St. Mercurios, known at birth as Philopater, was the son of Gordianus, a Scythian commander of the Armenian Martenses’ command. The name Philopater means “lover of his father.” Because of his parents’ love and piety, even though they were pagans, God spoke to his father while he was hunting, and soon afterwards he and his family were baptized. Gordianus became Noah, his wife became Saphina, and Philopater became Mercurios.
After his father died, St. Mercurios saw an angel of the Lord, St. Michael, who gave him a sword to fight in the battle of the Romans against the Berbers. The Roman Emperor Decius (a.d. 201-251) saw the valor of this great warrior who led the defeat of the enemy, and so made him a general in the army. On the way back to Rome, the Emperor asked Mercurios to come with him to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. Mercurios refused, and then when questioned, boldly confessed Christ to the Emperor, who had him tortured. St. Michael healed him completely in prison, and unstirred by this, Decius tortured him again, and finally had him beheaded in Cappadocia in a.d. 251. St. Mercurios was just 25.