, SAINT

A Syrian martyr in Egypt (feast day: 22 ). Macarius was the son of , an Antiochene general under the emperor . His Passion is part of the late Basilidian CYCLE, which emerged in Coptic in a of the ninth century. The first part of the codex is incomplete, but it can be reconstructed from the .

When Diocletian began to persecute , Macarius refused to give up his faith and was denounced. Since Diocletian did not want to upset the city of by punishing a citizen, he sent Macarius to the prefect Armenius in Alexandria with instructions that he be tortured and put to death.

Actually, Macarius suffers three martyrdoms in Egypt. The first takes place at Alexandria, the second at Pshati (under a Eutychian perfect), and the third at Shetnufe (Shatanuf, another spot in the ). After each of the first two, he is miraculously resurrected, according to a well-known device in this kind of Passion (see ); the third is final. John of Aqfahs, a fictitious personage who generated another cycle and to whom the of the text is ascribed, is present at the third .

The Passion is followed by a passage narrating the following events: Diocletian is punished by heaven and becomes blind. The emperor restores Christianity and sends the perfect to substitute for the recalcitrant Armenius. Eulogius wants to remove the relics of Macarius, but the latter appears in a vision and orders them to be left at Shetnufe, where a large sanctuary is built. For these supplements, the Passions of EPIMA, ISIDORUS, and can be consulted.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Hyvernat, H. Les Actes des de l’Egypte tirés des manuscrits coptes de la Bibliothèque Vaticane et du Musée Borgia. Paris, 1886-1887.

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