November 19, 2018

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Heliodoros of Magydus

St. Heliodoros of Magydus (Feast Day - November 19)


Heliodoros beheld Christ as the Sun,
Above shining light on the darkness of the torments.

In the reign of the Emperor Aurelian, who governed the city of Magydus in the year 272, the blessed Heliodoros could be found in this city, boldly preaching Christ, and for this he was apprehended and brought to the governor. Standing before him, he heard many flatteries, and because he could not be persuaded to sacrifice to the idols, he was suspended and scraped, then burnt with lit torches. Because the sharpness of the torments passed through the heart of the Saint, he said, "Lord Jesus Christ, help me." Immediately a voice from heaven was heard saying, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." When those who held the torches heard this voice, they also beheld four Angels preventing them from punishing the Saint. This caused them to believe in the Lord, and they rebuked and shamed the governor. For this they were thrown into the sea, and received from the Lord crowns of martyrdom.

The governor then ordered for a bronze bull to be fired up, and for the Martyr of Christ to be put within. When the Saint was put in it he prayed and - O the wonder! - the gleaming bull immediately became cool and the Martyr chanted inside. When the governor heard the Saint chanting, he became deranged. Approaching it, he realized that what had been previously extremely hot, suddenly became extremely cool. He therefore said to the Saint, "Profane head, your magic defeated even this fire." The Saint responded, "My magic is my Christ. However appoint for me three days, that I may consider what to do." Having been appointed his request, he secretly entered the temple known as the Pantheon, which was called this because inside were idols to all the gods. Inside there the Saint prayed, and an earthquake immediately took place. Because of the earthquake all the idols fell and were crushed to pieces. When the governed learned of this, he brought the Martyr to his court. Being full of rage, he ordered the Saint to be suspended, and to have heated nails driven into his head. Because the athlete of Christ felt the sharpness of the pain, he again invoked God's help, and by his entreaty the extreme pain was lightened. When the governor saw that the Saint could not be conquered by tortures, he ordered for him to be brought bound with heavy chains to the city of Attalea. The Saint having gone there, the governor ordered for him to turn around and come back, where he was to stand before his court.

After having conversed with him much, in order to get him to sacrifice to the idols, and seeing him to be unchanging, he ordered that the hands and feet of the Martyr be placed in the four holes of the torturous stocks. Then heating up with a strong flame a skillet, the Martyr was placed within. The Saint stood in the middle of the skillet and prayed. Not only this, but he urged those who stood around him to enter the skillet, informing them that they would remain unharmed from the fire. Therefore many of them believed his words and entered. Because they remained unharmed, as the Saint said, they believed in our Lord Jesus Christ, saying, "Truly, great is the God of the Christians!" When the governor saw this, he was afraid that perhaps those who believed would grab the Saint from his hands, so he ordered that the Saint again be brought to Magydus. As he went he prayed along the road and chanted. Arriving in the city, he was again questioned. Not being persuaded to sacrifice to the idols, Governor Aotios ordered for the tongue of the Saint to be cut off. He was then to be suspended, and beaten with a wooden sword for two entire hours. After this they put a bridle on the Martyr and he was pulled like an irrational animal outside the city in order to kill him. The Saint then beckoned with his hand to those who pulled him to allow him some time to pray. He thus stood in prayer, and having completed it he was beheaded. In this way the blessed one received the crown of martyrdom.