Holy Martyr Romanus and the holy child who declared for Christ (305)

November 18, 2019 Length: 2:56

"Saint Romanus was a deacon and exorcist in the Church of Caesarea in Palestine. He happened to be at Antioch in 303 when the Emperor Diocletian's edicts for the general persecution of Christians were published. He could not bear to see so many Christian men, women and children denying their faith in the true God for fear of suffering. As they went to sacrifice to the idols, he ran up, consumed with zeal for righteousness, crying shame on them with a loud voice. He was immediately arrested and brought before the city Prefect. He faced interrogation boldly and to prove the stupidity of the pagan cult, he asked for a child to be brought in, taken at random from the crowd in the public square. Romanus enquired of the lad whether it was more sensible to worship the one and only God and Creator of the world, or the many gods of the pagans. Showing himself wiser than the pagans, the child unhesitatingly decided for the God of the Christians. The Prefect flew into a rage at being made to look ridiculous and ordered the young confessor to be put to the torture straight away in the presence of his mother. The child endured the torments without flinching but told his mother he was thirsty and wanted a drink. '0 my dear son', the admirable woman answered, 'do not drink corruptible and temporal water, but keep up your courage so as to drink living and eternal water in the Kingdom of God!' The child was beheaded, and Saint Romanus was condemned to be burnt to death. He welcomed the sentence joyfully, and with a shining face was led unresistingly to the stake. Since the Emperor was in the city, the executioners awaited his decision before lighting the fire and the valiant Martyr exclaimed at the delay, 'Where is the fire that is prepared for me?' But the execution was stayed so that he could be brought before the Emperor in person. Aware that Christians rejoice over the death of a Martyr as the entrance to everlasting life, the tyrant wanted to increase the suffering of Christ's athlete by delaying the moment of deliverance. He ordered the executioners to tear out his tongue, which Romanus freely offered, and he miraculously went on praising God and encouraging the faithful after it was cut away. After this torment, he was imprisoned for a long time in chains until the Emperor's birthday. This was celebrated all over the Empire and a general release of prisoners was customary. But Romanus was not freed; with his feet crushed in the stocks, he was secretly strangled in his dungeon and thus received the adornment of martyrdom, as he had desired."(Synaxarion)


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