Saint Irenaeus of Sirmium
Jun 30, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast March 24
Bishop and Martyr
Sirmium, then the capital of Pannonia, is in present-day Serbia.
Apart from his position as bishop, Irenaeus seems to have been a man of local importance.
Arrested during the terrible persecution of Diocletian, Irenaeus was brought before the governor, and commanded to offer sacrifice to the gods. At his refusal, he was stretched on the rack, but did not relent.
His mother, wife (at that time the laws of celibacy were different) and children hung about his neck begging him to save himself and not to abandon them.
Steeling himself against their entreaties, the holy prelate maintained silence, and was again imprisoned, willingly submitting himself to the cruelty of the torments by which the pagans hoped to shake him.
Publicly interrogated a second time – once more without effect – Bishop Irenaeus was sentenced to death by drowning for disobedience to the imperial edict.
At his protest that death by drowning was unworthy of a confessor of Christ, he begged to face the cruelest torments. He was finally beheaded.