St. Artemios icon (1)
Orthodox icon of Saint Artemios, Artemis, Great Martyr of Antioch. Copy of an icon of 14 cent. from the Protato, Mount Athos
Commemorated October 20.
He was a prominent military leader during the reigns of the emperor Constantine the Great (May 21), and his son and successor Constantius (337-361). Artemius received many awards for distinguished service and courage. He was appointed viceroy of Egypt. In this official position he did much for the spreading and strengthening Christianity in Egypt. He was sent by the emperor Constantius to bring the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew from Patras, and the relics of the holy Apostle Luke from Thebes of Boeotia, to Constantinople.
The holy relics were placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles beneath the table of oblation. The emperor rewarded him by making him ruler of Egypt. The emperor Constantius was succeeded on the throne by Julian the Apostate (361-363). Julian in his desire to restore paganism was extremely antagonistic towards Christians, sending hundreds to their death. At Antioch he ordered the torture of two bishops unwilling to forsake the Christian Faith. During this time, St Artemius arrived in Antioch and publicly denounced Julian for his impiety. The enraged Julian subjected the saint to terrible tortures and threw the Great Martyr Artemius into prison.
While Artemius was praying, Christ, surrounded by angels, appeared to him and said, Take courage, Artemius! I am with you and will preserve you from every hurt which is inflicted upon you, and I already have prepared your crown of glory. Since you have confessed Me before the people on earth, so shall I confess you before My Heavenly Father. Therefore, take courage and rejoice, you shall be with Me in My Kingdom. Hearing this, Artemius rejoiced and offered up glory and thanksgiving to Him. On the following day, Julian demanded that St Artemius honor the pagan gods. Meeting with steadfast refusal, the emperor resorted to further tortures.
The saint endured all without a single moan. The saint told Julian that he would be justly recompensed for his persecution of Christians. Julian became furious and resorted to even more savage tortures, but they did not break the will of the saint. Finally the Great Martyr Artemius was beheaded. His relics were buried by Christians. After the death of St Artemius, his prophecy about Julian the Apostateu2019s impending death came true. St Artemius is invoked by those suffering from hernias.