Julian the Apostate, arriving in Caesarea on his march to Antioch, was infuriated to find that the majority of the population was Christian. He was further enraged to learn that the Christians had destroyed the last remaining pagan temple in the city, a temple dedicated to Fortune. In his anger, Julian crossed out the name of the city from the list of cities and ordered that it return to being called by its ancient name, Mazaca, rather than the name of Caesarea which had been given to it by Tiberius. He then claimed all the Christian churches in the city and took possession of anything of material value. Many Christians were tortured in order to extract from them the location of some sacred objects. In addition to this, Julian had all the clergy enlisted in the train-bands under the governor of the province. He also imposed heavy taxes on all Christians.
Worst of all, Julian had many Christians put to death. A young man by the name of Eupsychius, from a noble family and a newlywed, was among those sentenced to death. Julian then continued his march, leaving orders in the newly named city of Mazaca that the Christians be compelled to rebuild the temples. Instead of rebuilding the pagan temples, the Christians erected a church to the true God and named it after Eupsychius.
Just eight years after the death of Eupsychius, on April 8, Saint Basil celebrated the feast of this martyr and invited all the bishops of Pontus.
Lord Jesus, You said that the man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world preserves it to life eternal. We pray that, like Eupsychius, we will stand strong in our faith and remain always loyal to You so we may join You in eternity. Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Gaucherius (1140), Abbot
St. Mary of Cleophas (1st Century)