Commemorated on October 22nd
St Averkios, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Wonderworker of Hierapolis
St Averkios, the Holy Equal of the Apostles, Bishop and Wonderworker of Hieropolis lived in the second century in Phrygia. The city of Hieropolis was inhabited by many pagans and very few Christians. The Saint prayed to the Lord for the salvation of their souls and that they might be numbered among God's chosen flock. An angel appeared and bade St Averkios to destroy the idols in the pagan temple. He fulfilled the command of God with zeal. Hearing that the idol-worshippers wanted to kill him, the Saint went to the place where the people had gathered and openly denounced the failings of the pagans. The pagans tried to seize the Saint.
At this moment three demon-possessed youths in the crowd cried out. The people were dumbfounded, as the Saint expelled the devils from them by his prayers. Seeing the youths restored to normal, the people of Hieropolis asked St Averkios to instruct them in the Christian Faith, and then they accepted Holy Baptism.
After this the Saint went to the surrounding cities and villages, healing the sick and preaching the Kingdom of God. With his preaching he made the rounds of Syria, Cilicia, Mesopotamia, he visited Rome and everywhere he converted multitudes of people to Christ. For many years he guarded the Church against heretics, he confirmed Christians in the Faith, he set the prodigal upon the righteous path, he healed the sick and proclaimed the glory of Christ. Because of his great works, St Abercius is termed "Equal of the Apostles".
St Averkios returned home to Hieropolis, where he soon rested from his labours. After his death, many miracles took place at his tomb. He wrote his own epitaph, and it was carved on his tombstone, which is now in the Lateran Museum.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
The truth of things has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Averkios, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
The Church of all the faithful acclaims you, O Averkios, as a great priest and a worthy companion of the twelve Apostles of the Lord. By your prayers, O blest Hierarch, keep the Church safe from every vain-minded heresy, unconquered and unshaken for ever, O most wondrous one.