Saint Marc d'Aréthuse, évêque
Marc se laissa d'abord entraîner dans les rangs des évêques qui acceptèrent l'arianisme, cherchant d'abord un compromis avec la foi orthodoxe. Quand il s'aperçut que c'était impossible, il rejoignit la doctrine des saints conciles. Lors de la persécution de Julien l'Apostat, il la fuit pour ne pas s'exposer sans nécessité. Lorsqu'il apprit que des fidèles de son Eglise étaient soumis à la torture, il se livra aux païens. Sans respect pour le vieillard qu'il était, il fut livré à des tourments les plus ignominieux. Finalement vaincus par son endurance, ses tortionnaires le libérèrent et il mourut quelques années plus tard, en 364.
SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/03/29/14411/-/saint-marc-d-arethuse-eveque
Saint Marc d'Aréthuse
Evêque d’Aréthuse en Syrie et martyr (✝ 364)
et plusieurs autres martyrs en Terre Sainte.
Marc se laissa d'abord entraîner dans les rangs des évêques qui acceptèrent l'arianisme, cherchant d'abord un compromis avec la foi orthodoxe. Quand il s'aperçut que c'était impossible, il rejoignit la doctrine des saints Conciles. Lors de la persécution de Julien l'Apostat, il la fuit pour ne pas s'exposer sans nécessité. Lorsqu'il apprit que des fidèles de son Église étaient soumis à la torture, il se livra aux païens. Sans respect pour le vieillard qu'il était, il fut livré à des enfants qui, pour s'amuser, le mirent à nu, l'enduisirent de saumure et de miel, l'enfermèrent dans une cage suspendue, exposé aux ardeurs du soleil et aux dards des guêpes. Finalement vaincus par son endurance, ses tortionnaires le libérèrent et il mourut en paix quelques années plus tard.
Commémoraison de saint Marc, évêque d’Aréthuse en Syrie. Par esprit de conciliation, il proposa une formule de foi capable d’apaiser les discussions entre les fidèles de Nicée et les ariens, ce qui le rendit suspect aux orthodoxes. Sous Julien l’Apostat, des païens le torturèrent grièvement, mais il survécut et mourut en paix l’an 364, salué par saint Grégoire de Nazianze comme un homme remarquable et un très savant vieillard.
Mark of Arethusa BM (AC)
Died c. 362. Bishop Mark of Arethusa on Mount Lebanon, Syria, one of those caught in the web of unfortunate history. Mark was present at the synod of Sirmium where he produced a creed for which he was unjustly accused of Arianism by Baronius, who excluded his name from the Roman Martyrology nor is he venerated in the Western Church. He had been long engaged in the errors and intrigues of the Semi-Arians; but the encomiums given him by Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Theodoret, and Sozomen, when they relate his sufferings, show that towards the end of the reign of Conmantius, he joined in the orthodox communion.
When Emperor Constantius and his eldest son were killed by his uncle, Julius Constantius, the two younger sons, Gallus and Julian, narrowly escaped death. Bishop Mark concealed and provided for Julian, later to be known as the Apostate. When Julian ascended the throne, he commanded that the Christians rebuild the temples that they had demolished. On the authority of Constantius, Mark had destroyed a magnificent, highly esteemed temple and built a church in its place. When the pagans again found themselves in authority and sought revenge upon him, Mark went into hiding.
From his refuge he learned that members of his flock were suffering in his stead, so he returned and surrendered himself. He was seized and dragged through the streets by his hair, stripped, scourged, and finally handed over to schoolboys. Like Saint Cassian of Imola, Saint Mark is said to have been maimed, then stabbed (to death?) by iron pens.
The myth continues that he survived many other tortures and insults, and continued to refuse to rebuild their temple, because it would be impious to contribute to such idolatrous work. At length the fury of the people was turned into admiration of his patience, and they set him at liberty; and several of them afterwards begged of him to instruct them in the faith that was capable of inspiring such a resolution. Having spent the remainder of his life in the faithful discharge of the duties of his station, he died in peace under Jovian or Valens.
Myths and innuendo aside, the Bollandists have vindicated Saint Mark of any complicity in semi-Arianism. They state that he actually died a martyr under Julian the Apostate (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Husenbeth).
