|St Apollinaris the Virgin
Butler's Lives of the Saints I - P.33.
Although the Roman Martyrology on January 5 1- an entry, "In Egypt, St Apollinaris,
Virgin", the pretended biography which is found in the Metiphrast and the Greek
menia, under the name of Apolliraris Syncletica, belongs to tie category of religious
romances. It turns on the familiar theme of a girl putting on male attire and living for
many years undiscovered. In this case Apollinaris who is the daughter of the
"Emperor" Anthemius, runs away from home, disguising herself as a man, calls
herself Dorotheus, and leads a hermitical life in the desert under the direction of the
renowned ascetic, Macarius. Meanwhile her sister at home is possessed by the devil,
and being brought to the desert to be exorcised, is eventually consigned to the care
of "Dorotheus". The sister is restored to her right mind, but owing to the
machinations of the Evil One, "Dorotheus" is suspected of improper conduct. She is
brought before her own father to answer the charge and then reveals herself to him.
However, after obtaining her sister's complete cure by her prayers she insists on
returning to the desert, where her sex is only discovered by her fellow hermits after
her death. (The entry has probably been attracted to this day by the identity of the
name Syncletica will that of the saint who is commemorated on the previous day in
the Greek synaxaries and today in the Roman Martyrology).