The Christians in Persia had enjoyed twelve years of peace during the reign of Isdegerd, son of Sapor III, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian Bishop who burned the Temple of Fire, the great sanctuary of the Persians. King Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the churches of the Christians unless the Bishop would rebuild it.

As Abdas refused to comply, the threat was executed; the churches were demolished, Abdas himself was put to death, and a general persecution began which lasted forty years. Isdegerd died in 421, but his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with great fury. The Christians were submitted to the most cruel tortures.

Among those who suffered was St. Benjamin, a Deacon, who had been imprisoned a year for his Faith. At the end of this period, an ambassador of the Emperor of Constantinople obtained his release on condition that he would never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.

St. Benjamin, however, declared it was his duty to preach Christ and that he could not be silent. Although he had been liberated on the agreement made with the ambassador and the Persian authorities, he would not acquiesce in it, and neglected no opportunity of preaching. He was again apprehended and brought before the king. The tyrant ordered that reeds should be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdrawn. After this torture had been repeated several times, a knotted stake was inserted into his bowels to rend and tear him. The martyr expired in the most terrible agony about the year 424.

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  1. Respect for the saint, but I can’t help wondering what an utter fool this bishop Abdas must have been. Like stupid generals squander the lives of their soldiers so it seems can be the case even with top people in the Church walking around creating ‘martyr circumstances’.

  2. st benjamin did not suffer the way we think. with christ as hiis strength he ovvercame pain and suffering and basked in the pressence of the blood of jesus. st benjamin and all the angels and saints and mama mary intercede to jesus on our behalf for the courage to stay faithful to christ. st benjamin pray for my family. amen amen and amen.

  3. It seems foolish of the bishop to antagonize the Persians by burning down one of their holy places, wouldn’t he have to have known that it would put Christian missionaries in mortal danger? But what really struck me, was how much Saint Benjamin endured for his faith. I don’t think I could endure what he did. Of course, that’s why he’s a saint, and I’m not.

  4. As I learn about Catholic saints, I can not imagine what pain they endured!
    What kind of horrible leaders would do this to men who were NOT a threat to them, ACTUALLY!
    If these barbaric leaders,politicians were NOT so AFRAID but UNDERSTOOD just a small portion of Christianity,
    maybe ??????? they could have elevated their public, and gained The people’s TRUST!!!!!
    I imagine……these hideous leaders, thought “ small “, could NOT see a better future in their Kingdom!!!!!!
    They pressed their thumbs on their community with horrible TORTURE!!!!!!!
    That was what they did BECAUSE,they were too AFRAID to “””””LEARN ABOUT. CHRIST “””””””

  5. Saint Benjamin the Deacon (died 424), Martyr of the faith, and patron saint of preachers and evangelizers. The courage and steadfast conviction of Saint Benjamin—who preached publicly despite considerable risk to his life—remains inspirational to us today. Saint Benjamin the Deacon, pray for us!


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