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"St Anikitos (Invincible) & St Photios"

Martyr of the Orthodox Church, whose memory is commemorated, together with that of his nephew Photios, on August 12.

Martyr of the Orthodox Church, whose memory is commemorated, together with that of his nephew Photios, on August 12.This day is celebrated by those who bear the name Anikitos. Uncle and nephew were Anargyri (not paid) physicians from Nicomedia in Asia Minor.

According to the synaxaristi (biographies of Saints), when the emperor Diocletian wanted to declare persecution against the Christians. So when Diocletian preached against the Christians in Nicomedia, that is, in what is now called Smit in Turkey, the senate being present there, and when they placed in the midst of it many kinds of instruments of torture, the impious man threatened that he would destroy them by all means. When the tyrant, blasphemed against the divinity and glory of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Martyr of Christ Aniketus who was present, been not afraid of the tyrant's threats, he confessed infront of everyone that he is a Christian.

He challenged the error of the idols, adding this too, that those who respect idols are deaf and insensible.

Therefore, because of these words, the worshipers of the idols beat the Saint so much that where the sticks made wounds and tears in his body, through which his bones were visible. Then they let a lion free to kill him, which the Saint was afraid of seeing. The lion which was enormous in body, run towards him with anger and fury, roaring with a terrifying roar. But when he approached the Saint, he became more tender than a sheep, and sympathizing with the Martyr, he sponged with his right foot the sweat that poured down his face from the fear. Having therefore given thanks to the Holy God, at the end of the thanksgiving there was an earthquake, and from the earthquake, the idol of Herakles fell down, and it became like dust. But a part of the city of Nicomedia also collapsed, and many Greeks were overwhelmed.

From there the king ordered that the Martyr be beheaded. And the soldier, where he was about to decapitate the Saint, remained inactive, because his hand was paralyzed, and he could not lower the sword, therefore the king changed his decision, and tying the Saint to a wheel, he laid a fire under him.

From there the limbs of the athlete, being cut off by the wheel and burned by the fire, made him pray to God. Prayed, oh miracle! the fetters were loosed, and the wheel was set, and the fire was extinguished.

Then his nephew Photios also ran to the Saint, and embracing him, called him his father and mother and uncle. So he and his uncle were bound with iron chains, and both were thrown into prison. Then they broke out, and burned them with fire, and were stoned by the town hall into the theater.

From all these sufferings, the athletes of Christ, preserved unharmed, were tied to trees by the feet, and were dragged by wild horses. After this they again beat them severely, and with salt and vinegar they rubbed their wounded limbs, and being thrown into prison, there they remained unattended for three whole years.

Since they did not dry out from the long-term ill-treatment of the prison, then the tyrant lit the so-called bath of Antoninus for three days, and locked the Saints in there. And because the Martyrs prayed, the bottom of the bath split open, and a lot of water appeared from below, and so the Saints appeared to be, not in a burning bath, but in a cool orchard.

Then the impious Diocletian meditated, and built a furnace in the form of a funnel, fixed on an iron pillar. The Saints, therefore, putting themselves to this and having prayed, delivered their souls into the hands of God, and thus received the crowns of sport. They say that after the Saints were put in the furnace, they remained alive for three days. And their bodies, pulled out of the furnace with iron instruments, were whole and whole, without the fire harming even a hair of their heads.

And their Synaxis is held in their most holy Church, located in a place called Stratiion.

(Note that the Martyrion of these is found in Greek in the Great Lavra, where the beginning: "of Diocletian of the disrespectful reigning".)

Translated from Source:

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