Second Sunday after Pentecost
Martyrs Leontios, Hypatios and Theodoulos at Tripoli in Phoenicia;
Venerable Leontios the Hagiorite of Dionysiou monastery on Athos
June 18, 2017
Troparion of the Resurrection – Tone 1
While the stone was sealed by the Jews, and the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure body, Thou didst arise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. For which cause the heavenly powers cried aloud unto Thee, O giver of life. Glory to Thy Resurrection O Christ, glory to Thy kingdom, glory to Thy providence, O Thou Who alone art the lover of mankind.
Troparion of St Joseph – Tone 2
Proclaim, O Joseph to David, the ancestor of God, the amazing wonder, for by the angel they were revealed unto thee. For thou hast seen a Virgin great with child, and thou gave glory with the shepherds and didst worship with the Magi. Wherefore, plead with Christ God to save our souls.
Kontakion for Ordinary Sundays – Tone 2
O undisputed intercessor of Christians, the mediatrix who is unrejected by the Creator, turn not away from the voice of our petitions, though we be sinners. Come to us with aid in time, who cry unto thee in faith, for thou art good. Hasten to us with intercessions O Theotokos, who dost ever intercede for those who honor thee.
Epistle – Romans 2:10-16
Brethren, glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality. All who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law. For it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. When Gentiles who have not the Law do by nature what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the Law. They show that what the Law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
Gospel – Matthew 4:18-23
At that time, as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. And He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.
Martyrs Leontios, Hypatios and Theodoulos at Tripoli in Phoenicia
The Holy Martyrs Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus were Roman soldiers. The holy Martyr Leontius, a Greek by origin, served as a military-chief in the imperial army in the Phoenician city of Tripoli during the reign of Vespasian (70-79). Leontius was distinguished for his bravery and good sense, and the people of Tripoli held him in deep respect because of his virtue.
The emperor appointed the Roman senator Adrian as governor of the Phoenician district, with full powers to hunt out Christians, and in case of their refusal to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods, to give them over to torture and death. And on his way to Phoenicia Adrian received a report that Saint Leontius had turned many away from worshipping the pagan gods. The governor sent the tribune Hypatius with a detachment of soldiers to Tripoli so as to find and arrest the Christian Leontius. Along the way the tribune Hypatius fell seriously ill, and being near death, he saw in a dream an angel, which said: “If you wish to be healed, you and your soldiers should say three times: ‘God of Leontius, help me.’”
Opening his eyes Hypatius beheld the angel and said: “I was sent to arrest Leontius, how is it that I should appeal to his God?” At this moment the angel became invisible. Hypatius told his dream to the soldiers, among whom was his friend Theodulus, and all of them together asked for help from the God Whom Saint Leontius confessed. Hypatius was immediately healed to the great joy of his soldiers, but only Theodulus sat aside, pondering the miracle. His soul was filled with love for God, and he told Hypatius to proceed twice as quickly to the city in search of Saint Leontius.
Upon their arrival in the city, a stranger met them and invited them to his house, where he lavishly hosted the travelers. Learning that their hospitable host was Saint Leontius, they fell on their knees and asked him to enlighten them with faith in the True God. They were baptized here, and when Saint Leontius prayed over them calling on the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, a luminous cloud overshadowed the newly-baptized and poured forth rain. The remaining soldiers in search of their commander arrived in Tripoli, where the governor Adrian had also arrived. Learning what had happened, he ordered Saints Leontius, Hypatius, and Theodulus to be brought to him. After threatening them with torture and death, he demanded that they renounce Christ and offer sacrifice to the Roman gods.
All the martyrs firmly confessed their faith in Christ. Saint Hypatius was put under a column and raked with iron claws, and Saint Theodulus was mercilessly beaten with rods. Seeing the steadfastness of the saints, they beheaded them. And after torture, they sent Saint Leontius to prison. In the morning he came before the governor. Adrian tried to entice the holy martyr with honors and rewards, and accomplishing nothing, he gave him over to new tortures. The holy martyr was suspended head downwards from a pillar with a heavy stone about his neck, but nothing could make him renounce Christ. The governor gave orders to beat the sufferer with rods until he died. They then threw the body of the holy Martyr Leontius outside the city, but Christians reverently gave it burial near Tripoli. The death of the holy martyrs occurred between 70-79. The accusation against Saint Leontius, and his sufferings and death are recorded on tin tablets prepared by the court scribe. These tablets were placed at the grave of the holy martyr.