THE HOLY MARTYRS CHRYSANTHUS AND DARIA AND THE OTHERS WITH THEM

March 19

From the Prologue

Chrysanthus was the only son of Polemius, a distinguished patrician, who settled in Rome from Alexandria. As the son of wealthy parents, Chrysanthus studied all the secular subjects, having the most learned men for instructors. But secular wisdom confused him and left him in uncertainty as to what is truth. As a result of this, he grieved. But God, who plans all and everything, alleviated his grief. A written copy of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles came into the hands of the young Chrysanthus. Having read them, Chrysanthus was enlightened with the truth, and he desired a teacher and found one in the person of a certain priest, Carpophorus, who taught and baptized him. This did not please his father, who attempted everything in order to dissuade him from believing in Christ. Not succeeding, the wicked father at first tried to corrupt him by placing him alone with an immoral woman. In this, Chrysanthus was victorious over himself and persevered in chastity. His father then coerced him into marring Daria, a pagan girl. Chrysanthus counseled Daria to embrace the Faith in Christ and to live together as brother and sister, although pretending to be married. When his father died, Chrysanthus began to confess Christ openly and to live as a Christian, both he and his entire household. During the reign of Emperor Numerian, he and Daria were cruelly tortured for their faith. Even the torturer Claudius, witnessing the forbearance of these honorable martyrs and the miracles which were manifested during their agony, embraced the Faith of Christ along with his entire household. For this, Claudius was drowned. Both of his sons were beheaded. His wife, after having recited her prayers, died on the gallows. Daria was so steadfast in her agony that the pagans cried out, "Daria is a goddess!" Finally, it was decreed that Chrysanthus and Daria be buried in a deep pit and covered with stones. Later, a church was erected on this site. There was a cave near this pit where some Christians assembled for prayer and Communion in memory of the Saints Chrysanthus and Daria. Hearing of this, the pagans attacked and sealed off this cave. By such a death, the pagans drove these Christians from this world to a better world where Christ reigns eternally. These glorious martyrs, Chrysanthus and Daria and the others with them, among whom were Diodorus the priest and Marianus the deacon, suffered for Christ in Rome in the year 284 A.D.,





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