Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Cyrus and St. John, Martyrs
CYRUS, a physician of Alexandria, who by the opportunities which his profession gave him, had converted many sick persons to the faith; and John, an Arabian, hearing that a lady called Athanasia, and her three daughters, of which the eldest was only fifteen years of age, suffered torments for the name of Christ at Canope in Egypt, went thither to encourage them. They were apprehended themselves, and cruelly beaten: their sides were burned with torches, and salt and vinegar poured into their wounds in the presence of Athanasia and her daughters, who were also tortured after them. At length the four ladies, and a few days after, Cyrus and John, were beheaded, the two latter on this day. The Syrians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Latins, honour their memory. See their acts1 by St. Sophronius, commended in the seventh general council, and published with remarks by Bollandus.
Note 1. St. Cyrus is the same as Abba-Cher, mentioned in the Coptic calendar on this day, which is the 6th of their month Mechir. He is called Abbacyrus in the life of St. John the Almoner, written by Leontius, in many ancient Martyrologies, and other monuments of antiquity. Abbacyrus is a Chaldaic word, signifying the Father Cyr. As this saint was an Egyptian, it is probable he was originally called Pa-Cher, or Pa-Cyrus, the Egyptians having been accustomed to prefix the article Pa to the names of men, as we see in Pa-chomis, Pa-phantis, Pa-phnutis, &c. It is said in the acts of our two martyrs, that they were buried at Canopus, twelve furlongs from Alexandria, and that their relics were afterwards translated to Manutha, a village near Canopus, which was celebrated for a great number of miracles wrought there. These relics are now in a church at Rome, called St. Apassara: this word being corrupted by the Italians from Abbacyrus. Formerly there were many churches in that city dedicated under the invocation of these two holy martyrs. See Chatelain, notes on the Rom. Mart. p. 469. et seq. [back]