Saint Charalambos
the Great Martyr

We celebrate Saint Charalambos name day on February 10 each year.
Charalambos suffered martyrdom in about the year 202.

Saint Charalambos, was the Bishop of Magnesia ( Asia Minor ). He guided many people in the ways of the Lord and spread the Holy Word.He helped many people and converted many to Christianity. He was a popular and well loved priest and this would inevitably lead to a clash with those in power.

He was arrested in the time of Lucian , the proconsul of Magnesia and his military commander Lucius. He would not renounce Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to idols.

Although at the time the Saint was well over 100 years old, he was horribly tortured to force him to deny his faith. His skin was torn from his body,yet he stood firm in his faith and showed no hatred or malice for his torturers. No other martyr suffered more than he did for the Lord. He was beaten,burned, pulled through the streets, nailed to crosses, yet his pagan torturers could not kill him.

Two soldiers called Porphyrius and Baptus watched the saints suffering and openly confessed their faith in Christ.They were immediately beheaded.Three women who were watching the sufferings of Saint Charalambos also confessed their faith in Christ, and were quickly martyred.
Lucius was so angry that he seized the instruments of torture and began to torture the Holy Martyr himself.Suddenly his forearms were cut off as if by a sword. Lucian then spat in the face of the Saint .Immediately his head was turned around so that he faced backwards.

Lucius begged the saint to show mercy on them, and both torturers were healed through the prayers of Saint Charalambos. Many came to believe in Christ because of the things they saw.Lucius, himself,fell at the feet of Saint Charalambos , and asked to be baptized.

Lucian reported all these events to the emperor Septimus Severus (193-211), who was then at Pisidian Antioch (western Asia Minor).The emperor was so enraged that he ordered Saint Charlambos to be brought to him in Antioch. There the torture continued .Soldiers twisted the Saint's beard into a rope, wound it around his neck, and used it to drag him along. They also drove an iron nail into his body. The emperor then ordered the torture to increase.They began to burn the Saint with fire, a little at a time. But the Lord God protected the Saint, and he remained unharmed.

Saint Charalambos performed many miracles during his life.

He raised a youth back from the dead He healed a man tormented by devils for thirty-five years.

Through him many people turned to Christ. Galina, the daughter of the emperor, became a Christian, and twice smashed the idols in a pagan temple. On the orders of the emperor the Saint was tortured again and the soldiers beat the saint about the mouth with stones. They also attempted to set his beard on fire, but the flames burned the torturer.

Septimus Severus and an official named Crispus hurled blasphemy at the Lord,summoning Him to come down to the earth, and boasting of their own power and might.

The Lord sent an earthquake, and the Saints torturers trembled with fear. Septimus and his soldiers were held by invisible bonds in mid air , and only by the prayer of the Saint were they put down. The dazed emperor was shaken and terrified but refused to back down and glorify the Lord.He gave orders to torture the saint even more.

Finally, he sentenced St Charalambos to be beheaded. In his final prayer, the heavens opened and the Saint saw the Lord with his angels. Saint Charalambos asked the Lord to grant that the place where his relics would repose would never suffer famine or disease. He also asked that there would be peace, prosperity, and an abundance of fruit, grain, and wine in that place, and that the souls of his torturers would be saved. The Lord promised to fulfill his request and as the torturers were about to execute the Saint, a voice from heaven was heard to say:
"Well done, my faithful servant; enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." 
At that moment he died without a blow being struck, thus denying the pagans their revenge.  The two executioners were immediately converted. .Galina.the emperors daughter, buried the martyr's body with great honor.

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Last published: :13/10/09
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