By Bishop Gregorios of Mesaoria
Today, our Church celebrates the memory of Hieromartyr Babylas, Bishop of Antioch.
Saint Babylon lived during the reign of Emperor Numerian, who murdered the son of the King of Persia, whom he held hostage. The Bishop of Antioch, Babylas, condemned this act.
When Numerian wanted to attend the Divine Liturgy in the Church of Antioch, Saint Babylas did not let him enter into the temple. Saint Babylas told him that common criminals like him were not welcomed in the temple. This attitude infuriated the emperor and ordered that he should be arrested and imprisoned. Saint Babylas executed by decapitation. Three of his disciples supported him. They were arrested, too, and were beheaded for not renouncing their faith.
Integrity and coherence between words and deeds of the clergy are great gifts. The adherence of Christians, and especially of hierarchs, to fundamental principles, which do not yield due to unjust decisions or deeds of those in power, are praised by the Lord and the history of the world.
SOURCE: Church of Cyprus