Martyr Romanus the Deacon, of Cæsarea

Information concerning Saint Romanus is found in Books 3 and 12 of the CHURCH HISTORY of Eusebius. St Romanus was born in Palestine, and served as a deacon in Caesarea. At the time of the persecution against Christians, he was living in Antioch. Through his preaching, he encouraged the faithful to stand firm in their confession of Christ when the Eparch Asclypiades wanted to raze the church to its foundations. St Romanus told the people that they must fight to prevent the destruction of the house of God, assuring them that even if they died in their efforts they would sing a hymn of victory in heaven.

At that time there a festival was being celebrated in honor of the idols, and St Romanus went to the pagan temple to upbraid the Eparch and the unbelievers for their impiety. As Asclypiades was about to enter the temple, St Romanus fearlessly proclaimed that the idols were not gods, and that only Jesus Christ was truly God.

Asclypiades ordered the saint to be beaten, and even tried to persuade him to deny Christ. When this failed, the Eparch ordered that St Romanus be tortured. He was suspended and beaten, and his sides were scraped with metal blades. Bravely enduring these torments, St Romanus confessed Christ, and chastised Asclypiades for his obstinate refusal to see the truth.

Then St Romanus was condemned to death by fire. As soon as the fire was lit, however, a rain fell and put it out. Then the Eparch ordered the saint’s tongue to be cut out, because he still confessed Christ and reviled the idolaters. Even after his tongue was cut out, the saint continued to speak as before.

Finally, St Romanus was nailed to a keg, and he was strangled in his prison cell. Having completed his contest for Christ, he was found worthy of the heavenly Kingdom, where he continuously glorifies the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit throughout all ages.