Archdiocese of Chicago Locators:  Parishes | Elementary Schools | High Schools
Black Catholic Initiative
:: Department of Parish Life and Formation
 Black Saints – October

October 1 – Sts. Aizan and Saza
(360 AD) 

Saint Aizan and his brother Sazan were chieftains in Abyssinia, who were zealous to spread the Good News in their homeland. Their enthusiasm attracted the friendship of St. Athanasius (Benedictines).

October 8 – St. Thais
(c. 350 AD)

Thais was a wealthy woman raised in Alexandria, Egypt, as a Christian. She decided to become a courtesan. Repenting of her lifestyle through the influence of St. Paphnutius, she gave up her money and entered a convent where she was walled up for three years to perform extreme penance for her dissolute habits. Finally, at the urging of St. Anthony, she was released from her spiritual incarceration and permitted to join the other women of the convent, dying a mere fifteen days after her release.

October 10 – St. Cerbonius
(573 AD, African missionary Bishop in Italy)

Cerbonius was driven from Africa by the Vandals. He immigrated with St. Regulus to Tuscany and succeeded Regulus as bishop of Populonia. He was ordered to be killed by wild beasts by King Totila of the Ostrogoths, during his invasion of Tuscany, for hiding several Roman soldiers. Cerbonius was miraculously saved, but he spent his last thirty years of his life in exile on Elba.

October 11 – St. Michael Aragave
(4th century)

St. Michael Aragave was one of the first Ethiopian monks.

October 11 – St. Sarmata
(357 AD)

Martyr of Egypt. He was a disciple of St. Anthony in the deserts of Egypt, murdered by a band of Bedouins. A monastic pioneer, he was a follower of the Desert Fathers.

October 12 – 5000 African martyrs and confessors of the faith
(483 AD)

African martyrs deported and killed for their faith by the Vandal King Huneric.

October 27 – St. Frumentius (Abuna Salama) and Aedesius
(380 AD, Syriac monks and founders of the Church in Ethiopia)

Called “Abuna” or “the father” of Ethiopia, sent to that land by St. Athanasius. Frumentius was born in Tyre, Lebanon. While on a voyage in the Red Sea with St. Aedesius, possibly his brother, only Frumentius and Aedesius survived the shipwreck. Taken to the Ethiopian royal court at Aksum, they soon attained high positions. Aedesius was royal cup bearer, and Fruementius was a secretary. They introduced Christianity to that land. When Abreha and Asbeha inherited the Ethiopian throne from their father, Frumentius went to Alexandria, Egypt, to as St. Athanasius to send a missionary to Ethiopia. He was consecrated a bishop and converted many more upon his return to Aksum. Frumentius and Aedesius are considered the apostles of Ethiopia.

October 27 – St. Elesbaan
(555 AD)

Christian king of Ethiopia, probably a Monophysite, called Calam-Negus by the Abyssinians. He fought the Jewish usurper Dunaan, who had committed atrocities against Christians. Elesbaan was also guilty of dreadful revenges against Dunaan’s followers. He resigned, leaving the throne to his son, and ended his life as an eremite.

October 27 – St. Lalibala
(1255 AD)

An Ethiopian Emperor revered for his faith.

St. Tekla Hymanot
(1313 AD)

A great Ethiopian reformer of monasticism.