Commemorated on March 31, November 16
Ipatios, Bishop of Gangra, was bishop of the city of Gangra in Paphlagonia
(Asia Minor). In the year 325 he participated in the I OEcumenical Council at
Nicea, at which the heresy of Arius was given anathema.
When Saint Ipatios
was returning in 326 from Constantinople to Gangra, followers of the
schismatics Novatus and Felicissimus fell upon him in a desolate place. The
heretics ran him through with swords and spears, and threw him from an high
bank into a swamp. Like the First-martyr Arch-deacon Stephen, Saint Ipatios
prayed for his murderers. A certain Arian woman struck the saint on the head
with a stone, and he died. The murderers hid his body in a cave, where a
christian who kept straw there found his body. Recognising the body of the
bishop, he hastened to report about this in the city, and the inhabitants of
Gangra piously buried the remains of their beloved arch-pastor.
After death the
relics of Saint Ipatios won reknown for numerous miracles, in particular the
casting out of demons and for healing the sick.
From of old the
Priestmartyr Ipatios was particularly venerated in the Russian land. Thus in
the year 1330 was built at Kostroma the Ipatiev monastery, on the place of an
appearance of the Mother of God with the Pre-eternal Christ-Child and saints
that were present – the Apostle Philip and the Priestmartyr Ipatios, bishop of
Gangra. This monastery afterwards occupied a significant place in the spiritual
and social life of the nation, particularly during the years of the Time of
Troubles. The old-time copies of the Vita of the Priestmartyr Ipatios were
widely distributed in Russian literature, and one of these entered into the
compiling of the Chet'i Minei [Reading Menaion] of Metropolitan Makarii
(1542-1564). In this Vita was preserved an account about the appearance of the
Saviour to Saint Ipatios on the eve of the martyr's death. The veneration to
the saint consists of prayers, words of praise and teaching on the day of his
memory. The pious veneration of Sainted Ipatios was also expressed in the
liturgical works of Russian authors. During the XIX Century was written a new
service to the Priestmartyr Ipatios, distinct from the services written by the
Monk Joseph the Studite, contained in the March Menaion.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.