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Commemorated on December 28th

Holy Twenty Thousand Martyrs burned in Nicomedia

14,000 infants 29th Dec

Some 20 000 Martyrs were burned alive in the year 303 AD, while they were gathered in church. This happened during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian. According to the Synaxaristes, this took place on the day of Christ's Nativity. Eusebius the historian says that, of the Christians then living in Nicomedia, all were slain by imperial decree; some by the sword, and others by fire, and that, because of their divine and inexpressible ardour, both men and women cast themselves into the fire. Besides those burned in church, the following, who were slain in the same persecution, are commemorated today: Indus, Gorgonius, and Peter were cast into the sea; Glycerius the Presbyter and Mardonius were burned; Dorotheus the Prefect and Zeno were beheaded; Theophilus the Deacon was stoned; Mygdonius was buried alive; and Domna, who had been a priestess of the idols, believed in Christ, and was Baptized, was beheaded and cast into the fire.

Dismissal Hymn (Second Tone)

Blessed is the earth that drank your blood, O prizewinners of the Lord, and holy is the tabernacle that received your spirits; for in the stadium, you triumphed over the enemy, and you proclaimed Christ with boldness. Beseech Him, we pray, since He is good, to save our souls.

Kontakion (First Tone)

The soldiers standing guard

A 20 000 numbered battalion of Martyrs arises like an non-waning star great with brightness, enlightening by faith the hearts and the minds of all godly folk. For, enkindled with divine love unto the Master, this courageous host received a sanctified ending when eagerly burned with fire.