7 / 20 July
He was a general, famed for his courage and wealth. He was massive of body and a source of fear to his enemies. But, when he came to love Christ more than the world or anything in the world, he left everything and retired to the desert, where he became a monk and gave himself to asceticism. St Elias the Prophet appeared to him, and led him to the mountain called Malea, near the Holy Mountain. There he lived in solitude, alone with God, in unceasing prayer day and night. Although he hid from the world, he could not succeed in concealing himself. Learning of the holiness of his life, people began to go to him, bringing their sick. St Thomas healed them of all ills and weaknesses. When he went to God (in the tenth century), his relics continued to give aid to all who drew near to them in faith. St. Acacius of Sinai, who is mentioned in The Ladder.
Epictetus, a priest, brought Astius, the only son of his parents, to the Christian faith, baptised him and made him a monk. They then went off eastwards, to the region of Scythia, and settled in the Scythian town of Almirida (now Ramzina), at the mouth of the Danube on the Black Sea. They were tortured and killed for the Christian faith in about 290. They both appeared after their deaths in great light to St Astius's parents, Alexander and Marcellina, who turned to Christ and were baptised by Bishop Evangelus, who was himself then executed for Christ; 'Evangelus, another angel', as is sung of him: The Holy and Great Martyr Dominica; St Hedda, bishop of the West Saxons (705); St. Willibald, bishop of Eichstatt (768)..