July 3

From the Prologue

Hyacinthus was a young man and a courtier at the court of Emperor Trajan. Secretly, he was a Christian. At one time when Emperor Trajan and his entire court solemnly offered sacrifices to the idols, Hyacinthus refrained from this abominable solemnity. For that he was accused and brought before the emperor to be judged. The emperor counseled him to deny Christ and to offer sacrifices to the idols. Hyacinthus remained as firm as a diamond and said to the emperor: "I am a Christian and I honor Christ. Him I worship and to Him alone do I offer myself as a living sacrifice." Beaten, spat upon and scraped, this holy martyr was thrown into prison. By order of the emperor, he was given nothing to eat except the sacrifices offered before the idols. Hyacinthus refused to partake of them and after eight days died in prison. The prison guards saw two radiant angels in the prison: one angel covering the body of the martyred Hyacinthus with his radiant vesture and the other angel placing a glorious wreath on his head. The entire prison was illuminated and aromatic. The youthful Hyacinthus honorably suffered and was crowned with eternal glory in the year 108 A.D.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas