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Manahen, Saint

A member of the Church of Antioch mentioned in the book of Acts

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Manahen (Mana?n), Saint, a member of the Church of Antioch, foster-brother, or household-friend (suntrophos, Vulg. collactaneus), of Herod Antipas (who had St. John the Baptist put to death) and one of those who, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, laid hands upon Saul and Barnabas and sent the two Apostles on the first of St. Paul’s missionary journeys (Acts, xiii, 3). As St. Luke was an Antiochene (see Eusebius, “Hist. eccl.”, III, iv), it is not at all unlikely that this influential member of “the prophets and doctors” of the Church of Antioch was one of the “eye-witnesses and ministers of the word” (Luke, i, 2), who delivered unto Luke the details which that sacred writer has in regard to Antipas and other members of the Herodian family (see Luke, iii, 1, 19, 20; viii, 3; ix, 7-9; xiii, 31, 32; xxiii, 8-12; Acts, xii). St. Manahen may have become a disciple of Jesus with “Joanna, the wife of Chusa, Herod s steward” (Luke, viii, 3). Antipas left for Rome, A.D. 39, in order to obtain the favor of Caligula, and received instead condemnation to perpetual exile (Jos., “Ant.”, XVIII, vii, 2). At this time, the Church of Antioch was founded by Jewish Christians, who “had been dispersed by the persecution that arose on the occasion of Stephen” and had taught the Gospel also to the Greeks of Antioch, (Acts, xi, 19-24). It is quite likely that St. Manahen was one of these founders of the Antiochene Church. His feast is celebrated on May 24.


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