Commemorated on November 7
The Holy Martyr
Hieron was born in the city of Tiana in great Cappadocia. Raised by a pious
mother, he was a kindly and good Christian.
emperors Diocletian and Maximian (284-305) sent to Cappadocia a large military
detachment headed by Lyzias to eradicate the wide-spread Christianity there,
and also, to conscript into the imperial army healthy and strong soldiers.
Amidst the many others, Lyzias gave orders also to draft into military service
Hieron, who was distinguished by his great physical strength and dexterity. But
Hieron refused to serve emperors who would persecute Christians. When they
attempted to grab hold of him by force and bring him to Lyzias, he took hold a
beam of wood, and sent scattering the soldiers who had been sent to bring him.
He then hid himself away in a cave, together with eighteen others of like mind.
Lyzias would not risk losing his soldiers assaulting the cave even by storming
it. Upon the advice of Kyriakos, one of the friends of Hieron, Lyzias lifted
the siege of the cave and withdrew his detachment. Then Kyriakos, having
reassured Hieron, persuaded him not to offer resistance to the authorities; and
he together with the other new conscripts amidst accompanying soldiers were
dispatched to the nearby city of Meletina. Soon Hieron had a vision in his
sleep, in which was foretold him his imminent martyr's end. Lyzias proposed to
the soldiers gathered at Meletina that they offer sacrifice to the pagan gods.
Hieron and behind him another 32 soldiers refused to do this, and openly they
confessed their faith in Christ. Then the persecutor gave orders to beat the
martyrs, and to cut off the hand of Hieron. After cruel tortures they threw the
barely alive martyrs into prison, and in the morning they beheaded them.
A certain rich and
illustrious Christian by the name of Chrysanthos ransomed the head of Hieron
from Lyzias. And when the persecutions finally ceased, he built a church on the
place where they executed the holy martyrs, and he placed the venerable head
therein. The bodies of all the executed saints were secretly buried by
Christians. During the reign of the emperor Justinian later on, amidst the
construction of a church in the name of Saint Irene, the venerable relics were
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.