|Martyrdom of St. Marcurius, of the Two Swords|
On this day we commemorate the martyrdom of St. Marcurius, known as the saint with the two swords (Abu-Saifain). He was born in the City of Rome from Christian parents and they called him Philopater (Lover of the Father) and reared him in a Christian manner. When he grew up, he enlisted in the army in the days of Emperor Decius the pagan. The Lord gave Philopater the strength and the courage by which he earned the satisfaction of his superiors and they called him Marcurius and he grew very close to the Emperor.
It happened that the Barbarians rose up against Rome and when Decius went out to fight them, he was terrified because they were in huge numbers. Marcurius assured him saying: "Do not be afraid, because God will destroy our enemies and will bring us victory. When Marcurius left the Emperor, an angel appeared to him in the shape of a human being dressed in white apparel. The angel gave him a sword saying: "When you overcome your enemies, remember the Lord your God". That is why he is called, "of the two swords", Abu-Saifain, one is the military sword and the other is the sword of the divine power.
When Emperor Decius conquered his enemies and Marcurius came back victorious, the angel appeared to him and reminded him of what he previously told him, which was to remember the Lord his God.
Decius, and his soldiers with him, wanted to offer incense to the idols and St. Marcurius tarried behind.
When they informed the Emperor, he called Marcurius and expressed his surprise at abandoning his loyalty to the Emperor. The Emperor reprimanded him for refusing to come and offer incense to the idols. The saint cast his girdle and his military attire down before the Emperor and said to him: "I do not worship anyone except my Lord and my God Jesus Christ". The Emperor was angry and ordered him to be beaten with whips and stalks.
When the Emperor saw how the people of the
city and the soldiers were fond of Marcurius, he feared that they
might revolt against him. So instead, he bound him in iron and
sent him to Caesarea where they cut off his head. He thus completed
his holy fight and received the crown of martyrdom.