Eucharistic Crusade

Martyr of the Month

Saints Apphian and Theodosia
{died 306}


Apphian was born in Lycia, and was educated at the famous schools of Berytus, in Phoenicia, where he had become a Christian.

Not long afterwards instructions were given to Governor Urban of Caesarea, that everyone should attend the public sacrifices. Apphian who was twenty, went to the place where the Governor was offering the sacrifice. He slipped unnoticed, past the guards, laid hold of the Magistrate's arm and stopped him exclaiming, "It is impious to neglect the worship of the true God, and make sacrifices to idols!"

The guards grabbed Apphian, beat him, kicked him and threw him into a dark dungeon for a whole day. The following day his face was hit so often that it became terribly swollen. Because of his bruised face, one could no longer recognize the poor man. His sides were then torn until his bones and intestines were showing. To all questions asked of him, he replied, "I am a servant of Christ."

The tortures were continued. Pieces of flax dipped in oil were set on fire and then applied to his feet, but though his feet were burnt to the bones, Apphian remained constant in his love for Christ. When the guards begged him to sacrifice to false gods he only said, "I confess Christ, the one God, and the same God with the Father."

Finding that there was no way of causing Apphian to give up his Catholic Faith, the judge cried out, "Throw him into the sea!"

Immediately after the sentence had been carried out, God worked a great miracle, which was seen by many people. An earthquake shook the sea and the city of Casarea, and although the martyr's feet had heavy stones tied to them, his body was cast up on the shore.

The persecution under Maximinus had lasted over five years. In April, 306, Theodosia, who was eighteen, came to the city of Caesarea. She went up to the judgement hall to greet some prisoners who were waiting for their death sentence.

Suddenly the soldiers rushed towards Theodosia as though she had done something wrong, and brought her before the President. He was in a wicked mood and he sentenced her to be tortured. Parts of her body were torn with iron hooks, and she suffered terribly. Since Theodosia was still alive after these tortures, and had a beautiful smile on her face, the President had her thrown into the sea.

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