Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyrs Acyndinus, Pegasius, Anempodistus, Aphthonius, Elpidephorus and others with them.

They were Persian Christians, and suffered in the time of King Sapor, in 355. The first three were servants at the court of this king, but secretly served Christ their Lord. When they were arrested and brought to trial before the king, he asked them whence they came. To this they replied: 'Our paternity and life is the most holy Trinity, consubstantial and undivided, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God.' The king gave them over to harsh torture, and they endured it all courageously, singing psalms and with prayer on their lips. At the time of their torture and imprisonment, angels of God appeared to them several times, and once the Lord Christ Himself, as a man 'with a face radiant as the sun'. When one of the torturers, Aphthonius, saw with wonder that boiling lead did no harm to the martyrs, he believed in Christ and cried out: 'Great is the Christian God!' He was then immediately beheaded, and many others saw and believed. Then the King commanded that Acyndinus, Pegasus and Anempodistus be sewn into goat-skins and thrown into the sea. Then St Aphthonius appeared from the other world with three shining angels, and they bore the martyrs to dry land and set them free. Elpidephorus was a courtier. When he revealed that he was a Christian, and denounced the king for his slaughter of innocent Christians, the king condemned him to death, and Elpidephorus was beheaded along with about seven thousand other Christians. Then the three first-named martyrs were finally thrown into a burning furnace, along with twenty-eight soldiers and the king's mother, who had also come to faith in Christ. And so, in the flames, they gave their righteous souls into the hands of the Lord.

2. Our Holy Father Marcian of Cyrus.

He was from the town of Cyrus in Syria, and was distinguished by gentle birth and physical beauty. He left all for Christ, and withdrew to the desert of Halkis as a solitary. He was a contemporary of Patriarch Flavian of Antioch and the Emperors Constantius and Valens. A divine light, by which he read the Holy Scriptures, shone in his cell at night, and he never had need of any other light. being a great wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death. At the time of his death, he commanded his disciple Eusebius to conceal his body and bury it in secret, to avoid veneration. He entered into rest in the Lord in the year 387.

3. The Hieromartyr Victorinus, Bishop of Patav.

Many assert that he was a Slovene. Blessed Hieronymus cites him as a man learned and devout. He knew Greek better than Latin, and wrote commentaries on several books of the Old and New Testaments. He suffered for the Christian faith in about 303.


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