Hieromartyr Aetherius of Cherson

The Hieromartyrs Aetherius, Basil, Ephraim, Eugene, Elpidius, Agathodorus, and Capiton 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.

Bishop Aetherius arrived in Cherson from Jerusalem during the reign of St Constantine the Great (May 21). At first he also encountered hostility on the part of the pagans, but the holy emperor would not tolerate acts of violence against the preacher. He issued a decree permitting the Christians of Cherson to have church services without hindrance. Through the efforts of St Aetherius a church was built in the city, where the saint peacefully governed his flock.

St Aetherius journeyed to Constantinople to thank the emperor for protecting the Christians. He fell ill and died on the return trip.