Dec. 14 The Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucas, Philemon, Appolonius, and Callinicus

Bulletin as of December 13 2023

The holy martyrs Thyrsus, Leucas, and Callinicus suffered for Christ under the emperor Decius (249-251) at Caesarea in Bithynia. St. Leucas, having reproached the prefect for his unjust persecution of Christians, was executed after being tortured. St. Thyrsus, who was still a catechumen, was nonetheless eager for martyrdom. He was sentenced to cruel tortures and torments after refusing to offer sacrifice to the idols. Citing the words of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 2:27), he ridiculed those who worshiped wood and stone. The saint’s arms and legs were pulled out of their sockets, his eyes were plucked out, and his teeth were shattered with a hammer. He was taken to a heathen temple, where, by the power of his prayers, he toppled a statue of Apollo. The prefect was enraged by this, and he ordered that greater torments be devised for the athlete of Christ. He endured them all and died peacefully after making the Sign of the Cross. The pagan priest Callinicus, seeing the bravery and the miracle involving St. Thyrsus, believed in Christ and boldly confessed the true Faith, for which he was beheaded. 



Your martyrs, O Lord our God, in their struggles received incorruptible crowns from You. With Your strength, they brought down the tyrants and broke the cowardly valor of demons. Through their prayers, O Christ our God, save our souls. 



You showed the violence of the enemy in public after you spat upon the barbarian torturer. You upheld the holiness of the faith, finding your strength in the help of Christ. Now pray for us, all you martyrs. 



Hebrews 7: 1-6

Brothers and sisters: This Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from his defeat of the kings and blessed him. And Abraham apportioned to him one tenth of all his booty. His name means “king of justice”’ he was also king of Salem, that is, “king of peace.” Without father, mother or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

See the greatness of this man to whom Abraham the patriarch gave one tenth of his booty! The law provides that the priests of the tribe of Levi should receive tithes from the people, their brother Israelites, even though all of them are descendants of Abraham; but Melchizedek, who was not of their ancestry, received tithes of Abraham and blessed him who had received God’s promise.


Mark 9: 9-13 

At that time Jesus and the disciples were coming down the mountain, Jesus strictly enjoined them not to tell anyone what they had seen, before the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept this word of his to themselves, though they continued to discuss what “rise from the dead” meant. Finally they put to him this question: “Why do the scribes claim that Elijah must come first?” Jesus told them: “Elijah will indeed come first and restore everything. Yet why does Scripture say of the Son of Man that he must suffer much and be despised? Let me assure you, Elijah has already come. They did entirely as they pleased with him, as Scriptures say of him.”

Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications –

Wednesday, December 13 –

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