Saint Publius

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Publius
Saint Publius-2.jpg
First Bishop of Malta, Bishop of Athens
Born 33
Malta
Died c. 112;[note 1] or, c. 161-180,[2]
Athens, Greece[3]
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast January 21[4] (Roman Catholic)
March 13[2] (Eastern Orthodox)
Patronage Floriana, Malta, country of Malta

Saint Publius (Maltese: San Publju) is a Maltese Saint. He is venerated as the first Bishop of Malta. St. Publius is Malta‘s first acknowledged saint, the prince of the island (Maltese: il-prinċep tal-gżira). Publius' conversion led to Malta being the first Christian nation in the West, and one of the first in the world.

It was the same Publius who received the Apostle Paul during his shipwreck on the island as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. According to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul cured Publius' dysentery - afflicted father.

"In the vicinity of that place were lands belonging to a man named Publius, the chief of the island. He welcomed us and received us cordially as his guests for three days. It so happened that the father of Publius was sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and, after praying, laid his hands on him and healed him. After this had taken place, the rest of the sick on the island came to Paul and were cured. They paid us great honor and when we eventually set sail they brought us the provisions we needed." - Acts 28:7-10, New American Bible

In fact apart from being the particular patron saint of the town of Floriana, Saint Publius is also one of the patron saints of Malta. He was martyred c. 125, during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian. St. Publius was canonised in the year 1634

His feast is celebrated on January 21 in the Roman Catholic Church, which places him as the successor of St. Dionysius the Areopagite (Denis the Areopagite), dating his martyrdom to ca. 112 AD.[note 2]

In the Orthodox Church however his feast day is observed on March 13, and according to an epistle of Saint Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, he is placed as the successor of Saint Narcissus of Athens, dating his martyrdom to the period of the persecution under Marcus Aurelius (161-180).[note 3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "+ c 112. Tradition identifies this saint with Publius, 'chief man of the island of Malta', who befriended St Paul after his shipwreck (Acts 28,7). He became the first Bishop of Malta and later Bishop of Athens, being martyred under Trajan."[1]
  2. ^ "At Athens, the birthday of St. Publius, bishop, who, as successor of St. Denis the Areopagite, nobly governed the Church of Athens. No less celebrated for the lustre of his virtues than for the brilliancy of his learning, he was gloriously crowned for having borne testimony to Christ."[4]
  3. ^ (Greek) "Σύμφωνα μὲ τὴν Ἐπιστολὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Διονυσίου, Ἐπισκόπου Κορίνθου († 29 Νοεμβρίου), ὁ Ἅγιος Ἱερομάρτυς Πούπλιος ἔζησε κατὰ τὸν 2⁰ αἰώνα μ.Χ. καὶ καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη τῶν Ἀθηνῶν. Ἔγινε Ἐπίσκοπος μετὰ τὸν Ἅγιο Νάρκισσο († 31 Ὀκτωβρίου) καὶ ὑπέστη μαρτυρικὸ θάνατο κατὰ τὸν διωγμὸ τοῦ αὐτοκράτορος Μάρκου Αὐρηλίου (161 – 180 μ.Χ.)."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Publius Jan 21. Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome.
  2. ^ a b c Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Πούπλιος ὁ Ἱερομάρτυρας Ἐπίσκοπος Ἀθηνῶν. 13 Μαρτίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  3. ^ Fr. Andrew Anglorus. Orthodox Europe: Orthodox Malta. St John's Orthodox Church, Colchester. Retrieved: 2013-02-07.
  4. ^ a b The Roman Martyrology. Transl. by the Archbishop of Baltimore. Last Edition, According to the Copy Printed at Rome in 1914. Revised Edition, with the Imprimatur of His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons. Baltimore: John Murphy Company, 1916. pp.21-22.

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