Commemorated on August 25
Sainted Barsis and
Eulogios, Bishops of Edessa, and Protogenos the Confessor, Bishop of Caria,
suffered from the Arians in the second half of the IV Century. The emperor
Valentius (364-378), wishing to propagate the Arian heresy, undertook a fierce
persecution against the Orthodox. In the city of Edessa he banished from the
bishop's throne Saint Barsis, a champion for Orthodoxy, sending him for
confinement to the island of Arad. The Orthodox population there received the
exiled saint with great honour. They banished him farther, to the Egyptian city
of Oxyrinth, but there also was repeated the warm welcome. Then Saint Barsis
was banished to the very frontier of the imperial realm, to the faraway city of
Thenon where, exhausted by his exiles, he died (+ 378). At Edessa the emperor
Valentius raised up upon the bishop's cathedra an Arian false-bishop by the
name of Lupus, which means wolf, and who both by name and by deed showed
himself to be like a wolf, in scattering the flock of the sheep of Christ. The
Orthodox population of Edessa, both clergy and laypeople, ceased to attend
their church, which had been seized by the Arians. They gathered together
outside the city and celebrated the Divine-services in an open area.
Having learned of
this, the emperor ordered the eparch Modestus to kill all the Orthodox,
appearing for Divine-services outside the city. The eparch pitied the city and
he informed the Orthodox, that they should not go to Divine-services. But the
believers did contrary: fervent with the desire to receive a martyr's crown for
Christ, they all as one went to the place where they usually gathered for
prayer. Eparch Modestus, obeying his orders, embarked their with his armed
soldiers. Along the way he saw a woman, who hastened to Divine-services with
her small child, so as not to deprive him of the martyr's crown. Shaken, eparch
Modestus turned around back with his soldiers. Appearing before the emperor
Valentius, he urged him to cancel the decree about killing all the Orthodox and
to extend it only upon the clergy. They led to the emperor persons of spiritual
rank, and in the lead the eldest presbyter Eulogios. The emperor urged them to
go into church-communion with the pseudo-bishop Lupus, but none of them agreed.
After this in chains they sent 80 men of clergy rank for confinement in Thrace.
Orthodox met them along the way with great reverence as being confessors, and
furnished them all the necessities. Having learned of this, the emperor gave
orders to divide up the martyrs in pairs, and to spread them out to remote
The holy presbyters
Eulogios and Protogenos were sent to the Thivean city of Antinea. There by
their preaching they converted many idol-worshippers to Christ and baptised
them. When the emperor Valentius perished and upon the throne entered the holy
nobleborn emperor Theodosius (379-395), the Orthodox confessors remaining alive
after the persecution were returned from exile. The holy presbyters Eulogios
and Protogenos returned to Edessa. On the place of the dead and banished bishop
of Edessa, Saint Barsis, presbyter Eulogios was elevated to bishop, and the
holy presbyter Protogenos was made bishop in the Mesopotamian city of Caria.
Both saints guided their flocks until their death, which occurred at the end of
the IV Century.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.