August 7, 2019

Saint Sozon of Nicomedia

St. Sozon of Nicomedia (Feast Day - August 7)


Like another salamander in the fire,*
Sozon the Martyr's end was apart from the fire.

Saint Sozon of Nicomedia met his end in peace, after being cast into fire and emerging unharmed.


* In the first century AD, Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder threw a salamander into a fire. He wanted to see if it could indeed not only survive the flames, but extinguish them, as Aristotle had claimed such creatures could. But the salamander didn’t make it. Yet that didn’t stop the legend of the fire-proof salamander (a name derived from the Persian meaning “fire within”) from persisting for 1,500 more years, from the Ancient Romans to the Middle Ages on up to the alchemists of the Renaissance. Some even believed it was born in fire, like the legendary Phoenix, only slimier and a bit less dramatic. And that its fur could be used to weave fire-resistant garments.