The Holy Martyr St. Andrew the Commander and the 2593 Martyrs with Him

From today’s entry in the Prolog of Ohrid:


Andrew was an officer, a tribune, in the Roman army during the reign of Emperor Maximian. He was a Syrian by birth and served in Syria. When the Persians menaced the Roman Empire with there military, Andrew was entrusted with the army to battle against the enemy. During this occasion, Andrew was promoted as a commander – Stratelates. Secretly a Christian, even though he was not baptized, Andrew trusted in the living God and, of the many soldiers, he chose only the best and entered into battle. He said to his soldiers before the battle that if they would call upon the help of the one, true God, Christ the Lord, their enemies will scatter as dust before them. Truly, all the soldiers filled with enthusiasm at Andrew and his faith invoked Christ for assistance and made an assault. The Persian army was utterly destroyed. When the victorious Andrew returned to Antioch some, who were envious, accused Andrew of being a Christian and the imperial deputy summoned him to court. Andrew openly confessed his unwavering faith in Christ. After bitter tortures, the deputy threw Andrew into prison and wrote to the emperor in Rome. Knowing Andrew’s respect among the people and in the army, the emperor ordered the deputy to free Andrew to freedom and to seek another opportunity and another reason (not his faith) and then to kill him. Through God’s revelation, Andrew learned of the emperor’s command and, taking with him his faithful soldiers, 2593 in number, departed with them to Tarsus in Cilicia and there, all were baptized by Bishop Peter. Persecuted even there by the imperial authorities, Andrew with his detachment withdrew farther into the Armenian mountain Tavros. Here, in a ravine while they were at prayer, the Roman army caught up with them and all to the last one were beheaded. Not one of them even wanted to defend themselves but all were desirous of a martyr’s death for Christ. On this spot, where a stream of the martyr’s blood flowed, a spring of healing water erupted which cured many from every disease. Bishop Peter came secretly with his people and, on the same spot, honorably buried the bodies of the martyrs. Dying honorably, they were all crowned with the wreath of glory and took up habitation in the Kingdom of Christ our Lord.

Troparion of St Andrew the Commander Tone 3
Thou didst recruit a divinely chosen army for Christ the King/ by the power of the holy Faith,/ and as their commander and model thou didst excel with them in the warfare of martyrdom./ Wherefore together with them intercede with the Lord Who has glorified thee/ to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion of St Andrew Tone 4
O Andrew most excellent commander, thou didst lead an army of martyrs to Christ./ And with them, O Andrew, thou didst proclaim: / O Compassionate One, Thou art the martyrs’ Crown.

One thought on “The Holy Martyr St. Andrew the Commander and the 2593 Martyrs with Him

  1. dear Clifton,
    this is not a comment on your entry on St.Andrew the Commander, but a comment on your site and blogs in general : I want to congratulate you and thank you for this wonderfull site. I first visited it on the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, looking for a patristic homely (came via Google) and was so enchanted with everything I read that since I have come to have a look almost daily. I am especially gratefull for the entries with quotes from the Blessed Seraphim of Platina, of whom I never heard before (I’m a Roman catholic and from Belgium). Since books on and by him are difficult to get hold of here, I’m pleased to read so many excerpts from his writings and so many testimonies on his life. I’m praying for his intercession and asked him to be a patron saint protecting and guiding me. I think the monastistic teachers of East and West have a lot in common, since in monastic circles a holy tradition of the undivided church is kept alive. I have a great devotion for Saint-Benedict, patron saint of all western monks and of Europe. I regularly visit Benedictine (St-Andrew’s abbey near Bruges is my parish) and cistercian (trappist) monasteries and, though I’m a layman,seek guidance and inspiration in my daily life in St. Benedict’s Rule. But next to Benedict and Francis of Assisi I also have icons of Seraphim of Sarov and Silouane the Athonite in the icon corner of my house. I’ve read a lot concerning hesychasm and spiritual life by Russian Fathers (f.e. ‘The art of prayer’ (a ‘Russian’philokalia collected by Starets Chariton of Valamo) because, since they are ‘nearer’ to us in time, their teachings are easier to understand and follow for ordinary people of the third millenium. However I’ve discovered the same quality and ‘nearness’ in American spiritual writers such as Thomas Merton (whom I consider to be one of the greatest christian teachers of these modern and confusing times – I’m a member of the Belgian (Dutch speaking) Merton society and of the International Thomas Merton society). Although Bl. Seraphim Rose is quite different from Merton, I think his teachings are also a real Godgiven gift for modern christians. Keep up the good work, Clifton. Sorry for my bad English and ‘please forgive me for writing such a long letter : I didn’t have time to write a shorter one’ (Horace). Please pray for me, sinner. May God and the Panaghia bless and keep you and your family!

    Peace and all that is good!


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