Akindinos, Pegasias, Anempodist
Commemorated on November 2
Pegasias, Anempodist, – were
courtiers of the Persian emperor Sapor II (310-381), and clandestinely they
were Christians. When the emperor started his persecution against Christians,
envious pagans denounced them before him. Summoned to the emperor for trial,
the holy martyrs fearlessly confessed their faith in the Holy Trinity. The
emperor gave orders to beat them with whips. Twice the exhausted executioners
switched places, but the holy martyrs let out neither a cry nor a groan. Even
the emperor could not endure the strain and he lost consciousness. Everyone
thought him dead. But the saints appealed to God, and the emperor came to
himself. And having recovered, Sapor accused the saints of sorcery and gave
orders to take the holy martyrs over a bon-fire, so as to suffocate them with
the smoke. But by the prayers of the saints the fire extinguished, and the
ropes binding them sundered. When the emperor asked them how this had occurred,
the holy martyrs told him about Christ working the miracle. Blinded by rage,
the emperor began to blaspheme the Name of the Lord. Then the saints exclaimed:
"Let thy mouth be speechless", – and the emperor lost his voice.
Having gone mad with terror and rage, he tried with gestures to give the order
to take away the holy martyrs to prison. Those round about were not able to
understand him, and he began to go into an even greater rage: madly plucking
off his mantle, he tore at his hair and beat himself upon the face. Saint
Akindinos took pity on him and in the Name of the Lord delivered him from the
speechlessness. But this time the emperor attributed everything to magic and he
continued the torture of the saints. They placed them upon an iron grate and
lighted a fire beneathe it. The saints started to pray. Suddenly it rained and
put out the fire. Beholding the miracle accomplished through the prayers of the
holy martyrs, many people believed in Christ and confessed their faith. The
saints glorified God and called on the believing to accept Baptism by the rain
sent down upon them.
One of the executioners, Aphthonios, publicly asked forgiveness of the holy martyrs for causing them suffering, and he bravely went to execution for Christ. The dignitary Elpidiphoros and even the mother of the emperor confessed faith in the One True God. The emperor saw how much the number of Christians was increased and how the torturing of Saints Akindinos, Pegasias and Anempodist actually encouraged the Christian faith. He declared to the people that the holy Martyrs Akindinos, Pegasias, Anempodist and Elpidiphoros with them would have their heads cut off, and that their bodies could not be taken by Christians for burial. When they led the holy martyrs beyond the city walls for execution, a tremendous crowd accompanied them, glorifying Christ. By order of the emperor, soldiers massacred all the Christians (about 7,000) in the procession. Together with the others also was killed Elpidiphoros.
Akindinos, Pegasias, and Anempodist together with the mother of the emperor were burnt on the following day. Christians, coming secretly by night to the place of the execution of the saints, found the bodies of the holy martyrs unharmed by the fire and with reverence they buried them.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.