dimanche 29 mars 2015

Saint ARMOGASTE, saint ARCHINIMUS et saint SATURUS, martyrs

Saints Armogaste, Archinimus et Saturus, martyrs

Au temps de la persécution de Genséric, roi des Vandales, ils périrent en 461 pour confesser la vérité.

Saints Armogaste et Saturus

martyrs en Afrique ( 461)

martyrs en Afrique au temps de la persécution de Genséric (Huniric), roi des Vandales.
Ils étaient de la cour du roi Théodoric qui voulut obtenir leur adhésion à l'arianisme. Devant la résistance de saint Armogaste, il les condamna d'abord à des travaux de terrassement pour qu'ils soient humiliés devant leurs anciens collègues, puis condamnés aux mines. Réduits à l'état d'esclaves, ils furent employés comme bouviers jusqu'à leur mort. Mais on prit soin de ne pas les tuer afin de ne pas en faire des "martyrs romains".

Commémoraison des saints martyrs Armogaste, Archinime et Saturnin, officiers africains. Vers 462, à l’époque de la persécution vandale, sous le roi arien Genséric, ils furent torturés, soumis aux travaux forcés dans les mines, puis réduits en esclavage et envoyés comme vachers dans les environs de Carthage, glorieux confesseurs de la foi catholique.


Martyrologe romain



Armogastes, Archinimus & Saturus MM (RM)

Died after 460. Armogastes and Saturus were orthodox Catholics and high officers at the palace of the Vandal king Genseric. When the king returned from Italy in 457, he enacted and enforced a more stringent penal code against the Catholics. Armogastes was stripped of his honors and cruelly tortured. As occurred with many other saints, his tormentors had a difficult time. No sooner had his tied him up with cords than they would break--repeatedly--each time Armogastes lifted his eyes to heaven. Finally, they hanged him upside-down by one foot. But the saint remained nonplussed, so Prince Theodoric ordered that he be beheaded. An Arian priest advised against it, saying that he should not be killed "lest the Romans should venerate them as martyrs." Therefore, he was sent to work in the mines of Byzacena from where he was condemned to work the remainder of his life as a cowherd near Carthage, Tunisia; however, he died soon afterwards.


Saturus was master of Huneric's household. Huneric threatened to deprive him of all he owned as well as his slaves, wife, and children unless he give up his faith. His own wife tried to convince Saturus to convert, but he courageously answered her in the words of Job: "You have spoken like one of the foolish women. If you loved me, you would give me different advice, and not push me on to a second death. Let them do their worst: I will always remember our Lord's words: 'If any man born to me, and hate not his father and mother, his wife and children, his brethren and sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.'" Like Armogastes he was deprived of everything. One sources reports that he too ended his days as a cowherd.

Archinimus of Mascula in Numidia also resisted the king's attempts to convert him to Arianism. Like Armogastes, he was condemned to beheading, but he received a reprieve while he stood under the axe. Although the Roman Martyrology names Archimimus and Masculas, as martyrs of this group, it apparently refers to Armogastes, with the meaning 'president of the Theater, a native of Mascula" or possibly we should understand "Archinimus, the Masculan" (Attwater2, Benedictines, Husenbeth).

In art, they are depicted as early Christians who are condemned to being killed by herds of cows (Roeder).

March 29

SS. Armogastes, Archinimus, and Saturus, Martyrs



GENSERIC, the Arian king of the Vandals, in Africa, having, on his return out of Italy, in 457, enacted new penal laws, and severer than any he had till then put in force against Catholics, count Annogastes, was on that occasion deprived of his honours and dignities at court, and most cruelly tortured. But no sooner had the jailors bound him with cords, but they broke of themselves, as the martyr lifted up his eyes to heaven; and this happened several times. And though they afterwards hung him up by one foot with his head downwards for a considerable time, the saint was no more affected by this torment than if he had lain all the while at his ease on a feather-bed. Theodoric, the king’s son, thereupon ordered his head to be struck off: but one of his Arian priests diverted him from it, advising him to take other measures with him to prevent his being looked upon as a martyr, by those of his party, which would be of disservice to the opposite cause. He was therefore sent into Byzancena to work in the mines; and some time after, for his greater disgrace, he was removed thence into the neighbourhood of Carthage, and employed in keeping cows. But he looked upon it as his glory to be dishonoured before men in the cause of God. It was not long before he had a revelation that his end drew near. So having foretold the time of his death, and given orders to a devout Christian about the place where he desired to be interred, the holy confessor, a few days after, went to receive the rewards of those who suffer in the cause of truth.

