The Martyrs Tarachus, Probus, and Andronicus suffered for Christ in the year 304 at Tarsus in Cilicia. When the pagans ordered him to offer sacrifice to idols, the old soldier Tarachus replied that he would offer a pure heart to the one true God instead of sacrifices of blood. Seeing the firmness of the saint’s confession the true Faith, the proconsul gave them all over to torture.
“When my body suffers,” Saint Probus said to the idol worshippers, “then my soul is healed and invigorated.” The tormentors refined their tortures, such as their rage could invent, and then they tore the bodies of the saints apart. Christians secretly took up the relics of the saints and buried them.
The holy Martyrs contested for Christ during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 296 or 304. Tarachus was advanced in years, of Roman birth, and had been a soldier; Probus was from Side in Pamphylia, and Andronicus from Ephesus. They were taken together in Cilicia and subjected to manifold exceedingly cruel tenures. Tarachus was beaten on his cheeks and neck with stones, his hands were burned, he was hanged on a post and smoke was put underneath him to choke him; vinegar was forced down his nostrils; after enduring further tortures, he was carved to pieces. Probus was thrashed with whips, his feet were burned with red hot irons, his back and sides were pierced with heated spits; finally he also was cut up with knives, and received the crown of martyrdom. Andronicus suffered similar tortures, and also finished his course being cut to pieces, commending his soul into the hands of God.
Tarachus was born in Syrian Claudiopolis, Probus was from Perga of Pamphylia, and Andronicus was the son of an eminent citizen of Ephesus. All three were martyred together by the Proconsul Numerian Maximus, in Emperor Diocletian’s time. Tarachus was sixty-five years old when he was tortured. The proconsul asked him for his name, and he answered: “I am a Christian.”
The proconsul asked thrice, and received the same answer each time. These martyrs were beaten with rods, then were cast into prison bloodied and wounded. After this, they were brought out again for torture. When the proconsul advised Probus to deny Christ, promising him imperial honors and his own friendship, holy Probus replied: “Neither the emperor’s honors do I desire, nor your friendship do I wish.” When Andronicus was threatened with even greater bodily tortures, the young martyr of Christ replied: “My body is before you, do with it what you will.”
After prolonged tortures in various locales, the three holy martyrs were thrown into an arena with wild beasts. Other prisoners in the same arena were torn apart by the beasts, but they would not harm the saints; a bear and a ferocious lioness fawned around them. Seeing this, many believed in Christ the Lord and cried out against the proconsul. Crazed with anger, and more furious than the beasts, the proconsul ordered his soldiers to enter the arena and chop the soldiers of Christ into pieces with their swords.
Their bodies were mingled with the dead bodies of other prisoners. Three Christians, Macarius, Felix and Berius, who were present at the slaying of the holy martyrs, came that night to remove their bodies. But as the bodies were heaped in confusion, and the night was very dark, they prayed to God to help them find the saints; and suddenly three candles were manifested over the bodies of the martyrs. Thus, they were able to remove the saints’ bodies and honorably bury them.
Apolytikion of Martyrs Probus, Andronicus, & Tarachus
Plagal of the First Tone
All the powers of Heaven were awestruck and amazed * at the achievements and deeds of the holy Martyrs of Christ; * for contending well in mortal bodies clothed with flesh, * they overcame the fleshless foe * by the power of the Cross and invisibly subdued him. * And now they pray to the Lord, that He might bestow His mercy on our souls.
Kontakion of Martyrs Probus, Andronicus, & Tarachus
The hoplites of Christ, those Martyrs noble and divine, have shown unto us the glory of the Trinity. For brave Probus, Tarachus and Andronicus have convicted all of the tyrants’ ungodliness, for they have contested nobly for the Faith.
Source: oca.org / goarch.org / westserbdio.org