May 22

From the Prologue

Basiliscus was a kinsman of St. Theodore Tiro. He was tortured together with Eutropius and Cleonicus. When the latter two [Eutropius and Cleonicus] were crucified, and expired (March 3), then Basiliscus was again returned to prison. At that time, there occurred a change in the emperor's deputy so that Basiliscus remained imprisoned for a long time. With tears, Basiliscus prayed that God not deprive him of a martyr's death. After lengthy prayers, the Lord Jesus Himself appeared to him, promised to fulfill his wish and sent him to his village to bid farewell to his mother and brothers. At that time Agrippa, a new deputy, was appointed and ordered that Basiliscus he brought from the village immediately. Enroute from the village to the town of Amasea the Lord, through His martyr, worked a great miracle and, as a result, many people believed in Christ. Agrippa ordered the martyr to offer a sacrifice to the idol Apollyon. Basiliscus said: "Apollyon means `one who kills - the destroyer,' " and with fervent prayer turned the idol into dust and with a heavenly fire burned the temple. The frightened Agrippa attributed this to magic and ordered Basiliscus beheaded. At that moment, Agrippa went insane and, in his madness, went to the scaffold, found a little blood of the martyr in the dust, placed it under his belt and he was healed. Coming to his senses he was baptized. Later on, Marinus, a citizen of Comana, the place of the execution of Basiliscus, built a church over the relics of the saint where many afflicted people found healing.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas