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Saints Julitta & Kyrikos the Martyrs (15 July)

The Holy Martyrs Cyricus and Julita lived in the city of Iconium in the province of Lykaoneia in Asia Minor. Saint Julita was descended from an illustrious family and was a Christian. Widowed early on, she raised her three-year old-son Cyricus (Quiricus). During the emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians, Saint Julita departed the city with her son and two trustworthy servants, leaving behind her home, property, and servants.

Concealing her noble rank, she hid out first at Seleucia, and then at Tarsus. There around the year 305 she was recognized, arrested and brought to trial before the governor, Alexander. Strengthened by the Lord, she fearlessly answered the judge’s questions, and firmly confessed her faith in Christ.

The governor gave orders to beat the saint with rods. During her torments Saint Julita kept repeating, “I am a Christian, and will not offer sacrifice to demons.”

The little boy Cyricus cried, seeing his mother being tortured, and wanted to go to her. The governor Alexander tried to sit him on his lap, but the boy broke free and shouted, “Let me go to my mother, I am a Christian.” The governor threw the boy down from the high tribunal and kicked him down the stone steps. The boy struck his head on the sharp edges and died.

Saint Julita, seeing her lacerated son, gave thanks to God that He had permitted her child to be perfected before her, and to receive the unfading crown of martyrdom. After many cruel tortures Saint Julita was beheaded with a sword.

The relics of Saints Cyricus and Julita were uncovered during the reign of Saint Constantine the Great (May 21). A monastery was built near Constantinople in honor of these holy martyrs, and a church was built not far from Jerusalem.

We pray to Saints Cyricus and Julita for family happiness, and the restoration of sick children to health.

Saint Julitta was from the city of Iconium. Fearing the persecution of Diocletian, she took her son Cyricus, who was three years old, and departed for Seleucia; but finding the same evil there, she went over to Tarsus in Cilicia, where the ruler arrested her. He took her son from her and tried with flatteries to draw the youth to himself. But the little one, in his childish voice, called on the Name of Christ and kicked the ruler in the belly so hard, that the tyrant became enraged and cast him down the steps of the tribunal. In this manner, the child’s head was crushed, and he gave up the spirit. As for his blessed mother, she first endured many torments, and finally was beheaded in the year 296.

Saint Julitta was of noble birth. She was widowed at an early age and left with her newborn child, Cyricus. She lived in Iconium, in the town of Lycaonia, and was completely devoted to the Faith of Christ. She immediately baptized her son after his birth, and when he was three years old, she instructed him in the Faith and taught him to pray as much as a child of that age is able. When Diocletian decreed the persecution of the Christians in the town of Iconium, much innocent blood was shed. Julitta took her son and hid in the city of Seleucid from the wrath of the heathens.

But it was not any better there. Julitta was arrested and brought before the judge as a Christian. Since Julitta courageously confessed her faith in the Lord Jesus, the judge, in order to dishearten her and cause her to waver, took the child in his arms and began to caress him. But Cyricus cried out: “I am a Christian; let me go to my mother!” and began to scratch the judge with his fingernails, turning his face away from him. The judge became so enraged that he hurled the child to the ground and kicked him.

Cyricus rolled down the stone stairs, and gave up his holy and innocent soul to God. Seeing how Cyricus suffered before her eyes, St. Julitta was joyful, and she gave thanks to God that He had found her son worthy of the martyr’s wreath. After much suffering at the hands of the torturers, Julitta was beheaded in the year 304 A.D. Even today, the relics of Saints Cyricus and Julitta are miracle working. A portion of their relics is to be found in Ohrid, in the Church of the Holy Theotokos the Healer.

Apolytikion of Martyr Julitta & Cyricus

Fourth Tone

Blessed Julitta, Christ God’s rational ewe-lamb, with holy Cyricus, her three-year-old offspring, stood at the judgment seat and with authority and great boldness they proclaimed the true Faith of the Christians. In no wise were they afraid of the threats of the tyrants; and now in Heaven, wearing precious crowns, they both rejoice as they stand before Christ our God.

Kontakion of Martyr Julitta & Cyricus

Fourth Tone

As the Martyr of Christ God, the chaste Julitta, in her arms bare Cyricus, she cried out in the stadium with manful courage and boundless joy: Thou art the strength of the Martyrs, O Christ my God.

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