THE THIRD MONTH
IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
On this day Saints Epimachus and Azarianus became martyrs.
These men were from Rome, and certain men accused them before the
governor who had been appointed by Maximianus of being believers in
Christ. When they had come
before him he questioned them about their Faith, and they confessed that
they were Christians, and then they abused the governor because he had
forsaken the God Who created the heavens and the earth and all that
therein is, and because he worshipped idols which were the work of men’s
hands, and which could neither see nor hear, and wherein dwelt Satan and
led men astray. And the
governor marveled at their audacity and commanded the soldiers to cut off
their heads, and [the saints] received crowns of martyrdom in the kingdom
of heaven. Salutation to
Epimachus and to Azarianus.
And on this day also James and John, Bishops of the country of
Persia, became martyrs by the hand of Sapor, the son of Hermaz (Hormizd)
the King of Persia. The king
ordered them to worship the sun and the moon and the fire, and to offer
sacrifice to them, and when they would not obey his order, he commanded
the soldiers to torture them severely, and they did so.
And whilst [the saints] were undergoing the torture, they were
teaching the multitude, and strengthening them in the Faith of our Lord
Jesus Christ. When the king
saw the boldness of their hearts, and their patience under the torture,
and that they would not turn from their Faith, and would not cease from
the teaching of the people, he commanded the soldiers to cast them into
the fire, and they did so. And
having delivered up their souls into the hand of our Lord Jesus Christ
they received crowns of martyrdom with all the saints.
Salutation to James and John, Bishops of the country of Persia.
And on this day also Saint Thomas, Bishop of the city of
Damascus, became a martyr by the hand of an Arab king who was a Muslim.
When the Muslims were reigning in the country of Syria and in the
country of Egypt, this holy man held a debate with one of their learned
men, and he vanquished him, and forced him and compelled him [to admit]
that our Lord Christ was God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth,
and of all that therein is. The
Muslim having been worsted in argument went to the governor, his
fellow-countryman, and made an accusation to him against Thomas, saying,
“This Christian hath cursed our religion.”
And the governor had this holy man brought, and he asked him,
saying, “Is it true that thou hast cursed our religion even as this man
says of thee?” And the holy man said unto him, “No curse hath ever gone
forth from my mouth, but I have forced him [to admit] that Christ is God
in truth, and that after the Law of Christ there cometh no other Law.”
And the governor was wroth with him, and he commanded the soldiers
to cut off the head of the holy man with the sword; and they cut off his
holy head, and he received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the
heavens. Salutation to
Thomas, the companion of Zachariah the teacher, Bishop of Damascus.
And on this day also is commemorated the great father Zachariah.
be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.