March 19

Chrysanthos was the only son of Polemius, a distinguished patrician, who moved from Alexandria to Rome. As the son of wealthy parents, Chrysanthos studied all the secular subjects, having the most learned men for instructors. But secular wisdom confused him and left him in uncertainty as to what is truth. As a result of this, he grieved. But God, Who plans all and everything, alleviated his grief: a written copy of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles came into the hands of the young Chrysanthos. Having read them, Chrysanthos was enlightened with the truth. He desired a teacher and found one in the person of a certain priest, Carpophorus, who taught and baptized him. This did not please his father, who by all means attempted to dissuade him from believing in Christ. Not succeeding, the wicked father at first tried to corrupt him by placing him alone with an immoral woman. But Chrysanthos was victorious over himself in this, and persevered in chastity. His father then coerced him into marrying Daria, a pagan girl. Chrysanthos counseled Daria to embrace the Christian Faith and to live together with him as brother and sister, although pretending to be married. When his father died, Chrysanthos began to confess Christ openly and to live as a Christian, both he and his entire household. During the reign of the Emperor Numerian, he and Daria were cruelly tortured for their faith. Even the torturer Claudius, witnessing the forbearance of these honorable martyrs and the miracles which were manifested during their sufferings, embraced the Christian Faith along with his entire household. For this Claudius was drowned, both of his sons were beheaded, and his wife, after having recited her prayers, died on the gallows. Daria was so steadfast in her martyrdom that the pagans cried out: “Daria is a goddess!” Finally, it was decreed that Chrysanthos and Daria be buried in a deep pit and covered with stones. Later a church was erected on this site. There was a cave near this pit where some Christians assembled for prayer and Communion in memory of the martyrs Chrysanthos and Daria. Hearing of this, the pagans attacked and sealed off this cave, and thus they drove these Christians from this world to a better world, where Christ reigns eternally. These glorious martyrs, Chrysanthos and Daria and the others with them, among whom were the priest Diodorus and the deacon Marianus, suffered for Christ in Rome in 283 or 284.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.


Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.