Commemoration of Pontiff St. Pokas and St. Yeranos
Pontiff St. Pokas (Phocas) was the Bishop of the town Sinop located on the shore of the Bleak Sea. He lived in the town Paplagonia and was a gardener. His doors were always open before the foreigners, the poor and the needy. Since childhood he was granted divine grace and worked many wonders. According to hagiographic sources he drove away the demons, recovered the eyesight of the blind, and shared his property with the poor. When he already was the Bishop of Sinop, he is persecuted for being Christian. The soldiers of the King Trayanos are ordered to kill Pokas wherever they meet him. St. Pokas receives the soldiers in his house, entertains them to dinner, and then tells the soldiers that he is the person whom they are seeking. The soldiers, who were pleased with the hospitality and the attitude of St Pokas, persuade Pokas to betray his faith. However, Pokas does not betray Christ and is martyred in 117 A. D.
St. Yeranos (Bishop Irenios (Irenaeus) of Lyons) was born in Aegean Sea region. His teacher was the Pontiff St. Polikarpos of Smyrnia. St. Yeranos has studied in Rome, and then was ordained as a priest. After the martyrdom of the Bishop of Lyon St. Yeranos has succeeded him.
St. Yeranos is the first great theologian of the East and he is the last link binding the Apostolic Fathers with the Church Fathers of the next centuries. The Armenian Haysmavourk testifies that during the reign of Septimos Severos, St. Yeranos has courageously spoken before the judges about Christ, for which he has been subjected to torments and has been martyred in 2002 A. D. He is the author of the famous valuable work: “Against Schismatics”.
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