April 21

From the Prologue

This saint was the bishop of Benevento in Italy. At the time of persecution under Maximian, Januarius was brought before the court and tortured in various ways, which he blamelessly and patiently endured. When they cast him into the fire, the fire was cooled by an invisible dew and the martyr stood unharmed amidst the flames and sang praises to God. Then they scrapped his body with iron brushes until the bones shown white, which the martyr innocently and patiently endured. His Deacon Festus and Lector Desiderius witnessed the suffering of the martyr and wept for their spiritual father. Then they bound both of them and together with Bishop Januarius brought them to the city of Puteoli [near Naples] and cast them into prison. In this same prison for the sake of Christ, were Sussos, Deacon of Miseno and Proculus, Deacon of Puzzuoli and two Christian laymen Euticius and Acutius. The next day all seven of them were thrown before the wild beasts. The wild beasts did not touch them. They were all beheaded and the Christians of the city of Naples secretly carried away to their city the body of St. Januarius and buried it honorably in church. To the present day numerous miracles have occurred at the grave of this saint. Among the many miracles one is particularly remembered i.e., a poor widow whose only son had died removed the icon of St. Januarius from the church and placed it on the body of her dead son, sobbing and praying to the saint. Her son became alive. St. Januarius honorably suffered in the year 305 A.D.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas