Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria

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19 March/1 April

Saints Chrysanthus and Daria (and with them Claudius, Hilaria, Jason and Maurus) suffered in Rome in the year 283. Saint Chrysanthus was the son of a distinguished senator, received a brilliant education and from his young years came to love books. Having bought the Gospel and the Apostolic epistles, he read them with interest. The height of the Gospel teaching captivated him, but much in these books he could not understand.

By God's Providence, Chrysanthus became acquainted with a priest, who explained the Christian faith to him in detail. Having studied the Gospel more deeply and having been imbued with the ideal of Christian morality, Chrysanthus renounced the pagan errors of his family and accepted Holy Baptism. Chrysanthus burned with a desire to introduce other pagans also to the Christian faith, and therefore he began diligently and fearlessly to preach the Good Tidings.

His father, a staunch pagan, having learned of his son's baptism and desiring to turn him away from Christianity, put him in a dungeon and began to kill him by hunger and cold. But the sufferings only strengthened Chrysanthus' faith. Then the father, hoping by this to return the son to paganism, freed Chrysanthus from prison and married him to the maiden Daria - a priestess at the pagan temple of Athena. But instead of this, Chrysanthus shortly converted Daria to Christianity, and she was baptized.

When Chrysanthus' father died, the home of the young spouses became an abode for newly-converted Christians. After some time, the Tribune Claudius was informed that Chrysanthus and Daria were preaching Christianity. Claudius gave them over to tortures, but, seeing the steadfastness and miracles of the martyrs, he himself came to believe in Christ with his wife, Hilaria, and their sons, Maurus and Jason.

For this, by order of the emperor, Claudius was drowned with a stone around his neck, while his sons had their heads chopped off by the sword. Their mother, Hilaria, died on their grave, before they could give her over to tortures. Chrysanthus and Daria, after terrible tortures, were buried alive in the earth.

Subsequently, on the day of the commemoration of Saints Chrysanthus and Daria, many Roman Christians would gather for prayer in a cave near the place of their righteous death. Pagans, having learned of this, blocked up the cave, and those gathered in it perished from hunger. Among those who perished in the cave are named the Presbyter Diodorus and the Deacon Marianus.

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