Holy Martyr Leontius
July 1 (June 18 old calendar).
ARoman military commander in Tripoli in Phoenicia in the reign of the Emperor Vespasian, St. Leontius was born in Yelada, 'of great physical stature, powerful, strong and bold in battle'. The imperial governor, Hadrian, sent a military detachment to seize Leontius, Hadrian being a fierce adversary and persecutor of Christians. The commander of the detachment, Hypatius, fell ill on the way with a grave fever and the unit had therefore to slow its pace. One night an angel of the Lord appeared to Hypatius and said to him: 'If you desire to be healed, you and your soldiers must cry to heaven three times: "O God of Leontius, help me!"
Hypatius told his companions about this vision, and they all shouted together as the angel had instructed him, and Hypatius was immediately healed. This miracle amazed them all, and especially a certain Theodulus. Then Hypatius and Theodulus went on ahead of the other soldiers to find Leontius. Leontius received them courteously and offered them refreshment. When he had expounded his faith in Christ, their hearts began to burn with love towards the Lord, and a bright cloud descended upon Hypatius and Theodulus, shedding dew over them.
In this way the Holy Spirit of God Himself baptized these two converted souls while St. Leontius spoke the words: 'In the name of the All-holy Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.' The evil Harden discovered that Hypatius and Theodulus had become Christians and ordered that they be beaten without mercy and then beheaded with an ax. In this manner Leontius' spiritual children died. Then Hadrian ordered a most cruel torture for Leontius, but Leontius remained unwavering in his faith. His entire body was covered with wounds, but he prayed to God unceasingly to remain with him. In the midst of these most vicious torments, an angel of the Lord appeared to comfort and encourage him. At last they threw the martyr onto the ground and flogged him until he gave his soul to God. Leontius' sufferings were witnessed by a certain Notarius, who recorded all that he saw on tablets and placed them in the martyr's grave. St. Leontius suffered with honor in the year 73.
Troparion Tone 3
Girded with divine strength thou didst triumph in thy contest,/ O Leontius the Savior's trophy-bearer./ Thou didst spring into the contest like a lion,/ and destroy the enemy's might;/ O glorious Martyr, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.
Kontakion Tone 3
Thou didst confound the tyrant's wicked plans/ and expose the pagans' empty worship./ Thou didst illumine all men with the knowledge of God/ by thy teachings, O holy Martyr./ We lovingly venerate thy memory, O wise Leontius.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
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