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October 7, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus

Sts. Sergius and Bacchus (Feast Day - October 7)


Brazen as ox-hides Bacchus was forced to the ox-hides,
And with fire in his heart Sergius went to the sword.
On the seventh Sergius was killed by the sword, Bacchus by ox-hides.

These Saints lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian in the year 296, and both were from Old Rome. Sergius had been the primicerius* of the school of Quintillus,** and Bacchus was a secundicerius.*** Having been accused as Christians before the emperor, they were brought before the imperial tribunal, and boldly confessed Christ. First, they were deprived of the marks of their office which they wore. Then, in order to be put to shame, they were made to wear female clothing, with an iron chain around their necks, and with this appearance they were made to parade in the midst of the marketplace. Then they stood again before the emperor, who was astounded by the power of their divine words, so he sent them from Rome to go to the city of Euphratensis, to the duke of the East named Antiochus, in order to be tortured by him there, since he was without compassion and cruel. When the Saints stood before him, they were not overcome, neither by the flatteries nor by the threats of the tyrant. For this reason, Sergius was sent to a secured prison, while the blessed Bacchus was beaten without mercy with raw ox-hide. Having thus been beaten for a long time, during this torment he delivered his spirit into the hands of God.

Sergius was then removed from prison, and was tortured with various tortures. His feet were nailed into iron shoes, and with these he was forced to run. Then he was imprisoned again, and again with iron shoes nailed to him he was forced to run back to the place he came from. Finally his head was cut off. In this way the two received crowns of martyrdom. Their honorable relics were enshrined with honors by the Christians in the same place the Martyr Sergius was beheaded. Many years later a Temple was built in their name by some Bishops.


* The head of an imperial administrative department.
** Perhaps the Quintillus who was Roman Emperor for a few months in 270.
*** A functionary of the second rank.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
In contest you were victorious warriors of the Trinity, and an illustrious pair of martyrs, Sergius godly champion, and Bacchus noble athlete. In the radiancy of your glory you shelter those who cry: Glory to Him Who has strengthened you; glory to Him Who has crowned you; glory to Him Who through you works healings for all.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Let us gather and crown with praises, the noble martyrs and brothers in the faith, Sergius the warrior of the Trinity, and Bacchus who with him in tortures persevered in praising Christ, the Prizegiver and Creator of all.