THE HOLY MARTYRS ANICETAS AND PHOTIUS

August 12

From the Prologue

Emperor Diocletian once visited the city of Nicomedia with the evil intention to completely exterminate the Christians. But when he began his merciless torture of Christians, St. Anicetas, one of the high ranking officials of the city, boldly confessed before the emperor his faith in Christ the Lord, God incarnate in the flesh for our salvation. Along with this, Anicetas also denounced the idols as deaf and dumb stones and the worship of which is unworthy of a rational man. The emperor ordered his tongue to be severed but Anicetas, by the power of God, continued to speak. They then released a lion against him but the lion cuddled around him. At that moment the temple of Hercules collapsed. Photius, a kinsman of Anicetas, seeing the miracles and endurance of Anicetas, kissed him, declared himself a Christian and cried out to the emperor: " O idolator, be ashamed, your gods are nothingness!" The emperor then ordered that Anicetas immediately be beheaded. However, the executioner, raising his hand against holy Photius, struck himself with the sword and died. After prolonged tortures, both Anicetas and Photius were cast into prison where they languished for three years. Then they were brought out, a fire was lighted in an enormous furnace and they cast them into the fire. Many other Christians, men, women and children, willingly followed them into the fire. From the fire was heard the prayer of the Christians who were praising God for the death of martydom. They all suffered about the year 305 A.D. "Saint Anicetas and Saint Photius are invoked in the prayers in the Sacrament of Anointing with Oil [Holy Unction] and in the Blessing of Water."

[THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY UNCTIONANOINTING WITH HOLY OIL].

O holy Father, Physician of souls and bodies, who did send Your Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who heals every infirmity and delivers from death. Heal Thou, also Your servant [Name] from the ills of body and soul which do hinder [Him Her] and quicken [Him Her] by the grace of Your Christ: through the prayers of our Most Holy Lady, the Birth-giver of God and Ever-virgin Mary; through the intercession of the honorable Bodiless Powers of Heaven; through the might of the precious and Life-giving Cross, through the protection of the honorable, glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John; of the glorious and all-laudable Apostles; of the holy, glorious and right-victorious Martyrs; of our venerable and God-bearing Fathers; of the holy and healing, unmercenaries, Cosmas and Damian, Cyrus and John, Pantaleon and Hermolaus, Samson and Diomedes, Photius and Anicetas of the holy righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna; and all the Saints.

For You are the Fountain of healing, O our God, and unto You do we ascribe glory, together with Your Only-begotten Son and Your Spirit, one in essence, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.





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