Aphian

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Saint Aphian
Amfiano.jpg
Martyr
Born c. 287
Died c. 305
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast April 2

Saint Aphian (Apphian, Apian, Appian, Amphianus, Amphian; (Spanish) and (Italian) Amfiano) is venerated as a martyr by the Catholic Church and by the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is said to have died during the persecutions of the Emperor Galerius, on April 2, ca. 305.

In the Eastern Orthodox calendar, his feast thus falls on April 2, along with Edesius (Aedisius), who is sometimes called his brother.

He was from Lycia, and his wealthy and distinguished parents gave him the best education possible in rhetoric, law, and philosophy in the famous school of Berytus, Phoenicia. While he was away at school, he became a Christian. Aphian withdrew to Cappadocia because his parents resisted his efforts to convert them to Christianity.

St. Pamphilus was at Caesarea Maritima at the time of Aphian's martydom, expounding Holy Scripture, and the young Aphian was one of his disciples. He lived at the house of Eusebius of Caesarea, but gave no intimation of his purpose to make the public protest which ended in his martyrdom.

According to his legend, he was only eighteen when he entered the temple at Caesarea Maritima, 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.

In the old martyrologies his feast was on 5 April, but the Bollandists give 2 April as the correct date.

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