Commemorated on February 22
a military commander of Syrian Apameia, suffered in the year 305 under the
emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311) together with his son Photinos and 70
soldiers under his command (from the soldiers are known the names of only two
– Theodore and Philip).
During a time of persecution, pagan priests made denunciation to the emperor that Saint Mauricios was spreading the faith in Christ. Brought to trial, Saint Mauricios with his son and his soldiers firmly and unflinchingly confessed their faith and they wavered neither to entreaty nor to threats. They were then beaten without mercy, burnt at with fire and torn at with iron hooks. Young Photinos, having firmly endured the tortures, was beheaded by the sword before the very eyes of his father. But this cruel torment did not break Saint Mauricios, who took comfort in that his son had been vouchsafed the martyr's crown.
They then devised for the martyrs even more subtle tortures: they led them to a swampy place, where it was full of mosquitoes, wasps and gnats, and they tied them to trees, having smeared their bodies with honey. The insects fiercely stung and bit at the martyrs, who weakened by hunger and thirst. The saints endured these torments over the course of 10 days, but they did not cease praying to and glorifying God until finally the Lord put an end to their sufferings. The wicked torturer gave orders to behead them and leave their bodies exposed without burial, but Christians secretly by night buried the venerable remains of the holy martyrs at the place of their horrible execution.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.