Commemorated on December 14
The Holy Martyrs Philemon, Apollonius, Arianus and Theotychus suffered for the Faith in Egypt, at the city of Antinoe, under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). St Arrian up until his conversion to Christ was a persecutor of Christians, among whom were the martyrs Apollonius and Philemon.
St Apollonius, at first fearing to face the sufferings, asked the pagan musician Philemon to change clothes with him and offer sacrifice to the idols for him. But unexpectedly St Philemon confessed himself a Christian in front of the pagans.
St Apollonius repented and also confessed Christ. After torture, both martyrs were executed. St Philemon's body was hung upon an olive tree, and arrows were shot at him. One struck prefect Arianus in the eye, destroying it. Arianus' injured eye was healed by when he applied dirt taken from Philemon's grave. He repented and was converted to the Christian Faith and baptized together with all his household and bodyguards. Out of love for Christ they voluntarily went to torture and were sentenced to death.
The Martyr Theotychus was the eldest of the guards, and is remembered with the other saints. The Martyrs Philemon and Apollonius died on March 16, 286, and the Martyrs Arrian and Theotychus on March 4, 287.
Troparion - Tone 3
With garlands and songs let us adorn the seven martyrs,
Thyrsus, Philemon, and steadfast Apolonius,
Arianus, Callinicus, Apollonia and glorious Leucius,
For they destroyed the enemy and are pillars of godliness.
Together they shine on all the world with rays of heavenly grace!
Troparion - Tone 4
Your holy martyrs, O Lord,
Through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
And shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion - Tone 4
Let us gather today,
And praise the Church's luminaries,
Acclaiming them as fitting trophy–bearers of Christ our God!
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