Lives of the Saints

Our Models and Protectors

February 21
  

Saint Severianus

Bishop and Martyr
(† 452)

Saint Severianus
Saint Severianus

During the reign of Marcian and Saint Pulcheria in the Eastern Empire, the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, which condemned the Eutychian heresy of oriental origin, was approved by Saint Euthymius, an abbot of great authority in Palestine, and by most of the monks of that country. But an ignorant Eutychian monk by the name of Theodosius, a man of tyrannical temper, unjustly usurped the see of Jerusalem, forcing its bishop to withdraw. He was acting under the protection of the Empress Eudoxia, widow of Theodosius the Younger, who was living in that city. He perverted many of the monks, and in a cruel persecution which he raised, filled Jerusalem with blood; then, at the head of a band of soldiers, he wrought havoc all over the land. Many Christians, however, had the courage to stand their ground against his persecution.

No one resisted him with greater zeal and resolution than Saint Severianus, the courageous bishop of Scythopolis, and his reward was the crown of martyrdom, for the furious soldiers seized him, dragged him out of the city and massacred him, towards the end of the year 452 or in the beginning of the year 453.

Reflection. When we consider the crime of apostasy, with what floods of tears can we sufficiently bewail so grievous a misfortune, and implore the divine mercy on behalf of so many souls! How ought we to be alarmed at the consideration of so many dreadful examples of God's unfathomable judgments, and tremble for ourselves! Let him who stands, take heed lest he fall. (I Cor. 10:12) Hold fast what thou hast, says the oracle of the Holy Ghost to every one of us, lest another bear away thy crown. (Apoc. 3:11)

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).