St. Zenobia of Aegae, and her brother Heiromartyr Zenobius


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Commemorated on October 30

The Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister, Zenobia, suffered martyrs’ deaths in the year 285 in Cilicia. From childhood, they were raised in a Christian Faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In adulthood, shunning the love of money, they distributed their inherited wealth to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life, the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.

As bishop, St. Zenobius zealously spread the Christian Faith among the pagans. When Emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against the Christians, Bishop Zenobius was the first one arrested and brought to trial before Governor Licius. “I shall only speak briefly with you,” said Licius to the saint, “for I propose to grant you life if you worship our gods, or death, if you do not.” Zenobius answered, “This present life without Christ is death. It is better that I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him for the sake of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in Hades.”

By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and tortured him. St. Zenobia, his sister, saw his suffering, and bravely confessed her own faith in Christ before the governor. She was also tortured.

By the power of the Lord, they remained alive after being placed on a red-hot iron bed, and then in a boiling kettle. The saints were ultimately beheaded. The priest Hermogenes secretly buried their bodies in a single grave.

Sts. Zenobius and Zenobia are invoked by those suffering from breast cancer.

Troparion (Tone 4) –

As brother and sister united in godliness together you struggled in contest, Zenóbius and Zenobía.

You received incorruptible crowns

and unending glory

and shine forth with the grace of healing upon those in the world.

Kontakion (Tone 8) –

Let us honor with inspired hymns the two martyrs for truth:

the preachers of true devotion, Zenóbius and Zenobía;

as brother and sister they lived and suffered

together and through martyrdom received their incorruptible crowns.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)