Martyr Thyrsus of Apollonia

The Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius and Callinicus suffered for Christ under the emperor Decius (249-251) at Caesarea in Bithynia. St Leucius, having reproached the prefect Cumbricius for his unjust persecution of Christians, was executed after being tortured. As soon as his head was cut off, his soul departed to heaven.

St Thyrsus, who was still a catechumen, was nonetheless eager for martyrdom. He was sentenced to cruel tortures and torments after refusing to offer sacrifice to the idols. Citing the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 2:27), he ridiculed those who worshiped wood and stone.

The saint’s arms and legs were pulled out of their sockets, his eyes were plucked out, and his teeth were shattered with a hammer. He was taken to a heathen temple, where, by his prayers, he toppled a statue of Apollo. Cumbricius was enraged by this, and he ordered that greater torments be devised for the athlete of Christ. He endured them all and died peacefully after making the Sign of the Cross. The pagan priest Callinicus, seeing the bravery and the miracle involving St Thyrsus, believed in Christ and boldly confessed the true Faith, for which he was beheaded.