The Holy Martyr Phileteros of Nicomedia

Commemorated on December 30

      The Holy Martyr Phileteros of Nicomedia twice suffered torture for Christ: under Diocletian (284-305) and under Maximian (305-311). When Diocletian arrived in Nicomedia, they brought to trial Saint Phileteros, who was tall of stature and handsome of face. Catching sight of him, the emperor compared him in appearance to one of the pagan gods. To the questions about his social rank and lineage the martyr answered: "I am the son of an eparch, by faith a Christian, and I live with Christians". The emperor by flattery attempted to sway him into a renunciation and spoke insultingly of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the saint replied: "Let the mouth of anyone be silenced, whether he be the emperor or someone other, who dareth to insult my Christ". After these words the martyr was thrown into a red-hot oven, but he emerged from it unharmed. Then Diocletian, under the influence of the apparent miracle, and taking into account the illustrious and handsome appearance of the saint, set him free.
      Denunciations were made at a later period to the emperor Maximian, that Phileteros was a Christian. Brought to trial before the emperor, the holy martyr again confessed his faith in Christ. For this they subjected him to whippings. Then they threw him for devouring by wild beasts, but he remained unharmed. Then they sentenced him to beheading by the sword, but the two servants, to whom was entrusted the execution, were not able to kill him: just as they positioned the sword over the head of the martyr, their hands ceased to function. Persuaded through this, that the Lord invisibly was guarding the holy martyr, both these executioners believed in Christ and they themselves suffered for the faith by being beheaded by the sword.
      The holy Martyr Phileteros was sentenced then to exile on Prokonnesus, one of the islands of the Sea of Marmora. On the journey to exile he wrought many a miracle and destroyed an heathen temple with its idols. Six soldiers with their commandant accompanying the saint to his exile thus believed in Christ.
      There came out to him along the way Saint Eubiotes, who likewise had undergone many a suffering for Christ. The saints joyfully hugged, and they dwelt at the cell of Saint Eubiotes for 7 days, together the soldiers and their commander. Saint Phileteros then died there (+ 311) and was buried by Saint Eubiotes. The soldiers with their commander likewise died there, 11 days later, and were buried alongside the holy Martyr Phileteros.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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