THE PRIESTLY

April 11

From the Prologue

Antipas is mentioned in the Book of Revelation as, "Antipas, my faithful witness, who was martyred among you, where Satan lives" (Revelation 2:13), i.e., in the city of Pergamum. The inhabitants of this city lived in the darkness of idolatry and in extreme impurity. They were slaves to passions. They were slanderers, tyrants and they were incestuous. In other words, they were the servants of Satan. Here among them lived Antipas, "As a light in the midst of darkness, as a rose among thorns and as gold in mud." He, who captured and killed a Christian, would be deemed as good and just. The totality of pagan belief consisted of soothsaying, interpretation of dreams, serving demons and extreme perversion. Being frightened of Antipas as from fire, the demons appeared to the soothsayers in a dream and confessed how afraid they were of Antipas and how, because of him, they must depart from this city. The pagan priests summoned a large number of people against Antipas and began to interrogate and to force him to deny Christ and to worship idols. Antipas said to them: "When your so-called gods, lords of the universe are frightened of me, a mortal man, and must flee from this city, do you not recognize that, by this, your faith is an aberration?" The saint also spoke to them further about the Faith of Christ as being the only One, True Saving Faith. They became enraged as wild beats and dragged the aged Antipas to the temple of Artemis before which stood an ox cast in bronze. They heated the bronzed ox and hurled the servant of God into the red-hot molten ox. From within the molten ox, St. Antipas glorified God with thanksgiving, as once did Jonah in the belly of the whale or the Three Youths in the fiery furnace. Antipas prayed for his flock and for the entire world until his soul parted from his weakened body and ascended among the angels into the Kingdom of Christ. He died suffering and was crowned with unfading glory in the year 92 A.D.





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