Saint Charalambos, who is commemorated today, was a priest in Magnesia in Asia Minor and lived under the reign of Septimius Severus (193-211 AD).
When Severus launched a persecution against the Christians in 198 AD, the governor Lucian arrested the saint and asked him to renounce his faith. However, the Saint instead confessed to the prefect his commitment to Christ and boldly stated that no matter what torture he was subjected to, he would not deny the faith of the Church.
Then the darkened and depraved soul of Lucian unleashed its fury and commanded the commencement of the horrific tortures inflicted upon the elderly priest. First, they stripped him naked, and Lucian himself, wielding his sword, attempted to inflict wounds upon the saint’s body. Nevertheless, his forearms were severed and displayed on the body of the Hieromartyr. Only after the Saint’s prayer were they miraculously reattached to his body, and the ruler was restored to health. Witnessing this miraculous intervention by the saint, many of the executioners were moved to believe in the one true God.
With darkness clouding his mind and cruelty reigning in his heart, the prefect commanded that the saint be pilloried and paraded through the city with a bridle. In the end, he commanded the saint’s beheading, and thus, in martyrdom, the venerable saint received the eternal crown of glory at the remarkable age of 113.
There are no specific testimonies about the relics of Saint Charalambos. In the Synaxari of Agios Charalambos (1995 AD), the nun Theotekni Agiostafanitissa documents details about the Holy Skull of the Saint, which is housed in the Monastery of Agios Stefanos in Meteora. According to this account, the Skull of the Saint was bestowed upon the Monastery by the Prince of Wallachia, Vladislav, in 1412-1413 AD, together with two estates in Metohi Butoi. No information has been preserved regarding the time and conditions under which this precious relic was discovered in Wallachia. Parts of the revered skull of Saint Charalambos are also preserved in the pilgrimage church bearing his name in the town of Thespies in Boeotia.
Source: Vema of the Church