Feast of Saint Cyriacus and Julitta

July 23, 2021

The three year old Saint Cyriacus (Qirkos) and his mother Julitta (Iyalota) were righteous who became martyrs.  When Saint Cyriacus was a child, his mother took him and fled from the country of Rome to another country. She found there the brother of the governor from whom she had fled, and certain men laid information against her before him, and he had her brought and questioned her about the worship of idols.  Saint Julitta answered and said to him, “Ask the child whose days are three years to tell us what is right, and whether it is good for us to worship the gods or not.”  When the soldiers of the governor went to her house they found Saint Cyriacus (Qirkos) her son, and they brought him to the governor; and the governor questioned him about the worship of idols.

God then gave the child strength, and he spoke and cursed the emperor and his gods, and at length he frightened all those who were there, and they marveled greatly at him. And the governor was ashamed, and he tortured the child severely with every kind of torture, the which even a grown up man could not endure, and he tortured Julitta (Iyalota), the mother of the child, even as he tortured her son, but God raised them up whole and uninjured.  And because of this many people marveled, and believed on our Lord Jesus Christ, and became martyrs, and the grace of the Holy Spirit descended upon them.  Cyriacus (Qirkos) healed many sick folk, and performed great miracles.  when fear came over his mother, and her faith dwindled, he prayed to God on her behalf, and God lifted up her heart unto heaven, and she saw the habitation of the spirit, and she became strong under the torture, and gave thanks to God.  And she said unto her son, “O my son, henceforward thou art my father, and I am thy blessed daughter; blessed be the hour wherein I bore thee.”  And when the governor was tired of torturing them he commanded the soldiers to cut off their heads with the sword, and they did so, and the Saints received the crown of martyrdom in the kingdom of the heavens.

Salutation to Cyriacus (Qirkos)

Source: The Ethiopian Synaxarium, Page 650