January 24, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Hieromartyr Babylas of Sicily with Agapios and Timothy his Disciples

Sts. Babylas, Agapios and Timothy of Sicily (Feast Day - January 24)


To Babylas.
Previously Babylas contested against demons,
He also contested through blood.

To Agapios and Timothy.
Agapios together with Timothy,
Were known as sure imitators of the Teacher.

Our Holy Father Babylas was from the East, having been born to noble parents who loved God, in the notable city of Theoupolis (Antioch). He was raised in the education and admonition of the Lord and learned sacred letters, which more quickly bring man to God. Having loved God from a young age, he came to despise the world. After his parents died, he distributed their wealth to the poor and the widows and the orphans. Thus liberating himself of all the troubles and cares of life, he ascended a mountain and lived in silence, having with him two disciples Agapios and Timothy. He became a Priest, and worthily honored the office of the priesthood. After this he withdrew from there and went to Rome.

Because the bloodthirsty Greeks there aimed to betray him to those who governed, for this reason the Saint departed Rome, and went to the island of Sicily with his two disciples, spending a long time there, bringing many unbelievers to the knowledge of God through the grace of the Spirit that dwelled within him. Because a city situated on a mountain cannot be hidden, according to the words of the Gospel, so also the blessed one could not be hidden from the ruler of Sicily. The ruler therefore had him and his two disciples arrested, and immediately when he saw them confess Christ as the true God with boldness, first he had them beaten so hard that their entire bodies were bruised all over. He then ordered soldiers to parade them around the city, and at the same time punish them with various inhuman punishments. This was done, first, so that through this punishment he would bring fear to the cities of Sicily, and also, so that he may fulfill the passion and rage he felt against these Saints. The Holy Martyrs were strengthened during their torments, altogether having hope and looking forward to the eternal good things. On the next day, the Saints were slaughtered with knives, and their bodies were cast into the fire. The fire however did not utterly consume them, but they were kept sound and unharmed. Some Christians therefore took them, and honorably buried them on the island of Sicily.