July 23, 2018

Translation of the Relics of the Holy Hieromartyr Phocas of Sinope

Translation of the Relic of St. Phocas the Bishop of Sinope (Feast Day - July 23)


You were illumined with the light of the Lord glorious Phocas,
Your heart was shown to be a holder of light.

Another for the Translation of his Relic.

A new ark of Israel is lifted up anew,
Carrying dead Phocas as another tablet.
On the twenty-third dead Phocas was carried out.

The Holy Hieromartyr Phocas was born in the city of Sinope. During his adult years he became Bishop of Sinope. At the time of a persecution against Christians under the emperor Trajan (98–117), the governor demanded that the Saint renounce Christ. After fierce torture they enclosed him in a hot bath-house, where he died a martyr’s death in the year 117.

A homily in his honor was composed by Saint John Chrysostom on the occasion of the translation of his relics to Constantinople. The translation of his holy relics from Pontus to Constantinople about the year 404 A.D. is celebrated on July 23. His primary feast is on September 22, and he is called a wonderworker.

Today, one miracle of this Saint is also commemorated, which was written down by a man named Leo of Pontus. The Saracens captured Leo of Pontus, shackling him in chains and binding his hands to his back, and they left him to die. Lying on his stomach on the ground, and not being able to move, Leo cried out: “O Holy Martyr Phocas, have mercy on me, and deliver me in this time of need and from these shackles!” Saying this he fell asleep and, in a dream, saw Saint Phocas dressed a priest approaching him, touched him by the hand and said: “Get up, get up and leave!” When the man awoke, he found himself loosed from all bonds and free. He arose, unwounded, departed for his home, and every year he celebrated the feast of the Saint, gratefully glorifying God and the Saint.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
By your healings, you have shined forth as light, your relic, has been brought to light for the world, O Hieromartyr, whose revered conveying in the divine case we celebrate, being truly sanctified by its carrying. Glorious Phocas, entreat Christ God, to grant us the great mercy.

Kontakion in Second Tone
The Master hath established thee as a divinely-radiant, luminous, and spiritual sun shining upon the multitude of the church's faithful, O glorious Martyr Phocas; for He hath accepted thy life, faith, and contests as fragrant myrrh, since He alone is abundant in mercy.