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Two Roman Martyrs Who Suffered in Belgrade

Sts. Hermylus and Stratonicus: Channels of God's Strength

Sts Hermylus and Stratonicus

Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus were holy men of Slavic descent who suffered in the Roman city of Singidunum (now Belgrade) during the reign of Emperor Licinius. Hermylus served in the city as a deacon. Stratonicus was a Roman guard and a secret Christian. He declared his faith at the sight of the cruel torments to which his friend was subjected and shared his fate.

For being a deacon, Hermylius was put into prison. There, his captors subjected him to regular torments to make him renounce Christ and worship Pagan Gods. Yet, despite the ill-treatment, Jermylius did not yield. He despised the Pagan gods, calling them dumb, deaf and blind, bringing upon himself more torments on orders from Emperor Licinius. He foretold Licinius’ death from terrible wounds. Licinius did not relent, was defeated in a battle and was executed on orders of his successor.

Despite the change of power, Hermilius still appeared before a trial and was offered to make a sacrifice to an idol or face torture thousands of times more brutal than he had already endured. He prayed to the Lord for the strength to live through whatever was coming, and suddenly heard a voice from heaven promising him delivery from all pain in three days and a reward in heaven. His guards heard the voice, too. Terrified, they fell prostrate on the ground and took the martyr back to prison.

After three days Hermylus was brought before the tribunal again and asked whether he would avoid more torture by offering sacrifice. The saint replied that he would offer worship and sacrifice only to the true God.

At this point, Saint Stratonicus declared his Christian faith, and also suffered cruel retribution. Both were tortured, put in a net and thrown into the River Danube. Christians found their remains three days later on the banks of the Danube near Singidunum.

January 26, 2024
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