The Holy Martyr Platon (Plato)
Commemorated on November 18
The Holy Martyr Platon (Plato), brother of the holy
Martyr Antiochos the Physician (Comm. 16 July), was born at the city of Ancyra
in Galatia. While still a youth he left home and went through the cities,
inspiredly preaching the Word of God to pagans, amazing his audience with the
persuasiveness and beauty of his speech, and his profound knowledge of Greek
learning. Because of his preaching he was arrested and brought for trial to the
temple of Zeus before the governor Agrippina. At first the judge attempted by
flattery to sway the saint into a renunciation of Christ. He assured the youth,
that he might be on a par of intellect with the greatest of the philosophers
Plato, if he but worshipped also the pagan gods. To this Saint Platon answered,
that the wisdom of the philosopher, although great, was but ephemeral and
limited, whereas the true, eternal and unbounded wisdom comprised the Gospel
teachings. Then the judge as the reward for renunciation promised to give him
as wife his beautiful daughter, but in case of refusal threatened him with
torture and death. Saint Platon replied, that his choice was a temporal death
for the sake of eternal life. The patience of the governor was exhausted, and
he gave orders to mercilessly beat the martyr, and then send him off to prison.
When they led Saint Platon off to prison, he turned to the people, gathered about the temple, he called on all not to forsake the Christian faith. Seven days later they again led the Martyr Platon for trial before Agrippina in the temple of Zeus, where they had the implements of torture already assembled: boiling cauldrons, red-hot iron and sharp hooks. The judge offered the martyr a choice: to either offer sacrifice to the pagan gods or to feel on himself the effects of these implements of torture. Again the saint steadfastly refused to worship idols, and after his tortures they threw him in prison for 18 more days without bread or water. But seeing that this did not shake the martyr, they offered him in exchange for his life and freedom but to pronounce the words "great god Apollo". "I want not to sin by word", – answered the martyr. By order of Agrippina the holy Martyr Platon was then beheaded (+ 302 or 306).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.