The Hieromartyr Autonomus was a bishop in Italy. During the time of the persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Autonomus left his own country and resettled in Bithynia, in the locality of Soreus with a man named Cornelius. Saint Autonomus did his apostolic duty with zeal and converted to Christ so many pagans, that a large Church was formed, for which he consecrated a temple in the name of the Archangel Michael. For this church, the saint at first ordained Cornelius as deacon, and then presbyter. Preaching about Christ, Saint Autonomus visited also Lykaonia and Isauria.
The emperor Diocletian gave orders to arrest Saint Autonomus, but the saint withdrew to Claudiopolis on the Black Sea. In returning to Soreus, he had the priest Cornelius ordained bishop. Saint Autonomus then went to Asia, and when he had returned from there, he began to preach in the vicinity of Limna, near Soreus.
Once, the newly-converted destroyed a pagan temple. The pagans decided to take revenge on the Christians. Seizing their chance, the pagans rushed upon the church of the Archangel Michael when Saint Autonomus was serving Divine Liturgy there. After torturing Saint Autonomus they killed him, reddening the altar of the church with his martyr’s blood. The deaconess Maria removed the body of the holy martyr from beneath a pile of stones and buried it.
During the reign of Saint Constantine the Great, a church was built over the tomb of the saint. In the year 430, a certain priest had the old church pulled down. Not realizing that the martyr’s body had been buried beneath the church, he rebuilt the church in a new spot. But after another 60 years the relics of the saint were found incorrupt, and a church was then built in the name of the Hieromartyr Autonomus.
This saint was a bishop in Italy. Fleeing from the persecution of Diocletian in 298, he came to Bithynia, where he went from place to place converting many from the idols to the true God. Because of this, one day as he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Archangels, they who worshipped wood and stones fell upon him and beat him to death with staves and stones.
During Diocletian’s persecution, Autonomus left Italy for Asian Bithynia, for a place called Soreoi. There, he converted many to Christianity, and built a church for them dedicated to the holy Archangel Michael. Autonomus lived in the home of a devout Christian, Cornelius, whom he first ordained as a presbyter, and then consecrated to the episcopacy. Not far from Soreoi there was a place called Limnae, inhabited entirely by pagans. St. Autonomus went to this place and soon enlightened many with the Gospel of Christ. This embittered the pagans, and one day they rushed into the Church of the Holy Archangel Michael in Soreoi during the divine service and slew Autonomus in the sanctuary, and killed many other Christians in the church. During the reign of the Emperor Constantine, Severian, a royal nobleman, built a church over the tomb of St. Autonomus. Two hundred years after his death, St. Autonomus appeared to a soldier named John. John exhumed the relics of the saint and found them to be completely incorrupt, and many who were sick received healing from Autonomus’s relics. Thus, God glorifies the one who glorified Him while living in the flesh.
Kontakion of Hieromartyr Autonomos
O wise one, thou wast initiated solemnly in matters divine, O Martyr, blest Autonomos. Thou wast made a pleasing sacrifice when thou drankest the cup of Christ; and while standing before Him now, thou ceaselessly prayest Him for all of us.
Source: oca.org / goarch.org / westserbdio.org