Zosimus the Soldier

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The holy, glorious and right-victorious martyr Zosimus the Soldier was a Roman soldier during the time of emperor Trajan and his torturing of Christians. Zosimus chose becoming a Christian over serving in the Roman army. His feast day is celebrated on June 19.


Zosimus was a native of the city of Apollona in Thrace during the reign of Trajan at the turn of the first to second centuries. He was consumed with the desire to become a Christian during the time that Trajan was noted as a persecutor of Christians. When he heard about the start of a persecution of Christians, he left military service and was baptized. He then devoted himself to prayer and good deeds. His act was reported to the prefect Domitianus of Antioch as having betrayed the emperor by removing his military insignia and joining the Christians.

At his trial, Zosimus confessed his faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Sentenced, he was subjected to fierce torments, but was strengthened by the grace of God and did not feel the pain. Next, the prefect issued orders to heat a copper bed red-hot and to put Zosimus on it. Zosimus made the Sign of the Cross and laid down on the bed, but remained unharmed. Then, as Domitianus was departing the city he gave orders to place iron sandals with sharp nails in the soles on Zosimus' feet. Then, he had Zosimus follow after him, as the Lord gave St. Zosimus the strength to follow after the horses.

Next, Zosimus was locked in prison, where his tormentors deprived him of food and drink. However, an angel of the Lord fortified him with bread and water. As St. Zosimus continued to refuse the demand to sacrifice to the pagan gods, he was finally beheaded in the year 110, and thus surrendered his soul to God. His martyrdom was said to have been in Spoleto in Umbria, Italy.