10 Apr Saint Bademus, Martyr
Today is the feast day of Saint Bademus. Ora pro nobis.
Nothing is know about Saint Bademus early life. Bademus was originally a rich and noble citizen of Bethlapeta in Persia, who sold his rich possessions to follow Christ, then gave the greater part of the proceeds to the poor.
He reserved just enough to found a monastery near that city, to which he retired with several other persons, and then governed it with great sanctity. He conducted his religious in the paths of perfection with sweetness, prudence, and charity. (1)
Saint Bademus, with seven of his monks, were apprehended by the followers of King Sapor. He lay four months in a dungeon, loaded with chains; every day he received a number of stripes. But he triumphed over his torments by the patience and joy with which he suffered them for Christ.
At the same time, a Christian lord named Nersan, prince of Aria, was cast into prison because he refused to adore the sun. At first he showed some resolution; but at the sight of tortures his constancy failed him, and he promised to conform. The king, to try if his change was sincere, ordered Bademus to be introduced into the prison of Nersan, which was a chamber in the royal palace, and sent word to Nersan that if he would dispatch Bademus, he should be restored to his liberty and former dignities. The wretch accepted the condition; a sword was put into his hand, and he advanced to plunge it into the breast of the abbot. But being seized with a sudden terror, he stopped short, and remained some time without being able to lift up his arm to strike. (2)
He had neither courage to repent, nor heart to accomplish his crime. He strove, however, to harden himself, and continued with a trembling hand to aim at the sides of the martyr. Fear, shame, remorse, and respect for the martyr made his strokes forceless and unsteady; and so great was the number of the martyr’s wounds, that the bystanders were in admiration at his invincible patience. (2)
Saint Bademus reproached his executioner, saying, What will you do on the day when you will have to render an account of your actions, and hear the sentence of your condemnation? I offer myself willingly to die for the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ, but I would prefer to die by another hand than yours! The pagans themselves were horrified at the cruelty of the king, the long martyrdom, and the perfidious acts of the apostate. (1)
After four strokes, the martyr’s head was severed from the trunk. Nersan, a short time after, falling into public disgrace, perished by the sword. The body of St. Bademus was reproachfully cast out of the city by the infidels; but was secretly carried away and interred by the Christians. His disciples were released from their chains four years afterward upon the death of King Sapor. St. Bademus suffered on the 10th of April in the year 376. (2)
Image: Saint Bademus, Scanned by uploader from page 218 of Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, Benzinger Brothers (3)
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff