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Martyrs of Persia: Akindinos, Pegasias, Anempodistos, Elpidophoros and Afthonios

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  • Fr. Panagiotes Carras
    Martyrs of Persia: Akindinos, Pegasias, Anempodistos, Elpidophoros and Afthonios Commemorated on November 2 (Julian Calendar) The holy and glorious martyrs,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15 7:54 AM
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      Martyrs of Persia: Akindinos, Pegasias, Anempodistos, Elpidophoros and Afthonios

      Commemorated on November 2 (Julian Calendar)

      The holy and glorious martyrs, Akindinos, Pegasias, Anempodistos, Elpidophoros and Afthonios, were courtiers of the Persian emperor Sapor II (310-381). At that time there were many Christians in Persia. When the emperor started his persecution against Christians, envious pagans denounced the blessed Saints who were actively instructing their brothers and sisters in Christ to remain steadfast in the Faith. Summoned to the emperor for trial, the holy martyrs fearlessly confessed their faith in the Holy Trinity. The emperor gave orders to beat them with whips. Twice the exhausted executioners switched places, but the holy martyrs let out neither a cry nor a groan. Even the emperor could not endure the strain and he lost consciousness. Everyone thought him dead. But the saints appealed to God, and the emperor came to himself. And having recovered, Sapor accused the saints of sorcery. Saint Akyndinos answered the Emperor and told him that it was our Lord that gave them the strength to endure. The emperor gave orders to place the holy martyrs on iron beds and to build a fire ubder the beds. By the prayers of the saints the fire was extinguished, and the ropes binding them fell off. Blinded by rage, the emperor began to blaspheme the Name of the Lord. Then the saints exclaimed: Let thy mouth be speechless. The emperor lost his voice. Having gone mad with terror and rage, he tried with gestures to give the order to take away the holy martyrs to prison. Those round about were not able to understand him, and he began to go into an even greater rage: madly plucking off his mantle, he tore at his hair and beat himself upon the face. Saint Akindinos took pity on him and in the Name of the Lord delivered him from the speechlessness. The emperor continued to believe that the martyrs were sorcerers and he continued the torture of the saints. Beholding the miracles accomplished through the prayers of the holy martyrs, many people believed in Christ and confessed their faith. The saints glorified God and called on those who believed to accept Baptism by the rain sent down upon them.

      One of the executioners, Afthonios, believed in our Lord and asked forgiveness of the holy martyrs for causing them suffering, and became the first to martyr for Christ. The dignitary Elpidiphoros and even the mother of the emperor confessed their faith in the One True God. The emperor saw how much the number of Christians was increased and how the torturing of Saints Akindinos, Pegasias and Anempodistos actually encouraged the Christian faith. He declared to the people that the holy Martyrs Akindinos, Pegasias, Anempodistos and Elpidiphoros with them would have their heads cut off, and that their bodies could not be taken by Christians for burial. When they led the holy martyrs beyond the city walls for execution, a tremendous crowd accompanied them, glorifying Christ. By order of the emperor, soldiers massacred all the Christians (about 7,000) in the procession. Together with the others also was killed Elpidiphoros.

      The holy Martyrs, Akindinos, Pegasias, and Anempodistos together with the mother of the emperor were burnt on the following day. Christians, coming secretly by night to the place of the execution of the saints, found the bodies of the holy martyrs unharmed by the fire and with reverence they buried them.

      The memory of these holy martyrs of persia is celebrated throughout the world. It is noteworthy that the faithful of Mytilene, Greece have erected five Churches on this small island to honour the Holy Martyrs.

      Through the prayers of these Holy Martyrs of Persia, may we remain steadfast in our Faith.

      In Christ,
      +Fr. Panagiotes

      Go to Orthodoxyinfo.org for a wide variety of articles on the Faith
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