OCTOBER 7 the Religion of Antinous honors St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, Christian patron saints of male-male love.
They were inseparable officers in the Roman army stationed in Syria during the reign of Emperor Maximian, who was fond of them and honored them repeatedly, which gave rise to jealousy in the court.
A rival denounced Sergius and Bacchus, accusing them of not venerating the ancient gods of Rome, and of being Christians. When summoned to sacrifice to the genius of the Emperor, as was the Roman custom, Sergius and Bacchus refused.
They were imprisoned and subjected to a long series of tortures aimed at forcing them to sacrifice to the gods. They were stripped of their uniforms and made to walk through the streets wearing the clothing of women, a strange form of humiliation not usually inflicted on Christians, but a sign that their sexuality was being used to mock the saints.
Bacchus was beaten to death, but Sergius proved to be considerably stronger than any torture that the Pagans could subject him to. When he was on the verge of surrender, and in despair, the spirit of Bacchus appeared to him and said:
"Why do you grieve and mourn, brother? If I have been taken from you in body, I am still with you in the bond of union — Hurry then, yourself, through beautiful and perfect confession to pursue and obtain me."
Sergius was so strengthened that he could not be compelled to betray his faith, and the pagans chopped off his head.
For their strength and for the valor of their love for one another, and because for so many centuries they have remained the champions of homosexual love and devotion, we honor the Christian Saints Sergius and Bacchus as saints of the Religion of Antinous.
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