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st.Pamphilus of Caesarea-Father of the Church, martyr

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st.Pamphilus of Caesarea

Feast Day : June 1

 

 

Pamphilus was born in Berytus (now Beirut, Lebanon) to a noble family. He studied at Alexandria before selling his property and giving the proceeds to the poor. Going to Caesarea, he took over and built up the library founded by Origen. In Caesarea, also, he was ordained a priest and established a theology school. He made faithful copies of the Holy Scriptures and of the works of Origen (which had not yet been declared anathema). His home became famous as a place where domestic servants and slaves were treated as sons and brothers. The Diocletian persecution began in 303, and the deacon and 10 other members of Pamphilus’s church were martyred. Then, in November 307, Pamphilus himself was taken before the governor and when he refused to make pagan sacrifices, was cruelly tortured and imprisoned. While in prison, he continued copying and correcting manuscripts. At this time also he collaborated with Eusebius on the five-volume Apology for Origen. He was put to death in February 309. In art, Pamphilus is usually dressed in a philosopher’s gown and holds a book. Sometimes he is shown holding a razor, sword or knife.

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