March 15

From the Prologue

They all suffered in Caesarea in Palestine at the hand of Prince Urban during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. All seven were extremely young men, none of whom were Christians, except Agapius. Neither were they baptized with water, but theirs was a "baptism by blood." One day these seven young men were observing how Christians were being tortured; one in the fire, another on the gallows and a third before wild beasts. Seeing with what great forbearance these Christians endured all pain and sufferings, these seven became inflamed with a zeal for Christ. They tied their hands behind their backs and came before Urban saying, "We also are Christians." The flattery and threats of Urban remained, but in vain. These young men were joined by a distinguished citizen of this town, Agapius, who, until then, had suffered much for Christ. They became all the more enflamed in their faith and love for the Lord. All were beheaded in the year 303 A.D. and took up their abode in the mansions of the Heavenly King.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas