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March 30, 2017

Holy Martyr Victor of Thessaloniki and the Eleven Martyrs With Him

St. Victor and the Eleven Martyrs of Thessaloniki (Feast Day - March 30);
icon depicts All Saints of Thessaloniki

Saint Victor was martyred with Saint Domninos and eleven others in Thessaloniki under Emperor Galerius Valerius Maximianus (305-311), at the time the emperor was building his royal palace in that city. In 301 the Roman Empire was divided into the Tetrarchy by Emperor Diocletian. This was a system of government designed to solve the severe military and political problems that the Roman Empire was facing. Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum and incorporated most of Greece as well as the entire Balkan Peninsula. Emperor Galerius Valerius Maximianus endowed the city with magnificent buildings during that period, including the imperial palace, the hippodrome, the triumphal arch, the Roman Forum, and a mausoleum. It was during this time, in 306, that Saint Demetrios was martyred.

In the Synaxarion of Constantinople only Saint Domninos is commemorated on October 1st. In older martyrologies, however, such as the Roman Martyrology, Domninos is said to have been martyred with Saint Victor and others in Thessaloniki on the same day, and these are commemorated together on March 30th. And in the Hieronymian Martyrology, twelve names of martyrs, including that of Saint Victor, are listed together with Saint Domninos under March 30th. Today we commemorate Saint Domninos on October 1st, while his twelve companion are commemorated on March 30th.