Abibus of Nekressi

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The holy, glorious, right-victorious hieromartyr Abibus of Nekressi, also called Aviv, was the Bishop of Nekressi, of Zaden in Georgia during the sixth century. He arrived in Georgia as a member of the group of thirteen Syrian fathers from Cappadocia who were the founding fathers of monastic life in Georgia. St. Abibus is commemorated on November 29 and, with the Syrian Fathers, on May 7.

Abibus was a member of the group of thirteen holy fathers, led by St. John of Zedazeni, who were welcomed to Georgia by King Parsman VI and Catholicos Evlavius to enlighten the people of Georgia. After they arrived in Georgia, the holy fathers settled on the Zedazeni mountain and established a monastic community that soon attracted many Christian believers and disciples.

At the request of King Parsman VI and Catholicos Evlavius, holy father Abibus was soon consecrated Bishop of Nekressi. During Bp. Abibus' time, the eastern part of Georgia, Kakhetia, came under the control of the Persians who spread the practices of the Zoroastrian religion. Bp. Abibus, with apostolic zeal, went from town to village in his diocese and preached against the coarse superstitions and successfully brought the mountain people on the left bank of the Alazani River to reject the fire-worship practices of the Zoroastrians.

The Persian authorities were much troubled by the success of Bp. Abibus' preaching. When Bp. Abibus poured water on their fire bearing altars of sacrifice to extinguish it, they seized him. Before the Persian Satrap, Bp. Abibus refused his demand to become a follower of Zoroaster and denounced the Satrap of being an idol worshiper.

Bp. Abibus was then sent to be scourged and subjected to other terrible tortures before he was stoned to death and accepted martyrdom. After Bp. Abibus died the Persian viceroy (marzipan) ordered that his body be cast out for three days to be devoured by the wild animals. But, to the marzipan's amazement, neither wild beast, bird, or corruption touched his holy relics.

Monks from Rechi Monastery collected the body of the new martyr on the fourth night to Samtavro Monastery in Mtskheta where his relics were solemnly buried under the altar table in the altar.

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