitate him. When he died, Anthony left Serapion one of his cloaks, which Serapion treasured for the rest of his life.
Serapion became bishop of Thumis, a city in lower Egypt. He went to a very important meeting of bishops in Sardis in 347. Serapion proved to be a very brave bishop. He loved the truths of the faith and tried to protect them from those who wanted to change Christian beliefs. He worked with St. Athanasius, another brave bishop. Both were outstanding for their courage. They tirelessly explained Church teachings with their sermons and with their writings. Most of St. Serapion’s writings were lost. They were letters full of instruction about the faith and an explanation of the Psalms. His most important work, a book called the Euchologium, was lost for hundreds of years. It was found and published at the end of the nineteenth century.
Emperor Constantius II, who disagreed with some Catholic teachings and with St. Athanasius, sent Serapion into exile. It seems that Serapion died around the year 370 in the place where he was exiled.
St. Serapion shows us by the way he lived that being a good Christian takes courage and honesty. Sometimes people may not understand or agree with our choices. But if we want to be true to Jesus and his Church, we will have to risk being unpopular at times.