Saint Hypatius

Not much is known about the life of Saint Hypatius. Legend has it that he came from the noble Zvanba family and participated in the First Council of Nicaea (May-August 325). Saint Hypatius became renowned for defending the imperial treasury of Constantine the Great (circa 272 – May 22, 337) from a huge snake that had penetrated the palace and barred access to the treasury chambers. Upon hearing about the miraculous power of Saint Hypatius, the emperor summoned him to the capital and greeted him with honors upon his arrival. After reciting a long prayer, Saint Hypatius asked to build a huge furnace in the field where equestrian contests were held and to ignite a fire in it. He entered the treasury building and struck the snake lying there several times with his staff. The emperor and his courtiers watched these events from afar, petrified with horror. “In the name of my Lord,” he commanded the beast, “follow me!” And the huge snake seized the staff with its teeth and crawled after the saint. Hypatius led the snake to the field to the blazing furnace. “In the name of Christ, whom I, unworthy, preach, I command you to crawl into the fire!” The snake obediently jumped into the blazing furnace and was burned in it. On the way back from Constantinople, an attack was made on Saint Hypatius. Heretics threw him off the road into the mud; one of the women participating in the attack struck him on the head with a stone and killed him. This woman went mad and struck herself with the same stone. When they brought her to the grave of Saint Hypatius, he showed mercy to her and healed her. After that, this woman lived the rest of her life in repentance and prayer.

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