Monday, June 25, 2018

The Holy Seven Martyred Brothers Orentios, Pharnakios, Eros, Firmus, Firminus, Kyriakos and Longinus

Holy Seven Martyred Brothers (Feast Day - June 25)


Verses

To Orentios.
Orentios emerged alive from the depths of the sea,
He died on the earth and hastened towards heaven.

To Pharnakios.
Pharnakios was taken up from the clay earth,
Raised to the grounds of the house of the Lord.

To Eros.
Earth was as if heaven beautiful Eros,
To which you have gone up rejoicing.

To Firmus and Firminus.
On the noetic thrones Firmus and Firminus,
The King of Angels sits.

To Kyriakos and Longinus.
Kyriakos and Longinus as equal to the angels,
God established equal in honor to the Angels.

These Saints were seven brothers who contested during the reigns of Diocletian and Maximian in the year 301. They were from the East, and were among two hundred military soldiers under the cubicularius Rodonas in the city of Antioch. These went to the area of Thrace, and they were arranged into one regiment, which was called Legeandron. Because in those years there was a revolution among the Scythians, having crossed the Danube river, they pirated Thrace. When Diocletian died, and Maximian reigned in the East, Maximian was perplexed regarding all that was under his care. Furthermore, the leader of the Scythians, Marathom, who exceeded everyone else in physical stature, as well as in beauty and courage, asked of Maximian to fight a man one on one, and that whoever of the two comes out the victor, the other side was to ascribe to him victory and make themselves subject to him. It is due to this that Maximian was perplexed, because none of the Romans had the courage to oppose in a one on one battle the barbaric and courageous Marathom. Therefore by the common agreement of all Saint Orentios was chosen to battle him one on one, for he also was courageous, and was experienced in warfare, and suitable for victory, due to his physical versatility and quickness. Thus the Saint entered the stadium, and stood against Marathom, and striking him with his spear, he cut off his head and brought it to the emperor, gaining the victory and the trophy.

The emperor was in awe of the Saint, and praised his bravery, offering sacrifices to the idols on behalf of this victory. Standing before the emperor, the Saint confessed that it was by the help of Christ that he defeated the arrogant Scythian, and not with the help of the false gods. The emperor then met with the Saint to give him his royal honors, he payed regard to the greatness of his bravery, and he gave him the extravagant and very expensive belt of the killed barbarian. After this, having advised the Saint and being unable to persuade him to deny his faith in Christ, he sent him together with his six brothers to the city of Satala in Armenia, having written to the duke there to punish the Saints until he persuaded them to sacrifice to the gods, and then to send them back. If he was unable to persuade them, then he was to exile them to the lands of Abkhazia and Circassia. Having therefore been examined by the duke, he did not persuade them to sacrifice to the idols, but they remained steadfast in the faith of Christ. For this reason, according to the order of the emperor, the Saints were exiled to the above-mentioned lands.

The first brother Eros departed to the Lord when they arrived at a place called New Parembole, on the twenty-second of this month. Saint Orentios received a blessed end, when they arrived at a place called Riza, after the Greeks tied a rock around his neck and cast him into the sea. The Archangel Raphael then appeared, took him up and removed him from the sea, leaving him on dry ground unharmed, and placing him on a rock; there he prayed, delivering his spirit to God, and he was buried there on the twenty-fourth of this month. Saint Pharnakios, when on the way to Kordila, departed to the Lord on the third of July. Firmus and Firminus arrived in Aspara, and there their transitory life came to an end, on the seventh of July. On his way to Ziganeia, Kyriakos rested in the Lord, on the fourteenth of July. Blessed Longinus, when he was on his way by sea from Ziganeia to Libyka, a great storm appeared on the path, and having prayed, he delivered his soul into the hands of God, and was buried in Pitsunda, since after four days the ship crashed there.


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