When They Lived:
St. Benjamin, also known as Benjamin of Persia, lived during the late 5th century. He was born around 410 AD and met his tragic end in the year 424 AD.
Where They Lived:
St. Benjamin’s life unfolded in the historical region of Persia, present-day Iran. He was part of the Christian community in Persia during a tumultuous period in the region’s history.
Notable World Events During the Time of Their Life:
- Fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD): As St. Benjamin’s life overlapped with the decline of the Western Roman Empire, he witnessed the pivotal moment when the last Roman emperor was deposed. This event marked the end of an era and the beginning of the medieval period in Europe.
- Council of Ephesus (431 AD): The Council of Ephesus, a significant event in the early Christian church, occurred during St. Benjamin’s lifetime. This ecumenical council aimed to address the Nestorian heresy and solidify the belief in the divine motherhood of Mary, thus shaping the trajectory of Christian theology.
- Life of St. Patrick (c. 385–461 AD): While St. Benjamin lived in Persia, another notable figure, St. Patrick, was active in Ireland. St. Patrick’s missionary efforts and his role in spreading Christianity throughout Ireland highlight the global scope of the Christian faith during this period.
- Founding of the Gupta Empire (c. 320–550 AD): In distant India, the Gupta Empire was flourishing during St. Benjamin’s lifetime. This era is often referred to as the “Golden Age of India” due to advancements in arts, sciences, and culture. The empire’s achievements had a global impact.
- Attila the Hun’s Invasions (5th century): St. Benjamin lived during a time when the notorious Attila the Hun was making his mark in Europe. The fear and turmoil caused by these invasions would have resonated even in Persia, reflecting the interconnectedness of events across continents.
- Death of Hypatia (415 AD): The tragic death of Hypatia, a renowned philosopher and mathematician in Alexandria, serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by intellectual and academic figures during St. Benjamin’s time. It underscores the importance of preserving knowledge and diverse perspectives.
St. Benjamin is recognized as the patron saint of those who are persecuted for their faith. His own life is a testament to his unwavering commitment to Christianity, even in the face of severe persecution. His story serves as an inspiration for individuals who find themselves in situations where their beliefs are challenged or threatened.
Benjamin, who was a deacon, was imprisoned for a year, and the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II, through an ambassador, facilitated his release. The ambassador agreed on Benjamin’s behalf that he would be released on the condition that he would abandon preaching and speaking about his Christian religion.
Benjamin, on the other hand, did not agree, as he strongly believed that it was his duty to evangelize and tell others about Christ. He continued to preach, which resulted in him being arrested again, and he was brought before the King.
The emperor then ordered that St. Benjamin be tortured. This was after he had asked St. Benjamin to deny Him, whom he worshiped, and St. Benjamin assertively refused.
Reeds were stuck under his nails, both on the toes and fingers, and they were drawn. The process was repeated with violence. The reeds were also inserted into some of his tender parts. A knotty stake was also thrust into his bowels, resulting in the tearing of his internal organs, and this was the final straw that resulted in him becoming a martyr for his Christian faith in the year AD 424.
He showed Christians that no matter how much pain they endured, they must continue proclaiming the gospel.
Benjamin’s feast day is celebrated on the 31st of March. He is known as the patron saint of preachers.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Benjamin
- St. Benjamin is considered a Martyr by the Roman Catholics, but he
is not involved in the General Roman Calendar.
- St. Benjamin is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on
the 13th of October.
- He knew exactly what would happen to him, but he deliberately
decided to continue preaching the gospel.
- The St. Benjamin medal usually depicts him while in jail while still
holding on to his faith.
- When the reeds were driven into his nails, he took it as a child’s
play, and this angered the king.
Prayer to St. Benjamin
Glorious Saint Benjamin, constant preacher and Martyr for the Faith,filled with compassion for those who invoke you, I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you to take my present need under your special protection. voucher to recommend it to our Lord Jesus. Please cease to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace to one day meet God face-to-face, and with you and Mary and all the angels and saints, praise Him through all eternity. Amen.