Friday, November 25, 2011

St. Mercurius the Great Martyr of Caesarea

St. Mercurius the Great Martyr of Caesarea - Commemorated on November 24th or 25th (
When Emperor Decius once waged war against the barbarians, there was in his army the commander of an Armenian regiment called the Martenesians. This commander was named Mercurius. In battle, an angel of the Lord appeared to Mercurius, placed a sword in his hand, and assured him of victory over his enemies. Indeed, Mercurius displayed wonderful courage, mowing down the enemy like grass. Following this glorious victory Emperor Decius made him chief commander of his army, but envious men reported Mercurius to the emperor for being a Christian, a fact which he did not hide but openly acknowledged before the emperor. Mercurius was tortured harshly and at length; he was cut into strips with knives and burned with fire. An angel of God appeared to him in prison and healed him. Finally, the emperor proclaimed that General Mercurius be beheaded in Cappadocia. When they beheaded him, his body became as white as snow and emitted a most wonderful incense-like fragrance. His miracle-working relics healed many of the sick. This most wonderful soldier of Christ suffered for the Faith sometime between the years 251 and 259 and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of his King and God.
For the vision that St. Basil the Great had of St. Mercurius the Great Martyr, and the deposition of Julian the Apostate, see:
The martyrdom of St. Mercurius the Great Martyr (
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (amateur translations below)
O heavenly Angel, and safe guide towards far-seen glory, as you partake of light which you bear, O Mercurius. Therefore you were obedient to the immortal King, struggling beyond nature as a brave soldier. Protect those who hasten to you, O blessed one.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Arrayed with the power of Christ as a divine breastplate, you who struggled manfully, enlighten those who chant: hail O boast of Martyrs, Mercurius.
St. Mercurius the Great Martyr of Caesarea (
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

No comments: