March 22 – Saint Deogratis

In the year 439, the city of Carthage was taken by the vandal soldiers, who arrested the bishop and his priests and put them on a raft into the sea. Miraculously, they were saved and reached Naples. The emperor Valentinianasked the leader of the vandels to permit the ordination of another bishop for Carthage. They elected a young priest named Deogratis. Deogratis worked for the faith and for the good of the people.

Later, the leader of the vandals invaded Rome and took hundreds of slaves whom he sold and distributed among vandals and Muslims. Many families were separated. Deogratis became aware of the tragedy and sold the church’s belongings to buy back the slaves and free them. He died when he had only been bishop for three years, exhausted by the efforts, the sacrifice and the service of love. The people never forgot him.

What situations today divide families and take away people’s liberties? Is there something you can personally do or in collaboration with an organization to help family unity and the freedom of all?


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