Saint Acindynus suffered martyrdom in Persia along with Saints Pegasias, Aphthonius, Elpidephorus, Anempodistus, and 7,000 other Christians at the time of King Sapor II (310-381). These saints were Sapor’s courtiers, and were secret Christians. When the king began his persecution against Christians, envious pagans denounced them to him. Summoned to Sapor’s presence for trial, the holy martyrs fearlessly confessed their faith in the Holy Trinity. The king ordered them to be beaten with whips.
Sapor told the people that Saints Acindynus, Pegasias, Anempodistus and Elpidephorus would have their heads cut off, and that he would not permit the Christians to bury their bodies.
A tremendous crowd accompanied these saints as they were led outside the city walls for execution, glorifying Christ. On Sapor’s orders, soldiers massacred all the Christians in the procession (about 7,000), including Saint Elpidοphorus.
Acindynus, Pegasias, and Anempodistus were burned on the following day with the mother of the emperor. Christians came secretly by night to the place of execution, found the bodies of the holy martyrs unharmed by the fire, and they buried them with reverence.
These Martyrs contested in Persia about the year 330, in the reign of Sapor (Shapur) II, King of Persia (325-379). Acindynus, Pegasius, and Anempodistus, Persian Christians, confessed Christ before the King, and were put to many torments. Aphthonius and Elpidophoros, drawn to the Faith of Christ through the Martyrs, were beheaded with another 7,000. Saints Acindynus, Pegasius, and Anempodistus were at last burned to death. Two churches were dedicated in their honour in Constantinople. As is often the case in church hymns, there is a play on the meanings of the Saints’ names here. Acindynus means “unimperilled”; Pegasius is derived from pegazo–“to gush forth”; Aphthonius is derived from aphthonos-“abundant”; Elpidophoros means “hope-bearing”; Anempodistus means “unhindered.” These are all Greek translations of their Persian names.
They were all Christians from Persia and suffered during the reign of King Sapor in the year 355 A.D. The first three were servants at the court of this same king but secretly served Christ their Lord. When they were accused and brought to trial before the king, he asked them where they came from. To this they replied: “Our fatherland and our life is the Most-holy Trinity, one in Essence and undivided, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God.” The king subjected them to cruel tortures but they endured all heroically, with psalmody and prayer on their lips. During the time of their torture and imprisonment angels of God appeared to them many times, and one time the Lord Christ Himself appeared to them as a man “with a face radiant as the sun.” When one of the torturers, Aphthonius, beheld a miracle, when boiling lead did no harm to the martyrs, he believed in Christ and cried out: “Great is the Christian God!”
For this, he was immediately beheaded, and many others saw and believed. Then the king ordered that Acyndinus, Pegasius and Anempodistus be sewn into animal skins and cast into the sea. But St. Aphthonius appeared from the other world with three shining angels, and led the holy martyrs to dry land and set them free. Elpidephorus was one of the king’s nobles. When he revealed that he was a Christian and denounced the king for his slaughter of innocent Christians, the king condemned him to death and Elpidephorus was beheaded along with seven thousand other Christians. Then those first three martyrs [Acyndinus, Pegasius and Anempodistus] were finally thrown into a burning furnace along with twenty-eight soldiers and the king’s mother, since they also believed in Christ–and thus, in the flames, they gave up their righteous souls into the hands of the Lord.
Apolytikion of Martyrs Martyrs Acindynos, Pegasios, Aphthonios, Elpidophoros, and Anempodistos
Blessed is the earth that drank your blood, O prizewinners of the Lord, and holy are the tabernacles that received your spirit; for in the stadium ye triumphed over the enemy, and ye proclaimed Christ with boldness. Beseech Him, we pray, since He is good, to save our souls.
Kontakion of Martyrs Martyrs Acindynos, Pegasios, Aphthonios, Elpidophoros, and Anempodistos
As five unerring stars of the great Sun of Glory, the soldiers of Christ God brightly shone on the whole earth, dispelling the gloom of passions and pouring abundant grace on all of the faithful without cease and unhindered; and they grant salvation that no sin can imperil, through hope that is full of faith.
Source: oca.org / goarch.org / westserbdio.org