Today the Orthodox Church celebrates the miraculous conception of the Venerable Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John by the barren Elizabeth and honors the memory of the Saints Polyxene and Xanthippe, as well as the Holy Martyrs Peter and Anthony.
In addition to the conception of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, during the Annunciation of the Theotokos, our Church celebrates the conception of two more persons. Particularly, our Church celebrates the conception of The Virgin Mary by Saint Anna and the conception of Saint John the Baptist by Elizabeth, whom Christ described as the greatest man ever born of a woman.
The two martyred brothers Peter and Anthony were from Syracuse. After the captivity of the city, they were both arrested and raised in a different religion. This, of course, did not prevent them from remaining steadfast in the Christian faith. When the time came and it was revealed that they were Christians, they did not hesitate to confess their faith in the Risen Jesus Christ.
Then the ruler with ferocious fury ordered horrible tortures against them, which, however, endured with courage and bravery worthy of the imitation of Jesus Christ.
In the end, as brave soldiers of Christ, they surrendered their spirit to the Lord and received the unfading crowns of the Kingdom of heaven.
The solidarity, mutual support and common martyrdom for the Orthodox faith of the two brothers, Peter and Anthony, signify the unity and harmony of the family members, father, mother and children, elements which must also govern families today as a blessing from The Triune God.
Source: Church of Cyprus