Abdas of Susa

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Abdias (Abidas or Obadiah) of Persia (Menologion of Basil II).jpg
Born4th century
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Eastern Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy
Feast May 16

Abdas, (also Abda, Abdias, and Audas) was bishop of Susa in Iran. Socrates of Constantinople calls him "bishop of Persia". [1]

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

Susa ancient city in Iran

Susa was an ancient city of the Proto-Elamite, Elamite, First Persian Empire, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires of Iran, and one of the most important cities of the Ancient Near East. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about 250 km (160 mi) east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers. The site now "consists of three gigantic mounds, occupying an area of about one square kilometer, known as the Apadana mound, the Acropolis mound, and the Ville Royale mound."

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia and officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.



Abdas was born in fourth-century Chaldor to a Zoroastrian mother, who educated him in matters of virtue. After Abdas reached adulthood, he was ordained a Christian priest, and built up in his hometown a monastery and a school, which grew to have around 60 teachers. Abdas baptized many converts in Chaldor, which caused the magi to arrest him. In prison, Abdas was subjected to humiliations, hunger and pain, but remained a Christian until his release. Abdas became a bishop in Kaskhar (Susa). [2]

Abdas was an associate of Maruthas of Martyropolis. Abdas is supposed to have helped Maruthas in driving out a demon from King Yezdegerd's son. [1] However, his impetuosity, put an end to the good relations between the Persian king and the Christian community. Engaged in a dispute with the local magi in AD 420, Abdas destroyed one of the fire temples of the Zoroastrians. Complaint was made to King Yazdegerd, who ordered the bishop to restore the building and make good all damage that he had committed. Abdas refused to rebuild a heathen temple at his own expense. [3] These events soured the relationship between the Christian church and the Persian government, which had previously been good, and caused a wave of persecution against the Christians in Persia. [4] The result was that orders were issued for the destruction of all churches, and these were carried out by the Zoroastrians, who had regarded with great envy the royal favour extended to Maruthas and his co-religionists. Before long the destruction of churches developed into a general persecution, in which Abdas was one of the first martyrs. [5]

Maruthas of Martyropolis 5th century Christian Saint

Saint Maruthas or Marutha of Martyropolis was a Syrian monk who became bishop of Maypherkat in Mesopotamia (Meiafarakin) for a period beginning before 399 through 410. He's believed to have died before 420. He is venerated as a Saint by Catholics, Greek Orthodox believers and Copts, his feast being kept on 4 December.

Magi group of people who follow Mazdaism or Zoroaster

Magi denotes followers of Zoroastrianism or Zoroaster. The earliest known use of the word Magi is in the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great, known as the Behistun Inscription. Old Persian texts, pre-dating the Hellenistic period, refer to a Magus as a Zurvanic, and presumably Zoroastrian, priest.

Christians people who adhere to Christianity

Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).

His companions included the priests Hashu and Isaac, the secretary Ephrem, the hypodeacon Papa, the laymen Daduk and Durdan, and Papa, a brother of Abdas himself were also killed. His feast day is 5 September or 16 May [6] in the Roman Catholic Church, and March 31 in the Syrian church.


  1. 1 2 Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical history, vii. 8 Archived 2005-01-18 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. "Saint Abdas”. New Catholic Dictionary, 29 January 2011 Archived 30 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine .
  3. Stokes, G.T., "Isdigerdes (I)", A dictionary of Christian biography, literature, sects and doctrine, ( William Smith & Henry Wace, eds.); London, John Murray (1882), p. 303.
  4. Theodoret, v. 39 Archived 2005-02-20 at the Wayback Machine .
  5. Oussani, Gabriel. "Persia." The Catholic Encyclopedia Archived 2009-10-29 at the Wayback Machine . Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 17 July 2016
  6. "St. Abdas - Catholic Online". Catholic Online. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-09-08.

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