September 9, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Great Martyr Severian of Sebaste

St. Severian the Great Martyr (Feast Day - September 9)


Severian suffered by the weight of the stones,
Hanging he rejoiced, tearing his feet from earth.

This Saint was from Sebaste during the reign Licinius the emperor and Lysias the duke in the year 315, famous everywhere for his virtue, and his faith in Christ. By his office he belonged to the so-called senate: namely the imperial counselors and senators. When the duke Lysias came to Sebaste and put to death with a bitter death the Holy Forty Martyrs, he was informed also at that time of Saint Severian: that he was teaching many Greeks to become Christians, and that he was the cause through his teachings for the Forty Martyrs shortly beforehand to have shown such bravery during the contest of their martyrdom. He was also informed that, because he was wealthy, he took care of the needs of Christians who were in prison with rich handouts, and in this way he made them disobedient to imperial decrees. For this reason he immediately sent men to bring him before him. But the Saint managed to arrive there before the men were sent out, and he stood before Lysias by his own will, speaking freely of the faith of Christ with great courage.

Therefore, the governor immediately ordered for the Saint to be lacerated with raw hides. The Saint became even more brave, and his wise responses brought greater rage to the governor. He was therefore suspended on a wooden pole, and was scraped with iron claws. The executioners scraped at him one after another, giving the martyr of Christ sharp pains, so much so, that the governor Lysias was in amazement, and was in wonder of the patience of the courageous man. For this reason he ordered that his punishments cease, and that he be thrown into prison. The Martyr was brought to a prison in the middle of the city, and he boldly advised all the people that followed him, to do all that is beneficial for the soul and for salvation.

When five days had passed, the Martyr was brought before the tribunal. Because he once again rebuked the governor with his wise responses, his mouth was crushed with a rock, and he was ordered with a loud voice to not constantly have Christ on his tongue. Again the Saint was suspended on a wooden pole, and his entire body was cut up with iron claws. He was then raised up on a high wall, and two very big and heavy rocks were tied to him, one from his neck and the other from his feet. And being tied with a rope around his waist, he hung from the wall. Although he was hanging there, he showed such wondrous courage, that he astounded the tyrant with his wise words, then delivered his holy soul into the hands of God. Christians took up his martyric relics, and brought them with honors to his hometown of Sebaste. Meanwhile God performed an awesome and most-sweet miracle.

At the time the relics of the Saint were brought to Sebaste, and all the Christians of Sebaste came out with eagerness to welcome it, one of the servants of the Martyr died. The wife of the dead man, because she was not able to go out and welcome the holy relic, first because she was crying and lamenting bitterly her dead husband, and also because she was now alone, and she had no one to grieve with her and console her. Turning therefore towards the dead body of her husband, she spoke with suffering: "Get up, O my husband, get up and let us go out and welcome our beloved master, for his holy relics are coming." With other such words she urged him, speaking with her husband as if he was alive. And - O the strange wonder! - as she spoke these things, the dead man got up. Having therefore cast off his shroud and burial garments, and tying a belt around his waist, he immediately ran and welcomed the relics of his master the Martyr, in a way that astounded with wonder all those who were there, especially those who saw with their own eyes that he indeed had died. The resurrected dead man lived for fifteen years after this, and even a little more than this, and he died again.

The all-honorable relic of Saint Severian was buried in a place that was revealed by God in the following manner. An eagle appeared by divine power holding a most-beautiful crown, made of various most-fragrant flowers. It dropped this crown at the place where the relic of the Martyr had been buried, with reverence and sacredness, since he was worthy of everything sacred and revered. By this sign the Christians found the location, dug and found the relic of the Saint.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
With wise words thou didst anoint an army of Athletes and exhort them to contest. Thou didst spurn corruptible honours and receive unfading glory. Holy Martyr Severian, we sing thy praise.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou didst shine forth as a noble martyr, holy Severian, Athlete of God. Thou art the glory of trophy bearers, radiantly adorned with Christ's wounds. Intercede that our souls may be saved.