SAINT ARI or Uri
A priest of Shatanuf who was martyred under Diocletian (feastday: 9 Misrah). The text of his Passion has survived in only one Bohairic codex (Vatican Library, 61f., 69-89, ed. Hyvernat, 1886-1887). It begins with mention of the edict of Diocletian, brought by a dispatch bearer to the dux Armenius in Alexandria and then to Governor Culcianus of Pshati, who commands that it should be read out in public. Culcianus instructs soldiers to bring the priest Ari of the nearby town of Shatanuf (Shetnufe) to him, because word of Ari’s fame has reached his ears. This is followed by an argument in court, imprisonment, and torture.
The archangel MICHAEL appears to the saint in a vision. Then Culcianus sends Ari and others to Alexandria. There are the usual scenes of argument and torture, followed by miracles of healing performed by Ari. After nine months, Ari is again brought into court, where there are further arguments, miracles, and torture, followed by miraculous recovery. Finally there is the definitive sentence, and death, witnessed by Julius of Aqfahs.
This text has no particularly noteworthy features apart from the fact that it belongs to the Cycle of Julius of Aqfahs. It can be dated to the period of fictitious texts, that is, about the seventh century.
- Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus, Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche. Münster, 1972.
- Hyvernat, H., ed. Les Actes des martyrs de l’Egypte tirés des manuscrits coptes de la Bibliothèque vaticane et du Musée Borgia. Paris, 1886-1887.