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The Holy Martyr Boniface

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December 19

Reading:

This Saint, who lived during the reign of Diocletian, was the servant of a certain Roman woman of senatorial rank named Aglais. Mistress and servant lived together in an unlawful union, and Boniface was moreover given to drunkenness and riotous living. Nevertheless, he was generous to the poor, hospitable to strangers, and compassionate to those in misfortune. At last, Aglais, moved at hearing the accounts of the Martyrs, and believing in the power of their intercessions to obtain the mercy of God, sent Boniface to Tarsus to obtain relics of holy Martyrs. Before he departed, he asked her in jest, "And what if they bring back my body as holy relics?" He then set out with some of his fellow slaves for Cilicia, where the Saints were contesting in martyrdom. As he went among the Martyrs and encouraged them in their pains he was arrested by the ruler and confessed Christ with boldness, and suffered death as a martyr in the year 290. Thus what he had said in jest to his mistress was fulfilled when he himself was brought back to her as sacred relics by his fellow servants. Saint Aglais devoted the remainder, of her life to prayer and works of virtue, and reposed in sanctity. Saint Boniface is especially invoked for help against the passion of drinking.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

Thou didst offer up thyself of thine own choosing as a spotless sacrifice to Him that for thy sake, O Saint, shall soon be born of a Virgin Maid, O all-renowned and wise crown-bearer Boniface.