Commemorated on February 10
Charalampios, Bishop of Magnezia, the Martyrs Porphyry and Baptos and the Three
Martyresses suffered in the year 202.
bishop of the Thessalonian city of Magnezia (northwest region of Greece),
successfully spread faith in Christ the Saviour. News about his preaching
reached the governor of the district Lucian and the military-commander Lucius.
The saint was arrested and brought to trial, where he firmly confessed his
faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to idols. Despite the decrepit
age of the bishop (he was already 113 years of age), they subjected him to
monstrous tortures: they lacerated his body with iron hooks, while they
scourged all his skin from head to foot. During this the saint turned to his
tormentors: "I bless you, brethren, ye have restored my
Having seen the
endurance of the elder and his complete lack of malice, two soldiers –
Porphyry and Baptos openly confessed Christ, for which they were immediately
beheaded with a sword. Being present at the sufferings of bishop Charalampios
were likewise three women who began to glorify Christ and were quickly
The enraged Lucius
himself seized hold of the instruments of torture and began to tear at the
priest-martyr, but suddenly his hand was cut off as though by a sword. Also
arriving at the place of execution the governor spat in the face of the saint,
and immediately he bent backwards. Then Lucius began to beseech the saint for
forgiveness, and through his prayer both torturers at once received healing.
During this a multitude of witnesses came to believe in Christ. Among them also
was Lucius, who fell at the feet of the holy elder, begging forgiveness.
Lucian reported about
the occurrence to the emperor Septimus Severus (193-211), situated at this time
at Pisidian Antioch (western part of Asia Minor). The emperor gave orders to
bring Saint Charlampios to him, and this was done with a stupid ferocity: they
dragged the priest-martyr, having tied a rope to his beard. The emperor then
gave orders to torture the bishop more intensely, and they began to burn at him
with fire. But the Power of God aided to the saint, and he remained unharmed.
Besides this, miracles were done through his prayer: he raised up a dead youth,
and healed a demoniac tormented by devils for 35 years, so that the people in a
multitude began to believe in Christ the Saviour. Even Galina the daughter of
the emperor began to believe in Christ, and twice smashed idols in a pagan
temple. By order of the emperor they beat the saint with stones about the
mouth, and they wanted to set afire his beard, from which the flames went forth
burning the torturer. Full of wickedness, Septimus Severus and his dignitary
Crispus hurled blasphemy at the Lord, mockingly summoning Him to come down to
the earth, and bragging of their own power and might. In wrath the Lord quaked
the earth, great fear fell upon all, both the impious ones were suspended in
mid-air held by invisible bounds, and only by the prayer of the saint were they
put down. The dazed emperor was shaken in his former impiety, but again quickly
fell into error and gave orders to torture the saint. And finally, he sentenced
him to beheading with a sword. During the time of his final prayer, the saint
was vouchsafed to behold the Saviour Himself and besought Him to grant that
place where his remains would repose, in peace, would be fruitful for people,
bringing forgiveness of sins and salvation. The Lord promised to fulfill the
request and ascended to heaven, bearing with Him the soul of the priestmartyr
Charalampios – who through the mercy of God accepted a peaceful death before
execution. The daughter of the emperor, blessed Galina, buried the body of the
martyr with great honour.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.