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Commemorated on January 5th

The Holy Martyrs Theopemptos and Theonas. Our Righteous Mother Syncletiki


When the persecution of Diocletian broke out in 290 AD, St Theopemptos, a Bishop, was taken for his confession of Christ, and convicted Diocletian to his face for his error and ungodliness. Remaining unhurt after cruel tortures, he was given poison to drink, which a sorcerer named Theonas had prepared. Protected by divine grace from this also, he drew Theonas to Christ, and after other torments, was beheaded. St Theonas was cast into a pit and buried alive.

St Syncletiki was from Alexandria in Egypt. She lived eighty three years in virginity and asceticism, and became the leader and teacher of many nuns. What St Anthony the Great was to men, she became to women: a model of mortification of the flesh, of patience in afflictions, and of wise instruction; for this, she is known as "Amma," a title corresponding to "Abba." Towards the end of her long life, she was stricken with an exceedingly painful disease, which she endured with faith and magnanimity. She reposed in the middle of the fourth century. It is said of St Syncletiki that she was the virgin who hid St Athanasius from the Arians for more than a year in the environs of Alexandria, and it is to St Athanasius that her life is ascribed.

Dismissal Hymn of the Forefeast (Fourth Tone)

Joseph was amazed

River Jordan was turned back by 'Elisseus' mantle once, when the fiery man of zeal Elias had been taken up; then were its waters divided hither and thither. The running streams became dry passage unto him. Truly as a sign and type of Baptism, whereby we pass to the other side of the shifting stream of this fleeting life. Christ hath appeared in the Jordan River, to sanctify the waters.

Dismissal Hymn of the Martyrs (Fourth Tone)

Be quick to anticipate

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.

Dismissal Hymn of the Righteous One (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

In you, the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother; for taking up you cross, you followed Christ, and by your deeds you teach to overlook the flesh, for it passes away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal. Wherefore, O righteous Syncletiki, your spirit rejoices with the Angels.

Kontakion of the Forefeast (Fourth Tone)

on this day you have appeared

In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all cries to John, "Be not afraid and do not hesitate to baptize me, for I have come to save Adam, the first-formed man".

Kontakion of the Martyrs (Second Tone)

As a righteous priest of the ineffable mysteries and godly minister of grace, in the contest of martyrdom thou didst initiate the glorious Theonas into the God inspired Faith, O Theopemptos. And together with him, you cried out in the stadium, "Christ is the strength of the Martyrs".

Kontakion of the Righteous One (Third Tone)

On this day the Virgin

O Divine Syncletiki, our righteous God bearing Mother, you shined forth as a lamp bright with unquenchable virtues, laying bare the dark devices of the deceiver; and your light guided a multitude of wise virgins to the heavenly bridal chambers; together with them, pray that we all may be saved.