SAINT MARTYR MYRON (August 17)
The Lord said: “They will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life. (Lk. 21, 12-19)
The Holy Martyr Myron was a priest in the Achaia region of Greece, and lived during the third century. He suffered in the year 250 under the persecution unleashed by the Emperor Decius (249-251). He was gentle and kind to people, but he was also courageous in the defense of his spiritual children. On the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy. The local governor, Antipater, came into the church with soldiers and arrested the congregation so as to subject them to torture. St Myron began to plead for his flock, accusing the governor of cruelty, and for this the saint was delivered over to be tortured. The church was razed.
They took St Myron and struck his body with iron rods. They then threw Myron into a red-hot oven, but the Lord preserved the martyr, Even so, about 150 men standing
nearby were scorched by the fire. The governor then insisted that the martyr worship idols. St. Myron firmly refused to do this, so Antipater ordered that strips of the martyr's skin be cut from him. In defiance, St Myron took one of the strips of his own skin and threw it in the face of his tormentor.
Falling into a rage, Antipater gave orders to strike St Myron all over his stripped body, and then to give the martyr to wild beasts to be eaten. The beasts would not touch him, however. Seeing himself defeated, Antipater in his blind rage committed suicide. It was then that Antipater's men took St Myron to the city of Cyzicus, where he was beheaded by the sword at the orders of the proconsul there.