Saint Artemios of Antioch (October 20)

Life of the Saint

He was one of Constantine’s generals. When he saw the Cross he pledged himself to Jesus Christ and was baptized. With the Empire now united, Artemios was charged with the responsibility of taking the relics of St. Andrew and St. Luke to Constantinople. He carried out his orders with joy and was honored to be able to carry the sacred relics of these saints. Recognized as an able military leader, Artemios became the Governor and Ambassador of the Emperor in Egypt. He held these positions for a number of years and protected the Eastern region of the Empire.

The politics and intrigue that surrounded the Imperial Court in Constantinople led to the rise of Julian the Apostate as Emperor. He desired that the Empire turn from its Christian direction and return to paganism. When Julian declared war on the Persians, he summoned Artemios and his army to meet him in Antioch.

Artemios was obedient to the command and joined the Emperor. While in Antioch, Artemios witnessed two priests being persecuted by order of the Emperor Julian. Outraged, Artemios went to the Emperor and said: "Why are you so ruthlessly torturing these innocent and dedicated men, and why are you putting pressure on them to turn back from the Orthodox Faith?"

Artemios’ intercession saved them from death and they were exiled to another land. As for Artemios, however, he was stripped of his military rank, beaten, and imprisoned. While in prison, he was tortured and was finally beheaded in the year 362.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Let us now gather and worthily acclaim with hymns the pious and crowned Martyr Artemius, the greatest among Martyrs and richest bestower of miracles, who raised the trophies of victory over the enemy; for he intercedeth with the Lord for us all.
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