The Holy Martyred Seven Brothers – Orentios, Pharnax, Heros, Phirmos, Phirmenes, Kyriakos and Longinos
Commemorated on June 24
The Holy Martyred Seven Brothers – Orentios, Pharnax, Heros, Phirmos, Phirmenes, Kyriakos and Longinos – were Roman soldiers. During the reign of Maximian (284-305) the Skyths fell upon the Greeks. To fight a duel against the Skythian champion Maroth – distinguished for his especial strength of body – there was commanded to go against him Saint Orentios, also a strong and brave warrior. Orentios was a Christian, as were his six brothers, who were also serving in the imperial army. Calling on the Lord for help, Saint Orentios defeated Maroth and in such manner stopped the invasion of the Skyths. The emperor intended to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods for this victory and he invited the victor – Saint Orentios – to participate. The saint refused, and explained that he himself was a Christian and said, that he vanquished the enemy by the power of the True God the Lord Jesus Christ. Neither the promise of honours or riches, nor threats were able to sway the saint to renounce Christ. The fierce and ungrateful emperor gave orders to banish to the Caucasus both the saint and his six brothers – Saints Pharnax, Heros, Phirmos, Phirmenes, Kyriakos and Longinos. During the time of the journey all seven brothers died. The first was the death of Saint Heros on 22 June at Parembol; after him as a martyr died Saint Orentios: they cast him into the sea, having a stone bound about his neck. The Archangel of the Lord Raphael took him from the water to dry land at Riza, on the south shore of the Black Sea, where the holy martyr died. Saint Pharnax died on 3 July at Kordila; Saints Phirmos and Phirmenes – on 7 July at Aspara, on the eastern shore of the Black Sea; Saint Kyriakos – at Ziganeia on 14 July, and Saint Longinos died on the ship on 28 July. Battered by a storm the ship came aground at Pitindeia (Pitsunda), where the body of the holy martyr was buried.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.