Commemorated on August 22nd
St Agathonikos the Martyr of Nicomedea and his Companion Martyrs
The Martyrs Agathonikos, Zoticos, Theoprepios, Acindynos, Severian, Zeno and others accepted death for Christ during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305 AD). The Martyr Agathonikos was descended from the illustrious lineage of the Hypasians, and he lived at Nicomedia. Having become well versed in Holy Scripture, he converted many pagans to Christ, including the most eminent member of the Senate (its "princeps" or leader). Comitus Eutolmios was sent to the Pontine (lower Black Sea) region, where he crucified the followers of the Christian Zoticos, who had refused to offer sacrifice to idols. Zoticus himself, he took with him.
In Nicomedia, Eutolmios arrested the Martyr Agathonikos (together with the princeps), and also Theoprepios, Acindynos and Severian. After tortures, Eutolmios ordered that the martyrs be taken to Thrace for trial by the emperor. However, along the way, in the vicinity of Potama, the Martyrs Zoticos, Theoprepios and Acindynos were unable to proceed further behind the chariot of the governor because of wounds received during torture. Therefore, they were put to death. The Martyr Severian was put to death at Chalcedon, and the Martyr Agathonikos together with others was beheaded with the sword by order of the emperor, in Selymbria.
The relics of the Martyr Agathonikos were in a church named for him at Constantinople.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth 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 (First Tone)
O man of godly mind, as the namesake of goodness, you utterly hated that which wicked men worshipped; and no pains could frighten you, O divine Agathonikos. Therefore, you became a good heir of all good things, worthily receiving with your brave fellow athletes the crown incorruptible.