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May 30, 2017

Holy Martyr Hermias of Comana in Cappadocia


To Hermias.
As a seal dipped in your blood,
Hermias, you were beheaded - O indelible dye!
On the thirty-first Hermias was slain by the sword.

To the Magician.
Tasting your noetic potion O Word,
He vomits the poison of error and is slain by the sword.

The Holy Martyr Hermias suffered for Christ in the city of Comana during the persecution of either the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) or Marcus Aurelius (161-180). He was a soldier by profession, though elderly with white hair. The governor Sebastian, who was in Cappadocia to arrest Christians, urged the Saint to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, promising him honors and mercy from the emperor.

The old soldier bravely confessed his faith in Christ. After long exhortation, the governor gave orders to torture the Saint. They first beat him on the face, then cut off the skin from his face, and finally extracted his teeth. Hermias was then thrown into a burning furnace. When the oven was opened after three days, the Martyr emerged from it unharmed.

The governor Sebastian ordered a certain magician to poison Hermias with a potion. The poisonous drink did the Saint no harm. A second goblet with even stronger poison also failed to kill the Saint. The magician, astonished that Hermias was still alive, believed in Christ the Savior, and was immediately beheaded. This magician, whose name we do not know, was baptized in his own blood, and received the crown of martyrdom.

Hermias was then subjected to even more terrible tortures. They broke his tendons, clawed at his body with sharp instruments, threw him in boiling oil, and gouged out his eyes, but he gave thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they suspended the Martyr head downward. For three days he hung in this 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 to help them. The holy Martyr ordered the blind to approach him, and healed them in the name of Jesus Christ.

In anger the governor ordered the skin flayed from the Saint’s body, but he remained alive. Then the crazed Sebastian beheaded him with his own sword. Christians later secretly buried the body of the martyr Hermias, whose relics bestowed numerous healings.


By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

The old and evil magician, poisoner and liar,
In everything very small, but great in fear,
Bitter poison, to the holy Hermias, he gave,
From this poison, even the serpents would hide!

Hermias, the poison drank: death did not claim him,
And the old magician, saw and trembled all over,
O that wonderful miracle, aloud he cried out,
Over the soldier of God, the poison has no power!

Let be hidden, the darkened days of my life,
Let be erased, the years of my shameful life!
To dumb deceits, my entire life I dedicated,
My entire life, in the service of these idols dumb.

And just today, in great fear, I see:
The One and the True God, the God of Hermias is.
Crucified as Christ, the Lord from the heavens
His only, are the miracles truthful.

From now on, Christ's I am: O Christ, forgive me
For the least servant, You, O Good One, receive me.
Forgive me my all too many sins, forgive me,
For You, I will sacrifice, body and lifeless bones!

Bitterly repentant, that, the elder uttered,
At once cleansed, of falsehood and fears,
Among Christians, himself, he openly numbered
The sword over him flashed and with blood, baptized him.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Enlisted for Christ the King of all, thou didst hew down the enemy ranks, O glorious Hermias. After enduring many torments in thine old age, thou didst contest as God's warrior. Intercede with Him, O trophy-bearer, that all may be saved.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Thou didst steadfastly confess the name of Christ, and endure grievous torments, O Hermias, and vanquish the ancient foe. With an aged body, in thy youthful ardour thou didst attain to the joys of Paradise.