Hieromartyr Autonomos was a Bishop in Italy. During the time of the persecution against Christians under emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD), St Autonomos left his own country and resettled in Bithynia, in the locality of Soreus with a man named Cornelius. St. Autonomos did his apostolic duty with zeal and converted to Christ so many pagans that a large Church was formed, for which he consecrated a temple in the name of Archangel Michael. For this church, the Saint at first ordained Cornelius as Deacon, and then Presbyter. Preaching about Christ, St. Autonomos visited also Lykaonia and Isauria. Emperor Diocletian gave orders to arrest St Autonomus, but the Saint withdrew to Claudiopolis on the Black Sea. In returning to Soreus, he had the Priest Cornelius ordained Bishop. St Autonomus then went to Asia, and when he had returned from there, he began to preach in the vicinity of Limna, near Soreus.
Once, the newly converted destroyed a pagan temple. The pagans decided to take revenge on the Christians. Seizing their chance, the pagans rushed upon the church of the Archangel Michael when St Autonomus was serving Divine Liturgy there. After torturing St Autonomuo they killed him, reddening the altar of the church with his blood. Deaconess Maria removed the body of the holy martyr from beneath a pile of stones and buried it.
During the reign of St Constantine the Great, a church was built over the tomb of the Saint. In 430 AD, a Priest had the old church pulled down not realizing that the martyr’s body was buried beneath it, and rebuilt the church in a new spot. However, after 60 years the relics of the Saint were found incorrupt, and a church was built in the name of the Hieromartyr Autonomos.
Dismissal Hymn (Second Tone)
O wise one, you initiated solemnly in matters divine, O Martyr, blessed Autonomos. You were made a pleasing sacrifice when you drank the cup of Christ; and while standing before Him now, you ceaselessly pray to Him for all of us.
Kontakion (Second Tone)
O Holy Martyr Autonomos, you served the Holy Mysteries faithfully and became an acceptable oblation while partaking of the Cup of Christ, do not cease to intercede for us all!