St Tryphon was born in Lampsakon and raised by a very devout Christian family. From a young age he was blessed with the divine power to cure any type of sickness.
In the year 239 AD, Gordianos was the ruler of the Roman Empire, and even though he was a pagan he was not a Christian persecutor. The Emperor had an only child, a daughter. Many of the noblemen of the city desired to marry her, therefore her father locked her in a palace tower so that people could not see her. This girl became possessed and tortured by a demon. When her parents saw that she could not be cured, they became distressed. They were informed by the demon that he would not leave the girl's body unless Tryphon were present.
The Emperor sent messengers to every city and town of the Empire to find Tryphon. He promised a large reward to the one who brought the Saint to Rome. They arrived in Lampsakon, where Tryphon was watching over his geese. Seeing these noblemen, he knew immediately what their task was and said to them that he was Tryphon, the person they were sent to find. At this time Tryphon was 17 years old. They started immediately for their return to Rome. The demon knew of Tryphon's arrival three days prior to its occurrence and started to torment the girl even more than before. When Tryphon arrived in Rome, the demon could not look at the Saint and left the girl. Gordianos welcomed Tryphon as the person who had cured his daughter.
To make certain of Tryphon's validity, the Emperor asked him to make the demon appear before them so that he could ask him why he had possessed his daughter. The Saint fasted for six days, after which, he prayed to God to give him the power to perform his task. On the seventh day, the citizens of Rome gathered to see the miracle. After praying to God, Tryphon ordered the demon, in the name of Jesus Christ, to appear in front of them so that they may see the epitome of ugliness and sickness. Suddenly, a large black dog appeared in front of them. Tryphon then asked it why it had possessed the girl. The demon responded by saying that his father, Satan, who is the ruler of evil had sent it to torture the girl. The Saint continued his inquiry by asking, who gave the rulers of the underworld the authority to enter the bodies of the workers of God. He responded by saying that they had no authority to do so, but could only possess people who practised what the demon stood for.
The people were amazed when they saw and heard this. Gordianos rewarded the Saint with many gifts. Tryphon was accompanied back to his home and after returning, he continued curing those who came to him.
After the death of Gordianos, the pious Philip became the ruler of the Roman Empire. He ruled only for a short time due to his death in battle. Decius then became ruler in 250 AD. He had no tolerance for Christians. Those who worshipped the idols were rewarded, those who remained Christians were persecuted.
The pagans of the Eastern part of the Empire would betray Christians to their ruler, Achilion. A complaint was thus lodged against Tryphon. Achilion sent his envoys to find the Saint and he was taken to Nicaea to stand trial. When the Emperor saw that Tryphon would not deny his beliefs, he ordered his soldiers to hang him on a cross and stab him with their spears. He faced the torture without fear. The Emperor admired this courage and tried to persuade Tryphon to sacrifice to the gods and save himself. Seeing that he could not change the Christian's opinions, Achilion was extremely angered. He ordered that Tryphon be taken down from the cross. Planning to go on a hunting trip, he decided to take Tryphon with him. Tryphon was tied behind a horse so that he would have to keep up with riding soldiers by walking. The Saint suffered greatly. After several days, Achilion returned to Nicaea and Tryphon walked back to the city in the same manner.
Again, Achilion tried to persuade Tryphon to change his beliefs and again the Saint stood firm in his convictions. Achilion ordered the Saint's feet bound in chains and he was taken to the centre of the city to be beaten. Afterwards, Tryphon was burned with torches. During his agony, the martyr prayed to Christ not to forsake him.
Achilion gave Tryphon his last chance to deny Christ and save himself. If Tryphon refused, the soldiers were to behead him. The Saint looked toward heaven and prayed. So that his death could not be attributed to the tyrant, Tryphon died just before the soldiers beheaded him. Several Christians of Nicaea wanted to bury his body near the city, however, the Saint appeared in their dreams and directed them to bury his body in Lampsakon, where later, many miracles were attributed to him.
Saint Tryphon is considered by many farmers to be the protector of fields.
by Christina Dedoussis