Saints and Theology of the Heart - St. Arcadius

Feast Day:  January 12

The exact time that St. Arcadio lived is contested. Some say it was under the ruler Valarian and others say under Diocletian. But, it seems that he died in Caesarea. During this time the ruler had sent out his soldiers to gather together all Christians. They broke into homes and if they found a Christian, they were immediately treated with cruelty. They tried to get Christians to participate in superstitious sacrifices, and burn incense before idols.  Arcadius, seeing what was happening, was able to escape the persecution by going to a solitary place in another country and there he served Jesus in prayer and penitential acts. It was soon discovered by the government that Arcadius had fled. The soldiers surrounded and broke into his house where they found one of his relatives. They took his relative into prison until they could find Arcadius.

Arcadius heard of his relative being captured and he returned to his city. He presented himself to the judge asking for his relative to be released. The judge said that he would release both his relative and Arcadius as long as Arcadius would sacrifice to the gods. Arcadius said that he could never do such a thing.¬† “Invent what torments you please; but know that nothing shall make me a traitor to my God.” The governor was furious. In his fury, he sent him to prison to be killed slowly. The executioners cut off his limbs one by one until only the trunk of his body was left. His patience during this suffering moved the executioners and onlookers to tears. He died on January 12th.




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