The Martyrdom of St. Bacchus, the Friend of St. Sergius
On this day, St. Bacchus, the friend of St. Sergius, was martyred. When Emperor Maximianus seized these saints, he tortured them severely. After having stripped them of their military ranks, he sent them to Antiochus, King of Syria, who imprisoned St. Sergius. However, he ordered St. Bacchus to be killed, his body made heavier by attaching stones to him, then cast into the River Euphrates. The Lord protected the body and the waves brought it to the shore near two ascetic holy men who were brothers. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and commanded them to go and carry away the body of the Saint. When they came to where the body was, they found an eagle and a lion protecting it. The beasts spent a whole day and a night guarding it without harming it, although they were beasts of prey, for they had been commanded by divine providence to protect the body. The two holy men took the body with great honor, singing hymns until they came to their cave where they buried it. His prayers be with us and glory be to our God, forever. Amen.
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