Commemorated on October 7
The Holy Martyrs Sergios and Bakkhos were appointed to high
positions in the army by the emperor Maximian (284-305), who did not know that
they were Christians. Malevolent persons made a denunciation to Maximian, that
his two military-commanders did not honour the pagan gods, and this was
considered a crime against the state.
The emperor, wanting to convince
himself of the veracity of the denunciation, ordered Sergios and Bakkhos to
offer sacrifice to the idols, but they answered, that they honoured but the One
God and Him only did they worship.
Maximian commanded that the martyrs
be stripped of the insignia of military rank, and then having dressed them in feminine
clothing to lead them through the city with an iron chain on the neck, for the
mockery by the people. Then he again summoned Sergios and Bakkhos to him and in
a friendly approach advised them not to be swayed by Christian fables and
instead return to the Roman gods. But the saints remained steadfast. Then the
emperor commanded that they be dispatched to the governor of the eastern part
of Syria, Antiochus, a fierce hater of Christians. Antiochus had received his
position with the help of Sergios and Bakkhos. "My fathers and
benefactors! – he addressed the saints, – have pity not only upon yourself,
but also on me: I want not to condemn ye to martyrdom". The holy martyrs
replied, that for them life – is Christ, and death for Him – its acquisition.
In a rage Antiochus ordered Bakkhos to be mercilessly beaten, and the holy
martyr expired to the Lord. They shod Sergios with iron shoes inset with nails
and sent him off to another city, where he as beheaded with the sword (c. year
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.