Science of the Saints, 18-III-2019 (5 Mar.), The Holy Martyr Conon the Gardener

The Holy Martyr Conon of Isauria was born in Bethany, a village situated alongside the Asia Minor city of Isauria, the people of which had accepted the Christian faith from the Apostle Paul. Saint Conon from the time of his youthful years was accorded the special protection of the “Archistrategos” (“Leader of the Heavenly Hosts”) Michael, who appeared to him and assisted him in many a difficult circumstance in life.

At the insistence of his parents, Conon was betrothed to a maiden named Anna, whom he persuaded after the wedding to remain a virgin. The young spouses lived as brother and sister, devoting themselves entirely to God. Saint Conon brought also his parents to the Christian faith. His father, Saint Nestor, accepted a martyr’s end for denouncing idol worshippers.

Having early given burial likewise to both his mother and wife, Saint Conon continued his service to God, devoting himself entirely to monastic works, fasting and prayer. In his declining years the holy ascetic was glorified with the gift of wonderworking. By virtue of his preaching and miracles many a pagan was converted to Christ.

When a persecution against Christians started in Isauria, one of the first to suffer was Saint Conon. They subjected him to fierce torments for his refusal to offer sacrifice to idols. But the people of Isauria, learning about the tortures to which the saint was being subjected, marched out with arms in hand in defense of the martyr. Frightened off by the people’s wrath, the torturers fled, and the Isaurians found the martyr wounded and bloodied at the place of torture. Saint Conon desired in all this that he be granted to accept a martyr’s end for the Lord.

Two years afterwards Saint Conon died peacefully and was buried alongside his parents and wife.

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