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September 6, 2016

Holy Martyrs Romulas and 11,000 Soldiers With Him; Holy Martyrs Eudoxios, Zeno, Makarios and 1,104 Soldiers With Them

Sts. Romulas, Eudoxios, Zeno, Makarios and Those With Them (Feast Day - September 6)


To Romulas, Eudoxios, Zeno and Makarios
Zeno, Eudoxios and Romulus were beheaded,
So too Makarios, a blessed end.

To the 1,104 Soldiers
One thousand, ten times ten and four Martyrs,
Their common end was accomplished by the simple sword.

Holy Martyrs Romulas and 11,000 Soldiers With Him

Saint Romulas served as senior palace servant to Emperor Trajan (98-117), and accompanied his master on a campaign in Anatolia. When they were in Galatia, the Emperor decided to count and then make his Christian soldiers sacrifice to the idols, and ordered Romulas to see that they did so. The Christian soldiers numbered 11,000 men, who preferred to sacrifice their life in martyrdom than sacrifice to lifeless idols. Romulas rebuked the emperor for senselessly reducing the strength of his forces in time of war, but the tyrant was not to be reasoned with. The Christian soldiers were sent to Armenia, where they suffered torture and crucifixion near Melitene. Meanwhile Romulas, having confessed to being a Christian, was first cruelly beaten, then ordered to be beheaded.

Holy Martyrs Eudoxios, Zeno, Makarios and 1,104 Soldiers With Them

Saint Eudoxios held the office of count during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305), although he previously held the higher office of senior palace servant, but his rank was lowered due to his love for Christ. For he was accused of being a Christian to Governor Malatias of Melitene, which is near the Euphrates River. When soldiers were sent to capture Eudoxios, he at first concealed his identity as that of a poor man. When they arrived the soldiers asked him if he knew where Eudoxios was, but he told them that he would take them to him after they first came to his home and rested a bit after their long journey.

After receiving the soldiers into his home and giving them hospitality, Eudoxios revealed his identity as the one whom they sought. When the soldiers heard this, they were very much saddened, and in return for the hospitality he gave them, they offered him a chance to escape. Eudoxios however was firmly resolved to die a martyrs death. He therefore called his wife Vasilissa, and left to her care everything they owned, and gave her this injunction and message: that she was not to weep for his death, but to honor the day of his death with every manner of brilliance and joy, and to make ready for him a humble grave in their village, without an inscription, and to bury his body there.

Eudoxios therefore turned his back on his nobility, glory, love for his wife and attachment to his children, and he went to the governor, where he boldly confessed Christ. In order to frighten Eudoxios and the soldiers, the governor looked upon them with ferocity and said: "Whichever of you will not sacrifice to the gods, remove your military belts and stand openly before me." Then Eudoxios removed his military belt, which was an emblem of his rank as count, and threw it in the face of the governor. Those soldiers who were Christians did the same, and they numbered one thousand one hundred and four. The governor reported this to Diocletian. When Diocletian received the news of this, he became enraged, and ordered the governor to punish them harshly.

When the governor saw that Eudoxios remained steadfast in his faith in Christ and would never deny Him, he ordered that he be tied up by his two hands and his two feet, and to be whipped with straps. Then he was thrown into prison. A few days later they brought him out of prison and the governor ordered that a lead ball crush down on the nerves of his throat and dislocate the joints of his body, which is truly a death more bitter than death. When this was done, the governor ordered that Eudoxios be beheaded.

As Eudoxios was being led toward the place of his martyrdom, he prayed. And turning his head he saw his wife, and reminded her again of his injunction. He also saw a friend of his, whose name was Zeno, mourning for his friend's death. Eudoxios then told him: "Do not weep, O friend Zeno, for I am certain that God, whom I worship, will not separate us from each other, having been united in fervent friendship, and a genuine eros for God." With these words of the Saint, Zeno immediately proclaimed Christ, and he was beheaded. Afterwards Eudoxios also was beheaded. The one thousand one hundred and four soldiers likewise were beheaded. Vasilissa then took her husbands body, and buried him as he ordered in his village.

When seven days had passed, Saint Eudoxios appeared in a dream to his wife, and ordered her to tell his friend Makarios to present himself at the home of the governor. Makarios therefore went and was taken captive, and after confessing Christ also with boldness, he was beheaded as well, and so he rejoices with his friend Eudoxios and the all the rest eternally in the heavens.