The Holy PriestMartyr Konon (Conon)

Commemorated on March 6

      The Holy 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.