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December 15, 2018

Holy Martyr Bacchus the New

St. Bacchus the New (Feast Day - December 15)


Not the second but Bacchus the new,
Is appointed among the athletes through the sword.

During the reign of Constantine VI (780-797) and Irene, restorers of the holy icons, the Holy Land was under the control of the Muslim Arabs. Many Christians there apostatized, putting honors and security in this world above their eternal joy. One of these was the father of this Saint, who brought up seven children as Muslims. His wife however, never renounced her Christian faith and prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband and children.

Upon the death of the father, her third son Dachak declared that he wished to become a Christian. He was baptized in the Monastery of Saint Savvas near Jerusalem, receiving the name Bacchus, and tonsured a monk. There he spent some time in strict fasting, labor, vigils and prayer, adorning himself with the virtues. But the abbot, fearing reprisals against the monastery, sent him back to his home. In Jerusalem Bacchus met his mother, where he told her everything that happened to him, and how he lamented the fact his brothers remained Muslims. His mother then went to his brothers, and upon telling them of all that happened with their brother, they decided to receive holy Baptism, except for one, who denounced Bacchus to the authorities. He was thus arrested and brought before the judge and, when he proved steadfast in his confession of Christ, was beheaded.