PISURA, SAINT

Martyr under Diocletian, (feast day: 9 Tut). The text of his Passion is preserved in Bohairic (Vatican Library, Coptic 60, fols. 1-85, ed. Hyvernat, 1886-1887), which is mutilated at the beginning. The beginning, however, can be reconstructed from the summary found in the Copto-Arabic SYNAXARION.

According to the Synaxarion, Pisura was of Masil. About to face martyrdom, he gathers his people for a farewell discourse. The Coptic text begins at this point. The people are grieved at the news, and burst into tears. Pisura pronounces a last prayer, gives a blessing, and takes his leave. He joins three other bishops, who go to the regional capital to confess their to the tribunal of the governor Culcianus. An interesting altercation with the governor follows, involving some philosophical issues, but the text is from the Passion of IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH. This is followed by the customary scenes of torture, some miracles worked in prison, and last, after a prayer, the beheading of Pisura and the other three bishops.

The text is certainly a late compilation of the period of the CYCLES (see HAGIOGRAPHY and LITERATURE, COPTIC), but does not really belong to any of those known to us. The general structure reflects that of the famous Passion of PSOTE OF PSOI, while certain passages of the dispute with the governor are drawn from the Passion of Ignatius of Antioch.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus. Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche. Münster, 1972.
  • Hyvernat, H. Les Actes de martyrs de l’Egypte tirés des manuscrits coptes de la Bibliothèque Vaticane et du Musée Borgia. Paris, 1886-1887.
  • Schwartz,J.”Quelquesaspectsdupaganismed’aprèsdestextes coptes.” Bulletin de la Société d’Archéologie copte 16 (1961-1962):271-83.

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