Commemorated on November 18
The Holy Martyr Romanos was
deacon at a church in Palestinian Caesarea. During one of the persecutions
against Christians he resettled at Antioch, where he encouraged Christians in
the faith by his example and fervent preaching.
When the Antioch governor
Asklepiades was considering the destruction of the Christian temple, Saint
Romanos called out the believers to stand up for their sanctuary. He persuaded
them, that if they managed to protect the church, then down here on earth would
be rejoicing, in the Church Militant, and if they were to perish in defense of
the church, there would still be rejoicing in the Heavenly Church Triumphant.
Seeing such a firm resolve amongst the people, the governor did not dare to
carry out his plans.
A certain while afterwards, when a
pagan celebration had started in the city and many people from the surroundings
had come to Antioch, Saint Romanos began denouncing the idol-worship and called
on all to follow Christ. They arrested him and subjected him to torture. During
the time of tortures the martyr saw in the crowd the holy Christian Lad
Barulas and, having directed the governor to him, said: "The young lad
is smarter than thee, in thine old age, since that he doth know the True God.
Thou however dost worship mere idols". The governor Asklepiades gave
orders to bring the boy to him. To all the questions of the governor, Barulas
firmly and without fear confessed is faith in Christ, the True God. Asklepiades
in a rage gave orders to fiercely whip the Martyr Barulas, and then behead him.
Before his death the holy lad asked his mother, who was present at the
execution, to give him something to drink, but the mother quieted him down to
endure all the torments for the Lord Jesus Christ. She herself put his head of
her son onto the block, and after the execution buried him (+ 303).
The Martyr Romanos was sentenced to
burning, but a sudden gust of rain extinguished the fire. The saint began
glorifying Christ and insulting the pagan gods. The governor gave orders to cut
out his tongue, but even deprived of his tongue Saint Romanos continued loudly
to glorify the Lord. Then the torturers sentenced him to hanging (+ 303).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.