Mark of Arethusa
Cyril & Companions

29-03-2016 All day
Repeat every year in March on the same day until 29-03-2020

Saint Mark, Bishop of Arethusa

St MarkSaint Mark was Bishop of Arethusa in Syria. In the days of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Mark, moved with divine zeal, destroyed a temple of the idols and raised up a church in its stead. When Julian the Apostate reigned, in 361, as the pagans were now able to avenge the destruction of their temple, Saint Mark, giving way to wrath, hid himself; but when he saw that others were being taken on his account, he gave himself up. Having no regard to his old age, they stripped him and beat his whole body, cast him into filthy sewers, and pulling him out, had children prick him with their iron writing-pens. Then they put him into a basket, smeared him with honey and a kind of relish of pickled fish, and hung him up under the burning sun to be devoured by bees and wasps. But because he bore this so nobly, his enemies repented, and unloosed him.

Apolytikion of Hierormartyr Mark of Arethusa in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Since they had slain through their abstinence and struggles the fiery ragings and fierce motions of the passions, the staunch Martyrs of Christ God laid hold on the graces to drive off the pains and illnesses of the sick and work wonders both while living and after death. Strange indeed is the miracle! That these bare bones should pour forth such overflowing streams of cures. Glory be to our only God.

 

Martyr Cyril the Deacon and Those with him

Saint Cyril was a deacon from Heliopolis in Phoenicia. During the reign of the Emperor Constantius, son of Saint Constantine, he had also broken the idols in pieces. When Julian came to power, Saint Cyril was seized by the idolaters and his belly was ripped open. The other holy Martyrs celebrated today, martyred in Gaza and Ascalon during the reign of Julian, were men of priestly rank and consecrated virgins; they were disemboweled, filled with barley, and set before swine to be eaten. The account of all the above Saints is given in Book III, ch. 3, of Theodoret of Cyrrhus’ “Ecclesiastical History.”

Apolytikion of Martyr Cyril the Deacon & Companions in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Since they had slain through their abstinence and struggles the fiery ragings and fierce motions of the passions, the staunch Martyrs of Christ God laid hold on the graces to drive off the pains and illnesses of the sick and work wonders both while living and after death. Strange indeed is the miracle! That these bare bones should pour forth such overflowing streams of cures. Glory be to our only God.

 

The Holy Martyrs Jonas and Barachesius

As for the holy Martyrs Jonas and Barachesius, they were monks from Persia who lived in the reign of Sapor II, King of Persia from 325 to 379. These Saints found nine Christians in prison suffering for their faith, and comforted them, encouraging them to stand fast till the end, which they did, and received the crown of martyrdom. Because of this, Saints Jonas and Barachesius also were seized, and commanded to worship the fire, the sun, and the water. When they refused, Jonas, among other tortures, had his hands and feet cut off, was crushed in a device that broke his bones, and was sawn asunder. Barachesius was dragged naked over thorns, his whole body was pierced with sharp reeds and then broken in the same device employed upon Jonas, and when boiling pitch was poured down his throat, he gave up his soul into the hands of God.

Apolytikion of Martyrs Jonas and Barachesius in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Since they had slain through their abstinence and struggles the fiery ragings and fierce motions of the passions, the staunch Martyrs of Christ God laid hold on the graces to drive off the pains and illnesses of the sick and work wonders both while living and after death. Strange indeed is the miracle! That these bare bones should pour forth such overflowing streams of cures. Glory be to our only God.

 

We Also Celebrate Today:

Eustathios the Confessor
Martyrs Jonas and  Barachesius the Martyrs