The Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season for most Christians, and we start to fall into Ordinary Time and ordinary routines. The joy and wonder of the holiday season is passed, and we start to focus again on the things that fill our day-to-day and things that are happening in our world. After a dramatic election season followed by the bliss of the holidays, it is easy to forget the battles we have been fighting, but today, St. Apollinaris the Apologist's feast day, I ask you to remember a few things.

Before we do that, let's look at why St. Apollinaris' life was so meaningful: Living in the second century, St. Apollinaris was a great and prolific writer. Many of his writings have been lost, but from accounts of other Saints, we have been able to piece together bits of his life. During his time on earth, a great battle was won by Marcus Aurelius' army. The story goes that the battle was nearly lost because his soldiers were dying of dehydration. The Christians in Aurelius' army prayed for the Lord to send water; almost immediately, a rain shower poured down quenching the soldiers and allowing them to win the battle. Shortly after the victory, Christians found themselves under persecution from pagans (who made up a large part of society). St. Apollinaris implored Aurelius to protect God's people because of their great prayers that won the war. He also wrote a beautiful and persuasive apology for the Christian faith. Aurelius signed into law a protection for Christians, but failed to remove laws that further persecuted them. As a result, many Christians dyed martyrs during this period in history, including St. Apollinaris himself.

Does any of this sound familiar? Can you relate this to today's society? I think the parallels are quite clear. So, what do I ask you to remember today?

Please remember the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Please remember the laws and mandates that will affect our religious freedom.

Please remember that the Lord calls us to protect His gift of our Church.

Please remember that He said we would be persecuted for it.

Please remember to stand up when the Lord is calling you to.

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas season; now it is time to strengthen and continue our fight.

Copyright 2013 Jenna Hines