The Holy Martyr Theotekhnos

Commemorated on October 10

      The Holy Martyr Theotekhnos was a reknown military-commander at Antioch under the emperor Maximian (305-311). And one time the emperor arrived in Antioch, demanding that all the inhabitants offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. As a Christian, Theotekhnos refused to fulfill the order. Then the emperor, scoffing at the Christian faith, gave orders to dress Theotekhnos in women's clothing and put him up right alongside the slave-women. Three weeks later the emperor summoned Theotekhnos to him, thinking that the humiliation would break his spirit, but again he heard a confession of the Name of Christ. "Thou dost imperil thine life, if thou submittest not", – growled Maximian. Theotekhnos was silent. Then the emperor in a fury gave orders to burn the feet of the martyr and to cut the tendons, and then throw him in a kettle of boiling tar. But just as soon as Theotekhnos went into the kettle, the flames beneathe it went out, and the heat of the kettle went instantly cool. Terror seized the emperor. Not wanting to torture the martyr further, he dispatched him to prison and entrusted his own centurion to deal with the saint.
      In prison together with Theotekhnos was a Christian confessor named Alexander. Theotekhnos helped him escape from the prison. Learning of this, the centurion subjected Theotekhnos to brutal torments, and finally, he gave orders to throw him into the sea with a stone about his neck. After a certain while near the city of Rusob on the Cilician seacoast the venerable relics of the martyr were found and given Christian burial.
      The Monk Vassian was born in eastern Syria. He asceticised at Constantinople, where the pious emperor Marcian (450-457) then ruled. In the monastery, at which the Monk Vassian was hegumen, there were three hundred monks. Among them also was the Nun Matrona (Comm. 9 November), dressed in men's attire. The Monk Vassian lived in his monastery into old age, famed for his virtuous life and numerous miracles, and in peace he expired to the Lord.

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