The Apolytikion of St. Mamas
The Life of Saint Mamas
His parents Theodotos and Roufina lived in Gaggra of Paflagonia during the reign of emperor Aurilianos who exercised a systematic campaign against the Christians (270 - 275 AD). Because of their Christian beliefs, Theodotos and Roufina (who was pregnant at the time), were arrested and imprisoned. While in prison she gave birth to Mamas but her husband died before he could see the newborn baby and soon after she died also. Mamas, who was raised by a lady called Ammia Matrona, turned towards the teaching of Christianity during his teenage years. As a result he was arrested at the age of 15, he was tortured and finally killed because of his refusal to abandon Christianity.
A Cypriot icon present St Mamas riding a lion while holding a stick with his right hand and a sheep in his left arm. According to this tradition, this Saint Mamas was a monk living in a cave near the town of Morphou. Once he was arrested by the Ottoman authorities because he was refusing to pay tax. As he was led to court by the Turkish policemen they came across a lion chasing a sheep. He called the lion to stop and come near him. The wild animal did and Mamas rode on the lion's back holding the sheep in his hand, all the way to the court. When the judge witnessed this unusual event, he ordered his release and granted him exclusion from taxation. St Mamas gave the sheep as a gift to the judge.