Miracle Working Icon of Mercurius Christ’s Martyr

In The Name Of The Father And The Son And The Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.

Great-martyr Mercurius ‹መርቆሬዎስ› (224–250) was a Christian saint and martyr. Born Philopater in the city of Eskentos in Cappadocia, Eastern Asia Minor, his original name means “lover of the Father”. Saint Mercurius is also known by the name Abu-Seifein, which in Arabic means, “the holder [literally, owns/possess] of two swords”, referring to a second sword given to him by the Archangel Michael.[1]

The Story of His Miraculous Icon

According to one tradition, Saint Basil once prayed before an icon on which Mercurius was portrayed as a soldier carrying a spear. He asked God not to permit the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) to return from his war against the Persians and resume his oppression of Christians.

The image of the holy Great Martyr Mercurius, depicted on the icon beside the image of the Most Holy Theotokos, became invisible, only to reappear later with a bloodied spear. Julian the Apostate, on his Persian campaign, was mortally wounded by the spear of an unknown soldier.[2]

The story from the Ethiopian Synaxarium that is read on Hidar 25 (December 04) tells this story as follows “. . . And some of his miracles took place when Julian, who denied our Lord Jesus Christ, was reigning, and in the days of Saint Basil, Bishop of the country of Caesarea and Cappadocia, even as it is written in one of the works of Saint Basil.

Now Julian the infidel had inflicted very great tribulation upon those who believed in our Lord Jesus Christ, and he was wroth with Saint Basil and shut him up in prison, and he multiplied his works against the believers.

 And Saint Basil gathered together the believers and he prayed and made entreaty unto God concerning Julian the infidel, and he made intercession with Saint Mercurius. And God heard his prayer and sent His great and holy martyr Mercurius, and he came riding upon a horse and he speared Julian the infidel with his spear in his head, and the emperor died an evil death during the war in the land of Persia.

 And when Saint Basil had seen this vision in the picture of Saint Mercurius he rejoiced with very great joy. And he came into the place wherein was the body of the great martyr Saint Mercurius, and whilst he was sitting down there and thinking about what he had seen, straightway the sword and the spear of Saint Mercurius returned to their places, and from them there dropped so much blood that the whole space beneath the picture of Saint Mercurius was full of it.

And straightway Saint Basil cried out and said, “O martyr of Christ, to Whom be glory! Hast thou indeed killed Julian the enemy of righteousness?” And Saint Mercurius in the picture bowed his head before the face of Saint Basil as much as to say, “Yea, I have killed him.” And Saint Basil multiplied his praises to God, and he paid Him honor and gave thanks unto Him.’’[3]

The Miracle performed by the Martyr’s Icon in the 21st C.

For the skeptics who might believe the above story is just a myth not an actual event that took place the Saint’s Icon [Figure 1] that is found in Ethiopia in a church dedicated to the saint performs miracle even today. The church is found 205 km north of Addis Abeba the capital of Ethiopia in the Tarmabere province. The church was founded in the reign of Amha Eysus by the Memhir Kebreab. And the Icon of saint Mercurius was given to this church by Ato Gebrehana Mersha in the 20th C.[4]

The Miracle working Icon of Saint Mercurius Killing  Julian the Apostate
The Miracle working Icon of Saint Mercurius Killing Julian the Apostate

The miracle performed by the Icon is when the clergy of the church start praising God the creator and the Martyr the Icon moves. Among the praise include:

Performer of Miracles (ገባሬ ተአምር) (5x)

  Mercurius (መርቆሬዎስ) Mercurius Mercurius performer of Miracles (ገባሬ ተአምር) (2x)

A short video which shows the Icon moving is provided below.

HD format

Low resolution Format

May the prayer of Mercurius keep the entire Believers’ of Christ and the Church.


© Hailemariam Shimelis Hamle, 2007 E.C. (August 2015)


[1] Saint Mercurius. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Greatmartyr Mercurius of Caesarea, in Cappadocia. Orthodox Church in America. http://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/11/24/103383-greatmartyr-mercurius-of-caesarea-in-cappadocia

[3] The Book of the Saints of The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Translation of Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. Printed by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Debre Meheret St. Michael Church Garland, TX USA. P 162.

[4] Finot Gedamat number 2. VCD


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