Commemorated on December 30
The Holy Martyr Phileteros of
Nicomedia twice suffered torture for Christ: under Diocletian (284-305) and
under Maximian (305-311). When Diocletian arrived in Nicomedia, they brought to
trial Saint Phileteros, who was tall of stature and handsome of face. Catching
sight of him, the emperor compared him in appearance to one of the pagan gods.
To the questions about his social rank and lineage the martyr answered: "I
am the son of an eparch, by faith – a Christian, and I live with Christians".
The emperor by flattery attempted to sway him into a renunciation and spoke
insultingly of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the saint replied: "Let the
mouth of anyone be silenced, whether he be the emperor or someone other, who
dareth to insult my Christ". After these words the martyr was thrown into
a red-hot oven, but he emerged from it unharmed. Then Diocletian, under the
influence of the apparent miracle, and taking into account the illustrious and
handsome appearance of the saint, set him free.
Denunciations were made at a later
period to the emperor Maximian, that Phileteros was a Christian. Brought to
trial before the emperor, the holy martyr again confessed his faith in Christ.
For this they subjected him to whippings. Then they threw him for devouring by
wild beasts, but he remained unharmed. Then they sentenced him to beheading by
the sword, but the two servants, to whom was entrusted the execution, were not
able to kill him: just as they positioned the sword over the head of the
martyr, their hands ceased to function. Persuaded through this, that the Lord
invisibly was guarding the holy martyr, both these executioners believed in
Christ and they themselves suffered for the faith by being beheaded by the
The holy Martyr Phileteros was sentenced
then to exile on Prokonnesus, one of the islands of the Sea of Marmora. On the
journey to exile he wrought many a miracle and destroyed an heathen temple with
its idols. Six soldiers with their commandant accompanying the saint to his
exile thus believed in Christ.
There came out to him along the way
Saint Eubiotes, who likewise had undergone many a suffering for Christ. The
saints joyfully hugged, and they dwelt at the cell of Saint Eubiotes for 7
days, together the soldiers and their commander. Saint Phileteros then died
there (+ 311) and was buried by Saint Eubiotes. The soldiers with their
commander likewise died there, 11 days later, and were buried alongside the
holy Martyr Phileteros.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.