Holy Martyrs

Chrysanthus and Daria

April 2 nd (March 19th Old Calendar)

The term "marriage made in Heaven" could be applied to a third century couple whose marriage could be said to have been made "for Heaven" because of a rare, singular purpose to serve Jesus Christ. Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria are among the lesser known martyrs of the early Christian Church. They joined the early martyrs in shedding their blood for Christ as He did for all of mankind.

St. Chrysanthus was the only son of a great nobleman, Poleon, who moved from Alexandria to Rome. As the son of rich parents, Chrysanthus studied all the secular disciplines, having very learned men as his teachers. But worldly wisdom confused him, and he was left ignorant of the truth. He grieved over this. But God, who provides for each and all, assuaged the grief of the young Chrysanthus by putting copies of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles into his hands. The truth was revealed to him in the reading of these. He also desired a teacher and found one in the person of Carpophorus, a priest, who instructed and baptized him. But this did not please his father, who did all in his power to turn him back from the Christian faith. Then, in no way succeeding, the wicked father tried to corrupt him by shutting him up alone with shameless girls, but Chrysanthus gained the victory over himself in this, and preserved his virginity. Then his father compelled him to marry the pagan Daria, but Chrysanthus persuaded Daria to receive the Christian faith and to live with him as his sister while appearing to be married. When his father died, Chrysanthus began openly to confess Christ and to live as a Christian, both he and his whole house. In the time of the Emperor Numerian, he and Daria were both terribly tortured for their faith. The torturer, Claudius, however, seeing the endurance of these martyrs and the wonders that were revealed at their martyrdom, embraced the Christian faith, as did the rest of his house. For this, Claudius was drowned, both his sons were beheaded, and his wife died on the gallows with prayer on her lips.

Daria showed such endurance under martyrdom that the pagans cried out, "Daria is a goddess!" Finally it was decreed that Chrysanthus and Daria be buried in a deep pit and covered with stones. A church was later built on the site. Near this pit was a cave in which some Christians met together for prayer and communion in memory of the holy martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria. Discovering this, the pagans rolled a stone across the entrance to the cave, and thus by death drove those Christians from this world into that better world where Christ the Lord reigns in eternity. These glorious martyrs, Chrysanthus and Daria and the others with them, among whom are St. Diodorus the priest and St. Marianus the deacon, suffered for Christ in Rome in 283 and 284.


Let us honor the like-minded pair of Martyrs,/ Chrysanthus scion of purity, and supremely modest Daria./ United in holiness of faith, they shone forth as communicants of God the Word./ They fought lawfully for Him and now save those who sing:/ Glory to Him Who has strengthened you; glory to Him Who has crowned you;/ glory to Him Who through you works healings for all.


O Chrysanthus, in the sweet fragrance of holiness/ thou didst draw Daria to saving knowledge./ Together in contest you routed the serpent, the author of all evil,/ and were worthily taken up to the heavenly realms.



Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church

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(sebastian_zoe.doc, 08-15-2000)