Martyr Zosimus the Soldier at Antioch, in Pisidia

The Martyr Zosimus lived in the city of Apollona (Thrace) during the reign of Trajan (89-117), the persecutor of Christians. The saint was consumed with the desire to become a Christian. When he heard about the start of a persecution of Christians, he left military service, was baptized, and devoted himself to prayer and good deeds.

It was reported to the prefect Domitianus of Antioch that Zosimus had betrayed the emperor by taking off his military insignia and attaching himself to Christians. At the trial, St Zosimus confessed his faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. He was subjected to fierce torments but, strengthened by the grace of God, he did not feel the pain. The prefect gave orders to heat a copper bed red-hot and to put the saint on it. The martyr made the Sign of the Cross, laid down on the bed, but remained unharmed.

Departing the city, Domitianus gave orders to place iron sandals with sharp nails in the soles on the martyr’s feet, and to have Zosimus follow after him. The Lord gave St Zosimus the strength to follow after the horses.

The martyr was locked in prison, where they tormented him with hunger and thirst, but an angel of the Lord fortified him with bread and water. St Zosimus still refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Finally, he was beheaded, and surrendered his soul to God.

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