The Martyr, Apphianus

Early Christian persecution by Rome

“But what words would suffice for a suitable description of the Divine love and boldness, in confessing God, of the blessed and truly innocent lamb, I refer to the martyr Apphianus, — who presented in the sight of all, before the gates of Caesarea, a wonderful example of piety toward the only God? He was at that time not twenty years old.
He was superior to youthful passions, and clung to virtue, uncorrupted neither by his bodily vigor nor his young companions; living discreetly, soberly and piously, in accordance with his profession of the Christian doctrine and the life of his teachers.
And because of his faith and hope in God, paying no attention to his daily needs, he was led by the Divine Spirit to the city of Caesarea, where was prepared for him the crown of martyrdom for piety.

For in the second attack upon us under Maximinus, in the third year of the persecution, edicts of the tyrant were issued for the first time, commanding that the rulers of the cities should diligently and speedily see to it that all the people offered sacrifices.

Then this youth fearlessly, while no one was aware of his intentions, eluded both us who lived in the house with him and the whole band of soldiers that surrounded the governor, and rushed up to Urbanus as he was offering libations, and fearlessly seizing him by the right hand, straightway put a stop to his sacrificing, and skillfully and persuasively, with a certain divine inspiration, exhorted him to abandon his delusion, because it was not well to forsake the one and only true God, and sacrifice to idols and demons. It is probable that this was done by the youth through a divine power which led him forward, and which all but cried aloud in his act, that Christians, who were truly such, were so far from abandoning the religion of the God of the universe which they had once espoused, that they were not only superior to threats and the punishments which followed, but yet bolder to speak with noble and untrammeled tongue, and, if possible, to summon even their persecutors to turn from their ignorance and acknowledge the only true God.

Thereupon, he of whom we are speaking, and that instantly, as might have been expected after so bold a deed, was torn by the governor and those who were with him as if by wild beasts. And having endured manfully innumerable blows over his entire body, he was straightway cast into prison.

There he was stretched by the tormentor with both his feet in the stocks for a night and a day; and the next day he was brought before the judge. As they endeavored to force him to surrender, he exhibited all constancy under suffering and terrible tortures. His sides were torn, not once, or twice, but many times, to the bones and the very bowels; and he received so many blows on his face and neck that those who for a long time had been well acquainted with him could not recognize his swollen face. But as he would not yield under this treatment, the torturers, as commanded, covered his feet with linen cloths soaked in oil and set them on fire.

No word can describe the agonies which the blessed one endured from this. For the fire consumed his flesh and penetrated to his bones, so that the humors of his body were melted and oozed out and dropped down like wax. But as he was not subdued by this, his adversaries being defeated and unable to comprehend his superhuman constancy, cast him again into prison. A third time he was brought before the judge; and having witnessed the same profession, being half dead, he was finally thrown into the depths of the sea.”

Such is the story of Apphianus, as told by Eusebius AD 260-340
May the stories of the early Church martyrs encourage us today to be strong and courageous in our proclamation of the one true gospel of God.

3 thoughts on “The Martyr, Apphianus

  1. Lori, this is all so shocking and inspiring! Very good job you did here to point out the impossible pain and agony some humans have endured taking a stand for Jesus Christ with their insurmountable faith their only protection from all their foes or tormentors, which did indeed give them super human endurance, dear lord have mercy! I actually was just thinking the other day about torments that certain persons of government authority who are corrupted put me through and how for years I got beat down in several ways but I’m still standing well enough and I do it all for Jesus too! I’m glad I ran into your blog today in just returning comments to other fellow bloggers I follow. This will be good to have you around and thank you! God Bless You.

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    1. Hello Lawrence! I’m blessed to know you were touched by my post. I’m not certain what you were referring to as far as suffering abuse but it sounds as if it is over? Is that correct? I’ll be praying for you regardless.

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      1. Hi Lori and wow thank you for getting back to me so soon and asking about the dilemma! It’s a long story one that I may very well have to incorporate into my long drawn out novel that I started many years ago and life got in the way I thought but then it was better because God had plans for me all along better than my own of course. In recent years having been a jack of many trades and a master of a few I was in a government job with a highly corrupted political underbelly and me being the guy I am was hated by a few of the big corrupted cronies and one in particular that set the wheels in motion to torment me and then ruin me, to the point where all his plans failed but then I was set up for a tough hazmat job with nobody helping me and it was either quit or do my job and shut up but mostly likely get hurt which I did. The State and Federal government as you’re well aware have grown way too corrupted but it’s also a societal problem as people have grown more secular and materialistic and discounting human life to the tissue level and refuse! So what am I to them or the system? Not much at all as it turned out and the only reason I’m here functioning is Jesus Christ was with me and gave me some graces to carry on to another day when I could perhaps do something important for Him not for me. Of course if I was the same guy in say China or Iran and a host of other countries they would have taken the talker away to never be seen again. It was hard on me and still is but miraculously I’m not too bad off considering all the misery, stress and physical alterations to my health by chemical expose and havoc to my body’s balances. While that was going on I was living near a major crony capitalist project that was impacting my neighborhood, the environment, the wildlife that I interacted with daily and my personal home and space! These people were and are Nazi butchers because all that mattered to them was people like me shut up take the buy out and get lost! I bought the home from my parents many years back as it was built for me when my mom became pregnant. As I never married the only real thing of joy was my humble abode and lifestyle but the government as you know especially Dems and the elitists don’t care too shakes of a lambs tail about people, especially people like me who speak up and stand up for their rights, you know what they want illegals over a guy like me I’m sure. But all of my history and good reasoning wasn’t going to stop what was happening but what bothered me most was just the arrogant lack of respect and intolerance toward me so I was targeted to say the least and I became physically injured in the job and had to take on the establishment to survive and keep my home and life going alone nobody helped not even lawyers they just want lots of money the easy way too and they don’t want the headache of being black listed for justice sake, not around here anyway. So I fought my own legal battles too and I don’t fear anyone or anything, especially the crooked system I was able to sick and all push through with Jesus! As a matter of record look at my first blog and see what that part was about and how the blog actually became a more impassioned direction for me to seek relief and deal with my overall problems.
        Well I don’t want to sound like a broken record so let me know anything you care to say or ask and I look forward to knowing a bit as we get the opportunity! You blog is great so I’ll enjoy reading it more for sure!
        God bless You!
        Lawrence

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