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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Holy Martyr Hermias

    The Holy Martyr Hermias suffered for Christ in the city of Komana during the time of persecution under the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). The governor Sebastian, having arrived in Cappadocia to carry out a commission to chase down Christians, urged the saint to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, promising for this both honours and the mercy of the emperor. But the soldier grey with age bravely confessed his faith in Christ. After long exhortation the governor gave orders to torture the saint.

They beat him on the face such that the skin peeled from his face, and they threw him into a red-hot oven. When the oven was opened after 3 days, the Martyr Hermias emerged from it unharmed. The governor Sebastian ordered a sorcerer to poison Saint Hermias with a potion. The poisonous drink did the saint no harm. So likewise a second goblet with even stronger poison failed to kill the saint. The sorcerer believed and offered repentance to Christ the Saviour and was immediately beheaded, baptised by his own blood and receiving a martyr's crown. But Saint Hermias was subjected to even more terrible torturings: they tore at his sinews, threw him in boiling oil, dug out his eyes, but he humbly gave thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they suspended the Martyr Hermias head downwards. For three days he hung in such a position. People, sent by the governor to verify his death, found him alive. Struck by the miracle, they were blinded with fright and began to call out to the saint that he should help them. The holy martyr ordered the blind to approach to him, laid hands on and healed them in the Name of Jesus Christ. In anger the governor ordered to flay the skin on the body of the saint, but as before he remained alive. Then the crazed Sebastian by his own hand beheaded him. Christians secretly buried the body of the Martyr Hermias, from whose relics numerous relics were bestowed.

©  1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.