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Nerses, a native of Shiarchadata, Persia (Iran), was bishop of the Persian diocese of Sahgerd in the province of Beht Garmai. The Persian king Sapor II passed through Sahgerd in the course of his continuing persecution of Christians. Nerses and a disciple of his named Joseph were brought before the king. Upon seeing the eighty-year-old bishop, Sapor was moved to compassion for the elderly prelate and his much younger disciple. The king thereupon offered to reward Nerses with riches if he would agree to adore the sun. The bishop answered that it was unthinkable for him to “tear asunder” his Christian faith by offering worship to a mere creature, the sun. Angered by this reply, Sapor threatened Nerses with immediate death if he did not obey his order to adore the sun. The bishop replied that, although the king had the power to kill them, “You could not sever us from our God.” Both Nerses and Joseph were put to death by the sword.


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