St. Bademus was a rich and noble citizen of Bethlapeta, in Persia, who, desiring to devote himself to the service of God, out of his estates founded a monastery near that city, which he governed with great sanctity.
The purity of his soul had never been sullied by any crime, and the sweet odor of his sanctity diffused a love of virtue in the hearts of those that approached him. He watched whole nights in prayer, and passed sometimes several days together without eating: bread and water were his usual fare. He conducted his religious in the paths of perfection with sweetness, prudence, and charity. In this amiable retreat he enjoyed a calmness and happiness which the great men of the world would view with envy, did they compare with it the unquiet scenes of vice and vanity in which they live.
But, to crown his virtue, God permitted him, with seven of his monks, to be apprehended by the pursuivants of King Sapor, in the thirty-sixth year of his persecution. He lay four months in a dungeon, loaded with chains; during which lingering martyrdom he was every day called out to receive a certain number of stripes. But he triumphed over his torments by the patience and joy with which he suffered them for Christ.
At the same time, a Christian lord of the Persian court, named Nersan, prince of Aria, was cast into prison, because he refused to adore the sun. At first he showed some resolution; but at the sight of tortures his constancy failed him, and he promised to conform. The king, to try if his change was sincere, ordered Bademus to be brought to Lapeta, with his chains struck off, and to be introduced into the prison of Nersan, which was a chamber in the royal palace. Then his majesty sent word to Nersan, by two lords, that if with his own hand he would dispatch Bademus, he should be restored to his liberty and former dignities.
The wretch accepted the condition; a sword was put into his hand, and he advanced to plunge it into the breast of the abbot. But being seized with a sudden terror, he stopped short, and remained some time without being able to lift up his arm to strike. The servant of Christ stood undaunted, and, with his eyes fixed upon him, said: Unhappy Nersan