|Statue of the saint in the church of St. Ephysius, Cagliari.|
Feastday: January 15
At Cagliari in Sardinia, St. Ephisius, martyr, who, in the persecution of Diocletian and under the judge Flavian, having, by the assistance of God, overcome many torments, was beheaded and ascended to heaven.
Ephysius of Sardinia M (RM)
(also known as Efeso, Efisio, Ephysus of Cagliari)
Died 303 Saint Ephysius was said to have been martyred in Sardinia under Diocletian, one of the fiercest persecutions. Nothing is known of his life, except his martyrdom. An ancient church was dedicated to him and there was an early translation of his relics to Capo di Pula (12 miles from Cagliari). The enduring cultus of Ephysius is witnessed by a series of paintings by Spinello Arietino in Pisa cathedral and by confraternities in his honor that held processions on May 1. During the Italian wars against the French in the last century, his cultus received new impetus when the defeat of the French was attributed to Ephysius's intercession, and he was named commander-in-chief of the Sardinian forces. Thus, in modern times, this local saint's posthumous help in battle was found credible and worthy of civil recognition. He is still greatly venerated on the island, while his relics lie at Pisa (Benedictines, Farmer).
In art Saint Ephysius is a young warrior receiving a banner and a sword from an angel. At times (1)Christ appears to him before battle, (2) in an oven or at the stake with the flames turning on his tormentors, or (3) beheaded at Cagliari (Roeder). He is the patron of Pisa and Sardinia (Roeder).