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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VII: July. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

July 21

St. Barhadbesciabas, Deacon, Martyr

IN the fifteenth year of the great persecution raised in Persia by king Sapor II. by the command of Sapor Tamsapor governor of Adiabene, Barhadbesciabas, the zealous deacon of the city of Arbela, was apprehended and put on the rack. Whilst he was tormented, the officers continually cried out to him: “Worship water and fire, and eat the blood of beasts, and you shall be immediately set at liberty.” But the blessed deacon Barhadbesciabas showed by the cheerfulness of his countenance, that the interior joy of his happy soul overcame the torments he felt in his body. He often said to the judge, “Neither you nor your king, nor any manner of torments shall ever be able to separate me from the love of Jesus: Him alone have I served from my infancy to this old age.” The tyrant at length condemned him to be beheaded, and commanded Aghæus, an apostate Christian nobleman, to be his executioner. The holy deacon stood bound waiting with joy for the happy moment which was to associate him to the angels; but Aghæus trembled so as not to be able to give the blow. He struck, however, seven times at the martyr’s neck, and not being able to sever his head from his body, run his sword into his bowels; of which wound the holy deacon expired soon after. The judge set guards to watch the blessed corpse; but two clerks carried it off in the night, and buried it after the Roman fashion. He suffered on the 20th day of the moon of July, in the year 354, of Sapor II. 45. See his genuine Chaldaic acts in Assemani, t. 1, p. 129.  1