January 13

From the Prologue

The Emperor Licinius raised up a persecution against Christians. St. Hermylas, a Christian and a deacon in the Church, was captured and led to court. When Hermylas was informed that he was being led away to be tortured, he greatly rejoiced. In vain did the emperor threaten him. Hermylas openly confessed his faith in Christ and responded to all the threats of the emperor saying, "The Lord is with me; I fear not; What can man do against me?" (Psalm 118:6). Following excruciating tortures, Hermylas was thrown into the dungeon. The guard was Stratonicus, secretly a Christian, who sympathized with the suffering of Hermylas with all his heart. When it was reported to the emperor that Stratonicus was also a Christian, the emperor ordered that both of them be drowned in the Danube river. After that, the executioners tied Hermylas and Stratonicus in a net and both were drowned in the Danube. Three days later, their bodies were washed ashore. Christians discovered their bodies and buried them about eighteen miles from Belgrade. These glorious martyrs suffered for Christ and were glorified in the year 315 A.D.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas