Holy Hieromartyr Elladios

May 27

Elladios (Helladius), the sacred hieromartyr, purified of every pollution, became a vessel of the Holy Spirit. By God’s good pleasure, he was anointed high priest and assumed the steering-paddle of the ship of the holy Church of Christ. Regrettably, there is no information extant to let us know either to what century he belonged or to which see he was consecrated. Since the divine office for the day mentions that he refused to sacrifice to the idols, we understand that the tyrant was a pagan. The introductory two lines of Greek verse given before his short biography indicate that he was adorned with the oil of the priesthood and that he shed his blood as a martyr. The icon from the 16th-C. wall painting at Meteora depicts him making the sign of the Cross as the executioners brutally administer a thrashing with clubs.

He was a good shepherd to the flock entrusted to him by Christ. He drove away the noetic wolves, that is to say, the heretics and the ungodly, who relish devouring the rational sheep. As a sensible and prudent steersman, he kept watch over the vessel of the Church. He secured the ship and kept her sailing on a straight course against swells and stormy winds.

When the hallowed bishop was led before the tyrant, he shone forth with more splendor. Neither straits nor circumstances brought about by his arrest and hearing caused him to lose the opportunity to enlighten the minds of the faithful. He valiantly and rapidly went forth to the stadium of martyrdom. With exceedingly candor and freedom of speech, he proclaimed piety and the coessential divinity of the Trinity. The ungodly, according to the divine office to this saint, offered him a gold diadem of precious stones which he roundly refused. The ever-memorable one was condemned to manifold tortures, which resulted in the merciless laceration of his body. Since his souls received pleasure rather than repugnance from the rack, his countenance appeared like a rose. He, thus, in an aged body struggled in the contest as a ruddy-faced youth. He was returned to the prison, where his face shone as the sun; for the Master Christ appeared to him. Jesus gazed upon him and healed his grievous and open wounds. His fetters were rent asunder as thought they were a spider’s web. This visitation increased Elladios’ eagerness and willingness to undergo further torments.

The resilient disposition of the hierarch infuriated the tyrant. He cast the hierarch into the flames in order to dispose of him, but Elladios stood in the midst of the fire and remained, by the grace and cooling dew of God, unburned and untouched. Witnessing this miraculous phenomenon brought shame to some of the ungodly, but many of the unbelievers were attracted to the truth of the Faith of Christ. Afterward, Elladios was subjected to harsher chastisements and blows. But again, he feared neither fire nor sword. Today’s hymns tell us that he was dragged upon the ground and endured the excruciating piercing of his heels, spilling much blood. He finally surrendered his soul into the hands of God and, thus, received the crown of martyrdom.

Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, May. Holy Apostles Convent, 2006.

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