Commemorated July 23
Saint Phocas, sometimes called Phocas the Gardener or Phocas of Sinope (Greek:Φωκᾶς), is venerated as a martyr by the Orthodox Church.
Christian tradition states that he was a gardener who lived at Sinope, on the Black Sea, who used his crops to feed the poor and also aided persecuted Christians.
During the persecutions of Diocletian, he provided hospitality to the soldiers who were sent to execute him. The soldiers, not knowing that their host was their intended victim, agreed to his hospitality. Phocas also offered to help them find the person who they sought.
As the soldiers slept, Phocas dug his own grave and also prayed fervently. In the morning, when the soldiers awoke, Phocas revealed his identity.
The soldiers hesitated and offered to report to their commander that their search had been fruitless. Phocas refused this offer and bared his neck. He was then decapitated and buried in the grave that he had dug for himself.