Commemorated on February 22
a military commander of Syrian Apameia, suffered in the year 305 under the
emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311) together with his son Photinos and 70
soldiers under his command (from the soldiers are known the names of only two
– Theodore and Philip).
During a time of
persecution, pagan priests made denunciation to the emperor that Saint
Mauricios was spreading the faith in Christ. Brought to trial, Saint Mauricios
with his son and his soldiers firmly and unflinchingly confessed their faith
and they wavered neither to entreaty nor to threats. They were then beaten
without mercy, burnt at with fire and torn at with iron hooks. Young Photinos,
having firmly endured the tortures, was beheaded by the sword before the very
eyes of his father. But this cruel torment did not break Saint Mauricios, who
took comfort in that his son had been vouchsafed the martyr's crown.
They then devised for
the martyrs even more subtle tortures: they led them to a swampy place, where
it was full of mosquitoes, wasps and gnats, and they tied them to trees, having
smeared their bodies with honey. The insects fiercely stung and bit at the
martyrs, who weakened by hunger and thirst. The saints endured these torments
over the course of 10 days, but they did not cease praying to and glorifying
God until finally the Lord put an end to their sufferings. The wicked torturer
gave orders to behead them and leave their bodies exposed without burial, but
Christians secretly by night buried the venerable remains of the holy martyrs
at the place of their horrible execution.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.