SAINTS PAESE AND TECLA
A brother and sister who were martyrs under Diocletian (feast day: 8 Kiyahk). The text of their Passion has survived in one complete manuscript in Sahidic and in other fragments (Reymond-Barnes, 1973; cf. Browne, 1974).
Paese was a rich property owner from Pousire, near Shmun; Tecla was his widowed sister. When the persecutions begin, they both visit the prisons to help the martyrs. On the invitation of Paul, a merchant friend, Paese goes to Alexandria, where he also helps the martyrs in prison. During this period Victor is brought to Alexandria. Seeing Victor’s torture, Paese confesses to the prefect Armenius that he too is a Christian and he is imprisoned. There follow scenes of courtroom argument, torture, and miracles.
Receiving no news of Paese, Tecla goes to Alexandria to look for him. She is miraculously accompanied on her journey by the Virgin Mary and angels. When she reaches Alexandria, she finds Paese in prison and comforts him and the other martyrs. Then she confesses her faith in court. After various other forms of torture, the two saints are handed over to Eutichian and taken to suffer martyrdom in Tepot. In the conclusion Julius of Aqfahs claims authorship of the text.
This is a typical fictitious account from the late period of the Cycles, particularly of the type constructed around the figure of Julius of Aqfahs.
- Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus. Der Märtyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche, pp. 123-24. Münster, 1972.
- Browne, G. M. The Martyrdom of Paese and Thecla (P. Mich. Inv. 548). Das christliche Deutschland, Evangelische Reihe 49. Freiburg, 1974.
- Reymond, E. A. W., and J. W. B. Barnes. Four Martyrdoms from the Pierpoint Morgan Coptic Codices. Oxford, 1973.