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April 13, 2010

Saint Crescens Served God in Both Body and Soul

St. Crescens the Martyr of Myra (Feast Day - April 13)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Crescens was from the city of Myra in Lycia. He was an honored and well known citizen. He openly confessed his faith in Christ and mocked the dead idols. Because of that he was burned to death by the pagans.

When they brought the martyr Crescens, a nobleman of Myra in Lycia, to court the judge, in order to persuade him to worship idols, counseled him for a long time. When he did not succeed, he finally said to Crescens: "Worship [idols] only in the body and bow down before your God in the spirit!" To that, the honorable Crescens replied: "The body cannot do anything independent of the soul, which is its driving force and leader." For that Crescens was killed. An obvious lesson that a Christian cannot be duplicitous. Still another lesson: A Christian has an obligation to serve his Creator even with the body and not only with the soul. By this is refuted the false position of certain Christians who live physically as pagans and meanwhile praise themselves that they believe in God and love God with their souls. They divide themselves in two and place themselves in the service of two masters, even though the holiest lips [The Lips of Jesus Christ] proclaimed that as an impossibility.