Saints Harmless Aphthonius Pigassios Hopeful and Unhindered
Date of celebration: 02/11
They were all officials of the Persian king Sapor II. In 330 AD, because they confessed that they are Christians, they were arrested and severely whipped. Then they threw them into the flames of a great fire. But their fervent prayers to God caused a terrible storm with rain, which extinguished the fire. This caused fear in the Persians, and Sapor himself, as a result of which he postponed the death of the brave Christians.
But after a few days, he again brought them to the criterion. After seeing that he could not change their Christian opinion, he beheaded Aphthonius first. Then, addressing Elpidiforos, he told him to appear reasonable, as if he were literate and could distinguish the lie from the truth.
The Hopeful One answered him that this is exactly why he believes in Christ, because He is “the way and the truth and the life” (Gospel of John, no. 6). That is, the right path, which leads to the absolute truth and to the real and true life, which is worth dying for.
The answer of Elpidophoros enraged Sapor and he immediately beheaded him. These sacrifices encouraged the rest even more, and they remained steadfast in their faith. Then Sapor ordered them to be thrown into a burning furnace. Thus, martyrdom and gloriously, they all surrendered their blessed souls to the life-giving Christ.