The Holy Martyr Petros, Bishop of Alexandria

24 November 2016

The holy martyr Petros, Bishop of Alexandria at the time of the Emperor Maximian (286-305) was a teacher of the true faith and guide of the Christians in the Orthodox dogmas. During the persecution of Diocletian (303), soldiers were sent to Alexandria where they arrested him and took him to Nicomedia. He was imprisoned by order of the emperor, the intention being to behead him.


This information came to the attention of the priest Arius, who had been excommunicated by the saint for teaching that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, that is the Son, is not God, but a perfect creation of God. Arius seized the opportunity and sent priests and deacons to intercede with the saint to have the excommunication lifted and for him, as a merciful man, to forgive Arius. Since the saint knew Arius to be a cunning person, however, he felt sure that he hadn’t really repented and that he remained firmly attached to his false doctrine, so he refused to give the forgiveness they sought. Not only this. He also dismissed the priests and deacons sent by Arius with the message: ‘Arius is excommunicated and cut off from the glory of Christ, both in this life and in eternity’. He also told them that he’d seen Christ in a vision as a new-born infant, shining brighter than the sun and wearing a robe that was split from head to foot. He learned from the figure of Christ that the person who’d rent the robe was Arius. He also told them that the vision suggested that there was a division and separation of the Son from the Father, as well as all the other false doctrines of Arius.
The holy martyr Petros, Patriarch of Alexandria,, was beheaded on the orders of the emperor.

(Yeoryios D. Papadimitropoulos, Με τους Αγίους μας – Συναξαριστής Νοεμβρίου, Apostoliki Diakonia, pp. 215-6).