18 / 31 July
In the time of Julian the Apostate, in the town of Dorostolon in Thrace, there lived the young Emilian, a servant of the governor. When the Emperor Julian began to persecute the Christians with fire and the sword throughout the Roman Empire, the imperial delegate arrived in Dorostolon to kill the Christians. But he did not find a single one there. Delighted by this, he gave a great feast for the citizens of Dorostolon and ordered the offering of sacrifices to the idols, and merrymaking day and night throughout the town. That night, holy Emilian went round the temples, squares and streets of the town and, with a hammer, smashed all the idols. On the following day, the whole town was in uproar; everyone was searching for the destroyer of their gods. A villager, who was seen passing near the temples that morning, was arrested and Emilian, seeing that an innocent man would suffer, said within himself: 'If I conceal my action, what sort of use has it been? Shall I not stand before God as the slayer of an innocent man?' He therefore presented himself before the imperial legate and confessed the whole. The legate, in a rage, questioned Emilian, asking him on whose instructions he had done such a thing. Christ's martyr replied: 'God and my soul commanded me to destroy those dead pillars that you call gods.' Then the judge ordered that he be flogged, and, after flogging and other tortures, be burned. Thus St Emilian finished his earthly course and moved to the heavenly life, on July 18th, 362. Our Holy Father Pambo.