The Martyr Zosima

Commemorated on June 19

      The Martyr Zosima lived in the city of Apollona (Thrace) during the time of the reign of the persecutor of Christians Trajan (89-117). The saint was consumed with the desire to become a Christian. Having heard about the commensing of a persecution of Christians, he left military service, accepted Baptism and with all his soul devoted himself to prayer and good deeds. It was reported to the governor of Antioch Domitianus that the soldier Zosima had betrayed the emperor, having taken off his military insignia and attached himself to Christians. At the trial Saint Zosima manfully confessed his faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. He was subjected to fierce torments but, strengthened by the grace of God, he did not feel the pain. The governor gave orders to make a copper bed red-hot and to put the saint on it. The martyr, having made the sign of the cross, lay down, but remained unharmed.
      Departing the city, Domitianus gave orders to put on the martyr shoes with iron sandals, having sharp nails driven into the soles, and to follow him. The Lord gave Saint Zosima the strength to easily and quickly follow after the horses. The martyr was locked up in prison, where they tormented him with hunger and thirst, but an Angel of the Lord fortified his strength with bread and water. Saint Zosima resolutely refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. After long and fierce torments he was beheaded and with prayer gave up his soul to God.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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