Saint Name: St Frumentius
Place: Tyre, Roman Empire
Birth: 4th century AD
Death: About 383
Feast: October 27
Saint Frumentius who was Born in the city of Tyre, Eastern Roman Empire, in the early 4th century was the first Bishop of Aksum and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Aksumite Kingdom.
According to the 4th-century historian Rufinus (x.9), who cites Frumentius' brother Edesius as his authority, as children (ca. 316) Frumentius and Edesius accompanied their uncle Meropius from their birthplace of Tyre (in present-day Lebanon) on a voyage to Ethiopia. When their ship stopped at one of the harbors of the Red Sea, local people massacred the whole crew, sparing the two boys, who were taken as slaves to the King of Axum. The two boys soon gained the favour of the king, who raised them to positions of trust. Shortly before his death, the king freed them. The widowed queen, however, prevailed upon them to remain at the court and assist her in the education of the young heir, Ezana, and in the administration of the kingdom during the prince's minority. They remained and (especially Frumentius) used their influence to spread Christianity. First they encouraged the Christian merchants present in the country to practise their faith openly, and they helped them find places "where they could come together for prayer according to the Roman Rite"; later they converted some of the natives.
Called "Abuna" or "the father' of Ethiopia, sent to that land by St. Athanasius. Frumentius was born in Tyre, Lebanon. While on a voyage in the Red Sea with St. Aedesius, possibly his brother, only Frumentius and Aedesius survived the shipwreck. Taken to the Ethiopian royal court at Aksum, they soon attained high positions. Aedesius was royal cup bearer, and Fruementius was a secretary. They introduced Christianity to that land. When Abreha and Asbeha inherited the Ethiopian throne from their father, Frumentius went to Alexandria, Egypt, to ask St. Athanasius to send a missionary to Ethiopia. He was consecrated a bishop and converted many more upon his return to Aksum. Frumentius and Aedesius are considered the apostles of Ethiopia.