Pictorial Half Hours with the Saints – Saint Arcadius

Saint Arcadius of MauretaniaForgiveness of Injuries

At the time of Valerian’s persecution, about the year 257, a Christian of Caesarea, named Arcadius, illustrious for his birth and riches, had betaken himself to flight, so as to avoid the risk of suffering; but on learning that one of his relatives had offered himself in his stead, he was deeply touched by such unwonted generosity, reproached himself as a coward, and returned to surrender himself to the judge who was to consign him to death. Unable to induce him by the most enticing promises or the most terrible threats to apostatize from the Christian religion, the judge condemned him to have his limbs amputated one after the other until death should put a term to his sufferings. Arcadius endured this protracted martyrdom with a constancy so marvellous, that the judge, tired out at last, ordered the executioners to end their cruelty by disembowelling the victim. Arcadius continued to pray for his tormentors: “My God, forgive them, they know not what they do!”

Moral Reflection

This is the example given “by Jesus Christ upon the cross, and by Saint Stephen while he was being stoned. Let us not lose sight of this injunction of the Divine Master: “Pray for those that hate you and persecute you.” “Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” – Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:37

– from Pictorial Half Hours with the Saints, by Father Auguste Fran├žois Lecanu, 1865