Commemoration of Sts. Stepanos of Ulnia, Martyrs Goharine, Tsamides, Tyoukikos and Ratikos
St. Stepanos (Stephen) of Ulnia (Oulnia) was born in the town Kokison near the mountain Tyouros. Being a promised son, he has been brought up and educated under the care of the priest who had baptized him. He was educated according to the divine commandments and was familiar with the Holy Bible. It was said about the priest that “each Sunday together with the other Christians he communicated young Stepanos with the mystery of the Lord’s Body and Blood.”
During the persecutions realized by the King Julianos the Betrayer St. Stepanos has been subjected to severe torments and has been martyred together with his family and other Christians. Later a church has been built over his tomb.
Martyrology of St. Stepanos of Ulnia is the best example of Christian education.
Martyrs Goharine (Goharinus), Tsamides (Zamidus), Tyoukikos (Teuchuicus) and Ratikos (Ratigus), who are known by the name Goharine and his companions, were four brothers. Their father was an Armenian prince who being captivated together with his elder son – Aregh, had been released only after converting to the Moslem faith. However, Davit’s wife brings up and educates her sons in the spirit of Christianity. When they grow up and enter the Islamic Army of Sebastia, they courageously defend Christianity. When it is found out that their father is Moslem and that they have become Christians, they are handed over to the local authorities, but by the efforts of their elder brother are somehow released.
After a while they are handed over again and courageously announce about their being Christian. After threats and tortures they are finally beheaded in 1156 AD, thus displaying their willingness to be martyred for the sake of the truth. Meanwhile by means of their life they realized the following words of Our Lord Jesus Christ: “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget himself, carry his cross, and follow me.” (The Gospel according to Mathew 16:24).
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