The Holy PriestMartyr Konon (Conon)
Commemorated on March 6
PriestMartyr Konon (Conon) lived in Iconium (Asia Minor). Having become a
widower, he withdrew with his seven year old son to a monastery. By his pious
life the saint was granted help from above – he cast out devils, he healed the
sick, gave sight to the blind, and preached the teaching of Christ amongst the
pagans, converting many. Reports about him reached the governor Dometian, a
persecutor of Christians. Saint Konon was brought to trial and they directed
him to offer sacrifice to idols, but the preacher would not and he was handed
over for tortures. At the trial was brought also the seventeen year old son of
the martyr – Deacon Konon. After deceitful persuasions failed to get him to
renounce the True Faith, both father and son were subjected to cruel tortures:
having stripped and laid them on a red-hot cot, they drenched them with hot
oil, they threw them in a cauldron with boiling tin, sulfur and tar, they
suspended them upside down and scorched them with a choking smoke, – but
preserved by Heavenly power, the martyrs remained unharmed. The shamed
torturers in a rage then resorted to an horrid means to destroy the preachers
– to saw them up with a wooden saw. Learning of this sentence, the saints
asked time for prayer and they cried out to the Lord: "We give thanks to
Thee, O Lord, for vouchsafing us to suffer for Thine Name! We beseech Thee,
grant peace unto Thine Church, put to shame its persecutors, strengthen and
increase those believing in Thee, grant us to come unto Thee and give peace
unto our souls".
And there resounded the Voice of God from the sky, summoning up the holy sufferers. Having signed themselves with the Sign of the Cross, the holy martyrs consigned their souls to the Lord. And at once an earthquake happened, and all the idolous temples in the city collapsed.
Monks secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs at the monastery, where the saints during life had asceticised. This occurred during the reign of Aurelian in the years 270-275. The relics of the holy martyrs were later on transferred to Italy, to the city of Acerno (Campania).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.