By Bishop Gregorios of Mesaoria
Our Church celebrates today the Apodosis (i.e. last day of an Afterfeast) of the Nativity of the Theotokos and commemorates the martyrdom of Hieromartyr Autonomus († 313), Martyr Theodore of Alexandria, Martyr Oceanus, and Martyrs Macedonius, Tatian, and Theodulus, in Phrygia (4th century).
Saint Autonomus was a bishop in Italy and did his apostolic duty with zeal. During the persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Autonomus left his country and resettled in Soreus in Asia Minor. There he settled in the home of a Christian, Cornelius, and continued to preach the Holy Gospel.
He then travelled to Lykaonia and Isauria where he was preaching about Christ. Before his journey, he ordained Cornelius deacon. When he returned to Soreus and saw the excellent pastoral work he had carried out, he ordained Cornelius a priest and then a bishop.
The magnificent work of Saint Autonomus infuriated the pagans, who stoned him to death while Saint Autonomus was serving Divine Liturgy at the temple.
SOURCE: Church of Cyprus