THE PRIESTLY

April 17

From the Prologue

During the reign of the wicked Emperor Sapor [Savori], Simeon was tortured for Christ along with his two presbyters, Audel and Ananias. The emperor's eunuch, Ustazan, who had earlier denied Christ and afterward, touched by the rebuke of St. Simeon, again, confessed the True Faith before the emperor. A thousand other Christians were also led to the place of execution with Simeon. Simeon intentionally moved out of the way in order to be the last one to be beheaded so as to encourage the other Christians to the end, so that, not one of them would waver because of their fear of death. When the presbyter Ananias placed his head on the chopping block, his entire body quivered. The emperor's court clerk Fusik, who secretly was a Christian, began to encourage Ananias saying: " Do not be afraid old man, close your eyes and be brave so that you may see the divine light." As soon as Fusik said this, he was recognized as a Christian and was accused before the emperor. The emperor exhausted him through great torture, as well as his daughter, the maiden Askitria. After St. Simeon saw his flock depart to the other world, he was finally beheaded. The following year on Great Friday (Good Friday), Azat [Ustazan], the beloved eunuch of the emperor, was also slain for Christ and with him a thousand other faithful. Then the emperor mourned for his eunuch and suspended the further killing of Christians. They all suffered honorably for Christ the King and Lord in the year 341 or 344 A.D.





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