“An actor, he first mocked at Christians before Julian the Apostate. On one occasion, when he was mimicking the Christian mystery of Baptism, he was dipped into the water, pronouncing the words: ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’
When he emerged from the water, he cried out: ‘Now I am a Christian!’ Everyone thought that this was in jest, as always, but he held firm to it, stopped mocking Christians and finally suffered for Chist. He was beheaded in 361, and entered into the Kingdom of Christ.” (Prologue)
We rightly condemn worship that is purely external; but the life of St Porphyrius reminds us in a striking way that the ‘externals’ of the Faith have a power that can work to convert the heart of man. St Porphyrius used the words of Holy Baptism not only carelessly but mockingly, yet by God’s grace he emerged from the waters truly renewed into Christ.