Saturday, April 9, 2011
April 9 -- Feast of St. Vadim of Persia
St Vadim (also called Bademus) was a fourth century monk during the reign of Sapor, the Emperor of Persia. Sapor had a thing against Christians and expressed it in the usual ways of his time.
Vadim and seven monks were rounded up and thrown into prison. After four months of unsuccessful pressure to apostatize, Sapor got the opportunity to shake things up. One of his courtiers, Nirsanes, was exposed as a Christian and thrown into prison. Under pressure to apostatize, he did so. Sapor offered him a full pardon if he would decapitate Vadim.
Standing before him, with sword in hand, Nirsanes faltered. This gave Vadim the opportunity to work on him a little. According to a website maintained by the Orthodox Church in America, Vadim said, "Has your wickedness now reached this point, Nirsanes, that you should not only renounce God, but also murder His servants? Woe to you, accursed one! What will you do on that day when you stand before the Dread Judgment Seat? What answer will you give to God? I am prepared to die for Christ, but I don't want to receive death at your hands."
If he had hoped to strengthen Nirsanes' faith in Christ, he must have been disappointed when the first sword stroke fell. If he had hoped for a quick death by decapitation, he must have been even more disappointed. The fear and shame made Nirsanes clumsy; he hacked at the Archimandrite without mortal effect. The Persians (Zoroastrians, I think, since they are identified as fire-worshippers) began taunting Nirsanes for his feeble attack, driving him into a frenzy until he at last succeeded in beheading Vadim.
It was long after that Nirsanes, filled with shame and dread, fell on his sword. The other seven monks, however, were eventually released and permitted to return to their monastery.
Posted by Tom Major at 8:37 AM