Thursday, August 30, 2018

Holy Martyrs Felix, Fortunatus, Septiminus and Januarius

Sts.  Felix, Fortunatus, Septiminus and Januarius (Feast Days - April 16 & August 30)

Verses

For April 16

The four athletes were together decapitated by a sword,
Now they dance with the myriad of Angels.

For August 30

To Felix.
Being beheaded Felix pays the debt with his sacred blood,
And is adorned with the anointing of the priesthood.

To Januarius.
Raising the murderous iron that breathed murder,
The head of Januarius was taken.

To Fortunatus.
"Do not strike me, except with the swift sword,"
Fortunatus said with rebuke.

To Septiminus.
Always august in life Septiminus,
You found an all-august end by the sword.

Synaxarion for April 16

In the eighth year of the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, which was the year 294, an edict and order was issued for all the books of the Christians to be burnt in ever city. Therefore an all-abominable magistrate named Magnillian was sent to the city of Thibiuca. Before him Felix the Bishop and Januarius the Presbyter stood together with Fortunatus and Septiminus, and the edict of the emperor was read to them, after which he asked them to give him their books. The holy Felix responded to him: "It is written, O magistrate, that we ought not to 'give what is holy to dogs, nor throw pearls before swine (Matt. 7:6). You toil in vain therefore asking for our books, even if you have an imperial edict." The ruler said: "Abandon your foolish words and do the will of the emperor, otherwise I will send you bound to the proconsul." The Saint replied: "That which I am now toward you, the same I will be before all, as well as your emperor, that is, I am unchanging in my opinion regarding this." Then the magistrate shut the Saint in prison, where for three days he was uncared for. They then removed the Saint from prison, and put him on trial a second time, and finding him to be unchanged, they bound him with the other three already mentioned, and sent them to the proconsul. The proconsul interrogated them, then sent them to prison. After eleven days, the Martyrs were taken out of prison, and bound. They were then sent to the eparch of the Praetorium, who received them and tried to frighten them much, since they remained unchanging, and he cast them into a terrible prison, and they were guarded with great surety and security.

After fourteen days the Saints were taken out of prison and interrogated for a second time. They were then taken to a boat with horses, and they were bound to the legs of the horses. The revered men were therefore bound to the horses for four days, without eating or drinking, and they thanked God. When they arrived at the port of a city, they were secretly received by Christians there. From there they went to the city of Tauromeni, and from there they sailed to Lycaonia, and then went to the city known as Ailouroi. Then the impious eparch took pity, and released the Saints from their bonds, and with a calm voice asked them to give over their books and sacrifice to the idols. The Saints resisted, saying: "Neither will we give our books, nor sacrifice to idols." He therefore ordered that they be beheaded, and after the Saints prayed, they were beheaded, and in this way ascended crowned into the heavens.

Synaxarion for August 30

These four Holy Martyrs and brave soldiers of Christ, the Hieromartyr Felix, together with Fortunatus and Septiminus and Januarius, having been inflamed with divine zeal for the faith, for this reason they bravely fought the error of idolatry, and strengthened by faith in God, they eradicated the darkness of unbelief. Keeping without falsehood the laws and commandments of Christ, they discarded the interrogations of the Greeks, by which they were urged to deny piety. Having not been persuaded by these, the renowned ones endured persecutions, and bonds, and tortures of the body, and many moves from place to place, until they were finally condemned to be beheaded. Then a fearsome miracle took place, for the sun and moon could not endure the unjust slaughter of the Saints, so they changed to blood. The Martyrs having been beheaded, they received from the Lord the unfading crowns of the contest.


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