April 9, 2018

Holy Martyrs Dausas the Bishop, Mariabus the Presbyter, Abdiesus and the Other Holy Martyrs in Persia (+ 362)

Sts. Dausas, Mariabus, Abdesius and the Martyrs With Them (Feast Day - April 9)


To Abdesius.
By chance Abdesius the prisoner,
Was freed, and was granted the ransom to be slaughtered.

To the Martyrs.
In the fire-worshiping land of Persia contested,
A garrison of worshipers of Christ who were beheaded.

In the fifty-third year of the reign of King Shapur II (309-379), the Persians, in an incursion into the Roman territories, took by siege the castle Bet-Zabde (or Phenak), on the Tigris, massacred the garrison of soldiers, and led away nine thousand souls into captivity.* Among these were Heliodoros the bishop, Dausas and Mariabus the presbyters, besides many other priests, monks, and nuns. The good bishop died on the road, but first ordained Dausas bishop in his place.

The captives assembled daily with Dausas, who celebrated the divine mysteries. A certain Magi named Adephar reported to Shapur II that Dausas had been consecrated Bishop and repeatedly blasphemed against the religion of the Persians. When they arrived on the confines of Assyria, it was left to the option of three hundred (other sources say four hundred) of them either to worship the sun or to die. Twenty-five (other sources say five) complied with the injunction, and were rewarded with portions of land for their apostacy. The other two hundred and seventy-five (other sources say three hundred and ninty-five) remained constant with the bishop Dausas and the presbyter Mariabus and were all massacred together.

One of those who were condemned to be beheaded was Abdiesus, and though his neck was struck it did not kill him and he recovered. Then he boldly went to preach the gospel. While doing this, an impious fire-worshiper branded a knife and killed him, which he received with joy, because he was accounted worthy to receive martyrdom with those who were previously beheaded, for he had been saddened to have lost the opportunity. His murderer, together with his family and village, suffered punishment when drought caused them to abandon their village, which lasted twenty years.

At the end of the persecution, one of the sons of the gravediggers came and built his house close to the cave where the martyr's were laid to rest. The relics proved to be a wellspring of miracles, and he began to venerate them as saints. Therefore a church was built there in their honor.


* Among these 9,000 captured was Saint Ia, who is commemorated on September 11.