Mesra 23 : The Martyrdom of Thirty Thousand Christians in Alexandria, and the Martyrdom of St. Damian in Antioch.
1. The Martyrdom of Thirty Thousand Christians in Alexandria.
On this day, is the commemoration of the martyrdom of the thirty thousand Christians in the city of Alexandria. When Emperor Marcianus banished Pope Dioscorus to the island of Gagra, he appointed Brotarius, a Patriarch, in his place. The bishops of Egypt refused to have a fellowship with him. They assembled a council against him, the Council of Chalcedon, and the tome of Leo. Brotarius became raged and with the aid of the government forces he attacked and plundered the monasteries and churches. Then he confiscated all their endowments for himself and he became wealthy. Thieves attacked him during the night, killed him, and plundered what he had. His friends sent to the Emperor saying, "The followers of Dioscorus were the ones that killed the Patriarch that was appointed by the Emperor."
The Emperor became furious and sent a number of his soldiers, who killed about thirty thousand Christians in the city of Alexandria.
Shortly after, Marcianus died and was succeeded by Leo the Great. The bishops of Egypt seized this opportunity and ordained Fr. Timothy a Patriarch for Alexandria. Immediately the new Pope assembled a council and excommunicated the Council of Chalcedon. The heretics informed the Emperor saying, "Those who killed Brotarius ordained for themselves a Patriarch without permission from the Emperor." The Emperor was enraged and he exiled Abba Timothy and his brother Anatolius to the island of Gagra. They remained there for seven years until Emperor Leo the Less released them. After the return of Pope Timothy, he cooperated with Abba Peter of Antioch, and assembled a council of five hundred bishops in the capital. This council judged to refuse the Council of Chalcedon, and also affirmed the teaching of the unity of the natures of the Lord Christ. They also presented their report to the Emperor who approved it. The Emperor issued an edict that dictated to abide by this council report only. As a result, the Sees of Alexandria, Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem were united for a long time.
May the prayers of these fathers be with us. Amen.
2. The Martyrdom of St. Damian in Antioch.
On this day also, St. Demian was martyred in the city of Antioch. He suffered many tortures and endured severe afflictions until he delivered up his soul in the hand of the Lord.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.