Commemorated on May 20
Thalaleas, Alexander and Asterias: During the reign of Numerian (283-284),
the governor of the city of Aegea dispatched soldiers to seek out Christians.
They brought to him Thalaleas, an 18 year old blond-haired youth. To the
governor's interrogation Saint Thalaleas answered: "I am a Christian, a
native of Lebanon. My father, by the name of Beruchius, was a military
commander, and my mother was named Romilia. My brother has the dignity of
sub-deacon. I however am a student of medicine under the physician Makarios.
During a former time of persecution against Christians in Lebanon I was brought
before the governor Tiberias, and just barely escaped execution. But now I
stand before this court, do with me what thou dost wish. I desire to die for
Christ the Saviour and my God, hoping from Him help to endure all
The enraged governor
ordered the two torturers Alexander and Asterias to pierce the legs of the
martyr with rope and suspend him head downwards. But the executioners, by the
design of God, bored into a block of wood, which they hung up in place of the
martyr. When the governor saw that they had deceived him, he then ordered that
Alexander and Asterias be fiercely whipped, and they too confessed themselves
Christians and glorified God. The governor gave orders to immediately cut off
their heads. Twice he himself attempted to carry out the execution, and to
pierce the leg-bones of the saint, but the grace of God prevented him, and he
in his impotence then commanded that Saint Thalaleas be drowned.
servants reported to the governor that they had carried out the execution, but
suddenly, just as they finished their report, Saint Thalaleas appeared in white
raiment. For a long while everyone was numbed with terror, but finally the
governor said: "Behold, this sorcerer hath bewitched even the sea".
Then one of his advisers, the magician Urvician, advised the governor to have
the martyr thrown for devouring by wild beasts, but neither the vicious bear,
not the hungry lion and lioness, would touch the saint, all meekly but laying
down at his feet. Seeing this happen, the people began loudly to shout:
"Great is the God of the Christians, O God of Thalaleas, have mercy on
us!". The crowd seized hold of Urvician and threw him to the beasts, which
did not hesitate to tear apart the magician. Finally, the governor gave orders
to kill the holy martyr with a sword. They led away the martyr of Christ to the
place of execution, called Aegea, where he prayed to God and bent his neck
beneathe the sword. This occurred in the year 284. The relics of the holy
martyr Thalaleas are situated in the church of Saint Agathonikos of Constantinople
and have made many miracles. The holy Martyr Thalaleas, as a physician without
payment treating the sick, is called by the Church an UnMercenary, and is
called on in prayers over the sick in the Sacrament of Anointing-with-Oil and
during the Blessing of Waters.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.