Commemorated on April 28
The Disciple Jason
hailed from Tarsus (Asia Minor). He was the first Christian in the city. The
Disciple Sosipater was a native of Achaeia. They both became disciples of
the Apostle Paul, who even called them his "kinsmen" (Rom. 16: 21).
Saint Jason was made bishop in his native city of Tarsus, and Saint
Sosipater – in Iconium. They set out to the West preaching the Gospel, and in
the year 63 they reached the island of Kerkyra (Korfu) in the Ionian Sea near
There they built a
church in the name of the First-Martyr Stephen and they baptised many. The
governor of the island learned about this and locked them up in prison, where
they saw seven thieves: Satornius, Iakyscholus, Faustian, Jannuarius, Marsalius,
Euphrasius and Mammius. The disciples converted them to Christ. For their
confession of Christ the seven prisoners died as martyrs in a cauldron of molten
tar, wax and sulfur.
The prison guard,
having beheld their act of martyrdom, declared himself a Christian. For this
they cut off his left hand, then both feet and finally his head. The governor
ordered the disciples Jason and Sosipater to be whipped and again locked up in
When the daughter of
the governor, the maiden Kerkyra, learned how the martyrs would suffer
for Christ, she declared herself a Christian and gave away all her finery to
the poor. The infuriated governor attempted to persuade his daughter into a
renunciation of Christ, but Saint Kerkyra stood firm against both persuasions
and against threats. Then the enraged father devised a terrible punishment for
his daughter: he gave orders to situate her in a separate prison-cell and bring
in to her the robber and murderer Murinus, so that he would defile the
betrothed of Christ.
But when the robber
approached the door of the prison-cell, a bear pounced upon him. Saint Kerkyra
heard the noise and in the Name of Christ she drove off the beast, and then by
her prayer she healed the wounds of Murinus. After this Saint Kerkyra
enlightened him with the faith of Christ, and Saint Murinus declared
himself a Christian and thereupon was executed.
The governor gave
orders to burn down the prison, but the holy virgin remained alive. Then by
order of her enraged father, she was suspended upon a tree, choked with bitter
smoke and executed with arrows. After her death, the governor decided to
execute all the Christians on the island of Kerkyra. The Martyrs Zinon,
Eusebios, Neonos and Vitalius, having been enlightened by the Disciples
Jason and Sosipater, were burnt.
The inhabitants of
Kerkyra, escaping from the persecution, crossed over to an adjoining island.
The governor set sail with a detachment of soldiers, but was swallowed up by
the waves. The governor succeeding him gave orders to throw the Disciples Jason
and Sosipater into a cauldron of boiling tar, but when he beheld them unharmed,
with tears he cried out: "O God of Jason and Sosipater, have mercy on
Having been set free,
the disciples baptised the governor and gave him the name Sebastian. With his
help the Disciples Jason and Sosipater built several churches on the island
and, living there until old age, by their fervent preaching increased the flock
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.