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Martyr

The Roman Martyrology sets down for 18 August (XV Kal. Septembris) the feast of the holy martyrs Hermas, Serapion, and Polyaenus, with the statement that they suffered death in Rome for the Faith. The Greek calendars note all three names for the same day; but there is nothing in the historical notices of the Menaea and Synaxaria from which any inference can be drawn either as to the circumstances or the time of their martyrdom. The Martyrologium Hieronymianum does not give these names under the above date. On the other hand, the 28 August (V Kal. Septembris) is the day set apart for the feast of the Roman martyr Hermes and of several others who were buried in the catacomb of Hermes and Basilla, and under the same date appear two Alexandrian martyrs, Polienus and Serapion. The writer surmises that the three martyrs of 18 August are identical with those of the 28th of the same month, namely, with the Roman martyrs Hermes and the Alexandrians Polienus and Serapion. Their appearance under the earlier date could have been the result of a mistake easily accounted for (XV instead of V Kal. Septembris). The name Hermas also appears for Hermaeus ( Hermaios ), a priest mentioned in the Roman Martyrology and in the Greek Menaea as companion of Bishop Nicander of Myra in Lycia, and whose feast as a martyr is set down for 4 November. It would seem from the Greek calendars that both saints had been ordained by St. Titus, the disciple of St. Paul.


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