Hieromartyrs Hermolaos, Hermippos and Hermokrates of Nikomedia, were among the small number of those remaining alive after 20,000 Christians were burned alive in a church at Nikomedia in the year 303 (December 28), on the orders of the emperor Maximian (284-305). They lived in remote places and did not cease to preach Christianity to the pagans.
The young pagan named Pantoleon (Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon, July 27) often passed by the house in which St Hermolaos had concealed himself. Once St Hermolaos chanced to meet the youth and asked him to stop by his house. In their conversation St Hermolaos began to explain to his guest the falseness, impiety and vanity of worshipping the pagan gods. From that day on, Pantoleon began to visit St Hermolaos daily and received holy Baptism from him.
When the trial of the holy Great Martyr Panteleimon was being held, Sts Hermolaos, Hermippos and Hermokrates, were also arrested. The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to St Hermolaos one evening and revealed to him that on the following day he would suffer for Him and receive a martyr’s crown.
Sts Hermippos and Hermokrates were arrested and brought to trial after St Hermolaos. All three were given the chance to deny Christ and offer sacrifice to idols. But they resolutely refused, confessed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and were prepared gladly to die for Him.
The pagans began to threaten the holy priests with torture and death. Suddenly, a strong earthquake occurred, and the idols and pagan temple collapsed and shattered. This was reported to the emperor. The enraged Maximian gave the holy martyrs over to torture and pronounced upon them a sentence of death. Bravely enduring all the torments, the holy Hieromartyrs Hermolaos, Hermippos and Hermokrates were beheaded in about the year 305.