Commemorated on August 13
Hyppolitus was a chief prison guard at Rome under the emperors Decius and
Valerian (249-259). He was converted to Christ by the Martyr Lawrence (Comm. 10
August), and he gave burial to the martyr's body.
They reported about
this to the emperor, who had Saint Hyppolitus arrested and, in mockery, asked:
"Art thou then into sorcery, to have stolen away the body of
Lawrence?" The saint confessed himself a Christian. They began to beat at
him fiercely with canes. In answer they heard only the repeated words: "I
am a Christian". The emperor gave orders to clothe Saint Hyppolitus in his
soldier's attire and said: "Be mindful of thy calling and be our friend,
offer sacrifice to the gods together with us, just as before". But the
martyr answered: "I am a soldier of Christ, my Saviour, and I do desire to
die for Him". They then confiscated all his property, and whipped his
foster-mother, the Martyress Concordia, with olive switches, and they
beheaded all his household before the very eyes of Saint Hyppolitus. The saint
himself they tied to wild horses, which dragged him over the stones to his
death. This occurred on 13 August 258, the third day after the martyr's death
of Archdeacon Lawrence, just as he had predicted it to Saint Hyppolitus.
By night presbyter
Justin gave burial to all the martyrs at the place of execution. But the body
of Saint Concordia had been thrown into an unclean place at Rome. After a
certain while two Christians, the Martyrs Ireneius and Avundius, learned
from a certain soldier where the body of the martyress had been thrown, and
they buried it alongside Saint Hyppolitus. For this, on 26 August they were
drowned, just as had been the martyress. Christians by night took up the bodies
of the martyrs and buried them by the relics of the holy Archdeacon Lawrence.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.