02 NovemberNorth Transept Spire-G75

2nd November, the day commonly dedicated to the commemoration of the dead, is also the feast day of saints Acidinus, Pegasius and Anempodistus, all of whom suffered martyrdom in Persia during the period 310-370 AD. In fact, Shapur II was ruler at the time, the authoritative King of Persia who is remembered for the merciless persecutions he ordered, despite the freedom of religious faith that Emperor Constantine the Great had conceded his people before him. Anempodistus and the other future martyrs were considered a pillar of the Roman Empire, against which the king was fighting. Indeed, as a result of this conflict, whoever professed himself a Christian was considered an enemy of Persia and thus persecuted. But something amazing happened when Shapur II ordered the three saints to be captured and tortured: the wounds of the three Christians miraculously healed and the iron chains that held them prisoners in the cells broke, releasing them. They died around 350 AD but the echo of their pain and the miracles they granted survived so intensely in time as to be known halfway round the world. Carried from Persia to Constantinople, their relics were deposited in a specially build church for their cult. The statue that stands on Spire G75 is a reproduction of the original made in 1834, and it was only recently attributed to St. Anempodistus. Some Archive documents relative to the approval of sculptures for the project have enabled us to trace the identity of the original statue: “St. Anempodistus – Persian soldier and martyr”. The Saint is portrayed in lay clothes and, while the right arm is folded with the index finger pointing upwards, the left one is lowered with the hand originally holding a lance.