St Philopateer Mecorius
St. Philopateer Mercurius was born in 225 A.D. of pagan parents in the city of Eskentos in Cappadocia in Eastern Asia Minor (a region of the ancient world that corresponds to modern day Turkey). The name Philopateer is a Greek word that means lover of the father. (Patyr = father, Philo = love). One day during animal hunting in the forest, his father had a vision informing him of the coming of a newborn son. Shortly after, his father and mother were baptized and became Christians.
Reaching the age of 17, Philopateer already joined the Roman army, and soon enough gained a great reputation as a swordsman, and a good tactician for many battles. After the death of his father, the pagan king Decius chose Mercurius to lead the army against the Barbarians. After several days of fighting, the Archangel Michael appeared to him and gave him a shining sword that helped him to conquer the Barbarians. When Decius heard the news about the triumphant victory, he was very pleased. He appointed Mercurius prince and gave him many honorable medals. Thereafter, at 25 years of age, Mercurius was given the title “Supreme Commander Of all the Roman Armies”.
In 249 A.D. Decius blasphemed against Christ and started persecuting the Christians. He issued a decree compelling everyone to offer sacrifices to his pagan gods. When St. Philopateer refused to offer sacrifices, Decius started a chain of torture that ended with the cutting off of his head on the 4th of December in the year 250 A.D