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Major Christian Saints, Bishops and Martyrs M - P

Mercury (SM)

His soldier saint said to be of Scythian origin fought so well against the invading barbarians, he became a favorite of the emperor Decius. After his conversion to Christianity, he refused to sacrifice to Artemis at a pagan festival, attracting the attention on himself. Later, he was tortured and taken to his home town in Cappadocia and beheaded at Caeserea.
Methodius of Constantinople (B)

He was born at Syracuse and died at Constantinople C.847. He has had hard times, when he supported the representation of sacred images in the churches, during iconoclastic movement that banned the religious figures. Especially, under the emperor Michael II, he was flogged many times and kept in close confinement. His met his fortune when Theodora became regent in 842 and appointed Methodisius patriarch of Constantinople. Soon he summoned a council to put an end to iconoclastic controversy. Also, to emphasize this event, a festival called Orthodoxy was instituted and is still celebrated in Byzantine churches.
Methodius of Olympia (BM)

This Methodius is called of Olympia, because his birth place is at the ancient city Olympia ,in the area called Lycia which is in the southern Turkey. Our information about his life is extremely limited. But his works have survived, the famous ones are Symposium and Banquet of the Ten Virgins a dialogue about the excellence of the virginity and ends up with a hymn to Christ.
Narses the First (B)

Born in Armenia C. 325 and died there C. 373. He has been to Caeserea area where he learned the principles of Christianity and later used these principles to build the Armenian church in his home land where he had some opposition from locals and Armenian King because of his import of the doctrine from Cappadocia.
Nestorius (B)

He was born at Germanicia in Southeast Turkey. He was a student of Theodore of Mopsuestia whose ideas he kept and echoed faithfully. Nestorius became bishop of Constantinople in 428, and began his attacks on Arian Heretics. He was brought about his condemnation at the Council of Ephesus in 431, because of his support for his chamberlain Anastasisus who earlier objected to the popularized description of Mary as bearer of God. At the end of Council meeting, Nestorius was condemned heretic and exiled. During his years in exile, he wrote his work The Bazaar of Heraclides in which Nestorius attempts to justify his position and answer the criticism of Cyril of Alexandria. Nestorius died in the upper Egypt about the year 451.
Nicephorus of Antioch (M)

Nicephorus was born at Antioch. He and another priest called Sapricius had a quarrel over something. On occasions Nicephorus attempted to make peace and reconciliation with Sapricius, but each time Sapricius refused him. Later, Sapricius was sentenced to death because of his faith. On the way to execution place, the last attempt by Nicephorus was also turned. But, right before his execution, Sparicius offered to sacrifice to Pagan gods to save himself. This time Nicephorus said that he was also a Christian and ready to die. He was momentously beheaded right there. The Historians place this event in the Persecutions of the emperor Valerian.
Nicephorus of Constantinople (B)

Nicephorus the patriarch of Constantinople in the 9 C. who was in conflict with the iconoclasts and because of his opposition he was deposed from his see in 815, by the emperor Leo V. He was imprisoned along with Theodore the Studite the abbot of Studios Monastery in Constantinople and spent the rest of his life in exiles. He left behind him many writings, and a book of world history.
Nicetas (M)

Nicetas was a Goth by origin, and hi story is associated with Sabas the Goth. Very little is known about his life, however we know that he was burned to death because of his belief, and his body was taken to Mopsuestia in Cilicia southern Turkey, and buried there.
Nicholas (Santa Claus) (SB)

Probably the most popular of the Saints in the Christian world and sometimes known as Santa Claus. The patron saint of children, sailors, travelers and prisoners. He was born to a wealthy family at Patara in southwestern Turkey C. 300. Patara his birth place was a flourishing city especially in the Roman times. The remains of this city that are still visible there prove this fact. In his youth he traveled to Palestine and Egypt, later he became bishop of Myra, a town to the west of Antalya in Mediterranean Turkey. When he was bishop at Myra, his influence was already great all over Anatolia, and by the 6 C. a church was built and dedicated to him in Constantinople. He was also present at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, and he met such a strong opposition from Arius the heretic. One of the local stories told about him is, in the time of famine a butcher cut up the bodies of three children and put them in a barrel of salt, intending to sell them for food. The St. Nicholas was told by an angel in his dream about the incident, and hastened to the butcher's house and restored the children back to life. Another story says, a young girl with no money to buy her dowries was about to take up a prostitution life, St. Nicholas had thrown three bags of gold into their garden and enabled the girl to buy her dowries and get married. This story probably gave the way the custom of giving presents to children at Christmas time. Today, there is a nice church at Myra in which the Saint was buried in a sarcophagus and his tomb has survived the Arab raids, but in 1087, the remaining parts of his body was taken to Bari in Italy by the Italian merchants. When they broke the tomb, they found the bones of the Saint covered in Myrrh. His body and some other relics kept in the church of Myra were removed to the Cathedral in Bari, and the remaining parts are in Antalya Museum.
Nilus of Ancyra (S)

He was born at Ancyra (modern Ankara) and died there C. 432. He became a disciple of John Chrysostom the famous patriarch of Constantinople. He received his education at Constantinople, and on returning to his home town, he founded a monastery there where he wrote his writings. His letters tell us he was of great capability of correspondence with different parts of the Christian world.
Olympias (S)

She was one of the active ladies in the Christian history. She was born at Nicomedia in C. 366 and died C. 407. When she was eighteen, she married Nebridius the prefect of the city, and less than two years she was a widow. She was a faithful lady to St. John Chrysostom, even he was banished from his see in Constantinople. As John Chrysostom has written many letters in person to her, obviously she was one of the beloved deaconess of him. Her determination not to marry again rose questions about her. Apparently she was a wealthy lady as she had made considerable donations for charitable purposes. She was warned by John Chrysostom to be more careful in her benefactions. After St. John was deposed, Olympias was one of the who suffered because her full support of him. When she was questioned about the burning of Hagia Sophia church in Istanbul her answer were so irony and bold that she was fined heavily and dragged from place to place. John Chrysostom wrote her seventeen letters when he was on exile, most these letters were about the news of himself and his appreciation for her services.
Pantelon (M)

He was born at Nicomedia (modern Izmit) and martyred there. He was the court physician to the emperor Galerius. When he separated from the public life on an advise from one his friends, he came under suspicions that resulted in his execution under the emperor Diocletian's persecutions. Because of his profession, he became the most popular patron saint of Medical world.

See above under Carpus & Papylus


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