Saints Marius, Martha, Audifax and Abachum
Martyrs; died Rome, c.270. Marius and Martha were noble Persians, who, with their sons, Audifax and Abachum, came to Rome to visit the tombs of the Apostles and give aid to the persecuted Christians. After suffering horrible torture, Marius and his sons were beheaded, and Martha was cast into a well. Relics in church of San Prassede, Rome. Feast, Roman Calendar, 19 January. The Holy GreatMartyr James the Persian
(the Hewn-Apart) was born in the IV Century into a pious Christian family, both wealthy and illustrious. His wife was also a Christian, and the spouses raised their children in piety, inspiring in them a love for prayer and the Holy Scripture. James occupied an high position at the court of the Persian emperor Izdegerd (399-420) and his successor Barakhranes (420-438). But on one of the military campaigns James, seduced by the emperor's beneficence, became afraid to acknowledge himself a Christian, and so together with the emperor he offered sacrifice to idols. Learning of this, the mother and wife of James in deep distress wrote him a letter, in which they scolded him and urged him to repent. Receiving the letter, James realised the gravity of his sin, and setting before himself the horror of being cut off not only from his family, but also from God Himself, he began loudly to weep and implore the Lord for forgiveness. His fellow-soldiers, hearing him pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, reported about this to the emperor. Under interrogation and taking courage in spirit, Saint James bravely confessed his faith in the One True God. No amount of urgings by the emperor could shake him into renouncing Christ. The emperor then gave orders to deliver the saint over to a death by martyrdom. They placed the martyr on a chopping-block and they alternately cut off his fingers and his toes, and then his hands and his feet. During the prolonged torture Saint James incessantly offered up prayer of thanks to the Lord, that He had granted him the possibility through the terrible torments to be redeemed of the sins committed. Flowing with blood the martyr was then beheaded.Feast Nov. 27thThe MonkMartyr Anastasias (us?) the Persian
was the son of a Persian sorcerer named Babo. As a pagan, he had the name Magundates and served in the armies of the Persian emperor Chosroes II, who in a victorious war against the Greeks in 614 ravaged the city of Jerusalem and carried away to Persia the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord. Great miracles occurred from the Cross of the Lord, and the Persians were astonished. The heart of young Magundates blazed up with the desire to learn in detail more about this sacred object. Asking everyone about the Holy Cross, the youth learned, that upon it the Lord Himself endured crucifixion for the salvation of mankind. He became acquainted with the truths of the Christian faith in the city of Chalcedon, where for a certain while the army of Chosroes was situated. He was baptised with the name Anastasias, and then accepted monasticism and dwelt for seven years in monastic works and efforts in one of the Jerusalem monasteries.
Reading about the acts of the holy martyrs, Saint Anastasias was inspired with the desire to imitate them. A mysterious dream in particular urged him to do this, which he had on Great Saturday, the day before the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. Having fallen asleep after his daily tasks, he beheld a radiant man, giving him a golden chalice filled with wine, with the words "take hold and drink". Driving from the chalice given him, he sensed an inexplicable delight. Saint Anastasias then perceived that this vision was a portent of his own martyr's end. He went secretly from the monastery to Palestinian Caesarea. There they arrested him for being a Christian and brought him to trial. The governor tried every which way to sway Saint Anastasias into a renunciation of Christ, threatening him with tortures and death and promising him honours and earthly blessings. But the saint remained unyielding. Then they subjected him to torture: they beat at him with canes, they lacerated his knees, they hung him up by the hands and tied an heavy stone to his feet, they exhausted him with confinement, and then wore him down with heavy work in the stone-quarry with other prisoners.
Finally, the governor summoned Saint Anastasias and demanded he say only the words: "I am not a Christian", promising him freedom. The holy martyr answered: "Let me be with this. Neither before thee, nor before others wilt I renounce my Lord, neither openly nor secretly even in sleep, and no one nowhere and in no way can compel me to do this while in my right mind". Then by order of the emperor Chosroes, they strangled the holy Martyr Anastasias (+ 628). After the death of Chosroes, the relics of the MonkMartyr Anastasias were transferred to Palestine, to the Anastasias monastery.Feast Jan. 22ndThe Monk Dometios
lived during the IV Century, and he was by birth a Persian. In his youthful years he was converted to the faith by a Christian named Uaros. Forsaking Persia, he withdrew to the frontier-city of Niziba (in Mesopotamia), where he accepted Baptism in one of the monasteries and was tonsured into monasticism. But then fleeing the ill-will of the monastery inhabitants, the Monk Dometios moved on to the monastery of Saints Sergios and Bacchus in the city of Theodosiopolis. The monastery was under the guidance of an archimandrite named Nurbelos -- a strict ascetic, about whom it was reported, that over the course of 60 years he did not taste of cooked food, nor did he lay down for sleep, but rather took his rest standing up, supporting himself upon his staff. In this monastery the Monk Dometios was ordained to the dignity of deacon, but when the archimandrite decided to have him made a presbyter, the saint in reckoning himself unworthy hid himself away on a desolate mountain in Syria, in the region of Cyr. Reports about him constantly spread about among the surrounding inhabitants. They began to come to him for healing and for help. Many a pagan was brought to the faith in Christ by Dometios. And one time, in the locality where Saint Dometios asceticised with his disciples, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) arrived, journeying along on his campaign against the Persians. By order of the emperor, soldiers searched out Saint Dometios praying with his disciples in a cave, and stoned them to death (+ 363).Feast Aug 7th
And, of course, St. Aphraates the Persian