mercredi 8 avril 2015


Saint Edèse

Martyr à Alexandrie ( 306)

Il vivait à Alexandrie et il s'y distinguait par son érudition dans les sciences profanes et sacrées. Durant la persécution, il réagit avec éclat lorsqu'il apprit les sévices que le gouverneur d'Alexandrie faisait subir aux vierges chrétiennes qui étaient arrêtées. Sa courageuse intervention fut récompensée par la palme du martyre, il fut arrêté par des soldats, soumis à des supplices et enfin jeté dans la mer pour le Christ Jésus.

À Alexandrie, en 306, saint Édèse, martyr, frère de saint Apphien. Sous l’empereur Maximin, alors qu’il reprenait publiquement un juge de livrer à la prostitution des vierges consacrées à Dieu, il fut arrêté par des soldats, soumis à des supplices et enfin jeté dans la mer pour le Christ Jésus.

Martyrologe romain

Aedesius of Alexandria M (RM)

(also known as Edese, Edesius)

Born in Lycia; died at Alexandria, Egypt, on April 8, c. 306. Aedesius's laus in the Roman Martyrology states: "At Alexandria, the memory of Saint Aedesius, martyr, a brother of Blessed Apphian, who, under Maximian Galerius the emperor, openly withstood an impious judge because he handed over to pimps virgins consecrated to God." The Church historian Eusebius (De Martyr. Pales., ch. 5) and Aedesius's Chaldaic acta give us further details. According to these, he was a philosopher, who continued to wear the cloak after his conversion to Christianity. Perhaps because of his standing among the educated, he seems to have had no qualms about professing his faith before magistrates. Apparently, he was imprisoned several times and had been condemned to work in the mines of Palestine. Upon his release, he sought refuge in Egypt, but found the persecution was more virulent there under the Prefect Hierocles. Aedesius, particularly offended by the enslavement and prostitution of consecrated virgins, boldly presented himself before the governor. He was seized by the soldiery, afflicted with most cruel punishments, and drowned in the sea for the Lord Christ (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

This is obviously a very confused story; Roeder has entries under both Aedesius and Edese, which appear to be the same. In art, Saint Aedesius is shown shipwrecked with his brother Saint Frumentius [sic]. Saint Edese has his legs wrapped in oiled linen before he is burned to death (Roeder). The first appears to be more in line with the story recorded in the Roman Martyrology.


April 8

St. Ædesius, Martyr

HE was brother to St. Apian, who received his crown at Cæsarea, on the 2d of April, and a native of Lycia, had been a professed philosopher, and continued to wear the cloak after his conversion to the faith. He was long a scholar of St. Pamphilus at Cæsarea. In the persecution of Galerius Maximianus he often confessed his faith before magistrates, had sanctified several dungeons, and been condemned to the mines in Palestine. Being released from thence, he went into Egypt, but there found the persecution more violent than in Palestine itself, under Hierocles, the most barbarous prefect of Egypt, for Maximinus Daia, Cæsar. This governor had also employed his pen against the faith, presuming to put the sorceries of Apollonius of Tyana upon a level with the miracles of Christ, whom Eusebius confuted by a book entitled, Against Hierocles. Ædesius being at Alexandria, and observing how outrageously the judge proceeded against the Christians, by tormenting grave men, and delivering women of singular piety, and even virgins, to the infamous purchasers of slaves, he boldly presented himself before this savage monster, rather than a man, and reproached him with his crying inhumanity, especially in exposing holy virgins to lewdness. He endured   courageously the scourge, and the greatest torments which the rage of such a tyrant was capable of inventing, and was at length cast into the sea, in 306, after the same manner as his brother, who obtained his crown a little while before, as the Chaldaic acts expressly inform us, though Henschenius is of the contrary opinion. See Eusebius on the martyrs of Palestine, ch. 5, and the martyr’s Chaldaic acts in Assemani, t. 2. p. 195.

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

Martyr Edesius (Aidesius) of Lycia

The Holy Martyrs Edesius and Amphianus were brothers. They lived in the city of Patara (province of Lycia) in the family of the pagan governor. They went to the city of Beirut to study the pagan sciences. There they became ardent followers of Christ.

The holy brothers left their pagan parents and went to Alexandrian Caesarea, where they found an instructor, St Pamphilius (February 16), and under his guidance they became accomplished in the spiritual life, spending their time in prayer and the study of sacred books.

By decree of the emperor Maximian (305-313), a zealous pagan and cruel persecutor of Christians, all the inhabitants of Caesarea were required to offer public sacrifice. Many Christians, including Sts Amphianus and Edesius, had to hide in order to avoid sacrificing to idols.

Amphianus was arrested when he tried to prevent the city prefect of Caesarea from offering sacrifice. He was tortured, then thrown into the sea with a stone about his neck. Suddenly a storm arose, and the waves carried the martyr’s body to shore, where it was buried by Christians. The martyr’s brother, St Edesius, was tortured and sent to the copper mines.

After a while they freed St Edesius and sent him to Alexandria. There he boldly denounced the governor Hierokles for his extreme cruelty towards Christians. St Edesius was tortured and then drowned.

The Holy Martyrs Amphianus and Aedesius 

(April 2)

These two young men were brothers from the town of Patara, of eminent but pagan parents. While studying secular learning in Beirut, they were enlightened by the Spirit of God and, understand-ing the falseness of paganism, came to perceive the truth of Christi-anity. Then, when they returned home, they could no longer live with their pagan parents and kinsmen, but fled in secret to Caesarea in Palestine, to a priest, Pamphylus, known for his purity and spiritual learning. With Pamphylus, they were instructed in the Law of God day and night and practised Christian asceticism. Of Amphianus it is said that he had a twenty-year-old body but the understanding and greatness of soul of a centenarian. When a per-secution arose under Maximian, many Christians fled from the town and hid, while others voluntarily and joyfully gave themselves into the torturers' hands to be able to suffer for the name of the One who first suffered for them. Amphianus was among these last. He came fearlessly into the pagan temple, where the governor, Urban, was offering sacrifice to idols, and, seizing the hand with which the prince was making the offering, cried out to him to leave the service of, and sacrifice to, dead idols and to come to the knowledge of the true God. Some of those who heard his words and saw Amphianus's great courage, repented and embraced the Christian faith. But the enraged prince put him to torture. Among other tortures, his legs were wrapped in cotton which was then ignited. Then, while he was still alive, they threw him into the sea with a stone round his neck. The sea became stormy, and cast the martyr's body ashore in the town.

Aedesius was first sent to a copper mine in Palestine, and then taken to Egypt. In Alexandria, he was filled with holy zeal against Hierocles the governor, who had been buying Christian nuns, virgins and pious women and giving them to the most shameless prostitutes for ridicule. Aedesius, filled with holy zeal, smote the dishonourable prince. For this he was tortured and drowned in the sea like his brother Amphianus. As two innocent lambs were they slain for Christ in about 306, and went to the glorious courts of the Lord.

* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985

Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.

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