SS. APOLLONIUS, PHILEMON, &c., MARTYRS
APOLLONIUS was a zealous holy anchoret, and was
apprehended by the persecutors at Antinous in Egypt. Many heathens
came to insult and affront him while in chains; and among others one
Philemon, a musician, very famous, and much admired by the people. He
treated the martyr as an impious person and a seducer, and one that
deserved the public hatred. To his injuries the saint only answered,
“My son, may God have mercy on thee, and not lay these
reproaches to thy charge.” This his meekness wrought so
powerfully on Philemon, that he forthwith confessed himself a
Christian. Both were brought before the judge whom Metaphrastes and
Usuard call Arian, and who had already put to death SS. Asclas,
Timothy, Paphnutius, and several other martyrs: after making them
suffer all manner of tortures, he condemned them to be burnt alive.
When the fire was kindled about them, Apollonius prayed: “Lord,
deliver not to beasts the souls who confess thee; but manifest thy
power.” At that instant a cloud of dew encompassed the martyrs,
and put out the fire. The judge and people cried out at this miracle:
“The God of the Christians is the great and only God.”
The prefect of Egypt being informed of it, caused the judge and the
two confessors to be brought, loaded with irons, to Alexandria.
During the journey, Apollonius, by his instructions, prevailed so far
upon those who conducted him, that they presented themselves also to
the judge with their prisoners, and confessed themselves likewise to
be Christians. The prefect, finding their constancy invincible,
caused them all to be thrown into the sea, about the year 311. Their
bodies were afterwards found on the shore, and were all put into one
sepulchre. “By whom,” says Rufinus, “many miracles
are wrought to the present time, and the vows and prayers of all are
received, and are accomplished. Hither the Lord was pleased to bring
me, and to fulfil my requests.” See Rufinus, Vit. Patr 1. 2, c.
19, p. 477. Palladius Lausiac. c. 65, 66.