St. Zosimus & Athanasius
Feastday: January 3
Zosimus and Athanasius (d.303) + Martyrs in Cilicia (modern Turkey). They were executed during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305). According to one account, Zosimus was tortured and Athanasius, a witness, was so moved that he converted to the faith. Both were then tortured but survived and died in peace after being released. They became hermits. Feast day: January 3.
Zosimus the Hermit was an ascetic who resided in the wilds of Cilicia in the third century AD.
Zosimus was tortured during the persecution of the Church under Roman Emperor Diocletian but persevered in his Christian faith. After being tortured he was supposedly left miraculously unharmed which led to the conversion of Zosimus' guard Athanasius who accepted the Christian faith and baptism.
Eventually both Zosimus and Athanasius were released and lived out the rest of their lives in a mountain hermitage far from human society.
Saint Zosimus the Hermit and Saint Athanasius his disciple are commemorated on 3 January by the Catholic Churches.
Athanasius the Superintendent of Prisoners
The Holy martyr Athanasius the Superintendent of Prisoners, also Athanasius Komentarisios (Greek: ο κομενταρήσιος), was a prison warden who became a convert to Christ during the time of the persecution of emperor Diocletian in the late third century. St. Athanasius is commemorated on January 3 with St. Zosimus.
Athanasius witnessed the torture of the monk Zosimus from Cilicia who had been seized and subjected to fierce torture for his Faith. Seeing him unharmed after the torture, Athanasius came to believe in Christ and was baptized. After Zosimus was released, Athanasius joined with him and traveled into the wilderness. There, they found a crevice in a mountain in Cilicia that became their shelter and where they lived as hermits until their deaths.