The Martyrdom of St. Hepatius, Bishop of Gangra
On this day also St. Hepatius, Bishop of Gangra, in the province of Paphlognia (Pavlagonia), was martyred. He was in the early part of the fourth century, and he attended the first Universal Council at Nicea, year 325 A.D. He was one of the great fathers that defended the Divinity of the Word of God and His equality with His Father in essence, and refuted the error of the heresies of Arius, Appolonius, Novatius and others.
God had honored him with the gift of performing wonders, and was called the wonder worker. One of his wonders, during the days of Emperor Constans the son of Constantine the great: A beast entered the royal barns. The Emperor sent to the Saint asking him to go to the barns and kill that beast. The holy shepherd went there and after he prayed, he asked the servants to collect firewood in the yard of the city and put it on fire and they did. The Saint took his staff and put it in the beast's mouth and led it to the fire and it was burnt. As a commemoration of this miracle the Emperor ordered to hang the saint's picture over the doors of the barns.
On his way back, from Nicea after attending the first Universal Council, to Gangra, a group of heretics were waiting for him by the road, attacked him, stoned him and he was martyred (On the 31st. day of March) then threw his body in a hay barn. When the people of the city of Gangra knew of the departure of their good shepherd, they went in hast to the place where he was martyred and took the holy remains with great honor and buried him in the city.
May his blessings be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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