Third Day of the Trinity
Martyr Leontius, and with him Martyrs Hypatius and Theodulus, at Tripoli in Syria (70-79). Ven. Leonty, Canonarch, of the Kiev Caves (Far Caves—14th c.). Ven. Leonty the Hagiorite (1605). The “BOGOLIUBSKAYA” Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos (1157).
Saints Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus
The Holy Martyrs Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus were Roman soldiers. The holy Martyr Leontius, a Greek by origin, served as a military-chief in the imperial army in the Phoenician city of Tripoli during the reign of Vespasian (70-79). Leontius was distinguished for his bravery and good sense, and the people of Tripoli held him in deep respect because of his virtue.
The emperor appointed the Roman senator Adrian as governor of the Phoenician district, with full powers to hunt out Christians, and in case of their refusal to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods, to give them over to torture and death. And on his way to Phoenicia Adrian received a report that Saint Leontius had turned many away from worshipping the pagan gods. The governor sent the tribune Hypatius with a detachment of soldiers to Tripoli so as to find and arrest the Christian Leontius. Along the way the tribune Hypatius fell seriously ill, and being near death, he saw in a dream an angel, which said: “If you wish to be healed, you and your soldiers should say three times: ‘God of Leontius, help me.’”
Opening his eyes Hypatius beheld the angel and said: “I was sent to arrest Leontius, how is it that I should appeal to his God?” At this moment the angel became invisible. Hypatius told his dream to the soldiers, among whom was his friend Theodulus, and all of them together asked for help from the God Whom Saint Leontius confessed. Hypatius was immediately healed to the great joy of his soldiers, but only Theodulus sat aside, pondering the miracle. His soul was filled with love for God, and he told Hypatius to proceed twice as quickly to the city in search of Saint Leontius.
Upon their arrival in the city, a stranger met them and invited them to his house, where he lavishly hosted the travellers. Learning that their hospitable host was Saint Leontius, they fell on their knees and asked him to enlighten them with faith in the True God. They were baptized here, and when Saint Leontius prayed over them calling on the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, a luminous cloud overshadowed the newly-baptized and poured forth rain. The remaining soldiers in search of their commander arrived in Tripoli, where the governor Adrian had also arrived. Learning what had happened, he ordered Saints Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus to be brought to him. After threatening them with torture and death, he demanded that they renounce Christ and offer sacrifice to the Roman gods.
All the martyrs firmly confessed their faith in Christ. Saint Hypatius was put under a column and raked with iron claws, and Saint Theodulus was mercilessly beaten with rods. Seeing the steadfastness of the saints, they beheaded them. And after torture, they sent Saint Leontius to prison. In the morning he came before the governor. Adrian tried to entice the holy martyr with honors and rewards, and accomplishing nothing, he gave him over to new tortures. The holy martyr was suspended head downwards from a pillar with a heavy stone about his neck, but nothing could make him renounce Christ. The governor gave orders to beat the sufferer with rods until he died. They then threw the body of the holy Martyr Leontius outside the city, but Christians reverently gave it burial near Tripoli. The death of the holy martyrs occurred between 70-79.
The accusation against Saint Leontius, and his sufferings and death are recorded on tin tablets prepared by the court scribe [commentarisius]. These tablets were placed at the grave of the holy martyr.
Troparion of Pentecost, tone 8
Blessed art You O Christ Our God / You have revealed the fishermen as most wise / By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit / Through them You drew the world into Your net / O Lover of Man, Glory to You!
Troparion of the saint, tone 3
Girded with divine strength you triumphed in your contest, / O Leontius, the Savior’s trophy-bearer. / You sprang into the contest like a lion, / And destroyed the enemy’s might. / O glorious martyr, entreat Christ our God to grant us his great mercy!
Kontakion the saint, tone 3
You confounded the wicked plans of tyrants / and exposed the godless worship of the pagan Greeks. / You illumined all mankind with the knowledge of God by your teachings of true piety, divinely-wise martyr. / Therefore, Leontius, we lovingly honor your memory.
Kontakion of Pentecost, tone 8
When the most High came down and confused the tongues, / He divided the nations; / But when he distributed the tongues of fire / He called all to unity. / Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-holy Spirit!
Romans 1:1-7, 13-17 (Epistle)
- Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
- which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
- concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
- and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
- Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
- among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
- To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
- I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
- So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
- For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
- For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Matthew 4:25-5:13 (Gospel)
- Great multitudes followed Him – from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
- And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
- Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
- Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.