Theresa Doyle-Nelson is a freelance writer from the Texas Hill Country. While her background is in education, with seven years as a teacher and substitute principal, Theresa found writing to be a stronger calling. Theresa grew up outside of the Rochester, New York, area and attended St. Bonaventure University, where her grandfather, uncle, cousin, Godson and nephew are also alumni. After graduating from St. Bonaventure in 1981, Theresa moved to Brownsville, Texas, to teach elementary school, then to San Antonio to teach first grade. While in San Antonio, Theresa had a chance meeting which re-introduced her to an acquaintance from St. Bonaventure, Chad Nelson. The two married within a year, and enjoyed traveling around as a U.S. Marine Corps family. During a three-year stay in Naples, Italy in the mid-90s, Theresa took a correspondence writing course, and has been writing for various Catholic resources ever since. Theresa and Chad have three sons, two daughters-in-law, a future daughter-in-law and five grandchildren. Theresa is also the author of Saints in Scripture.. You can find her online at TheresaDoyle-Nelson.blogspot.com.
“I know that you live where Satan’s throne is, and yet you hold fast to my name and have not denied your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was martyred among you, where Satan lives.” ―Revelation 2:13
The very last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, presents many dramatic symbols and passages that can be puzzling to many. A certain message seems to persist, however―to be committed and loyal to the truths of Christ, even during times of suffering.
When John the Apostle (or perhaps a disciple of his) wrote the Book of Revelation, he made an interesting reference to a person named Antipas, calling the man a “faithful witness” and one “who was martyred.” This reference can be found fairly early on in Revelation, within the section containing special messages for seven different Christian communities in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). Antipas’s name is found in the third of the seven letters―the letter to the church in the city of Pergamum.
Pergamum was a city not far from the Aegean Sea. It was considered to be a beautiful and cultural city. Impressively, parchment was invented in Pergamum about 150 years before the birth of Christ. The modern city of Bergama, Turkey, overlaps some of the ruins of ancient Pergamum. Interestingly, the author of Revelation referred to Pergamum as the location of Satan’s throne! It has been suggested that this distressing label could be due to the multitude of pagan practices that abounded in the city, including the worshipping of the Roman emperor as a God.
The fact that Antipas could withstand living within a culture that embraced sacrilege so freely is impressive. While multitudes tend to get drawn into their surroundings, Antipas was obviously steadfast to the truths of Christ—despite his cultural backdrop.
Some claim that Antipas was the Bishop of Pergamum. Tradition asserts that during the brutal Christian persecutions ordered by Emperor Domitian (AD 81–96), Antipas was forced into a brazen ox that was set to fire, hence suffocating and roasting the saintly man. After his burial, many miracles were reported, and it has been claimed that at times, a secretion of oil from his relics has occurred.
The memorial of St. Antipas is April 11, and his is the patron saint of dental problems. St. Antipas is mentioned only once in the Bible. You can find his brief mentioning in Revelation 2:12–17.