Martyr Theotecnus of Antioch

Saint Theotecnus of Antioch was a renowned military commander at Antioch under the emperor Maximian (305-311). One time the emperor arrived in Antioch, demanding that all the inhabitants offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. As a Christian, Theotecnus refused to fulfill the order. The emperor, scoffing at the Christian Faith, gave orders to dress Theotecnus in women’s clothing and put him among the slave women. Three weeks later the emperor summoned Theoteknos to him, thinking that the humiliation would break his spirit, but again he heard the martyr confess Christ.

“You put your life in peril, if you do not submit”, growled Maximian. Theotecnus was silent. In a fury, the emperor, gave orders to cut the tendons and burn the feet of the martyr, and then throw him in a kettle of boiling tar. But just as soon as Theotecnus went into the kettle, the flames beneath it went out, and the heat of the kettle went cool instantly. Terror seized the emperor. Not wanting to torture the martyr further, he sent him to prison and entrusted his own centurion to deal with the saint.

In prison with Theotecnus was a Christian confessor named Alexander. Theotecnus helped him escape from the prison. Learning of this, the centurion subjected Theotecnus to brutal torments, and eventually gave orders to throw the saint into the sea with a stone about his neck. After a while, the relics of St Theotecnus were found, near the city of Rusob on the Cilician seacoast, and given Christian burial.