The PriestMartyr Cyril, Bishop of Gortineia

Commemorated on July 9

      The PriestMartyr Cyril, Bishop of Gortineia, was for 50 years bishop at Gortineia. He suffered either under the emperor Decius (249-251), or according to other historical sources the emperor Maximian (284-305), being at the time an 84 year old elder.
      Brought to trial before a governor named Lucius, who demanded him to offer sacrifice to idols, the holy elder steadfastly confessed his faith in Christ and refused to fulfill the soul-destroying command. The governor sentenced Saint Cyril to burning, but the flames did not touch the saint. Beholding this miracle, many a pagan came to believe in Christ, and Lucius himself in astonishment offered up praise to the Christian God and set free the saint.
      Saint Cyril continued with his preaching and led many pagans to Christ, but also he grieved, that he had not been given to suffer for the Saviour. After a certain while it was reported to the governor, that Saint Cyril would not cease his evangelising, and that he continued successfully to convert people from the darkness of paganism to the light of Christ. Hearing the sentence against him, Saint Cyril rejoiced that he was to be granted a martyr's death for Truth, and he willingly placed his head beneathe the sword (III).

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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