Science of the Saints, 11 May, The Holy Hieromartyr Mocius

Saint Mocius was a presbyter in Macedonia in the city of Amphypolis. During a time of persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Mocius exhorted the pagans, who had assembled for the pagan feast to the divinity Dionysos (Bacchus), to forsake iniquity and the vile customs which accompanied this solemnity, and to repent and be converted to the Lord Jesus Christ and be cleansed through holy baptism.

The saint was brought to trial to the governor of Laodiceia; he confessed before him the true faith, and against the threats he answered: “My death for Christ is a great accomplishment for me.”

Saint Mocius was subjected to torture, which he bore with marvelous endurance, and in no wise ceasing to denounce the idol-worshippers. Taken to the pagan temple of Dionysos, the saint shattered the idols with the Name of Jesus Christ. After this he was put into a red-hot oven, where he remained unharmed, but the flames coming out of the oven scorched the governor.

And again the assigned commander subjected Saint Mocius to fierce torture, which with the help of God he stoically endured; given for devouring by wild beasts, he remained unharmed – the lions but lay down at the feet of the saint. The people, having witnessed such miracles, began to urge that the saint be set free. The governor ordered the saint to be sent to the city of Perinth, and from there to Byzantium, where Saint Mocius was executed. Before his death he gave thanks to the Lord, for having bestown upon him the strength to go to the very end with the act of martyrdom. “Lord, receive my spirit in peace,” were his last words, after which he was beheaded. Saint Mocius died in about the year 295. Later on, the emperor Constantine built a church in honour of the Hieromartyr Mocius and transferred his holy passion-bearing relics into it.

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