The present Roman Martyrology records ten saints of this name. Historical mention is made of the following:
(1) On 19 April, a group of martyrs in Melitene in
Armenia, one of whom bears the name of Rufus. These martyrs are mentioned
already in the
Martyrologium Hieronymianum (ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, 46).
(2) On 1 August, Rufus, with several companions
who, according to the most reliable manuscripts of the
died at Tomi, the place being afterwards by mistake changed to Philadelphia (cf.
Les martyrologes historiques, 337).
(3) On 27 August, two martyrs named Rufus at Capua - one,
whose name also appears as Rufinus in the
Martyrol. Hieronym. (ed. cit., 111).
The other is said to have suffered with a companion, Carponius, in the
Diocletian persecution (cf.
Bibliotheca hagiographica latina, II, 1070; Acta
SS., VI August, 18-19).
(4) On 25 September, several martyrs at Damascus, among them one named Rufus.
(5) On 7 November, a St. Rufus, who is said to have been
Bishop of Metz; his history, however, is legendary. His name was inserted at a
later date in an old manuscript of the
Martyrol. Hieronym. (ed. cit., 140). In
the ninth century his relics were transferred to Gau-Odernheim in Hesse, Diocese
(6) On 12 November, Rufus, a supposed Bishop of Avignon,
who is perhaps identical with Rufus, the disciple of Paul (21 November). Legend,
without any historical proof, has made him the first Bishop of Avignon [cf.
Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, I, 258; Duprat in
de l'Académie de Vaucluse (1889), 373 sqq.; (1890), 1 sqq., 105 sqq.].
(7) On 21 November, Rufus the disciple of the Apostles, who
lived at Rome and to whom St. Paul sent a greeting, as well as he did also to
the mother of Rufus (Rom., xvi, 13). St. Mark says in his Gospel (xv, 21) that
Simon of Cyrene was the father of Rufus, and as Mark wrote his Gospel for the
Roman Christians, this Rufus is probably the same as the one to whom Paul sent a
salutation [cf. Cornely,
Commentar. in Epist. ad Romanos (Paris, 1896), 778
(8) On 28 November, a Roman martyr Rufus, probably
identical with the Rufinianus who was buried in the Catacomb of Generosa on the
Via Portuensis, and who is introduced in the legendary Acts of the martyrdom of
St. Chrysogonus (cf. Allard,
Histoire des persécutions, IV, 371 sq.).
(9) On 18 December, the holy martyrs Rufus and Zosimus, who were taken to Rome with St. Ignatius of Antioch and were put to death there for their unwavering confession of Christianity during the persecution of Trajan. St. Polycarp speaks of them in his letter to the Philippians (c. ix).
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