Great-martyr Merkorious (224-250) was a Christian saint and martyr. Born Philopater in the city of Eskentos in Cappadocia, Eastern Asia Minor, his original name means “lover of the Father”. St Merkorious is also known by the name Abu-Seifein, which in Arabic means, “the holder [literally, father] of two swords”, referring to a second sword given to him by Archangel Michael.
Philopater was the son of a Scythian officer in the Roman army. One day his father, Yares, was hunting in the forest with his grandfather, when they were attacked by a wild beast. The animal jumped on the grandfather, causing Yares to faint. While Yares 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, Philopater, will become like a tree bearing good fruits, and because of him, I will bless you and your wife. Philopater will be My witness and will defy all prejudice in My Name”. Shortly after, Yares, his wife, and his son were baptised, and they were given new names. Yares became Noah, his wife became Saphina, and Philopater became Merkorious. The news of their baptism spread quickly in the city and the prince ordered them to be arrested and thrown to the wild animals. However, the animals did not harm them, and the prince decided to release Noah and his family. When the Berbers attacked Eskentos, Noah went to fight them. He was taken prisoner and was brought to their country, where he was kept for seventeen months. When the war finally ended, he went back to his city and joined his family, but died shortly after. Saint Philopater Merkorious is also said to be the cousin of Saint George the Cappadocian.