The Holy Martyr Paphnutios

Commemorated on September 25

      The Holy Martyr Paphnutios hailed from Egypt and asceticised in the wilderness. During the time of persecution against Christians under Diocletian (284-305), the governor Adrian commanded that Saint Paphnutios be brought to him, but the ascetic, not awaiting those sent for him, himself instead appeared before the governor, confessed his faith in Christ, and was given over for torture. The soldiers involved in his torture, Dionysios and Callimachos, seeing how the power of God preserved the martyr, themselves believed in Christ the Saviour, for which they were then beheaded. Cast into prison after the tortures, Saint Paphnutios converted to the faith 40 prisoners. They were all burnt. After a certain while Saint Paphnutios was set free, and a Christian named Nestorios gladly took him in. He and all his family, after spiritual guidances, became all the more steadfast in the faith, and ultimately accepted a martyr's end. The saint strengthened many another Christian in the confession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and they all accepted a martyr's end: some were chopped up with swords, others were burnt – there were 546 men in all. Saint Paphnutios himself was thrown by the torturers into a river with a stone about his neck, but he miraculously floated with the stone to shore. Finally, they sent off the holy martyr to the emperor Diocletian himself, who commanded him crucified on a date tree.

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