March 11

From the Prologue

Gregory was the abbot of Mount Sinai, a great ascetic and a just man. On the vigil of Pascha [the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ],an angel of the Lord conveyed him to Jerusalem for the Divine Services and returned him again to Sinai the same day. He died peacefully in the sixth century.



Pionius speaks while being tortured:

O, citizens of famous Smyrna,

Fellow townsmen of Omar, the well known,

I know that which all of you know,

Not one of you know, that, what I know:

The sweet pleasure of dying, I know

And sweeter yet, hoping in Christ.

I know that death will destroy me not

But just the body, to separate from the soul;

For me, I know that the angels are waiting

In the mansions of the Heavenly King,

And angels, prophets and saints,

Many armies of those chosen by God,

And the wonderful martyrs for Christ.

I know that I am returning to my homeland,

From whence I came here.

The goal of my suffering, I do know,

(You know not why you are torturing me!)

Seethe, O malice, and against me rage!

With outstretched arms, the Savior awaits me,

Strike me, all of you, with greater tortures.

The more difficult the suffering, the sooner the dawn,

The quicker the death, the more joyful the soul.

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