Hieromartyrs Zenobios and Zenobia of Aegae in Cilicia
Hieromartyr Zenobios, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr’s death at Cilicia in 285 AD. From childhood, they were raised in the holy Christian faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed their inherited wealth to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life, the Lord rewarded Zenobios with the gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen Bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.
As Bishop, St Zenobios zealously spread the Christian Faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobios was the first one arrested and brought to trial to Governor Licius. “I shall only speak briefly with you”, said Licius to the Saint, “for I propose to grant you life if you worship our gods, or death, if you do not”. The Saint answered, “This present life without Christ is death. It is better that I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him for the sake of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in Hade”.
By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The Bishop’s sister, seeing him suffering, wanted to stop it. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ before the governor; therefore, she also was tortured. By the power of the Lord they remained alive after being placed on a red-hot iron bed, and then in a boiling kettle. The Saints were then beheaded. Priest Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs in a single grave.
Dismissal Hymn (Fouth Tone)
Your holy martyrs Zenobius and Zenobia, O Lord, through their suffering have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through their intercessions, save our souls.
Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
Let us honour with inspired hymns the two martyrs for truth; the preachers of true devotion, Zenobius and Zenobia. Together as brother and sister they lived and suffered, and received together the incorruptible crown of martyrdom.
Cleopas and Artemas of the 70 Apostles
Apolytikion of Cleopas & Artemas of the 70 in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.