Porphyry was born in the fifth century to wealthy, noble parents. He left his family when he was twenty-five. Porphyry went to Egypt to enter a monastery. After five years, he made a trip to Jerusalem. He wanted to visit the places where Jesus had actually been while he was on earth.
Porphyry was very impressed by the Holy Land. His love for Jesus made him more deeply aware of the sufferings of the poor. At home in Thessalonica he had never known what it was like to be poor. Now he still owned all that his parents had left him. But not for long. He asked his friend Mark to go to Thessalonica and sell everything for him. After three months, Mark returned with the money. Porphyry then gave it away to those who really needed it.
At the age of forty he became a priest and was given care of the relics of the true cross of Jesus. Porphyry was then made bishop of Gaza. He worked generously to lead the people to believe in Jesus and to accept the faith. But his labors were slow and required heroic patience. The majority of inhabitants at that time were locked into pagan practices and superstitions. Although Porphyry was able to stop many of these practices, he had enemies who made him suffer greatly.
Others who were Christians loved and admired him deeply. They prayed and sacrificed for him. They begged the Lord to preserve him. Bishop Porphyry spent many years strengthening the Christian community. He proclaimed all that Christianity stood for. He died in 420.
Have I trusted God in all my undertakings, believing that he watches over me? Are there some parts of my life still controlled by fear?