Lives of Saints - The Martyrs Victor and Stephanis Christianity - Books
Don't be anxious for your life, what you will eat, nor yet for your body, what you will wear.                Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.                Consider the ravens: they don't sow, they don't reap, they have no warehouse or barn, and God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than birds!                Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height?                If then you aren't able to do even the least things, why are you anxious about the rest?                Consider the lilies, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.                But if this is how God clothes the grass in the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith?                Don't seek what you will eat or what you will drink; neither be anxious.                For the nations of the world seek after all of these things, but your Father knows that you need these things.                But seek God's Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you.               
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The Martyrs Victor and Stephanis
   

During the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (also Antoninus, 138-161) in Damascus, Syria, there lived a Christian, Victor by the name, who was born in Italy and served as a soldier. He refused to bow down to the pagan idols but instead boldly confessed his faith in Christ. When the emperor ordered to persecute Christians, the army chief Sebastian demanded that Victor would renounce his faith in Christ and bow down to the pagan idols. He said, "You are a soldier of our king and have to obey his orders." "No," said Victor, "now I am a soldier of the Heavenly King and shall serve Him alone and I despise your loathsome idols!" So Sebastian put Victor to various tortures. The executioners broke Victor’s fingers and toes and wrung them out of their joints. During all the tortures Victor prayed to God and intrepidly endured the sufferings.

Then the executioners started forcing Victor to swallow a piece of meat poisoned by the black magician. Saying a prayer and making the sign of cross over the meat, martyr Victor consumed it. Everyone there witnessed a real wonder: Victor remained unharmed. What God had once promised to his disciples happened in reality, "When they drink deadly poison, it will not harm them at all" (Mk 16:18). When the magician saw that his poison did not in the least hurt Victor, he believed in Christ. He understood better than others that no earthly power could neutralize his lethal poison.

Then Victor was put to still worse tortures. During his tortures a young woman, Stephanis, a wife of one of the soldiers who tortured Victor, could no longer stand the sight of horrible tortures inflicted on a completely innocent Christ’s martyr and tried to advocate for him. Inspired by his suffering and confession of Christ, she revealed that she also was a Christian. Stephanis was called before the authorities and asked her name, to which she responded, "Christian." The executioners, driven insane with the sight of blood, got mad at her and regarded Stephanis as one more victim of theirs. They tied her to bent palm trees and tore her apart. That was how young Stephanis (she was only 15 and had been married one year and four months) met her death. Having killed Stephanis the murderers went back to torturing Victor and finally beheaded him. Saint martyrs Victor and Stephanis suffered for Christ in the year of 175.
Before dying martyr Victor foretold that his executioners would die in 12 days and that the army chief would be captured in 24 days. Everything happened the way it had been predicted by him.

Troparion:
Thou, O Lord, crowned Thy Martyrs in their sufferings with immortality, O Christ our God: / through Thy strength they didst cast down their torturers and destroyed the demons’ futile impudence./ By their supplications, save our souls.

Troparion, Tone 4
Together let us honor the Athletes of Christ,/ memorable Victor and noble Vincent/ and with them we praise divine Stephanie:/ by their contests they destroyed the enemy./ By their supplications, O Christ our God, have mercy on our souls.

Kontakion, Tone 4
Today the Church honors the Great Martyrs and Athletes,/ the struggles of Victor, Vincent and Stephanie./ She cries out and glorifies the Lover of mankind.

Source: http://www.fatheralexander.org

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