May 22, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Basiliskos, Nephew of Saint Theodore the Tiro

St. Basiliskos of Comana (Feast Day - May 22)


Basiliskos delivered his head to beheading,
Trampling on the head of the noetic basilisk.
On the twenty-second Basiliskos suffered the sword.

During the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305), the governor Agrippa was sent to the East against the Christians, to replace the governor Asklipiodotos, and having arrived in Comana of Cappadocia, he interrogated and punished the Christians. At that time Saint Basiliskos was there, who was from a village of the Black Sea in Amasea called Choumiala, and was the nephew of Saint Theodore the Tiro. He had beforehand struggled in martyrdom with Eutropios and Kleonikos,* the fellow soldiers of his uncle Saint Theodore. Because their lives came to a martyric end, Basiliskos remained shut in prison, which is why he desired to end his path in martyrdom. Wherefore he was made worthy of manifestations from God, who ordered him to bid farewell to his relatives, and then go to Comana in Cappadocia to be martyred there. The Saint therefore was set free from prison by soldiers, who accompanied him to his household. Having bid farewell to his relatives, and catechized them in the words of piety, he remained there with them. Because the Saint was sought for in the prison and could not be found, the governor became enraged. He thus ordered that wherever he was to be found, he was to be bound by two chains and have iron shoes with nails in them to be placed on his feet, and to be brought to trial with much force.

When those who were sent found the Saint, they forcefully brought him back, and the nails in the shoes went so deep that they entered into the bones of his feet, causing the whole ground to be red with blood. When the soldiers arrived in a village called Daknos, they were hosted in the home of a woman named Traianes. There they tied up the Saint to a dried up plane tree, and went to sit down to eat. The Saint prayed and - O the miracle! - the dried up plane tree budded and brought forth leaves, and not only this, but a fountain bubbled up out of the root of the plane tree, and this fountain is preserved till this day ever-flowing with gushing water. Then an earthquake struck that was so strong, that the soldiers jumped from the table and came out of the house where they were eating dinner to see what was happening. When they saw the fountain flowing and the dried up plane tree had budded, they were astounded. Therefore they all believed in Christ, who were thirteen in number. Hence they immediately untied the Saint, and removing the nails from his feet, they fell down before him, and asked him to baptize them, together with the woman who received them, and all those who belonged to her household. They brought also many of the sick and demon possessed, all of whom the Saint healed, and he baptized them.

When the Martyr stood before the governor, he was asked: "Why, mindless one, do you not sacrifice to the gods?" The Saint responded: "I, O governor, do not cease sacrificing to God." When the governor heard this he rejoiced, and taking the Saint by the hand, and greeting him, he brought him to the temple of the idols. Then the Saint lifted up his hands and prayed, and immediately fire came down from heaven, which burned down the temple, and all the idols therein were broken into small pieces. When the governor saw this, he fled. The Saint stood before him once again, and he was asked: "Mindless and truly sacrilegious one, instead of offering sacrifices to the gods, you with your foul magic burned down the temple, and the gods you diminished to dust?" The Saint answered: "What I have done, I do not deny. I merely lifted up my hands to heaven, as you yourself saw and can testify, and I entreated God who is in the heavens. From there fire came down, and burned the stones and the wood, and your gods were diminished, that you may not be deceived by them." When the governor heard this, he was inflamed with rage, and ordered the head of the Saint to be cut off, and for his body to be cast into the river. The soldiers therefore took the Saint and led him outside the city, where they decapitated his blessed head. Some Christians gave thirty coins to the soldiers, and received the body of the Martyr. The most pious ruler of Comana, Marinos, built a dignified temple in the name of the Saint, in which his relic was honorable kept, and from which healings and miracles take place for those who hasten to it with faith.


* Saints Eutropios and Kleonikos, who were both crucified, are commemorated together with Saint Basiliskos on March 3rd.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
O glorious Saint, thou wast offered, through thy steadfast contest, as a royal sacrifice to the King of Ages, the Prize-bestowing God. O Basiliskos, thou wast a valiant soldier of the truth, who didst destroy error and who dost pray to Christ our God for us all.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou art heir to the Kingdom of Heaven, O glorious Martyr Basiliskos. Save those who cry to thee: Rejoice, O holy adornment of Martyrs.

Shown to be a coal of piety, through heavenly fire you astonishingly burnt down, the temple of the idols, godly-minded Basiliskos, through life-giving fire, you warm everyone.

Grave of St. Basiliskos in Comana