Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 December – Saint Flavian of Acquapendente (Died 363) Martyr,

Saint of the Day – 22 December – Saint Flavian of Acquapendente (Died 363) Martyr, Married Layman, Prefect of Imperial Rome, Husband of Saint Dafrosa, Father of Saint Bibiana and Saint Demetria. The Roman Martyrology states: “At Rome, ex-Prefect, who, under Julian the Apostate, was condemned to be branded for Christ and banished to Aquae Taurinae, where he gave up his soul to God in prayer.

Saint Flavian, the father of two holy daughters, Bibiana and Demetria and the husband of Saint Dafrosa, was a descendant of a noble Roman family. His incomparable talents, great knowledge and holy life, made him so beloved and esteemed, not only by the people but also by Constantine the Great, that the latter raised him to the high office of Governor of Rome. The duties of this exalted dignity he fulfilled untiringly but, at the same time, neglected nothing that his faith demanded of him, on the contrary, his principal thought was to disseminate more and more the Catholic Faith among his subjects. Those who had already embraced Christianity he endeavoured to assist whenever an opportunity presented itself. After the death of Constantine the Great, his son Constantius, persuaded by his wicked Empress, favoured the Arian heresy and persecuted the Catholics, almost as much as had formerly been done, by the heathen Emperors.

Flavian endeavoured to strengthen the Catholics in their faith and to defend the divinity of Jesus Christ against the Arian blasphemies. This zeal made him hateful to the Emperor and, as neither promises, nor menaces, had any power to change him, he was divested of the high office which he had filled for so many years, to the satisfaction of all Rome. Flavian was not cast down but rather, rejoiced because, for the sake of the true Faith, he suffered so great a loss and no less ignominy. . The Officers whom Julian had appointed to apprehend and torture the Christians, took no notice of this for some time, as Flavian was still greatly esteemed on account of his high rank and the dignity, of the office with which he had been invested but at last, they informed the tyrant of it.

The latter commanded his new Governor, Apronian, to apprehend Flavian immediately and either force him to abandon his faith, or to take his life, by the most cruel tortures. Apronian obeyed the order, Flavian was seized and brought before him. The Governor endeavoured to persuade him to forsake his faith but Flavian said fearlessly: “I am a Christian and will remain a Christian and, further, I consider it the greatest honour to give, not only all I possess but also my life, for the honour of Christ.” The Governor, greatly embittered, sentenced him to be dispossessed of his nobility and placed in the rank of the most abject slaves, which, to a high-minded man, must have been more cruel than death. Hence, they tore off the insignia of his nobility and of his former high office from his body and, with a red-hot iron, burned a mark on his forehead. The pain was great, the ignominy and disgrace much greater but Flavian bore it cheerfully. “I receive,” said he, “this disgrace as the greatest honour that was ever bestowed upon me.” Apronian would have tortured him still more but as he knew that Flavian was highly esteemed on account of the faithfulness with which he had laboured for the public, he desisted, fearing a revolt. He deprived him, therefore, of all his possessions, and sent him into banishment, giving orders to those who were to transport him, to torment him on the road in every possible manner, in order that misery and grief might soon kill him. Flavian received the sentence of his banishment with the same joy that he had manifested at the preceding ignominy.

The most difficult sorrow for him to bear ,was to leave his spouse and his two daughters, as he foresaw that they would not be treated better than he had been. But this, also, he bore heroically and placing them under the protection of the Most High, he went into his banishment, guarded by a troop of soldiers, who delighted in obeying the orders of Apronian and maltreated him most cruelly. Not much better was the treatment which he received at the place to which he was exiled, where he soon ended his life. His only comfort was prayer, which so greatly supported him that, notwithstanding the hardships he endured, he was never seen looking downcast but always joyful. It was also in prayer that he closed his holy life for, one day, when conversing with God, his head sank quietly upon his breast and his heroic soul became free. He was, indeed, worthy to be placed among the greatest martyrs of the holy Church; as what he had suffered for his faith will appear to many much harder to endure than the bodily martyrdom of so many other Saints.

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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