Icon of St. Genesius of Rome - 20th c. - (1GE16)

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Commemorated August 25

Genesius of Rome is a legendary Christian saint, once a comedian and actor who had performed in plays that mocked Christianity. According to legend, while performing in a play that made fun of baptism, he had an experience on stage that converted him. He proclaimed his new belief, and he steadfastly refused to renounce it, even when the emperor Diocletian ordered him to do so.

One day Genesius, leader of a theatrical troupe in Rome, was performing before the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Intending to expose Christian religious rites to ridicule by his audience, he pretended to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

As the play continued, however, Genesius suddenly while performing had a conversion experience on stage. He announced his new faith, and refused to renounce it, even when ordered to do so by emperor Diocletian. Genesius persisted in his faith, and he was finally ordered to be beheaded.