October 25, 2015

Holy Martyrs Markianos and Martyrios the Notaries

Sts. Markianos and Martyrios (Feast Day - October 25)


Perceiving the Notaries as pens of Christ,
They are painted with blood being slaughtered with the sword.
On the twenty-fifth Markianos and Martyrios were beheaded.

These saints of God were notaries (i.e. secretaries) under Paul, the Patriarch of Constantinople (Nov. 6), during the reign of Emperor Constantius (337-361). With the death of the great Emperor Constantine, the Arian heresy, which until then had been suppressed, revived and gained momentum. Even Emperor Constantius himself leaned toward this heresy.

There were two influential noblemen at the emperor's court, Eusebius and Philip, both of whom were ardent Arians. Under their influence, Patriarch Paul was ousted from the patriarchal throne and banished to Armenia, where the Arians strangled him in 344. Then the dishonorable Macedonius seized the patriarchal throne.

At that time Orthodoxy had two bitter struggles: against the pagans and against the heretics. Markianos and Martyrios were with all their strength and determination on the side of Orthodoxy, proclaiming openly that: "The Son of God is consubstantial with the Father and God by nature." Markianos was a reader and Martyrios was a subdeacon at the Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia, who shined with their reverence, modesty, holiness and virtue.

The Arians at first tried to bribe them, but when these holy men rejected this with scorn, the heretics condemned them to death. When they were brought to the executioner, they raised their hands and prayed to God, giving Him thanks for a martyr's end to their lives: "Lord, we rejoice that we depart from this life by such a death. Make us worthy to be partakers of eternal life. Thou art our life!" They placed their necks beneath the sword and were beheaded in the year 355.

Their sacred relics were buried outside the Melandissia Gate of the Constantinople. Later, St. John Chrysostom built a church in their name over their miracle-working relics.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
In holy zeal you dispelled the error of Arius, and proclaimed the Trinity in one essence. Holy Martyrs Markianos and Martyrios, unshaken bulwarks of Orthodoxy. Pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
You fought well from infancy, O wise Martyrs, and by preserving the Orthodox faith inviolate you humbled the apostate Arius and followed your teacher Paul. Therefore with him you have found life, as champions of the Trinity.