“The Holy Martyrs Saint Sergios and Saint Bacchus
Feastday Oct 7/20
Saint Sergios and Saint Bacchus who were martyrs and heroes of our holy Orthodox Christian Faith were noblemen of the court of Maximian, who was emperor at that time. The emperor esteemed them greatly because of their courage, wisdom and fidelity. But when the emperor found out that they were Christians, his love turned into rage towards them.
One day there was sacrificial offering to idols being performed, and the emperor commanded Sergius and Bacchus to offer a sacrifice with him, but they refused to obey the emperor. Filled with rage, Maximian commanded that they be stripped of their military garments, rings and emblems, and that they be dressed in women’s clothing. He then had iron hoops put around their necks and they were paraded through the streets of the city of Rome, so that everyone could mock them.
Later, he had them brought before Antiochus who was his deputy in Asia, to be tortured. Antiochus had received this position because Saint Sergios and Saint Bacchus had referred him to Maximian. When Antiochus saw them, he begged them to deny Christ and save themselves from dishonorable suffering and death, but the saints replied: “Both honor and dishonor, both life and death-all are the same to him who seeks the Heavenly Kingdom.” Antiochus then had Sergius put into prison and commanded Bacchus to be tortured first. His soldiers took turns beating Saint Bacchus until his whole body was broken. Then Saint Bacchus’s holy soul departed his broken and bloodied body, and was brought to the Lord by the angels. Saint Bacchus was tortured in the town of Barbalissos. Then they took Saint Sergios and put him in iron shoes with inward-protruding nails. He was taken, on foot, to Rozapha, a town in Syria, and was beheaded by the sword. His holy soul went straight to Paradise, together with his friend, where he received a crown of immortal glory from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, our King. Saint Sergios and Saint Bacchus suffered for the Orthodox Christian Faith in the year 303.”
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.
As we gather, let us crown with sacred hymns of laudation those two brethren in the Faith, the great and valorous Martyrs: Sergios was the Triune Godhead’s most steadfast warrior; and with him, wise Bacchus manfully suffered torments; and they both confessed Christ Saviour as God, the Maker and sacred Trainer of all.