4 May 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Hieromartyr Januarius, and those with him
This saint was Bishop of Benevento in Italy. In the time of a persecution under Maximian, he was brought before the judge and tormented with various tortures, which he endured patiently. When they threw him into the flames, they were cooled by invisible dew and the martyr stood uninjured in it and sang the praises of God. Then they flayed his body with iron flails until the bones showed white, but the martyr patiently endured all. His deacon, Faustus, and his reader, Desiderius, were watching the torture and wept for their spiritual father. Then they too were bound and taken with their bishop to the town of Pozzuoli, and cast into prison. There were in the same prison for the sake of Christ the Puetolian deacons Proclus and Sossus and two simple, Christian men, Eutychius and Acutius. All seven were thrown next day to the wild beasts, but the beasts would not touch them. They were all then beheaded, and the Christians of the city of Naples secretly took the body of St Januarius to their city and buried it in the church. To this present day innumerable wonders are worked at this saint’s grave. One among many remembered is this: a poor widow, whose only son had died, took the icon of St Januarius out of the church and laid it on her dead son, weeping and imploring the saint’s aid, and her son was restored to life. St Januarius suffered with honour in 305.
He was third century officer in Roman army stationed in modern Austria. Military administrator of the town of Noricum, and a closet Christian. Said to have stopped a town from burning by throwing a single bucket of water on the blaze, and thus his association with firefighters and those who protect us from fire, including chimney sweeps. When ordered to execute a group of Christians during the persecutions of Diocletian, he refused, and professed his own faith. Died c. 304; scourged, flayed alive, a stone tied to his neck, and dumped into a river; body later retrieved by Christians and buried at an Augustinian monastery near Lorch; relics translated to Rome in 1138; part of the relics given to King Casimir of Poland and the bishop of Cracow by Pope Lucius III, which led to Florian’s patronage of Poland and Upper Austria.