Martyr Zacchaeus the Deacon of Caesarea in Palestine

The Holy Martyrs Zacchaeus, Deacon of Gadara, and Alphaeus, Reader of Caesarea, suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Among those arrested during the most fierce persecution against Christians was St Zacchaeus, a deacon of the Gadara church, who openly confessed his faith and did not renounce Christ under torture.

The Diocletian persecution was so fierce that many did not endure, and frightened of the tortures, they agreed to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. St Alphaeus, a reader of the church of Caesarea, zealous for the glory of God, approached a crowd of those fallen away from Christ on their way to offer pagan sacrifice. He urged them not to defile themselves with the impious sacrifices.

They arrested St Alphaeus and after tortures and torments they shackled him together with St Zacchaeus. They threw the martyrs into prison for the night, where they prayed continually, supporting one another in their resolve to endure all the sufferings for the name of Christ and thereby gain eternal life. The next morning, the holy Martyrs Zacchaeus and Alphaeus were beheaded for confessing Christ.