May 18

Peter and the holy martyrs, celebrated today with him, originated from different countries. All these courageous contestants of Christ, who appeared before tyrants, were vouchsafed martyric crowns, however, on the same day.

Peter of Lampsakos (on the eastern shore of the Hellespont facing Kallipolis), the holy martyr, was made to stand before the tyrant Decius (Roman emperor from 249 to 251) at Abydos. The tyrant commanded Peter to offer sacrifice to Aphrodite (Venus). Being unpersuaded, he confessed Christ before the benighted pagans. Thus, they broke his body by the application of chains, wood, and a wheel designed for torture. He was bound to the wheel and crushed with instruments of torture, and was beaten without respite. Due to all these torments, the holy Peter, who had set his feet on the rock of faith (cf. Mt 16:18), surrendered his soul and received the unfading crown of the contest from God.

Another two men, Paul and Andrew, from Mesopotamia, were soldiers under the ruler Daknon. When they were dispatched to Athens, they arrested and incarcerated two confessing Christians, Dionysios and Christina. When Paul and Andrew gazed upon the beautiful virgin Christina, who was then of marriageable age, they encouraged her to share in shameful conduct with them. She, however, in no wise would countenance their solicitations. Indeed, instead of them doing violence to her, she converted them through her wise exhortations to believe in Christ. Thus, by her sweet discourse, they were bound to God rather than the passion of lust. Consequently, the two soldiers, together with Dionysios, were stoned to death, but were vouchsafed life everlasting. The holy maiden was sentenced to have her head struck off. Resplendent with the beauty of virginity and splendidly adorned with wounds, the virgin Christina made her abode in the noetic bridal chamber. Thus, after being purified by the sprinkling of their sanctified blood, all four received the unfading crown of martyrdom for their mighty sufferings.

Herakleios, Pavlinos, and Venedimos were Athenians. After these holy men preached the Gospel, they exhorted many of the impious idolaters to turn away from the foolishness and deception of idols. The three were arrested for their missionary activities and brought before the magistrate. That tyrant, before any determination was made, ordered that they be subjected to a harsh thrashing and a testing with many other punishments. First, the holy confessors were cast into a lit furnace. They remained unharmed by the enveloping flames, being protected by the power of God. Finally, they were beheaded with swords and received their martyric crowns.

Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, May. Holy Apostles Convent, 2006.


Ye were born of earth, and came from divers cities, but became the citizens of that blest city in the heights, being united in one great choir, O stalwart Martyrs who championed the Trinity.