Saint of the Day – 12 January – Saint Arcadius of Mauretania (Died c 302) Martyr, Hermit. Died by being slowly hacked to death one joint, appendage and limb at a time in c302 at Caesarea, Mauritania (near modern Algiers).
Tradition states that he was a prominent citizen of Caesarea in Mauretania Caesariensis (present-day Cherchell),. He was also a devout Christian and desiring to avoid the forced veneration of the pagan gods, retired to the countryside as a Hermit.
But his absence at the public sacrifices being noted, soldiers were dispatched to find and arrest him. But, instead of Arcadius, they found a relative and there, despite his protests, that he did not know where Arcadius was, they arrested him in place of Arcadius.
Hearing of his relative’s arrest, Arcadius returned to the City and immediately presented himself before the Governor.
He was arrested and suffered a grisly death. His limbs were cut off, joint by joint, until all that remained were his trunk and head. According to his legend, as Arcadius looked around at all the pieces of himself, hacked off and lying on the ground, he could still speak and cried out, “You are happy, my members. Now you truly belong to God. You have all been sacrificed to Him.”