December 10: Martyrs Menas the Most Eloquent, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria (ca.313); Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia (Gemellus of Ancyra), cruelly tortured and crucified (361); Hieromartyr Theotecnus, by the sword; Martyr Marianus, by stoning; Martyr Eugenios, beaten to death; Venerable Thomas Dephourkinos of Mt. Kyminas in Bithynia (Thomas the Righteous) (10th c.); Saints Carpophorus and Abundius, a priest and his deacon who suffered under Diocletian (ca.290-300); Virgin-martyr Eulalia of Barcelona, the most famous virgin-martyr in Spain, burnt at the stake under Diocletian (304); Saint Julia of Mérida, a martyr together with St Eulalia, in Mérida in Spain under Diocletian (304); Saint Mercurius and Companions, at Lentini in Sicily, soldiers who were beheaded under the governor Tertyllus, in the time of Emperor Licinius (ca. 308); Pope Saint Miltiades, Pope of Rome, who condemned Donatism and was venerated as a martyr on account of his many sufferings during the persecution of Maximian (314); Saint Sindulf of Vienne (Sindulphus), the thirty-first Bishop of Vienne in France (ca.669); Saint Deusdedit of Brescia, Bishop of Brescia in Italy, played a leading part in the Councils against Monothelitism (ca.700); Pope Saint Gregory III, who was much troubled by Iconoclasm and the raids of the Lombards (741); Saint Guitmarus, fourth Abbot of Saint-Riquier in France (765); Saint Hildemar (Hildemanus), a monk at Corbie who became Bishop of Beauvais in France in 821 (844); Blessed Jovan Branković, King of Serbia (1503), and his parents Stephen the Blind (1468) and Saint Angelina (Brancovic) (16th c.) Saint Ioasaph (Gorlenko) of Belgorod (1754) (see also September 4); New Hieromartyr Alexander (Shklaev) of Perm, Protopresbyter (1918); New Hieromartyr Jacob (Shestakov) of Perm, Priest (1918); Hieromartyr Eugraphus (Pletnev) of Perm, Priest, and his son (1918); New Hieromartyrs of Ryazan: Protopresbyters - Anatolius (Pravdoliubov), Alexander (Tuberovsky), Eugene (Kharkov), and Constantine (Bazhanov) (1937), and with them: New Hieromartyr Priest Nicholas (Karasiov), - Martyrs Peter (Grishin), Michael (Yakunkin), Eusebius (Tryakhov), Dorotheus (Klimashev), Laurentius (Kogtyev), and Gregory (Berdenev), - Virgin-martyrs Alexandra (Ustiukhina) and Tatiana (Yegorova), - New Hieromartyr Priest Michael, and New Hieromartyr Sergius (Sorokin), Hieromonk of Sreznevo (Ryazan) (1937); Virgin-martyr Eudocia (after 1937); New Hieromartyr Protopresbyter Nicholas (Rozov) of Yaroslavl-Rostov (1938); New Hieromartyr Alexis, Priest (1938); Virgin-martyrs Anna and Tatiana, Confessors (1948); Virgin-martyr Thecla, Confessor (1954); Venerable New Nun-Confessor Anna, Schema-nun of Sreznevo (Ryazan) (1958); Other Commemorations: Synaxis of the Archangel Michael at the Adda River in northern Italy, before the Battle of Coronate (689); Commemoration of Blessed Juliana (Ulana), first cousin of St. Joasaph (18th c.).
Martyr under Diocletian, about 295. According to the Greek Acts published with Latin translation in "Analecta Bollandiana", III 258 (Surlus XI 241), Menas, a Christian and an Egyptian by birth, served in the Roman army under the tribune Firmilian. When the army came to Cotyaeus in Phrygia, Menas hearing of the impious edicts issued against the Christians by the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian left the army, retired to a solitude in the mountains and served God by fasting vigils and prayer. During the celebration of a great festival Menas appeared in the midst of the populace in the circus, and fearlessly professed bis faith. He was led before the prefect Pyrrhus, cruelly scourged, put to torture and finally beheaded. His body was brought to Egypt and the martyr was soon invoked in many needs and afflictions. The fame of the miracles wrought, spread far and wide and thousands of pilgrims came to the grave in the desert of Mareotis between Alexandria and the valley of Natron. For centuries Bumma (Karm-Abum-Abu Mina) was a national sanctuary and grew into a large city with costly temples a holy well, and baths. A beautiful basilica was erected by the Emperor Arcadius. The cult was spread into other countries, perhaps by travelling merchants who honoured him as their patron. As a result of various vicissitudes the doctrinal disputes and the conquest of Egypt by the Arabians under Omar in 641 the sanctuary was neglected and ultimately forgotten. During 1905 Mgr C.M. Kaufmann of Frankfort led an expedition into Egypt which made excavations at Bumma. He found in a vast field of ruins, the grave, the well and thermae, the basilica, the monastery, numerous inscriptions on the walls imploring aid through the intercession of the saint, and thousands of little water pitchers and oil lamps. The rich finds are partly in the Museum of Alexandria and Cairo, and partly in Frankfort and Berlin. The monsignor published an official report of his expedition in 1908, "La découverte des Sanctuaires de Menas dans le désert de Mareotis". His feast is celebrated on 11 November.
Several saints of the name Menas were highly honoured in the ancient Church about whose identity or diversity much dispute is raised. Delahaye (Anal. Boll., XXIX, 117) comes to the conclusion that Menas of Mareotis, Menas of Cotyaes, and Menas of Constantinople, surnamed Kallikelados, are one and the same person, that he was an Egyptian and suffered martyrdom in his native place, that a basilica was built over his grave which became one of the great sanctuaries of Christendom, that churches were built in his honour at Cotyaeus and Constantinople, and gave rise to local legends.