St Porphyry of Gaza

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Bishop. Born in Salonica in 352, St Porphyry became a monk and lived in the Egyptian desert and the Jordan valley. After some years he developed a serious illness and decided to spend the last days of his life in Jerusalem, following in the steps of Jesus.

When he first arrived he could barely walk he was so ill, but miraculously one day he experienced a complete recovery. Porphyry then inherited some wealth. He gave it all away to the poor and began to earn his living as a shoemaker. At the age of 40 he was ordained a priest and in 396 he became bishop of Gaza.

Initially many people did not want to become Christian. They tried to drive him out and ransacked his house. However, after many years of patient teaching he won many converts who are the ancestors of the Christian Palestinians today. St Porphyry is said to have owned a large piece of the True Cross. He died in 420.