Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Ten Martyrs at the Chalke Gate

Holy Ten Martyrs of Chalke (Feast Day - August 9)

On this day we commemorate the Holy Ten Martyrs, who contested on behalf of the holy icon of our Savior Jesus Christ at the Chalke Gate: Julian, Marcian, John, James, Alexios, Demetrios, Photios, Peter, Leontios and Maria the Patrician.

Verses

To the Nine Martyrs.
Nine men killed the enemy of God,
Becoming friends of God by the sword.

To Maria.
Receive O Savior the blood from my throat,
Maria declared as when Maria lamented.

These Saints lived during the savage reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741), who having turned away from the holy icons, for this reason he put them to the fire. Thus the Patriarch at the time, Saint Germanos, went through much affliction and distress from the villainous Leo, for he rebuked him as impious and lawless.

Because the savage sought to cast down the revered icon of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was venerated above the Chalke Gate of Constantinople, and the ladders were built placed with long pieces of wood in order to cast down the holy icon, when they went up and began to cast it down, then the brave athletes of Christ in anticipation of this grabbed one of the ladders, and pulled it towards themselves, thus casting down the soldier (spatharios) who was trying to cast down the revered icon, hence killing him, and the impious emperor they cursed and anathematized.

When the emperor learned of this he became enraged with anger, therefore he ordered that all those found there to be beheaded, whose number only the Lord knows, for it was a large crowd. The nine monks he ordered to be beaten with rods, and then cast into prison. He further ordered that they were to be struck with rods five-hundred times on a daily basis, and thus the blessed ones endured these beatings for eight months. When the tyrant saw how they endured all this, he ordered to burn the faces of the Martyrs with fiery spits, and then to have them beheaded in the district of Kynegesion. Together with them he ordered for Saint Maria the Patrician to be beheaded, for their relics to be cast into the sea, and in this way the renowned ones received the crown of the contest.

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