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, November 15, 2012

November 15 -- Feast of Saint Abibus the Deacon

His name in Syriac is Habib.  Gotta say, I like the sound of Saint Habib better than Saint Abibus, but only because Abibus in Latin suggests without a drink, but in Arabic Habibi means beloved

Habib was not beloved of the Emperor Licinius or his stooges in Syria, Julius and Barak.  Habib was a deacon for Bishop Cona.  A local stooge named Lysanius denounced him as a Christian and a warrant for his arrest was promptly issued.  Because Habib was preaching in the town of Zeugma at the time, his family (even his mom) was arrested in his stead. 

C'mon -- he looked a little worse than this.
Habib decided to present himself to Theotecna, a veteran who attended Lysanius.  When he had identified himself, Theotecna quietly warned him that running was his best option.  GTFO, bro! Habib explained that he wasn't there to swap himself for his family -- who was he to deny them martyr's crowns?  Instead, he had shown up to preserve the reputation of Christianity, for if he ran, what would people think of the Faith itself?

Theotecna took him to Lysanias, explaining that he had surrendered himself as a Christian.  Lysanias took it as a personal insult that someone would not run from his fearsome majesty, and ordered especially brutal torture to show these Christians that they should be afraid. 

Because he was so insulted, Lysanias took a lot of time to question Habib in between the torture sessions.  He scourged him, tore his flesh with iron combs, put him in the iron cask (?), and eventually burned at the stake. 

It is intriguing that he gave himself up to save the faith rather than his family.  It is also intriguing that the Roman official took his surrender as an insult.  As for his heroic resistance to torture and his eventual demise, what else would we have expected? 

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