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January 8, 2018

Synaxarion of Holy Hieromartyr Karterios of Caesarea

St. Karterios the Hieromartyr (Feast Day - January 8)


Karterios of old towards fire and spear,
You showed yourself steadfast towards the match against both.

This Saint contested during the reign of Emperor Diocletian and Governor Urban of Caesarea in Cappadocia in the year 298, and he was a priest and teacher of the Christians. He built a house of prayer, namely a small church, and there the Christians would gather, where he taught them to revere Christ alone as the true God, and to not recognize any other god besides Him. For this he was accused to the governor, and he hid. However the Lord appeared to him and said: "Go, O Karterios, and reveal yourself to those who seek you, for I am with you. You must suffer many things for My name. For many through you will believe in Me and be saved." The Saint was then filled with joy and thanked God, and he emboldened himself. Therefore he was first shut up in prison. Then he stood before the governor, and was ordered to sacrifice to the false god Serapis. Instead the Saint had the idol cast to the ground by his prayers. Because of this sixteen soldiers beat him with clubs, just as drums are struck. They then suspended him on a wooden stake, and with razors they removed his nails from his hands and feet, and with iron claws they tore at his entire body. By means of a divine Angel however, he was exalted above these torments and became healed. But the governor again ordered that the ankles of the Martyr be pierced through with iron, and a fiery plowshare was placed on his chest. After this he was made to sit on a red-hot stool of iron, then again he was cast into prison.

At night the Lord again appeared to him, and freed him from his bonds. When many of the unbelievers saw him healthy, they went to him and were baptized by him, and they were liberated from their sicknesses. For this the Saint again received punishment. They hung large rocks from his hands and feet, and with clubs they beat him in the stomach. Then with lit lamps they burnt him, and sprinkled on him tar and pitch. They then forced him to drink molten lead. Lastly he was put in burning fire, but he remained unharmed, sending up hymns and thanks to God. Then a certain Jew who stood there became very enraged, and the villainous one took a spear and passed it through the side of the Saint. And at first, so much water came out of his side, that it extinguished the fire of the furnace, and then blood issued forth. In this way the brave struggler delivered his soul into the hands of God, and received from Him the crown of the contest.