|St. Myron the Presbyter (Feast Day - August 17)|
"Why do you seek to cut off my head," said Myron,
"For it to be crowned in the future with an all-honorable crown?"
On the seventeenth Myron was beheaded with a sharp sword.
The Holy Hieromartyr Myron was a presbyter in the Achaia region of Greece, and lived in the third century. He specifically suffered in the year 250 during the persecution unleashed by the Emperor Decius (249-251). He was gentle and kind to people, and of a virtuous character, but he was also courageous in the defense of his spiritual children, who loved and honored him. On the feast of the Nativity of Christ, he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy. The local governor, Antipater, came into the church with soldiers and arrested the congregation so as to subject them to torture. Saint Myron began to plead for his flock, accusing the governor of cruelty, and for this the Saint was delivered over to be tortured, while the church was razed.
They took Myron and first struck his body with iron rods. They then threw Myron into a red-hot furnace, whose fire was so great that its flickering flames could be heard a long distance away, but the Lord preserved the Martyr. Even so, about 150 men standing nearby were scorched by the fire. The governor then insisted that the Martyr worship idols. Saint Myron firmly refused to do this, so Antipater ordered that strips of the Martyr's skin be cut from him, from his shoulders to his feet. In defiance, Saint Myron took one of the strips of his own skin and threw it in the face of Antipater.
Falling into a rage, Antipater gave orders to strike Saint Myron all over his skin-stripped body, and then to give the Martyr to wild beasts to be eaten. The beasts would not touch him, however. Seeing himself defeated when the Saint emerged unharmed, Antipater in his blind rage committed suicide. It was then that Antipater's men took Saint Myron to the city of Cyzicus, where he was beheaded by the sword at the orders of the proconsul there, and he received the unfading crown of martyrdom.
A portion of his relics can be found at Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O holy Myron, thou wast an alabaster vessel of virtue, thou didst faithfully serve Christ's Church and contest as a martyr. Wherefore by the fragrance of the gifts God has given thee, thou didst dispel the stench of our soul's passions, and by thy prayers thou dost obtain our forgiveness.
Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou didst love Christ from thy childhood, O glorious Martyr, thou didst keep His commandments and run to Him wholeheartedly, O Myron. Now thou art resting with the Angels, and dost glorify Him and art asking forgiveness for us all.