lived during the reign of Emperors Decius and Vallerian in 255. He knew well the art of warfare and used to live in the Armenian city of Melitine. He was the first to suffer martyrdom in this city. An impious law was pronounced that ordered Christians to deny Christ. Whoever was not convinced ought to be punished with death. Because of this law the athlete of Christ Polyeuktos, without losing his nerve at all, preached Christ openly and with his great courage and valour he smashed the idols which the Greeks respected.
Although his father-in-law advised him to deny Christ and his wife was crying and lamenting for him, he persevered and neither was he convinced by his father-in-law's advice nor did he sympathize with his wife's wailing. Instead, he kept his promises and what he had agreed with his friend Nearkhos, who was afraid and suspected that he would deny the faith of Christ. So, he stayed firm and would not be moved from the confession of faith. Because of this he died by the sword and rose to heaven.
Propers for Polyeuktos - Soldier, Confessor and Martyr
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr Polyeuktos with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to despise the prosperity of this world, and to fear none of its adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - 2 Esdras 2:42-48.
I ESDRAS saw upon the mount Sion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs. And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marvelled at greatly. So I asked the angel, and said, Sir, what are these? He answered and said unto me, These be they that have put off the mortal clothing, and put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God: now are they crowned, and receive palms. Then said I unto the angel. What young person is it that crowneth them, and giveth them palms in their hands? So he answered and said unto me, It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world. Then began I greatly to commend them that stood so stiffly for the name of the Lord. Then the angel said unto me, Go thy way, and tell my people what manner of things, and how great wonders of the Lord thy God, thou hast seen.
The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:16-22.
BEHOLD, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall he brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Reference and Resources: