Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
The Roman Captives in Persia, Martyrs
[In the year of Christ 362, of Sapor 53.] THE PERSIANS, in an incursion into the Christian territories, took by siege the castle Bethzarbe, on the Tigris, massacred the garrison, and led away nine thousand souls into captivity.Among these were Heliodorus, a bishop, Dausas and Mariabus, ancient priests, besides many other priests, monks, and nuns. The good bishop died on the road, but first ordained Dausas bishop in his place. The canons order a bishop not to be ordained but by three bishops: but this admits a dispensation in cases of necessity. Thus Theodoret says,1 that St. Eusebius of Samosata went about privately ordaining Catholic pastors to fill vacant sees: and St. Gregory allowed St. Austin to do the same in England.2 The captives assembled daily with Dausas, who celebrated the divine mysteries. When they were arrived on the confines of Assyria, it was left to the option of three hundred of them either to adore the sun or to die. Twenty-five complied with the injunction, and were rewarded with portions of land for their apostacy. The other two hundred and seventy-five remained constant with the bishop Dausas, and were all massacred together. See the Greek Manæa, Sozomen,3 and their original Chaldaic acts published by Assemani, t. 1, p. 134.
Note 2. Though the canon law most severely requires three bishops to the consecration of a bishop, yet ancient and modern examples so clearly demonstrate that one is sufficient with regard to the validity of the ordination, at least when done with a dispensation, that it is a matter of surprise how Tournely should deny it. [back]