February 4, 2015

Holy Hieromartyr Abramios, Bishop of Arbel in Persia

St. Abramios the Persian (Feast Day - February 4)


Where is the fright of the athletes of the Lord?
Abramios was expected to show it before the sword.

Saint Abramios was consecrated Bishop of Arbel (or Arbil) in Mesopotamia after the martyrdom of his predecessor, the holy Bishop John in 342 (Nov. 1). He was arrested in the following year and brought before the chief magus, Aderphora, because Persian soothsayers, magicians, and other pagans had complained to the authorities that the Bishop was bringing about too many conversions and establishing Christian communities.

For refusing to worship the sun, Abramios was put to torture. The Saint had exclaimed: "Is it possible that I should leave the Creator of the sun and the Creator of all creation, for a creation of God, in order to worship something which is made and soulless?" This angered Aderphora, who ordered the holy Bishop to be stripped and thrashed with staves.

Urged to obey the commands of King Shapur II, he replied: "I despise your impious king and have nothing but contempt for his false gods. The more he seeks in his arrogance to crush us and to abolish our holy faith, the greater is the glory we find with God. He is devoting himself to evil in vain."

As the Saint underwent his torments with a noble heart, he repeated the words of Saint Stephen, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them," and of the Lord, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." After this the archmagus ordered the beheading of the holy hierarch, at a place called Thelam. This took place in the fifth year of the persecution against the Christians in Persia.