St Acacius

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Bishop of Antioch. According to legend, this third century saint was so revered by his flock that they nicknamed him 'Agathangelus' which means 'The Good Angel'.

When the Emperor Decius began persecuting Christians, it is said not a single Christian in his diocese denied their faith.

In 261 a representative of Decius named Martian summoned the bishop for cross-examination. Acacius told him that all the Christians were loyal to the Emperor, but when he was asked to make a sacrifice to the gods he refused.

Instead of immediately sentencing him to death, Martian continued the cross-examination and they are said to have spent hours discussing philosophy. Martian was so impressed with St Acacius' arguments he sent a transcript of the interview to the emperor, who pardoned him.