The holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostle Hermas was one of the Seventy Apostles and was bishop in Philipopoulis. The Shepherd of Hermas is also traditionally ascribed to him. He is referenced in Romans 16:14, and his feast day is celebrated on May 31, on November 5 with Apostles Patrobas, Linus, Gaius, and Philologos, and on January 4 among the Seventy.
He was wealthy, but fell into poverty because of sin and the sins of his sons. He was thus visited by an angel of repentance, who stayed with him until the end of his life, during which time he wrote The Shepherd of Hermas, a widely read work in the early Church detailing the teachings the angel gave him and focusing on repentance:
- believe in God
- live in simplicity and innocence; do not speak evil; give alms to all who beg
- love truth and avoid falsehood
- preserve chastity in your thoughts
- learn patience and generosity
- know that a good and an evil spirit attend every man
- fear God and not the devil
- perform every good act, and refrain from every evil deed
- pray to God from the depth of your soul with faith that your prayers will be fulfilled
- guard against melancholy, the sister of doubt and anger
- test true and false spirits
- guard against every evil desire
He ended his life as a martyr.