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Abercius, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Wonderworker of Hierapolis

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October 22

Reading:

Saint Abercius, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia in the times of Marcus Aurelius, was adorned with the grace of wonderworking and with apostolic zeal. During a festival in honour of Apollo, the chief deity of Hierapolis, the holy bishop was instructed in a revelation to destroy the idols. He went to the temple by night and overturned the statues of Apollo and the others. When this was discovered, the Saint boldly cried out that the gods, becoming drunk from the wine of the libations offered them, had struck one against another in their confusion. A multitude of furious pagans came to avenge the insult to their gods, but when the Saint cast the demons out of three afflicted young men, fear fell upon the idolaters and they with the whole city became Christian. After many labours, and afflictions, Saint Abercius reposed in peace about the year 167 (or, according to some, 186).

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Abercius, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

The Church of all the faithful doth acclaim thee, O Abercius, as a great priest and a worthy companion of the twelve Apostles of the Lord. By thy prayers, O blest Hierarch, keep the Church safe from every vain-minded heresy, unconquered and unshaken for ever, O thou most wondrous one.