(329-424 AD)

Christians had enjoyed 12 years of peaceful worship when suddenly in 420 AD, Bishop Abdas, in the pitch of religious fervor, burned the Persians Temple of Fire.

The Persian king Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the Christian churches unless bishop rebuilt the temple. Abdas refused to comply and built someplace dedicated to idolatry. So Isdegerd demolished the churches and Abdas was killed. For the rest of his reign, the king and then his successor vigorously persecuted the Christians in the most heinous ways.

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.

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 live up to the agreement, and missed no opportunity to preach.

He was again apprehended and brought before the king. The tyrant ordered that reeds be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdrawn.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 died in the most terrible agony about the year 424.

Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: U. (2020, March 30). St. Benjamin the Deacon. UCatholic.