|Sts. Auktos, Taurios and Thessaloniki (Feast Day - November 7)|
To Auktos and Taurios
Auktos and Taurios found their desired end,
Beheaded by the sword, like bulls of the Lord.
Condemned to exile from your ancestral land,
Thessaloniki settled in the ground of the first green shoots.
These Saints hailed from Amphipolis of Macedonia, which is near Kavala. Thessaloniki was the daughter of a pagan priest, whose name was Kleonos, who was a rich man and notable in his life. But neither the wealth nor the notoriety of her father were able to weaken the Saint and separate her from her faith in Christ. For her father begged her much to deny her faith in Christ, but she refused. For this reason the blessed one was stripped of her clothing and beaten with whips by four men. Thus wounding her sides she was stripped of her wealth and exiled. And while in exile she did not cease confessing Christ, and delivered her soul into His hands.
Meanwhile Auktos and Taurios censured her savage and barbaric father, and they were betrayed as Christians to the consular Thorybios. Therefore their garments were removed and they were stoned, then placed in a very heated furnace. Having been preserved unharmed from these, they were struck by many arrows. Unwounded by these, they were then cast into a nearby pond. However, once again they emerged on dry ground unharmed by divine grace. This astonished the tyrant, and not knowing what to do, he ordered that their holy heads be cut off. In this way the Holy Martyrs received the crown of martyrdom.