Agathodorus of Cherson

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Hieromartyr Agathodorus of Cherson was one of seven bishops of the fourth century, known collectively as the Hieromartyrs of Cherson, who carried the Gospel of Christ into the northwest area of the Black Sea. Of the seven, all but one were martyred while pursuing their missionary activities. Agathodorus is commemorated with his two companions and the four other bishops on March 7.

During the first decade of the fourth century a bishop's see was established at Cherson, a trading settlement on the Crimean peninsula. Missionary activity in the Black Sea was encouraged by Hermon, the Bishop of Jerusalem who sent many bishops to preach the Gospel in the various lands of the Black Sea. Beginning that decade, he sent a series of missionary bishops to Cherson to preach Christ's Gospel.

A year after the martyrdom of St. Basil, three of his compatriots, Bishops Eugene, Elpidius, and Agathodorus, stopped their preaching in the Hellespont, an area now known as the Dardanelles, and travelled through the Black Sea to Cherson, at what is now Crimea. There, they continued St. Basil's holy work. Enduring many hardships and tribulation they preaching to the pagans the Word of God for the salvation of their souls. On March 7, 311, however, the pagans attacked them and stoned them to death.


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