The Holy Martyrs Aristokles the Presbyter, Demetrian and Athanasias

Commemorated on June 20

      The Holy Martyrs Aristokles the Presbyter, Demetrian and Athanasias suffered for the Christian faith during the persecution under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311).
      Presbyter Aristokles, a native of the Cypriot city of Tamasa, served in the cathedral church. During the time of the persecution against Christians he became terrified of the tortures, and he left the city and hid himself away in a mountain cave. But one time during prayer Light shone upon him, and he heard a command from the Lord to return to the island of Cyprus and suffer for Christ. Saint Aristokles obediently set out in return and upon the way he visited the church of the holy Disciple Barnabas (Comm. 11 June), where he met up with Deacon Demetrian and Athanasias the Reader. He told them about his vision, and Saints Demetrian and Athanasias decided to accept the crown of martyrdom together with him.
      Having arrived in the city of Salamis, all three began to preach to the people about the Lord Jesus Christ, and denouncing the folly of idol-worship. The pagans arrested them, and the governor, seeing that they were steadfast in their faith in Christ, gave orders to behead Saint Aristokles, and to burn Saints Demetrian and Athanasias. But even in the fire the martyrs remained unharmed, and after this they were beheaded by the sword. The holy martyrs died in about the year 306.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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