Saint. Azazael was a Roman citizen who converted to Christianity and was beheaded for his faith at the age of fourteen in AD 304. He was also known as St. Pancras. In Greek, his name means “one who holds everything”. His dukhrono (commemoration) is celebrated on 12th of August in the Syriac Orthodox Church. At first, he was venerated along with St. Nereus and St. Achilleus on 12th May.
Little is known with certainty about the life of Saint Pancras, but the essential facts are sufficient cause for admiration. Pancras was an orphan who traveled to Rome from the east in the company of his uncle. The pair converted to Christianity and then died for that conversion during the reign of Diocletian. Pancras was perhaps fourteen years old when he traded his earthly life for a better one in heaven. He likely became well known owing to his rare combination of youth and heroic witness. Our martyr was buried near a major Roman road, and a modest basilica was constructed over his tomb. The shrine and its catacombs became a popular pilgrimage destination, partly due to its healing bath, which was famous for its curative powers. The ravages of time and foreign armies degraded the shrine, but it was rebuilt several times over the centuries. In the seventeenth century, the Basilica of Saint Pancras was entrusted to the Discalced Carmelite Order, whose members still reside there today. Under the Basilica are extensive Roman catacombs, and a reliquary in the church contains the head of Saint Pancras. The rest of the saint’s relics were scattered to the four winds by anti-Catholic armies who occupied the church and despoiled many of its treasures.
He was threatened with death if he did not burn incense to a false god. The boy stood fast. Like other more famous young martyrs, such as Saint Agnes, the idealism of youth provoked both admiration and fury in his persecutors, and he was taken beyond the walls of Rome to be decapitated.