Frumentius St

Frumentius St., called the apostle of Christianity in Ethiopia, was born in Tyre towards the beginning of the 4th century. He was brought up by his uncle Meropius, whom he accompanied (with his relative (Edesius) on a voyage of scientific discovery. They landed on the coast of Abyssinia or Ethiopia to procure water, but the natives murdered all on board except the two boys, whom they found sitting under a tree and reading. (Edesius became cup-bearer and Frumentius private secretary to the prince. After the death of the prince, Frumentius was appointed tutor to the young prince Aizanes, and obtained great influence in state affairs. He succeeded in founding a church, and in 326 went to Alexandria, where Athanasius (recently made bishop of Alexandria) consecrated him bishop of Axum (Auxuma), the chief city of the Abyssinians, and an important mart of trade. His labors were rewarded by extraordinary nuocean. He is supposed to have translated the Bible into Ethiopian. Theophilus of Arabia visited Abyssinia, and "repaired to the principal town, Auxuma (Axum). Theophilus being an Arian, and Frumentius, the friend of Athanasius, professing in all probability the doctrines of the Council of Nice, it is possible a dispute may have arisen in their announcement here of their respective doctrines, which would necessarily be attended with unfavorable effects on the nascent church; but perhaps, too, Frumentius, who had not received a theological education, did not enter so deeply into theological questions. Still the emperor Consitantiss considered it necessary to persecute the disciples of the hated Athanasius even in these remote regions. After Athanasius had bees banished from Alexandria, inh the vear 356, Constantius required the princes of the Abyssinian people to send Frumentius to Alexandria, in order that the Arlan bishop Georg ius, who bad been set up in place of Athanasius, might inquire into his orthodoxy, and into the regularity of his ordination" (Neander, Church Hist. 2:120). The princes refused, and Frumentius continused at work until his death, the date of which is uncertain (perhaps A.D. 360). He is cellebrated as a saint by the Latins on October 27, by the Greeks on November 30, and by the Abyssinians on December 18. — Socrates. Hist. Eccl. 1:19; Theodoret, 1:22; Ludolf, Histor. Ethiop. 3:7; Butler, Lives of Saints, October 27.

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