Commemorated on May 4
Saint Sylvanus came from the vicinity of the city of Gaza. In the world Sylvanus was a soldier. Wishing to serve the Heavenly King, he became a priest, and was ordained bishop of Gaza. Saint Sylvanus converted many pagans to faith in Christ. During the time of the persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian he was taken for trial to the city of Caesarea, he underwent torture and bravely endured it, and was then sentenced to harsh labour in the copper mines. At this work the holy bishop reached the edge of exhaustion, but always cheerful of spirit, he incessantly preached Christ to all those around him. This occurrence angered the pagans, who beheaded him. Such death there also accepted together with him 40 holy martyrs, who through the words of the bishop believed in Christ. Their death followed in the year 311.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.