Cima da Conegliano. La guérison d’Ananius par saint Marc,
XVe siècle, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Évêque d’Alexandrie (1er s.)
Cordonnier de son état, il aurait été converti par l'Évangéliste saint Marc auquel il succéda comme Évêque sur le siège d'Alexandrie si l'on en croit les "Acta" écrits par Eusèbe.
Premier successeur de saint Marc, sur le Siège Apostolique d'Alexandrie, illustré, dans la suite, par plusieurs grands saints Évêques et Docteurs de l'Église.
La tradition conte de lui un épisode qui mérite d'être rapporté en raison de sa fraîcheur. Saint Anien était savetier à Alexandrie, mais ce Chrétien, qui jurait souvent, étonna saint Marc qui venait faire réparer son soulier.
Anien ne jurait pas par "Jupiter, Hercule ou les dieux", mais "Par le grand Dieu du Ciel." Saint Marc mit alors la conversation sur ce grand Dieu du Ciel que Jésus était venu révéler récemment.
Saint Anien se convertit. Il devint le premier Chrétien et ensuite le premier Évêque d'Alexandrie en succédant à saint Marc.
Commémoraison de saint Anien, Évêque d’Alexandrie, qui, au témoignage d’Eusèbe, la huitième année du règne de Néron, reçut, le premier après saint Marc, l’épiscopat de cette ville, qu’il tint pendant vingt-deux ans, jusque vers l’an 83, homme aimé de Dieu et admirable en toute sa conduite.
Extrait de la vie de Saint Marc (Fête le même jour) racontant cet épisode :
Lorsqu'il aborda à Alexandrie, la sandale de Marc, usée par la marche, s'étant rompue, il la donna à raccommoder à un savetier nommé Anien.
Celui-ci, frappé par l'éclat extraordinaire qui se dégageait du visage de l'Apôtre, laissa échapper son aiguille et se perça le doigt, en s'écriant : « Un seul Dieu ! »
Saint Marc le guérit de sa blessure et saisit cette occasion pour l'instruire sur la vérité du seul Dieu devenu homme pour notre Salut.
Anien écouta avec attention ces paroles de vie et, après avoir fait Baptiser toute sa maison, il quitta sa profession et tout attachement au monde pour devenir le plus étroit collaborateur de l'Apôtre.
… La semence évangélique commençant donc à germer, Marc organisa les premières institutions Liturgiques de l'Église d'Egypte, ordonna Anien Évêque d'Alexandrie avec pour le seconder trois Prêtres : Milée, Sabin et Cerdon, sept Diacres et onze autres Clercs de rang inférieur, puis il continua ses missions vers l'Ouest.
Tullio Lombardo, Baptême d’Ananius par saint Marc, 1481,
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venise.
St. Anianus, Second Bishop of Alexandria
[By Eusebius called Annianus.] THE ACTS of St. Mark tell us, that he was a shoemaker in that city, whose hand, wounded with an awl, St. Mark healed when he first entered the city. Such was his fervour and progress in virtue and learning, that St. Mark constituted him bishop of Alexandria, during his absence; and Anianus governed that great church four years with him, and eighteen years and seven months after his death, according to the Oriental Chronicle.—He died in the year 86, on the 26th of November; but is named in the Roman Martyrology on the same day with St. Mark. “He was a man,” says Eusebius, 1 “well-pleasing to God, and admirable in all things.” St. Epiphanius mentions a church in Alexandria built in his honour. 2
Note 1. Hist. l. 2, c. 24. [back]
Note 2. Hær. 69, c. 2. [back]
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
Anianus of Alexandria B (RM)
1st century. According to Eusebius and the apocryphal acta of Saint Mark, Anianus was a shoemaker by trade. He was converted to Christianity and became a disciple of Saint Mark when he was healed of an awl wound. His fervor and virtue were so great that Mark appointed Anianus as his vicar during his absence and upon Mark's death Anianus succeeded him as bishop of Alexandria for 18 years and seven months. Other sources have him a noble who was named bishop by Mark. Saint Epiphanius mentions a church in Alexandria built in the honor of Anianus (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
§ 25 April (Catholic and Coptic calendars)
§ 10 November on some calendars
§ 16 November (Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria calendar)
Shoemaker. Converted by Saint Mark the Evangelist, worked with him to evangelize Alexandria, Egypt, and succeeded him as bishop there.
The Departure of St. Anianus, 2nd Pope of Alexandria.
On this day of the year 86 A.D., the holy father Abba Anianus, the second Pope of Alexandria, departed. This saint was a native of Alexandria, the son of pagan parents, and he was a cobbler. When St. Mark, the Apostle, entered the city of Alexandria, it happened by God's Divine Will that he tripped and tore his sandal. He gave it to Anianus to repair. While Anianus was thrusting the awl into it, the awl went through to the other side of the sandal and injured his finger. He screamed in pain, saying in Greek, "Eis Theos" which means "O, the Only God." When St. Mark heard him mentioning the Name of the Lord, he glorified the Lord Christ. Then he took some dust from the ground, spat on it and applied it to the finger of St. Anianus and he was healed immediately.
Anianus was exceedingly amazed. He took St. Mark to his house, asked him about his name, his belief, and where he came from. The apostle began to tell him of the books of the prophets concerning the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mystery of His incarnation, His Death and Resurrection and the performing of miracles in His Holy Name.
Anianus' mind was illuminated and he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and all the people of his house believed with him. They were all baptized in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and God's Divine Grace was poured upon them. They continued to listen to the teachings of the Apostle Mark, who taught them the doctrine of the church, its ordinances and its laws.
When St. Mark decided to go to Pentapolis, he laid his hand on Anianus and ordained him Patriarch over the city of Alexandria, in the year 64 A.D. St. Anianus continued preaching and baptizing its people secretly, helping and strengthening them in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He turned his house into a church; and it is said that it is the one known as the church of St. Mark the Martyr, where the church of St. Mark in Alexandria stands now. This saint occupied the throne of St. Mark for 22 years, then departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
When Mark stepped out of the boat on dry land in Alexandria, the sandal on one foot became torn. Then, he saw a cobbler to whom he gave his sandal for repairs. In mending the sandal, the cobbler pierced himself with the needle in his left hand and blood began to flow and the cobbler screamed in pain. Then the apostle of God mixed some dust with his spittle and anointed the wounded hand and suddenly the hand became whole again. Astonished at this miracle, the cobbler invited Mark to his home. Hearing Mark's homily, Anianus [for that was the cobbler's name] was baptized; he and his entire household. Anianus displayed so much virtue and so much zeal for the work of God that St. Mark consecrated him bishop. This holy man was the second bishop of the Church in Alexandria.
HYMN OF PRAISE
THE HOLY APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST MARK
The Evangelist Mark, to Egypt he flew
As a bee with honey. And Egypt experienced
The sweetness of Christ's honey; the sweetness of living knowledge,
And the people began to be amazed at Christ:
How He, in His divine concern, became incarnated
How He, humbled Himself for man's salvation,
And how He resurrected in glory and power.
Through the thick darkness, until now, we walked!
The Egyptians said: "And now for us, the sun rises,"
Let us rejoice O people in this shiny day!
But his wonderful crop, Mark watered with his blood,
And because of that, all the idols collapsed.
And Egypt, the land of the pharaohs, was baptized
Became the field of God; the Apostolic Church.