THE HOLY MARTYR ARDALION, THE ACTOR
Beloved, continually we see in the lives of the Saints that they hailed from every land and from every occupation. Some were aged, some were toddlers, some were enfeebled, and some were filled with vigor and strength from their youth.
In the case of Ardalion, he was an actor-comedian. Even today this occupation is filled with the god-less and shameful theatrics of those who seek cheap laughs at the expense of Christ.
For the sake of entertaining the people, Ardalion eagerly played the role of a martyr for the Faith, mocking and deriding Christians in every possible manner. When a persecution surfaced during the reign of Emperor Maximian, his spirit completely changed – the Saint came to his senses. In front of the crowd, he cried out in a loud voice that
he is a Christian and that he was not jesting. And thus, this new Paul, the former condemner of Christians, became a confessor for Christ. For this, Ardalion was condemned, suffered for Christ and died tied to a red hot framework of rods, thus portraying a true and honorable role of a martyr.
We have seen in other accounts of the martyrdom of the Saints that even the hardest-of-hearts are easily converted when witnessing the valiant contest of the Martyrs. Something is roused from a deep slumber and the former enemies of Chri
st have the scales removed from their eyes. These holy ones challenge us, who think we are near to Christ, to finish the course that is set before us. They will say to us in the last day, “behold, if we could accomplish such feats in the midst of trial and persecution, so can you.”
O holy Saint Ardalion, pray unto Christ for us!