Saint Polyeuktos

Commemorated on January 9

      Saint Polyeuktos was the first martyr in the Armenian city of Melitene. He was a soldier under the emperor Decius (249-251) and he later suffered for Christ under the emperor Valerian (253-259). The saint was friend also of Nearchos, a fellow-soldier and firm Christian, but Polyeutos himself, while yet leading a virtuous life, remained a pagan.
      When the persecution against Christians started up, Nearchos said to Polyeuktos: "Friend, we shalt soon be separated from thee, for they wilt take me to torture, and thou alas, wilt renounce friendship with me". Polyeuktos answered him, that in a dream he had seen Christ, Who took from him his garb and clothed him in another and bright attire. "From that moment, said he, I am prepared to serve the Lord Jesus Christ".
      Having become ardent in spirit, Saint Polyeuktos went out onto the city square, tore up the imperial edict hanging there about the duty to worship idols, and then he smashed idols from out of the hands of pagan priests carrying them.
      His father-in-law, the governor Felox, to whom had been entrusted the carrying out of the imperial edict, was horrified at the deed of Saint Polyeuktos and declared, that for this he had to die. "Go, make farewell with thine wife and children," said Felox. The wife came and with tears began to beseech her husband to renounce Christ, and his father‑in-law Felox also wept. But Saint Polyeuktos remained steadfast in his resolve to suffer for Christ. With joy he bent his head beneathe the sword of the executioner and was baptised in his own blood (+ 259). Soon, when the Church of Christ in the time of Equal‑to-the-Apostles Constantine had triumphed throughout all the Roman empire, at Melitene there was erected a church in the name of the holy Martyr Polyeuktos. Many a miracle was worked through the prayerful intercession of Saint Polyeuktos. In this very church prayed fervently for the granting of a son the parents of the holy Monk Euthymios the Great (Comm. 20 January). The birth of this great luminary of Orthodoxy in the year 376 thus occurred through the help of the holy Martyr Polyeuktos. His memory was also venerated by Sainted Akakios, Bishop of Melitene, a participant of the Third OEcumenical Council and a great proponent of the Ecumenical Truth. As in the East, so also in the West, the holy Martyr Polyeuktosis venerated as a patron saint of vows and treaty agreements.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

Close window

Saint Polyeuktos

Close window