Science of the Saints, 19 March, The Holy Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria

The Holy Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria and with them the Martyrs Claudius the Tribune with his wife Hilaria and their sons Jason and Maurus, and Diodorus the Presbyter, and Marianus the Deacon.

Saint Chrysanthus came from a pagan family, and received a fine education. Among the books which came his way were those in which pagans discussed Christianity. But the youth wanted to read books written by Christians themselves. The youth finally managed to find books of the New Testament. The Holy Scripture enlightened the rational soul of the youth.

He found the presbyter Carpothoras hiding away from persecution and received holy Baptism from him. After this he began openly to preach the Gospel. The father of the youth tried every which way to sway his son from Christianity and finally got him married off to the beautiful Daria, a priestess of Pallas Athena. But Saint Chrysanthus managed to convert his wife to Christ, and the young couple by mutual agreement decided to lead continent lives. After the death of the father they began to live in separate houses. Saint Chrysanthus gathered around him several youthful converts to Christ, and around Saint Daria gathered pious women.

Townspeople made complaint to the eparch Celerinus, that Saints Chrysanthus and Daria were preaching celibacy. Saint Chrysanthus was given over for torture to the tribune Claudius.

The torments however were not able to shake the bravery of the young martyr, since the power of God clearly aided him. Struck by this, the tribune Claudius himself came to believe in Christ and accepted holy Baptism together with his wife Ilaria and sons Jason and Maurus and all his household staff and soldiers. When news of this reached the emperor Numerian (283-284), he then commanded them all to be executed. The Tribune Martyr Claudius was drowned in the sea, and his sons and soldiers were beheaded. Christians buried the bodies of the holy martyrs in a cave not far away, and Saint Hilaria constantly went there to pray. One time they followed her and led her off for torture. The saint asked that they give her several moments for prayer, at the end of which she died. A servant buried the saint in the cave alongside her sons.

The torturers sent Saint Daria off to an house of ill repute. But there also a lion sent by God protected her. All who tried to defile the saint were knocked to the ground by the lion, but leaving them alive. The martyress preached about Christ to them and converted them to the way of salvation.

They threw Saint Chrysanthus into a fetid pit, whither all the vulgar of the city were wont to throng. But an Heavenly Light shone on him, and in place of the stinking pit it was filled with fragrance.

Then the emperor Numerian gave orders to give Saints Chrysanthus and Daria over into the hands of the executioners. After tortures, the martyrs were buried alive in the ground.

In a cave, situated not far from the place of execution, Christians began to gather, honouring the day of the martyrdom of the saints. They celebrated Divine Services and communed the Holy Mysteries. Learning of this, the pagan authorities gave orders to seal the entrance to the cave, filled with those praying.

Thus in torments perished many a Christian, two of which are known of by name: the Martyrs Presbyter Diodorus and the Deacon Marianus.

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