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Gortyn - The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete
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Gortyn – The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete

The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete: Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zoticus, Pompius, Agathopus, Basilides and Evaristus

suffered for Christ during the third century under the emperor Decius (249-251). The governor of Crete, also named Decius, fiercely persecuted the Church, and arrested anyone who believed in Christ. Once, ten Christians were brought before him from various cities of Crete, who at the trial steadfastly confessed their faith in Christ and refused to worship idols.

For thirty days the Ten Holy Martyrs were subjected to cruel tortures, and with the help of God they all persevered, glorifying God. They were sentenced by the governor of Crete to be beheaded. Before their death they prayed that the Lord would enlighten their torturers with the light of the true Faith.

Their executions took place in Alonion, a part of Gortyn now known to have been the main amphitheater of Gortyn.

During the reign of emperor Constantine I, the bodies of the the Ten Holy Martyrs were reburied. The site of the reburial is reported differently. In one, St. Paul of Constantinople is said to have taken the relics of the holy martyrs to Constantinople to serve as a protection for the city, and a source of blessings for the faithful. Another relates to a 1981 discovery of a sarcophag during rescue excavation in Alonion of Gortyn as the burial site.

The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete are commemorated on December 23

(source The Orthodox Church in America)

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