Abercius of Hierapolis

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Abercius of Hierapolis (Greek: Αβέρκιος), also Abercius Marcellus, was an apologist and bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia during the second century and at the time of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. St. Abercius is commemorated on October 22.


Little is known of the life of St. Abercius. That he was the bishop of Heiropolis in the area called Phrygia Salutaris is known. An epitaph, that is attributed to him, on a stele now in the Vatican and known as the "Inscriptions of Abercius", bears witness in his comments on the dazzling seal of Baptism that unites Christians everywhere.[1] However, later interpretations of the "Inscription", written in Greek, introduced embellishments and vagueness of detail that led to debate through the centuries concerning their authenticity.

Abercius is said to have evangelized extensively throughout Syria, Cilicia, and Mesopotamia traveling even to Rome, visiting cities and villages, healing the sick and preaching the Kingdom of God. It is upon these great works that he is referred to as one Equal-to-the-Apostles. During his time in Rome, Abercius is said to have been imprisoned by Marcus Aurelius.

After returning to Hieropolis, St. Abercius reposed about 167.


Works ascribed to St. Abercius include:

An Epistle to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
A Book of Discipline addressed to his clergy; which is lost.
The Inscription of Abercius, preserved in the Vatican Museum.
Succession box:
Abercius of Hierapolis
Preceded by:
Bishop of Hierapolis
Succeeded by:
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See also

External link