St. Hermione the Daughter of St. Philip the Deacon


clip_image002

Commemorated on September 4

The Holy Martyr Hermione was a daughter of St Philip the Deacon (October 11). Wishing to see the holy Apostle John the Theologian, Hermione with her sister went to Asia Minor in search of the saint. During their journey, they learned St. John had died. Continuing on, the sisters met a disciple of St. Paul named Petronius, and imitating him in everything, they became his disciples. St Hermione, having mastered the healing arts, rendered help to many Christians and healed the sick by the power of Christ.

During this period, Emperor Trajan (98-117) waged war against the Persians and his army invaded the village where St. Hermione lived. When they discovered that she was a Christian, Trajan gave orders that she brought before him. At first the emperor, with casual admonitions, sought to persuade the saint to renounce Christ. When this did not succeed, he commanded that she should be struck on the face for several hours, but she joyfully endured this suffering. Moreover, she was comforted by a vision of the Lord, in the form of Petronius, sitting upon the throne of judgment. Convincing himself that she was steadfast in her faith, Trajan sent her away. Hermione later built a hospice in which she took in the sick, treating their infirmities both of body and soul.

Trajan's successor, Hadrian, again commanded that the saint be brought to trial for confessing the Christian Faith. At first, he commanded that Hermione be beaten mercilessly, then they pierced the soles of her feet with nails, and finally they threw her into a cauldron with boiling tar, lead and brimstone. The saint bore everything, giving thanks to God. The Lord granted her His mercy: the fire went out, the lead spilled out, and the saint remained unharmed. Hadrian went up to the place of torture and touched the cauldron to ascertain whether it had cooled. When he touched the cauldron, he burned the skin on his hand, but even this did not dissuade the torturer. He gave orders to heat a large skillet and put the holy martyr in it naked. Here again another miracle took place. An angel of the Lord scattered the hot coals and burned many who stood by the fire. The saint stood in the skillet, as though on green grass, singing hymns of praise to the Lord.

When she was removed from the skillet, the holy martyr seemed to be willing to offer sacrifice to the pagan god Hercules. The delighted emperor gave orders to take her off to the temple. When the saint prayed to God, a loud thunderclap was heard, and all the idols in the pagan temple fell and shattered. In a rage, the emperor ordered that Hermione be led out of the city and beheaded. Two servants, Theodulus and Theotimos, were entrusted to perform the execution. Since they were in such a hurry to execute the saint, not allowing her time for prayer, their hands withered. They immediately believed in Jesus Christ and with repentance fell at the feet of St. Hermione. They asked her to pray that the Lord would call them to Himself before her. This is what transpired, through her prayers. After this, she also fell asleep in the Lord.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)