St. Anthimos was brought up in Nicomedia by his devout Christian parents. When he had attained his manhood, he was consecrated the bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia. He lived in a time of great persecution of Christians under the two Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian (both ruled from 284-305), where tens of thousands of Christians in that area were slaughtered. When one of his letters to an imprisoned Christian fell into the hands of Maximian, twenty soldiers were sent to arrest him.
Enlightened by God, St. Anthimos went out to meet the soldiers, brought them into his house and served them as honored guests before revealing to them that he was the very person that they sought. Refusing to lie or avoid capture, the holy bishop went with them to the Imperial Court, and on the way they were converted to the faith by St. Anthimos, and were baptized by him. At last they reached their destination, where St. Anthimos was cruelly tortured for a long time before he offered his head to Christ by the executioner’s axe, which released St. Anthimos from the confines of this imperfect worldly life to go to Christ, our Life Eternal.