mardi 15 septembre 2015

Saint NICODÈME (NICOMÈDES) de ROME, prêtre et martyr

Saint Nicodème

Prêtre (2ème s.)

Prêtre, il répondit à ceux qui le pressaient de sacrifier aux idoles: " Je ne sacrifie qu'à Dieu tout puissant qui règne dans les cieux." Il mourut sous les coups de cordes plombées. 

À Rome, saint Nicomède, martyr, dont le pape Boniface V honora le corps, déposé au cimetière de la voie Nomentane, en élevant par-dessus une basilique sépulcrale.

Martyrologe romain

Nicomedes of Rome M (RM)

Died c. 90. The Emperor Constantine Copronymus thought that the relics of the saints and martyrs were worthless objects, and that anyone who collected the bones of the holy ones was a fool. He therefore set about finding as many of these sacred remains as he could and throwing them into the sea. Pope Saint Paschal I, who was elected in 817, 32 years after the emperor's death, disagreed. Whereas Constantine Copronymus had got rid of saintly bones, Paschal I conceived it as his duty to find as many replacements as possible. The church of Santa Prassede in Rome is filled with all that he collected, their names inscribed on marble tablets close by the sanctuary.

Among them are the earthly remains of Saint Nicomedes, brought in 817 from their catacomb on the Via Nomentina. Nicomedes had been a priest, at a time when Christians had to keep their faith secret or risk death. His own beliefs came to light when he bravely obtained the bones of another martyr, Saint Felicula, to give them Christian burial.

Nicomedes was given the chance of apostatizing by offering sacrifice to heathen gods. "I sacrifice only to the almighty God who rules over us all from heaven," was Nicomedes' response. Nicomedes had signed his own death warrant. He was beaten with whips that had been made crueller by means of lead lining and, under this torture, died.

The saint's body was thrown into the Tiber, so that the Christians could not burial it. But another Christian named Justus boldly rescued it and placed the corpse in a tomb on the Via Nomentina, just outside the Porta Pia. And there it remained until 817 (Bentley).

In art, Saint Nicomedes is depicted as an early Christian priest with a club set with spikes (Roeder). 

September 15

St. Nicomedes, Martyr

HE was a holy priest at Rome, who was apprehended in the persecution of Domitian for his assiduity in assisting the martyrs in their conflicts, and for interring their bodies. Refusing constantly to sacrifice to idols, he was beaten to death with clubs about the year 90. His tomb was on the road to Nomento, and he is commemorated on this day in the sacramentary of St. Gregory the Great, and in the Martyrologies of St. Jerom, Bede, &c. See the Acts of SS. Nereus and Achilleus.

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

St. Nicomedes

Martyr of unknown era, whose feast is observed 15 September. The Roman Martyrologium and the historical Martyrologies of Bede and his imitators place the feast on this date. The Gregorian Sacramentary contains under the same date the orations for his Mass. The name does not appear in the three oldest and most important manuscripts of the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum", but was inserted in later recensions ("Martyrol. Hieronymianum", ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, in Acta SS., Nov., II, 121). The saint is without doubt a martyr of the Roman Church. He was buried in a catacomb on the Via Nomentana near the gate of that name. Three seventh century Itineraries make explicit reference to his grave, and Pope Adrian I restored the church built over it (De Rossi, "Rome Sotterranea", I, 178-79). A titular church of Rome, mentioned in the fifth century, was dedicated to him (titulus S. Nicomedis). Nothing is known of the circumstances of his death. The legend of the martyrdom of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus introduces him as a presbyter and places his death at the end of the first century. Other recensions of the martyrdom of St. Nicomedes ascribe the sentence of death to the Emperor Maximinianus (beginning of the fourth century).


Acta SS., Sept., V, 5 sqq., Analecta Bollandiana, XI, 268-69; MOMBRITIUS, Sanctuarium, II, 160-61; Bibliotheca hagiographica latina, ed. BOLLANDISTS, II, 901-02; DUFOURCQ, Les Gesta Martyrurm romains, I (Paris, 1900), 209-10; MARUCCI, Les catacombes romaines (Rome, 1900), 254-56.

Kirsch, Johann Peter. "St. Nicomedes." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 15 Sept. 2015 <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph E. O'Connor.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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