Sunday, October 07, 2012

Sergius and Bacchus: Martyred Lovers

Today is the feast of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, and over at the always impressive Jesus in Love Blog Kittredge Cherry has posted an informative and insightful commentary about these two saints, martyrs and lovers. Here's just a snippet . . .

. . . The close bond between Sergius and Bacchus has been emphasized since the earliest accounts, and recent scholarship has revealed their homosexuality. The oldest record of their martyrdom describes them as erastai (Greek for “lovers”). Scholars believe that they may have been united in the rite of adelphopoiesis (brother-making), a kind of early Christian same-sex marriage.

A classic example of paired saints, Sergius and Bacchus were high-ranking young officers. Sergius was primicerius (commander) and Bacchus was secundarius (subaltern officer). They were tortured to death after they refused to attend sacrifices to Zeus, thus revealing their secret Christianity. . . .

To read Kitt's post on Saints Sergius and Bacchus in its entirety, and to view more artistic depictions of the two saints, click here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Sergius and Bacchus: Martyrs, Saints, Lovers
Honoring (and Learning from) the Passion of Saints Sergius and Bacchus

Image: “Sts. Sergius and Bacchus” by Plamen Petrov, St. Martha Church, Morton Grove, IL.

1 comment:

Kittredge Cherry said...

Thanks for the beautiful write-up. I am glowing from your kind words about my “always impressive” blog. I’m glad that the feast day of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus did not pass unnoticed at the Wild Reed this year.

Their stained-glass portrait (at the top of your post) really is gorgeous, isn’t it? It is one of my all-time favorite images of any “queer saints.”