Haralampus of Magnesia
The holy, glorious, right-victorious martyr, Charalampus (or Haralambos) was a priest in the city of Magnesia in Thessaly during the late second and early third century. He was martyred, having openly preached the Gospel during persecutions during the reign of Alexander Severus (222-235), and when Lucian was Proconsul of Magnesia.
Charalampus 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, he did not hide, but openly and boldly preached the Orthodox Faith! When he 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. This persecution went on for several months and not once did Charalampus weaken in his faith. Forced to suffer extreme pain and degradation, he continued to preach and many miracles and conversions took place among the people. When the soldiers thrashed the skin from his body Charalampus 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, Charalampus 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. At the time of his martyrdom the Saint was 103 years of age.