December 7, 2016

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Athenadoros of Mesopotamia

On the seventh of this month [December], we commemorate the Holy Martyr Athenodoros.


Athenodoros rejoices at his beheading by the sword,
Though his spirit is taken even before the sword.

Athenodoros lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305), and hailed from Syria of Mesopotamia. At a young age he became a monk. After being accused of being a Christian by the governor Eleusius, and having confessed Christ, he was bound between two pillars, and there all the members of his body were burned with lit torches. Then red-hot balls of iron were placed under his arm pits, and iron hooks were affixed to his nose.

After these things he was laid out over a fiery copper gridiron, which the Saint strangely converted from being hot to being cold. Then he was put in a fiery copper bull, in which he was preserved unharmed by a divine Angel. In a similar fashion was he preserved from other torments. This attracted fifty pagan men to Christ. After this, another thirty were likewise attracted. Then the athlete of Christ was sentenced to be beheaded. Because the executioner became paralyzed when he went to behead him, and fell down dead along with his sword, and because no one else dared to approach, the Saint prayed, and in this way he delivered his soul into the hands of God, thus receiving the crown of martyrdom.