7 March 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Many Martyrs of Eugenius, near Constantinople
In the time of the Emperor Arcadius, the relics of many Christian martyrs were excavated, among which were those of the Apostle Andronicus and his helper, Junia (Rom. 16:7). These relics were discovered by a revelation from God to a certain cleric, Nicolas Calligraphus. `God alone knows their names, and He has written them in the Book of Life in heaven.’ The Emperor Andronicus the First built a fine church over the relics of his namesake in the 12th century.
Sts. Perpetua and Felicity
In the year 203, Vibia Perpetua made the decision to become a Christian, although she knew it could mean her death during Septimus’ persecution. Her surviving brother (another brother had died when he was seven) followed her leadership and became a catechumen as well. Her father was frantic with worry and tried to talk her out of her decision. We can easily understand his concern. At 22 years old, this well-educated, high-spirited woman had every reason to want to live — including a baby son who was still nursing. We know she was married, but since her husband is never mentioned, many historians assume she was a widow. Perpetua was arrested with four other catechumens including two slaves Felicity and Revocatus, and Saturninus and Secundulus. Their catchiest, Saturus had already been imprisoned before them. She was baptised before taken to prison. Perpetua was known for her gift of “the Lord’s speech” and receiving messages from God. She tells us that at the time of her baptism she was told to pray for nothing but endurance in the face of her trials. Bears, leopards, and wild boars attacked the men. The women were stripped to face a rabid heifer. When the crowd, however, saw the two young women, one of whom had obviously just given birth, they were horrified and the women were removed and clothed again. Perpetua and Felicity were thrown back into the arena so roughly that they were bruised and hurt. Perpetua, though confused and distracted, still was thinking of others and went to help Felicity up. The two of them stood side by side as all five martyrs had their throats cut. Perpetua’s last words were to her brother: “Stand fast in the faith and love one another.”