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April 10, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs James the Presbyter and Aza the Deacon

Sts. James and Aza of Persia (Feast Day - April 10)


To James.
I write of the decapitation of James,
And the decapitation brought the crown as a reward.

To Aza.
The head of Aza the Levite of Christ was cut off,
Shaming Leviathan the enemy of Christ.

These Saints contested during the reigns of King Shapur of the Persians and Emperor Constantine the Great of the Romans in the year 332. James the Presbyter was from a village called Pharnatha, and Aza the Deacon was from a village called Bithneora. Having been arrested they stood before the arch-magi Achoschargan, and because they boldly confessed Christ, a mixture of vinegar and mustard was poured into their nostrils. After this they were thrashed and suspended naked outdoors in the open, where the renowned ones were made stiff due to the coldness of the night. They were then brought down, and being unable to persuade them to sacrifice to the sun and to fire, the ruler ordered for their beheading, and in this way the blessed ones entered into the heavens bearing crowns.*


* A service to these holy Persian martyrs was composed by St. Joseph the Hymnographer, which is found in the following codices: Lavra D 36, Q 87 and Paris 1564. More information about these martyrs is contained on the lives of the Holy Martyrs Akepsimas, Joseph and Aethalas commemorated on November 3rd.