But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
Barbasymas, Bishop of Selucia and Ctesiphon (in present-day Iraq), was a man of great piety and honesty. He was arrested, along with 16 of his priests, during the brutal persecution under the Sassanid King Shapur II, and he was offered a cup filled with gold coins and a governorship if he would renounce his Christian faith. Their persecutors also tried to persuade them to participate in sun worship, by means of imprisonment, torture and deprivation of food and water. But neither bribery nor intimidation could shake them. Barbasymas told the king, “The more Christians you kill, the more their numbers will increase.” Finally they were all beheaded.
O Lord Christ, who judgest the earth, and hast laid the sure foundation upon which thy Church has upraised its confession of faith: grant that we may not build our faith upon the sand, where storms may overthrow it; and establish us upon the rock which is steadfast in thee; to the glory of thy Name.