Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Almachus, or Telemachus, Martyr

illustration of Saint Telemachus objecting to the gladitorial combatArticle

Was a holy solitary of the East, but being excited by the ardors of a pious zeal in his desert, and pierced with grief that the impious diversion of gladiators should cause the damnation of so many unhappy souls, and involve whole cities and provinces in sin; he travelled to Rome, resolved, as far as in him lay, to put a stop to this crying evil. While the gladiators were massacring each other in the amphitheatre, he ran in among them; but as a recompense for his kind remonstrance, and entreating them to desist, he was beaten down to the ground, and torn in pieces, on the 1st of January, 404. His zeal had its desired success; for the effusion of his blood effected what till that time many emperors had found impracticable. Constantine, Constantius, Julian, and Theodosius the elder, had, to no purpose, published several edicts against those impious scenes of blood. But Honorius took occasion from the martyrdom of this saint, to enforce their entire abolition. His name occurs in the true martyrology of Bede, in the Roman and others.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2018. Web. 29 July 2021. <>