The holy martyrs Akindynos, Pegasius, Apthonius, Elpidiphor, and Anempodistus, and very many companions in Persia were martyred under the emperor Licinius and suffered under King Shapur II. The first three were servants at the court of King Shapur II but secretly served Christ their Lord. When they were accused and brought to trial before the king, he asked them where they came from. To this they replied: “Our fatherland and our life is the Most-holy Trinity, One in Essence and undivided, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God.” Elpidiphor was one of the king’s nobles. When he revealed that he was a Christian and denounced the king for his slaughter of innocent Christians, the king condemned him to death and Elpidiphor was beheaded along with seven thousand other Christians in the year 335.
O passion-bearers of the Lord, blessed is the earth which has drunk your blood, and holy are the tombs which have received your bodies. In the furnace you conquered the foe and preached Christ. Intercede with the gracious Lord to save our souls.
The pious and God-bearing martyrs, who gave up all things on earth – Akindynos, Pegasius and Anempodistus, and with them Apthonius and Elpidiphorus – you delightfully received good things of God and into rest, O You Who alone are all-good.
1 Thessalonians 2: 9-14
Brothers and sisters, you must recall our efforts and our toil: how we worked day and night all the time we preached God’s good tidings to you in order not to impose on you in any way. You are witnesses, as is God himself, of how upright, just, and irreproachable our conduct was toward you who are believers. You likewise know how we exhorted everyone of you, as a father does his children — how we encouraged and pleased with you to make your lives worthy of the God who calls you to his kingship and glory. That is why we thank God constantly that in receiving his message from us you took it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God at work within you who believe. Brethren, you have been made like the churches of God in Judea which are in Christ Jesus.
Luke 11: 47-54
The Lord said to the lawyers: “Woe to you! You build the tombs of the prophets, but it was your fathers who murdered them. You show that you stand behind the deeds of your fathers: they committed the murders and you erect the tombs. That is why the wisdom of God has said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of these they will persecute and kill’; so that this generation will have to account for the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world. Their guilt stretches from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who met his death between the altar and the sanctuary! Yes, I tell you, this generation will have to account for it. Woe to you lawyers! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves have not gained access, yet you have stopped those who wished to enter!” After he had left this gathering, the scribes and Pharisees began to manifest fierce hostility to him and to make him speak on a multitude of questions, setting traps to catch him in his speech.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, November 1 –