Hieromartyr Hierotheus, the first Bishop of Athens, was a member of the Athenian Areopagos and was converted to Christ by the Apostle Paul together with Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3).
The saint was consecrated by the Apostle Paul to the rank of bishop. According to Tradition, Bishop Hierotheus was present with Saint Dionysius at the funeral of the Most Holy Theotokos. Saint Hierotheus died a martyr’s death in the first century.
According to some, Hierotheus, like Saint Dionysius, was a member of the court of Mars Hill. Having first been instructed in the Faith of Christ by Paul, he became Bishop of Athens. He, in turn, initiated the divine Dionysius more perfectly into the mysteries of Christ; the latter, on his part, elaborated more clearly and distinctly Hierotheus’ concise and summary teachings concerning the Faith.
He too was brought miraculously by the power of the Holy Spirit to be present at the Dormition of the Theotokos, when, together with the sacred Apostles, he became a leader of the divine hymnody. “He was wholly transported, wholly outside himself and was so deeply absorbed in communion with the sacred things he celebrated in hymnology, that to all who heard him and saw him and knew him, and yet knew him not, he seemed to be inspired of God, a divine hymnographer,” as Dionysius says (On the Divine Names, 3:2). Having lived in a manner pleasing to God, he reposed in the Lord.
Hierotheus was a companion of St. Dionysius the Areopagite and received the Christian Faith from the Apostle Paul a short time after Dionysius did. Later, the Apostle appointed him bishop of Athens. At the time of the Dormition of the Most-holy Theotokos, Hierotheus arrived in Jerusalem and took part in her burial. With his divine chanting he inspired heartfelt worship in many, revealing himself as a man inspired from on high. He labored much in the work of evangelism, converted many pagans to the truth and governed well his rational flock. He finally died a martyr for Christ, Who granted him a twofold crown in His Heavenly Kingdom: the crown of a hierarch and the crown of a martyr.
Apolytikion of Hierotheus, Bp. of Athens
Since thou hadst been instructed in uprightness thoroughly and wast vigilant in all things, thou wast clothed with a good conscience as befitteth one holy. Thou didst draw from the Chosen Vessel ineffable mysteries; and having kept the Faith, thou didst finish a like course, O Hieromartyr Hierotheus. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion of Hierotheus, Bp. of Athens
Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As Athens’ Hierarch, we acclaim thee, since through thee we have received instruction in things awesome and ineffable; for thou wast a God-inspired writer of divine hymns. O Hierotheus all-blessed, do thou pray to God, so that we may be redeemed from all calamities, that thus we may cry: Rejoice, O Father wise in things divine.
Source: oca.org / goarch.org / westserbdio.org