Martyrdom of St. Lacaron – now online in English by Anthony Alcock

Anthony Alcock has translated a long Coptic martyrdom or “passion” for us.  This is the Passion of S. Lacaron, which Orlandi dates to the 8th century.  The text and translation is here:

The Coptic Encyclopedia (vol. 5, 1991) has a useful article on Lacaron here, which reads as follows:

(CE: 1423b-1424a)

LACARON, SAINT, martyr in fourth-century Egypt (feast day: 14 Babah). His Passion has come down in a complete codex in Bohairic in the Vatican Library (Coptic 68, fols. 1-15) (Balestri and Hyvemat, 1908, Vol. 1, pp. 1-23). The text is that of one of the late Coptic Passions from the period of the CYCLES and can be dated to the eighth century. It deals with the period of persecutions under DIOCLETIAN. The Roman prefect ARIANUS comes to Asyut and orders sacrifice to the gods. Lacaron, a soldier, refuses and, after the usual arguments, is put in jail. The text then describes the usual episodes of torture, miraculous healings, sudden conversions—of a magistrate and the torturers themselves—and other visions and heavenly interventions. It includes an account of the archangel Michael’s gathering up the various pieces of Lacaron and restoring them to life. In the end Lacaron is killed, after converting and baptizing the soldiers around him.


Balestri, I., and H. Hyvernat. Acta Martyrum. CSCO 43, 44. Paris, 1908.

Baumeister, T. Martyr Invictus. Der Martyrer als Sinnbild der Erlösung in der Legende und im Kult der frühen koptischen Kirche. Munster, 1972.


It is very useful to have the Coptic Encyclopedia accessible!  And very many thanks indeed to Dr Alcock for making this text accessible!



2 thoughts on “Martyrdom of St. Lacaron – now online in English by Anthony Alcock

  1. I hope to take Coptic in the near future, precisely because I can’t read what I’d like to read. I wonder how much of our view of history is also distorted by the fact many of us can’t read such material. In the meantime I can only thank Dr Alcock profusely for making these translations available. This one is a keeper. Thank you.

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