Martyr Parmenius the Presbyter in Babylon

Saint Parmenius the priest was arrested with St Polychronius, Bishop of Babylon, the priests Helimenas and Chrysotelus, and two deacons, Luke and Mocius during the reign of Decius (249-251). They refused to offer sacrifice to idols when ordered to do so by the emperor, so they were thrown into prison.

When they were interrogated a second time, St Parmenius refused to speak. Decius said, “Your leader is voiceless.” St Parmenius replied, “The holy bishop is not without a voice, but he does not wish to defile his pure lips and ‘cast pearls before swine’” (Mt. 7:6). In a rage Decius commanded that St Parmenius’ tongue be cut out. In spite of this, Parmenius spoke clearly to St Polychronius, saying, “Pray for me, Father, for I behold the Holy Spirit upon you.”

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After putting St Polychronius to death Decius left for the city of Kordula, and ordered that the three presbyters and two deacons be taken along. At Kordula he again demanded that the martyrs offer sacrifice to idols. St Parmenius, despite his missing tongue, loudly and firmly refused.

Believing that St Parmenius was able speak through some sort of magic power, Decius increased the tortures and ordered that the confessors be burned with fire. Then a Voice was heard from Heaven, “Come to Me, ye humble of heart.” Decius believed that this was also the work of magic, and he ordered the priests and deacons beheaded with an axe.

The Persian princes Abdon and Sennen took the bodies of the martyrs by night and buried them in their own village near Kordula.This was reported to Decius.The princes were arrested and brought before the emperor, who commanded that the holy princes be locked up in prison. The saints rejoiced and glorified God.