Yandex Metrika
A Sacrifice Given without Love is Not Meaningful to God

Saint Nikephoros, Bound with the Chains of Love

Martyr Nikephoros

Saint Nikephoros, a martyr was not just an example of Christian virtue and devotion to God, but also a vivid illustration of the truth of Apostle Paul’s words: If I deliver my body to be burned but have no love, I gain nothing (1 Cor. 13:3).

Saint Nikephoros, a layman was a friend of Sapricius the priest, but one day they had a disagreement that escalated into an enmity. Nikephoros was the first to realize the need for reconciliation and made several attempts to do so. Yet Saprius was adamant and unforgiving. Soon the persecution of Christians began, and Sapricius was arrested and sentenced to be beheaded. When his head was on the execution block, and the executioner was preparing to cut it off, Nicephorus again asked his friend for forgiveness, but Saprius refused to forgive.

At this point, God’s grace left Sapricius, and he denounced Christianity and agreed to worship a pagan idol. Nikephoros cried out: “I am a Christian! 'I am a Christian! I believe in our Lord Jesus Christ whom he has just denied. Let him go and put me to death in his place!' They ordered Sapricius to be freed, and Nikephoros to be executed.

February 22, 2024
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