The Martyr Asterias

Commemorated on August 7

      The Martyr Asterias lived during the reign of the pagan emperors Valerian (253‑259) and his son Gallienus (260-268). Being a Roman senator, Asterias nonetheless held firmly to the Christian faith, in spite of the persecutions occurring during those times. One time, being in Palestine, he came to the city of Caesarea Philippi, where by custom a pagan feast was made with the offering of sacrifice to an idol. The demon residing in the idol made the sacrifice become invisible, and this was looked upon as a great wonder. Saint Asterias by prayer expelled the demon. The sacrifice ceased to become invisible, and the pagans ceased to make this impious solemnity. Saint Asterias also happened to be present at the sufferings of the Martyr Marin (Comm. 16 December). When the execution was over, he took off his senatorial garb, spread it upon the ground and wrapped in it the head and body of the Martyr Marin. On his own shoulders he carried the remains of the martyr to the graveyard and reverently consigned them to earth. For doing this he was himself sentenced to death and beheaded in the year 260.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.