Philopateer was born in 225 A.D. of pagan parents in the city of Eskentos in Cappadocia in Eastern Asia Minor (a region of the ancient world that corresponds to modern day Turkey). The name Philopateer is a greek word that means lover of the father. (Pateer = father, Philo = love).
The conversion of his family to Christianity
- His family used to live on hunting wild animals. One day his father Yares, along with his grandfather, were hunting in the forest when they were attacked by a wild beast. The animal jumped on the grandfather, and that scared Yares so much that he fainted.
- While he was unconscious, he had a vision: he saw a brilliant light and heard a voice saying, “Yares, I am your God who loves you. I know that you have a good heart and that you hate the pagan idols. I want to inform you that your son Philopateer will become like a tree bearing good fruits, and because of him, I will bless you and your wife. Philopateer will be my witness and will defy all prejudice in my name.”
- Shortly after, Yares, his wife and his son were baptized and they were given new names. Yares became Noah, his wife became Saphina and Philopateer became Mercurius. The news of their baptism spread quickly in the city and the prince ordered them to be arrested and thrown to the wild animals. But the Lord, who shut the mouths of the lions at the time of Daniel, tamed the wild animals and they did not harm them. The prince and his soldiers were astonished and decided to release Yares and his family. (more…)