St. Mark, Bishop and Confessor
SOME Greeks rank among the saints on this day Mark, bishop of Arethusa, in Syria, in the fourth age. When Constantius put to death his uncle Julius Constantius, brother of Constantine the Great, with his eldest son; the two younger, Gallus and Julian, narrowly escaped the sword. In that danger Mark concealed Julian, and secretly supplied him with necessaries for his subsistence. When Julian became emperor, he commanded that the temples which had been demolished by Christians, during the two preceding reigns, should be rebuilt at their expense. Mark had, by the authority of Constantius, demolished a very magnificent temple which was held in great veneration by the idolaters: he had also built a church, and converted a great number of infidels. Authorized by the law of Julian, the heathens of Arethusa, when they saw themselves uppermost, fell on the Christians; and Mark, finding that they were ready to show their resentment against him in particular, which they had long concealed, he at first, pursuant to the gospel precept, betook himself to flight to escape their fury. But understanding that they had apprehended some of his flock instead of him, he returned and delivered himself up to the persecutors, to animate others in the same cause by his example and instructions. They seized him soon after his return, dragged him through the streets by the hair, or any part they could lay hold of, without the least compassion for his age, or regard for his virtue and learning. Having stript him, and scourged him all over his body, joining ignominy and insults with cruelty, they threw him into the stinking public jakes. Having taken him from thence, they left him to the children, ordering them to prick and pierce him, without mercy, with their writing-styles, or steel pencils. They bound his legs with cords so tight, as to cut and bruise his flesh to the very bone; they rang off his ears with small strong threads; and in this maimed bloody condition they pushed him from one to another. After this they rubbed him over with honey and fat broth; and shutting him up in a kind of cage, hung him up in the air where the sun was most scorching, at noon-day, in the midst of summer, in order to draw the wasps and gnats upon him, whose stings are exceedingly sharp and piercing in those hot countries. He was so calm in the midst of his sufferings, that, though so sorely wounded and covered with flies and wasps, he bantered them as he hung in the air; telling them, that while they were grovelling on the earth, he was raised by them towards heaven. They frequently solicited him to rebuild their temple, but though they reduced their demands by degrees to a trifling sum, he constantly answered that it would be an impiety to give them one farthing towards such a work. This indeed would be to concur to idolatrous worship; but his demolishing the temple would have been against the order of law and justice, had he done it without public authority. At length the fury of the people was turned into admiration of his patience, and they set him at liberty; and several of them afterwards begged of him to instruct them in the principles of a religion which was capable of inspiring such a resolution. Having spent the remainder of his life in the faithful discharge of the duties of his station, he died in peace under Jovian or Valens. He is not named in the Roman Martyrology, nor venerated by the church among the saints. He had been long engaged in the errors and intrigues of the Semi-Arians; but the encomiums given him by St. Gregory, Nazianzen, Theodoret, and Sozomen, when they relate his sufferings, show that towards the end of the reign of Constantius, he joined in the orthodox communion.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
Bishop of Arethusa, Mount Lebanon. Attended the 351 synod at Sirmium where he produced a creed that got him falsely labelled an Arian. He was struck from the Roman Martyrology for years, but research by the Bollandists vindicated him and restored his name to the roles.
St Mark the Confessor, Bishop of Arethusa in Syria.
St Gregory the Theologian and Blessed Theodoretus have given us an account of his sufferings. According to these accounts, Mark destroyed some pagan temples and brought many to the Christian faith during the reign of the Emperor Constantine. But when the Emperor Julian came to the throne and quickly became an apostate from the Faith, some of the inhabitants of Arethusa renounced Christ and lapsed into paganism. They rose up against Mark because he had demolished the temple and demanded that he either rebuild it or pay them a very large sum of money. As Mark refused to do either the one or the other, he was flogged and flayed and dragged through the streets. They then cut off his ears with strong, fine threads, stripped him naked, smeared him with honey and left him bound to a tree in the summer heat for the wasps, mosquitoes and hornets to eat. The martyr of Christ endured all this without complaint. He was quite old, and his face shone like an angel of the Lord. The pagans lowered the price of their temple again and again, finally demanding a quite insignificant amount which Mark could easily have given. But he refused to give even a single coin for that purpose. His endurance made a great impression on the citizens, and they began to admire him for it and to feel sorry for him, and gradually reduced the price of their temple to nothing just to allow him to remain alive. Finally, they let him go free and, one by one, all came to him to receive instruction and become Christians again. A deacon, Cyril, also suffered at this time for a similar cause in Heliopolis at the foot of mount Lebanon. He had broken some idols at the time of the liberation of Christianity and was cruelly tortured under Julian for this. The pagans were so enraged with him that, after they had killed him, they tore out his teeth and ripped open his stomach. Many others suffered on the same day as St Cyril. The evil pagans cut their bodies into small pieces, coated them with barley and fed them to the pigs. But retribution came swiftly upon them; all their teeth fell out and their mouths emitted an unbearable stench.
From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK
SOURCE : http://www.orthodox.net/menaion-march/29-st-mark-the-confessor-bishop-of-arethusa-in-syria.html
Hieromartyr Mark the Bishop of Arethusa, who suffered under Julian the Apostate
Hieromartyr Mark, Bishop of Arethusa, suffered for his faith in Christ under the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). By order of the emperor Constantine (May 21), St Mark had once destroyed a pagan temple and built a Christian church.
When Julian came to the throne, he persecuted Christians and tried to restore paganism. Some citizens of Arethusa renounced Christianity and became pagans. Then St Mark’s enemies decided to take revenge on him. The old bishop hid himself from the persecutors at first, but then gave himself up when he learned that the pagans had tortured many people in their search for him.
The holy Elder was led through the city and given over to torture. They tore out his hair, slashed his body, dragged him along the street, dumped him in a swamp, tied him up, and cut him with knives.
The pagans demanded that the holy bishop pay them a large sum of money to rebuild the pagan temple, and he refused to do so. The persecutors invented several new torments: they squeezed the Elder in a foot-press, and they cut off his ears with linen cords. Finally, they smeared the holy martyr’s body with honey and grease, then hung him up in a basket in the hot mid-day sun to be eaten by bees, wasps, and hornets. St Mark did not seem to notice the pain, and this irritated the tormentor all the more.
The pagans kept lowering the price he had to pay for their temple, but St Mark refused to give them a single coin. Admiring him for his courage and endurance, the pagans stopped asking him for money and set him free. Many of them returned to Christ after hearing his talks.
St Gregory the Theologian (January 25) describes the sufferings of St Mark in his First Oration against Julian. Theodoritus of Cyrrhus also mentions him in his CHURCH HISTORY (Book 3, Ch. 6)
SOURCE : https://oca.org/saints/lives/2010/03/29/100936-hieromartyr-mark-the-bishop-of-arethusa-who-suffered-under-julia