These Holy Martyrs lived under the rule of the Pagan emperor Diocletian of Rome, known for his persecution of Christians. Saint Theopemptos was a Christian bishop who denounced the worship of idols and preached the word of Christ. Under the anti-Christian laws of the time, he was summoned to the imperial court and told to offer sacrifice to Apollo. When he refused, his persecutors threw him into a burning furnace. The emperor came several times to make sure that the furnace was afire, and to check on the saint, only to find that he was spared from all harm by the miracle of God. The emperor then ordered the martyr killed by hunger, but after 22 days with no food or drink, Theopemptos was alive and well.
Unable to kill the martyr, the emperor attributed his vitality to witchcraft and hired a sorcerer named Theon to dispel the supposed charms. Theon put poison in a cake and offered it to Theopemptos, but the martyr was not affected. He put deadlier poison in the cake and again made the martyr eat it. Still, he was unharmed. At that point, Theon repented, confessed to Theopemptos, converted to Christ and asked the bishop as his spiritual father.
Finally, the Roman emperor summoned Theopemptos for the last time to convince him to renounce Christ. The saint refused and suffered multiple grievous tortures before he was beheaded. Theon died as a martyr as well. Diocletian ordered him to be buried alive in a deep ditch in the year 303.
The example of the martyr saints shows how the grace of the holy spirit can empower us to reach untold levels of bravery and spiritual strength, despite our physical weakness.
Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is a deeply revered saint at the Convent, and its history provides multiple examples of his intercession Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker was lived in Asia Minor in the late third and early fourth centuries, but…
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