The holy and glorious Martyr and Unmercenary physician Hermione is remembered by the Church on September 4.
Born in Caesarea of Palestine early in the first century, St. Hermione was a daughter of Saint Philip the Deacon (Acts, chapter 6). Inspired by a true understanding of the gospel, she studied the philosophy of medicine in her native city. After the Christians were driven out of Palestine, St. Hermione traveled to Ephesus to seek out the St. John the Evangelist, but arrived too late as he had already departed this life.
St. Hermione bought a house and founded a medical clinic, devoted to the treatment of the poor and the homeless. Joined by her sister Eukhidia, she added rooms for these homeless ones and for poor travelers who were ill. Thus was established the first of those hospital-hostels or xenodukia, which would become so much a part of the Orthodox Christian tradition. Like the other unmercenary physicians who would come after her, she understood that salvation consisted in the healing and liberation of the whole person—body and soul together. While ministering to the physical illnesses of those who came to her, the saint also nourished them with the gospel and led them to that true healing and freedom in Jesus Christ.
Filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, St. Hermione was given the gift of prophecy. She became a link in the chain of New Testament prophets who were united in spirit and calling with the great Old Testament prophets.
During the reign of Emperors Trajan and Hadrian, she was arrested. In spite of her old age she was subjected to tortures to force her to renounce her faith. She was beheaded on September 4.
Through her holy prayers, may we also find healing and salvation.
- "Lives of the Saints," Vol. 11, Synaxis Press.