Commemorated on March 10th
Holy Martyr Kodratos and his Companions.
During a persecution against Christians during the reign of the Emperor Valerian (253-260), a pious woman named Rufina fled from Corinth to a mountain, to escape from her pursuers. There she gave birth to a son Kodratos (Quadratus), and died soon afterward. By the Providence of God, the infant remained alive and was nourished in miraculous manner; a cloud appeared over him, dropping sweet dew into his mouth.
The childhood and youth of St Kodratos were spent in the wilderness. When he was a young man, he chanced upon Christians, who enlightened him with the light of the true Faith. Kodratos studied grammar, and later learned the physician's art and attained great success in it. However, most of all, Quadratus loved the wilderness solitude and he spent the greater part of his time in the hills, in prayer and meditation upon God. Many years passed, and his friends and followers frequently came to the Saint to hear his instruction. Among them were Cyprian, Dionysius, Anectus, Paul, Crescentus and many others.
By order of the impious emperor Decios (249-251 AD), the military prefect Jason arrived at Corinth to torture and slay Christians. Since St Kodratos was the eldest, he spoke for the rest. The Saint bravely defended his faith in Christ the Saviour, then they began the torture. Kodratos, despite inhuman suffering, encouraged the others, urging them not to be afraid and to stand firmly for the Faith.
Unable to persuade any of them to deny Christ, Jason ordered the martyrs thrown to wild beasts to be torn apart, but the beasts did not touch them. They tied the Saints to chariots by their feet and dragged them through the city, and many of the crowd threw stones at them. Finally, they condemned the Martyrs to beheading by the sword. At the place of execution the Martyrs requested for a certain time to pray, and then one after the other they bent their necks beneath the sword.
The remaining disciples of St Kodratos also suffered for Christ: Dionysius was stabbed in the night; Victorinus, Victor and Nikephorus were crushed in a large stone press; Claudios's hands and feet were cut off; Diodoros was thrown into a fire prepared for him; Serapion was decapitated; Papias and Leonidas were drowned in the sea. Imitating the men, many holy women also went voluntarily to suffer for Christ.
Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)
Your Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for You received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since they possessed Your strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' powerless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.
Kontakion (Fourth Tone)
When you contested bravely in Corinth, O wise Martyrs, you appeared as lamps of six lights; you ever illumine the way for Christ's faithful by the grace that was given to you.