Saint Apollinare of Ravenna was a third century saint from Antioch who was the first bishop and saint of Ravenna. It is recorded that his martyrdom happened on 23 July but the Church’s liturgical memorial is July 20.
Saint Apollinare was originally from Antioch (where the followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians according to the Acts), was ordained bishop by Saint Peter and believed to be a disciple of his since AD 44. The tradition holds that Apollinare travelled with Peter from Antioch to Rome. Recall that Peter was the bishop of Antioch before this move.
One of the historic martyrologies records a brief historical note on saints indicates that Apollinare was first mentioned in the 5th century Gerominiano Martyrology listing him as a “confessor” and “priest.” In the Roman martyrology the record notes him as “a Bishop who, by knowing the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, preceded as a good Shepherd his flock, honoring the Church at Ravenna in Romagna with his glorious martyrdom.”
Saint Peter Chrysologus (425-451), a renown doctor of the Church, cites Saint Apollinare in his sermon 128, giving some historical information on Apollinare: he was the first bishop of Ravenna; because of his faith, he suffered many torments and shed his blood, dying from wounds received.