Commemorated on March 19
The Holy Martyrs
Chrysanthus and Daria and with them the Martyrs Claudius the Tribune with his
wife Ilaria (Hilaria) and their sons Jason and Maurus, and Diodorus the
Presbyter and Marianus the Deacon: Saint Chrysanthus came from a pagan
family, and received a fine education. Among the books which came his way were
those in which pagans discussed Christianity. But the youth wanted to read
books written by Christians themselves. The youth finally managed to find books
of the New Testament. The Holy Scripture enlightened the rational soul of the
youth. He found the presbyter Carpothoras hiding away from persecution and
received holy Baptism from him. After this he began openly to preach the
Gospel. The father of the youth tried every which way to sway his son from
Christianity and finally got him married off to the beauty Daria, a priestess
of Pallas Athena. But Saint Chrysanthus managed to convert his wife to Christ,
and the young couple by mutual agreement decided to lead celibate lives. After
the death of the father they began to live in separate houses. Saint
Chrysanthus gathered around him several youthful converts to Christ, and around
Saint Daria gathered pious women.
complaint to the eparch Celerinus, that Saints Chrysanthus and Daria were
preaching celibacy. Saint Chrysanthus was given over for torture to the tribune
The torments however
were not able to shake the bravery of the young martyr, since the power of God
clearly aided him. Struck by this, the tribune Claudius himself came to believe
in Christ and accepted holy Baptism together with his wife Ilaria and sons
Jason and Maurus and all his household staff and soldiers. When news of this
reached the emperor Numerian (283-284), he then commanded them all to be
executed. The Tribune‑Martyr Claudius was drowned in the sea, and his
sons and soldiers were beheaded. Christians buried the bodies of the holy
martyrs in a cave not far away, and Saint Ilaria constantly went there to pray.
One time they followed her and led her off for torture. The saint asked that
they give her several moments for prayer, at the end of which she died. A
servant buried the saint in the cave alongside her sons.
The torturers sent
Saint Daria off to an house of ill repute. But there also a lion sent by God
protected her. All who tried to defile the saint were knocked to the ground by
the lion, but leaving them alive. The martyress preached about Christ to them
and converted them to the way of salvation.
They threw Saint
Chrysanthus into a fetid pit, whither all the vulgar of the city were wont to
throng. But an Heavenly Light shone on him, and in place of the stinking pit it
was filled with fragrance.
Then the emperor
Numerian gave orders to give Saints Chrysanthus and Daria over into the hands
of the executioners. After tortures, the martyrs were buried alive in the
In a cave, situated
not far from the place of execution, Christians began to gather, honouring the
day of the martyrdom of the saints. They celebrated Divine-services and
communed the Holy Mysteries. Learning of this, the pagan authorities gave
orders to seal the entrance to the cave, filled with those praying.
Thus in torments
perished many a Christian, two of which are known of by name: the Martyrs
Presbyter Diodorus and the Deacon Marianus.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.