Saint Orestes of Cappadocia

Today is the feast of Saint Orestes of Cappadocia –  martyred in  the Roman persecution of Christians in AD 255.  A physician in the ancient city of Tyana (now Kemerhisar in Nigde province and once called Christoupolis, the City of Christ), he was enjoined to worship Roman idols, under threat of violence and torture. Refusing, he was beaten by forty soldiers. According to legend, at his cry to the Lord to show a sign of his dominion, “Establish with me a sign for good, let those who hate me see it and be put to shame”, the earth shook and the temple crumbled to the earth. Enraged, the Roman Governor ordered further torture. After enduring many trials, Saint Orestes was dragged by horses over rough ground, with nails hammered into his feet, until he gave up his spirit. According to another legend, upon the saint’s death, a man shining like the sun appeared and gathered up the remains of the saint and buried them on a nearby hill.

It is said that he appeared to Saint Dmitri of Rostov, the great hagiographer of the Eastern Church, and showed him his wounds.

The Internet being a confusing sort of place, the best I can say is that: Saint Orestes of Tyana is not the Saint Orestes the soldier of the Five Holy Martyrs of Sebaste. And if he was martyred in AD 255, it’s unlikely that Diocletian was involved. But then, things have been somewhat confusing for us Western Catholics since, oh, about 1054.

Ancient and modern Kemerhisar

Image rights here.

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