Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Conon and His Son, Martyrs of Iconia


May 29

This faithful servant of Jesus Christ, after the death of his wife, lived in retirement with his son, whom he offered to the church, and who was made a lector 1 at the age of twelve, and afterwards became a deacon. About this time Domitian, an officer under the Emperor Aurelian, came to Iconia in order to execute the edict which that prince had issued against the Christians; and Conon and his son were among the first who were brought before him. The officer, moved with compassion for the venerable old man, asked him why he had chosen so severe and mortified a life? To which the saint replied, “Those who live according to the spirit of the world are fond of pleasures and ease; but those who live according to the Spirit of God, study to purchase the kingdom of heaven by pain and tribulation. As for me, my desire is to forfeit my life here, that I may for ever reign with Jesus Christ.” Whereupon both the father and son were ordered to be stretched on a burning gridiron, and afterwards to be hung up by the feet over a suffocating smoke. Conon, amidst these torments, reproached the executioners for the weakness of their efforts; which so provoked the tyrant, that he caused the hands of the martyrs to be cut off with a wooden saw. Conon then said to him: “Are you not ashamed to see two poor weak persons triumph over all your power?” The martyrs having prayed for some time, calmly breathed their last. They suffered about the year 275, before notice had arrived of the death of Aurelian. Their relics are kept in a church of their name at Acerra, near Naples, to which they were brought in the ninth age, or later. Saint Conon and his son are mentioned in the ancient Martyrologies. See their acts, which, though not original, are nevertheless of great antiquity, and written with equal piety and simplicity. The Bollandists give them on the 29th of May.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Conon and His Son, Martyrs of Iconia”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 November 2016. Web. 28 September 2020. <>