Haralampus of Magnesia
This Saint was a priest of the Christians in Magnesia, the foremost city of Thessaly, in the diocese having the same name. He contested during the reign of Alexander Severus (222-235), when Lucian was Proconsul of Magnesia. At the time of his martyrdom the Saint was 103 years of age.
As a second century priest in Magnesia, Asia Minor, he served his people with great faith and love. His reputation as a man of God had spread throughout the area and many people came to the Faith through his preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. During a period of extreme persecution, Haralambos did not hide, but openly and boldly preached the Christian Orthodox Faith! When Haralambos was finally arrested for having the courage to preach the Gospel, his persecutors devised a plan of persecution for everyone to witness. Although he was tortured repeatedly, he never denounced his faith in Jesus Christ. For several months this persecution went on and not once did Haralambos weaken in his faith. Forced to suffer extreme pain and degradation, Haralambos continued to preach and many miracles and conversions took place among the people. When the soldiers thrashed the skin from his body Haralambos said: "Thank you, my brethren, for scraping off the old body and renewing my soul for new and eternal life." In the final moments of his life, moments before he was to be beheaded, Haralambos lifted his hands to heaven and prayed for all humankind: "Lord, You know that men are flesh and blood; forgive them their sins and pour out Your blessing on all." Following this prayer the saint gave up his soul to God and died without the sword being laid to his neck.