APOLLINARIS, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, was one of the most illustrious prelates of the second
age. Notwithstanding the great encomiums bestowed on him by Eusebius, St. Jerome, Theodoret, and
ethers, but little is known of his actions; and. his writings,which then were held in great esteem,
seem now to be all lost. He wrote many able treatises against the heretics, and pointed out, as St.
Jerome testifies, from what philosophical sect each heresy derived its errors. Nothing rendered his
name so illustrious, however, as his noble apology for the Christian religion which he addressed to
the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, about the year 175, soon after the miraculous victory that prince had
obtained over the Quadi by the prayers of the Christians.
reminded the emperor of the benefit he had received from God through the prayers of his Christian
subjects, and implored protection for them against the persecution of the pagans. Marcus Aurelius
published an edict in which he forbade any one, under pain of death, to accuse a Christian on
account of his religion; by a strange inconsistency, he had not the courage to abolish the laws then
in force against the Christians, and, as a consequence, many of them suffered martyrdom, though
their accusers were also put to death. The date of St. Apollinaris' death is not known; the Roman
Martyrology mentions him on the 8th of January.