November 19, 2016

Holy Martyr Azes of Isauria and the 150 Soldiers With Him

St. Azes and those martyred with him (Feast Day - November 19)


To Azes
Thirsty as a deer in water,
Azes the Martyr ran towards the sword.

To the 150 Soldiers
Three sets of fifty were beheaded O Christ,
You honor the sets of fifty with a threefold crown.

To the 12 Soldiers
"We are soldiers of the King of all today,
By the sword," said the twelve soldiers.

To the Woman and her Daughter
Wife and daughter left Aquilinus,
Having found a bridegroom in Christ through the sword.

The Holy Martyr Azes was from the land of Isauria and a soldier under Emperor Diocletian (284-305). After abandoning the life of a soldier, he settled in the wilderness, where he was found to work many healings and miracles. Two hunters betrayed him and due to this he was brought before Diocletian. Having confessed his faith in Christ, he was delivered over to the eparch Aquilinus, along with one hundred and fifty soldiers. These soldiers had been sent to arrest and escort the Saint, but along the way he worked a miracle and they came to believe in Christ. For the soldiers had become weary with thirst, and Azes miraculously brought forth water and quenched their thirst. Then after baptizing them, the Martyr persuaded them to fulfill the commandment to obey those in authority, and therefore to bring him before the eparch.

The eparch therefore took the Saints with his own hands to a certain place, and he tortured Saint Azes with many wounds and punishments. He did this in order to strike fear in the converted soldiers. He then tied the Saint to a wheel, and lit a fire underneath. Because the fire extinguished and Saint remained unharmed, the wife of the eparch and his daughter came to believe in Christ. Then the eparch gave the order, first, for the one hundred and fifty soldiers to be beheaded, and then his wife and daughter. Then he ordered for the Saint to be harshly beaten, and then to be beheaded. In this way the blessed athletes of Christ all received the unfading crowns of martyrdom.