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Hermes


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(3rd century),

martyr. This famous Roman martyr died in one of the early persecutions and his early cult is well established by entries in the Depositio Martyrum (354), the Martyrology of Jerome, and the early sacramentaries. The large basilica of c.600 over his tomb in the cemetery of Basilla on the Old Salarian Way was also mentioned in various pilgrim guides. But there were no authentic Acts, only fabulous details in the legendary Acts of Alexander. His relics, however, have a history: some secondary ones were given by Gregory the Great to Spoleto, and churches were dedicated to him in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia. Later his body was given by Pope Leo IV to the Emperor Lothair, who translated it first to Cornelimunster and then to Renaix (Flanders) in 860, where it still remains as a centre for pilgrimage and for cures of lunatics. In England his feast was quite widely celebrated and there are three Hermes dedications in Cornwall (at St Erme, St Ervan, and Marazion), but none elsewhere. Feast: 28 August.

AA.SS. Aug. VI (1743), 142–51 with C.M.H., pp. 472–3; G. H. Doble, St Hermes (1935); B.T.A., iii. 434.

Subjects: Christianity.


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