Martyr Zeno

The Martyrs Eudoxius, Zeno, Macarius and their Companions received a martyric death for Christ under the emperor Maximian Galerius, the successor of the emperor Diocletian.

St Eudoxius held the high position of a military commander in the imperial armies. He was a Christian, as were his friend Zeno and his house steward Macarius. After the emperor Diocletian issued an edict that Christians who refused to offer sacrifice to idols were to be put to death, many people fled to various lands with their families to avoid torture and death. At this time St Eudoxius resigned his high position, and with his wife St Basilissa and all their family abandoned their property and went into hiding in the region of Armenian Melitene.

The governor of Melitene sent soldiers to search for Eudoxius. When they found Eudoxius, he was attired in white garb. Not recognizing him, the soldiers began to question whether a certain military commander Eudoxius had come into these parts. Not revealing who he was, the saint invited the soldiers into his home, fed them and gave them lodging for the night.

St Eudoxius considered his encounter with the soldiers as a sign from the Lord of his impending death by martyrdom. In the morning, he disclosed to his guests that he was the one whom they were seeking. In gratitude for the hospitality, the soldiers offered to conceal from the authorities that they had found St Eudoxius. However, the saint would not consent to this.

Setting his affairs in order, he told his wife not to weep for him, but on the contrary to celebrate the day of his martyric death. Donning his military garb, he went with the soldiers to the governor. St Basilissa and his friends Sts Zeno and Macarius followed after St Eudoxius.

The governor tried to persuade St Eudoxius to offer sacrifice to the idols and by this safeguard his life, exalted rank and property. St Eudoxius firmly refused, denouncing the folly of anyone who would worship soulless idols. He removed his soldier’s belt, the emblem of his authority, and threw it in the governor’s face.

Soldiers present at this, secret Christians, did the same thing, and they numbered more than a thousand men. The embarrassed governor asked the emperor what he should do. He was ordered to try the ringleaders and set the others free.

After prolonged tortures, they led St Eudoxius forth to execution. Following after her husband, St Basilissa wept, and his friend St Zeno also wept for the martyr. St Eudoxius again urged his wife not to mourn him, but rather to rejoice that he was worthy of the crown of martyrdom. He asked that she bury his body in a place called Amimos.

To his weeping friend St Zeno St Eudoxius predicted that they would enter the Kingdom of Heaven at the same time. Emboldened by these words, Zeno loudly declared himself a Christian, for which he was immediately sentenced to death.

Later, St Basilissa took her husband’s body without hindrance, and buried it in the place where he had requested. After this, they arrested the saint and led her before the governor. Desiring to share the fate of her husband, she fearlessly denounced both the governor and his false gods, the idols. The governor, however, saw her intent and would not torture her, but instead sent her away. As she left, the saint said to him that God would see her intention to suffer for her faith and would accept this intent as an accomplished deed.

Seven days later, St Eudoxius appeared to his wife in a vision and bade her to inform his friend and house steward Macarius, that both he and St Zeno awaited the arrival of Macarius. Macarius immediately went to the governor and declared himself a Christian, for which he was sentenced to death and beheaded. Many Christians also suffered martyrdom during this time.