The Holy Martyr Emilianos suffered for Christ during the reign of the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD). Julian wanted to restore in the Roman Empire the cult of the pagan gods, and he circulated an edict throughout all the regions, according to which all Christians would be subject to death. The city of Dorostolum, situated on the banks of the River Dunaj (Danube), where Saint Emilianos lived, was governed by an official named Capitolinus. The imperial edict was read in the city square. The people of Dorostolum said that there were no Christians in the city.
Saint Emilianos was a slave of the local city-head, and he was secretly a Christian. Emboldened by the harsh edict, Saint Emilianos snuck into the pagan temple, he destroyed statues of the idols with a hammer, he overturned the altars and the candle-stands, and then emerged without notice. But soon the pagans discovered, that the pagan-temple was in ruins. An angry crowd began to beat up a certain Christian, who by chance happened by. Saint Emilianos then shouted out loudly, that they should not lay hold of that innocent man, and then he said that he himself had wrecked the pagan-temple.
They seized him and led him for judgement to Capitolinus. By order of the official, Saint Emilianos was for a long time beaten mercilessly, and then he was condemned to burning. Thrown into a bon-fire, he did not perish, but rather the flames burnt many of the pagans standing about. When the bon-fire had gone out, Saint Emilian lay down upon the dying embers and with a prayer gave up his spirit to the Lord. At Constantinople afterwards there was built a church in honour of the holy Martyr Emilianos, where they transferred his relics.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.
Kontakion (Third Tone)
O divine Emilianos, since zeal for God burned within you, you was not afraid of fire, your fellow creature, and servant; fearlessly and of your own will, you went forward and was not consumed therein by the flames’ hot fury, as a sacrifice to Christ God, O glorious martyr; pray that we all may be saved.
We Also Celebrate Today:
Holy Martyrs Paul, Thea and Valentine
Our Holy Father John, Archbishop of Constantinople
Stephen, Archbishop of Constantinople
Theneva of Glasgow