St. Nicanor the Deacon
One of the seven chosen to distribute alms to Hellenistic widows and
others in the Acts of the Apostles, Nicanor, whose name means victorious,
has been traditionally accounted a Jew from Cyprus who lived in Jerusalem.
Little is known of his life. Some say he died with Stephen, the first
martyr, while others say that when the remaining deacons or almoners
disbanded after the death of Stephen, Nicanor became a missionary to the
Gentiles and travelled to Cyprus. The Annales of Cesar Baronius
(1538-1607), now considered historically worthless, say Nicanor was
martyred c. 76 on his native island under Vespasian. Other legends say he
was martyred in Berj, a place unknown and presumed to be Botrys. Modern
scholars believe Nicanor died in peace.
Karen Rae Keck
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