September 14, 2016

Holy Martyr Papas of Lycaonia

St. Papas of Lycaonia (Feast Day - September 14 & March 16)


For September 14
Pappas was ashamed to groan at his wounds,
For he had God as helper by his side.

For March 16
Bound with fetters to a tree, O Papas you ascended,
Like Zacchaeus you were inspired to see Christ.

Saint Papas lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305) and Governor Magnus, in the city of Laranda in Lycaonia. Seeing the whole world entrenched in idolatry, Papas persuaded many of the region to believe and confess Christ as King and God, and he was arrested and brought before the governor, whom he shamed by his steadfast confession.

He suffered various and many kinds of torments for his faith in Christ. After throwing him on the ground and beating him, they broke his jaw by striking his face with a rock. Then they hung him upside down and scourged him, ripped at his flesh with iron claws, and burned his wounds with a lit lamp. Enduring these torments bravely the tormentors then forced him to wear iron shoes covered with nails and had him run from Laranda to Diocaesarea in Isauria and on to Seleucia, in front of the horses of the governor.

Lastly they tied him to a withered fruit tree, from which immediately emerged leaves and flowers and fruit, and there he delivered his soul into the hands of God, and received from Him the crown of martyrdom. His holy relic was a treasure and source of miracles and joy to the Christians of Lycaonia.*


* The life of Saint Papas celebrated on September 14th is almost exactly the same with Saint Papas celebrated on March 16th, except that the former does not say he died tied up to a tree. Therefore we can assume they are not two different people, but one. The dual commemoration may be due to the fact that his feast was transferred from September 14th due to the focus on the Exaltation of the Honorable Cross celebrated on that day (for which the feast of the Dormition of Saint John Chrysostom was transferred from September 14 to November 13), or he had two feasts due to his local popularity. This is testified to the fact that in the Menologion of Basil II for September 14th, the image depicts Saint Papas being beaten by a tree, even though the one difference between the two lives is that only in the March 16th version was a tree involved in the story.