Hieromartyr Capiton of Cherson

The Hieromartyrs Capiton, Eugene, Basil, Ephraim, Elpidius, Agathodorus and Aetherius carried the Gospel of Christ into the North Black Sea region from the Danube to the Dniepr, including the Crimea. They were bishops of Cherson at different times during the fourth century, and they sealed their apostolic activity with martyrdom. Only Aetherius died in peace.

The holy emperor Constantine sent Bishop Capiton to Cherson to replace St Aetherius. The Christians met him with joy, but the pagans demanded a sign from the new bishop, so they might believe in the God Whom he preached. Placing all his hope on the Lord, St Capiton put on his omophorion and went into a burning furnace. He prayed in the fire for about an hour, and emerged from it unharmed. “Shall anyone bind fire in his bosom, and not burn his garments?” Solomon asks (Prov. 6:27). St Capiton carried red-hot coals in his phelonion, yet neither his body nor his garments were scorched. Many of the unbelievers were then persuaded in the power of the Christian God.

This miracle and the great faith of St Capiton were reported to St Constantine and the holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council (325), and they all glorified God.

After several years St Capiton journeyed to Constantinople on business, but the ship encountered a storm at the mouth of the Dniepr River. The local people (pagans) seized the ship and drowned all those on board, including St Capiton. Although this occurred on December 21, St Capiton is commemorated with the other hieromartyrs of Cherson on March 7.