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St. Aphian

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St. Aphian (or Apian), an illustrious martyr, under the Emperor Maximian, c. 306. He was only eighteen when he entered the temple at Cæsarea, where the prefect Urbanus was offering sacrifice. Seizing the outstretched hand that was presenting the incense, he reproached the magistrate with the idolatrous act. The guards fell upon him furiously and, after cruelly torturing him, flung him into a dungeon. The next day he was brought before the Prefect, torn with iron claws, beaten with clubs, and burned over a slow fire, and then sent back to confinement. After three days he was again taken from prison and thrown into the sea with stones tied to his feet. Eusebius, an eyewitness, declares that an earthquake simultaneously shook the city, and that the sea flung up his corpse on the shore. He belonged to Lycia, but had withdrawn to Cappadocia because his parents, who were both distinguished and rich, resisted his efforts to convert them to Christianity. St. Pamphilus was at Cæsarea at the time, expounding Holy Scripture , and the young Aphian was one of his disciples. He lived at the house of Eusebius, but gave no intimation of his purpose to make the public protest which ended in his martyrdom. The Greeks refer to him as the brother of St. Ædisius. In the old martyrologies his feast was on the fifth, but the Bollandists pronounce for the second of April as the correct date.


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