The Holy Martyr Isidor
Commemorated on May 14
The Holy Martyr
Isidor lived during the III Century on the Island of Chios, and was a
native of Alexandria. During the first year of rule of the emperor Decius
(249-251) there was issued an edict to make a census of all those capable to
serve in the armies of the Roman empire. Saint Isidor, tall and strong of body,
was drafted into the regiment of the military-commander Numerius. Saint Isidor
was a Christian, he led a life of temperance and abstinence, he was chaste and
he shunned all the pagan customs. Another imperial edict then commanded, that
all the soldiers were to worship the Roman pagan gods and to offer them
sacrifice. Not to obey the edict carried the penalty of torture and death. The
centurion reported to the military-commander Numerius, that Isidor was a
Christian. At the interrogation before Numerius Saint Isidor without flinching
confessed his faith in Christ the Saviour and refused to offer sacrifice to
idols. Numerius urged the saint not to expose himself to tortures and to obey
the will of the emperor, but Saint Isidor answered, that he would obey only the
will of the eternal God, Christ the Saviour, and never would he renounce Him.
The saint was handed over to torture. During the time of torments he praised Christ
God and denounced the pagan idols. The military-commander gave orders to cut
out the tongue of the saint, but even after this the saint continued distinctly
to give glory to Christ. Numerius in fright fell to the ground and himself lost
the gift of speech. Getting up with the help of soldiers, by means of gestures
he demanded a small board and on it wrote an order – to cut off the head of
Saint Isidor. Saint Isidor welcomed his death sentence with joy and said:
"I glorify Thee, O my Master, that by Thy mercy Thou hast accepted me in
Thine Heavenly Habitation!" The death of the martyr occurred in the year
251. After execution his body was cast out without burial, but another saint,
the secret Christian Ammonios, took up his body and committed it to earth.
Later on Ammonios himself accepted a martyr's death in the city of Kyzikos
(Comm. 4 September).
At the beginning of the XII Century the Russian pilgrim Daniel saw the relics of the holy Martyr Isidor on the Island of Chios. His relics were later transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of Saint Irene.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.