PHOCAS, SAINT: Christian martyr. He is said to have been a gardener at Sinope in Pontus where he was famous for his lavish almsgiving and hospitality to strangers. He suffered martyrdom, as some hold, in the persecution under Trajan (98117); according to others, under Diocletian (284-305). In the East he is the patron saint of mariners, who are accustomed to revere him with hymns, call upon him when in distress at sea, and share with him a part of their profits by giving them to the poor. A magnificent church was erected to his honor at Constantinople by the emperor of the same name shortly before 610. The Phocas revered by Roman tradition as the bishop of Sinope must be the same person. Another Phocas must be a martyr of Antioch, a touch of the door of whose tomb, according to Gregory of Tours, was a cure for serpent bites.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Acta, by Bishop Asterius, are in ASB, Sept., vi. 293-299; in F. Combefis, Græco-Lat. patrum bibliothecæ: novum auctarium, i. 169-182, Paris, 1848; and L. Surius, Vita sanctorum, Sept., 22, 12 vols., Cologne, 1617-18. The anonymous Martyrium S. Phocas martyria et episcopi Sinope in Ponto, is in ASB, July, iii. 639-645. The Vita of Phocas the martyr of Antioch is in ASB, Mar., i. 366-367, and in Surius, ut sup., Mar., 5. Consult DOB, iv. 393-394.

PHŒBADIUS, fî-bê'di-us (FŒGADIUS, FITADIUS) : Bishop of Aginnum, the modern Agen (73 m. s.e. of Bordeaux); d. after 392. He skilfully confuted the second Sirmian formula (see ARIANISM, I., iii., § 6) in southern Gaul by means of western orthodoxy, in his work Liber contra Arianos (in the latter part of 357 or in 358; MPL, xx. 13-20), a work clear, animated, and occasionally ironical in argument and admirable and impressive in style. The main thought is that if Christ is not God he is not real Son. Known after the beginning of the sixteenth century is a tract, De fide orthodoxa contra Arianos (MPL, xx. 31-50) with an attached confession of faith, with which Phœbadius has been generally credited. At the Synod of Rimini in 359, Phœbadius obstinately defended orthodoxy, but finally with Servatio of Tongern was made to yield. These two bishops at a certain stage of the synod produced special formulas, "in which first Arius and all his unbelief are condemned, and secondly, the Son of God is not only pronounced to be equal with the Father but also without beginning." Phœbadius took part in the synods of Valence and Saragossa (380), and was still living in 392.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: K. Schönemann, Bibliotheca ... Patrum Latinorum, i. 309-312, Leipsic, 1792; Tillemont, Mémoires, vi. 427 128; Gallia Christiana, ii (1720), 895-897; J. Dräseke, in ZWT, 1890, pp. 78-98; F. W. F. Kattenbusch, Das apostolische Symbol, i. 171-173, Leipsic, 1894; Ceillier, Auteurs sacrés, v. 372-377; DCB, ii. 547 (under ' Fægadius ").


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 06/03/04. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely