ON three continents tonight, adherents of Antinous took part via a Skype video call in a candlelight vigil in memory of Brazilian victims of homophobia.
The vigil coincided with the October 28 observance of the Death of Antinous on that date in the year 130 AD.
Worshipers in Brazil, Mexico, the US and Europe took part in the candlelight ceremonies.
At the Hollywood Temple of Antinous, the founder of the modern religion of Antinous, ANTONIUS SUBIA, solemnly read out more than 300 names of Brazilian LGBTIU victims of homophobic murders over the past two years ... and linked them to the tragic death of Antinous.
"Compiling this list has been truly one of the most emotionally devastating things I have ever done for Antinous," he said during the video link-up. "I want to simply just lie down and cry for an hour or two ... so much death, so much suffering and pain and sadness ... so much cruelty in the world."
He added, "As I was preparing the list, I set it aside for a couple of days, and when I came back to it, I was horrified to see that 10 more people had been murdered and needed to be added to the list."
People are dying from homophobic attacks at the rate of one every 36 hours in Brazil alone ... in addition to the countless others elsewhere around the world.
"That means someone has probably died in the time it has taken me to read this list over the past 20 minutes or so," Antonius said. "So our ceremonies tonight are also for that person."
Noting that many of the victims are unidentified, Antonius said, "These ceremonies are important because very many of these young people were given no funeral rites. No one mourned for them, so it is important that we ask tonight for Antinous to bless them and take them into his arms," he told the worshipers joining him via Skype.
"We must do what we can for those who are lost, for the souls of our beloved Gay, Lesbian and Trans who are languishing lost and forgotten by the side of the river Styx in the underworld, trapped between our world and the next, unable to move on," he said.
"We pray that as Antinous passes through the Kingdom of the Dead, that he will gather them together and give them a place of peace and love forever on his Barque of Millions of Years," he said.
"I pray to Antinous to watch over them, now as his divine spirit sinks down into the place of the dead ... and when he returns, that he will bring for hope again, that these deaths will stop," Antonius said. "This is what I wish for."
"The legislation is called the Alexandre Ivo Law, named after a 14-year-old boy who was bludgeoned to death by three youths in 2010. His mother Angelica Ivo has led the lobbying effort to criminalize homophobia in Brazil," Deco said.
Only a few weeks ago, the headline-making murder of JOÃO ANTÔNIO DONATI spawned protest rallies in major Brazilian cities.
Brazil has the largest Antinous faith community in the non-English speaking world, and adherents of Antinous have taken the unprecedented move of proclaiming João the first SAINT OF ANTINOUS in Brazil.
Tonight's solemn candlelight ceremonies ... spanning seven time zones Monday evening (in Hollywood) and Tuesday morning (in Europe) ... concluded with Antonius draping the bust of Antinous at the temple's sacred altar in commemoration of the Death of Antinous.
We believe it was on October 28 in the year 130 AD, near the village of Hir-wer in Egypt, that Antinous fell into the Nile and drowned.
There are those who believe that he was murdered, or that he willingly gave himself over to human sacrifice to prolong the life of his beloved Hadrian, or that his death was the suicidal effect of teenage melodrama, or that is was merely an accident, but there is no way to know, no way to be certain.
Grief-stricken Hadrian only said he "plunged into the Nile" but never elaborated on the circumstances of the death of his beloved.
We priests of Antinous do not take a definite position and leave the matter as an unknowable mystery. The manner in which Antinous died is not important, only the effect that his death had upon the world has significance.
On this day, we solemnly and silently mourn the Death of Antinous whom Hadrian loved and for whom he wept, and we sorrow for the loss of such great beauty at so young an age.
We pray for the Bithynian boy who died so far from home.
With his death, our religion was set in motion.
We lament and exalt in the grief of Hadrian that was so strong and so powerful that it spread to the whole face of the world, and affects us still today.
We pray also for all those homosexuals who have died in youth as a consequence of repression, we mourn the suicides, and commit them to the soothing arms of Antinous, who was assumed into the Nile for all of us.
It is one of the great ironies of history that, by dying dramatically, a young person who was unremarkable except for his beauty became irrevocably bound with the most powerful man in the world.
Emperor Hadrian proclaimed Antinous a God. He established a city on the bend of the Nile where the young man died — Antinoopolis.
He named a constellation in the heavens after Antinous.
And without gentle Antinous at his side, Hadrian became an embittered and broken man. He became capricious and at times cruel. A reign which had been marked by Hellenistic principles of tolerance descended into bloodshed.
It is indeed remarkable how one young man, a commoner with no wealth or political influence, changed the course of history simply by dying. And the thousands of statues sculpted on orders of grieving Hadrian became the iconic image of Classical beauty — the last deity of Ancient Greece and Rome.
Antinous fell into the Nile, beneath the swirling waves, but when his body was pulled from the water ... a God emerged. Antinous is our God, he has accomplished the salvation of all lovers of his beauty. His is our salvation. He is Antinous the Gay God. He is the last pagan God of Classical Rome.
For centuries, he was worshiped in secret by gay men who were afraid to worship him publicly. Men such as Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman sang his praises. When the Nazis marched into the offices of gay-rights advocate Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin, they smashed a ceramic wall relief of Antinous which Dr. Hirschfeld had set in a place of reverence over the doorway.
And now, in the 21st Century, the "Most Great and Good God" (as he was known among his followers) is being discovered by a whole new generation of people seeking gay spirituality.
We dedicate our lives and our souls to fulfilling the Divine Hadrian's command to establish the Religion of Antinous for all who seek gay spirituality. We dedicate our lives and our souls to serving Antinous the Gay God.