Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha

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See Tryphon of Pechenga for Saint Tryphon of Pechenga, he was a Russian monk in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Saints Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha
Tryphon of Campsada.jpg
Serbian Orthodox icon of St. Tryphon of Campsada.
Martyrs, Great Martyr (Tryphon), Holy Unmercenary (Tryphon)
Born Kampsade (Tryphon)
Died 250 AD
Nicaea (Tryphon)
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast 10 November (former joint feast day in the Roman Catholic Church);
1 February (just Tryphon) in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox calendars
Attributes falcon (Tryphon)
Patronage gardeners and winegrowers (Tryphon); Kotor, Montenegro (Tryphon); Moscow, Russia Tryphon); invoked against rodents and locusts (Tryphon)

Saints Tryphon (Trypho), Respicius, and Nympha (Ninfa) are Christian saints who were formerly celebrated jointly on 10 November in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church from the eleventh century until the twentieth.[1] Saint Tryphon continues to be celebrated (separately) on 1 February, and the 14 February on both the Orthodox liturgical calendar and the Roman Calendar of Saints.

Saint Tryphon[edit]

Saint Tryphon is said to have been born at Kampsade (Campsada, in Phrygia, now Turkey,[2] and as a boy took care of geese. His name is derived from the Greek τρυφη (tryphe) meaning "softness, delicacy". He acquired fame as a healer, especially of animals, and is considered one of the Holy Unmercenaries, particularly invoked on farms.[3]

During the Decian persecution he was taken to Nicaea about the year 250 and was tortured in a horrible manner. He was beheaded with a sword after he had converted the heathen prefect Licius. Fabulous stories are interwoven with his hagiography.

His relics were first buried in his native city of Campsada. Later on, they were translated to Constantinople, and then to Rome. His feast day is on 1 February in both the Eastern Orthodox Church[4] and (now) in the Roman Catholic Church.[5]

He is greatly venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church, in which he is also the patron saint of gardeners and winegrowers.[6] Many churches were dedicated to him, and the Eastern Emperor, Leo VI the Wise (d. 912), delivered a eulogy in Tryphon's honour. He is the protector saint of the town of Kotor in Montenegro, and one of the patron saints of Moscow. In Russian icons of the saint, he is often shown holding a falcon, a reference to a miracle attributed to his intercessions. Prayers attributed to him are used against infestations of rodents and locusts; one such prayer appears in the Great Euchologion.[7] The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor is dedicated to him.

A portion of his relics is kept in the Church of the Theotokos of the Sign, in Pereyaslavl sloboda, Russia. Saint Trifon is often depicted with a merlin on hand as he was traditionally venerated by Moscow hunters.

Tryphon's feast day is officially 1 February, but it is celebrated by Bulgarian vine growers on 14 February per the Julian calendar.[6] The celebrations are a fertility rite intended to encourage the growth of the vines, and it is also thought that human infertility can be cured on this day.[8]

Respicius and Nympha[edit]

The former 10 November feast day associated with Saint Tryphon two others, of whom little is known: Respicius and Nympha.

In about 1005, the monk Theodoric of Fleury wrote, on the basis of earlier written legends, an account of Tryphon in which Respicius appears as Tryphon's companion. The relics of both were preserved, together with those of a holy virgin named Nympha, at the Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Sassia. The church of this hospital was a cardinal's title, which, together with the relics of these saints, was transferred by Pope Pius V to the Church of St. Augustine in 1566.

One tradition held that Nympha (Ninfa) was a virgin martyr from Palermo who was put to death for the faith at the beginning of the fourth century. According to other versions of the legend, when the Goths invaded Sicily, she fled from Palermo to the Italian mainland and died in the sixth century at Savona. The feast of her translation is observed at Palermo on 19 August.[2] Some believe that there were two saints of this name. Before 1624 Palermo had four patron saints, one for each of the four major parts of the city. They were Saint Agatha, Saint Christina, Saint Nympha, and Saint Olivia. Their images are displayed at the Quattro Canti, in the centre of Palermo.

While Saint Trypho is still listed in the Roman Martyrology (on 1 February, not 10 November), Respicius and Nympha have been omitted.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 145
  2. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg "Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  3. ^ Parry, Ken; David Melling (editors) (1999). The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Malden, MA.: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23203-6. 
  4. ^ Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Τρύφων ὁ Μάρτυρας. 1 Φεβρουαρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  5. ^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  6. ^ a b "Plovdiv Region Welcomes Diplomats in Celebration of Day of Saint Tryphon". Guide-Bulgaria. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  7. ^ Parry, Ken; David Melling (editors) (1999). The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Malden, MA.: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23203-6. 
  8. ^ Nicoloff, Assen (1975). Bulgarian Folklore, Folk Beliefs, Customs, Folksongs, Personal Names. A. Nicoloff. pp. p. 22. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.