Latinized form of the Greek name Φωκας (Phokas), which meant “a seal” from Greek φωκη (phoke).
This was the name of an early saint and martyr from Asia Minor. Sentenced to death for being a Christian, he is said to have given his killers lodging and then dug his own grave before he was executed.
This saint was known for the many miracles he worked and for his apostolic zeal in shepherding the flock of Sinope. He contested for the Faith during the reign of the Emperor Trajan, in the year 102, when he was burned to death in a bath-house.
A homily in his honour was composed by Saint John Chrysostom. The translation of his holy relics is celebrated on July 23.
Sinop, Turkey, a city on the Black Sea, historically known as Sinope.