Friday, August 21, 2009

Sts. Bassa, Theogonius, Agapius & Pistus, the Martyrs of Edessa

The Martyrs of Edessa: St. Bassa, and her three sons, Sts. Theogonius, Agapius & Pistus - Commemorated on August 21 (taken from:
"The Martyr Bassa with her sons Theognis, Agapius and Pistus, lived in the city of Macedonian Edessa and she was married to a pagan priest. From childhood she had been raised in the Christian Faith, which she passed on to her sons.
During the reign of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), the husband denounced his wife and children to the governor. In spite of threats, the boys refused to offer sacrifice to idols, so they were tortured and put to death.

St Bassa was thrown into prison and was weakened by hunger, but an angel strengthened her with heavenly food. Under successive tortures she remained unharmed by fire, water and beasts. When they brought her to a pagan temple, she shattered the statue of Zeus. Then they threw the martyr into a whirlpool in the sea. But to everyone's surprise a ship sailed up, and three radiant men pulled her up (St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (July 14) suggests that these were her children, martyred earlier). After eight days St Bassa came by ship to the governor of the island of Alona, not far from Cyzicus, in the Propontis or Sea of Marmora. After beating her with rods, they beheaded her.
By the year 450 there was already a church in honor of the holy martyr Bassa at Chalcedon." (taken from:
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth ToneValiantly following the footsteps of Solomone, thou gavest courage to thy sons to suffer martyrdom, O divinely-blessed Bassa, thou rock of courage. And when thou hadst thrice endured thy three sons' sufferings, thou through many grievous torments wast joined unto them. Hence, we cry to you: Rejoice, O victors in martyrdom.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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