Saturday, October 7, 2017

Holy Martyrs Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon

Sts. Julian the Presbyter and Caesarius the Deacon (Feast day - October 7)

Verses

To Julian and Caesarius.
In a sack in the depths you were given by God the Word,
A double return of joy in sacks O athletes.

To Leontios the Proconsul.
Leontios left his rule below,
Peacefully finding honor above.

To Eusebius the Presbyter and Felix.
Eusebius and Felix the grace of martyrdom,
By the sword you found the grace of martyrdom.

When Emperor Claudius II (268-270) ruled in Rome, it is said he assassinated his own mother because she was a Christian, and from then on he showed no compassion or mercy upon the Christians. It was at this time that the blessed Caesarius came to Terracina from Africa, and seeing the repulsive sacrifices of the pagans, he spit upon them and overturned them. For this he was arrested and imprisoned. After three days there without food or water, he was delivered to the Proconsul Leontios. Soldiers bound the hands of the athlete of Christ, and they made him walk before the chariot of the proconsul to the Temple of Apollo. When they arrived at the temple, the Saint prayed, and the temple came tumbling down from its foundations, crushing the high priest of the idols and many others. When the Proconsul Leontios saw this miracle, he fell down before the Saint and believed in Christ. Before everyone Caesarius then baptized Leontios, and Julian the Presbyter came to have him partake of the Holy Mysteries. After giving thanks to God, he asked Julian and Caesarius to pray that he may be allowed to die, and immediately Leontios delivered his soul to God in peace.

Seeing the sudden death of Leontios, Luxurius, the chief ruler of the city, ordered both Julian and Caesarius to be seized, tied in sacks and cast into the sea. The Saints said to him: "You will indeed cast us into the sea, O Luxurius, but you will be bitten by a snake, and with an ignoble and painful death, you will cast away your soul." And truly this took place, for a few days after the Saints were drowned, Luxurius was walking along the sea shore, and a large terrifying snake wrapped around his feet. After striking the bodily members of Luxurius hard with its tail, it left him almost lifeless and dead.

Now a Christian Priest named Eusebius, and another man named Felix, were sent to the sea shore by a divine vision, in order to gather the bodies of the Saints, which by divine Providence had been brought to shore. Taking up the holy relics, they saw the unfortunate Luxurius, swollen from the poison of the snake, who was lamenting his fate. Soon after he died. After the relics of the Saints were buried near the city, the son of the baptized Leontios the Proconsul captured Eusebius and Felix and had them beheaded, then their bodies were thrown into a river. A divine Angel then led Kouartos the Presbyter, who was from Capua in Italy, to retrieve their bodies, and taking their holy relics, he had them buried in an honorable place.

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