Mamas of Caesarea

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St Mamas, the lamb and the lion: icon in the church at Morphou
Saint Mamas was martyred c. 275 at the age of 15 in Cappadocia. He preached Christianity during his teenage years, and a lion from the fields is said to have remained with him as companion. In iconography, his attribute is the lion. His feast day is August 17 in the Roman calendar and September 2 in the Orthodox calendar.

In Cyprus Saint Mamas is popularly known as a poor hermit who lived in a cave near the Cypriot town of Morphou (Guzelyurt). According to local tradition he was a hermit living in very poor circumstances and when the Ottoman authorities tried to tax him, he evaded them. Soldiers were sent out and captured him but on the way back to town, he saw a lion attacking a lamb, escaped the soldiers, saved the lamb, jumped on the lion's back and in that way came to town. His bravery earned him exemption from tax.

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