The Holy Martyred Bishops of Cherson: Basileus, Ephraim, Eugene, Capito, Aetherius, Agathodorus, and Elpidius
These holy Bishops were sent to Cherson on the Black Sea by Hermon, Bishop of Jerusalem, in the days of Diocletian, about the year 300 A.D., to preach the Gospel.
Saints Ephraim and Basileos were first sent by Bishop Hermon, and Basileos raised the dead son of the Prince of Cherson to life, after which many believed and were baptized. Unbelievers, though, bound him by the feet and dragged him through the streets until he died. Ephraim was beheaded when he refused to make sacrifice to the idols.
The Bishop of Jerusalem then sent Eugenios, Agathodoros, and Elpidios, who were beaten to death with rods and stones. Saint Aetherios was sent during the reign of Constantine the Great, was able to govern the Church in freedom and peace, and to build a church in Cherson. He was drowned.
Saint Capito, the last Bishop sent, brought the Gospel to the fierce Scythians. To prove the power of his God, they asked him to go into a burning furnace, saying that if he were not consumed, they would believe. Putting all his trust in God, the holy Bishop vested himself, made the sign of the Cross, and entered the furnace. He stood in the flames, fervently praying, for an hour, and came out untouched. The spectators cried out, “There is one God, the great and powerful God of the Christians, who keeps His servant safe in the burning furnace!” All those in the town and the surrounding countryside were then baptized, and the miracle was spoken of at the Synod of Nicea (325 A.D.). Later, Scythian unbelievers captured Capito and drowned him in the River Dnieper.
Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of First Tone)
Since You have hast given us the miracles of Your holy Martyrs as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strengthen the faith of Orthodox Christians, since Thou alone art good and the Friend of man.
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