Frumentius

FOURTH CENTURY. First bishop of Axumis. According to Rufinus, the brothers Frumentius and Aedesius accompanied their teacher Meropus on a voyage from Tyre to Ethiopia. Here, probably at Adoulis, Meropus was killed by the Ethiopians and the brothers taken captive to the king at Axumis. He made Frumentius his secretary and Aedesius his cupbearer. The brothers were Christians, and when they were persuaded by the queen mother to remain after the death of the king and to help with the education of the prince and with the government during the prince's minority, they were able to promote the Christian faith. On the prince's majority they were permitted to return to their own country. Frumentius visited Alexandria to report on his work and was consecrated bishop of Axumis there by Athanasius, either shortly before 339 or shortly after 346. He took the title “Our Father” (abuna) which was retained by primates of the Ethiopian Church. He was apparently opposed to Arianism.