Butler’s Lives of the Saints – The Roman Captives in Persia, Martyrs


[In the year of Christ 362, of Sapor 53.] The Persians, in an incursion into the Christian territories, took by siege the castle Bethzarbe, on the Tigris, massacred the garrison, and led away nine thousand souls into captivity. Among these were Heliodorus, a bishop, Dausas and Mariabus, ancient priests, besides many other priests, monks, and nuns. The good bishop died on the road, but first ordained Dausas bishop in his place. The canons order a bishop not to be ordained but by three bishops: but this admits a dispensation in cases of necessity. Thus Theodoret says, that Saint Eusebius of Samosata went about privately ordaining Catholic pastors to fill vacant sees: and Saint Gregory allowed Saint Austin to do the same in England. The captives assembled daily with Dausas, who celebrated the divine mysteries. When they were arrived on the confines of Assyria, it was left to the option of three hundred of them either to adore the sun or to die. Twenty-five complied with the injunction, and were rewarded with portions of land for their apostacy. The other two hundred and seventy-five remained constant with the bishop Dausas, and were all massacred together.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “The Roman Captives in Persia, Martyrs”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 April 2013. Web. 15 June 2021. <>