Africius Bishop of Hierapolis The Saint
St. Africius (Ofrckios) Bishop of Hierapolis, a province of Phrygia, known for his love of deep prayer and piety, so he was spending nights at his church in prostration is conversing with his Master in a deep love for Him for the salvation of the whole world. Through this intense strong love for God, the Lord Granted him the talent of performing miracles and casting out devils.
His good reputation reached the ears of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180).
His love for the salvation of the Gentiles:
During one night he felt so bad due to the extreme spread of idolatry, he cried to God with tears for the salvation of all. Due to his excessive grief and exhaustion he fell asleep. He dreamed of an apparition of an angel of the Lord. The angel handed him a stick, and said to him: “ Go to the temple of the idols and smash all its idols”. When he woke up he realized that he saw a vision. On the spot he went at night to the temple of idols and started to destroy the idols till all the idols were crushed on the ground.
The guards felt that and fled to him to see him break their idols. They marveled his bravery, but he demonstrated the seriousness, saying: "The gods quarreled and fought, and broke each other". There arose a disturbance and the crowd came to see what happened. He sneaked away and left the place. In the morning, the crowds came to him to kill him, and three of them were naked men shouting. The bishop prayed for them and healed them. This scared the crowd and they had started shouting: "Great is the God of the Christians!" And many believed in Christ and were baptized. Many came to him seeking his guidance and prayers, and offer him their patients; He healed them in the name of our Lord Jesus.
In the palace of the emperor:
It was said that an evil spirit hit the daughter of Marcus Aurelius (Lucilla) just before her wedding. All who tried failed to treat her. As the name of this father was mentioned to the emperor, he sent him a request. So, in spite of his old age, he went to Rome. There the empress Faustina received him, because the Emperor was at war. When the Bishop prayed for the girl, the evil spirit went out. As the empress offered him gifts, he refused. Under urgency he accepted that wheat was to be sent to the poor of the Diocese, and a hospital was to be established at the mineral water side in "Agra" of the Pferejia vicinity. This aid was sent annually till Julian the disbeliever prevented it.
The bishop met with the believers in Rome and confirmed them in faith. As he felt that the dignity surrounded him, he did not stay for long. He returned to his country and on his way he visited some countries in Asia to strengthen the faith of the believers. He wandered in Syria, Mesopotamia and Nisibis. God worked everywhere through him. The Saint prepared for himself a grave, and grated it with the fish that is the symbol of the Christian faith. He wrote a short note describing the work of God with him during his visit to the palace. He departed in about 167 AD.
Butler: Lives of the Saints, Oct. 22.
May the blessings of his prayers be with all of us Amen.
|Arabic biography source of: Africius Bishop of Hierapolis The Saint|
|Translated by: Deacon Mina (servant of the LORD)||
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