Saints of the Day – Patrick (Patricius), Acatius, Menander and Polyenus

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Date unknown (though it is recorded on May 19, this second feast celebrated by the Greeks). The acta of Prusa’s (Broussa in Bithynia) second bishop, Patrick, are considered authentic. The names of the others have been added in the early calendars. His acta say that Proconsul Julius of Bithynia, having come to Prusa to bath in its famous hot springs and sacrifice to the Esculapius and to Health, found himself refreshed and invigorated. He attributed his renewed well-being to these divinities and gratefully wanted to make a return by obliging Patrick to sacrifice to them.

He had the bishop brought before him and said, “You, who being led away by silly tales, are weak enough to invoke Christ, deny if you can the power of our gods, and their providential care over us. In granting us these mineral waters, endued by them with salutary virtues. I therefore insist on your sacrificing to Esculapius, as you hope to avoid being severely tormented for your non-compliance.”

Patrick: “How many wicked things are contained in the few words you have bean uttering!”

Julius: “What wickedness can you discover in my discourse, who have advanced nothing in it but what is plain matter of fact? Are not the daily cures, wrought by these waters, clear and manifest? Don’t we see and experience them?”

Patricius did not deny the salutary effects of the waters, nor the cures wrought by them, but endeavored to convince the governor and the listeners that these waters, and all other things, had received their being and perfection from the one only true God, and his Son Jesus Christ. And while he was endeavoring to account for their heat and ebullition, from secondary causes, he was interrupted by the proconsul’s crying out: “You pretend, then, that Christ made these waters, and gave them their virtue?”

Patrick: “Yes; without all doubt he did.”

Julius: “If I throw you into these waters to punish you for your contempt of the gods, do you imagine your Christ, whom you suppose the maker of them, will preserve your life in the midst of them?”

Patrick: “I do not contemn your gods, for no one can contemn what does not exist: I would have you convinced that Jesus Christ can preserve my life, when I am thrown into these waters, as easily as he can permit them to take it away: and that whatever relates to me, or is to befall me, is perfectly known to him, as he is present everywhere; for not a bird falls to the ground, nor a hair from our heads, but by his good will and pleasure. This I would have all look upon as an oracle of truth itself; and that an eternal punishment in hell awaits all such as, like you, adore idols.”

Enraged at these words, the proconsul commanded that Patrick be stripped and cast into the scalding water. As they carried out the order, he prayed: “Lord Jesus Christ, assist Your servant.”

Several of the guards were scalded by the dashing of the water, which left Patrick untouched – much like the three children in the Babylonian furnace. Julius grew more angry that God protected the saint. He next ordered that Patrick be decapitated. The martyr, having recommended his soul to God by a short prayer, knelt down, and had his head struck off pursuant to the sentence. The faithful that were present at the execution carried off his body, and gave it a decent interment near the high road. Some name Constantinople as the chief place of his veneration and suggest that he suffered there and that his relics were preserved in a famous church which bore his name. Both the Greek and Roman calendars join him with Saint Acacius, Menander, and Polyaenus, who were also beheaded for the faith (Benedictines).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 June 2020. Web. 24 September 2021. <>