July 12, 2017

Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilarion of Ancyra

Sts. Proclus and Hilarion (Feast Day - July 12)


To Proclus.
Proclus was led naked to the arrows,
For a garment he had the armor of God.

To Hilarion.
All-honorable Hilarion had his head cut off,
After an all-honorable contest he found a crown.

On the twelfth Proclus was taken by arrows, and Hilarion by a sword.

The Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilarion were natives of the village of Kallippi, near Ancyra, and they suffered during the time of a persecution under the emperor Trajan (98-117). Saint Proclus was put under arrest first. Brought before the governor Maximus, he fearlessly confessed his faith in Christ. The governor decided to compel the Saint to submit himself to the emperor and offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. "What is your lineage?" the governor inquired of Proclus. Proclus answered: "My lineage is Christ and my hope is my God." When the governor threatened him with tortures, Proclus said: "When you are afraid to transgress the orders of the emperor in order not to fall into temporal sufferings, how much more are we Christians afraid to transgress the commandment of God so that we may not fall into eternal sufferings!"

During his tortures, the martyr predicted to Maximus that soon he himself would be compelled to confess Christ as the true God. First Proclus was scourged, then the wounds of his bodily members were burned with lit lamps. He was then suspended on a stake and a heavy rock was tied to his feet. Then they forced the martyr to run after the chariot of the governor, heading towards the village Kallippi. Exhausted, Saint Proclus prayed that the Lord would halt the chariot. By the power of God the chariot halted, and no force could move it from the spot. The dignitary sitting in it became petrified. The martyr told him that he would remain unmoving until such time as he would sign a document with a confession of Christ. Only after this could the chariot continue on its way with the governor.

The humiliated pagan took fierce revenge on Saint Proclus. He commanded that Proclus be led out beyond the city, tied to a pillar and shot with arrows. The soldiers, leading Saint Proclus to execution, told him to give in and save his life, but the Saint said that they should follow their orders.

Along the way to the place of execution, they met Hilarion, the nephew of Saint Proclus, who with tears embraced his uncle and also confessed himself a Christian. The soldiers seized him, and he was thrown into prison. The holy Martyr Proclus prayed for his tormentors and surrendered his soul to God after being shot with arrows.

Saint Hilarion was brought to trial and, with the same courage as Saint Proclus, confessed himself a Christian. After being beaten he was sentenced to death. They tied the martyr’s hands and dragged him by his feet three miles through the city, wounded and bloody, and then they beheaded him three days after the death of his uncle, the holy Martyr Proclus. Christians buried them together in a single grave.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
O Hilarion and Proclos, arrayed in the armour of the Cross, you contested and were communicants of Christ. You were partakers of heavenly glory, and do shine with gifts of grace on those who cry: Glory to Him Who has strengthened you; glory to Him Who has crowned you; glory to Him Who through you works healings for all.

Another Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Your holy martyrs Proclus and Hilarion, O Lord, through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through their intercessions, save our souls.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Of like spirit in your life and of one accord in all things, O renowned martyrs and kinsmen Proclus and Hilarion, you became images of the Passion of Christ, and were found worthy of His glory. Pray that all may receive Christ's mercy.

Another Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Like the morning star, your glorious sufferings enlighten us with holy miracles. We celebrate your memory, Proclus and Hilarion; pray to Christ God for us, that He will save our souls.