Science of the Saints, 12-XI (30 Oct.), Holy Martyrs Zenobius Bishop Of Aegea And His Sister Zenobia


The Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr’s death in the year 285 in Cilicia. 

From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their wealth and inheritance, giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the gift of healing various maladies. He was chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.

In the dignity of bishop, Saint Zenobius zealously spread the Christian faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobius was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius. “I shalt speak with thee but briefly,” said Licius to the saint, “for I propose to thee: life, if thou worshipest our gods; or death, if thou dost not.” The saint answered, “This present life without Christ is death; better I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him because of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in hades.”

By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The sister of the bishop, seeing the suffering of her brother, wanted then to stop it with him. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ before the governor, for which she also was given over to torture. 

By the power of the Lord they remained alive after torture on a red-hot cot and in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. Presbyter Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs. 

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