  Archinimus, of the city of Mascula, in Numidia, resisted all the artifices which the king could use to overcome his faith, and was condemned to be beheaded, but was reprieved whilst he stood under the axe. Satur, or Saturus, was master of the household to Huneric, by whom he was threatened to be deprived of his estate, goods, slaves, wife, and children, for his faith. His own wife omitted nothing in her power to prevail with him to purchase his pardon at the expense of his conscience. But he courageously answered her in the words of Job: “You have spoken like one of the foolish women. 1 If you loved me, you would give me different advice, and not push me on to a second death. Let them do their worst: I will always remember our Lord’s words: If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, his wife and children, his brethren and sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” 2 He suffered many torments, was stripped of all his substance, forbidden ever to appear in public, and reduced to great distress. But God enriched him with his graces, and called him to himself. See St. Victor Vitensis, Hist. Persec. Vandal. l. 1. n. 14.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.


March 29: Saint Armogastes and Companions


Today, March 29, we remember Saint Armogastes (born, unknown; died circa 460) and Companions on his feast day. Together with Saints Saturus and Archinimus, Saint Armogastes was subjected to a life of torture, hard labor, and exile for his faith. 


Armogastes and his companions were high officers and personal servants to Theodoric, son of the Vandal king Genseric. They lived and worked in the royal court, but were also Orthodox Catholics. King Genseric, too, had once followed the faith, but as time went by, became more and more attracted to Arianism, the heretical doctrine that Jesus Christ was not divine. Upon acceptance of this doctrine, he ordered his family and court to renounce their faith and embrace Arianism. In the process, he waged war on Christian lands, conquering Spain, North Africa, and Italy, and eventually invading and looting Rome itself.


Theodoric, ever the faithful son, submitted to his father’s request, but his servants refused. Led by Armogastes, they professed their belief and faith in Christ, and for that, were tortured in efforts to recant. Saturus’ wife begged him to acquiesce, but he responded using the words of Job: "You have spoken like one of the foolish women. If you loved me, you would give me different advice, and not push me on to a second death. Let them do their worst: I will always remember our Lord's words: 'If any man born to me, and hate not his father and mother, his wife and children, his brethren and sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.'"
Armogastes was bound to an upside-down cross repeatedly, but miraculously, each time the binding broke, freeing him. He was then hoisted aloft by one foot, and left to hang, but again, was saved. Along with his companions, the kind ordered him beheaded with an axe, but was advised by his Arian priests that killing the servants might lead to their veneration as holy martyrs. Instead, Armogastes, Saturus, and Archinimus were sentenced to hard labor at the mines of Byzacena. They persisted in this back-breaking work for years, never losing faith, until they were spared. Armogastes and Saturus were sent to herd cattle in Carthage, where they finished their days. Archinimus was liberated, but spent the remainder of his days begging, having lost everything.

Armogastes, Saturus, and Archinimus lived at a time of great strife within the Church. Their employer and king had renounced the divinity of Christ, along with almost 50% of priests at the time. And yet, these three men remained faithful and confident in their Lord, their fidelity rewarded only with suffering and punishment. Throughout all, however, even in the exhaustion and darkness of the mines of Byzacena, they never lost hope. Their faith and confidence inspires us today to stand firm in our own beliefs, to not compromise our faith for acceptance by others, and to witness to the world the saving power of Jesus Christ!


A Prayer For Steadfastness

Jesus, help us to hear Your words and obey them. When the rains fall, the floods rise, and the winds blow we may be shaken but we will not crash, for our hope is in the One who walks on water and calms the tempest seas. Jesus, You are the Solid Rock upon which we stand when all other ground is sinking sand. Amen.