This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12 -- Feast of Saint Arcadius of Mauretania

Arcadius had guts.  Not a lot else, when they were done with him, but he had guts.

Unlike many martyrs in the Great Persecution, he didn't rush to die for his faith.  Rather, he rushed into the wilderness to avoid being called on to sacrifice incense to the Emperor or his own life for God.  He must have been a Somebody, though, because they got to him through a relative.

from the Duomo di Verona
Diocletian's goons took one of Arcadius' relatives downtown and put the word on the wire that he needed to give himself up or live with the knowledge that the relative met a grisly death in his place.  Arcadius got the word and came in from the cold.

You can't fault them for failing to give him a chance to save his life.  They dismembered him slowly, joint by joint.  First the fingers, knuckle by knuckle.  Then the toes, then the wrists, the ankles, the elbows, the knees, then the arms at the shoulders, and finally the thighs.  As the executioners took off each part, he cried out, "Lord, teach me your wisdom!"  When the last leg was removed, he looked around at the bloody parts scattered around him and said, "You are happy, my members. Now you really belong to God. You have all been sacrificed to Him." What a joker!  He could have done stand-up comedy, except he had no legs. 

Then he wrapped it up with a quick speech to the spectators:  "Learn from my torments.  Your gods are nothing. The only true God is the one for whom I am suffering and about to die. To die for him is to live."

The the axe fell on his neck, separating his head from his trunk.

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