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November 20, 2016

Holy Martyrs Nerses, Joseph, John, Severius, Isaac, Azades and many other Martyrs with them of Persia

Sts. Nerses, Joseph, John, Severius, Isaac and many others with them
(Feast Day - November 20)


To Nerses and Joseph
Both Nerses and Joseph were killed at the same time,
Slaughtered by knives, as the Apostle says.

To John, Severius and Isaac
John and Severius were together stoned,
Isaac was killed by the stone of a slave.

To Azades and three other Martyrs
Azades together with three other contestants,
Were killed by the spears of enemies of the Trinity.

To Thekla, Vaoutha and Denachida
Thekla, Vaoutha, Denachida virgins,
The contest of the sword showed you to be virgin-contestants.

All of these Saints were martyred during the reign of King Shapur II of Persia in the year 343.

Nerses was a Bishop in Persia with many followers, and Joseph was his disciple and a Bishop as well. They were virtuous men who taught the people piety, having turned them away from error. When Nerses was eighty years old and Joseph was eighty-nine years old, they were brought before the king, who offered to reward Nerses with riches if he would agree to adore the sun. The Bishop answered that it was unthinkable for him to "tear asunder" his Christian faith by offering worship to a mere creature, the sun. Angered by this reply, Shapur threatened Nerses with immediate death if he did not obey his order to adore the sun. The bishop replied that, although the king had the power to kill them, "You could not sever us from our God." Both Nerses and Joseph were put to death by the sword.

John, Severius and Isaac were also Bishops of Persia, who after being stripped naked and beaten and whipped, were taken outside the city with an ascetic named Onam, and they were stoned to death.

Papias (or Dapius) and Isaac were Presbyter who were martyred by beheading.

Azades (or Boethazades, Geithazet, Geidazet) was a Eunuch, and with Sosani, Noelmari and Zarouantini they refused to worship the sun and fire. With them were also other virgin ascetic women, such as Thekla, Vaoutha, Denachi, Tentous, Mama, Malochia, Anna, Nana and Malach. They all suffered many torments before they were sentenced to death. Azades, Sosani, Noelmari and Zarouantini were put to death with spears. Thekla, Anna and other virgins were beheaded. Three other virgins were cut up into pieces, and through their spilled blood a fig tree grew, which healed many illness and diseases of the faithful. However, when the impious Manicheans heard about this, they cut down the fig tree.

All having given a good confession, and preferring a horrible death rather than deny their faith in Christ, were in return given by Christ the crown of martyrdom.