August 14, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Ursicius of Illyricum

St. Ursicius the Martyr (Feast Day - August 14)


Ursicius was beheaded O God the Word,
How can his head be without a crown?

This Saint lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305), and was from the city of Sebentus, which was located in Upper Illyricum, namely Slavonia, and was a soldier according to office. Because he was a Christian, he was accused to the emperor Maximian. Maximian delivered him to the governor Aristides in order to be judged by him. Wherefore he was flogged in the back with ox-hides, and harshly wounded on his sides. They then wrapped his hands with flax made wet with oil, on top of which they applied sulfur and resin, and they were lit on fire. Suffering these punishments, the Saint said: "Justly do my hands suffer, because they saved the tyrant, who wrongly was destined to perish."

Therefore because the tyrant was criticized by a certain Tertullian who was found there, having been redeemed by the Saint, he appeared ungrateful to his benefactor, for which Maximian was ashamed, and ordered for water to be spilled on the hands of the Martyr to extinguish the fire. When a certain Greek named Olvianos saw this, he was enraged due to his anger, and left the Praetorium. He thus went to his house, where he was stung by a scorpion, and with great pain of distress, his wicked soul departed. Saint Ursicius then received the final sentencing, and he was beheaded by a certain Valenta, who had earlier accused him. Three times he inhumanly struck the Saint on the neck with the sword, and the blessed one received the crown of martyrdom.