Last updated
Saint Parmenas
Died 98
Philippi, Macedonia
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast 23 January

Parmenas was one of the Seven Deacons. He is believed to have preached the gospel in Asia Minor. Parmenas suffered martyrdom in 98, under the persecution of Trajan. [1]

Seven Deacons

The Seven, often known as the Seven Deacons, were leaders elected by the Early Christian church to minister to the community of believers in Jerusalem, to enable the Apostles to concentrate on 'prayer and the Ministry of the Word' and to address a concern raised by Greek-speaking believers about their widows being overlooked in the daily diakonia or ministry. The words food or funds never appear in any Greek manuscript of the New Testament. The words first make their appearance in translations of the Bible from the 1940's onwards. In the context Chapter six of Acts the daily diakonia must refer to the ministry of the Word and not food or funds. The section concludes by stating that the word of God continued to spread and makes no mention of widows receiving more food or funds.The ministry to be undertaken is preaching the word to Greek speakers. The works of Stephen and Philip are the only two recorded and their works concern preaching, catechising and baptising. Philip is simply referred to as "the evangelist" in Chapter 18. Their appointment is described in Chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles. According to a later tradition they are supposed to have also been among the Seventy Disciples who appear in the Gospel of Luke. Although the Seven are not called 'deacons' in the New Testament, their role is described as 'diaconal', and they are therefore often regarded as the forerunners of the Christian order of deacons.

Gospel description of the life of Jesus, canonical or apocryphal

Gospel originally meant the Christian message itself, but in the 2nd century it came to be used for the books in which the message was set out. The four canonical gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — were probably written between AD 66 and 110, building on older sources and traditions, and each gospel has its own distinctive understanding of Jesus and his divine role. All four are anonymous, and it is almost certain that none were written by an eyewitness. They are the main source of information on the life of Jesus as searched for in the quest for the historical Jesus. Modern scholars are cautious of relying on them unquestioningly, but critical study attempts to distinguish the original ideas of Jesus from those of the later authors. Many non-canonical gospels were also written, all later than the four, and all, like them, advocating the particular theological views of their authors.

Trajan Roman emperor from 98 to 117

Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Officially declared by the Senate optimus princeps, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death. He is also known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world.

Christian tradition identifies him as the Bishop of Soli. Some take this to be Soli, Cyprus, [2] while others interpret it as Soli, Cilicia. [3]

Soli, Cyprus city of Cyprus

Soli or Soloi is an ancient Greek city in the island of Cyprus, located southwest of Morphou (Guzelyurt), and on the coast in the gulf of Morphou and dates back to about the 6th century BC. Since 1974 the city has lain in the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Soli, Cilicia Antic city of Cilicia

Soli, often rendered Soli/Pompeiopolis, was an ancient city and port in Cilicia, 11 km west of Mersin in present-day Turkey.


  1. Saint Parmenas Archived 2009-03-17 at the Wayback Machine . Patron Saints Index
  2. McBrien, Richard P. (2009). The Pocket Guide to the Saints. p. 298.
  3. Beers, V. Gilbert (1996). The Victor Journey Through the Bible. p. 350.

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