The Holy Martyrs Andrew and John, and John's Children Peter and Antoninus
Commemorated on September 23
The Holy Martyrs Andrew and John,
and John's Children Peter and Antoninus (IX), suffered during the time of
the cruel African ruler Ibrahim. After the taking and destruction of the
Sicilian city of Syracuse, Ibrahim took captive and brought to Africa Saint
John and his two children, Peter and Antoninus, whom he compelled to study the
Arab language and sciences. When the youths had grown, prince Ibrahim was so
fond of them for their wisdom and virtuous life, that he named Antoninus his
kinsman, and Peter he appointed as his chief steward. One time however, having
learned that the youths secretly confessed faith in Christ, Ibrahim fell into a
furious rage and ordered them thrown into iron shackles and beaten with knotted
rods. After prolonged scourging, they put Saint Antoninus on a donkey, and
secured on by straps they drove him through the city, beating and ridiculing
him with abuse. The martyr endured all the insults and gave thanks to God.
Saint Peter after fierce beating with the rods was thrown into prison. The
father of the holy martyrs, John, was ordered to be arrested. The brutal
Ibrahim grabbed him by the neck with his left hand, and with his right he
thrust a knife into his throat. They threw the body of the father together with
the bodies of his sons. They then lighted up a large bonfire, into which they
cast the bodies of the holy martyrs.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.