The Martyr Hyppolitus

Commemorated on August 13

      The Martyr Hyppolitus was a chief prison guard at Rome under the emperors Decius and Valerian (249-259). He was converted to Christ by the Martyr Lawrence (Comm. 10 August), and he gave burial to the martyr's body.
      They reported about this to the emperor, who had Saint Hyppolitus arrested and, in mockery, asked: "Art thou then into sorcery, to have stolen away the body of Lawrence?" The saint confessed himself a Christian. They began to beat at him fiercely with canes. In answer they heard only the repeated words: "I am a Christian". The emperor gave orders to clothe Saint Hyppolitus in his soldier's attire and said: "Be mindful of thy calling and be our friend, offer sacrifice to the gods together with us, just as before". But the martyr answered: "I am a soldier of Christ, my Saviour, and I do desire to die for Him". They then confiscated all his property, and whipped his foster-mother, the Martyress Concordia, with olive switches, and they beheaded all his household before the very eyes of Saint Hyppolitus. The saint himself they tied to wild horses, which dragged him over the stones to his death. This occurred on 13 August 258, the third day after the martyr's death of Archdeacon Lawrence, just as he had predicted it to Saint Hyppolitus.
      By night presbyter Justin gave burial to all the martyrs at the place of execution. But the body of Saint Concordia had been thrown into an unclean place at Rome. After a certain while two Christians, the Martyrs Ireneius and Avundius, learned from a certain soldier where the body of the martyress had been thrown, and they buried it alongside Saint Hyppolitus. For this, on 26 August they were drowned, just as had been the martyress. Christians by night took up the bodies of the martyrs and buried them by the relics of the holy Archdeacon Lawrence.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.