The Martyr Babyla, and with him his 84 Students
Commemorated on September 4
The Martyr Babyla, and with him his 84 Students, suffered in the city of Nicomedia for their confessing of Christianity during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). The emperor, then in Nicomedia, renewed the persecution against Christians. Just as with many another amongst believers, denunciation was made to Maximian regarding Babyla, that he was instructing children in Christian piety. When the elder Babyla was brought before the emperor, and after his confession of faith in the True God, he was given over to many torments. During the time of his sufferings the holy martyr cried out to God: "I give Thee thanks, O Lord, that Thou hast rendered me, old and infirm, to be young and strong". After a pummelting with stones his bloodied body was thrown in irons and they took him off to prison. Then they led the students of the saint before the emperor. Neither affable urgings nor promise of gifts were able to sway the Christian convictions of the children. Two of them, Ammonias and Donatos, firmly declared: "We – are Christians, and we do not offer sacrifice to deaf and dumb devils". The emperor, going into a rage over the unexpected and firm rebuke on the part of the children, at first ordered them to be whipped, and later to be put to death by beheading, together with their teacher. Going to execution, the holy Martyr Babyla intoned the benediction to God: "Lo, I and the children, which God hath given me!" With spiritual rejoicing at first Saint Babyla, and then all his 84 students, accepted death by martyrdom.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.