December 28: Afterfeast of the Nativity of Christ; Apostle Nicanor the Deacon, one of the Seven Deacons, and one of the Seventy (34); Martyr Secundus, an Enlightener of Spain, sent by the Apostles to Spain to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1st c.); The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia (302), including: Hieromartyr Glycerius the priest, Deacons Theophilus and Migdonius, Martyrs Zeno, Dorotheus, Mardonius, Indes, Gorgonius, Peter, and Euthymius, and Virgin-martyrs Agape, Domna (the former pagan priestess), Theophila, and others; Martyr Ploutodoros; Venerable Babylas of Tarsus in Cilicia; Venerable Stephen the Wonderworker; Martyrs Castor, Victor and Rogatian, in North Africa; Saint Domnio (Domnion), a righteous priest in Rome; Saint Romulus and Conindrus, two of the first people to preach Orthodoxy on the Isle of Man, contemporaries of St Patrick (ca.450); Saint Maughold (Maccaldus), sent by St. Patrick to the Isle of Man, where his episcopate was very fruitful (ca.488); Saint Antony of Lérins (Anthony the Hermit), renowned for miracles (ca.520); Saint Simon the Myrrh-gusher, founder of Simonopetra Monastery on Mount Athos (1287); Saint Ignatius, Monk of Loma (Vologda) (Ignatii of Lomsk and Yaroslavsk) (1591); Saint Cornelius, monk of Krypetsk Monastery (Pskov) (1903); Hieromonk St Pakhomij (Petin–1985); New Hieromartyr Nikodim (Kononov), Bishop of Belgorod, at Solovki (1918); New Hieromartyr Arcadius Reshetnikov, Deacon (1918); New Hieromartyr Alexander, Priest (1920); New Hieromartyrs Theoctistus, and Leonid, Priests (1937); New Hieromartyr Aretha, Priest (1938); Other Commemorations: Repose of Joseph the Hesychast (Romania) (1828).
All these Saints, some 20,000 in number, were burned alive in the year 303, while they were gathered in church. This came to pass during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian. According to the Synaxarion, this took place on the day of Christ's Nativity. Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. VIII, 6) says that, of the Christians then living in Nicomedia, all were slain by imperial decree - some by the sword, and others by fire, and that, because of their divine and inexpressible ardour, both men and women cast themselves into the fire. Besides those burned in church. the following, who were slain in the same Persecution, are commemorated today. Indus, Gorgonius, and Peter were cast into the sea; Glycerius the Presbyter and Mardonius were burned; Dorotheus the Prefect and Zeno were beheaded; Theophilus the Deacon was stoned; Mygdonius was buried alive; and Domna, who had been a priestess of the idols, believed in Christ, and was baptized, was beheaded and cast into the fire. See also the account of Saint Anthimus on September 3.