Martyrs Thyrsus, Callinicus, Philemon and Apollonius

1. The Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius and Callinicus suffered for Christ under the emperor Decius (249-251) at Caesarea in Bithynia. Saint Leucius, having reproached the prefect Cumbricius for his unjust persecution of Christians, was executed after being tortured. As soon as his head was cut off, his soul departed to heaven.

Saint Thyrsus, who was still a catechumen, was nonetheless eager for martyrdom. He was sentenced to cruel tortures and torments after refusing to offer sacrifice to the idols. Citing the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 2:27), he ridiculed those who worshiped wood and stone.

The saint’s arms and legs were pulled out of their sockets, his eyes were plucked out, and his teeth were shattered with a hammer. He was taken to a heathen temple, where, by his prayers, he toppled a statue of Apollo. Cumbricius was enraged by this, and he ordered that greater torments be devised for the athlete of Christ.

He endured them all and died peacefully after making the Sign of the Cross. The pagan priest Callinicus, seeing the bravery and the miracle involving Saint Thyrsus, believed in Christ and boldly confessed the true Faith, for which he was beheaded.

2. The pagan priest Callinicus, after witnessing the martyrdom of Saint Thyrsus, believed in Christ and boldly confessed the true Faith, for which he was beheaded.

3. Saint Apollonius, at first fearing to face the sufferings, asked the pagan musician Philemon to change clothes with him and offer sacrifice to the idols for him. But unexpectedly Saint Philemon confessed himself a Christian in front of the pagans.

Saint Apollonius repented and also confessed Christ. After torture, both martyrs were executed. Saint Philemon’s body was hung upon an olive tree, and arrows were shot at him. One struck prefect Arianus in the eye, destroying it. Arianus’ injured eye was healed by when he applied dirt taken from Philemon’s grave. He repented and was converted to the Christian Faith and baptized together with all his household and bodyguards. Out of love for Christ they voluntarily went to torture and were sentenced to death.

The Martyr Theotychus was the eldest of the guards, and is remembered with the other saints. The Martyrs Philemon and Apollonius died on March 16, 286, and the Martyrs Arianus and Theotychus on March 4, 287.

4. The Holy Martyrs Philemon, Apollonius, Arianus and Theotychus suffered for the Faith in Egypt, at the city of Antinoe, under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Saint Arrian up until his conversion to Christ was a persecutor of Christians, among whom were the martyrs Apollonius and Philemon.

Saint Apollonius, at first fearing to face the sufferings, asked the pagan musician Philemon to change clothes with him and offer sacrifice to the idols for him. But unexpectedly Saint Philemon confessed himself a Christian in front of the pagans.

Saint Apollonius repented and also confessed Christ. After torture, both martyrs were executed. Saint Philemon’s body was hung upon an olive tree, and arrows were shot at him. One struck prefect Arianus in the eye, destroying it. Arianus’ injured eye was healed by when he applied dirt taken from Philemon’s grave. He repented and was converted to the Christian Faith and baptized together with all his household and bodyguards. Out of love for Christ they voluntarily went to torture and were sentenced to death.

The Martyr Theotychus was the eldest of the guards, and is remembered with the other saints. The Martyrs Philemon and Apollonius died on March 16, 286, and the Martyrs Arrian and Theotychus on March 4, 287.

Tr by oca.org

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