, or Saint Cassian of Imola
, or Cassius
was a Christian
saint of the 4th century. He was the Bishop of Brescia
.Little is known about his life, although the traditional accounts converge on some of the details of his martyrdom. He was a schoolmaster at Imola
, but rather than sacrifice to the Roman gods, as so ordered by the current emperor, Julian the Apostate
, he was condemned to death and turned over to his own students (some authorities write that this event took place during the reign of Diocletian
). Since they were eager for revenge for the many punishments he had inflicted on them, they bound him to a stake and tortured him to death by stabbing him with their pointed iron styli
, the devices then used to mark wooden or wax writing tablets.
His traditional date of martyrdom is August 13, 363, hence August 13 is his feast day on the Roman calendar. Cassian is the patron saint
of Mexico City
(Italy) and of parish clerks.
There are at least two references in modern literature to Cassian. In the novel A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
, protagonist Ignatius Reilly informs one of his professors that "St. Cassian of Imola was stabbed to death by his students with their styli." (Grove Press edition, p. 140). Annie Dillard
also makes a reference to him in her 1992 novel The Living. Bethel College
had a Cassianus Lounge
in the faculty offices area.