13 / 26 January
The Emperor Licinius launched a violent persecution against the Christians. St Hermylas, a Christian and a deacon in one of the churches, was arrested and condemned to death. When he was told that he was being taken out to martyrdom, he rejoiced greatly. The Emperor threatened him in vain; Hermylas openly confessed his faith in Christ and, in reply to the Emperor's threats, said: "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man doeth unto me" (Ps. 117:6). After harsh torture, Hermylas was flung into prison. But the jailer was one Stratonicus, a secret Christian who was filled with whole-hearted compassion for Hermylas's sufferings. When he too appeared before the Emperor as a Christian, Licinius ordered that they both be thrown into the Danube. So Hermylas and Stratonicus were bound together in one net and cast into the river. After three days the river threw their bodies onto the bank, and fellow-Christians took them and buried them a little way outside Belgrade. These glorious martyrs suffered for Christ and entered into glory in the year 315.
In summer in an open field and in winter in a cave, St James lived as a hermit. On one occasion he went down into the city of Nisibis in Mesopotamia, to look into the faith and life of the Christians, and was there elected by the people as their bishop. He took part in the First Ecumenical Council in 325 and defended Orthodoxy against the Arians. It happened at one time that the pagan Persian army attacked Nisibis. St James went out onto the ramparts with the banner-icon from the church, himself raising it aloft and walking round the ramparts fearless of the arrows the enemy was aiming at him. Walking thus, the saint prayed to God to save the city and the faithful in it by sending flies and mosquitoes on the Persians, thus driving them away from the city walls. He did not, we see, seek the destruction of the enemy but some sort of catastrophe, no matter what, even some quite small occurrence, that would overcome them and remove them from the vicinity. God heard the prayer of His chosen one and sent a plague of flies and mosquitoes on the Persians, driving them away and saving the city of Nisibis. St James lived long and with honour, and died peacefully in great old age in the year 350.
An ardent fighter against Arianism in the West, he suffered greatly for his choice of Orthodoxy. Of his writings on many subjects, the most important are those on the Holy Trinity. He entered into rest in the Lord in the year 367.
Bishop, founder of the See of Glasgow, born about 518; died at Glasgow, 13 January, 603. His mother Thenaw was daughter of a British prince, Lothus (from whom the province of Lothian was called); his father's name is unknown. According to Jocelyn's life of Kentigern, the saint was born at Culross in Fife, and brought up until manhood by St. Serf (or Servanus) at his monastery there; but Skene shows that this connection between the two saints involves an anachronism, as St. Serf really belongs to the following century. At the age of twenty-five we find Kentigern (the name means "head chief", but he was popularly known as Mungo — in Cymric, Mwyn-gu, or "dear one"), beginning his missionary labours at Cathures, on the Clyde, the site of modern Glasgow. The Christian King of Strathclyde, Roderick Hael, welcomed the saint, and procured his consecration as bishop, which took place about 540. For some thirteen years he laboured in the district, living a most austere life in a cell at the confluence of the Clyde and the Molendinar, and making many converts by his holy example and his preaching. A large community grew up around him, became known as "Clasgu" (meaning the "dear family") and ultimately grew into the town and city of Glasgow. About 553 a strong anti- Christian movement in Strathclyde compelled Kentigern to leave the district, and he retired to Wales, staying for a time with St. David at Menevia, and afterwards founding a large monastery at Llanelwy, now St. Asaph's, of which he appointed the holy monk Asaph superior in succession to himself. In 573 the battle of Arthuret secured the triumph of the Christian cause in Cumbria, and Kentigern, at the earnest appeal of King Roderick, returned thither, accompanied by many of his Welsh disciples. For eight years he fixed his see at Hoddam in Dumfriesshire, evangelizing thence the districts of Galloway and Cumberland. About 581 he finally returned to Glasgow, and here, a year or two later, he was visited by St. Columba, who was at that time labouring in Strathtay. The two saints embraced, held long converse, and exchanged their pastoral staves. Kentigern was buried on the spot where now stands the beautiful cathedral dedicated in his honour. His remains are said still to rest in the crypt.