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Forgiving your friend


Nicephoros the Mar­tyr of Anti­och: This Mar­tyr, who was from Anti­och in Syr­ia, con­test­ed dur­ing the reign of Gal­lienus, about the year 260. Through the work­ing of the evil one, his friend­ship with a cer­tain Chris­t­ian priest named Sapri­cius was turned to bit­ter hatred. Nicephoros, repent­ing of his enmi­ty, tried both through inter­me­di­aries and in per­son to be rec­on­ciled with Sapri­cius, but to no avail. Lat­er, when the per­se­cu­tion broke out under Valer­ian and Gal­lienus, Sapri­cius was seized as a Chris­t­ian. When Saint Nicephoros learned that Sapri­cius had been arrest­ed by the pagans and was endur­ing tor­ments for Christ, he sent inter­me­di­aries to Sapri­cius, beg­ging his for­give­ness; but Sapri­cius would not for­give him. Lat­er, as Sapri­cius was being tak­en to behead­ing, Nicephoros, hop­ing that Sapri­cius, at his end, in such a holy hour, would at last for­give him, met him on the way, fell before him, and fer­vent­ly asked his for­give­ness; but Sapri­cius for­gave him not. Where­fore, though Sapri­cius had passed through many suf­fer­ings, and the crown of mar­tyr­dom was now await­ing him, because he dis­dained the chief com­mand­ments of love and for­give­ness, the grace of God, which had been strength­en­ing him in his tor­ments, depart­ed from him, and he told his exe­cu­tion­ers he would sac­ri­fice. Nicephoros imme­di­ate­ly con­fessed Christ before them, and being him­self behead­ed, took the crown that Sapri­cius had cast away. Should the Apo­dosis of the Feast of the Meet­ing in the Tem­ple fall on this day the ser­vice to Saint Nicephoros is chant­ed on the 8th. #ortho­dox #ortho­doxy #orthodx­chris­tian­i­ty #faith #mar­tyr #chris­tian­i­ty #chris­t­ian #icon

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