June 21, 2018

Holy Hieromartyr Terence, Bishop of Iconium

St. Terence of Iconium (Feast Day - June 21)


You were taken from the earth generous Terence,
By your death you found a blessed beginning.

Terence, also known as Tertius or Terentios, was the second bishop in succession after Saint Sosipater (Nov. 10; Apr. 29) in Iconium, where he converted many pagans to Christ through his words and deeds done in the power of the Holy Spirit, also baptizing those converted by Saint Sosipater.

He was also the scribe of the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, as we read in Romans 16:22: "I, Tertius, the one writing this letter, greet you in the Lord." This letter was written in Corinth during the winter of 57 or 58 A.D., and is the longest of his letters. Some believe Tertius copied the original letter of Paul, or even translated it into Latin from Greek or Greek to Latin, but he was probably just a scribe who dictated the words of the Apostle Paul. Based on this, many assume Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was something that prevented him from writing, perhaps blindness, but this is just speculation.

Terence was also a Wonderworker, a Martyr and one of the Seventy Apostles. According to the Synaxarion of Constantinople, he died after being pricked with thorns, perhaps by being dragged over thorns till his flesh was torn off, or beaten with a thorny branch till he bled to death. Some believe Tertius and Silas are the same person, both of whom are said to have accompanied the Apostle Paul; Silas in Hebrew signifies the same thing as Tertius in Latin. He is also commemorated on October 30th and November 10th with other Apostles of the Seventy.