May 20, 2021

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Thallelaios


On the 20th of this month [May], we commemorate the Holy Martyr Thallelaios


Thallelaios having been harshly beheaded,
God gave a plant for the release of all suffering.*
On the twentieth the head of Thallelaios was cut off.

This Saint Thallelaios flourished during the reign of Emperor Numerian in the year 284, and was from a country in Phoenicia called Lebanon, whose father was Berukios the Hierarch of the Christians and his mother was called Romylia. Having learned the art of medicine, and gone into hiding inside an olive tree out of fear of the idolaters, he was arrested as a Christian in the city of Anazarbus, which is located in the second province of Cilicia. Being brought before the ruler Theodore, who, being unable to persuade the Saint to sacrifice to the idols, for this reason ordered that his ankles be pierced through, in order for a rope to go through them, and then have him suspended upside down. The servants therefore thought they did as the ruler ordered, by piercing through the ankles of the Saint and suspending him, but in fact they neither pierced him nor suspended him, but were struck with blindness, and their minds were altered by some divine power, so that they were unable to know what they were doing, which is why they pierced through a piece of wood and suspended it instead of the Saint. The ruler thought the soldiers were mocking him, so he had them flogged. Two of them, whose names were Alexander and Asterios, seeing this paradoxical matter, believed in Christ. Because of this they were beheaded, and received crowns of martyrdom.

The governor was puzzled and did not know what to do, so he endeavored himself to pierce through the ankles of the Saint. As he attempted to rise up from his throne - O the miracle! - the throne became stuck to his back and he was unable to get up. The Saint felt sympathy for him, and therefore prayed, and by his prayers the throne became unstuck from his back. Through this miracle, many Greeks believed in Christ. The governor again became inflamed due to his unbelief. This is why he again attempted to pierce through the ankles of the Saint and - O the miracle! - his hands immediately withered. The Saint however, not wanting to  render evil for evil, again healed the hands of the ungrateful one. The governor remained in his disbelief, and ordered for the Saint to be cast into the sea, from which the Martyr emerged unharmed, wearing a white garment. After this the Saint was delivered over to be devoured by the wild beasts, but again he was kept unharmed by divine grace. Finally he was beheaded in Aegeae of the city of Edessa, and thus received the unfading crown of martyrdom. His Synaxis is celebrated in his martyrium temple, which is within that of the Holy Martyr Agathonikos.**

Apolytikion in the First Tone
O Thallelaios, thou didst defeat idolatrous error by thy martyr's contest. Thou wast a treasury of healing, freely curing all who run to thy church with faith, and who cry out with love: Glory to Him Who has strengthened thee; glory to Him Who has made thee wonderful; glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Thou wast a fellow athlete with the martyrs, O Thallelaios, and didst become a soldier of the King of glory. Thou didst trample on the idolater's pride, through thy trials and torments. Wherefore we praise thy memory.

Notes (by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite):

* In the manuscripts of the Menaion, this verse is written as follows: "God gave a plant to send release from suffering." What is meant by this is that at the place where Saint Thallelaios was beheaded, God sprouted a plant which healed all forms of suffering and illness, perhaps to show the Saint's art of medicine. Similarly at the grave of the Apostle Luke, God poured out collyrium, as a sign that he possessed the art of medicine, as can be seen on the eighteenth of October.

** The Synaxis and Feast of Saint Thallelaios is also celebrated on the island of Naxos, where a Monastery in his name holds a common feast, and many miracles take place there through the Saint, to those who hasten to him with faith. His Service was completed by me despite my inability and I also supplemented a Canon. I also added a Supplicatory Canon to this Saint, in accordance with the wish of those who asked.