20 September 2020 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Holy Martyr Sozon
Born in Lycaonia, Sozon was a shepherd and lived by the Law of God, teaching his brothers and sisters, and his friends, his devout faith. He learned in a vision that he would suffer martyrdom for Christ. At that time, there was a great persecution of Christians near the city of Pompeiopolis on the part of Maximian, the governor of Silicia. In the city, there was a golden idol, which was worshipped by the pagans. Sozon left his sheep, went to the city, entered the pagan temple and knocked an arm off the golden idol, melting it down and giving the gold to the poor. There was a great outcry in the city because of this, and the pagans began to search for the guilty man. That no one else should suffer for his action, Sozon went to the governor and declared himself to be a Christian and the performer of that act. The torturers first beat him, then chained him to a tree and flogged him with iron flails. When he was at his last breath, they cast him into the flames, where holy Sozon gave his soul to God. He suffered in about 304. His relics were found to be wonderworking, and a church dedicated to him was built over them.
Pagan Roman general in the army of the emperor Trajan. Converted to Christianity following a hunting trip during which he saw a glowing cross between the antlers of a stag, after which he received a prophecy that he would suffer for Christ. He was baptised with his wife and two sons, and given the name Eustachius. Denounced as a Christian, he lost his property, was reduced to abject poverty, and Roman authorities took his wife and children. However, being a capable general, he was recalled to duty by Trajan to help repel barbarians from Rome, which he did. He and his family were reunited with the expectation they would sacrifice to idols in thanks for a military victory. When they refused, an enraged Trajan ordered them thrown to the lions; the big cats played like kittens around them, so they were martyred together by being burned in a bronze bull. Eustachius is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He was born as Placidas and died cooked to death in a bronze bull in 188.