St. Benjamin

st-benjaminISDEGERDES, Son of Sapor III., put a stop to the cruel persecutions against the Christians in Persia, which had been begun by Sapor II., and the Church had enjoyed twelve years’ peace in that kingdom, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian bishop, who burned down the Pyræum, or Temple of Fire, the great divinity of the Persians. King Isdegerdes thereupon demolished all the Christian churches in Persia, put to death Abdas, and raised a general persecution against the Church, which continued forty years with great fury. Isdegerdes died the year following, in 421. But his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with greater inhumanity. The very recital of the cruelties he exercised on the Christian strikes us with horror. Among the glorious champions of Christ was St. Benjamin, a deacon. The tyrant caused him to be beaten and imprisoned.
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St. John Climacus

st-climacusJOHN made, while still young, such progress in learning that he was called the Scholastic. At the age of sixteen he turned from the brilliant future which lay before him, and retired to Mt. Sinai, where he put himself under the direction of a holy monk. Never was novice more fervent, more unrelaxing in his efforts for self-mastery. After four years he took the vows, and an aged abbot foretold that he would some day be one of the greatest lights of the Church. Nineteen years later, on the death of his director, he withdrew into a deeper solitude, where he studied the lives and writings of the Saints, and was raised to an unusual height of contemplation. Continue reading

Sts. Jonas, and Barachisius

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KING SAPOR, of Persia, in the eighteenth year of his reign, raised a bloody persecution against the Christians, and laid waste their churches and monasteries, Jonas and Barachisius, two brothers of the city Beth-Asa, hearing that several Christians lay under sentence of death at Hubaham, went thither to encourage and serve them. Nine of that number received the crown of martyrdom. Continue reading