November 2, 2016

Holy Martyrs Akindynos, Aphthonios, Pegasios, Elpidophoros, Anempodistos and 7,000 Others from Persia

Sts. Akindynos, Aphtonios, Pegasios, Elpidophoros and Anempodistos
(Feast Day - November 2) 


Akindynos was cast to the flames while the other four,
Some died in the flames, others by the sword.
On the second Aphthonios and the four contested by fire and sword.

The Holy Martyr Akindynos and those with him were from Persia and lived during the persecution of King Shapur II (309-379) which took place in the year 330, and they enjoyed honored positions at his side. During this time he cruelly tortured those who confessed their faith in Christ. For this reason Saint Akindynos, Pegasios and Anempodistos hid themselves in a house, where they taught the Christians. For this reason they were arrested and brought before the King.

At first the tyrant had these Saints hung up and beaten with rods by four torturers, until they grew tired, at which time they were replaced by another four men. When the tyrant saw their endurance, he ordered that a flame be lit under their feet, at which time the Saints prayed and our Lord Jesus Christ appeared and caused the flame to be as refreshing dew and loosed them from their bonds. The Saints were therefore brought before the tyrant with smiles on their faces, and he believed them to be magicians for being able to escape unharmed from such torture. This confusion and wonder caused him to lose the ability to speak and to hear, so he used his hands to communicate. Taking pity on the King's misfortune, Akindynos healed him. But instead of glorifying God, he became more enraged.

The tyrant then ordered the Saints to be laid out over an iron bed and to have a flame lit beneath it. They endured this in a miraculous way and were preserved unharmed. This caused many to believe in Christ, but King Shapur ordered them to worship the god Zeus and deny Christ. Instead the Saints prayed and the idol was smashed into a thousand pieces. He therefore ordered them to be thrown in a cauldron of boiling lead, but they remained unharmed from this also. The tyrant then went to drown them in the cauldron, but instead his hands were burned. When a soldier by the name of Aphthonios saw this miracle, he proclaimed his acceptance of the Christian faith, and the tyrant ordered for his beheading. Aphthonios prayed to God and willingly bent his neck to the sword. The Christians then gathered his sacred relic and buried it with honors.

Then the tyrant ordered for the Saints to be tied into the skins of oxes and to be thrown into the sea in order to drown. But the skins ripped open by the miraculous intervention of Saint Aphthonios and the Saints emerged from the water unharmed. The tyrant then ordered for the hands of the executioners to be cut off, thinking they did not fulfill his order, and then they were cast into the sea when they also came to believe in Christ for the miracle they witnessed. Thus these four executioners received the crown of martyrdom.

Then Elpidophoros, who was a leader with senatorial rank, as well as a secret Christian, bravely confessed his faith before the tyrant. Another senator named Philologos did the same. Seven thousand others came forward and confessed their faith in Christ, and they were all beheaded. Then Akindynos, Pegasios and Anempodistos and others were ordered by the tyrant to be thrown into a lake full of wild beasts, but they emerged unharmed. This caused the mother of the tyrant to believe in Christ. Lastly they were all cast into a fiery furnace, where the were perfected by the fire and received the crown of martyrdom.

Apolytikion in the Second Tone
Blessed is the earth which drank your blood, holy the abode which received your spirits. You conquered the enemy in the stadium and preached Christ with boldness. Beseech Him to save our souls, for He is good, O victorious Martyrs.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst receive the God-bearing Martyrs Akindynos, Pegasios, Anempodistos, Aphthonios and Elpidophoros, into the enjoyment of Thy goodness and repose, for they abandoned all things on earth for Thee, O only Good One.

St. Akindynos

St. Anempodistos

St. Aphthonios

St. Elpidophoros

St. Pegasios