Epipodius and Alexander

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Saints Epipodius and Alexander
Born Epipodius, Lyon
Alexander, Greece
Died 178
Venerated in

Roman Catholicism

Eastern Orthodoxy
Major shrine Lyon Cathedral
Feast 22 April
Patronage Epipodius is the patron saint of bachelors, victims of betrayal, and victims of torture.

Epipodius (French: Épipode) and his companion Alexander (died 178 AD) are venerated as Christian saints. Their feast day is 22 April, and Alexander is additionally commemorated on April 24 in the Eastern Orthodox Church.[1] Epipodius was a native of Lyon; Alexander was said to be a native of Phrygia, and a physician by profession.[2] They were both martyred during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.


The earliest mention of Epipodius and Alexander is in a homily of St. Eucherius, about 440. Epipodius was born in Lyon and Alexander was a Greek, originally from Phrygia. Of distinguished birth, they were close friends since their childhood schooldays. Epipodius is said to have been a confirmed celibate bachelor, who devoted his time to Christian works. Having been denounced as Christians they left the city and retired to a nearby village, where they found refuge in the house of a poor Christian widow. They were betrayed to imperial authorities by a servant. Both men were subsequently imprisoned, tortured, and condemned. According to Alban Butler, after enduring torture on the rack, Epipodius, the younger of the two, was beheaded. Alexander, after suffering an extended and brutal beating, was crucified and died almost immediately.[3]


The Christians privately carried off their bodies, and buried them on a hill near the city; which place became famous afterwards for the great number of miracles, which were wrought there.[4] The tomb was originally outside the walls of the city, but later enclosed within them. St. Gregory of Tours says, that in the sixth century, their bodies, lay deposited with that of St. Irenæus, in the Church of St. John, now called St. Irenæus, under the altar, where the relics of these two holy martyrs were found 1410.[3]

Epipodius is venerated as the patron saint of bachelors, victims of betrayal, and victims of torture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phillips, Fr Andrew. "Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome". orthodoxengland.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  2. ^ Greenhill, William Alexander (1867). "Alexander". In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 110. Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. 
  3. ^ a b Butler, Alban. "SS. Epipodius and Alexander, Martyrs at Lyons", The Lives of the Saints. vol iv, 1866
  4. ^ Ruinart. Acta Martyrum, 1859 ed., p. 119

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