Martyr Potitus at Naples

The Holy Martyr Potitus suffered under the emperor Antoninus Pius (reigned 138-161). Having become familiar with the Christian teaching, the young Potitus believed in the true God and accepted holy Baptism at thirteen years of age. When he learned of this, his pagan father was extremely upset and tried, first by endearments, and then by threats to dissuade his son from his faith in Christ the Savior, but his efforts were in vain. Impressed by the boy’s firmness of faith, the father also came to believe in the Son of God and became a Christian himself.

St Potitus traveled through many lands preaching about Christ, and by the power of God he worked wondrous miracles.

In the region of Epiros, lived the illustrious woman Kyriake, the wife of a senator; she was afflicted with leprosy. Hearing of St Potitus, she summoned him and asked him to heal her. The saint declared that if she believed in Christ, she would be healed. The woman accepted holy Baptism and was immediately made well. Seeing such a miracle, her husband and all their household believed in Christ and were baptized as well.

After this, the saint settled on Mount Garganus and lived in solitude, among the animals. He was found there by servants of the emperor Antoninus, whose daughter was possessed by a demon. Through the lips of the maiden, the devil said that he would come out of her only if Potitus should come. They brought the holy youth to the emperor, and through the prayers of St Potitus the demon released the girl. But instead of being grateful, the emperor treated the saint with inhuman cruelty. For his firm confession of faith in Christ the Savior, and for his refusal to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, to whom the emperor imputed the healing of his daughter, he ordered that the saint’s tongue be torn out, and that he be blinded. After lengthy torture, St Potitus was finally beheaded.