Today, Thursday, January 13, our Church commemorates the Martyrs Hermylus the Deacon and Stratonicus, who lived during the reign of Emperor Licinius (308-323 AD).
Emperor Licinius started the persecution against Christians around 320 AD in order to please the pagans who disliked Constantine the Great.
Saint Hermylus was a deacon. When he appeared before the emperor and confessed his faith in Christ, he was brutally tortured for his faith.
Among those present at the time of his martyrdom was his friend, Saint Stratonicus, who suffered greatly for his friend’s torture. While witnessing the martyrdom of Saint Hermylus, Saint Stratonicus tearfully prayed to God.
Then the executioners realized that Stratonicus was also a Christian. They were ordered to arrest him and forced to renounce his faith in Christ. He strongly resisted and followed the path of a good confession.
Saint Stratonicus was martyred for his love in Christ. They beat him and then threw him along with Ermylus into the Istros River (modern Danube), where both Soldiers of Christ were martyred and received the wreath of martyrdom.
After having been informed of the events, some Christian faithful were searching the sacred relics of the two saints. When they found them somewhere on the river after three days, they buried them together.
Source: Church of Cyprus