On this day, we commemorate the Holy Great Martyr Mamas. The Saint was born in Asia Minor in the 3rd century to pious parents, Theodotus and Rufina, who were arrested by pagans, for their open confession of their faith. Saint Mamas was delivered prematurely by his mother, who died right after, in prison.
A rich Christian widow named Ammia reverently buried the bodies of Sts Theodotus and Rufina, and she took the boy into her own home and raised him as her own son.
[He was named Mamas because, after he had long remained without speaking, he addressed his foster mother Ammia as "mama."]
Persecuted, at the age of 15, for his Christian faith, the Saint was saved by an angel who bade him to live on the mountains, near Caesarea, where he soon received a remarkable power over the forces of nature: wild beasts inhabiting the surrounding wilderness gathered at his abode and listened to the reading of the Holy Gospel.
St Mamas nourished himself on the milk of wild goats and deer. The saint did not ignore the needs of his neighbors. Preparing cheese from this milk, he gave it away freely to the poor.
Soon after he was arrested, when they threw St Mamas to the wild beasts, these creatures would not touch him. Finally, one of the pagan priests struck him with a trident. Mortally wounded, St Mamas went out beyond the city limits, where, in a small stone cave, he gave up his spirit to God, in the year 275.
He was buried by believers at the place of his death.
Saint Mamas is know to be the patron saint and protector of animals.
It is for this reason, that the sisters of the Monastery not only named a goat and sheep milk firm ripened cheese after Saint Mamas (Saint-Mammès in french) but have also dedicated their cheese factory to this Saint.
May he intercede for us. Amen.