Sunday, June 17, 2012


St. Cyrus  and John

Feast day: January 31

St. Cyrus

St. Cyrus was an Alexandrian doctor who used his calling to convert many of his patients to Christianity. He joined an Arabian physician nam ed John in encouraging Athanasia and her three daughters to remain constant i n their faith under torture at Canopus, Egypt. They ere both seized and tortured, and then all six were beheaded. His feast day is January 31.


John belonged to the army, in which he held a high rank; the "Synaxarium" cited above adds that he was one of the familiars of the emperor. Hearing of the virtues and wonders of Cyrus, he betook himself to Jerusalem in fulfillment of a vow, and thence passed into Egypt where he became the companion of St. Cyrus in the ascetic life

Cyrus and John

 Died c. 303
. There is little information regarding these saint and that is unreliable, even though Saint Sopronius wrote their acta, which were commended in the seventh ecumenical council. Cyrus was an Alexandrian doctor who became a monk and John, his friend, was a Arab soldier (or both were physicians). It is said that Cyrus had many opportunities to witness to Christ's saving love as he ministered to the sick and, thus, converted many.

 Upon hearing that a Christian woman, Athanasia, and her young three daughters (the eldest was 15) were suffering for their faith at Canopus, they went there to help and encourage them. They themselves were captured, beaten, scorched, and suffered other tortures in the sight of Athanasia and her children. The torture of the four females followed. Cyrus and John were beheaded a few days after the execution of the mother and daughters.

 In order to discourage the worship of Isis that still lingered in Menuthis, near Canopus, Saint Cyril translated the relics of Cyrus and John from Alexandria to the church at Menuthis as a counter- attraction. It became a much frequented shrine; but pagan superstitions were not so easy to displace, for customs endured very like incubation (a sick person slept in the saints' church hoping to be favored with a dream that would lead to a cure). The relics of Cyrus and John were eventually taken to Rome, although they were greatly venerated in Egypt and the East. Menuthis is now known as Abukir, meaning 'Father Cyrus,' was the scene of Nelson's victory in 1798

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