Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Warrior Series: St. Hermias


Hermias grew old as an imperial soldier and in his old age suffered for Christ the King. Since the evil judge tried in vain to dissuade him from the Faith of Christ and counseling him to offer sacrifices to the idols, the judge then gave orders that his teeth be knocked out with a stone and the skin peeled from his face with a knife. After that they threw him into a fiery furnace but, by the Grace of God, he was saved and stood up. Following that, by order of the judge he drank a bitter poison which was given to him by a magician, but the poison did him no harm.

Witnessing this, the magician was so amazed that he openly confessed Christ for which he was immediately beheaded. Afterwards, they gouged out both of Hermias' eyes but he did not grieve and cried out to the judge: "Take for yourself these bodily eyes that gaze upon the vanity of the world. I have eyes of the heart by which I clearly see the light of the truth." He was hung then by the feet upside down and those who did this to him were blinded and staggered around him.

St. Hermeas beckoned them to come to him, laid his hands on them and, by prayer to the Lord, restored their sight. Witnessing all of this, the judge became as enraged as a lion, drew a knife and severed the head of this godly-man. Christians secretly removed the body of Hermeas and honorably buried it. His relics gave healing to all the sick and to the afflicted. St. Hermeas suffered in the year 166 A.D., during the reign of Emperor Antoninus.


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

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