The Holy Martyrs Nazarius, Gervasius and Protasius.

October 14

From the Prologue

Nazarius was born in Rome of a Jewish father and a Christian mother. His mother, Perpetua, was baptised by the Apostle Peter himself. Receiving his mother's faith, Nazarius of his own volition gave himself to the fulfilling of all the Church's precepts. Fearlessly preaching the Gospel, he went to Milan. There he found Gervasius and Protasius in prison, and ministered to them with great love. Discovering this, the local governor ordered that Nazarius be whipped and driven out of the city. His mother appeared to him in a vision and told him that he must go to Gaul (France) and preach the Gospel there, and Nazarius did so. After several years, Nazarius came again to Milan, now with the young Celsus, his disciple, whom he had baptised in Gaul. The brothers Gervasius and Protasius were still in prison, and Anulius the governor soon had Nazarius thrown in with them. Christ's martyrs rejoiced greatly at the providence of God that had brought them together again. The Emperor Nero ordered that Nazarius be killed, and the governor took him and Celsus out of prison and beheaded them. Gervasius and Protasius were also beheaded very soon after that by a General Astacius, who was passing through Milan to wage war against the Moravians. The general heard that these two brothers would not offer sacrifice to idols, and, being afraid that he might lose the war because of this, he ordered that they be beheaded at once. Gervasius and Protasius were twins, the sons of godly parents Vitalius and Valeria, who were also martyred for the Faith. The relics of St Nazarius were taken from a garden outside the city to the Church of the Holy Apostles by St Ambrose, and those of St Gervasius and St Protasius were revealed to him in a strange vision.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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