April 28

From the Prologue

The first two were of the Seventy Apostles and the latter was the daughter of a king from the island of Corfu. Jason and Sosipater are mentioned by St. Paul and he calls them his relatives. "Jason and Sosipater, my relatives" (Romans 16:21). Jason was born in Tarsus as was the Apostle Paul and Sosipater was born in Achaea. The first was appointed bishop of Tarsus by the apostle and the other was appointed bishop of Iconium. Traveling about and preaching the Gospel these two apostles arrived on the island of Corfu, where they succeeded to build a church to the honor of St. Stephen the First-martyr and to win over some heathens to the Church. The king of the island threw them both into prison where seven thieves were also imprisoned. Their names were: Sagornius, Jakishol, Faustian, Januarius, Marsalus, Euphrasius and Mamminus. The apostles converted these seven to the Faith of Christ and turned these wolves into lambs. Upon hearing this, the king ordered that these seven be put to death in boiling pitch. Thus, they received the wreath of the martyrs. While the king was torturing the apostles, his daughter, the virgin Cercyra, watched from the window at the suffering of these men of God and learning for what reason they were being tortured, she declared herself a Christian and distributed all of her jewels to the poor. The king became enraged at his daughter and closed her in a special prison. Since he did not succeed to dissuade her from Christ by this imprisonment, he ordered that the prison be burned. The prison burned, but the virgin remained alive. Upon seeing this miracle many people were baptized. The infuriated king then ordered his daughter to be tied to a tree and Cercyra was slain by arrows. Those who believed in Christ fled from the terrible king to the nearest island and hid themselves. The king pursued them by boat in order to apprehend them, but the boat sank into the sea and thus the unrighteous one perished as did the one-time pharaoh. The new king embraced the Faith of Christ, was baptized and received the name Sebastian. Jason and Sosipater freely preached the Gospel and strengthened the Church of God in Corfu. They lived to a ripe old age and there ended their earthly life and took up habitation in the mansions of the Lord.

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