Commemorated on March 11
Pionos and Linos – Smyrna Presbyters, the Holy Martyresses Sabina and
Macedonia, and the Holy Martyr Asclepiades suffered during the time of
persecution under the reign of Decius (249-251). They suffered at Smyrna, a
mercantile city reknown in antiquity, situated on the Eastern shores of the
Aegean Sea. The Smyrna Church was founded by the holy Apostle John the Theologian
(Comm. 8 May and 26 September), and it was glorified by the stoic firmness of
its confessors in the faith of Christ.
Having learned that a
persecution had begun, and preparing themselves for suffering, Saint Pionos
together with Sabina and Asclepiades dwelt in strict fasting and intense
prayer. Saint Pionos took three lengths of chain and placed them on himself and
The holy martyrs were
arrested on 23 February – the day of memory of the holy PriestMartyr Polycarp,
Bishop of Smyrna (+ 167) – a feastday for the Smyrna Christians. After a brief
interrogation the holy confessors were led off to prison. And in prison Saint
Pionos with his companions met up with the presbyter of the Smyrna cathedral
church, named Linos, together with his wife named Macedonia from the village of
Carina. They had likewise been imprisoned for confessing the Name of the Lord.
Many believers visited the holy confessors in prison, offering them whatever
they could, but the saints distributed it all to the prison guards. There came
to Saint Pionos also those, who formerly were Christians, but out of fear of
the torturers had consented to offer sacrifice to the idols: these too besought
their prayers. Saint Pionos bitterly wept over the faint of heart and he
admonished them: "Despair not, brethren, though ye have done a grievous
sin, but repent ye truly and turn with all your heart to Christ". After
many torments, on 11 March 250 they crucified the holy martyr on a cross. They
set kindling around the cross and set it afire. When the bon-fire subsided,
everyone saw the body of the saint perfectly unharmed; even the hairs of his
head were unburnt. His face was radiant, and it shone with a Divine grace.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.