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Phileas of Thmuis, St.


Martyr, first known bishop of thmuis in the Nile Delta, Egypt; d. Feb. 4, 306. Phileas was a learned and distinguished native of Thmuis who held many civil offices before his conversion and consecration as bishop. Imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution, he joined with three other Egyptian bishops, Hesychius, Pachomius, and Theodorus, in addressing a protest to Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis. Meletius's adherents had invaded their dioceses as well as that of Alexandria, thus beginning the meletian schism. The Acta of Phileas's martyrdom and eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History (8.9.710, 12; 8.13.7) tell of Phileas's trial and beheading with Philoromus, an eminent Roman official. The Acta and a stirring letter of Phileas to his people of Thmuis, given by Eusebius, are regarded by most scholars as authentic.

Feast: Feb. 4 (Latin Church); Jan. 9 (Greek Church).

Bibliography: eusebius, Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 271 v., indexes 4 v. (Paris 187890) 23:687; Ecclesiastical History (Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte 9.13; 190309) 2:758764, 772773. r. knopf and g. krueger, eds., Ausgewählte Märtyrerakten (Tübingen 1929) 111116. Patrologia Graeca, ed. j. p. migne, 161 v. (Paris 185766) 18:509510, letter of bishops. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. f. cabrol, h. leclercq, and h. i. marrou, 15 v. (Paris 190753) 14.1:703709. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 1061. h. delehaye, Analecta Bollandiana 40 (1922) 299314. f. halkin, ibid. 81 (1963) 127. Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 58 (1963) 136139. m. simonetti, Studi agiografici (Rome 1955) 109132. Apologie de Philéas, évêque de Thmouis, ed. v. martin (Cologny-Genève 1964).

[m. c. mccarthy]

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