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Symeon the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Persia

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April 17

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This Martyr was Bishop of the royal cities Seleucia and Ctesiphon in Persia. As the number of Christians increased in Persia, building churches and appointing clergy, the Magi, guardians of the Persian religion, and the Jews, who also envied them, accused Symeon to Sapor II, King of Persia, saying that Symeon was a friend of the Roman Emperor and his spy. Then began Sapor's persecution of the Christians of Persia, about the year 343. The Magi together with the Jews destroyed the churches. Saint Symeon was brought before Sapor, and, refusing to worship the sun, was imprisoned. On Holy and Great Friday of that year, Saint Symeon was brought out of prison with a hundred others, bishops, priests, and deacons. As each was taken to be slain, Saint Symeon exhorted him to be of good courage; he was slain last of all. It is said that 1,150 Martyrs were slain; an innumerable multitude of Christians were slain throughout Persia during this persecution, among them Saints Acepsimas, Joseph, and Aethalas (see Nov. 3).

Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Symeon in the Plagal of the First Tone

All the powers of Heaven were awestruck and amazed at the achievements and deeds of the holy Martyrs of Christ; for contending well in mortal bodies clothed with flesh, they overcame the fleshless foe by the power of the Cross and invisibly subdued him. And now they pray to the Lord, that He might bestow His mercy on our souls.