by Bishop Gregory of Mesaoria
Today our Church honors the memory of the Holy Martyrs Photios and Anikitos. These are two glorious witnesses of the Church that are linked by their brotherly-spiritual kinship in Christ, but also by fleshly kinship.
Photios was Anikitos’ nephew and they both came from Nicomedia. They lived during the period of persecution under Emperor Diocletian. One day in Nicomedia they heard the cruel emperor blaspheme and threaten Christians with martyrdom.
Then Anikitos, despising his threats, dared and boldly confessed his faith in the true Triune God, and as a result they arrested, whipped, and threw him into a terrible lion. But the lion, instead of devouring him, wiped with its foot the sweat from Saint Anikitos’ face. Outraged the emperor orders the torture and beheading of the brave witness.
Immediately there followed a very moving miracle event. Photios, his nephew, finds the opportunity and courage to confess faith and devotion to Christ the Savior as an act of solidarity with his brave uncle and then to testify for Orthodox faith as well.
Source: Church of Cyprus