December 1 - Martyr Platon of Ancyra
The Holy Martyr Platon, brother of the holy Martyr Antiochus the Physician, was born at the city of Ancyra in Galatia. While still a youth he left home and went through the cities, preaching the Word of God to pagans, amazing his audience with the persuasiveness and beauty of his speech, and his profound knowledge of Greek learning.
Because of his preaching he was arrested and brought for trial to the temple of Zeus before the governor Agrippinus. At first, the judge attempted to persuade the saint to turn away from Christ by flattery. He assured the youth that he might be on a par of intellect with the greatest of the philosophers Plato, if only he worshipped also the pagan gods. To this Platon answered, that the wisdom of the philosopher, although great, was but fleeting and limited, whereas the true, eternal and unbounded wisdom comprised the Gospel teachings. Then the judge promised to give him his beautiful niece for his wife if he would deny Christ. He also threatened him with torture and death if he refused. Platon replied that he chose a temporal death for the sake of eternal life. The patience of the governor was exhausted, and he gave orders to mercilessly beat the martyr, and then send him off to prison.
When they led Platon off to prison, he turned to the people gathered about the temple, and he called on them not to forsake the Christian Faith. Seven days later they again led Platon for trial before Agrippinus in the temple of Zeus, where they had the implements of torture already prepared: boiling cauldrons, red-hot iron and sharp hooks. The judge offered the martyr a choice: either to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, or to feel the effects of these implements of torture on his body. Again the saint steadfastly refused to worship idols, and after his tortures they threw him in prison for eighteen more days without bread or water. But seeing that this did not shake the martyr, they offered him his life and freedom if he would only say, “Great is the god Apollo.” The martyr refused to deny Christ or to sacrifice to the idols. Therefore, Agrippinus ordered the holy Martyr Platon to be beheaded.
Your holy martyr Platon, O Lord,
through his sufferings has received incorruptible crown from You, our God.
For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries,
and shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through his intercessions, save our souls.
Your holy memory delights the universe, O Platon,
bringing us together to honor you in our joy.
With hymns we praise your great deeds
crying out to you with faith,
"Save our land from its enemies, O Holy one."
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