Sts. Martyrs Manuel, Sabel and Ismael (†362)
On 30 June the Church remembers exploits of Sts. Martyrs Manuel, Sabel and Ismael who have suffered in 362.They lived in Persia and were own brothers. Since their childhood boys have took the fervid faith from their mother.
As Ambassadors of King Al-Mundhir they arrived to Emperor Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus (more known as Julian the Apostate) in order to sign the treaty of peace. Julian was the son of brother of St. Constantine the Great, and he made efforts to restore pagan religious system all around the Roman Empire, having disavowed of Christianity and spilling a lot of Christian blood at the same time.
Thus, Julian accepted the Ambassadors with proper respect and invited them to the pagan temple, but Manuel, Sabel and Ismael refused to take a part in sacrificial offering. Julian was angry. “How can there be peace between us, when you do not respect our gods?” – asked the Emperor, provoking them to apostasy. “We are here with a state errand, but not to discuss of gods” – replied brothers.
When Julian saw the firmness of their Faith he despised tradition of hospitality and ordered to catch the Ambassadors and to torture them. The hands and legs of Sts. Martyrs were nailed to a tree and torturers have started to hammer in long needles under their fingernails. The eyewitnesses were impressed by firmness of Confessors: it was an impression that Ambassadors felt no pain because during the mockery they glorified God and prayed until they were decapitated.
God’s punishment grasped Julian while yet he was living: the military forces of Persian King destroyed Julian’s army in the battle near Maranga on 26 June of 363, and Emperor himself was mysteriously killed in that battle.
Sts. Martyrs Manuel, Sabel inherited the Heavenly Kingdom for their firmness faith and received the graceful gift of God: to help to anyone who appeal to them into the prayer.