Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyr Plato.

From the town of Ancyra in Galatia, he was born and brought up a Christian. Even in his youth, he showed great perfection in every virtue. Plato did not conceal his faith in Christ the Lord, but preached it openly, denouncing idolaters for their bowing down to dead creatures in place of the living Creator. For this, he was brought before the governor, Agrippinus, for trial, and was harshly tortured by him. When the governor began to urge him to escape death and save his life by worshipping idols, Plato replied: 'There are two deaths: the temporal and the eternal; and there are two lives: the one transitory and the other without end.' Then Agrippinus put him to harsher torture. Among other tortures, he commanded that red-hot cannon balls be placed on his naked body, and that his flesh be cut into strips. 'Torture me more harshly', cried the martyr to the torturers, 'that your inhumanity and my endurance may be the more clearly seen.' When the torturer spoke to the martyr about the philosopher Plato, saying that. he was a pagan philosopher, he replied: 'I am not like Plato, nor he like me, except in our names. I learn and teach the wisdom that is of Christ, while he teaches the wisdom that is folly before God.' After that, Plato was thrown into prison, where he spent eighteen days without bread or water. When the warders marvelled that Plato could live without food for so long, he said to them: 'You are satiated by food, but I by holy prayer; you rejoice in wine, but I in Christ the true Vine.' He was finally beheaded with the sword in about 266, and received a wreath of eternal glory.

2. The Holy Martyrs Romanus and Barulas.

Holy Romanus was a deacon of the Church in Caesarea, and at one time preached the Gospel in Antioch. When there was an idolatrous feast, and the governor of Antioch, Asclepiades, was going into a pagan temple to offer sacrifice, Romanus stood in front of him and said: You sin, O Governor, when you go to the idols. They are not gods, for Christ is the only, true God.' The furious governor put Romanus to torture, and he as flogged and flayed without mercy' At that moment, he saw a child called Barulas, and said to Asclepiades: 'This little child has more understanding than you, old man, for he knows the true God, and you do not.' The governor began to question Barulas about his faith, and he confessed his faith in Christ the Lord as the one, true God, and his unbelief in the false idols. Then Asclepiades commanded that little Barulas be beheaded with the sword, and Romanus be strangled in the prison, which came to pass in the year 303. Thus both these martyrs inherited the Kingdom of Christ.


From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
© 1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK