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May 31st (VI - 13)

Icon of the saint of the day.

Icon of Disciple from the 70 Hermas

Disciple from the 70 Hermas (I). Martyrs: Hermias (II); Philosophos (III); Magus (Magician-Sorcerer) (II). Martyrs of Nicomedia: Eusebios, Charalampios, Romanos, Teletios, Christina and many others. 5 Martyrs at Askalon. Saint Petronilla. Saints: Felicus; Polycarp. Sainted Eustathios, Patriarch of Constantinople (XI).

The Holy Disciple Hermas was a bishop in Thracian Philippopolis. The holy Apostle Paul greets him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16: 14). Preaching the Gospel, the Disciple Hermas endured much grief from the pagans, but he died peacefully.

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.

The Holy Martyr Philosophos suffered for Christ in Alexandria during the persecution by the emperor Decius (249-251). They urged the youth to recant from Christ, but he remained steadfast. Then the torturers decided to dispose him towards sinfulness. They led the saint into a flowery garden and left him bound alone with a profligate woman. In order not to yield to sin, the saint bit his tongue and by this pain of suffering defended himself from fleshly passion. He spit out his bloody tongue in the face of the profligate. The executioners, seeing the bravery and fearlessness of the martyr, beheaded the saint with a sword.

The Holy Martyr Magus (Magician-Sorcerer) suffered together with the Martyr Hermias during the persecution under the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161).

© 1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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