December 5, 2017 - Hatour 26, 1734
Commemoration of the Martyrdom of the Saints Balaryanos and His Brother Thiborinos
On this day, Sts. Balaryanos and Thiborinos, his brother, who were natives of Rome, were martyred. They were the sons of pagan parents. Balaryanos was betrothed to the daughter of one of the nobles of Rome; her name was Kilkeya. She was extremely beautiful and a Christian, who worshipped Christ in secret. When he married her, she gradually started to tell him about Christ's life and how to believe in Him, until he believed at her hands and was baptized. When St. Balaryanos was filled with Grace, he taught his brother who also became a believer and was baptized. Because of his righteousness, St. Balaryanos became worthy to talk to the angels and they revealed to him future hidden things. When Diocletian reigned and persecuted the Christians, these two saints went around the city and carried the bodies of the martyrs, prepared them for burial and buried them. Certain wicked men betrayed them to Tosius, the king's usher, who summoned them and asked them about their belief. They confessed that they were Christians. He offered them many things if they would deny Christ and offer sacrifices to idols, but they were not deceived by his promises. He threatened them with many kinds of torture, but that did not frighten them. When he saw their patience and endurance, he ordered their heads to be cut off. The usher saw angels carrying their souls up to heaven and immediately he believed in the Lord Christ. Because of his conversion, he was cast into prison for three days and on the fourth day, he was taken out of prison and his head was cut off along with the head of Kilkeya, Balaryanos's wife. They all received the crown of martyrdom.May Their prayers be with us. Amen
Commemoration of St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa
On this day also we commemorate the departure of St. Gregory, bishop of Nyssa. He was born in Cappadocia, in the year 330 A.D. and was ordained bishop by his brother, St. Basilius, in the year 372 A.D. He was exiled during the reign of Emperor Valens, then returned in the year 378 A.D., by the order of Emperor Theodosius the Great. He wrote many church books and departed in peace in the year 396 A.D. May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.