Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy Martyr Mirax, O Lord, through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. Through his intercessions, save our souls!
Reading from the Gospel of Timothy
But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
~Chapter: 1, Verses: 8 to 14
Reading from the Book of Hebrews
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of the peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.
~Chapter: 13, Verses: 17 to 21
Gospel of Luke
But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.
But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be
hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost By your patience possess your souls.
~Chapter: 21, Verses: 19 to 21
The Holy Martyr Mirax was born into a Christian family living in the city of Tanis (Egypt) during the seventh century. He was raised in piety, but yielded to demonic temptation and trampled on a cross. He went to the Emir, the ruler of Egypt, and taking his sword in hand, he declared himself a Moslem. His parents, grieving over the terrible downfall of their son, incessantly prayed for him. And then the grace of God illumined the heart of the prodigal. He deeply repented and returned home. His parents counseled him to acknowledge his fall into darkness and to show his repentance. Saint Mirax obeyed them. He went before the Emir and announced that he had become a Christian once more. The ruler condemned him to torture, after which the saint was beheaded and cast into the sea (this occurred around the year 640). The life and death of Mirax of Egypt and his eventual, martyrdom is noteworthy for he did what many in his situation would have converted to thrive. It was the power of prayer (those of his parents) that caused repentance. Abandoning faith for survival or personal gain is a challenge many can relate to today without a sword to the neck. Economic and social pressures to leave the faith or join another are just as common today. Even though his return to the faith ended in his death it was one he was willing to make to forsake his errors. The powers that hold the sword and true faith are rarely the same. Willingly submitting to that power even if it leads to our death is a choice we pray we never have to make. The answer to this is simple and was the only tool Mirax of Egypt’s parents had…prayer. We must pray that our faith and those
who wield the sword of the realm can be at peace with one another, and we must pray harder for those who find themselves not in such a position. May the return of Mirax to the faith be our own return as well.