To call the third century A.D. merely dangerous is an incomplete statement. It was chaotic, violent, and contentious. Imperial Rome was in chaos. The rule of law was spotty throughout the empire. Even where there was law, Christians regularly faced threats to life, limb, and reputation.
One such martyr was St. Sabinus, an official within the Egyptian city of Hermopolis. In 287, a persecution of Christians was launched there. (Although it happened early in the reign of the emperor Diocletian- 284-305- it is unlikely Diocletian initiated the campaign. His bile was fully released on Christians early in the fourth century.) St Sabinus and his companions hid in a remote village. An ungrateful beggar, previously helped by the saint, revealed his hiding place for a few gold coins. Sabinus and six other Christians were captured, tortured, and then drowned in the Nile for their failure to renounce their faith.
St. Sabinus is remembered this day in the Roman Catholic Church and on Monday the 16th in the Orthodox and Melkite Greek-Catholic calendars.
Kontakion – Tone 2
O God-bearing Sabinas, you are an unfading flower and bloom of divinity. Branch heavy-laden with fruit, fill with your gladness those who in faith honor your memory, and pray for us all unceasingly.