Benjamin Saint

Benjamin Saint a deacon and martyr in Persia, was one of the most celebrated of thlose who suffered in the persecution commenced in 420 under Yezdejerd, and continued under Bahram, or Varanes (surnamed Gour, or the wild ass), his son and successor. Benjamin was first thrown into prison for having spoken boldly in defence of the true faith before the king. Here he remained two years, at the end of which time the ambassador of the emperor, Theodosius the younger, obtained his release under promise of certain conditions — viz. that the prisoner should never again speak to the people of the court of our Blessed Lord, nor of his religion. To these conditions, however, Benjamin refused to accede, and began to preach Jesus Christ to all persons as soon as he was released. This he continued for a year, when the king, exasperated, caused him to be arrested again, and proposed to him, as his only choice, death or apostasy. St. Benjamin hesitated not an instant, and the king, after exposing him to tortures fearful even to read of, caused him to be put to death. His festival is marked in some martyrologies on April 4. The Roman, however, places it on March 31. See Ruinart, p. 605; Baillet, 1, 385, March 31; Butler, March 31.

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