St. Sozon of Cilikia Icon

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Orthodox icon of Saint Sozon.

Commemorated September 7th.

The Martyr Sozon was a shepherd born in Lykaonia. He regularily read the Holy Scriptures and shared his knowledge about the One God with the shepherds in his area. Many were brought to the faith in Christ and Baptized. Secretly at night St Sozon went into the pagan temple in the city of Cilician Pompelopolis and broke off the idol's gold hand, smashed it and gave the gold to the poor.

This caused an disturbance in the city. The officials suspected many persons and subjected them to interrogation and torture. St Sozon went to the emperor Maximian (284-305) and told him that it was he who broke the hand of the idol. He told the emperor that his statue was not a god, but only a deaf and dumb idol and that he smashed it so the people would no longer worship a false God. The emperor was enraged and ordered that St Sozon be tortured mercilessly.

They beat him, suspended him from a tree and scraped his body with iron combs. St Sozon eventually gave up his spirit to God. By decree of the emperor, slaves lit a fire to burn his body, but thunder and lightning came, and the rain put out the fire. He was buried by Christians. By his grave many of the sick were healed. A church was built later in memory of his sufferings.