Saint Artemon was a presbyter in the church of Laodicea. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began his fierce persecution against Christians, Saint Artemon was already old.
One day the pagan commander of Laodicea Patricius along the way to Caesarea encountered St Artemon, who was followed by six wild donkeys and two deer.
When Patricius asked how he was able to control these wild beasts, St Artemon replied that he held them with the Word of Christ.
Patricius learned from the pagans that the old man was a Christian priest. He ordered that Artemon be arrested and taken to the city of Caesarea. St Artemon went with the soldiers without fear, but he ordered the animals to go to St Sisinius Bishop of Laodicea.
Seeing the animals Bishop Sisinius asked, “Why have these animals come here?” A doe received the gift of speech from God and said, “The servant of God Artemon is being held by the impious Patricius, and is being brought to Caesarea in chains. He commanded us to come here to give you this news.” The bishop sent his deacon Phileas to Caesarea who verified the given information by the doe.
Do not be astonished that the Lord, Who opened the mouth of Balaam’s ass (Num. 22:28), also permited the doe to speak.
Saint Artemon was beheaded in the year 303. We commemorate his memory on March 24.