April 6

From the Prologue

When the Persian Emperor Sapor plundered the lands of Byzantium, heenslaved one-hundred twenty Christians. Since his attempts to persuade them to deny Christ and worship fire proved to be in vain, the emperor tossed them into the fire and burned them alive. Among those martyrs, were nine virgins dedicated to God. They all suffered honorably between the years 344 A.D. and 347 A.D. and took up habitation in the mansions of Christ the King.



Euthychius witnessed Christ to the Emperor:

Christ, said he, a weakened body He had,

A body susceptible to hunger and pain,

Similar to, but not the same with the body on the Throne.

A ray of the servant on earth, the King of Glory carried

But the glorified body, into heaven He ascended.

Where would the tears be in the illusionary body?

Where the bloody sweat O Emperor, on the illusionary brow?

"I am hungry!" "I am thirsty!" spoke the Truth [Christ],

Why do you drive the Son of God into a lie?

When His hunger He witnesses to the world

And you to Him: you are satiated! You speak to His face!

When thirsty, He cries out while on the Cross hangs,

And, to Him you respond: Thirsty You are not, You are not!

O Great Emperor, impurity do not speak,

Behind your words, the demon himself hides.

In vain do you build churches, when you destroy the Faith,

And in vain the votive offerings, when its flames you extinguish.

Christ's sufferings, of all other sufferings are greater,

The whole of history, revolves around the Cross.

For that, the Cross is honorable, capable of healing and awesome,

Because [the Cross of Christ] it is the source of pain -

It is brimming over and abundant.

On the Cross is Christ; man nailed,

Blood, sweat and moaning - and not a dream that is dreamed.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas