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The Prologue from Ochrid

Lives of the Saints For Every Day of the Year By Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic (Translated by Mother Maria) As Edited and Corrected By Dormition Skete Buena Vista, Colorado

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September 14th - Civil Calendar September 1st - Church Calendar 1. The Beginning of the Church's Year. The First Ecumenical Council decreed that the Church's year should begin on September 1st. The month of September was, for the Jews, the beginning of the civil year (see Exodus 12:2), the month of the gathering of fruits and the bringing to God of sacrifices of thanksgiving. It was at the time of this feast that the Lord Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth, opened the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and read the words: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; because He hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance' (Is. 61:1-2; cf. Luke 4:16-21). This month of September is also noted in the history of Christianity because it was during September that Constantine the Great was victorious over Maxentius, the enemy of the Christian faith, a victory followed by the granting of freedom of confession of the Christian faith throughout the whole Roman Empire. For a long time, the civil year in the Christian world was reckoned in the same way as the Church's year, from September 1st, but it was later changed to January 1st, first in western Europe and then also in Russia in the time of Peter the Great. 2. Our Holy Father Simeon Stylites. Born in Syria of peasant parents, he fled from them at the age of eighteen and became a monk. He gave himself to the strictest asceticism, sometimes fasting for forty days. After that, he followed a particular ascesis, until then unknown: standing day and night on a pillar in unceasing prayer. His pillar was at first three metres high, then one of six metres was built for him, then eleven, eighteen and finally twenty. His mother, Martha, came to see him twice, but he would not receive her, saying to her from his pillar: 'Don't disturb me now, Mother dear, if we are to be worthy to meet in the next world.' St Simeon endured innumerable assaults from demons, overcoming them all by prayer. He worked great miracles, healing the sick by his prayers and his words. People from all sides gathered around his pillar: rich and poor, kings and slaves. He helped them all, restoring bodily health to some, giving comfort and instruction to others and denouncing some for their heretical faith. The Empress Eudocia was thus turned from the Eutychian heresy back to Orthodoxy. Simeon lived in asceticism during the reigns of the Emperors Theodosius the Younger, Marcian and Leo the Great. This first Christian stylite and great wonderworker, St Simeon, lived for seventy years, and entered into rest in the Lord on September 1st, 459. His relics were taken to Antioch, to the church dedicated to his name. 3. St. Joshua the Son of Nun. Joshua was the leader of the Jewish people after the death of Moses. Only he and Caleb, of the several hundred thousand Jews that left Egypt, entered the Promised Land. Read of his faithfulness to God, his works and his wonders in the Book of Joshua. He lived for a hundred and ten years, and died in about 1440 B.C. FOR CONSIDERATION We must, while we are in this world, make use of all that is at hand for the formation of our souls, for, when death plucks us out of it, we shall take nothing to the other world except our souls as they have been formed in this. St. Simeon Stylites, while still a young man of eighteen, fell flat on his face on the ground one day and breathed a prayer to God that He would show him the way of salvation. Lying there thus long in prayer, he had this vision: he was digging a trench as a foundation for something, and stopped digging to have a rest. At that, he heard a voice: 'Dig deeper!' He began to exert himself to dig deeper, but the voice came again: 'Dig deeper!', and he began again with a yet more intensive effort. The voice then said: 'Stop; that's enough. Now you must build, but you will not get anywhere without effort.' Those who make little effort and build the life of their soul on sensual shallows build their building on sand, and such a building cannot stand in this transitory world -and even less in the world that endures. September 15th - Civil Calendar September 2nd - Church Calendar 1. The Holy Martyr Mamas.
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He was born in Paphlagonia of eminent Christian parents, Theodotus and Rufina, who were thrown into prison for the name of Christ. In the prison, Theodotus was the first to die, and Rufina, after giving birth to a son, soon followed her husband, and the newborn child was left in the prison beside the bodies of his parents. God the Provider sent His holy angel to a noble widow, Ammia, whom the angel told in a dream to go to the prison and take the child. Ammia asked the city governor's permission to bury the dead and take the child into her own home. The child was dumb until the age of five, and then his first word was 'Mama', because of which he was given the name Mamas. At school, he showed an unusual brightness, and, being brought up at home in a Christian spirit, did not conceal his faith but confessed it before his contemporaries, mocking at the idols. In the time of the Emperor Aurelian, there was a vicious persecution of Christians, and the pagans did not spare even Christian children. Mamas was fifteen years old when he was taken before the Emperor. The Emperor told him to deny Christ only with his lips. To this Mamas replied: 'I shall not deny my God and King Jesus Christ either in my heart or with my lips.' The Emperor ordered that he be beaten, burned with torches and finally thrown into the sea, but an angel of God saved him and took him to a high mountain near Caesarea. There he lived in solitude and prayer, and fierce wild beasts were tamed by his holiness. He was eventually found there by the persecutors and put again to torture. Overcoming both the power of fire and the fierceness of wild beasts, holy Mamas was stabbed with a trident by a pagan priest. He thus gave his holy soul to the God to whom he had remained faithful in all his sufferings. Many of the sick have been healed by his relics. 2. St. John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople. St. John is also commemorated on August 30th. He was a goldsmith at first, then, by God's providence and for his great virtues, was ordained priest. As a young man, St. John was once walking with an old monk from Palestine, Eusebius. Suddenly, a voice came to Eusebius from some invisible source: 'Father, don't walk on the right of great John !' This, the voice of God, was predicting the high service to which John was soon to be called. After blessed Eutychius' death, John was chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople. He was most unwilling to accept, but was overawed by a heavenly vision and thus gave his consent. He was a great faster, a man of prayer and a wonderworker right up to his death, entering into rest in 595. After his death, his only possessions were found to be a wooden spoon, a linen shirt and an old cassock. His writings on repentance and confession are well-known. 3. St. Eleazar. 'The son of Aaron and second High Priest in Israel, he helped Moses to number the Israelites and Joshua the son of Nun to apportion the Promised Land among the twelve tribes. He faithfully guarded the Ark of the Covenant in Shiloh, and died peacefully. 4. Feast of the Miracle of the Kaluga Icon of the Mother of God. This is recorded in the passage for consideration below. FOR CONSIDERATION The Orthodox Church has, within her experience, innumerable examples of almighty God's showing of His power through natural and mortal things, especially through those which serve as signs of the incarnation, life and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ: the Cross, icons of the Mother of God and the saints, holy water, oil, myrrh and so forth. Thus was there wrought a miracle by an icon of the holy Mother of God in 1748, in the house of a boyar, Chitrov, near the town of Kaluga in Russia. Two of the boyar's serving girls, turning out junk in the attic one day, found a piece of folded linen on which was a beautiful painting of a woman's face. The face was full of light and devotion. One of these girls was modest and serious, but the other was vain and given to gossip. The former looked at the face on the linen and gave it the name `the abbess', but Evdokia, for that was the name of the gossipy one, would not have that, but jeered at her modest companion. To give more force to her words, she spat on the picture, and at that moment fell to the ground, her whole body contorted. She became blind and dumb, and began to foam at the mouth. That night, the Mother of God appeared to the parents of the afflicted girl, related to them what had happened to their daughter and told them to call the priest to pray before the discovered face and sprinkle the girl with holy water, and she would then be healed. When this had been done, Evdokia was restored to health and, from that time, her character changed and she became serious. Thus it was discovered that this was the miraculous face of the Mother of God. The icon was taken to the church in Koluga, where it is found today, still working wonders.
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September 16th - Civil Calendar September 3rd - Church Calendar 1. The Hieromartyr Anthimus. Born in Nicomedia, he was brought up from childhood as a true Christian.'His body was mortified, his spirit humble; jealousy was uprooted, anger tamed, sloth banished. ... he had love for all and was at peace with all, had a good understanding with all, was filled with zeal for the glory of God and was open to all.' It is not surprising that a man of such virtues was made a bishop. St Anthimus worked as a bishop in Nicomedia at the time of a harsh persecution of Christians under the two wicked Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. Streams of Christian blood were spilled, especially in Nicomedia. One year, on the feast of the Nativity of Christ, twenty thousand martyrs were burned in one church (see Dec. 28th). This happened during Anthimus' episcopate. The persecution did not end with this, but continued, and many Christians were thrown into prison and kept there for torture and death. St. Anthimus withdrew to a village, Omana, not to escape death but to be able thence to strengthen his flock in the path of martyrdom, that none should draw back through fear. One of his letters to the Christians in prison was seized and taken to the Emperor Maximian. The Emperor sent twenty soldiers to find Anthimus and take him. The grey-beard, discerning this, went out to meet the soldiers, brought them into his house as his guests and only then revealed that he was Anthimus. The soldiers, amazed at his kindness, urged him to hide, and said that they would tell the Emperor that they had been unable to find him, but Anthimus replied that he dared not allow God's Law to be violated by a lie in order to save his life. So he set out with the soldiers. On the way, all the soldiers came to faith in Christ and were baptised by Anthimus. Brought before the Emperor, Anthimus was submitted to harsh and long-drawn-out torture, and was finally beheaded with an axe. He glorified God and entered into rest in the Lord at the beginning of the fourth century. 2. The Holy Martyr Vasilissa. A nine-year-old girl, she suffered in Nicomedia not long after the death of Anthimus. The torturers covered her whole body with wounds, but she remained faithful to Christ. God preserved her unharmed in fire and before wild beasts. Her torturer, Alexander, seeing these wonders, repented and became a Christian. Vasilissa went out into a field, fell on her knees and prayed to God, thanking Him for her endurance under torture, and, while thus praying, gave her soul into God's hands. This was in the year 309. 3. St. Joannicius, Archbishop and First Patriarch of Serbia. Born in Prizren, he served at first as secretary to King Dusan. He became Archbishop in 1339, and in 1346 was raised to the rank of Patriarch. He was a zealous pastor, and brought order to the Serbian Church, being 'a great upholder of the Church's laws'. He entered into rest on September 3rd, 1349, and his relics are preserved at Pec. 4. Our Holy Father Theoctistus. A faster and fellow-ascetic of St. Euthymius the Great, Theoctistus was abbot of Euthymius' monastery six miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho. He was in all things a disciple of Euthymius, governing the monastery under his guidance to the age of ninety. He led a godly life, and entered into rest in the middle of the fifth century, in the time of Patriarch Anastasius of Jerusalem. FOR CONSIDERATION He who desires to be saved must be absolutely obedient to his spiritual superior. Without this obedience, a man can perish, even with the greatest possible desire for salvation. The great saints, who held obedience to be a condition for salvation, themselves perfectly fulfilled obedience. When St. Simeon chose his ascesis on the pillar, this startled the other ascetics as being something new. They, not knowing if this way of asceticism was of the Spirit of God or the spirit of pride, sent various desert fathers and spiritual guides to discover this. Sending them, they told them to command Simeon in their name to come down from his pillar. If he refused, that would mean that his being raised up on the pillar was from the spirit of pride. If he heeded the command and was willing to come down from the pillar, then he must be left to stay where he was, because his readiness to obey showed that his ascesis was from the Holy Spirit. When the delegation arrived and told St. Simeon that the council of the desert fathers commanded him to come down from his pillar, Simeon immediately began to
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climb down the ladder. Seeing this, the fathers called out joyfully to him: 'Don't come down, holy Father; stay where you are! We now see that your ascesis is from God!' September 17th - Civil Calendar September 4th - Church Calendar 1. The Hieromartyr Babylas. This 'great and wonderful man, if one can call him a man', as St. John Chrysostom expresses it, was archbishop in Antioch in the time of the wicked Emperor Numerian. This Numerian made a peace-treaty with some barbarian king, who was of better character and a greater lover of peace than himself. As a sign of his sincere desire for a lasting peace, the king gave his little son to be brought up at Numerian's court. One day, Numerian butchered the boy and offered him as a sacrifice to the idols. Still hot from his wicked shedding of innocent blood, this evildoer went to a Christian church to see what was happening there. Holy Babylas was at prayer with the people. He heard that the Emperor was coming with his retinue and intended to enter the church. Babylas stopped the service, went out in front of the church and told the Emperor that, as an idolater, he was not permitted entry to the holy church where the one, true God was worshipped. Speaking of Babylas, Chrysostom says: 'Who else in the world would he fear, having with such authority withstood the Emperor? By this he taught kings not to spread their power further than the measure given them by God, and also showed the clergy how to use their authority.' The shamed Emperor turned back, but planned revenge. The following day, the Emperor summoned Babylas, and began to berate him and bid him to offer sacrifice to idols, which the saint, naturally, steadfastly refused to do. The Emperor then bound him with chains and threw him into prison. He also tortured three children: Urban, aged twelve, Prilidian, aged nine and Hippolinus, aged seven. Babylas was their spiritual father and teacher, and they had stayed near him out of love for him. They were the sons of a Christian woman, Christodoula, who herself suffered for Christ. The Emperor first ordered that each child be beaten with the number of blows that totaled his age, and then had them thrown into prison. Babylas, in bonds, was present at the beheading of the children, giving them courage, and then laid his honoured head under the sword. He was buried by Christians, in the chains in which he was bound at his death, in one grave with the three children. Their holy souls flew off to the company of heaven, and their wonderworking relics remained to be of support to the faithful, along with the enduring witness of their heroism in the Faith. They suffered in about 283. 2. The Holy Prophet Moses, who beheld God, A great leader and lawgiver of Israel, he was born in Egypt in about 1550 B.C. He spent forty years in Egypt at Pharaoh's court, forty years as a shepherd in meditation on God and the world, and his last forty years he led the people through the wilderness to the Promised Land, which he saw but did not enter, having at one time sinned against God (Numbers 20:12). He entered into rest at the age of a hundred and twenty. He appeared from the other world on Tabor at the Lord's Transfiguration, and, according to the testimony of St. John of the Ladder, appeared to the monks of Sinai. 3. The Holy Martyrs Marcellus and Cassian. The Emperor Maximian Hercules (285-305) ordered that all the army offer sacrifice to idols. Marcellus was a soldier at this time, and Cassian a notary. Marcellus, as a Christian, said: 'If a soldier's calling is tied up with the offering of sacrifice to idols, I cannot be a soldier', and he took off his military belt and weapons and threw them from him. He was immediately condemned to death. Cassian had to put this death-sentence into writing, and he refused to do so. They were beheaded together, and their souls went to the heavenly Kingdom . FOR CONSIDERATION The power of the saints after their death is much stronger than during their lifetime. 'This is why God has left us the relics of the saints' says St. Chrysostom in a matchless sermon on St. Babylas. Babylas was buried in Antioch. At that time, the Emperor Gallius, brother of Julian the Apostate, was reigning in harness along with Constantine's son, Constantius. Urged by a sense of devotion, Gallius brought Babylas' relics to the outskirts of Daphne, built a small church there and placed the martyr's relics in it. There was a famous temple of Apollo in Daphne, built on the place where, according to a pagan legend, a young girl turned into a tree (daphni -- laurel), to save herself from the god Apollo, who was pursuing her with uncontrollable lust. The idol of Apollo stood
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here, and was reputed to tell the future to all who consulted it. From the time that Babylas' relics were buried near the temple, the demon in the idol remained silent and stopped prophesying. When the Emperor Julian the Apostate later set out on his ruinous war against the Persians, he came to this temple to consult the idol on its outcome. The idol replied timidly that it could not give a clear answer 'because of the dead' buried in the vicinity.'This referred to Babylas, the presence of whose body had silenced the demon. Julian ordered that Babylas' relics be taken back to Antioch. As soon as the martyr's relics were removed, fire fell from heaven and consumed the temple of Apollo, destroying it for all time. Julian marched against the Persians, and died a terrible death in punishment for his blasphemous life. Such was the power of the martyr of Christ after his death: he silenced demons and called down fire from heaven to destroy the idolatrous temple, and the godless, apostate Emperor was punished with a dishonourable death. September 18th - Civil Calendar September 5th - Church Calendar 1. The Holy Prophet Zacharias. Father of St. John the Forerunner, he was the son of Barachias, of the tribe of Aaron, a high priest in descent from Abia, and held the eighth degree of service in the Temple in Jerusalem. His wife Elisabeth was sister to St. Anna, the mother of the holy Mother of God. In the reign of King Herod, the child-slayer, Zacharias was serving one day in his turn in the 'Temple in Jerusalem. An angel of God appeared to him in the altar, and Zacharias was afraid. But the angel said to him: 'Fear not, Zacharias' (Luke 1), and informed him that his wife Elisabeth would bear a son in answer to their prayers, for Zacharias and Elisabeth were both old. When Zacharias doubted the words of the heavenly messenger, the angel told him: 'I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God', and Zacharias was made dumb from that moment, and did not speak until his son was born and he had written on a tablet: 'His name is John.' Then his mouth was opened, and he glorified God. Later, when the Lord Christ was born and Herod began killing the children in Bethlehem, he sent men to find Zacharias' son and kill him, for he had heard of all that had happened to Zacharias and how John was born. Seeing the soldiers, Elisabeth took John in her arms -- he was eighteen months old at that time -- and fled from the house with him to a rocky and desert region. When she saw where the soldiers had driven them, she cried out to the mountain: 'O mountain of God, receive a mother with her child!', and the rock opened and hid the mother and child inside itself. Herod, furious that John had not been killed, ordered that Zacharias be cut down before the altar. Zacharias's blood spilled over the marble and became as hard as stone, remaining thus as a witness to Herod's wickedness. At the place where Elisabeth hid with John, a cave opened and a spring flowed forth, and a fruit-bearing palm grew up by God's power. Forty days after Zacharias' death, blessed Elisabeth also entered into rest. The child John stayed in the wilderness, fed by an angel and guarded by God's providence, until that day when he appeared by the Jordan. 2. The Holy Martyrs Juventius and Maximus. Little is known about the lives of these two holy men, but their suffering for Christ is known from a sermon in their praise by St. John Chrysostom. They were soldiers in the time of the Emperor Julian the Apostate. In conversation at an army festival, they condemned the Emperor for his persecution of Christians. Someone told the Emperor of this, and he had them thrown into prison. Some of the Emperor's men visited them, with the intention of turning them from the true Faith, telling them how many of their friends had denied Christ. To this, these great men replied: 'We must therefore stand firm and with courage, and offer ourselves in sacrifice for their apostasy.' They were beheaded with the sword under cover of darkness, but their relics were found and discovered to have wonderworking power. 3. The Seventy Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia. Together with Urban, Theodore and Medimnus, these men were chosen by the Christians of Constantinople in the time of Valens' persecution of Orthodoxy, to go as the most honoured and eminent citizens of Constantinople to Nicomedia and beg the Emperor (an Arian) to leave at least their lives to the Orthodox Christians. The Emperor was furious and told them to go back home, but secretly ordered the sailors to set fire to the ship when they got out to sea, and save themselves in a small boat. The wicked servants of their yet more wicked master did this. The bodies of these glorious seventy were burned and drowned in the sea, but their souls swam off to the haven of eternal blessedness.
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4. Our Holy Father Athanasius. He lived in asceticism in Vilna, and was later abbot of a monastery in Brest. For his steadfastness in the Orthodox faith, he was beheaded by Catholics on September 5th, 1648. His wonder-working relics are preserved in Brest. FOR CONSIDERATION It is in vain that men try to find that which (God deliberately hides from them. If God had not permitted it, men would never have found gold and silver under the earth, nor power made from steam nor a spark of electric light. In vain did Herod slay many children in Bethlehem in an effort to kill the One, for this One was hidden from the sight and sword of Herod. In vain did Herod seek John -- and here is a mystery. The soldiers hastened after old Elisabeth, who fled with John in her arms, and could not catch her. Herod, in a rage, summoned Zacharias and shouted at him: 'Give me your son John!' But the old priest meekly replied to the king: 'I am in the service of the Lord God of Israel. As for my son John, I do not know where he is.' Maddened with rage, Herod ordered that Zacharias be murdered in place of John. The king's servants went to the Temple and asked Zacharias: 'Where have you hidden your son? Give him to us; the King demands this. If you do not give him to us, you will die yourself.' Zacharias replied: 'You may kill my body, but the Lord will receive my soul.' Zacharias was slain, but Herod was not content with that. The wicked king had no peace day or night, being tormented with the foreboding that the new-born King proclaimed by the Magi must be none other than John. But he tried in vain to find him whom God deliberately concealed from him. September 19th - Civil Calendar September 6th - Church Calendar 1. The Commemoration of the Miracles of the Holy Archangel Michael. There was in Phrygia a place called Chonae (plunging), not far from Hierapolis, and in that place there was a miraculous spring of water. When the Apostle John the Theologian, together with Philip, was preaching the Gospel in Hierapolis, he looked at this place and foretold that a spring would gush forth in it, a spring of healing water from which many would he restored to health, and that the place would be visited by Michael, the great archangel of God. This prophecy was very soon fulfilled: a spring of water appeared, which became known far and wide for its miraculous power. A pagan in Laodicea had a dumb daughter, which caused him great grief, but the Archangel Michael appeared to him in a dream and urged him to take his daughter to this spring, that she might he restored to health. The father immediately obeyed, took his daughter and there encountered many people who had come to seek deliverance from various ills. They were all Christians. The man asked how he should seek healing, and the Christians told him: 'In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, you must beg the Archangel Michael.' The father made his petition accordingly and dipped his daughter in the water, and the girl began to speak. Then this pagan was baptised along with his daughter and his whole household, and built a church to the Archangel Michael over the spring. Later, a young man called Archippus settled there. Pagans did him much malicious harm, for they did not want such power to be felt from a Christian holy place and many people be drawn to it. In their wickedness, they altered the course of a nearby river, so that it innundated the church and the spring. But, at the prayers of Archippus, the Archangel Michael appeared and opened a fissure in the rock at the end of the church, through which the flooding river plunged. So the place was saved, and became known as Chonae - plunging -- from the river's plunge through the opened fissure. St. Archippus lived there in asceticism till the age of seventy, and entered peacefully into rest in the Lord. 2. The Holy Martyr Romulus, and the 11,000 soldiers. When the Emperor Trajan was waging war in the East, he once ordered a count of the Christians in his army, and it was found that there were eleven thousand Christians in the imperial army. The Emperor ordered that they all be dismissed from the army and sent to Armenia. St. Romulus was an official at the Emperor's court. He went to the Emperor and chided him for these dismissals, acknowledging that he himself was a Christian. The Emperor ordered that Romulus be beheaded. Of the exiled soldiers, ten thousand were crucified and the others died under various tortures. 3. St. Eudoxius.
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and the pagans began to search for the guilty man. He was a robber leader near Hermopolis in Egypt. but some of these customs. At that time. Euodus wrote a work on the holy Mother of God.104 other soldiers whom Eudoxius had brought to the Christian faith. where holy Sozon gave his soul to God. and only in his later years came to himself. September 20th . 3. repented and became a monk. Euodus was a disciple of the Apostle Peter. is also deprived of such participation. have remained to the present day as a hidden putrefaction from seemingly-healed wounds. Freed from prison. he gave away all his 8 . Thus these faithful soldiers of Christ served with honour on earth and entered into the joy of their Lord. he appeared to his wife Vasilissa. and also anyone who encourages others to do this. whipped and flogged and then flung half-dead into prison. 4. Son of Dionysius. He suffered for Christ in Colophon. One of these customs was the seizing and carrying-off of girls. 2. The Holy Apostles Euodus and Onesiphorus. he suffered for Christ in the time of Diocletian. That no-one else should suffer for his action. His relics were found to be wonderworking. Sozon went to the governor and declared himself to be a Christian and the performer of that act. the governor of Silicia.A commander in the Roman army. and how she gave birth to the Lord at that age. then chained him to a tree and flogged him with iron flails. there was a golden idol which was worshipped by the pagans. who was faithful to Christ till her death and entered peacefully into rest. they cast him into the flames. When he was at his last breath. These apostles were among the Seventy. according to my earlier direction -. With him suffered his friends Zeno and Macarius. The Holy Martyr Eupsychius. but both these works were destroyed during a time of persecution of Christians. he was brutally tortured for Christ. In the city. and deprive the abductor of participation in worship. and 1. to take her away and return her to her parents.Church Calendar 1. like a snake or some such wild beast and universal enemy. melting it down and giving the gold to the poor. St Basil writes strongly about this to one of his priests on the occasion of such an occurrence: 'Do all in your power. where an angel of God appeared to him and healed him.18) as his sincere friend and helper. and a church dedicated to him was built over them. Sozon left his sheep. his devout faith. and that we may show protection to the abused. He suffered in about 304. There was a great outcry in the city because of this. It is said that he was bound behind wild horses and torn asunder. went to the city. He entered peacefully into rest in the sixth century. FOR CONSIDERATION Christianity has uprooted many barbaric customs from human society. He was killed for Christ during one of the Emperor Vespasian's visits to Antioch . praiseworthy from the pagan point of view and shameful from the Christian. when you find this girl. that the abductor. in which he expounds how the holy Virgin was taken to the Temple at the age of three. and also those who helped him.each of them with his whole house to be debarred from participation in worship for the space of three years. The Holy Martyr Sozon. there was a great persecution of Christians near the city of Pompeiopolis on the part of Maximian. may be driven from among them. 1:16. St. teaching his brothers and sisters. and even holds her by force. and his friends. He wrote another work under the title 'The Lighthouse'. Ignatius the God-Bearer mentions St. being judged and tortured by the governor of Melitene in Armenia. a senator. Sozon was a shepherd and lived by the Law of God. Euodus in glowing terms in his Epistle to the Antiochians. how she stayed there for eleven years and was given into Joseph's keeping at the age of fifteen. After his death. and his successor at his hands as Bishop of Antioch. where he had been bishop. being worthy of the Kingdom of God through his great asceticism. The torturers first beat him. St. Our Holy Father David. He learned in a vision that he would suffer martyrdom for Christ. entered the pagan temple and knocked an arm off the golden idol. Born in Lycaonia. Onesiphorus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul (II Tim.Civil Calendar September 7th . Any village that receives an abducted girl and hides her.

he was flogged until he gave his soul to God. 3. and so she was of royal blood from her father and priestly blood from her mother. they prayed with tears that God would bring joy to their old age with the gift of a child. and nearby are two healing springs -. Eupsychius had so conquered the passion of anger within himself that. glory of the human race. Anger is a terrible fire that devours everything. The Feast of the Kalishto Icon of the Holy Mother of God. Macarius. almighty and all-seeing. he would need no other counsel to cease from anger.possessions. she foreshadowed Him who would be born of her as King and High Priest. whence she returned again to Nazareth and shortly afterwards heard the tidings of the holy Archangel Gabriel concerning the birth of the Son of God. ark of God's holy things. Ananias. some to the poor and some to his slanderers. Born in Nazareth. in the face of death. and he once miraculously preserved Novgorod from an attack by seventy-two princes. Arrested afresh.Church Calendar 1. By this. St. and evil will not gain any height. tree of the most delicious fruits. Anger against an enemy usually involves some other evil sentiment.of St. in a cave.'is an evil sickness that can destroy our souls. Athanasius. in seeking the salvation of another. Joachim and Anna. 9 . The Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God. and robbers that intended plundering or desecrating the monastery were fiercely punished by an unseen power. from 1163. we forget that anger is a mortal sin and that.but what a daughter and what a grandson! Mary full of grace. as He had once given joy to the aged Abraham and Sarah. we risk losing our own. and that is the desire for revenge. because of this. gave them a joy far exceeding all their expectations and their wildest dreams. We generally become angry either with those whom we desire to turn from sin or with our calumnators. Many of the sick were miraculously healed. He was first a married priest and then. he received the Great Habit and entered peacefully into rest in the Lord on September 7th. were ashamed before men and humble before God. he gave half of his possessions to the poor and half to his slanderers. The holy Virgin Mary was born of her aged parents. Her father was of the tribe of David and her mother of the tribe of Aaron. He had a vision of the holy Mother of God and a rare power over demons. Peter and St. giving them their son Isaac. for He gave them not just a daughter. In relation to this. who later gave them just one grandson -. St Chrysostom writes: 'Let us clip the wings of anger. He suffered in the time of the Emperor Hadrian (117-38). table of living bread.this was the daughter given by God to Joachim and Anna. 1185. God gave them just one daughter. He illumined them not only with temporal joy but with eternal. but the Mother of God. building seven churches during his lifetime. altar of the living God. Anger'. the temple of the Holy Spirit. Her parents were already old and had no children. making them obey him. and. If an angry man could see himself in the moment of anger. The miraculous icon of the most holy Mother of God stands in the church. 2. the holy Mother of God revealed her power and mercy through numerous miracles. he says.' September 21st . praying to God day and night to give me victory over anger. In their humility. because there is nothing more unpleasant than an angry face. In the monastery of the most holy Mother of God near the village of Kalishto. fount of virginity and purity -. she was after three years taken to the Temple in Jerusalem. He suffered from diabolical temptations.' Abba Ammon confessed of himself: 'I spent fourteen years in Scetis. the Saviour of the world. 4. God. praise of womanhood. stands the chapel of St. because of whom he was being tortured and killed. John. but overcame them all by the power of the Cross and by prayer. bishop in Novgorod. Not far from the main church. blessed among women. FOR CONSIDERATION Victory over anger is one of the greatest Christian victories. The Feast of the Pochaev Icon of the Holy Mother of God. Archbishop of Novgorod. from her most pure and virginal body. to the west of Struga.Civil Calendar September 8th . St. He regarded his slanderers as his benefactors. Retiring to a monastery in old age. Milk and water flowed from his wounds in place of blood. in the words of St.

whose mother took him. C. She was standing on a rock. After their glorious death. and were barren.Church Calendar 1. but only the Mother of Christ. by whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed. he had received his sight. Joachim lived for eighty years and Anna for seventy-nine.In the province of Volinsk there stands the famous monastery of the Mother of God in Pochaev. Dionysius the Areopagite writes of the immeasurable joy. at that moment. God sent them His angel. There lives in Belgrade today a cafe proprietor. This caused great grief to the two aged souls. St. At the time of the martyrdom of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (March 9th). where she first appeared in about 1340 to two monks who were living the ascetic life in a cave. Once. of the tribe of Levi as was Aaron the High Priest. and today gives healing to many of the sick. Anna was the daughter of Matthan the priest. September 22nd . This Council met in 431 in Ephesus. and in this flaming pillar he saw the holy Mother of God. by God's will. who gave them tidings of the birth of 'a daughter most blessed. he says that if he did not acknowledge the one. In his enthusiasm. and they went home with very heavy hearts. knew that. Joachim was of the tribe of Judah. he would acknowledge her.' Others who had children jostled Joachim. and a healing spring arose at that spot.. The first monk at Pochaev saw a flaming pillar stretching from earth to heaven. in the time of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. He was a nobleman of Sebaste. and Anna was married in Nazareth to Joachim. FOR CONSIDERATION St. she was exalted above the hosts of angels. and she received an incomparably greater power after her physical death when. and they were well provided for. when he and his people prayed to her for help against an enemy army. and through whom will come the salvation of the world. The Council condemned Nestorius. after the priest had prayed over him before the icon of the holy Mother of God. to the monastery of Kalishto and where. The holy Virgin made such a strong and deep impression even during her earthly life. Her power comes from her ceaseless prayer to God for the faithful. this Creed. 3. They lived devoutly and quietly. John the Forerunner. and Novgorod was miraculously saved. Zoia and Anna. Commemoration of the Third Ecumenical Council. the holy Virgin Mary. Joachim and Anna. Ss. TheHoly Martyr Severian.J. using only a third of their income for themselves and giving a third to the poor and a third to the Temple. and give them a child to comfort their old age. or take anything from. he was also arrested. Nestorius would not call the holy Virgin the Mother of God. St. when they were already old and were in Jerusalem to offer sacrifice to God. especially the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. encouraging and serving them. as God. the outer and inner radiance and the indescribable fragrance that he sensed in the presence of the holy Mother of God when he visited her in Jerusalem. John of Novgorod. 2. the most holy Mother of God. the place became an inexhaustible fount of innumerable miracles. confirmed that the holy Virgin be called the Mother of God. The holy fathers. in condemning Nestorius' teaching. Issachar. 10 . the High Priest. As she was in travail at the crucifixion of her Son. born in the village of Labunishte near Struga. blind. the mother of St. St. Mary was married in Bethlehem and bore Salome. true God. he succoured them in prison. It can be said that the whole earth is protected by the miracles of her mercy. Zoia was also married in Bethlehem and bore Elisabeth.' Anna conceived at once. From that time. Patriarch of Constantinople. and they both entered into the kingdom of God. This Matthan had three daughters: Mary. for his heretical teaching on the most holy Virgin Mary and the birth of the Lord. so she is in travail for all the weak who turn to her for help. Joachim and Anna had been married for fifty years. thrusting him back as unworthy. Then the two of them gave themselves to prayer to God that He would work in them the wonder that He had worked in Abraham and Sarah. Two hundred fathers gathered at it. and in the ninth month gave birth to the holy Virgin Mary. upbraided Joachim: 'You are not worthy to offer sacrifice with those childless hands. for all who turn to her for help. it confirmed the decisions of the First and Second Councils. and a descendant of King David. she was praying to God with tears for them. laying down that no-one may add anything to. and in old age gave birth to Mary.Civil Calendar September 9th . Besides this.

St. He lived in Constantinople in the twelfth century. After a life pleasing to God. they withdrew from the city into the desert. heard of them and brought them to trial. They were three sisters from some place in Asian Bithynia. in which he underwent much suffering for Christ.Church Calendar 1. their faces were radiant. a priest with whom Sozon had quarrelled and with whom he remained estranged. as soon as it appears in the heart. There appeared first a row of priests robed in white. St. FOR CONSIDERATION One must give alms. The governor at first flattered them and promised to send them to the Emperor. 5. had a mind enlightened by the light of Christ. the governor cried to Menodora. brings to naught all the good works we have done. When people began to bring the sick to them for healing. At the desire of Sozon. and. with the increase of one's own pride and the scorning of the man? A virtue is no virtue if it is mixed up with sin. He quickly took off his own clothes and wrapped the child in them. the governor brought out her two sisters and stood them beside Menodora's dead body. which. and at Nicetas' prayers. although they were nuns and their bodies were withered. in the time of Galerius. we cannot escape pride. 2. and thus warmed it and restored it to life. After harsh torture. as milk is not milk if it is mixed with petrol or vinegar. If we give alms. and thus to live their lives in purity and virginity as true brides of Christ. a thunderbolt fell from the sky and killed the soul-less Fronton and his servants. all wounded and covered in blood: 'Offer sacrifice to the gods!' To this the holy martyr replied: 'Don`t you see that I am doing nothing but offering myself in sacrifice to my God?' When she expired under torture. Theophanes. Fronton. When we give to a beggar as a beggar and not as Christ. The Holy Martyrs Menodora. they became known against their will. not with pride but with humility. 25:40)? Theophanes the Confessor. considering those to whom one gives alms as better than oneself. Confessor and Faster. when he realised that his flattery and promises were having no effect on these brides of Christ the Lord. They gave themselves to fasting. you did it unto Me' (Matt. Nicetas the Man of God. and was later a great ascetic. who would give them in marriage to his nobles. but. whether in some other man's name or our own but not in the name of Christ.whipped and tortured for Christ. Theophanes replied: 'They're clothing Christ!' He was given Christ's grace. At that. we can escape neither pride or disdain. Brought up in a Christian spirit. urged them to deny Christ. he tortured them to death. then a row in red vestments. and his astonished parents asked him where his clothes were. What is the good of giving alms to a man. desiring to lift up their minds to God and free themselves from the illusory world. he died peacefully in the year 299. 4. appeared from the other world.Civil Calendar September 10th . and made his peace with him. Seeing them. Pulcheria the Empress. September 23rd . A certain governor. in the year 320. Does not the Lord Himself say: 'inasmuch as you did it unto one of the least of these My brethren. confessor of the Faith and wonderworker. for. prayer and toil. He was walking around the streets one day when he saw a naked child freezing in the street. and God adorned them with the gift of wonderworking. Sozon recognised his adversary among them. and the icon-lamps lit spontaneously. while still a boy. he breathed his last in the reign of the Emperor Licinius. Christians buried the bodies of these holy martyrs. a deacon. illumined by an inner peace and the grace of God. and entered into rest in the Kingdom of Christ. Metrodora and Nymphodora. He returned home naked. As they remained steadfast. pointing to it. Praising God for everything. His life was so pleasing to God that the doors of the church opened of themselves before him. who suffered some time between 305 and 311. This happened at night in the church at Blachernae. St. 11 . the governor was amazed at their beauty. and finally hanged from a tree with a heavy stone round his neck and another hanging from his feet. he ordered that Menodora be put to torture and her sisters be thrown into prison.

she vowed to remain in perpetual virginity. and lived with him as a brother. three days later. Driven out of the monastery. all three holy women entered into rest. FOR CONSIDERATION The examples of courage and endurance that are given by the Christian martyrs -.Daughter of the Emperor Arcadius.Church Calendar 1. 16:21) was bishop in Laodicea and St. he was curious and. Her labours. and the monks buried them. Urged on by a fortune-teller. as an earnest of this vow. they found a cave and. Lucius (Rom.for all that was simply devilish illusion. set off after them to see where they were carrying the fruit. 12 . She built the famous church of the Mother of God at Blachernae in Constantinople. where. stealing the fruit and carrying it off. left their stolen fruit and quickly returned. together with the monks. Bishop of Monemvasia. who was chosen as Emperor. Her conscience immediately began to trouble her. They then begged the abbot to bring them Holy Communion. She entered into rest in the Lord on September 10th. she would not let the truth be known. fasts. Theodora had very great grace from God: she tamed wild beasts. known and unknown. She overcame all the enemy's assaults. Thus God glorified this true penitent. September 24th . Her husband came to her funeral.shine with radiant glory through every page of the history of the Christian Church. The eldest of them told him of their life: how she had been a Constantinopolitan noblewoman whose husband had died and whom another noble had wanted to take by force as his wife. Going thus. After Theodosius' death. had fled to this remote spot. who said that Theodora had lain with her. refusing to worship Satan. St. had arranged for birds to bring them fruit to eat. Apollos. that she would spend the rest of her life in virginity. into the depths of which the ravens disappeared. had a table of gold and precious stones made for the cathedral. as the examples of voluntary martyrs are given us to marvel at. Exploring. St. But. three nuns. After seven years. with heroic endurance. He. she spent seven years wandering in the forests and deserts. It was at her instigation that the Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus was summoned. which condemned the Nestorian heresy. She reigned together with her brother Theodosius the Younger. Paul. Our Holy Mother Theodora. at the age of fifty-five. for asceticism is nothing other than a long-drawn-out martyrdom. A noblewoman of Constantinople with her two handmaids. While he was still a layman and a tax-collector. seeing no-one and seen of no-one but God. regarding it as a punishment from God for her former sin. and remained till his death in the cell of his former wife. But she had decided. 3.Civil Calendar September 11th . When they had received Communion. in His providence. Apostles among the Seventy: Apollos (Acts 18:24-25) was bishop in Smyrna before St. and. and she cut off her hair and dressed in men's garb. Polycarp. she married Marcian. she was the wife of a young man. they scorned the vanity of the world and withdrew to solitude. after her husband's death. an angel appeared to the abbot and explained everything to him. They had spent eleven years there in fasting and prayer. with her two handmaids. he happened to stay in a monastery. healed sicknesses and brought water to a dry well. it all vanished away like smoke. in it. so also (and no less) are the examples of the Christian ascetics. and had therefore given her goods away to the poor and. who. vigils. and was greatly zealous for the Orthodox faith.thousand upon thousand of them -. has given to posterity the instructive example of a group of women ascetics. she committed adultery with another man. they came to an impenetrable forest. Only then did the monks learn that she was a woman. the abbot of the monastery received her back. after eleven years of asceticism. It was she who found the relics of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. meekness and tearful repentance were a source of wonder to all the brethren. and when Theodora made the sign of the Cross. caring for the harlot's child. From Alexandria. Clement was bishop in Sardis. and she lived there in asceticism a further two years and then entered into rest in the Lord. The Three Holy Women of Constantinople. to take food from the hand of a soldier or to heed her husband's demand that she return to him -. they entered into rest in the Lord. spent nine years repenting of one sin. 453. Slandered by some harlot. Seeing ravens set about the fruit trees. Lucius and Clement. then went off to the men's monastery of Octodecatos under the man's name of Theodore. 4. She entered into rest in the year 490. Ss.

Severian. in my place. The spiritual father of this monastery dreamed one night that he was in Paradise. Not far from the town of Soreoi was a place called Limnae. and many of the sick received healing from them.2. The Hieromartyr Autonomus.Civil Calendar September 12th . he left Italy for Bithynia in Asia during Diocletian's persecution. he suffered greatly for the Orthodox faith: heretics put out one of his eyes and broke his left leg. She is glorified forever by the Lord. 5. who. in 363. Many holy women. with their wives. A bishop. and often kissed him on the missing eye. going to a place called Soreoi. and all knew of the holiness and godliness of Ephrosynus.Church Calendar 1. I would have had my revenge. were followed and hindered by their husbands. killing also many other Christians in the church. who proposed that secular priests be completely forbidden to marry. He took part in the First Ecumenical Council. The Emperor Constantine valued him greatly. The Holy Martyr Ia. and. and the whole air was filled with a wonderful fragrance. Didymus and Diomedes. fearing the praise of men. Two hundred years after his death. he saw these three lovely and fragrant apples on his pillow. and she therefore dressed herself in men's clothing and hid in a men's monastery. 3. and there saw Ephrosynus. But there have also been husbands with godly wisdom. he stood in opposition to the western representatives. lost for the truth of Orthodoxy. He stayed in the house of a devout Christian. Our Holy Father Ephrosynus the Cook. during divine service. fulfilled their desire to withdraw from the world and consecrate themselves entirely to God. FOR CONSIDERATION One must not hinder any man on the path of perfect self-giving and service of God. When he awoke. These women have usually escaped in the end. where he spent the rest of his life. who determined to flee wedlock and consecrate themselves to God. Agnes Cheshka. Thus God glorified him who glorified Him while in the body. This roused the pagans. Autonomus appeared to a soldier called John. slew Autonomus in the altar. The Holy Martyrs Diodore. Theodora had to conceal herself from her husband with the greatest caution. He was chaste throughout the whole of his life. St. she suffered for the Lord in Persia in the time of Sapor II. St Paphnutius the Confessor. remaining steadfast in their intention. brother?' 'Where you were. a noble courtier. The spiritual father then revealed the whole affair to the monks. and they hurried one day to the church of the Archangel Michael in Soreoi and. According to tradition. Cornelius. Denounced by an idolatrous priest. breaking off the betrothal. and gave their souls into the hands of their Lord. went into a monastery. A bishop in the Egyptian Thebaid. But he. In the time of the Emperor Constantine. They were flogged for Christ's sake in Laodicea. 4. but she would not agree to enter into wedlock. Father'. she has chosen the King of heaven. entirely inhabited by pagans. by their example. At the Council. St. This soldier dug up the saint's relics and found them to be completely uncorrupt. St. but I dare not consider myself affronted that. A simple man and a man of God. he served as cook in a certain monastery in the ninth century. wakened their husbands' consciences and set them on the way of salvation. 13 . who chose for him three apples of Paradise. Autonomus went to this place and quickly brought many to the light by the Gospel of Christ. whom Autonomus ordained priest and then consecrated bishop. The Emperor Frederick was betrothed to a maiden. He quickly found Ephrosynus and asked him: 'Where were you last night.' September 25th . built a church over St. refuting the Arian heresy with great power. Then the wise Emperor said: 'If she had left me for some mortal man. the sun was darkened at the time of her death. and have often. immediately fled from the monastery and hid himself in the desert. Autonomus' grave. the blessed man of God replied. where he brought many to the Christian faith and built them a church dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

made their way to Jerusalem. there is no-one else in the world. Bishop of Iconium. our hope and our confidence. for all that the heart of man can desire. Strive to find Him. our riches. If you find the one God. my son. being first tortured and then beheaded. you will find more joy in Him than if you had found the whole world. Our Holy Father Daniel of Thasos. he was a contemporary of St. When the holy Empress Helena found the Lord's Cross in Jerusalem. nor any other such dangerous or deadly thing. It was finished in the same year in which Constantine completed thirty years on the throne. a local Council of bishops was meeting in Tyre. where the people besought him to free them from an infestation of snakes. but their aged bishop would not leave and presented himself to Perinius. our clothing and shelter. these courageous men cried out mockingly to the torturer: 'Why not try our meat.Church Calendar 1. with his 40 companions. He gave his holy soul to God under the sword. Tatianus and Theodulus. 335. FOR CONSIDERATION What sort of relationship must a man have with God? Uninterrupted and constant. At the time of her death. nor grasshoppers nor caterpillars. he cannot find peace of soul. They were harshly tortured for destroying the statue of an idol. Perinius. The Hieromartyr Cornutus. They all suffered in about the year 300. An ascetic and the founder of a great monastery. she brought the child up in the fear of God. September 13th. At that time. and do Thou receive my soul in peace.' 4. and during this time she had discovered by experience that God was all in all to her. like the glorious archdeacon Laurence: 'Turn us over. The Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ. and also. O Lord. On Golgotha. counsels St Antony. the torturers were infinitely more confused and frightened than they were. grant. 'Cleave to God as a son to his father'. where she found the Precious Cross. In the face of death. They went out of the city and hid. our food and drink. proclaiming himself a Christian. and so the consecration of the church and the Emperor's Jubilee were fixed for the same day. and burned on an iron grid until they gave their souls to God. she stayed longer in the city and built churches in Gethsemane. While they were burning over the fire. and that the one God is sufficient for all that the heart of man can desire. Born in Nicomedia. 5. Julian prayed thus: 'To those who take some of my dust. These bishops. accepting it from her slanderers as her own. we're done on this side!' Seeing and hearing the holy martyrs on the fire. the holy Empress wanting to bring under one roof the places of His suffering and His glory.2. Theodora was not speaking from books or using another's words. The saint prayed to God. St Alonius says: 'If a man does not have a heartfelt sense that. besides him and God. and the snakes. The torturer bound him hand and foot and ordered that he be dragged through the town until his blood flowed. to the solemn consecration of the 14 . St. that is enough for you. he was already very old when a persecution arose under Decius and Valerian. in the village of Sarsalus. But Helena went to the Lord before this magnificent church was completed. she was speaking from her own experience. They suffered for Christ the Lord in the time of Julian the Apostate at Myropolis in Phrygia. may marauding birds never invade their fields. Out of love. on the Mount of Olives and in other places that commemorated the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. September 26th . to see if it's done!'.Civil Calendar September 13th . the forgiveness of their sins and the subduing of their passions. came to Nicomedia and began to seek out the Christians. in large numbers. 3. Blessed Theodora took on a strange child without a word. in Bethlehem. The Holy Martyrs Macedonius. under whose roof would be the places both where the Lord was crucified and where He was buried.' In thus saying. and more than enough. rushed into the sea and were drowned. she counselled the child thus: 'What more does a man need than God and His divine love? He is our treasure. A torturer. our health and strength.' The one God is enough. She had lived for seven years driven out and scorned by men. The Holy Martyr Julian. our mirth and joy. St. Joannicius the Great and was present when Joannicius visited the island of Thasos. she began to build an enormous church. with many others.

2. Forewarned by God of the day of his death. 5. built a temple for idol-worship. a blind woman received her sight. Arsenius: 'It is enough for a monk to sleep one hour out of the twenty-four. It was then instituted that this day. And so throughout history: some persecutors became Christians and others had an evil end. What happened to Herod. making no distinction between the two. but the saint appeared to Silvanus. The Apostle later made him bishop and sent him to the pagan town of Skepseis.Church of the Resurrection of the Lord. Our Holy Father Hierotheos. should be celebrated every year. He scattered the Jews throughout the world and. and the pagan temples were pulled down in the time of the Empress Helena and the Emperor Constantine. said the Lord to Saul. 4. attacking Jerusalem. But. By order of the Shah.' Oh. where holy Cornelius suffered much humiliation and pain for the sake of Christ. The Hieromartyr Cornelius the Centurion. FOR CONSIDERATION What happens to the persecutors of Christ's Church? Ask Saul. in the place where Solomon's Temple had been. Eugenius. and was at pains to fulfil the rule of St.' He entered into rest in 1745 on the island of Varos. his head is preserved in the monastery of Iviron. as a day of victory and triumph for the Church of Christ. The Holy Martyr Ketevana.. She suffered as a Christian under Shah Abbes I. The Emperor Hadrian. Dimitrios. How distressed the Christians of that time must have been. 'It is hard to kick against the pricks. a temple to Zeus over the Lord's tomb and a temple to Adonis in Bethlehem. The bishop did so. Many miracles have been performed over his relics. gave them counsel.Church Calendar 15 . commanding him to build a church there. some thought that the Church of Christ was only for the Jews and for those who received Jewish circumcision. the Bishop of Troas. a white-hot helmet was placed on her head. A Roman and an officer in Palestinian Caesarea. when they revealed that they were Christians.Civil Calendar September 14th . like smoke. and Saul was baptised and became Paul. Cornelius left everything and followed the Apostle Peter. Of these relics. the Emperor exiled them to Sceta. what happened to him. his grave was forgotten and neglected. the persecutor of the Church. Her son Taymuraz. meant to be revenged not only on the Jews but also on the Christians. with the help of a wealthy citizen. he gathered all the Christians together. seeing their holy places defiled in such a way! But what happened in the end? The Emperor Hadrian died an evil death. On touching his holy relics in Constantinople. and two hundred and seventy seven pagans. after his own name. where they were cast into the flames in a place called New Danube. In time. 'It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks' (Acts 9:5). laid her relics under the throne in the church at Alaverdsk in Georgia. who in their place built beautiful churches which remain to this day. King of Georgia. He was distinguished by great secular learning and by strict monastic asceticism. by the power of God. Being baptised. like smoke. prayed to God and peacefully went to his Lord full of years. 3. and their struggle against Christ dispersed into nothing. they were at first imperial cup-hearers. Born in the Peloponnese in the village of Kalamata. and was the first pagan to enter the Church of God. and forbade anyone to call it Jerusalem. From Pamphlagonis. and his relics have wonderworking power. and showed him the whereabouts of his grave. but. He also re-named Jerusalem Aelia. The Holy Martyrs Macrobius and Gordian. what a hopeless despair is the lot of all who struggle against Christ! September 27th . The efforts of the one and the other against Christianity dispersed into nothing. the first persecutor of Christians? What happened to Julian the Apostate'! They died an evil death. in the year 320. in 1624. he destroyed the temple of Apollo and baptised the prince of that town. Queen of Georgia. he lived in asceticism in the monastery of Iviron on the Holy Mountain. he was baptised by the Apostle Peter after a heavenly vision (Acts 10:1). Until then. He built a temple on Golgotha to the foul Venus.

She had the gift of wonderworking during her lifetime and after her death. The wife of the Emperor Theodosius the Great. At that moment. King Chozroes conquered Jerusalem. they knew that this was the Precious and life-giving Cross of Christ. the dead man remained unchanged. FOR CONSIDERATION As one candle is lit from another. gave him a great measure of gold and told him to make whatever sort of cross he liked. When someone told her that this was not consistent with her imperial dignity. When she approached the monks. The discerning Patriarch. the holy Empress Helena decided to look for the Precious Cross of the Lord. triumphing and rejoicing in the Lord. the finding of the Cross on Golgotha and the second the returning of the Cross to Jerusalem from Persia. who stripped himself of his raiment and. Entering the city. and found a young but experienced goldsmith. He passed this vision on to the Emperor. blessed him for the way of martyrdom. Then Patriarch Macarius told them to place the crosses one by one on the dead man. and then. Later. and placed the precious Cross in it. Patriarch Zacharias saw an angel directing the Emperor to take off his imperial robes and walk beneath the Cross along the way that Christ had walked. but suddenly the aged Emperor was unable to take another step. The poor goldsmith. A disciple of Patriarch Niphon at the time that the latter was labouring in the asceticism of silence at Vatopedi. saying: 'Know. under pressure from the Empress. 4. She at first lived a life of harlotry. she replied: 'It befits the imperial state to help with money. Our Holy Father. She suddenly repented and vowed to sin no more from that moment. Macarius longed for martyrdom for the sake of Christ. Macarius went to Salonica and. Holy Cross Day. and. She was especially distinguished by her help to the poor and the sick. While the Empress was in uncertainty about how to recognise which cross was the Lord's. they placed it on a sick woman.1. 2. and begged St Niphon's blessing to seek it. true God. he revealed that the Cross was buried under the Temple of Venus that the Emperor Hadrian had built on Golgotha. my child. Our Holy Mother Maria of Tarsus. When they placed the first and second on him. the Martyr Macarius of Salonica. digging deep below it. The monks took her with them to a women's monastery. he was restored to life. that you would come to know the truth and be baptised in the name of the Father. When he was brought to trial. and she recovered. and told a monk of Macarius' death by martyrdom. perceiving that this was God's will. they rebuked her and pushed her away as unclean. 3.' She entered peacefully into rest in about 400. May we be worthy of blessing by his prayers!' (From the Athonite Patrology). On this day are commemorated two events connected with the Precious Cross of Christ: the first. Two monks traveling through Tarsus stayed at the inn where Maria plied her trade. took up the Cross. took the people into slavery and carried the Lord's Cross off to Persia. and is borne to heaven. began to speak of Christ as the one. a funeral procession passed by. so good works are caught from others. Then the Patriarch raised the Cross aloft for all to see. St Placilla the Empress. she was a true Christian in both thought and deed. Niphon saw this in his spirit at Vatopedi. in poor clothing and barefoot. An old Jew called Judah was the only person who knew the whereabouts of the Cross. carried it to Golgotha and placed it in the Church of the Resurrection. The Turks seized him and threw him into prison. she found three crosses. to the joy and consolation of the whole Christian world. but when they placed the third on him. A nobleman decided to give a gold cross to a church. After that. Heraclius was carrying the Cross on his back. In 628. seeing such an offering made by the nobleman for 16 . Staying in the Holy Land. where it remained for fourteen years. in the midst of a crowd of Turks. my personal endeavours (towards the poor) I give to Him whose good will it was to give me this state. barefoot and humiliated as He had been. where Maria lived in asceticism till old age. and the people sang with tears: 'Lord. The Empress ordered that this idolatrous temple be pulled down. the Greek Emperor Heraclius was victorious over Chozroes and brought the Cross back to Jerusalem with great ceremony. By this. that your brother Macarius has today died a martyr. Macarius cried out to the Turks: 'Oh. have mercy!' The Empress Helena had a silver casing made. the Son and the Holy Spirit!' The Turks beheaded him in 1527.

who took part in the First Ecumenical Council. and on another multiplied bread. he cried out: 'Now I am a Christian!' Everyone thought that this was in jest. who were sent to the Caucasus area to preach the Gospel. St Nicetas stood before the prince and denounced him for his paganism and inhumanity. The Holy Martyrs Theodotus. Nicetas suffered and was glorified in 372. Our Holy Father Philotheus. he first mocked at Christians before Julian the Apostate. 6. to receive Christ's reward along with you. and entered into the Kingdom of heaven. and of the Holy Spirit. 7. 4. Nicetas the more strongly confessed his faith in Christ. 2. He was a priest. When the young man saw the nobleman in such a rage. Archbishop of Larissa. and was glorified by his miracles both during his lifetime and after his death. Bishop of Alaverdsk. He entered into rest in the Lord in the tenth century. he turned water into wine. and decided to add ten gold pieces of his own to the nobleman's heap of gold. stopped mocking Christians and finally suffered for Christ. and myrrh was found to flow from his relics.' Hearing this. He lived in the sixteenth century. He was beheaded in 361. Asclepidote and Maximus. Finally. 3. Nicetas was a Goth by birth. Prince of the Goths.' When he emerged from the water. St Joseph. in which St Nicetas breathed his last. where he built a church dedicated to St Nicetas and placed the wonderworking relics of the martyr in it.the sake of his soul.Civil Calendar September 15th . you are my son and the inheritor of all my goods. His wonderworking relics are preserved in the Cathedral in Alaverdsk. he was dipped into the water. St Nicetas carried this icon because the holy Mother of God had appeared to him and comforted him. He founded the Monastery of the Saviour in the diocese of Larissa. they suffered for Christ near Philipopolis in the village of Saltis. and a disciple of Bishop Theophilus of the Goths. He suffered for the Christian faith under the Turks in the city of Ephesus in 1811. His mind was unceasingly lifted up to God and immersed in Him. Nobles of Trachis. he confessed his deed. On one occasion. Tormented by terrible tortures. The Holy New Martyr John of Crete. some time between 305 and 311. He was from the village of Myrmix or Mravin in Asia Minor. pronouncing the words: 'In the name of the Father. and a wonderworker even during his lifetime. When the cross was ready. the Wonderworker. 'some gold of my own. to the town of Mopsuestia. An actor.Theophila. St John went peacefully to the Lord in 570. when he was mimicking the Christian mystery of Baptism. 'I added'. as the widow gave her two mites.' September 28th . he said. The Holy Martyr Porphyrius. On one occasion. St Vissarion. FOR CONSIDERATION 17 . The Holy Martyr Nicetas. His friend Marianus took his body from the land of the Goths (Wallachia and Bessarabia) to Cilicia. 5. began to persecute the Christians. as always. but he held firm to it. was fired in his own heart with love for God. One of the twelve Syrian fathers (see May 7th). He immediately began to abuse him as a thief. the torturer threw Christ's martyr into the flames. and of the Son. His mother had the same name the other way round -. and prayed to God with thanksgiving. the nobleman weighed it and found that it was heavier than the gold that he had given to the young man. the nobleman's heart was touched and he said to the young man: 'From this day. and in his hand beneath his robe he held an icon of the holy Mother of God with the pre-eternal Christ Child standing and holding the Cross in His hands. suspecting him of having abstracted some of the gold and substituted a heavier metal. When Athenarik. but his body remained untouched by the fire.Church Calendar 1. and entered into the Kingdom of Christ.

She was finally thrown to the wild beasts and. He was distinguished by a rare love of labour and by wonderworking power. and want to be baptised!' The onlookers thought at first that this was part of the act. At the time of his death. But something utterly unpremeditated happened. Euphemia was thrown into a pit filled with water and all kinds of poisonous reptiles. they replied: 'Both the Emperor's commands and yours must be obeyed if they are not contrary to the God of heaven. his soul was suddenly changed within him and he indeed became a Christian. forty-nine Christians absented themselves from the festivities and hid themselves.Civil Calendar September 16th . See his 'Lives'. hoping to bring her thus to idolatry. for which they were thrown to the wild beasts and thus finished their earthly course with glory. from day to day. but an angel of God appeared and broke it. By day he built cells for the new monks and by night plaited mats. Her parents buried her body. or turns them to that which they mocked. A similar thing happened with a comedian. they must be resisted. If they are. The Holy and Great Martyr Euphemia. When the furious Priscus asked them why they had not carried out the imperial command. On one occasion. Gennesus. holy Euphemia being among them. came to faith in Christ. Our Holy Father Dorotheus. St Porphyrius was at first famous among the pagans as a mocker of Christianity. Priscus. First. This Gennesus presented the Christian Eucharist before a crowd of pagans. her father was the senator Philophronus and her mother's name was Theodorisia. After that. 4. Metropolitan of Kiev. When all his flattery proved fruitless.Church Calendar 1. But they were discovered and brought before Priscus. he wrote a Farewell which was read at his graveside. She suffered in the year 303. but she made the sign of the Cross over the water as she went into the pit. Seeing this. probably in the time of Diocletian. before the judge and the Emperor. by his fruitful labours. When. and remained unharmed. 1406. He lived through all this with greatness of soul and. His patron was Patriarch Philotheos of Constantinople. Born in Chalcedon. he remained steadfast in his faith. she was put on a wheel. took him into his service and then sent him to Kiev as Metropolitan. St Cyprian. An Egyptian hermit of the fourth century. he ordered that she be tortured. spending almost thirty years as Metropolitan. with a prayer of thanksgiving. (St Euphemia is also commemorated on July 11th. he began to denounce the Emperor for his impure idolatry. 3. celebrated a festival of sacrifice to Ares in Chalcedon. He either punishes mockers to correct them. Euphemia was a girl beautiful in both body and soul. they must not only not be obeyed. For this he was tortured and beheaded. *Author's note: Metropolitan Philaret writes that Cyprian was a Serb. When Porphyrius went down into the water and spoke the words of baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity. he was tortured and killed. but he went on reiterating his faith in Christ. gave her soul into God's hands. In place of his mocking of the Christian faith.) 2. delighting them all with his mockery and wit. Her daughter18 . brought much benefit to the Russian Church. The grandmother of the Czech King Vatslav (Wenceslas) and wife of the Czech Prince Borivoy. and entered into eternal joy.' Then Priscus put them to various tortures for nineteen days. he lived in asceticism for sixty years in a cell in the Thebaid. two soldiers. Victor and Sosthenes. he held Euphemia apart from the others and began to flatter her beauty. When the Proconsul. But all of a sudden he changed and cried out before the people: 'I believe. he devoted himself especially to the translation and writing of books. both devout Christians. he enacted a mock Christian baptism before the Emperor Julian the Apostate and his court. The Holy Martyr Ludmilla. and his wonderworking relics are preserved in the Church of the Dormition in Moscow. but she was preserved by God's power. Born in Trnovo and given a Serbian* upbringing on the Holy Mountain. she was very zealous for the Christian faith and was greatly instrumental in freeing the Church from paganism. He entered into rest on September 16th. never interrupting his prayer and psalmody. who came to know him on the Holy Mountain.God is not mocked. On the twelfth day. Thus do Christ's mockers become His martyrs. September 29th . Then he had her thrown into a fiery furnace.

The Empress sent the apple to the sick senator Paulinus. steeped herself and her daughters in the Christian faith. Vatslav buried her in the Church of St George in Prague.' The torturers inflicted harsh torture on Vera. They beat them. as was the case with Lazarus and Job. out of love for the Emperor. inexpressible beauty and life eternal. The Church of Christ alone is able to explain the cause of every misfortune.' The Empress Eudocia was secretly in sympathy with the Eutychian heresy. 3. They were all Egyptians.in this she was completely innocent -.Church Calendar 1. acting on the advice of the great Palestinian spiritual teachers. The Holy Martyr Agathocleia. brought her a large apple. and two renowned men. She lied. and brought the commander to trial as a murderer. Zeno. They were all crowned with wreaths and entered into the eternal Kingdom of Christ. Nada and Lubov (Faith. who were at first Christians but forsook Christianity and turned again to idol-worship. a priest. In time. and he asked his wife where the apple was. At the moment of their passion. and for this was harshly tortured both by them and by the judge. was traveling one day near Philipopolis when he saw the dead body of a man on the highway. as a military commander. according to the words of Chrysostom. Among them were two old bishops. Someone came upon him. 19 . The Church places all misfortunes in two groups: One. returned whole-heartedly to Orthodoxy.in-law hated her. He will clothe you in incorruption and the wounds on your bodies will shine in heaven like the stars. From simple compassion. and we vainly ask why. Sophia took the dead bodies of her daughters out of the town and buried them. The wise Sophia (as her name -. then gave her soul to God. This gave rise in the Emperor to suspicion and uncertainty towards his wife and the senator. 'as a means of receiving a wreath. and sent men to kill the aged Ludmilla in Techino in 927. was murdered by his brother Boleslav. FOR CONSIDERATION Often some unexpected misfortune comes upon us. but God glorified His handmaid in His heavenly kingdom. the mother urged her valiant daughters to endure to the end. and stayed by their grave in prayer for three days and nights. 'Your heavenly Lover. Hope and Love). stabbed them and threw them into fire and boiling pitch. Holy Vatslav. Nada and Lubov one by one. When your bodies are slain by torture. hastening to the heavenly company where the blessed souls of her daughters awaited her. a great zealot for the Orthodox faith. those that come upon sinners because of their old. The Holy Martyrs Vera. is eternal health. With them also suffered Bishop Silvanus and an eminent. This misfortune falls in the second group: 'for the receiving of a wreath'. She was a servant of one Nicolas and his wife Paulina. Patermuthius and Elias. unrepented sin. as a Christian. General Marcian was soon after this chosen as Emperor. some by the sword and some by fire. He. and said that she had eaten it. and many miracles were wrought over her relics. who knew the Scriptures by heart and recited them to gatherings of Christians. he got off his horse and began to bury the man. Peleus and Nilus. Marcian would have been punished by death if God had not quickly revealed who was the real murderer. those that come upon the righteous and serve. Eudocia recovered from her heresy and. Nada ten and Lubov nine.Sophia . and two. Holy Agathocleia refused to follow the example of her masters. Jesus Christ.but because of her heretical beliefs. and suffered for Christ the Lord in 310. Finally.Civil Calendar September 17th .wisdom. They lived and suffered in Rome in the time of the Emperor Hadrian. blind old man. her mistress killed her by pouring burning coals on her neck. hearkening in this to the counsel of the treacherous eunuch Chrysaphius. Misfortune suddenly came upon her. Vera was twelve. sent this same apple to Theodosius. September 30th . the Emperor Theodosius. Another and different example: the Emperor Marcian. and he exiled Eudocia to Palestine. The four of them were brought before the Emperor. The 156 Holy Martyrs of Egypt. with their arms entwined 'like a woven wreath'. One day her husband. and their mother Sophia. humbly but firmly confessing their faith in Christ the Lord and refusing to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. and finally beheaded them one after the other. At the time that Hadrian's persecuting hand stretched out over the virtuous house of Sophia. This added to the Emperor's suspicions. The Empress' misfortune did not arise from any misconduct with Paulinus -. 2. John. indicates) was left a widow and.

4. and put pressure on her to deny Christ and worship idols. You want to conquer this land. freeing himself of two heavy burdens: the burden of riches and the burden of the flesh. in about 230. She endured eight years of harsh torture on the part of the governor. When she saw her persecutors. She was beheaded with the sword in the time of the Emperor Alexander Severus. He devoted his days to administrative work and his nights to prayer. Ariadne was already a long way from the town. Vatslav sent him a letter. As a bishop. Prince of Georgia. invaded the Czech lands. together with his kinsmen Elisbar and Shavel. Then Vatslav gathered together a large army and marched against his enemy. Seeing him. and a Christian. he had her whipped and tortured in other ways. In the town of Promisea in Phrygia in the time of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138). He was a lover of peace. He soon released her from prison and drove her from the house. in which Ariadne did not take part. and he often prepared and cooked the holy bread. and the rock opened and hid her. The maiden Ariadne was a slave of his. King Vatslav (Wenceslas) of the Czechs was such a ruler. 3. begged his forgiveness on his knees. he mourned the coming loss of life and sent the following message to Radislav: 'The quarrel is between the two of us. Radislav. 5:14). and I refuse to let you. and gave especial care to the poor and needy. Radislav replied haughtily that he was after the whole of the Czech lands and Vatslav's throne. seeing the two great armies. St Eumenius. the people chose him as their bishop in Gortyna. healing to the sick and a marvellous wonder. He gave himself to Christ with his whole heart from his youth. Let us settle this matter by single combat. FOR CONSIDERATION A God-fearing and faithful ruler is a blessing from heaven on his whole people. The servants were nonplussed at this. October 1st . healed many of the sick. most especially when he himself was to receive Holy Communion. In the Thebaid.worker. quarrelled among themselves and came to blows. He lived and worked in the seventh century.Civil Calendar September 18th . The Holy Martyr Bidzini. He worked many miracles by his prayers: he killed a poisonous snake. Passionless and filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. FOR CONSIDERATION 20 . The Holy Martyr Ariadne. riches to the needy. When the neighbouring prince. then threw her into prison. His zeal for the holy things of the Faith and his strictness of life are reminiscent of the ancient ascetics. What purpose would be served by a bloody conflict between our two armies?'. Bishop of Gortyna in Crete.Church Calendar 1. He died for the Christian faith under Shah Abbas II in 1661. and so holy Eumenius could not be hidden from the world. Then. there lived a pagan patrician. Eumenius shone with a radiance that could not he hidden. The Holy Martyr Theodota. and so perished at one another's hands. and. staying at home and praying to the true God. When Ariadne refused to do this. He thus healed himself and was able to heal others. Prince Radislav agreed to single combat. 2. being overcome by Vatslav. Her owner was furious with her for this. Tertullus ordered a great sacrifice to the idols. asking him what had roused him to make war against him. but quickly changed his mind and sent servants to bring her back. she prayed to God beside a great rock. Simplicius. who finally went out of his mind. consolation to the sad. Tertullus. although a great and fearless hero. and from the latter by strict fasting. and did this not only in his home city but in Rome and in the Thebaid. as it is written: 'A city set on a hill cannot be hid' (Matt. in which daily services were celebrated. He freed himself from the first by giving away all his goods to the poor and needy. he brought rain from God in a time of drought. he governed Christ's flock as a good shepherd. He was a father to the poor. He was concerned in the building of many churches. drove out demons. On his son's birthday. and there finally finished his earthly course and entered into the eternal presence of his Lord.

Just at that time. he saw a dead man lying naked. and he bound Zossima and sent him ahead to Nazareth. there was a pagan festival and offerings to the idol of Apollo in Daphne near Antioch.and the face of Christ shining over his head. two Christians. Asked who he was. The Holy Martyr Zossima the Hermit. and that he was a Christian and had lived a long time with the beasts. it took the weight of the rock with its head. entering into rest in 1298. Then the prince mocked at him: 'Command a wild beast to come. When he had wounded him all over and left him bloodied with blows. he sent him to Phrygia to Dionysius. to ease the martyr. St Theodore. 25:40). When one of his friends asked him how he had become so compassionate. was sent by the Emperor on an important errand. A Sicilian prince. says the Lord. and therefore. the prince freed Zossima. wrapped the man in it and buried him.' October 2nd . I've always seen that Face over the heads of the beggars. Christ being in heaven. the old man replied that his name was Zossima. The torturer put Trophimus to harsh torture. thinking that it couldn't be so. when they refused to deny Christ. my glory and my riches are Christ the Son of God. Then a certain senator. Coming up to Zossima. Sabbatius and Dorymedon. The Holy Martyrs Trophimus. A righteous and merciful man. and he died under these tortures. my homeland. though. Dometian. came to the prison and ministered to Trophimus. It is the same in the giving of alms as it is in Communion: in Communion. who is alive forever and by whose providence the whole universe is held in being. we receive the living Lord Christ Himself. under the form of bread and wine. The souls of these holy martyrs now reign in heaven. put them to torture one by one. and told Atticus that these two old men were not taking part. After beating and torturing Trophimus. and. both eminent and honoured men. I didn't believe this. he replied: 'My rank and dignity.Church Calendar 1. With great fear. a yet harsher torturer of Christians. In the hills. that Ss Trophimus and Dorymedon be beheaded. who soon after that gave his soul into the hands of his Lord. a misfortune overtook 21 . There was a man in Constantinople who had a rare compassion. Atticus made a special effort to ensure that all the citizens took part in the festivities. The torturer ordered. Dorymedon. Good works flow like an electric current through the whole heavenly world. Holy Dorymedon even shouted into the ear of a she-bear to eat him up. Atticus summoned them for trial. in the third century. After a certain time. Prince of Yaroslavl. he put his gift into the hands of the poor and immediately went on his way. On his journey. When some one saw Trophimuss and Sabbatius. when Atticus was governing Antioch. but the bear only became even more docile. Magistrian. taking off his tunic. Trophimus and Sabbatius. Of this a Christian must have no doubt. This outraged Dometian. take the bread and bless the giver. 3. 2. An imperial official. I give all the alms I can. and an enormous lion appeared. he saw an old man surrounded by wild beasts that were as tame as lambs.Civil Calendar September 19th . Someone passed by and gave the beggar a piece of bread. Once. he received the Great Habit at the time of his death.'Insofar as ye did it unto one of the least of these My brethren. he put them both to torture and finally threw them to the wild beasts. went hunting in the mountains with his servants. in giving to the poor we give to the living Lord Christ Himself. He was distressed at this and. who were better than the persecutors of Christians in the city. who was himself a harsh torturer of Christians. to torture him there and thus intimidate those who believed in Christ. he tied a rock round his neck and hanged him from a tree. When the torturer asked Sabbatius who he was and what was his rank. From that moment.' He was therefore beaten and flogged with iron flails until his bones showed through his flesh. he replied: 'One day in church. and I saw the Lord stretch out His hand. in consequence of this. himself taking Sabbatius from prison and trying him. a secret Christian. came to that city. ye did it unto Me' (Matt. I heard the priest say that what we give to the poor we give into the hands of the Lord Christ Himself. But the animals would not touch them. on the way home. with great fear. In the time of the Emperor Probus. and we'll all believe!' The holy martyr prayed to God. when giving alms. When the torturer discovered this. Going through the streets of the city. I saw a poor man standing in the beggars' place -. and held him in prison to inflict yet greater torture on him. to avoid hearing their thanks and becoming known. FOR CONSIDERATION The dead sense and know good works done for them.

dead but untouched by the fire. as a man can yet repent of murder. found him and took him to the Emperor. Suicide is a much graver sin than murder. and the Emperor Trajan was sorry that his brave commander Placidus. 2. Going hunting one day. Eustace went and found his wife and sons. When he arrived in Rome. and his two sons were seized by wild beasts. After this. these officers. His wonderworking relics are preserved in the Church of the Transfiguration on the island of Proti. Eustace went back to the very place where the revelation through the stag had occurred. he found a stag. the barbarians descended on the Roman Empire. isn't this your tunic? In response to your good deed. they took out their bodies. FOR CONSIDERATION Suicide is a mortal sin against the Holy Spirit. On the way back to Rome. 'For God's sake. Placidus (for that was his pagan name) was a righteous and merciful man. are preserved in the Church of the Archangel in Moscow. Then Eustace secretly left Rome with his family. Prince Michael of Chernigov went to the Tartar horde with his counselor. who had been victorious wherever he had fought. That night.Civil Calendar September 20th . After his baptism. the Emperor Trajan had died and the Emperor Hadrian was on the throne. The Emperor put him to torture. Arriving in Egypt. while there is no repentance for the sin of suicide. together with his wife and sons. the witnesses of their death by martyrdom for the sake of Christ. At that. and they decided that the leg must be amputated. he received the name Eustace. At his baptism. On the third day. was not with him. Magistrian could not sleep. God has sent me to heal you. Our Holy Father. they were beheaded.Church Calendar 1. cried Magistrian. Placidus was baptised.Magistrian: he fell from his horse and broke his leg. who gives life. but spent the hours sighing and weeping. By God's providence. Eustace settled in the Egyptian village of Vadisis. the Martyr Hilarion A monk of the Holy Mountain. 1804. At midnight.'To this the unknown man replied: 'Look carefully. Coming to the 22 . a man suddenly appeared to him and asked him: 'Why are you crying?' When Magistrian explained. When Hadrian summoned Eustace to offer sacrifice to idols. but in which holy men of God showed themselves heroic. Here are two examples of the greatest misfortune. Some wicked barbarian carried off his wife. At one moment. Their relics. When the wild beasts did them no harm. Bati. He was a great Roman military leader in the time of the Emperors Titus and Trajan. and to God that which is God's. The Holy and Great Martyr Eustace (Placidus). he suffered voluntarily for the Christian faith at the hands of the Turks in Constantinople on September 20th. who had been friends of Eustace. telling him to go to a Christian priest and be baptised. and entered into the eternal Kingdom of Christ our God. and a herdsman saved the boys from the wild beasts. the voice of God came to him again. in which a man of little soul would have committed suicide. he was immediately beset by trials. 3. The Holy Prince Michael and his Counselor Theodore. came to this village of Vadisis. St Eustace found himself one day in this predicament: he had left one of his sons on one bank of the river while he carried the other to the opposite bank and returned for the second. and thanked God on his knees that he had brought him to the truth. like the centurion Cornelius. who was baptised by the Apostle Peter (Acts 10). He lay sick in bed for a long time. and there lived as a village hireling for fifteen years. a number of doctors were gathered round him in consultation over his condition. in 1244. with the intention of hiding among simple people and serving God in an unknown and humble way. Thus this glorious general gave to Caesar that which is Caesar's. But the barbarian quickly came to a bad end. at the invitation of their ruler. When they refused to follow the Tartar custom of passing through fire and worshiping idols on being received by Bati. he threw them into a white-hot metal ox. Theodore. the unknown man stretched out his hand to the injured leg. tell me who you are!'. a shining Cross appeared among the stag's antlers and the voice of God came to Placidus. his wife the name Theopiste and their sons the names Agapius and Theopistus. foretelling suffering for His name and strengthening him. Give your thanks to God!' October 3rd . The Emperor sent two of his officers to seek the great general throughout the Empire. along with his wife and two sons. Eustace gathered the army together and defeated the barbarians. Eustace told him that he was a Christian. and it became whole. Although a pagan. By the providence of God.

casting down the foul sacrifices and destroying demonic temples by his prayers. with firm intention. but spiritual peace did not return to him. But darkness always hates the light. He returned to the Christian faith. Vissarion. 'He was as a morning star among clouds'. this brave young man was beheaded. Bishop of Ephesus. and God glorified him in heaven and on earth. and then in the city of Magnesia.middle of the river. St Dimitri. St Codratus wrote a defence of Christianity and gave it to the Emperor Hadrian. But where is the glory of the suicide? Where are his relics? October 4th . we must not fear any sort of attack by those who do not understand. Holy Codratus suffered in about 130. are each commemorated on his special day. Two childhood friends. filled with grief. but Hilarion chose the better path. he was a disciple of the Great Apostles. born in Lycia. who shone like stars in these caves of Antony's. for to him who has truly begun to live according to God's Law. with hope in God. the clouds being the darkness of Hellenic paganism. Hypatius as a strict monk and ascetic. After terrible tortures for Orthodoxy. and on this day is commemorated the finding of his wonderworking relics in 1752. They first stoned him. lived for fifteen years as a hireling and waited with patience to see his two sons again.the Hellenes -. The Hieromartyr Hypatius. and Andrew was made priest in the same city. After ridicule and torture. and the pagans hated holy Codratus. the place of his passion. The little of soul would. and then imprisoned him. He preached the Gospel in Athens. FOR CONSIDERATION If we begin. and Andrew the Priest. His biographer says of him. 3. The numerous saints. happens for his help and to the glory of God. He went to Constantinople with his spiritual father. He was buried in Magnesia. illumining the darkness. to live according to God's Law. And God rewarded his faith and patience.as a great light. Today. Eustace. a place of fear and of a depressed uncertainty about God's intentions towards us. leaving him without bread until his holy soul left his body and entered into the Kingdom of Christ his God. they both gave themselves with their whole souls to the service of God when they grew up. and the holy Apostle Codratus shone to them -. but also counseled Bash Aga to go to Russia and be baptised. 2. The little of soul and little of faith would have killed himself. He was very learned in the secular disciplines and rich with the grace of the Holy Spirit. did not kill himself but.Civil Calendar September 21st . all that happens to him at the hands of men. and Andrew as a priest among the people and a preacher of the Word of God. and not only confessed his faith in Christ openly at the Sultan's court. became a monk and gave his body to strict fasting and the harshest asceticism. One of the Seventy. For his great virtues. lacking the light of devotion.Church Calendar 1. the lover of labour and man of God. as the Jews had earlier stoned St Stephen. they were beheaded in 730. The blessed work of asceticism begun by Antony. 4. he looked at the other bank and saw a wolf grab hold of his son and carry him off. It is especially necessary not to fear a move from a place we like to a place we dislike. the whole assembly of them is commemorated and invoked by the faithful for aid. and was at first bishop in Athens after St Publius. but his conscience began to torment him and he had no peace. Hypatius was made Bishop of Ephesus. The Holy Apostle Codratus. His holy relics have wonderworking power to this day. in such a situation. St Hilarion was constrained as a young man to embrace Islam. This defence acted so strongly upon the pagan Emperor that he decreed that Christians should not he persecuted without especial cause. The Assembly of all the Saints of the Kiev Caves. Bishop of Rostov. have drowned himself in the river and made an end. They both suffered in the time of the iconoclast Emperor Leo the Isaurian. he looked on one bank and saw a lion seize the son that was there and carry him off. and both went from this transitory world to eternal life. He is commemorated on October 28th. grew throughout the ages as a fruitful olive tree. Did the wickedness of Joseph's brethren do him harm? Was not rather his involuntary departure for 23 .

Being gifted with discernment. it rather confirmed it in the souls that were exiled and scattered among the barbarian peoples. 4. 6. The Holy Priest Jonah. The stony-hearted pagans were filled with wrath against holy Phocas. He died in the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified in the ninth century. The Hieromartyr Phocas. He exercised himself from his youth in all the Christian virtues. heard of him and sent soldiers to kill him. quickly succeeded in baptising the whole island. The cell in which Cosmas lived in silent asceticism and wrestled with demons remains to this day to the northwest of the monastery. carrying in its beak a beautiful wreath of flowers which it laid on his head. took Phocas for interrogation and inflicted harsh tortures upon him: his whole body was beaten black and blue and torn with wounds. whom the Prophet Elias raised from the dead. he strengthened the devout in their faith by his divine example and words. In that place. He lived more than eight hundred years before Christ. but. 5. He was not afraid. The Holy Prophet Jonah. he was a wonderworker. after imprisonment. 24 . and it is for thee to drink it!' From this vision. a church dedicated to him was soon built over his relics. He suffered in the time of the Emperor Trajan (98-117). and brought many idol-worshipers to the true Faith. and described happenings in far-off times and places. in which this courageous soldier of Christ finished his earthly course and entered into the joy of his Lord. he was thrown into boiling water. and of St Theodore the Scribe. Our Holy Father Cosmas of Zographou.Egypt the means of his rise to glory. but. after a life of much toil. Phocas saw a shining dove fly down from heaven. But the governor. not neglecting to entertain their ears with the Word of God. He died in old age. the town of Sinope on the shore of the Black Sea. and a voice came from the dove: 'My cup is full. and the Lord foreshowed to him in a vision his death by martyrdom . The Mother of God appeared to him several times. which he cultivated himself. near the Black Sea. But these holy men. carried out their orders and beheaded him. and. He refreshed all the passers-by with the fruits of his garden. the Lord's Resurrection from the dead. entered into the joy of his Lord. the Governor. he had a garden in Sinope. A man of God of the sixth century (see the passage for consideration below). with thanksgiving to God prepared himself for torture. the saving of his brothers from famine and the establishing of the conditions for all the wonderful works of God through Moses in Egypt and in the wilderness? Pagans and heretics often chased Orthodox Christians into barbarian regions. St Peter the Merciful. He was a solitary and a wonderworker. he could see in the spirit. Everything else about this wonderful prophet is there to be read in the Book of Jonah. on September 22nd. and it later became known as the Isle of Repentance. He was of a noble Bulgarian family.Church Calendar 1. who was a persecutor of Christians. By his three-day sojourn in the belly of the whale. The evil heretic Lucius drove the famous Macarius and several of the Tabennisiot hermits out of Egypt to a barbarian island. Phocas welcomed the soldiers so warmly that they held back from killing him. St Jonah foreshadowed the three-day sojourn of Christ in the tomb. 2. and is invoked for aid by all who travel by sea. and. Bishop of Sinope. at his beseeching. and was the greatest ascetic and wonderworker of that monastery. 1323. by their teaching and example. 3. where all the inhabitants were idol-worshipers. October 5th . by his deliverance from the whale's belly. It is said that he was the widow's son of Zarephath in Sidon. He suffered in 320. living in asceticism in a cave near the monastery of Zographou. he fled to the Holy Mountain. As bishop in his birthplace. St Phocas is especially venerated by seamen. and. When his parents wanted him to marry.Civil Calendar September 22nd . the man of God learned that he must very soon suffer for Christ. Africanus. A compatriot of the hieromartyr Phocas. The Holy Martyr Phocas the Gardener. The father of St Theophanes the writer of Canons. Soon after this. What happened then? Did this annihilate Orthodoxy? No.

a grocer. God had a specially great plan: that he should be a prophet and the forerunner of Christ the Lord. Through His angels. when he had parted with them all. how much help would I have from many works of mercy. She was immediately bound and taken with the others to the Egyptian town of Antinopolis. would fall into despair and forgetfulness of Him. Iraida went out one day to draw water from a well near the sea. In the days of the Emperor Justinian. His wondrous act and His wisdom: His mercy towards the devout and righteous parents of St John. the aged Zacharias and Elisabeth. On this day are celebrated God's mercy. One of the angels said: 'We've nothing at all to put in except the one loaf that he threw at a beggar a couple of days ago. having moved there from Thessaly. He took the name of his father's trade (in Greek. She is sometimes called Rais or Raida. The Holy New Martyr Nicolas Pantopoles (The Grocer). and the wisdom of the dispensation of man's salvation. either young or old. moreover. who made the whole world from nothing and who. and torture because he refused. When the vision was over. and that loaf balanced the other side with all Peter's sins. 3. that I threw at a beggar. October 6th .FOR CONSIDERATION When a man comes to a strong sense of God's mercy towards him. How could children be born of aged parents? If someone is curious to find out. Immediately after this. deacons. nor does natural law (it being beyond natural law). his father. and of Samson to the childless Manoah and his wife. The beggar Joyfully grabbed the loaf and fled. Peter said to himself: 'Truly. but let him turn his gaze to the power of almighty God. that was not a hallucination. Then one of them bet that he would succeed in getting alms from him. sold himself into slavery for thirty gold pieces. Enquiring. God revealed the birth of those for whom He had a special plan. He gave all his goods away to the poor and. the demons heaped Peter's sins. for I saw all the sins I'd committed from my youth. a loaf. in a fury. by which we would otherwise be fettered and. and had the following vision: he saw himself being weighed by a demon in the other world. pantopoles). At one time the beggars were grumbling among themselves that not one of them had ever received alms from Peter. women and maidens. empty side of the scales. he is jerked awake as from a dull and dreary dream and is ashamed of his long blindness towards God's unceasing compassion. went onto the ship and confessed that she was a Christian. a very rich man who was also very harsh and merciless. so that that side was weighed down. The Conception of St John the Baptist. the wonder of the conception of John in Elisabeth's more-than-aged womb. Peter fell ill of a sudden and dangerous illness. A maiden from an Egyptian town called Batan. and of John the Baptist to the childless Zacharias and Elisabeth. On one side of the scales. 2. He suffered for the Christian faith as a young man at the hands of the Turks in Constantinople in 1672.Church Calendar 1. Iraida was the first to be beheaded. the desire flared up to suffer for the Lord. lamenting that there was not a single good deed in Peter's life to place on the other. He went off and pestered the flinty-hearted man for alms until.' The angel quickly put the one loaf on the empty side of the scales. Instead of being curious. the chief imperial tax-collector in Africa was one Peter. In the heart of the young Iraida. Peter turned into the most compassionate man in his town. used no parents. let him not ask men. he was beheaded and 25 . The Holy Martyr Iraida. For John. God revealed the birth of Isaac to the childless Sarah. If one loaf could be of such help to me. Through His angels. she learned that pagan torturers were taking all this crowd to torture and death for the name of Christ the Lord. who had all their lives begged a child of God. without these special wonders of God. performed from the heart and in meekness? And from that time. monks. After great pressure to become a Turk. for men do not know. far the creation of Adam.Civil Calendar September 23rd . the first man. she was therefore probably an Egyptian. Peter threw a loaf at him. She suffered with honour and was glorified at the beginning of the fourth century. and himself gave this sum away to the needy as alms in the name of Christ. and saw a ship laden with bound Christians: priests. let us thank God that He often reveals to us His power and mercy and wisdom beyond the natural law. After divers tortures. She left her pots by the well. the Saviour of the world. followed by the others. having nothing else to hand. while on the other side stood angels. He thus became known as Peter the Merciful.

with a Cross on His head and wearing Peter's toga. prayed to God for help in front of a rock. began to give alms to the poor whenever he had the chance. Thecla fled from these insolent young men and. that nothing can do you harm?' Thecla replied: 'I am a servant of the living God. and she began to preach the Gospel and succeeded in bringing many to the true Faith.Civil Calendar September 24th . brighter than the sun.Church Calendar 1. He was arrested for this and brought before the Turkish judge. King of Serbia.entered into the Kingdom of God. The judge threw her into the flames. raised Orthodoxy to great heights among his people. Later. a shipwrecked man. it's the toga I gave to the naked man. She lived a long time there in asceticism. in Thy Kingdom!' FOR CONSIDERATION He who gives to the poor gives to Christ. the First-Crowned (Simon the Monk).' The Lord then said to him: 'Don't be sad.' 2. Equal to the Apostles. Born in a place called Konitsa in Albania. she gave her over to the judges and demanded. an elder of the city attempted to take her by force. Peter took off his costly toga and clothed the naked man in it.'How can I not be sad. Amazed at this. St Stephen. he was baptised.'What are you sad about. and I received it and praise your action. Tortured for the Christian faith in Aetolia and beheaded in 1814. displayed for sale. among whom was an eminent and honoured widow. St Chrysostom says of this wonderful Christian heroine and saint: 'I seem to see this blessed virgin going to Christ with virginity in one hand and martyrdom in the other. At his desire. Peter was very distressed that the shipwrecked man had sold his toga instead of making use of it. when I see that what I gave to that poor wretch he went and sold in the bazaar?’ Then the Lord asked him: 'Do you know this garment I'm wearing?' Peter replied: 'I know it Lord. The Holy Protomartyr Thecla. Peter the Merciful. The elder denounced her to the governor as a Christian who was averse to marriage. but the animals would not touch the body of this holy virgin. On one occasion. healing the sick with miraculous power and in this way bringing many to Christianity. hoping that. his foundation. he was a Moslem of Moslem parents. he was a devout Christian and a wise and peace-loving ruler. and went with him to Antioch. The doctors in Seleucia were jealous of her and sent some young men to assault her. Peter?'. in losing her virginity. first talked to her and then beat her and starved her. seeing the wonderful power of the Christian faith in various places and events. Attracted by Thecla's beauty. who had barely saved his naked body from the wreck. His relics are preserved in the monastery of Xeropotamou on the Holy Mountain. he said. The Holy New Martyr John.’ October 7th . and the rock opened and hid the holy maiden and bride of Christ. but God preserved her unharmed.' Then the governor let her go free. St Sava. Thecla then became a follower of the Apostle Paul. Crowned king at Zica. Lord.' But the Lord appeared to him in a dream in the guise of a handsome man. and his relics are preserved at Studenica. After this. she would lose also her miraculous power. the governor asked: 'Who are you.'that the Lord should accept my alms. seeing that she shunned her betrothed and thought no more of marriage. Tryphena. 'I am not worthy'. giving him the name Simon. Thecla turned utterly to the Christian faith and vowed to live in virginity. Shortly afterwards. St Sava made him a monk at the time of his death. O Lord. at the time that the Apostle Paul came to Iconium with Barnabas to preach the Gospel. 1224. the Lord asked him. with the blessing of the Apostle Paul. that Thecla be burned. He entered into rest in the Lord on September 24th. when she saw that they would catch her. met him and begged for clothing. St Thecla. Peter saw his toga in the shop of some merchant. when he had repented. The governor condemned her to death and threw her to the wild beasts. This is the meaning of the Gospel-teaching emphasised by the saints from their experience. but Thecla tore herself out of his grasp. he cried out at the time of his death: 'Remember me. Thecla was born in Iconium of eminent pagan parents. by his brother and spiritual father. Finally. withdrew to a solitary place near Seleucia. This rock was her hiding place and her tomb. Stephen. together with St Sava. You gave it to the poor man. 4. 26 . wicked mother that she was. Her mother. Listening to Paul for three days and nights. She was betrothed at the age of eighteen to a young man. then. and what is the power that you have in you.

from Alexandria. saying how unseemly it was for a woman to be on the Holy Mountain. This was directly after Matins. St Cosmas was so discerning that. Cosmas was deeply perplexed and not a little appalled at this sight. tormented by demons. Not wishing to marry. but Paphnutius did not recognise her. for he felt it scandalous to see a woman in a monastery of the Holy Mountain. for sheer astonishment. Once. however. In heartfelt wonder. After ten years of asceticism.' Her father could not for a long time collect himself. whither he took St Sava's relics from Trnovo. he was made worthy of the gifts of wonderworking for the purity of his heart. When he recounted his vision to his fellowmonks of Zographou. not just for a moment. Then Euphrosyne breathed her last and her father wept over her. you are my father. He was distinguished by a rare compassion for the poor. A gentle and meek servant of God. or where his holiness is commemorated and glorified. 27 . and asked him to come again in three days' time. The daughter of a rich and eminent man.Civil Calendar September 25th . holy daughter. saying that their abbot had just gone off to his cell to prepare for the Liturgy. The holy Mother of God appeared to him a number of times. Cosmas immediately sent someone to the brethren at Hilandar to tell them to pray for the soul of their dead abbot. By her fasting and prayers. The abbot received her and placed her under the guidance of the monk Agapetus as spiritual father. Smaragdus recognised Paphnutius. who brought their daughter up in the Christian faith.became a monk and founded the community of the Holy Trinity in the forest of Radonezh. Those who are gifted with insight see them. A great ascetic and light of the Russian Church. Then the dying monk said to Paphnutius: 'I am Euphrosyne your daughter.3. directing and herself serving with authority. Paphnutius remained in the monastery and settled in the cell of his departed. occupied only with labour and prayer. On the coinage of his time. at which he himself became a monk. After burying his daughter. St Cosmas of Zographou. Our Holy Mother Euphrosyne. both in the church and in the refectory. Kiril and Maria. was a clairvoyant. After the death of his parents. Stephen's brother. 2. and the monks had just come out of church with him. Cosmas was filled with great joy. in order to hide from her father. Barthlomew -. 4. for he would see his daughter again once more in this life. Cosmas saw a woman of heavenly beauty and majesty. dressed herself in men's clothing and presented herself to the abbot of a monastery as a eunuch of the Emperor Theodosius with the name of Smaragdus. those who lack this gift believe somehow and will see them in due time. FOR CONSIDERATION Every saint is close to the place where he is invoked for help. the astonished monks told him that it must have been the Queen of the Holy Mountain. the most holy Mother of God herself. Paphnutius visited the monastery and the abbot placed him in Smaragdus' care for prayer and counsel. raising the dead in the name of Christ. who was organising. later. he saw from his cave the abbot of Hilandar ascending up towards heaven and striving to pass through the toll-gates. while still a young monk. When they went into his cell. Paphnutius. he built the monastery at Lim. October 8th . she was besought of God by her childless parents. he was born in 1313 in Rostov of devout parents. holy Paphnutius entered into rest in the Lord. he had inscribed: 'The servant of God Vladislav'. the young Euphrosyne.for that was his baptismal name -. they found him dead. The Holy Prince Vladislav. When Paphnutius returned. Hearing Cosmas' message. Son of King Stephen. Both during the service in church and during the meal in the refectory. Smaragdus told him not to lose hope. the monks laughed. Our Holy Father Sergius of Radonezh. on the Annunciation. He saw her for a long time. Smaragdus quickly outstripped the other monks in the monastery. St David (formerly Prince Dimitrije) Son of Vukan. When she had spent thirty-eight years in strict asceticism. as an old man and a solitary.Church Calendar 1. he went to Vatopedi for the Feast with some other monks. he built the monastery of Mileseva. When her father confessed his grief for his lost daughter. Smaragdus was on her deathbed.

this beloved disciple of Christ and pillar of the Church entered into the joy of his Lord. The peasant went off to the garden and saw a man there in poor and dirty clothing. Every year. He had insight into men's hearts and into distant events. She was endowed by God with wonderworking gifts. St John brought many to Christianity by his words and miracles. She had never desired marriage. he was present at the raising of Jairus' daughter and at the Lord's Transfiguration. After a long and fruitful life of labour upon earth. but. After his death. fell at his feet and asked his forgiveness. thinking within himself that the monks were making fun of him. Prince of Suzdal. Called by the Lord Jesus. sent him into exile on the island of Patmos. and saw there the thoughts about himself. and peered to see that which he had spurned the sight of from nearby. And the great saint was gentle with him. you thought a true thing of me. and entered into rest in 1250. John immediately left his father and the fishing nets and followed Christ with his brother James. and mainly lived and worked in Ephesus. looking after her right up to her falling-asleep. He was tortured and flogged before the Emperor. serving him at table. FOR CONSIDERATION A saint is not remarkable on the surface. the Emperor was afraid and. hoeing along with the other workers. With Peter and James. all his riches are internal. who gave liberty to all the captives. and she was the daughter of Michael Vsevolodovitch and the betrothed of Menas. The monks then removed the peasant from the room to make room for the new guests. He chided himself for his ignorance and was deeply ashamed. thinking he was immortal. that he wanted to see the famous holy father. and prayed to God to keep her in virginity till her death. To quiet him. On this island. confirming the work that he had earlier begun. She did not return to her parents but retired to a monastery. His community became filled with monks during his lifetime. the betrothed of the holy Mother of God. and strengthened the Church of God. Sergius. in his soul. When his disciples later opened his grave. the peasant quickly went up to the saint. The peasant returned to the monastery dissatisfied. to peace and eternal rejoicing.' October 9th . and welcomed the peasant. Prince Menas died suddenly. When he asked for the abbot. John stayed beneath the Cross with the holy Mother of God. John was the son of Zebedee the fisherman and Salome the daughter of Joseph. he brought many to Christianity and undermined the foundations of paganism. when he was unharmed either by the strong poison that he was given to drink or the boiling oil into which he was put. he was told that he was working in the garden. he was as a son to the holy Virgin Mary. and repeated. fragrant dust. The saint looked into the heart of his guest. Apostle and Evangelist. he appeared a number of times to various people. After her Dormition. 28 . reckoning me as nothing. He wrote his Gospel and the Revelation there.Civil Calendar September 26th . he told him that he would see St Sergius if he waited a little. while others are deluded in thinking me something great. When all the others had forsaken the crucified Lord. The vexed pagans bound him and sent him to Rome to the Emperor Domitian. From that time. on May 8th. He was over a hundred years old when he went to the Lord. Sergius arrived back at the monastery just then. my son. By his inspired preaching and miracles. In obedience to the Lord's wish. Both the prince and the nobles bowed low to Sergius and asked his blessing. where she lived in asceticism till her death. and he gave his blessing to Prince Dimitri of the Don and foretold his victory in Russia’s war of liberation against the Tartars. John went off with his disciple Prochorus to preach the Gospel in Asia Minor. and this peasant looked with wonder from afar. that there might be no mistake.Church Calendar 1. Just then. St Sergius entered into rest in 1392. In the time of the Emperor Nerva. St John the Theologian. When the prince had departed. Our Holy Mother Euphrosyne of Suzdal. A peasant came a long way to the monastery to see St Sergius. endowed with healing power rose from his grave. and said: 'Don't grieve. and has served through the ages as one of the chief centres of spiritual life and of God's miracles. caring for her and serving her.Princes and bishops came to him for counsel. When they took her as a bride to Suzdal. Her baptismal name was Theodula. a prince arrived at the monastery with his nobles. where he lived for some time. he was not parted from his Lord until the end. and laid his head on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper. a fine. John returned to Ephesus. 3. they found that his body was not there.

took to his heels. In St John's absence. and. St Callistratus was born. and finally joined a band of brigands that fell on men from the forest and robbed them. St Mark was also called John. was bishop in Palestinian Lydda. and the Lord showed great power through them.Church Calendar 1. They showed great courage in suffering. Neochorus took his Christian faith to his own people. and they were beaten and thrown into prison along with him. a companion of the Apostle Paul on his travels (Acts 16:29). which Callistratus immediately refused to do. 3. baptised and brought up a Christian. there was no other Christian in his regiment. being pleasing to God. Then St John. and was after that bishop in Byblos. a wonderworker and defender of the purity of Orthodoxy. They shone like stars in the darkness of paganism and brought many to the Christian faith. One of his forbears. The Holy Martyr Callistratus. and was taught the Faith and baptised by the apostles. Then Callistratus was harshly beaten and thrown into the sea. and shall hide a multitude of sins' -. in time. spoken of as a lawyer by the Apostle Paul (Titus 3:13). she was a girl of eighteen. despite his age. as a Christian -. served as a soldier in Jerusalem under Pontius Pilate at the time of the Passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. the young man entered into rest in due time. Of St John the Apostle. In prison. as soon as he saw him. St John returned and heard from the bishop what had happened to this young man. FOR CONSIDERATION 'He that converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death. One of his companions.Civil Calendar September 27th . They were of the Seventy. When he went into the army. Seeing the many miracles that were wrought at the time of Christ's death. Her father embraced Islam and put pressure on his daughter to do the same. found a horse and a guide and hurried off to the forest where the robber band had its lair. A great ascetic among the Greeks of Calabria. the saint found the robbers and came before their chief. leaving many disciples of real worth. who died in 1044. The wicked torturer sent soldiers to the prison at night. John embraced him and kissed him. From the village of Zaklivera in the diocese of Jedrene. the writer of several Canons. reported him to the commander. So. The young man. Returning home. like a precious pearl. Christ's apostles did not only speak in this way. but her mother inclined her to the Christian faith. and now they shine like stars in the Kingdom of Christ their Beloved. the young man fell at the Apostle's feet and could not. They suffered for the truth in 304. St Zenas. but confirmed their words by their actions. for shame. He had a burning love for his neighbour. fortynine soldiers came to believe in Christ the Lord. without losing a moment. seeing holy Callistratus get up at night and pray to God. Seeing that he had caught him up. meet his eye. 2. he was a Christian from his birth. The aged John went after him and.and Persentinus was a harsh torturer of Christians. When he was convinced that Callistratus was indeed a Christian. and entered into rest in 1005. Our Holy Father Nilus of Calabria. He preached the Gospel with the Apostles Paul and Barnabas. Aristarchus and Zenas. After much 29 . the young man became corrupt and began to drink and steal. Neochorus came to believe in Him. the commander ordered him to offer sacrifice to idols. and they slew Callistratus and the other forty-nine. then went off to continue his work of preaching the Gospel. Mary. in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). Thee apostles gathered together for prayer at the house of his mother. The Holy New Martyr Aquilina. After a certain time.2. came up with him. John brought him back to the city and settled him afresh in a life of faith and good works. Neochorus. the founder of several monasteries. St Clement of Alexandria relates that in some place in Asia Minor he baptised a pagan youth and confided him to the care of the local bishop. Persentinus. Seeing Callistratus’ endurance and his miracles. but God's power preserved him. Searching through the forest. as a shepherd does when he finds his lost sheep. St Aristnrchus. The best-known among these is St Bartholomew. October 10th . and a church was later built over their relics. St Callistratus instructed his companions in the Faith and encouraged them. as his father and grandfather were. Born in Carthage. The Holy Apostles Mark.thus writes the Apostle James (5:20). and he emerged from the sea unharmed. was bishop in Syrian Apamea. he undertook long Journeys simply in order to save another man trouble.

It is held that he was killed by the Jews in Egypt. In the time of Diocletian. He entered into rest in the Lord on September 27th.torture. to comfort him and make clear to him why he had told him to do this. said: 'John. being instructed in the Faith by Mark. called in Greek the Old Lavra. Chariton was immediately brought to trial before the governor. Chariton openly confessed the name of Christ. who will meet you in the air. Mark. Our Holy Father Sabbatius of Solovetz. A disciple and faithful friend of the holy prophet Jeremiah. says St Isaiah the Solitary. the soldiers saw that it fled to the shepherd. When a harsh persecution of Christians broke out under the Emperor Aurelian. 2. in time. where he founded a community and gathered a group of monks together. to which Chariton replied: 'All your gods are furies. Such men think only of three realities: death. 3. All our bodily cares in this life are like a meal that will very soon be ended. the man of God. thirty of the soldiers. Souka. FOR CONSIDERATION All our riches and glory and honour are like a meal ended by death. the soul and God the Judge. the Saviour of mankind. After the evil death of Aurelian. took him to the town. The Holy Martyr Mark the Shepherd.Church Calendar 1. in the seventh century before Christ. came to belief in Christ and were immediately beheaded. Chariton was an eminent and devout citizen of the city of Iconium. Blessed is he who has grasped that the soul is the only one of his possessions that can he stolen by no one and nothing. The governor bound Mark. Chasing a wild beast. 4. Having given a rule to this community and desiring to escape the praise of men. October 11th . Prepare yourself beforehand for the dreadful day of answering at the Judgement of God as though you already behold it. 350. He who foresees the end of his life does not think of earthly goods. Chariton was released from torture and imprisonment.Civil Calendar September 28th . John was very sad and the saint. Sabbatius is commemorated together with St Zossima on April 17th. and in the Lord Jesus Christ. called after him. which were aforetime through pride cast out from heaven into the nethermost hell. but withdrew to the wilderness of Pharan. and keep yourself from sin'. The judge ordered him to worship false gods. Seeing this. even death. 'Hold constantly in your mind the remembrance of the end and of the Judgement. the Creator of all. Our Holy Father Chariton the Confessor. Then the governor ordered that Chariton be so beaten and tortured that his whole body became covered with wounds until it was like one great wound. Imbued with the spirit of his compatriot. Sabbatius would accept nothing. and the way you will stand before God. no-one takes a single crumb into the other world. 'Rehearse to yourself unceasingly the way that you will part from the body. 30 . 1435. He finally founded another community. 1764. she breathed her last in her mother's arms and received the wreath of martyrdom on September 27th. From this meal. went hunting with his soldiers. He died at a great age and entered into the glory of his Lord on September 28th. he foretold the return of the Jews from slavery in Babylon and the coming of the Son of God on earth. the way you will pass through the regions of the powers of darkness. St Thecla. He did not return to Iconium. The Holy Prophet Baruch. my son.' A rich merchant called John came one day to St Sabbatius of Solovetz and brought him a large donation. John went into Sabbatius' cell and saw that the old man had died. The beast stood fawning around Mark. as was the Prophet Jeremiah. governor of Antioch.' On the following day. whose evil-doing caught up with him in the end. The practice of tonsuring monks is attributed to St Chariton. living God. stay here and rest until tomorrow. teaches Evagrius. and you will then see the grace of God. and smelled the wonderful fragrance that permeated the cell.' Chariton openly showed his faith in the one. and told the donor to give it away to the poor. he withdrew to another desert near Jericho where. and his relics are preserved in his first monastery. all wounded and bloodied. but on the way was seized by robbers from whom he was freed by God's providence. He traveled to Jerusalem. 'Have death before your eyes every day'. he founded another community. Magnus. who was keeping his flocks just there.

and stayed thus in great old age. being thirsty from their journey and the broiling heat. After Gerasim's death. where he finished his earthly course. Reading the Holy Scriptures. His brother Boleslav invited him to stay and killed him at his court. under the new Emperor. Christian captives were set free. intending to kill Chariton when they returned. His relics are preserved in Prague. Born in Corinth of parents named John (a priest) and Eudoxia. into the vessel. clothed him in the Great Habit and sent him to the Jordan. while he was a monk.Church Calendar 1. Our Holy Father Cyriacus the Solitary. who grounded him in the monastic life. robbers seized him and carried him off to their cave. with its venom. having lived for a hundred and nine years. This snake had made itself drunk with the wine and had spat it out. In his zeal for the Christian faith and his love for his neighbor. Alexander.summoned three brothers. who discerned in him future spiritual greatness. Of himself he said that. denouncing heresies. but the three of them. Alphaeus and Zossima. where Cyriacus spent nine years. He translated St John's Gospel into Czech and brought the relics of St Vitus and his grandmother. He might temper and purify him like gold in the fire. and especially of His Holy Church. having talked with St Mark. drank the wine and one by one fell dead. they. fleeing the praise of men. which temple was then destroyed by God's power. Immediately after this. Ludmilla. 4. embraced the Christian faith and refused the governor's command. and bind him more closely to Himself. And so again. on this occasion and by this extraordinary occurrence. the young Cyriacus marveled at God's providence. A glorious ascetic and wonderworker. the monks ate only once a day. In the desert. When the robbers returned. God often uses surprising touches. Thus Chariton escaped death. They left him there and went off to plunder. the sun never saw him eat or be angry with any man. and ordered that molten lead be poured into their mouths. despite strict fasts and vigils. The Holy Martyr Vatslav (Wenceslas). holy Vatslav bought pagan children who had been sold as slaves and immediately baptised them. Boleslav began to make German priests and to have the Liturgy celebrated in Latin. he lived as king in spiritual striving in the Faith like the great ascetics. and changes the evil destiny of His servants into good. where he remained in silence for ten years. This is shown a number of times in the life of St Chariton. After this he moved from place to place. he returned to St Euthymius' monastery. 31 . set many human souls on the way of salvation. There was in the cave a wine cask in which a poisonous snake was trapped. The Holy Martyrs Dada and Gobdelas. but Emperor Aurelian died suddenly and. FOR CONSIDERATION Guiding the destiny of this world. When he was travelling to Jerusalem. According to the rule of St Chariton. St Chariton was delivered from death. The Lord kept sending misfortune on His servant so that. a mighty healer of the sick and a gentle comforter of the sorrowful. At the age of eighteen. Peter. to Prague. He was very zealous for the Orthodox faith. 2. After this. how it glorified every true servant of the living God and ordered the salvation of the human race. by these misfortunes. holy Mark was beheaded and his body placed in the temple of Artemis. He then went off to St Euthymius. he was a kinsman of the local bishop. and He delivered him from death because Chariton had yet to found several monasteries and. Cyriacus was a great light. The grandson of St Ludmilla. After harsh torture. by his labors. after sunset.Civil Calendar September 29th . Holy Vatslav suffered in 929. He lived in ascetic labor also in the community of St Chariton. King of the Czechs. There he entered the monastery of a godly man called Eustorgius. the boast of monks. a pillar of Orthodoxy. and ordered them to make instruments of torture to use on Mark. He was made reader in the cathedral by the bishop while still a young man. he entered into the eternal joy of his Lord in 557. St Cyriacus was massive and strong of body. especially the heresy of Origen. The governor condemned them to death. He took care when sitting in judgement that no innocent man should suffer. October 12th . bringing them up as Christians. Chariton was thrown into prison and promised certain death. he sometimes lived for years only on raw vegetables. and strengthened the Orthodox faith among his people. his desire for the spiritual life led him to Jerusalem. to St Gerasim. Living long in ascetism and giving aid to many.

Both Dada and Gobdelas glorified God in their patient endurance and many miracles. When he had slain them with terrible 32 . Gregory withdrew to Caesarea in Cappadocia. who is all-seeing. all his goods were unable to ease his sufferings in this world -. FOR CONSIDERATION Many people. St Mary of Palestine. and asked him by what he had become worthy of that glory. and the king loved him. He had two sons of this marriage. the hireling of an evildoer. threw him into a deep pit filled with every kind of poisonous reptile. though. A healing myrrh flowed from his body. by God's power. but when he discovered that Gregory was a Christian. Bishop of Armenia. Disciples of St Cyriacus found her during her lifetime. St Gregory the Enlightener. There was once an unmarried miser who.Gobdelas' sister Kasdoa and Gargal. and attacked a women's monastery of thirty-seven nuns with their abbess. Tiridates put Gregory to harsh torture and. will never be seen by any man in the glory of Paradise in the other world. In old age. King Sapor ordered that he be harshly tortured. 3. My goods will tend and feed me in old age and sickness'. The man replied: 'I was. but the money ran out and the illness continued. Dada worked great miracles in Christ's name. kin to the imperial house of Persia (to King Artaban) and Armenia (King Khosrov). The pagan king did not spare his son. and to servants to look after him and feed him. in my earthly life. With them there suffered -. When these two houses made war between themselves.Civil Calendar September 30th . he was greatly enraged and put pressure on him to reject the Christian faith and worship idols. if he took with him neither faith nor hope. His presentiment was soon realized.Dada was a Persian noble and a kinsman of King Sapor.' He saw another in eternal glory and.' The one. Rostanes and Aristanes. Gaiane. from year to year. After his wife's death. nor works of mercy. he returned to Armenia and entered the service of King Tiridates.Church Calendar 1. and sent upon him that sickness of which he had spoken and for which he had prepared his goods. and gave their souls to God under the tortures. St Theophanes the Merciful. Of what use were those goods to him to whom they were given? God did His will in him. the chief of the pagan priests. when he asked him. They suffered in the fourth century. When he was asked the point of so much toil and acquisition of goods. the other replied: 'I was a leper.and by what could he be eased of them in the world to come? By what. she was a source of scandal to the sinful-minded. never lacked either beans nor water. During these tortures. A wealthy citizen of Gaza. exert themselves to avoid suffering in old age and terminal illness rather than to avoid the pains of hell in the life after old age and death. She spent eighteen years in the desert and. a serious and long-lasting sickness fell upon him. October 13th . he was stricken with dropsy and died of this sickness. which were too much for his lifetime. after cruel torment. and later buried her. Near the end of his life. preserved Gregory alive in that pit for fourteen whole years. which made such an impression on Gobdelas that he also embraced the Christian faith. received baptism and married. he was so merciful that he gave away his goods to the poor and himself became one of them. His doctors and servants left him. who never paid me my hire. and Gobdelas was the son of the same king. 4. and to the end rendered God thanks for that.for they had also come to faith in Christ -. Having no success whatever in this. by which many of the sick were healed. However. being beautiful. but. She was at first a reader of the Psalter in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. Mary withdrew to the wilderness of Souka with a basket of beans and a flask of water. strove to acquire for himself superfluous riches. But God. Tiridates continued the persecution of Christians in his kingdom. meaning thus to kill him. Gregory served his king faithfully. who heaped up riches for sickness in his old age. he replied: 'I'm gathering them for my old age. and dedicated them both to the service of the Church. and he fell into despair. When St Dada openly confessed his faith in Christ. but gave him over to harsh torture. from ignorance. In order not to be a cause of sin in others. but I endured everything and served him to the end with hope in God. Gregory was of a noble family. His neighbors brought him bread until he died. He distributed the money he had saved to doctors to heal him. prayer or repentance? Someone saw a departed man in the glory of Paradise. where he first came into contact with the Christian faith. and he was buried at public expense.

establishing the episcopate and priesthood. was baptised and became the greatest zealot for the Christian faith. Rhipsimia refused to go to the Emperor. Oh. her stomach cut open and her entrails spilled out). 911. and his relics are preserved in the Monastery of the Caves. St Michael baptised the people in Kiev. laid the foundations of the monastery of St Michael in Kiev. After that. Novgorod. in the time of the Emperor Leo the Wise (or the Philosopher). entreating. because she was already consecrated to Christ her bridegroom.tortures. A man appeared to the king's sister in a dream and told her that her mad brother would not be restored to sanity until Gregory was taken out of the pit. by God's help. This being done. for the king was as though intoxicated by her beauty. The Holy Martyrs Gaiane. at the king's desire. St Andrew the Fool for Christ was standing at the back of 33 . Gregorv healed and baptised Tiridates. The Mother of God's aid has been clearly shown times without number. Gregory was shown by God to be alive. FOR CONSIDERATION Strange changes take place in the destinies of men. both Gregory and Tiridates were brought out of a deep pit: Gregory a physical one and Tiridates a spiritual. his son Aristanes was consecrated bishop. and scoffers at the Faith of God turn into servants of that same Faith. near Erivan. during which Rhipsimia gave her soul into God's hands. to baptise the pagan people and to establish and organise the Church. Then Gregory. October 14th . Those who have abased themselves for the sake of God's righteousness are raised up to great heights. whom he had condemned to death. was built over their relics. and miraculously healed the mad king.Civil Calendar October 1st . On October 1st. above all. Holy Rhipsimia was of rare beauty. and the Emperor Diocletian therefore wanted her for his wife. an unrestrained persecutor of Christians. 'and he who was victorious over the princes of the Goths and routed the Persians could not overcome one virgin of Christ'. and became the chief spiritual center of Armenia for many centuries. St Gregorv finished his life of great toil in old age. God's help. where he spent fourteen years. today as in former times. King Tiridates threw St Gregory into a deep pit. Who among men could imagine that the greatest light of the Armenian people was to be found in the darkness of a pit? And who could ever imagine the powerful and tyrannical King Tiridates one day saving the life of this Gregory. They were all slain by Tiridates for their faith in Christ. 3. the other nuns were seized and beheaded with the sword. The famous monastery of Echmiazdin. The event that the Church commemorates and celebrates today proves this constant protection of the Christian people by the Mother of God. 2. and he continued his father's work. Rhipsimia and 35 other nuns. in about 335. set the Church in order. by her intercession. God's loving-kindness towards us sinners.Church Calendar 1. both in peace and in war. there was an all-night vigil at the Blachernae church of the Mother of God in Constantinople. This saint accomplished all this and much else in a mere four years. Then Tiridates began to urge her to go with him. the infinite wisdom of God in the directing of the destinies of men! The sometime bestial and passionate Tiridates became so softened by repentance that he became in character more like Gregory than like himself before his baptism. bringing many of them to Christ. but Rhipsimia resisted the pagan king with all her strength. This was the cause of the suffering of all thirty-seven of them. The Protecting Veil of the Most Holy Mother of God. The furious king put her to harsh torture (her tongue was cut out. and sent missionaries to the Bulgars and Tartars. He entered peacefully into rest in 992. In his place. St Michael. both to individuals and to peoples. both in monastic deserts and in crowded cities. Aristanes was one of the 318 fathers at the First Ecumenical Council. enlightened the whole of Armenia and the surrounding area with the Christian faith. Tiridates went mad and was like a monstrous wild boar. The church was crowded. became Bishop of Armenia and with the king's help and. The Church has always glorified the most holy Mother of God as the Protectress and Defender of the Christian people. First Metropolitan of Kiev. One could say that. He was sent by the Patriarch of Constantinople to Russia at the request of the great Prince Vladimir. forgotten by the entire world but not forgotten by God. Rostov and many other towns and villages. King Tiridates. and giving him more help than the whole world could give him? After fourteen years.

4. on the Eve of the Theophany. he fell asleep. he was bishop in Damascus. held a piece of paper out to him and told him to swallow it. saints. he was taken as a young man to the School of Music in Constantinople where he became a popular singer at the imperial court. he baptised Saul. in the time of Patriarch Euphemius (490-96).' So. Sitting there. Illiterate and with no musical training. St Andrew gestured towards it and asked Epiphanius: 'Do you see how the Queen and Lady of all is praying for the whole world?' Epiphanius replied: 'Yes. I see it and stand in dread. as though to protect them with this covering. 'It is meet . When he woke from the dream. Our Holy Father Romanus the Melodist. His holy relics were taken to Damascus.. In response to a vision from God. surrounded by apostles. One of the Seventy. His successor. in distress. and for this I will never leave you. such as to encourage them in asceticism. He entered into rest in the twelfth century.. 2. the most holy Mother of God appeared above the people with a veil spread over her outstretched hands.. Once. John! Sing... of singing: 'All creation in thee rejoices . he lived in rare asceticism. The second happening concerned the monk Gregory. in place of 'It is meet .. for which he was stoned to death in the city of Eleutheropolis. he served as a verger first in Beirut and then in Constantinople at the cathedral. Comparable wonders took place after this. to heal them of sickness or to reveal some mvstery to them. martyrs and virgins. The following day was Christmas Day. the practice was that 'All creation .the church with his disciple Epiphanius. that shelter. and went to join the angelic choir. had rescinded this and said that.Civil Calendar 34 . Seeing this vision. The Holy Apostle Ananias. from that time. Immediately after this. both connected with the icon of the Mother of God and the gold piece she gave him. and don't stop singing. while it was being sung. Receiving thus the gift of song from the Mother of God. He died as a deacon of the Great Church in Constantinople in 530.. Fearing the flattery and praise of men. As shepherd and monk. in the presence of Patriarch Gregory of Alexandria. though. put a gold piece in his hand and said: 'I am very grateful to you for your singing in my honour.. was a singer in church. The All-Pure appeared to him at that moment in heavenly splendour. Our Holy Father Gregory. Patriarch Philotheus. All marvelled at the words of the hymn and at the singer's voice.' should always be sung instead of 'It is meet . During the great Akathist in the Great Fast. Romanus composed more than a thousand kontakia. John was very tired and sat down on a chair near the icon of the Mother of God. this commemoration was instituted to remind us both of this event and of the Mother of God's constant protection whenever we prayerfully seek that protection.. At four o'clock in the morning.. 5. at different times. He.. he was despised by certain educated clergy. Father. like Kukuzelis. he found himself clutching the gold piece. he fled to the Holy Mountain and presented himself at the Great Lavra as a shepherd.'.. to St John Kukuzelis and St Gregory. with an angelic voice. and courageously preached the Gospel in the face of all persecution. A monk of the Great Lavra in the fourteenth century. as she had to Kukuzelis.. the future Apostle Paul (Acts 9). in the Liturgy of St Basil. Our Holy Father John Kukuzelis. which has come down to us as the Kontakion of the Feast. sang: 'Today the Virgin .. St Romanus prayed weeping to the Mother of God.' when the Liturgy of St Basil was celebrated. 3. and the Mother of God appeared to him twice. She was clad in gold-encrusted purple and shone with an unspeakable radiance.'. and Romanus went up to the ambo and. FOR CONSIDERATION The most holy Mother of God often appears to holy men at the time of some need. she put a gold piece into John's hand. and said to him: 'Greetings. the All Pure appeared to him. for brevity. October 15th .'. Born in the Syrian town of Emesa. Gregory sang : 'All creation .' With these words. Two wonderful and somewhat similar happenings took place at the Great Lavra on the Holy Mountain. Patriarch Kallistos had instituted the practice. A Slav from Dyrrachium..' should always be sung.' As a result. and later to Constantinople. and she appeared to him in a dream.

drive demons from men and turn men from sin. and. as Andrew did not recover as far as his owner could see. The Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Virgin Justina. for holy Andrew looked only for the reward from God. she brought both her father and mother to Christ the Lord and all three were baptised by the bishop. 3. and gave to no-one. and then tortured and beheaded in Nicomedia at the end of the third century. Cyprian invoked evil spirits. he gave away to beggars. St Andrew met him in the street. my brother. After their prayer was finished. for St Justina. At the time of their death they prayed to God that He would forgive the sins of all who invoked them in prayer for help. with the sign of the Cross and prayer to God. they were condemned to death for Christ in Imereti by Caliph Emil-el-Mumenim and drowned in a river in 730. Christian princes of Argueti. when the holy maiden firmly rejected him. and began to exhort him: 'Why. Whatever he received. tattered garment and eating a little bread when kindly people shared theirs with him. Saddened by this. he cast off his clothes and cut them to pieces. Cyprian moved from Carthage to Antioch. FOR CONSIDERATION A vision of St Andrew the Fool for Christ: There was a monk in Constantinople who was known as an ascetic and spiritual guide. a pagan. his owner Theognostus put him in chains and took him to the church of St Anastasia the Deliverer from Bonds. and they were sent for trial to Damascus. he heard in heaven unspeakable words which he dared not recount to men. He collected money. and he saw the black demon and was filled with horror. saw the most holy Mother of God in the Blachernae church sheltering the Christian people with her veil (see Oct. but when Justina. see angels and demons. and was himself baptised. At this. son of the Emperor Basil the Macedonian. both in body and soul. The Holy Martyrs David and Constantine. Andrew prayed fervently to God and attended church services with great devotion. Cyprian was a magician. in time becoming priest and bishop. he was bought as a slave by Theognostus. drove out the evil spirits. After unprecedentedly harsh asceticism. St Andrew the Fool for Christ. Therefore great grace from God abode in him. to set alight in her the passion of impurity towards Aglaidas. he entered into rest and the eternal glory of his Lord in 911. The demon leapt off the monk and fled. are you destroying your soul? Why have you coupled yourself with the demon of love of money? Why have you given it a resting-place within you? Why do you gather gold. But. when he went to the well for water. He had a most wonderful vision of Paradise and the exalted powers of heaven. feigning madness. the monk's eyes were opened. Edesius was an idolatrous priest and his whole household was pagan. Theognostus took a fancy to him and allowed him to learn to read and write. but they were totally unsuccessful in this. he was freed as being sick in mind. 1st). one after the other. came to know the true Faith. in obedience to a heavenly revelation. and he was able to discern men's secrets.October 2nd .Church Calendar 1. where Justina lived with her parents. Holy Andrew feigned madness all day and spent the nights in prayer. you gloat over your heap of gold. driven by Andrew's power. But this monk had the secret vice of love of money. that prayers be read for him. The wicked pagans seized both him and Justina. Once. Edesius and Cleodonia. Then Cyprian came to know the power of the Cross. he. a glorious angel of God came to the monk. He lived without a roof over his head. resolved on the ascesis of folly for Christ's sake. Is this the way of repentance? Is this the monastic life? Do you see what we have here?' At that moment. with his disciple Epiphanius. tried to lead Justina astray. on Justina. and when he gave it to them he would mock them to avoid their thanks. going round the Christian churches. and. as though it will go to the grave with you and not pass into the hands of others? Why do you make yourself a miser? While others hunger and thirst and die of cold. spending the nights in the open and going about half-naked in a single. 2. and many people sought his prayers. Their relics are preserved in Georgia in the monastery of Modzameta. being enraptured by her beauty. he saw the Lord Christ on His throne of glory. and had links with unclean spirits and powers of divination. Optatus. Andrew was a handsome young man. for 35 . sought Cyprian's help. St Andrew pitied him for this. A dissolute youth Aglaidas. in the time of the Emperor Leo the Wise. a rich man in Constantinople. and saw a terrible snake coiled round his neck. By birth a Slav. a thunderbolt fell and a voice came from heaven saying that their prayer was heard.

Our Holy Father John the Chozebite. the Areopagus. accompanied by Rusticus. but cried out: 'In the name of Jesus Christ. Paul consecrated him bishop of Athens (he having left his wife and children and status from love of Christ). Ananias sent him to St John. The severed head of St Dionysius jumped a long way and fell in front of a Christian woman. A man brought his mad son to Ananias to be healed by his prayers. the Lord Christ breathed His last on the Cross. and a deacon called Eleutherius.' Returning to Athens.Church Calendar 1. 2. it is Ananias. He was at first careless for his soul's salvation. so he went off to Gaul to preach the Gospel among the barbarians. known as the Hesychast or Silent. and wrote of his meeting with her in one of his works.' From him descended those known as the 'hesychasts'. and he went immediately and gave all his hoarded gold to the poor and needy. coming to know all the other apostles. suffered martyrdom. he married a woman called Damaris and had sons by her. October 16th . They had a skete. he saw a heavenly light in the altar. who buried it with his body. He wrote several famous works: on the names of God. in the year 96. St Hesychius the Chorebite. lived the ascetic life not far from him. he went to Egypt to learn more. being at the burial of the Most Pure along with the other apostles. Dionysius desired to die such a death himself.his heart was changed and turned towards good. With overflowing joy in the Resurrection. he cried out on going into the caves: 'My holy fathers and brethren. By their labours. St Hesychius lived in the sixth century. and the sun was darkened and it was dark in Egypt for the space of three hours. as being greater than he. FOR CONSIDERATION 36 . The following occurred on Pascha in 1463: he was going round the graves with Cross and censer to cense the relics and graves of the saints buried there. Whenever he served the Liturgy. This wonderful man was of a noble. He only said: 'He who ponders on death cannot sin. Catula. When he was ninety years old. pagan family in Athens. He suffered in the time of Domitian. They endured much but met with great success. One day while he was there. to see the most holy Mother of God. until they were all three beheaded with the sword. Then Dionysius cried out: 'Either God the Creator of the world is suffering. He was a hieromonk and an anchorite. and the humility of these two saints was wonderful. and became more famous than before. Our Holy Father Dionysius of the Kiev Caves. not I. He shut himself in a cell on the Holy Mountain and spoke not a single word to anyone for twelve years. When his teacher. he was seized and tortured for Christ. *Author's note: Some historians think that Dionysius of Paris was other than St Dionysius the Areopagite. together with Rusticus and Eleutherius. He lived in asceticism in the community of Chozeba in the time of the Emperor Justinian. He went especially to Jerusalem. or the world is ending. He is counted among the seventy lesser apostles. who held silence. a voice like thunder rose from the tombs: 'He is risen indeed!' 4. Dionysius was baptised with his whole household (Acts 17:34). on mystical theology and on the most holy Mother of God. a priest. St Paul. and was always thereafter known as the Areopagite. The Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite. He was a member of the highest court in Greece. John could not disobey the elder. Before his death.Civil Calendar October 3rd . Christ is risen!' At that. who commands you to come out of this boy!' And the boy was healed immediately. the Egyptian. Finishing his education in Athens. 3. the monks opened his cell and begged him to give them some instruction. After that. on the heavenly and ecclesiastical hierarchies. pondering on God and mental prayer to be the chief works of the true monk. and came back from the dead and was healed. many were turned to the Christian faith and Dionysius built a small chapel in Paris* where he celebrated divine service. on the Holy Mountain. and he travelled widely with Paul. but he became seriously ill and died. he was pleasing to God in everything. When the Apostle Paul preached the Gospel in Athens. This wrought a profound change in him. Ananias. It is said of Gregory the Theologian that he was a hesychast during the great Fast. an elder.

a fourth pouring something filthy over the body. In vain was he honored by the Emperor and respected by the people. a miser. and the child was healed. and the harvest had come without warning. governed his flock well and finally ended a martyr for Christ. became a nun and gave herself to asceticism till her death. A light appeared at his grave at night.Civil Calendar October 4th . born of the Pastrovic family. who gave him a twofold wreath in His heavenly Kingdom: of the hierarch and of the martyr. and I see his holy soul being borne by the angels into heaven. he saw a handsome youth standing weeping behind a wall. by his sins. He received great gifts of insight and wonderworking from God for the purity of his heart. and said to the brethren: 'Abba Ammon has today moved on. This Apostle later made him bishop in Athens. this great prince can be compared with St Alexander Nevsky or with the holy king John Vladimir. After long pestering on the part of the parents. The Hieromartyr Hierotheos. amazed at such insight on the saint's part. And the angel said that this man was a great and unrepentant sinner: a liar. one grinning like a prostitute. With his divine singing. Turning round. his wife founded a womens' monastery in their house and Ammon went off to the Nitrian desert. Ammon said: 'The sickness and health of your son are in your hands. and his cortege was magnificent.' The parents. and received the Christian faith from the Apostle Paul a little after Dionysius. and your son will be healed. He was a friend of Dionysius the Areopagite. Then holy Ammon prayed to God. and they lived thus for a whole eighteen years. The young man then told him that he had been the dead man's guardian angel. 'For the sake of the God of heaven and earth. He labored greatly for the sake of the Gospel. he brought heartfelt joy to many and showed himself to be greatly inspired. he governed the Serbian people during a most difficult period. Ammon was a close friend of St Antony the Great. acknowledged their sin and promised that they would return the stolen ox as soon as they got home. Andrew saw a host of little black men capering merrily around the corpse. walking one day along the streets of Constantinople. tell me the reason for your tears'. he called his bride his sister and counseled her. When Ammon died in Nitria in about 350.A vision of St Andrew the Fool for Christ: Holy Andrew. Later. by means of which his holy relics were found. greatly offended God. seeing Stephen's uncorrupt relics and the miracles wrought by them. Return the stolen ox to the widow (and he named her). Our Holy Father Ammon of Nitria. October 17th . A rich man had died. struggling courageously against the Turks and the Latins. He entered into rest at the beginning of the sixteenth century (according to some. during the Second World War. to guard her virginity for the sake of greater good things from heaven. a hater of men. casting his angel's counsel from him and giving himself over utterly to the black demons. another barking like a dog. a shedder of blood and a dissolute man who had turned three hundred souls to immorality. And they were mocking the singers and saying: 'You're singing over a dog!' Andrew. Our Holy Father Paul the Simple. St Antony saw from his cell window the soul of Ammon in the heights. but Ammon would not do so. A man and woman brought him their insane son that he might heal him by his prayers. * Translator`s note: A mountain range in north-east Yugoslavia. Death had caught him unrepentant. he was forced by his kinsmen to marry against his will. brought many pagans to the truth. being kept for a long time in the monastery of Sisatovac in the Fruska Gora* and then. but he would not live with a woman. 2. 3. saw a great and splendid funeral. At the time of the Dormition of the most holy Mother of God. An Egyptian and a wine-grower by profession. where he gave himself to the ascesis of solitude. 37 . said Andrew. His wife Helena. Hierotheos arrived in Jerusalem and took part in the funeral. marveling. St Stephen Stiljanovic. by mutual arrangement. On the first day. taken to Belgrade and placed in the Cathedral beside the body of Prince Lazar. But when he looked more closely. wondered what this man had done. 4. A righteous and godly man and a patriot. a third grunting like a pig. In vain was this great funeral. together with him. but that the man had.Church Calendar 1. in 1515). A Serbian despot.

Dometius. His face shone and His eyes rested on me with great kindness. He himself became bishop there in 247. Charitina having brought others to the Christian faith. he read St Paul's epistles. that he should not be killed before his time. bearing him to the third heaven. Over eight hundred and fifty years after St Paul. and I rejoiced greatly at this beauty.He lived in the world as a married man to the age of sixty. She studied the law of God day and night and vowed to live in perpetual virginity as a true bride of Christ. Born in Alexandria of eminent. 2. the Emperor Diocletians' governor. The Holy Martyr Charitina. Then the wicked judge sent some dissolute youths to rape her. He lived for three years outside Alexandria. and served God and the people of God as a true pastor in very difficult circumstances. I am filled with unspeakable joy. hidden by the faithful. She was bound to a wheel which began to turn. her soul went out from her body to the immortal Kingdom of Christ. Charitina was meek. He was a great wonderworker and. that weakened the people for several years.' The wicked judge ordered that her hair be cut off and live coals put on her head.Church Calendar 1. and marveled in mind and heart at the unspeakable loveliness of God's Paradise. he left everything and went to St Antony in the desert. They threw her into the sea. Bishop of Alexandria. Although he was simple and unlettered. Seeing Him. I saw my Lord as the Prophet Isaiah saw Him aforetime. As a young man. sitting upon a throne. holy Andrew was lying among the dogs on a dunghill. with a wreath of flowers on my head and girt with a kingly girdle. heard of her and sent soldiers to take her from her foster-father for trial. little girl. and now. One winter night. to warm his frozen body. and that you delude others by bringing them to this dishonorable faith?' Charitina courageously replied: 'It is true that I am a Christian. I have no words for the joy that gripped me at the sight of His face. There were also the effects of a plague.' After that. Among his writings are a few canons which were adopted by the Church. who brought her up as his own daughter. outstripped St Antony himself. and a lie that I delude others. but God delivered her from it. The judge asked her: 'Is it true. October 18th .' When St Andrew asked also after this if it would be possible to see the most holy Mother of God. pagan parents. 12:4). The Hieromartyr Dionysius. in 340. which so sweetened my heart and inflamed it with love for Him that I melted as wax at such spiritual warmth. this happened to St Andrew. but an angel of God stopped the wheel and Charitina remained unharmed.Civil Calendar October 5th . becoming a monk at his hands. high and lifted up and surrounded by seraphim. he achieved such spiritual perfection that he saw every man's soul as ordinary men see each other's bodies. An angel appeared to him and caught him up to Paradise (whether in the body or out of the body. 'I saw myself clad in shining garments like lightning. it was said to him that she was for the moment not in heaven. He died in great old age. obedient and silent. In those three years. came to faith in Christ and was baptised by Dimitrios. Andrew writes of how he saw Christ the Lord: 'And when a flaming hand drew aside the curtain. bringing them to my Christ. Fearing this dishonor. FOR CONSIDERATION A vision of St Andrew the Fool for Christ: St Paul was not the only one to be caught up into Paradise and hear 'unspeakable words' (II Cor. I fell down before Him. But. Catching his wife in sin. instructing them and encouraging them in the upholding of Orthodoxy. and I walked around it with great gladness. I lead those in error to the way of truth. in some things. the then Bishop of Alexandria. he wrote many epistles and other works for his flock. And I heard my most merciful Creator speak three words to me with His most sweet and pure lips. he was educated in Hellenic philosophy and then studied with Origen. St Charitina prayed to God to receive her soul before these dissolute men could foul her virginal body and so. that you are a Christian. The Church was outwardly persecuted by pagans and inwardly split by heretics. Andrew himself was unable to explain) and kept him for two weeks in the heavenly world. she was adopted by an eminent Christian man called Claudius. He was clad in a red garment. but had gone down to earth to be of help to the poor and needy. Orphaned young. while she was kneeling in prayer. and went to angelic joy. and his 38 . remembering this vision. but the maiden was preserved by God's power. humble. worshipping before the awesome throne of His glory.

and put an end to the spread of this heresy among the faithful. Reading them all carefully. This is shown to us in the life of St Dionysius of Alexandria. but devoted themselves to the ascetic life. Not knowing who this man could have been and when he had lived. when the bone-chapel at Vatopedi was being restored. being dissatisfied with that. Korakion and his followers cast off their false teaching and accepted the Orthodox teaching of St Dionysius. 4. Seers and wonderworkers of the Kiev Caves. In 1841. At the forefront of this heresy was one Korakion. when the apostles cast lots to see who would go where to preach the Gospel. wives of Indian princes. and sent five soldiers who ran him through with their lances. he began to read everything that came to hand. Even as a young man and a pagan. In India. a new confirmation was given of that wonderful and saving event. October 19th . After the descent of the Holy Spirit. One day.Church Calendar 1. He was one of the twelve Great Apostles. Many miracles of healing have been performed by them. with the other 39 . Among others. heard the Apostle's teaching and did not live together. The Millenarian heresy had taken root in Arsinoe and was spreading the false teaching that Christ would soon come and found on earth an earthly kingdom that would last a thousand years. Dionysius and Pelagia. Both sisters were ill-treated for their faith by their husbands. it fell to Thomas to got to India. they lived godly lives till their deaths. Dionysius disputed with Korakion and other of the leaders of the Millenarians. comes to meet them. making priests and bishops. but believing'. and thrust it into My side. He governed the Church for seventeen years. whom the saint healed of great sickness. But. Tertiana and Mygdonia. God. both rich and poor. Dionysius came to faith in Christ and received baptism without the slightest hesitation. Before his death. and founded a Church there.Civil Calendar October 6th . and be not faithless. The woman sent him to a Christian priest. a disciple of Nepos of Arsinoe. in His gentle way. FOR CONSIDERATION Whenever men strive earnestly to see the truth. and Thomas cried: 'My Lord and my God! (John 20). and divorced them. Jeremiah and Matthew. he. the husband of Tertiana. and thus the holy Apostle Thomas gave his soul into the hands of his Christ. a couple at first betrothed to each other. St Thomas converted many. Our Holy Father Eudocimus of Vatopedi. 3.letter against Novatius is also regarded as a canonical writing. Today the following words are carved on his coffin: 'This coffin was made for the honored head of St Eudocimus by the monk Gabriel. a poor woman met him and offered to sell him a manuscript containing several of St Paul's epistles. whose wife and son Iuzanes Thomas baptised. and entered into rest in 265. where they are preserved to this day. and when they put nothing else before the truth. by God's providence. The debate continued for three whole days. who would not live with them after their baptism. to convince Thomas. Prince Misdaeus. Dionysius read all the literature of Greece in order to come to the truth. Pelagia died a martyr for the Faith and Dionysius was made bishop by the Apostle. The Lord said to Thomas: 'Reach hither thy hand. St Thomas converted two sisters. for the risen Lord appeared again to His disciples. to the Christian faith. Being freed from their marriages. but the Lord appeared to him and comforted him. The Holy Apostle Thomas. At a great gathering of Millenarians and Orthodox. who gave him all of Paul's epistles. Through his doubt of the Resurrection of the Lord Christ. they lived in the eleventh century. He was somewhat saddened at having to go so far away. Our Holy Fathers Damian. condemned the Apostle to death. At the end of the debate. Dionysius joyfully bought them and read them. See what zeal the Christians of former times showed for the examination of the truth! And God blessed their labours and their zeal because of the prayers of St Dionysius. They so captivated him that he sought out the woman again and asked if he could get anything else like that from her. workmen found the relics of a man kneeling and holding an icon of the Mother of God. the monks gave him the name Eudocimus and transferred his relics to the church. Dionysius was at pains to go to Arsinoe and disillusion the Millenarians.

5:1). but the angel told him that he could not. The king gave himself to further almsgiving. The Holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus. but. but. 'Whosoever shall deny Me before men. wisdom and zeal. when Manuel went to Brussa in the course of his work. eternal in the heavens' (II Cor. When the man came to himself. his father found him and put great pressure on him to follow his example. FOR CONSIDERATION 'We have a building of God. All our labour on earth for God has this one aim: to strive with all our strength to attain to that eternal home not made with hands in the heavens. After two years. of Christian parents Peter and Anthusa. by God's providence. but his soul could find no peace. Our Holy Father. 1590. After being flogged for a hundred and thirty days and enduring even harsher tortures. he was convinced and immediately released Thomas from prison. That night. which was the preaching of the Gospel. October 20th . Beside himself with anger. His parents had him taught tailoring as a trade. decided to build himself a magnificent palace. he was baptised with the name Manuel. to meet the Apostle Thomas. His brother then said: 'Give me the palace you have in heaven. revealed to us the wondrous glorification of the Mother of God. was miraculously borne to Jerusalem for the funeral of the most holy Mother of God. Arriving late. These holy and wonderful martyrs and heroes of the Christian faith were at first nobles at the court of the Emperor Maximian. they came. the tomb of the Most Pure was opened. and showed him a wonderful palace such as the mind of man could not imagine. the Emperor ordered that their robes. Gundafor. Thus St Thomas first. and doubted greatly that there could be any such palace in heaven. by his unbelief. but in vain: the Turks circumcised him by force. as it was being built at some distance from the capital. he said to the king. him will I also deny before My Father' (Matt. but the body was not there: the Lord had taken His Mother to His heavenly home.' The king was amazed. when his brother explained it all to him. When they heard from the Apostle's lips the words of salvation and eternal life. confirmed the faith in the Resurrection of the Lord and then. Thomas'. Once. with his elder's blessing. and they openly refused to obey him in this. at his request. help. by his late arrival. He therefore resolved. Then the angel returned the man's soul to his body. A part of his wonderworking relics is preserved in the skete of St Anne on Mount Athos. Thomas replied: 'All is ready except for the roof'.Civil Calendar October 7th . When his envoy. Born in Cion in Bithynia. The Emperor himself valued them greatly for their courage. 2. the New Martyr Macarius. his brother: 'Swear that you will give me anything I ask of you. as it was the palace that the Apostle Thomas had built for his brother with the alms he had given. so he seized him and threw him into prison. and he asked for more money from the king and was given it. Havan. sought skilled workers capable of building such a palace for the king. when he heard that these great nobles of his were Christians. then his father embraced Islam and moved to Brussa. the king's brother died. he was beheaded with the sword in Brussa on October 6th. He was a model monk for twelve years. As soon as he left the king's presence. Thomas again gave it all away to the poor and went around the kingdom doing his own work. the like of which had never been seen on earth. the Emperor summoned Sergius and Bacchus to offer sacrifice together with him. The king discovered that Thomas had not even begun to build the palace. 40 . and the king was grief-stricken. rings and marks of eminence be stripped from them and they be dressed in women's clothing. the king sent servants to ask Thomas if the palace was ready.Church Calendar 1.apostles. when there was a great offering of sacrifices to idols. And once. An angel took the dead man's soul and carried it to Paradise. Manuel refused. receiving the name Macarius. An Indian king.' And the king swore that he would. his love for them turned to fury. a house not made with hands. that he might build himself a yet more wonderful palace in heaven. Then Manuel fled to the Holy Mountain and became a monk in the skete of St Anne. to go to Brussa and openly confess his faith in Christ before the Turks. The soul of the dead man wanted to go into that palace. Thomas therefore received a great sum of gold from the king to build this palace. he grieved bitterly and. says the discerning Apostle Paul. who told them that he was skilled in such work and that no-one could build the king what he wanted without his. the king and his brother were both baptised. he gave all the gold away to the poor. calling Mahomet a false prophet.these words of Christ's were constantly ringing in Macarius' ears. 10:33) -.

Andrew then cried to him in fury: 'Get away from here. The most renowned among them was St John. for torture. Antiochus threw Sergius into prison and ordered that Bacchus be tortured first. together with his friend Bacchus. a demon came to Epiphanius and began to set a trap for him. for they will do my will of themselves. he worked as a young man in the vineyard of a Constantinopolitan man. 2.He then put iron yokes on their necks and led them thus through the streets of Rome. St Polychronius used the money to build a church. and there beheaded with the sword. And I shall then take my rest and shall do nothing more to men. and children more adept at wickedness than those who are full-grown. the Sodomite sins of drunkenness and love of money -. but moved around on his knees.' Andrew asked him. Then a very great wonder was wrought. both life and death -. These two glorious knights suffered for the Christian faith in about 303. He prayed so much kneeling that he was in the end unable to stand. a great man of prayer and a wonderworker. men will be worse than I am now. His soul went to Paradise where. who had at one time recommended him to the Emperor. A repentant sinner. she was born a pagan in Antioch and endowed by God with great physical beauty. Seeing his way of life. The servants took turns in beating holy Bacchus until his whole body was broken into fragments. Born in the district of Gampnanitus of peasant parents. he received the wreath of immortal glory from Christ his King and Lord. At that time. Iron shoes studded with nails were put on his feet. and do our utmost to bring him back. the two saints replied: 'Both honour and dishonour. Our Holy Mother Pelagia. Seeing him going about like this. acquiring great wealth from her prostitution. but let him speak. And the devil began: 'I feel that the time is coming when my trade will be destroyed. 'At what sins do your people most rejoice?' The devil replied: 'The service of idols. their leader. It is said that the hundredth never joined them. giving himself to fasting and prayer day and night. fell on St Polychronius in the church itself and cut him to pieces.' When the evil spirit had said this and much else. The Holy Martyr Polychronius. October 21st . to Antiochus the governor. When Antiochus began to urge them to deny Christ and save themselves from dishonourable suffering and death. to turn his thoughts in another direction. and he was driven out into the Syrian town of Resapha. At the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325. Later. Polychronius was a reader and showed such zeal in the defence of Orthodoxy against the Arians that he was ordained priest. Thus suffered this great defender of the truth and purity of Orthodoxy. His holy spirit went forth from his broken and bloodstained body and was borne to the Lord by angels.Church Calendar 1. holy Andrew breathed on him and he disappeared. We find it hard to bear. but she used this beauty to destroy her own soul and those of others. evil against one's neighbour. you impure adversary!' The devil recoiled and replied wickedly: 'You're the greatest enemy I have in the whole of Constantinople!' Andrew did not drive him away at once. these wicked heretics. and received the wreath of glory from his most glorious Lord. Antiochus had achieved his distinguished rank with the help of Sergius and Bacchus. Then holy Sergius was led out. St Bacchus suffered in the town of Varvallis. which was interpreted as meaning that the hundredth was Christ the Lord Himself. but he dared not approach Andrew. the overseer was amazed and gave him far higher wages than they had agreed. a woodcutter thought that he was a wild beast and shot him with an arrow.Civil Calendar October 8th . slander. FOR CONSIDERATION A vision of St Andrew: Once holy Andrew was sitting with his disciple Epiphanius and talking with him of the salvation of the soul. to be mocked by each and all. out of revenge. The Emperor then sent them to Asia.all are one to him who seeks the heavenly Kingdom. angelic in its purity and restraint. for many who have denied us and turned to God have come back to us.' Andrew asked again: 'And how do you bear it when someone who has served you denies you and your works?' The devil replied: 'You know that better than I do.these give us most joy. At that time. In the Greek Synaxarion there are also commemorated today the ninety-nine ascetics of Crete. One 41 . for all the rest of the ninety-nine ascetics breathed their last on the selfsame day. It is not known when they lived.

The deacon replied: 'Woe is me. and teach me repentance. walking past the church of the holy martyr Julian. received the mercy of God. found a way in His wonderful providence to save the sinful Thais. be merciful to me. under a man's name as the monk Pelagius. These words so shook her. who loved Raphael. The soldiers surrounded the house and called the holy maiden to the door. then asked the deacon why he was in such grief. there is recorded the following occurrence with an unrepentant sinner: A deacon. She then climbed up onto the roof of the house. prayer and vigils. but when he went to her again a few days later.' Thus this penitent implored Christ's hierarch with tears. She appeared. Recognising his spiritual father. fell down before St Nonnus. And at that he gave up his soul. But Pelagia was not content just to be baptised. a deaconess of that church. after that. and he decided. Three years later. gave her purified and sanctified soul to God. near to Paphnutius' hermitage. which was about the Dreadful Judgement and the punishment of sinners. the forgiveness of her sins and sanctification. a net and weapon of the devil. shut in a cell and living only on bread and water. Giving away all her goods to the needy. and. she was an Egyptian by birth. being set on the way of evil living by her shameless mother. St Paphnutius visited her. Thais. and stayed there for about three years. she went to a monastery of virgins. begging God to receive her soul and not let her virginity be fouled. FOR CONSIDERATION 42 . and made her leave her cell against her will. and when she heard that they had come to take her for trial. I am a sea of iniquity. and wrought so great a change in her. lay on the earth: angels surrounded it. with God's help. devils have snatched away my works. he found her dead body and gave it burial. 'Her death'. she decided on a great ascesis. This holy soul entered into rest in about 340. St Paul the Simple. St Pelagia entered into rest in about 461. But God the merciful. the governor of Antioch sent soldiers to bring Pelagia to trial as a known Christian. and the angels of God have withdrawn themselves from me!' After that. she turned into the church and listened to the sermon. of her sinful life and the spiritual poison with which she was poisoning the souls of many. took Paphnutius off to her room. repenting of all her filthy sins. dressed himself in ordinary clothes. was sick unto death. Epiphanius also wept. and her purified and sanctified soul was made worthy of the Kingdom of God. after a short illness. purer than any gold. she shut herself in a cell on the Mount of Olives and there began a strict ascesis of fasting. archangels paid it honour and Christ Himself was with her. raised her hands to heaven and prayed for a long time. another disciple of St Antony. she pretended delight and asked the soldiers to wait a moment or two while she got herself ready. Raphael began to weep and wail bitterly. He found Thais and gave her the coin. who desires not that sinners should perish but that they should be saved. and her dead body fell in front of the soldiers. She gave away to the poor the enormous wealth she had amassed by her immorality and went secretly to Jerusalem. And he baptised her. God did so. St Epiphanius said that this was because of some great sin. writes Chrysostom. where. visited her and found her still alive. Feeling the weight of her many sins and the pricking of her conscience. as her spiritual mother. where Bishop Nonnus was preaching. and he continues: 'And thus this virginal body. Thais' soul and conscience were roused. She was a virgin of an eminent family in Antioch. calling her to repentance. The Holy Martyr Pelagia.day. and she gave herself to tears of heartfelt repentance. and the elder came to him at once. baptise me. In the time of the Emperor Numerian. begging him to baptise her: 'Holy father. Blessed Romana. 'came about not as a natural occurrence but by the command of God'. he began to bleat like a goat. a sinner. Like St Pelagia. One of the disciples of St Antony the Great. James.' In the Slavonic Prologue. heard of Thais. This was told to St Epiphanius. 3. thinking that the man had given her the gold piece with evil intent. 2. grounded her well in the Christian faith. by repentance and striving. Our Holy Mother Thais. Paphnutius the Sindonite. A repentant sinner. St Nonnus' deacon. took a gold piece and went to the town. that she was of a sudden filled with selfloathing and fear of God. therefore. saw in a vision in Paradise a most beautiful dwelling prepared for the penitent Thais. unconfessed and unrepented. Holy Paphnutius. and then bark like a dog. Raphael. an abyss of destruction. She quickly fell ill and. stood sponsor to her at her baptism and. Thais spent her youth in prostitution. Thus that sometime great sinner. to save her. Then Paphnutius opened his blessed lips and denounced Thais' sin. Just before her death.

at Scetis and Athanasia in a women's monastery in Tabennisi. necklaces and baubles. to preach the Gospel in India. Holy and Righteous Abraham and Lot. adorned. Pantaenus found in India the Gospel that St Matthew wrote in Aramaic. Andronicus was a goldsmith by profession.Civil Calendar October 9th . Patriarch of Alexandria. bedecked with rings. they entered into the eternal Kingdom of Christ: first Athanasia and then.and what for? Only to appear lovelier in men's eyes. rooting out idol worship. churches were founded and set in order and priests and bishops were made. first saw Pelagia the sinner in her external resplendence. surrounded by slaves -. we do not hasten to bathe them in tears of repentance or to clothe them in the beauty of the virtues. Being pleasing to God by many years of asceticism. healing all manner of sickness and disease in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. it fell to the lot of the Apostle James to preach Christ's Gospel in Eleutheropolis and the surrounding area. only aware of their bodies. another third to the Church and kept the last for their own use. who have an immortal Bridegroom in heaven -. Andronicus. titivating herself. 5. striving without ceasing to walk in the ways of the Lord. They gave a third of what they earned to the poor. being crucified by the pagans. Resurrection and Ascension. with the other bishops.we do not exert ourselves to bedeck our souls with repentance. preening herself in the mirror -. by God's unfathomable providence. For think: how many hours does this woman spend in her room washing herself. the director of a famous catechetical school in Alexandria. He suffered in Egypt in the town of Ostracina. surrounded by vanity and flattered by vanity. and then in Egypt. During his time. in the beginning. when shall we get to the point of making as much effort over our souls as we do over our bodies? When shall we come to the desire to bedeck ourselves with virtues before God and His glorious angels as much as we bedeck ourselves with vain and transitory outward gauds? Pelagia and Thais were. 4.Church Calendar 1. After this. at the request of the Indians.Oh. Thus this great and wonderful apostle of Christ went to the heavenly Kingdom. Despot of Serbia. 2. A citizen of Antioch in the time of Theodosius the Great (379-95). they left everything and went to Egypt. With great power both in word and act. clothed in vanity. Both he and his wife were very devout. St Stephen. The eleventh Bishop of Alexandria after St Mark the Evangelist. He was a witness of the true words and miracles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and a witness of His Passion. James spread abroad the saving news of the incarnate Word of God. where he suffered for his Saviour. driving demons out of men. And we. clad in the costliest garments. he sent St Pantaenus. ornamented. God will bring her before His Dreadful Judgement and will rebuke us through her. he burst into tears and said to his companions: 'I have indeed learned much from this woman.' October 22nd . Daniel. eight days later. They grieved deeply until the martyr Julian appeared to Athanasia by their grave and comforted her with the tidings that their children were in the Kingdom of God. When Bishop Nonnus. adorned with vanity. But what a sudden change! What a divine step in their lives! Stranger than if a wild apple tree were to change its nature and begin to bear sweet apples. both their children died on the same day. dressing herself. Then. The son of Alphaeus and one of the twelve Great Apostles. 3. St Dimitrios. and that they were better off there than with their parents on earth. perfumed. The Holy Apostle James. they agreed to live in future as brother and sister. They were both bedecked with vanity. he governed his flock long and wisely from 189 to 231. His labours and his zeal were crowned with great success. or if some turgid and stinking pool somehow cleared itself and became pure drinking water. When they had had two children. 43 . Our Holy Father Andronicus and his wife Athanasia. that they may appear lovelier in God's eyes. After the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.when the bishop saw her. there receiving the monastic habit: Andronicus with the elder. to reign forever with the King of glory. Read about them in the Book of Genesis. while their souls were like slaves lying bound in the prison of their flesh. he was the brother of the Apostle and Evangelist Matthew. Many pagans came to belief in Christ the Lord.

Stephen's body was dug up and found to be intact and filled with a fragrant scent. the Serbian King Milutin having risen up against him in defence of Orthodoxy. he saw the imperial decree on the persecution and killing of Christians stuck onto a wall. not by his own power but by God's permission. as an exile and a refugee. his middle son rose up against his mother Irene and brother Grgur.Civil Calendar October 10th . his daughter was forced into marriage with the Sultan. After lying eight years in the grave. and. to receive his help against the Bulgars and Serbs. and these twenty-six heroes found a martyr's death in the flames. While the tower was burning. the foundation of his son Maxim. The Holy Martyrs Eulampius and Eulampia. in the same way that Nebuchadnezzar. the Latins attacked Zographou. in that foreign place. living God. the monks of the Holy Mountain sent the Emperor a protest against this Union. Despot George died an exile. Iviron and other monasteries. They all shut themselves in the monastery tower. At the time of a vicious persecution of Christians by the Emperor Maximian (286-305). where he married Angelina. he lived for a time with his sister Mara at the court of Sultan Murat II and was blinded at Jedrene together with his brother Grgur. where he died. Hearing of the torture of her brother. Bulgars and Serbs -. but they. St Eulampius was beheaded. and then to Italy. the daughter of Skenderbeg. and gave their holy souls into God's hands on October 10th. When the Latins arrived. but was forced almost at once to flee to Albania. who had come to faith in Christ by seeing the power and miracles of St Eulampius and his sister. So also. All were crowned with wreaths of martyrdom and entered into their immortal. The Pope sent an army to Michael's aid. Where. In December of the same year.but by God's permission. in the time of the Turkish conquest of the Serbian lands. then. does mercy come in? God glorified with eternal glory both this Stephen and his wife Angelina. were slaughtered. and those who desired a martyr's death should stay. Blind Stephen had barely become Despot when he had to flee to Albania. and she was likewise beaten till the blood flowed from her nose and mouth. they sang hymns and the Akathist to the Mother of God. heavenly home. and these latter themselves suffered even more greatly. and urged him to set it aside and return to Orthodoxy. Entering it. Finally. Eulampius began in return to urge the judge to deny the false idols and accept Christ as the one. by the power of the sign of the Cross and the name of Christ. His relics are preserved in the monastery of Krusedol. Grgur and Stephen. He was immediately brought to trial for this. Two hundred other Christians. October 23rd . 44 . and many miracles were wrought over his holy relics. both his wife and his sons were glorified and sanctified. Blind and unhappy.Church Calendar 1. some of the faithful of Nicomedia fled the city and hid. were blinded by the Turks.Greeks. Twenty-six men stayed: twenty-two monks with their abbot and four laymen who worked for the monastery. but utterly given to God. his sons. Then the judge ordered that he be flogged until the blood flowed. 1282. but died suddenly. conquered Jerusalem and took the Jews off into captivity. they set the tower alight. rendered the fire harmless. and this Latin army went onto the Holy Mountain and set about such barbarism as the Turks never perpetrated in five hundred years. the maiden Eulampia ran to join him in suffering for Christ. After that. The Serbian people suffered greatly for the sins of the princes and nobles. This was all God's punishment. It was not of their own power and will that the Turks came into the Balkans and subjugated the Christian peoples -. The blessed Abbot Thomas told the brethren by inspiration that those who desired to save themselves from the Latins should flee the monastery. he died in Italy in 1468. When the judge urged him to deny Christ. The Holy Martyrs of Zographou. When the Emperor Michael Palaeologus contracted the ill-famed Union of Lyons with the Pope. FOR CONSIDERATION How God both punishes and has mercy is clearly shown to us in the last despots of Serbia. by the grace of God. He began to reign over the Serbs in 1458. and their children Maxim and John. and by force took the insecure throne at Smederevo. but St Eulampia breathed her last before the same could be done to her. 2. The young Eulampius was sent into the city for bread. they were thrown into boiling pitch then into a red-hot furnace.Son of the Despot George and Queen Irene. and tortured in other ways. laughing at it. Hanging the members of the Council and slaughtering many of the monks in Vatopedi. the dishonourable Emperor Michael died in poverty. They were brother and sister from Nicomedia. took it down and tore it up.

45 . at the time ordained. When he began to pronounce the word: 'Rejoice'. FOR CONSIDERATION By God's providence. When the Emperor pressed him to offer sacrifice to idols. suffering with honour for Christ. October 24th . Philip served the poor and the widows with great fervour. and shall offer myself to Him as a living sacrifice. and a burning pillar. that misfortune may not come upon you.Civil Calendar October 11th . and are already close at hand. He suffered much for the sake of the holy icons in the time of Leo the Isaurian. and he returned to his monastery. one of the old monks had an obedience in a vineyard half an hour away from the monastery. he fled to Samaria and there preached the Gospel and witnessed to it by many miracles. he was married and had four daughters. the voice came again: 'Don't worry about me. where he taught and preached.3.Church Calendar 1. When the holy apostles chose deacons. this saint came from Syria to Constantinople.' The terrified old man fell flat on the ground and cried out in fear: 'How can I leave you here. he was drowned in the sea with a stone round his neck and. He had about three hundred disciples. On the day on which the Latins were making their way to the monastery of Zographou. or go and tell the brethren in the monastery to lock themselves in. appeared over the church. When persecution fell on the Christians in Jerusalem. On one occasion. healing the sick and so forth. and. was crowned with the wreath of martyrdom. St Philip also baptised the eunuch of Queen Candace. he became a monk very young and built himself a monastery. had arrived at the monastery before him. The night was moonless. Flee from here without delay. and entered into the joy of his Lord. 1873. The Holy Martyr Theotecnus. during the feast of the twenty-six martyrs of Zographou. old man. gave glory to God and to His Mother. Seeing the miracles of the holy apostle. The Emperor Marcian built a church in his honour. for the godless Latins have fallen upon this mountain that I have chosen. a slight noise was heard. His asceticism was great. hearing this. he replied: 'I believe in Christ my God. and saw this same icon of the Mother of God before the doors when he arrived. By birth a Macedonian Slav from somewhere near Strumica. He died peacefully in great old age. in 450. After that. He was later made bishop in Tralles. among whom was St Matrona. This wonder lasted for about a quarter of an hour. governor of the area. Halfway through the night. Simon the Magician was baptised. Our Holy Father Bassian. 5. The governor freed him. of the principle and necessity of the veneration of icons. on October 10th. and the power that he received from God was great and miraculous. Born in Palestinian Caesarea. while the monks were singing and reading the lives of the holy martyrs in the church. but hurry!' The old man went at once to the monastery. He was a Roman officer in Antioch in the time of Maximian (286-305). In the time of the devout Emperor Marcian. all four endowed by God with the gift of discernment and all four vowed virgins for the sake of Christ (Acts 21:8-9). which remains to this day. Our Holy Father Theophilus the Confessor. where he died peacefully and entered into the joy of his Lord. and would have been killed then if he had not been able to convince the judge Hypaticus. driving out demons. The Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy. the greatest number of miracles and heavenly visions occurred at times of the martyrdom of His servants. 4. a voice came from the icon: 'Rejoice also. bringing many to Christ (Acts 8). stretching from earth to heaven.' After terrible torture. an angel of God suddenly and invisibly bore him away to Azotus. there was a great night-vigil. by some miraculous means. So brilliant was it that night was turned to day. The amazed old man related all that had been revealed to him to the abbot and the brethren. read the Akathist before the icon of the Mother of God. and then disappeared. Philip was chosen along with Stephen and the others (6:5). the icon. and all of them. my Queen and Advocate?' At that.

The whole town gathered to see the miracle. he was chosen as Patriarch after St Gregory the Theologian. He died peacefully in 847. wonder of wonders. This Council also decided that the relics of the martyrs be placed in the antimins. They were sisters. The fear and horror of the Jews was indescribable. There were many Jews in that house. 'Why give so much honour to a rock?'. by God's providence. they were sent by Patriarch Thomas of Jerusalem to Leo the Armenian. 3. But unbelievers fell on them one night and stoned them to death. The Jews did to the icon as their forbears had done to Him: they pierced the feet and hands with nails. one of them took a spear and pierced the divine image under the rib. so these same powers are given to icons. *Antimins: a cloth containing relics of the saints that is spread on the Holy Table for the celebration of the Liturgy -. writing a hundred and forty-five Canons in that time. The Holy Martyrs Zinais and Philonilla. who. and entered into the joy of his Lord. A confessor and writer of Canons. Then they found a vessel in which to catch the blood. mocked the Saviour's face. for her great fasting. and they were particularly ill-disposed towards the Christian faith. and in the time of Patriarch Tarasius. he became a monk in the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified. A Jew moved into the same house. the living and life-giving Lord. was made worthy of the gift of wonderworking. he stumbled over the same stave and put out his own right eye. 5. and brought many of the sick -. In the town of Beirut there lived a Christian in a rented house. to expose them to the world's ridicule. He suffered for the holy icons for twenty-five years. Later. Among other examples cited. With his brother Theodore (see Dec.2. tact and zeal for the Church. The wicked Emperor inflicted harsh torture on these two holy brothers and threw them into prison. to explain things to the Emperor and defend the veneration of icons. and threw his iron stave at the icon. driving his flock out to pasture one day. he cried out tearfully that it was a punishment from the Mother of God. the power of healing is given to blessed water and blessed oil. brought forward this one: A herdsman from the city of Constantia. deaf. As soon as he had left that spot. He was distinguished by a deep understanding. 4. and helped many of the sick. born in Tarsus. FOR CONSIDERATION As. 27th). saw an icon of the Mother of God adorned with flowers by the devout. as their forbears had once mocked the living Saviour. All the Jews in the town came to belief in Christ. As virgins. damaging the right eye of the Mother of God. This Council finally upheld the veneration of icons. Constantine. May the Lord have mercy on us and save us by their prayers. Finally. lame and mad. the Cypriot bishop. 46 .Tr.* Three hundred and sixtyseven fathers took part in the Council. blood and water flowed from the pierced spot as it had aforetime from the body of the crucified Lord. the iconoclast Emperor Theophilus continued their torture. Returning blinded to the city. They were skilled in medicine. As a layman and a high-ranking court official. in 381. he left behind by mistake an icon of the Saviour. obviously brought up in iconoclasm. the witness of the holy fathers and the examples of miracles in connection with the holy icons. When the icon was found. Philonilla especially. This Council was held in 787 in Nicaea. Patriarch of Constantinople. put vinegar on the icon's lips and. At the end of the iconoclast controversy. Being very welleducated monks. Theophanes was freed and quickly made bishop. commanded that derisory words be branded on their faces. Moving from this house. One marvellous example of the wonderworking power of the holy icons is cited by St Athanasius the Great. and all glorified Christ our God. in the reign of the devout Empress Irene and her son Constantine. And. as soon as they were anointed with that blood. and. St Nectarius. He entered peacefully into rest in 397. Our Holy Father Theophanes the Hymnographer (the Branded). Commemoration of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. they scorned the world for the sake of Christ and withdrew to a cave to live in asceticism. in all possible ways. kinswomen of Paul the Apostle. said the herdsman.the blind. he was born in Arabia of wealthy and devout parents. were healed. expounding it from Holy Scripture. the Jews carried it to their meeting-place and began to mock it.

3. St Martin was once travelling from France to Pannonia. Bishop of Tours. all bloody and wounded. which change weekly and comprise the basis of the Offices -Tr. and for this God gave him abundant wonderworking gifts. FOR CONSIDERATION In what have the saints been most exalted and glorified by heaven and by men? Chiefly in their humility and service. Probus and Andronicus. however. and Andronicus was the son of an eminent citizen of Ephesus. and went on his way. with his sabre. feeling no shame at this. Martin was immediately baptised. near Gaza. The Holy Martyrs Tarachus. After that. Before them.' After long-drawn-out torture in various places. whose parents took him in as an orphan and educated him. took off his soldier's cloak and. He was bishop of the town of Maiuma. which he had loved with all his heart from his early youth.' They were first beaten with rods. That night. Travelling one winter with his companions to the town of Amiens. they. St Martin gave his holy soul into the hands of his Lord in 397. He outlived St Damascene and died in great old age. When the proconsul urged Probus to deny Christ. he answered all three times: 'I am a Christian. and more ferocious than the beasts. He was. All the bodies being mixed up and the night being very dark. After that. holy Probus replied: 'I neither desire imperial honours nor seek your friendship. Felix and Verianus. to see his parents. Palm Sunday and the Sunday of the Judgement are ascribed to him. Born in Jerusalem. against his will. he became a monk in the diocese of St Hilary of Poitiers. and the young Martin was therefore put. he helped St Damascene to compile the Octoechos*. into the army. so that he could raise the dead and drive out evil spirits. these three holy martyrs were thrown into the theatre before the wild beasts. and see. His father was a Roman officer. The especially lovely Canons for Lazarus Saturday. in uncertainty about how to distinguish the martyrs' bodies. and he himself composed many Canons to the saints. and three lights suddenly appeared above the bodies of the saints. but the beasts would not touch the saints. and their bodies lay mingled with the bodies of the others who had been slain. and spent his life in true asceticism. in the time of the Emperor Diocletian (284-305). then. As a monk. thrown into prison. Christ's young martyr replied: 'My body is before you. parting from his companions. he was the son of pagan parents. He gave half to the beggar and wrapped himself in the other. he clothes Me in his garment!' Leaving the army.Church Calendar 1. in a town called Sabaria. Our Holy Father Cosmas of Maiuma. After abundant toil in the Lord's vineyard and after a mighty struggle with both pagans and Arian heretics. They then took them and gave them burial. already a catechumen in the Christian Church. Tarachus was born in Syrian Claudiopolis. When the proconsul asked him three times for his name. who witnessed the slaughter of the holy martyrs. 2. and begged the bishop to let him be a monk in some remote place. He was made Bishop of Tours against his will. St Martin. Probus in Pamphylian Side. do with it what you will. he was a friend of St John Damascene. had one servant whom he regarded more as a brother than a servant. He often served his servant. When he was crossing 47 . Born in 316 in Pannonia. Hymerius Maximus. he saw a beggar.October 25th . they were brought out again for further torture. prayed to God. When St Hilary wanted to make him a priest. Wild with anger. cut it in half. He had a rare meekness.Civil Calendar October 12th . others were torn to pieces by the animals in this same theatre. * The Octoechos: the book of the Eight Tones. and said to His angels: 'Martin is only a catechumen. both the bear and the ferocious lioness fawned around them. and baptised his mother. the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a dream. in front of the gates. Martin was distressed and. the proconsul ordered soldiers to go in and cut Christ's soldiers to pieces. but rather joy. promising him honours from the Emperor and his own friendship. almost naked and freezing with cold. Three Christians: Macarius. They were all three martyred together by the proconsul. even as an officer before his baptism. many people believed in Christ the Lord and cried out against the proconsul. clad in the other half of his cloak. he refused this honour with tears. Seeing this. Tarachus was sixty-five years old when he was martyred.' When he put St Andronicus to even greater physical torture. came that night to take their bodies. St Martin.

Foreseeing his approaching death in old age. is near to men. This was how they did it: they came to the gate of Martin's monastery and told the abbot that a sick man was waiting outside. and. Her parents and sisters then arrived. Born in the village of Slatina in the Meglin region. Finally. and took him off.Civil Calendar October 13th . knowing that God. To this. Papylus' sister. on condition that he kept silent and spoke no more to the people about Christ. everyone wanted to have St Martin as bishop. they seized him and carried him off to Tours.' October 26th . Valerius again bound them behind horses and dragged them from Sardis to Pergamum. When one of them urged her to embrace Islam and become his wife. This soldier of Christ was a Persian. the Mother of God as mother and. St Zlata was a meek and devout girl. When he was thrown into prison. asking that he come out and give him his blessing. Some citizens of Tours got him out of his monastery by craft. When they were thrown into a fiery furnace. Deny Christ publicly. He suffered in the time of the Persian King Yezdegeherd. he told his brethren and they. blind in one eye. Benjamin replied: 'I cannot possibly do that. 3. both Persians and Greeks. Those who hide the talent they have received will be given over to greater suffering'. and said to her: 'O our daughter. they were all beheaded with the sword in 251. 2.' Then the Turks threw her 48 . The Hieromartyr Benjamin the Deacon. The saint. by his prayers. in about 412. saw this and leapt into the flames. that we can all be happy. where they finally suffered for the Christian faith at the hands of the wicked governor. prayed to God in their presence. Martin was unafraid and stayed motionless without asking for mercy. was baptised and later became a monk. in His great mercy. healed them of their wounds and strengthened them. committed under the pressure of life. They were born in Pergamum. seeing this. and that it was because of this that he was not afraid. surrounded by cherubim and seraphim. and had him tortured until he gave his soul into God's hands. Agathodorus. and he continued to spread the Christian faith. they received the wreath of glory in the Kingdom of Christ. At the time of Papylus' martyrdom. The king was willing to let him go free. and know Him alone as my bridegroom. begged him not to leave them. the saints. and he who had drawn his sword against Martin came to faith in Christ. put his sword away and asked Martin who he was. The Holy Martyr Zlata of Meglin. I shall never deny Him even if you put me to a thousand tortures and cut me into pieces. for brothers and sisters. Agathonica. after great spiritual endeavour. the holy martyr replied that he saw the heavens open and the Lord sitting on his throne. but Martin was unwilling. When holy Carpus was tied to a tree and so terribly flogged that his whole body was laid open and his blood streamed down onto the ground. I have the Lord Jesus Christ as father. When Zlata went out one day to get water.Church Calendar 1. and especially in the hour of danger. one of the king's nobles pleaded for him to the king. but an angel of God appeared to them. Martin said that he was a Christian. saying: 'Lord. and made him bishop. May Thy holy will be done.' Her poor parents and kinsfolk wept bitterly. When the episcopal seat in Tours became vacant. followed his master with great sorrow until he also was taken for torture. I do not refuse the toil. brought many pagans. All the brigands were amazed at the rare virtues of this godly man. Valerius. Carpus was Bishop of Thyateira and Papylus was a deacon. When one of the brigands took up a sword to behead him. where he put them to harsh torture. came to believe in Christ the Lord. When St Martin came out. brigands seized him and made to kill him. in Decius' reign. this holy martyr healed a man. have mercy on yourself and us. Christ is merciful: He will forgive your sin. Thrown before wild beasts. The brigand was astonished at such a reaction. being utterly at peace as though nothing were happening. with many tears. to the Christian faith. the true God. you are no longer parents or sisters to me. After that. When they asked him why he smiled. The king then ordered that thorns be driven under his nails. Valerius bound them behind horses and dragged them off to Sardis. zealously preaching the Gospel. The Holy Martyrs Carpus and Papylus. if I am still needed by Thy people. But Zlata's heroic soul would not be overcome by devilish seduction. he smiled in the midst of these tortures. Zlata answered fearlessly: 'I believe in Christ. wise with Christ's wisdom and golden ('zlata' means 'gold') not only in name but also in her God-fearing heart. Carpus' servant.the Alps. She replied to her parents: 'When you urge me to deny Christ. Many. Thus. to comfort them. But the flames did not burn them. some shameless Turks seized her and carried her off to their house. of poor peasants who had three other daughters. the martyrs remained unhurt.

' And the rain stopped at once. and entered into the realm of Paradise. As the holy Church of God has determined not to sanction any official commemoration of my departed spouse. and gave her strength in her suffering. Gervasius and Protasius. He had a dream at dawn and saw the church roofless. This glorious saint was of Serbian birth. St Petka's parents were wealthy and devout Christians. coming rapidly to an unhappy end in a campaign against Prince John Ducas of Epirus in 1282. hasten to ask her aid. At the very end. Who can describe all the labours. His wife the Empress. She entered into rest in the eleventh century. terrorized by the Bulgarians and Serbs. Ambrose was unable to leave the church.Church Calendar 1. This is what happened to the Emperor Michael Palaeologus. between Silinaurius and Constantinople. always desirous of the ascetic life for the sake of Christ. a cloud of light within which stood the form of a beautiful woman in prayer to God. approves and accepts her decree. and then gave her spirit into God's hands and went to join the company of Paradise. Her wonderworking relics were. He was rejected by the Orthodox Church and not received by the Roman. the maiden Petka. 2..' St Petka obeyed the voice from heaven. and this continued all night. was celebrating Vespers in the church of St Petka. Perpetua. that they might bring a blessing to them. From that time. Our Holy Mother Petka (Paraskeva). they hanged her upside-down and made a fire to choke her to death with the smoke. She lived a further two years there. Author's note: In the Greek Synaxarion. in the town of Jassy. abandons hope in God and flees to a means of safety contrary to God's Law. In order to safeguard his kingdom. . His mother. don't be afraid: your homeland is saved. in the heights. They are now in Romania. with faith in God and love for this saint. still in ceaseless fasting and prayer. Constantinople again and then Belgrade. left her beloved wilderness and returned to Epibata. the sufferings. and Michael died outside the Church of God. Such a man not only cannot put right his outward circumstances. they hanged her from a tree and cut her into small pieces. The Holy Martyrs Nazarius. was baptised by the Apostle Peter himself. bowing in all things to the fear of God and submitting to the holy Church. our Lord and King. Nazarius was born in Rome of a Jewish father and a Christian mother. Nazarius of his own volition gave himself to the 49 . but put him in the ground at night without funeral or prayers. but also loses his soul. the temptations from demons that Petka endured for many years? In her old age an angel of God appeared to her and said: 'Leave the wilderness and go back to your home. he sought help from the Pope and made a Union with him in 1274. there is recorded this miraculous happening with St Petka's help on the island of Chios in 1442: A hieromonk. in the hour of need. After her prayer. my majesty also. left her home and went first to Constantinople and then to the Jordan wilderness. where she lay for three months. Thinking that the island would be completely flooded by the storm. Euthymius. FOR CONSIDERATION There is nothing more wretched than a man who. No-one else was in the church.Civil Calendar October 14th .into prison. October 27th . and will never presume to commemorate the soul of my lord and spouse in any way. in 1796. from the town of Epibata. At the end of the service. Pieces of her relics were taken by Christians to their homes. issued the following statement: 'My Majesty hates and regards as loathsome this action (the Union) that has recently come about in the Church and has caused such discord . taken to Constantinople. The waters miraculously heal all the sick who. after his death. she said to the priest: 'Ambrose. who became a monk during his parents' lifetime and later became Bishop of Madytos.. St Petka's spring is to he found in Belgrade. in the course of time. What did this gain? The kingdom was not saved and he did innumerable evil deeds. Thus this martvr-maiden gave her soul into God's hands. Finally. the island of Chios has celebrated St Petka's day with great solemnity. Trnovo. After her parents' death. Ambrose. The Orthodox people were so resentful towards him that his son Andronicus dared not bury him openly. on account of his aforementioned actions and intrigues. Receiving his mother's faith. rain suddenly began to pour down in torrents with a great roar. But God was with Zlata. and had one son. and they took her out every day and flogged her until her blood flowed onto the ground. and. he began to pray to St Petka to save his homeland and soothe God's righteous anger. where she lived to old age in asceticism.

he ordered that they be beheaded at once. who would not eat food offered to idols. The same night another villager. and the governor took him and Celsus out of prison and beheaded them. surrounded by many glorious warriors. She appeared as a beautiful and resplendent queen. Lucian was taken to 50 . Giving his goods away to the poor. The next day. Pelagia (see Oct. In Ambrose's presence. I can't bear the stench of that corpse!'. Servirus. the old man told Ambrose that they were Christ's martyrs. and Nazarius did so. Because of his learning and his great spirituality. Discovering this. He did a very great service to the Church in the work which he undertook of the correcting of the Hebrew text of the Scriptures in many places. About the relics of St Gervasius and St Protasius. The general heard that these two brothers would not offer sacrifice to idols.fulfilling of all the Church's precepts. both secular and spiritual.Civil Calendar October 15th . Our Holy Father. touched these holy relics and immediately received his sight. and not even tiny children were safe. Christ's martyrs rejoiced greatly at the providence of God that had brought them together again. and said: 'George. of whom it was learned from the discovered book that they were Gervasius and Protasius. October 28th . being afraid that he might lose the war because of this. under torture. who had buried the corpse. Lucian fled the city and hid. texts which heretics had taken the opportunity to twist and corrupt according to their wicked teaching. and Anulius the governor soon had Nazarius thrown in with them. and St Petka told him who and whence she was. Gervasius and Protasius were also beheaded very soon after that by a General Astacius. Fearlessly preaching the Gospel. began to dig and indeed found the relics of two men. and her body fell from the roof of her house. whom he had baptised in Gaul. A disciple of Lucian's. and those of St Gervasius and St Protasius were revealed to him in a strange vision. One night. he received in his youth a very wide education. St Lucian was also on the list of those whom the Emperor wanted to have killed. the sons of godly parents Vitalis and Valeria. In the time of Maximian's persecution. FOR CONSIDERATION Examples of how the saints themselves reveal their hidden relics to men are a justification of the respect that should be paid to these relics. his disciple. which is a second justification. The Emperor Nero ordered that Nazarius be killed. who were also martyred for the Faith. and that everything else about them could be learned from a little book that would be found in their grave. a blind man. The relics of St Nazarius were taken from a garden outside the city to the Church of the Holy Apostles by St Ambrose. Ambrose recounted his vision. There he found Gervasius and Protasius in prison. Priest of Antioch. when St Anthimus of Nicomedia and St Peter of Alexandria were put to torture. that their relics lay in the precise place in which Ambrose was at prayer. revealed his whereabouts. he went to Milan. the Martyr Lucian. not to mention their miraculous properties. he was ordained priest in Antioch. he supported himself by the writing of works of instruction. and indeed found the relics of St Petka. which was quickly demonstrated. It so happened that a sailor died and his body was thrown near to the saint's grave. 8th). The brothers Gervasius and Protasius were still in prison. and ministered to them with great love. While the young men kept silent. St Petka appeared in a dream to one of the villagers. but a jealous heretic priest. He thought that the last was the Apostle Paul. The following day. His mother appeared to him in a vision and told him that he must go to Gaul (France) and preach the Gospel there. St Ambrose relates how. two youths and an old man appeared to the wakeful Ambrose. were thrown into a bath of boiling water. having wonderworking power. had the same vision. Born of noble parents in Syrian Samosata. That night. Nazarius came again to Milan. Two boys. and. It came about that they buried it in St Petka's very grave. they gave their holy souls into God's hands. dig up my relics at once and take them to some other place. The persecution was terrible at that time. St Petka's grave was known by no-one for a long time. who was passing through Milan to wage war against the Moravians. After several years. they were revealed to him. Pancratius. When the body became carrion and began to give off an unbearable stench. retaining a rare fragrance and. gave her soul into God's hands. and was a man eminent both for his learning and for his strict ascetic life. feeding himself thus by the work of his hands. Euphemia. now with the young Celsus. a monk who lived in the vicinity called the villagers to bury the body. to preserve her virginal purity from the dissolute authorities. Gervasius and Protasius were twins. in a similar way. George by name. the local governor ordered that Nazarius be whipped and driven out of the city.Church Calendar 1. the villagers went and began digging. where.

312. Longinus took off his army belt. On the following day. be prepared beforehand. He then revealed himself to the soldiers as the Longinus whom they were seeking. he longed on that great Christian feast to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ. who. Lucian called all the Christians in the prison to stand in a circle round him: 'Surround me. 'Holy Father. dressed himself in white grave-clothes. came to believe in Jesus as the Son of God.' And so the Liturgy was celebrated. but that His disciples had stolen His body. Anastasia. and gave his soul into God`s hands. says: 'Now when the centurion and they that were with him. The soldiers were embarrassed and ashamed. that we may. saw the earthquake and the things that were done. on January 7th. God the almighty brought it about that some Christians came to the prison with bread and wine. describing the Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even the martyrs. although they sacrificed their lives for Christ the Lord and washed all their sins in their own blood. Pilate sent soldiers to behead Longinus. and they all died a martyr's death. 2. He entered into rest on an island near the Holy Mountain at the end of the ninth century. on the martyr's breast. he went and brought his two friends. 'Let us also scorn luxurv and destroy the lordship of the stomach. the Emperor sent soldiers to take Lucian out for torture. told the others in the house what was happening and showed them a place on a hillock to bury him. writes St John Chrvsostom of Lucian. he managed to bring forty soldiers to Christ by his counsel.Nicomedia to appear before the Emperor. turned many pagans to the true Faith by his testimony. but the wicked Jews would not even there leave him in peace. saying: "Truly this was the Son of God" ' (Matt. After interrogation and flogging. St Lucian was in prison with several of his disciples and other Christians. The Holy Martyr Longinus. The soldiers lay down to sleep. Then the Jews resorted to their usual practice: they conspired to kill Longinus. but he laid it on them to carry out their superior's command. and St Longinus spent the whole night preparing for death. Seeing the heartfelt desire of His suffering servant. where he was tortured by hunger. going out to meet them. meetly and prayerfully. Our Holy Father Euthymius the New. When the Theophany dawned.Civil Calendar October 16th . Holy Longinus foresaw in his spirit the approach of his executioners and. When the Jewish elders learned of Christ's Resurrection.' He received Communion in prison on the Theophany. they feared greatly. 27:54). He was the officer in command both at the Lord's crucifixion on Golgotha and in the watch that guarded the tomb. October 29th . where he founded monasteries for men and women. holy Lucian cried out three times: 'I am a Christian!'. where shall we put the bread and wine?'. His holy and wonderworking relics are preserved in Salonica. and be the Church. Discovering this. with two other of his soldiers. 'He scorned hunger'. and would not think of beheading Longinus. he served in the army. and he and his two friends 51 . and on the following day gave his soul into God's hands. and with them secretly left Jerusalem and went to Cappadocia. took them to his home without telling them who he was. He then went off to a village where his father had property. There he gave himself to fasting and prayer and. as a living witness of the Resurrection of Christ. and all received Communion. to show ourselves worthy of glory in the hour of battle. by the help of a lesser ascesis. The divine Matthew the Evangelist. On the way.Church Calendar 1. In response to slander on their part. When the Eve of the Theophany came. That centurion was this blessed Longinus. married and had one daughter. neither stone nor wood on which to celebrate the Holy Liturgy. received baptism from the apostles together with his two friends. they bribed the soldiers to spread the falsehood that Christ had not risen. yearned to receive the Holy Mysteries whenever possible. for he knew that his death was near. of righteous parents Epiphanius and Anna. they asked Lucian.' He had in the prison neither table nor stool. The Jews tried to bribe Longinus also. Born in Ancyra in 824. and he lay down in their midst and told them to put the bread and wine on his chest: 'Place them on my chest: let it be a living throne for the living God. He lived for a long time in asceticism in the monasteries of Olympus and then on the Holy Mountain. and also lived for some time as a stylite near Salonica. In the morning. but without success. when the time comes for us to meet such torture. St Lucian was thrown into prison. When the soldiers opened the door of the prison. FOR CONSIDERATION The saints of God set great store on receiving Communion before their death. watching Jesus.

then told her to go outside the walls of the city to the rubbish heap and dung-hill and dig up his head.Church Calendar 1. a lad who served her as a guide. he showed himself a great fighter for their veneration and went to Constantinople to denounce the wicked Emperor Copronymos for 52 . and they were finally beheaded with the sword. She had an only son. becoming known on all sides for their miraculous healings. Longinus' head was taken by the soldiers to Pilate. the second were stoned to death in Rome on July 1st. she bent down and began to dig with her hands. These holy brothers would not deny Christ at any price. He foresaw the end of the sacrifices of the Old Covenant. at that moment. St Longinus appeared to her. 3. Pilate gave it to the Jews and they flung it onto a dung-heap outside the city. The son of Beeri of the tribe of Issachar. the boy fell ill and died.and it is of these that we are thinking today. Many miracles were wrought by their holy relics. her fingers came upon the head of the holy martyr and. foretold God's punishment for their sin. such as they had themselves also wrought while living on this earth. They suffered in the time of Diocletian and Maximian. There were three pairs of holy brothers called Cosmas and Damian. so they were first thrown into the sea and then into fire. He strongly rebuked Israel and Judah for their idolatry. and with what disposition others left it. 2. nor use any. an angel of God appearing to them and saving them. The first entered peacefully into rest on November 1st. having a strong faith that she would find what the saint had told her to search for. He was a Cretan by birth. Suddenly. whose eyes had guided her till then. her eyes were opened and she saw a man's skull under her hands. Longinus told her all about himself. FOR CONSIDERATION The first appearance of the holy martyr Longinus: A long time had elapsed since St Longinus' death by martyrdom when it happened that a widow in Cappadocia became blind. Our Holy Father. The Holy Martyrs Cosmas and Damian. the thought came to her to go to Jerusalem and venerate the holy places. The Holy Prophet Hosea. hoping that she might be helped there. then called out to someone to take her to the biggest dung hill and leave her there. At the time of the iconoclast persecution. she had now lost her only son. and entered peacefully into rest. Lysias. but the stones bounced off them. they healed the sick in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. he was doorkeeper in the monastery and had such a pure and grace-filled heart that he knew the disposition of everyone who went into the monastery.' They were then stoned. washed it. The woman got up and groped her way out of the city. 2.were beheaded. In her pain and grief. the destruction of Samaria and Israel for their apostasy but the showing of God's mercy on the tribe of Judah. the Unmercenaries. in the town of Aegae. Filled with great joy and thanksgiving to God. and comforted her with the promise that he would both restore her sight to her and show her her son in heavenly glory. in the early fourth century. when they embraced the Christian faith. but they replied: 'We have no sort of magic. he lived and prophesied more than eight hundred years before the birth of Christ. but we have the power of Christ to save us and all who call upon His holy name.Civil Calendar October 17th . fumigated it and put it in her home as the most precious thing in all the world. His wonderworking relics are preserved in the cave of St Theodosius. and a Christian priest. but God almighty saved them from drowning and from the flames. and the coming of the Lord and the rich gifts that He would bring to earth. Doctors were able to do nothing more for her. Ss Leontius. As soon as they arrived in Jerusalem. His inspired words are found in his book. and then she would see what would happen next. When she was led to the dung-hill. They were doctors by trade and. The wicked pagans seized them and took them before the governor. Digging thus. The pagan governor ascribed this to some magical power of theirs. He lived to great old age. October 30th . Anthimus and Euprepius also suffered with them and received wreaths of glory. Our Holy Father Longinus the Lover of Labour. and the third were Arabs -. The grief of the blind mother was without measure: having lost her eyes. which contains fourteen chapters. the Martyr Andrew. she took the head of St Longinus. A monk of the Kiev Caves in the eleventh century.

the friend of Christ'. After the death by martyrdom of the great Apostle. saying to herself: 'I asked for bodily sight. When.' Seeing and hearing all this. where a heretic attacked him with an axe and killed him. governor of Achaia. where he set himself with great zeal to preach the Gospel and bring men to Christ. after almost a thousand years. he wrote his Gospel in about the year 60. bringing Jews and pagans to the Christian faith.his iconoclasm. woman. The Emperor Leo the Wise built a church to St Lazarus in Constantinople. Take my head and your son's body. he applied himself in his youth to the study of Greek philosophy. he also being clad in shining robes. The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke. Luke returned to Antioch and there became a fellow-worker with the Apostle Paul.Church Calendar 1. At the time that the Lord Jesus was at work upon earth. St Luke was included among the Seventy and sent forth to preach the Gospel. than to the persecuting of Christ and His servants. and then mourn no longer for your only son. he promised to restore her sight and to show her her son in great glory. stood before the Emperor and began to rebuke him openly. a marble tablet was found with the inscription still legible: 'Lazarus the Four-Days-Dead. The following night. The Emperor was one day in the Church of the Holy Martyr Mamas. Lazarus' grave in the town of Kition on Cyprus was dug up. Together with Cleopas. with whom he traveled to Rome. and now I have him in heaven. medicine and art. At the request of the Christians. After the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. to look to the work of the army and the governing of the people. Today we commemorate the translation of his relics from the island of Cyprus to Constantinople. He painted three icons of the most holy Mother of God and also icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul. and translated his relics there in 890. 4. and thus one promise was fulfilled. in the village of Njegusi. for God has raised him up into that heavenly company that live in His Kingdom. the widow immediately saw plainly. disregarding his great age. O King. Macedonia and elsewhere. Born in Antioch. Born on April 1st. Dalmatia. 2. 24). the woman was filled with great joy and returned to her home. St Lazarus the Four-Days-Dead. St Longinus appeared to the widow. The wonderworking relics of this wonderful saint were taken to Constantinople in the time of the Emperor Constantius. he became a monk at the age of twelve. and he will never be separated from me. Luke preached the Gospel all over Italy. son of St Constantine. 'Luke the beloved physician salutes you'.Civil Calendar October 18th . in the year 767. he visited Libya and Upper Egypt. I was in grief for the death of my son. Thus Andrew gave his holy soul into God's hands. This holy man devoted 53 . bathed in light and holding her son by the hand. and have been given spiritual sight also. Caressing the child like a father. and bury them in one coffin. he said to the widow: 'See. 1749. Coming to belief in the Lord.' For this he was harshly flogged and tortured. where he stands in glory with the prophets and rejoices unceasingly with them. heard His saving teaching and was a witness of His wonderful works. St Luke wrote both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. and dragged through the streets. before all who were present: 'You would do better. Finding the relics of the holy martyr and touching them with her hands. Luke came to Jerusalem. His chief feasts are on March 17th and Lazarus Saturday at the end of the Great Fast. Andrew went into the church. he saw the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus (Lk. In old age. for God has given him great glory and endless rejoicing. Metropolitan of Montenegro. FOR CONSIDERATION The second appearance of the holy martyr Longinus: When Saint Longinus appeared to the blind widow whose son had died. and dedicated them both to Theophilus. and let not your heart be troubled. I have now brought him from the Saviour. and be comforted. and thence returned to Greece. October 31st . Peter became Metropolitan and Governor of Montenegro. He was eighty-four years old when wicked idol-worshippers put him to torture for the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes in Beothia. His relics had healing power. writes the Apostle Paul to the Colossians (4:14). After the death of Metropolitan Sava in 1782. the son for whom you're shedding so many tears! Look at the honour and glory that are his! Look. St Peter of Cetinje. where he saw the Saviour face to face. and is regarded as the founder of Christian iconography.

howling in anguish. November 1st . so that the handkerchief with which he wiped them became soaked. 2. he worked with his whole strength to pacify the warring tribes. Immediately after that.' St Antony the Great valued this wonderful man. He called the people to fasting and the priests to penitent and tearful prayer that God would have mercy on them: 'Sanctify ye a fast and cry unto the Lord' (l:14). Both in the countryside and in the capital itself. He 54 . the bandit fell gravely ill and sensed that death was near. Joel also prophesied the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. He shed many tears in his prayer. He entered into rest on October 18th. in the space of ten days. St Julian saw him in spirit and told his disciples. and he died after ten days of prayerful weeping. and his wonderworking relics are preserved uncorrupt in the monastery of Cetinje. supplying their needs and serving them with great devotion. he inspired fear and trembling. 'Let's look for something good in his life. and also the glory of God's holy Church. He was at prayer during the night when a voice came to him from heaven: 'Today the Emperor Julian is no more. entered into rest some time after the year 362. but the angels took the man's soul and carried it to Paradise. although he was governor of a people. The angels quickly placed it on their side of the scales. very highly. He lived eight hundred years before Christ. succeeding in both the one and the other. Then the Emperor himself sent him a Cross. and was in the purity of his heart a vessel of the Holy Spirit. and two glorious angels also appeared. St Julian. and their side of the scales was loaded while the other was empty. St Didymus the Blind. The Emperor kept his word. The bandit took the Cross. the blind Didymus with his gift of insight. as a pledge that he would not punish him if he gave himself up. Arriving in Constantinople. and the outpouring of His grace on all the faithful (2:28). Joel was the son of Phanuel. He began to repent bitterly of all his sins. He was strict with himself. the angels asked each other. and implored God with tears to forgive him as the Emperor had. Within Montenegro. was a Persian. He lived in asceticism near the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. flourishing bits of paper on which his sins were written.Church Calendar 1. he fell at the Emperor's feet and begged his forgiveness. When seven Christian teachers were thrown into prison.Civil Calendar October 19th . He was a Roman officer in Egypt and a secret Christian. The Holy Prophet Joel. and foretold the misfortunes of the Israelites and their captivity in Babylon for the sins that they had committed against God. and externally he defended the land and the people against plundering onslaughts. The night of his death. and did indeed give himself up. He foretold and described the Dreadful Judgement of God. He lived in one tiny cell as a simple monk. the doctor who had been attending him had a strange vision in a dream: when the bandit on the bed breathed his last. 1830. Then the little black men fled. he can. an unlettered peasant. and it at once outweighed the other with all its papers. Ss Julian and Didymus the Blind.his whole life to his people. In the time of the Emperor Maurice. 'What can we put in?'. and stayed with him whenever he left the desert for Alexandria. a number of little black men gathered round him. and had the gift of insight. of the tribe of Reuben. Both St Julian and St Didymus. give these tidings to Patriarch Theophilus. The Lord glorified him in heaven and on earth as His true and patient servant. His contemporary. and the little black men gleefully put all the bits of paper on it. make full repentance of his sin? By the immeasurable grace of God. taking the opportunity to pray together with him. glorifying God's love for mankind. these wonderful servants of God. He is especially famed for his victory over Napoleon's army in Dalmatia. and just and humble towards others. Varus kept visiting them there. there was a well-known bandit in the region around Constantinople. The second in order of the Minor Prophets. called 'the Hermit'. The Holy Martyr Varus. At the moment at which Julian the Apostate perished.' Then there appeared in the hand of one of the angels the handkerchief soaked with tears of repentance. had mercy on him and let him go free. FOR CONSIDERATION Can a sinner. A pair of scales was placed in the middle. 3. also saw in his spirit the death of the wicked Emperor. 'Let the priests weep between the porch and the altar' (2:17). living in Alexandria.

taking it to her village of Edra. He was a contemporary and friend of St John of Rila and St Gabriel of Lesnov. the devout benefactress went up to the relics of St Varus in the church and prayed to him thus: 'I beg you. the young John embraced St Varus and said to him: 'My Lord. came to faith in Christ the Lord and was baptised. he was sent to Greece to take the relics of St Andrew and St Luke from Patras and Thebes respectively to Constantinople. don't listen to my mother. She then built a church dedicated to St Varus. When the victorious Cross. November 2nd . She lived for seven years near the church. near Tabor. do you call this helping me?'.a wooded area near the river Pchinja. you who endured such suffering for Christ. A woman of Palestinian birth. and there he died. appeared to her often. from which myrrh flows forth. the widow of an officer. Our Holy Father Prochorus of Pchinja. As she was an officer's widow. in the time of the Emperor Constantius. was there with her son John.Civil Calendar October 20th . and grieved that fear would not let him stand up as a martyr for Christ. in which appointment he remained throughout the reign of Constantius and 55 . He ordered that he be flogged with dry thongs.' Hearing these words. however.Church Calendar 1. Artemius also saw it. resplendent as an angel of God. which charge Artemius carried out with joy. The saint said to her: 'Didn't you yourself pray to me to beg of God whatever was pleasing to Him and of help to you and your son? I prayed to God and He. If you want him. In response to his prayers. One of these godly men died in prison. appeared to the Emperor. His body was then thrown onto a dung-heap. both the greatness of his asceticism and the greatness of God's grace given to him as a reward for his great labors. together with John. Cleopatra. and Varus made up his mind to go and be tortured with them. until he died at about midnight. encircled by stars. fell into a light sleep. These men of God gave him courage. and burying it there. 3. They both shone like the sun. who had been in good health till then. for St Varus was venerated in the whole neighborhood as a great healer and wonderworker. and don't send me back into the world. There St Prochorus lived till old age. St Prochorus entered into rest and went to the heavenly Kingdom in the eleventh century. 'I am the seventh!'. he asked where the seventh was. Only the one. He was seized with a burning fever and his state became worse and worse. clad in raiment whiter than snow. all-seeing God can know all the labors and temptations that he endured throughout his asceticism. and St Varus. ask of God that which is pleasing to Him and of help to me and my only son.marveled at the martyrs. of His unspeakable goodness. As soon as she had left the church. A great many Christians gathered for the festivities. The angry and grief-stricken mother came to St Varus' grave and spoke sharply to him: 'O man of God. This blessed Christian woman. here he is. girded with golden girdles and wearing splendid wreaths on their heads. The Holy and Great Martyr Artemius. Later. After that. took the body. then. and went joyfully out of the church. Constantine's son. After the service. that sink of unrighteousness and iniquity. who had just gone into the army. and the commander-in-chief of the army of the Emperor Constantine the Great. from which you have taken me.' Cleopatra had a son. Cleopatra felt a great joy in her heart. the governor at once gave her permission. then that he be tied to a tree and hacked to pieces bit by bit with knives until he gave his holy soul to God. and when the wicked governor had the martyrs brought before him and saw that there were only six of them. God showed him the place where he was to live in asceticism -. she invited the bishop and clergy to consecrate it. but one can judge from his relics. has taken your son into his heavenly army. John. and he appeared to her often from the other world. and she said much more in her bitter grief. The furious governor had him tortured first. cried Varus. being greatly exhausted. She secretly took the relics of the holy martyr off the dung-heap and buried them in her house.' Rousing from the dream. her son. Cleopatra. he was appointed governor and imperial representative in Egypt. accompanied by her son John. fell ill. not of her husband but of the holy martyr Varus. and the miracles of healing wrought by him to this day. FOR CONSIDERATION An appearing of the holy martyr Varus: When the devout widow Cleopatra had built a church to St Varus. She then asked the governor's permission to take the body of her dead husband back from Egypt to Palestine. This glorious saint was Egyptian by birth. Suddenly St Varus appeared to her. take him and put him in the army of some earthly king.

The furious Emperor sent the two priests into exile in Arabia. It gave healing to many of the sick when they touched it. and died there of exposure. he was beheaded. 1579.Civil Calendar October 21st . whole and uncorrupt. Our Holy Father Gerasim the New. Eugenius and Macarius. When he was thirteen years old he went with his father through a great forest. and they wanted to take him. As a candle-maker uses the soft wax to make whatever sort of candle he wishes. he heard a sound in front of him. 1814. as St Artemius had foretold. unable to dig a grave. His relics have wonderworking power. Seeing this. Our Holy Father Hilarion the Great. he was the son of Russian peasants. He entered into rest in the Lord on August 15th. He lived in asceticism on Athos and then in Palestine. 4. so crushing his body like a board.he wanted martyrdom. and yearned to become a monk and be a martyr for the Faith. not far from Archangel. Cosmas and Apollinaria. the Emperor ordered that he be laid on a flat stone and that another stone be put on him. He voluntarily put himself into the hands of the Turks to be tortured for Christ. November 3rd . where he once fasted for forty days. and why are you putting pressure on them to turn back from the Orthodox faith?' He also prophesied to the Emperor that his end was near. from the village of Verkol near Dvinsk. and received the wreath of eternal glory. in 362.' The furious Turks killed him on the spot. covered the body with branches and went on his way. but his desire for monasticism took him on to the Holy Mountain. When this renegade Emperor went to war against the Persians. St Ignatius the New Martyr was utterly given to God even as a boy. Praying one night with tears before an icon of the most holy Mother of God. In the time of the Karageorge uprising. and looked up to see the golden halo detach itself from the icon and fall onto his head. George was a strong man and well-grown. Our Holy Father. After that. a man saw a strange light in the forest. where he founded a monastery for women. 56 . St Artemius was profoundly alarmed.Church Calendar 1. where they soon died. Born in 1532. He then settled on the island of Kephallenia. Artemius was thrown into prison. ordering that he be flogged and whipped. All wounded and covered with blood. but he said to them firmly: 'I cannot go to war against my fellow-Christians. he suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Turks. being a wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death. and stripped Artemius of his military rank. the Turkish army assembled all over Bulgaria against Serbia. went to the Emperor and said to him: 'Why are you so inhumanly torturing these innocent and dedicated men. Young Ignatius hid in a neighboring house and then fled to Romania. where the Lord Christ Himself appeared to him. he stopped for a time in Antioch and summoned Artemius and his army to join him there. FOR CONSIDERATION God guides with a marvelous compassion those who give themselves over to His holy will and His care. Even at the age of five he was different from other children in his rare piety and meekness. he was born in 1509. so God in His wisdom makes from His consecrated servants immortal lights in His heavenly Kingdom. From Zagora in Bulgaria. He wanted something still more than monasticism -. healing and comforting him. Finally. The Emperor Julian then went out against the Persians and perished in a dishonorable way. the New Martyr Ignatius. and came to the house of Ignatius' father. and was hanged in Constantinople on October 8th. 3.for a certain time under Julian the Apostate. His holy relics are preserved in a monastery near Pinega. he lived in asceticism in the skete of St John the Forerunner on Athos. Twenty-eight years later. He brought rain by his prayers. over to torture. From Trikala in the Peloponnese. to see if there was anyone there that they could take for the army. His grieving father. and his head is preserved in the monastery of St Panteleimon. of the Notaras family. the Emperor gave two Christian priests. that famous Zagora that has given the Church so many holy ascetics and martyrs. healed the sick and had insight into the future. Very soon after that. At that time. went over to it and found the body of Artemius. Artemius went. begging her to open the path of martyrdom to him. 2. Holy and Righteous Artemius. George.

Bishop of Meglin. He was born of eminent and devout parents. so was this great saint born of pagan parents in the village of Tabatha near Gaza in Palestine. Hilarion was revered not only by Christians but also by pagans. when she was at prayer. Well-educated. is similar to that of St Xenophon (January 26th). When St Philotheus and his brother were sitting in the Turkish prison in Macedonia. she came with some of the other nuns for the Feast. Sicily. but by his spiritual learning and unequalled holiness. In 1134. and said to them: 'Get up. a widow. when he had reached the age of eighty. 2. where his life of great toil came to an end in about 372. Archbishop of Trnovo. Philotheus went to the Holy Mountain. he was consecrated Bishop of Meglin by Eustathius. and the young men suddenly found themselves in a monastery in the city of Neapolis in Asia Minor. He left instructions that he was not to be buried. a marvellous wonderworker. and herself became a nun. fearing the praise of men and crying out through his tears: 'Woe is me. not far from Gaza. but that his body was to be thrown into the forest for the birds and wild beasts. you will have a son. When the young men told the abbot what had happened to them. the most holy Mother of God appeared to her and comforted her with the words: 'Don't cry. he entered peacefully into rest at the age of eighty-four. She finally decided to enter a women's monastery and consecrate herself to God. 3. FOR CONSIDERATION The all-seeing eye of God looks on all men and. and looked carefully into his face. to Palestine and laid in the monastery that he had founded. he put them all to shame and brought many of them to Orthodoxy. he was taken from his mother. being frozen. where the gifted youngster quickly assimilated both secular learning and spiritual wisdom. thinking it was a fire. He entered peacefully into rest and went to the Kingdom of his Lord in 1164. and their mother was in bitter grief. holy. That which may seem to the faithful at first to be a great loss shows itself in time to be a great gain. coming from the wonderworking relics of St Philotheus. The light was. in a wonderful way. He then returned to his homeland and lived in asceticism near Maiuma. the most holy Mother of God appeared to them. With this desire. Then one of the brothers called the other by his secular name.As a rose growing among thorns. Hilarion visited St Antony the Great in the desert and became his disciple. A wonderful ascetic and a great conqueror of demonic powers. guides the faithful to salvation. where he lived first in the monastery of Dionysiou and then in the wilds. He. in the form of their mother. he desired to serve the Lord with his whole heart. Our Holy Father Philotheus.' When Hilarion was only three years old. overcame them all and drove them away. Coming to know Christ the Lord and receiving baptism. and their joy was very great. St Hilarion. who were lost to their mother. holy Lord God of Sabaoth' was constantly heard on his lips. 20th). A great many who were desirous of the spiritual life gathered around him. for I am getting my reward in this life!'. and follow me'. by the Turks and thrown into prison along with one of his brothers. but he. Once. His parents sent him to study in Alexandria. he became a monk at the age of eighteen and founded a monastery based on the rule of St Pachomius. but did not recognize them. A divine teacher. one of his disciples. and to that of St Eustathius Placidus and his wife and sons (Sept. The case of St Philotheus and his brother. he understood that this was of God. and they thanked God with overflowing hearts. a strict ascetic. The mother was touched to the heart by that beloved name. Later. A long time passed. St Hilarion had an almost lifelong struggle against the Bogomils and the Armenian heretics. went to warm himself at it. 57 . and St Hilarion became for Palestine what St Antony was for Egypt. when the monastery was keeping its festival. Born in Crysopolis in Macedonia. The providence of God led her to the neighborhood of the monastery where her sons were. Believing Christians must not despair at even the greatest apparent loss. Then their mother recognized her sons and they her. and he will bring many to the light of truth. though. Hilarion's wonderworking relics were taken by Ezekiel. They were miraculously delivered from prison by the most holy Mother of God and taken to a monastery in Neapolis in Asia Minor. a fisherman saw a great light in the forest at night. and he received them and made them monks. my dear children. She saw her sons in church. He therefore settled and lived for a time in Egypt. the hymn: 'Holy. Demons tried to frighten him with various terrors. Their mother later found her sons as monks. however. Dalmatia and finally in Cyprus. His childless mother had long prayed to God to give her a child and. with prayer to God and the sign of the Cross. and. fled from place to place simply to hide from men and remain alone with his soul and God.

People from far and near came to him for help in chronic sickness. Little by little. When Abercius healed the Emperor's daughter of madness. Abercius begged two boons of the Emperor for his flock in Hierapolis: that baths should be built over the healing water. He lived in asceticism in his monastery near a lake not far from the town of Arsinoe. 3. St Abercius. In old age. and did as the saint requested. Abercius was summoned to Rome. The saint would not accept the gold. The whole people.' Seeking nothing for himself. as is also their compassion towards others. And so it came about. 2. and both Publius and his mother came to faith in Christ. he was a contemporary of Arsenius the Great and Agathon. and also force myself to keep from evil thoughts. and five hundred of them were immediately baptised. smashing all the idols. Seeing this. A great Egyptian ascetic. and that each year a goodly quantity of corn should be given to the poor of the city. The following day. where he healed the Emperor's mad daughter. Abercius became inflamed with godly zeal and went into the temple. and they were healed and became calm. The Lord Christ appeared to His faithful follower several times. everyone in the city of Hierapolis came to believe in Christ and was baptised. the fury of the pagans turned to marveling at Christ's wonderworker. had a blind mother whose sight Abercius restored by prayer. that he had copied with his own hands as a young man. FOR CONSIDERATION The strictness of holy men towards themselves is a cause for wonder. and promised him that Moscow would. foaming at the mouth and bellowing. Seeing many of the people in pain and sickness. What more can I do?' Then the elder stood up and raised his hands to heaven.' When men begged him to bring rain from God by his prayers. and other gifts. and the demons not only feared him. three young madmen fell down before the man of God. The great majority of the town's inhabitants were pagans. that all the infirm might be healed and glorify God. At the order of the Lord Himself. I fast as much as I can. God. St Hilarion the Great. the prince wanted to make him a present of ten litres of gold. Equal to the Apostles. Lot once said to Joseph: 'Father. but St Abercius said to him: 'Wealth is not necessary to those who regard bread and water as a kingly feast. The proconsul of the region. At the time of a rowdy idolatrous festival. he preached the Gospel throughout Syria and Mesopotamia. Commemoration of the Miraculous Deliverance of Moscow from the Lithuanians with the help of the Most Holy Mother of God. In the time of the Emperor Antoninus (138-161). Then St Sergius of Radonezh appeared to a captured bishop. St Abercius was bishop in the city of Hierapolis in Phrygia.Civil Calendar October 22nd . be cleansed of Lithuanians by the power and prayers of the Most Pure. he knelt in one place and begged God to open there a spring of healing water. in the city of Hierapolis at the end of the second century. the Lithuanians fled from the city. Arsenius. the Emperor offered him much gold and silver. The Emperor agreed. His closest friend and adviser was Abba Joseph. with tears of joy. but showed the prince a piece of barley-bread and said: 'Those who feed themselves on this sort of bread look on gold as mud. The man of God drove the demons out of them. When the furious pagans tried to kill him. St Hilarion always responded and helped them by his prayers.November 4th . Publius. or to save them from flood or from poisonous snakes. and set many brethren on the way of salvation. In the time of Prince Vasilii Ivanovitch. by His power. and with fervent prayer to God that He would bring them to the true Light. along with many other people. to the owner of the ship. and St Abercius governed his little flock with a heart greatly saddened by the great number of pagans and idolaters. offered his Gospel. 58 . but were obedient to his commands. on the following day. you can become all of flame!' Being pleasing to God and putting many onto the way of salvation. having nothing with which to pay for his journey to Sicily. and went to his beloved Lord in great old age. Moscow was occupied by the Lithuanians and Russia was in great despair. This was also St Abercius' way. keep to prayer and silence and pondering. He then replied to Lot: 'If this is your desire. St Lot entered peacefully into rest in the fifth century. Our Holy Father Lot. Selfless where they themselves are concerned. they have infinite care for others.Church Calendar 1. glorified God and His most holy Mother. opened there a spring of warm water. When he had healed some prince of an evil spirit. and the Russian army entered Moscow. and his ten raised fingers sprang to flame like ten candles.

lest.Civil Calendar October 23rd . St Ignatius governed the Church with great zeal and wisdom. he pulled himself to his knees.Church Calendar 1. which was far too long for later Christians and was shortened by St Basil and St John Chrysostom. think that.' While he was thus praying. He is called 'the Lord's brother' because he was the son of righteous Joseph. then. Let no-one. The infuriated priests and elders cast him down from the roof. 3. from the first. counting himself to be indeed brother to the Lord. he ate neither fat nor oil. Photius. in which he entered into rest in the Lord in 877. One day. Patriarch of Constantinople. This brother of the Lord prayed with tears and sighs. and he was chaste to the end of his days. and came to rest there. but for the whole world. The Holy Martyr James of Borovitz. forgive them this sin. when the Emperor Basil the Macedonian came to the throne. when many people were gathered in Jerusalem. and governed the Church of God with zeal. As soon as he heard Christ's teaching. Son of the Emperor Michael Rangabe. but lived only on bread and water. 'I subdue my body . When Ananias became High Priest. The Holy Apostle James. He brought many Jews and Greeks to the Christian faith. as the Apostle Paul testifies (I Cor. he decided.. 11:26-27)? The holy Apostle James ate only bread. in cold. the betrothed of the most holy Mother of God. He was bishop in Jerusalem for thirty years. His body was floating on a river near that town one day in 1540. he re-instated Ignatius. Many miracles were worked by his relics. when I have preached to others. he composed the first Liturgy. not reckoning Jesus to be a brother of theirs. FOR CONSIDERATION God's is the grace and ours is the toil. saying: 'Lord. in nakedness' (II Cor. James was. He often kept a vigil of prayer at night. About this saint. It is said that.. A man then ran up and gave him such a vicious blow on the head that his brains spilled out. On the Lord's instructions. and he was badly injured though still alive. Does not the Apostle Paul say. there is only known that which was revealed after his death in a vision to some people in Borovitz. the Son of the most holy Virgin Mary. Summoning his last strength. they don't know what they are doing. in fastings. the holy Apostle did not for one moment forget his debt to God and man. not only for the Church that he governed. was made Patriarch in his place. along with other of the Jewish elders. what are you doing? This just man is praying to God 59 . loved Jesus greatly and announced that he would include Him in his share. in another place. in watchings. The Lord included him among his Seventy apostles. but was deposed in 858 and sent into exile. he began to live by it. and built a monastery of the Holy Archangels. in 846. Even when he was thrown down from the roof of the Temple by the wicked Jews and terribly injured. and of His Resurrection and eternal glory in heaven. He knelt so much in prayer that the skin of his knees became as hard as that on the knees of a camel. When Joseph was dying. one man cried out: 'Stop it. devoted to the Lord Jesus. and very little of that: he slept very little. he went to Egypt with the most holy Virgin and Joseph when Herod tried to kill the new-born King. St James climbed up there. the Emperor's chief secretary. 15:7). on Pascha. to kill James as a preacher of Christ. appearing to him after His glorious Resurrection. the Lord's Brother. evil men began stoning him on all sides. he became Patriarch after St Methodius. though. but his sons opposed this. James was sixty-three years old when he suffered for Christ. and even unbelieving Jews marveled at his justice. nicknaming him James the Just. at the age of eighty-nine. and began to speak to the people about Christ as the Son of God and the true Messiah. James.November 5th . stretched out his hands to heaven and prayed to God with all his heart. during the whole of his life. in weariness. According to tradition. Seeing this. he shared out his goods among his sons and wanted to leave a share to the Lord Jesus. in hunger and thirst. as the holy apostles relied solely on the grace of God. I myself should be a castaway' (I Cor. does he not describe how he spent his life in 'perils. and spent his nights in prayer. the elders told him to climb up onto a roof and speak against Christ. in painfulness. 2. it was easy for them: that they were able without effort to accomplish their great task in the world. Thus this glorious apostle of Christ died a martyr's death and entered into the Kingdom of his Lord. St Ignatius.9:27)? And. but.

when the doctors were unsuccessful in their treatment of it. Our Holy Father Arethas of the Kiev Caves. Then the iniquitous governor swore to the citizens that he would do nothing to them if they opened the gate for him to enter and take the tribute owing to him. 3. and today is especially the commemoration of the miraculous healing of Euphemia. God giving him wonderworking gifts both before and after his death. invested almost superhuman efforts in showing themselves worthy of God's grace. St Elesbaan. slaughtered his entire army and put him to the sword. she fell down in prayer before the most holy Mother of God.' And so it came to pass: the judge sent her to her birthplace. November 6th . monks and nuns. Justin. is also commemorated. overcame him. 19th). In Negran. and slew them all with the sword. He then lamented bitterly to God. Resolving to exterminate Christianity completely in his land. He entered into rest in 555. also by God's revelation. She was first tortured in the city of Marcianopolis. the holy martyr Sebastiana. where he lived in strict asceticism as a true monk for a whole fifteen years. where she was tortured and finally beheaded. and you're killing him!'. urging him to set out with an army against Dunaan and avenge the Christian blood that had been spilled. Inflamed with love for Christ. Hearing of this. for you will go from here to your own town to confess your faith in Christ. Euphemia had a dangerous wound in the side and. but he was unsuccessful in the early stages of the battle and many of his soldiers perished in the arid desert. he laid siege to the Christian town of Negran and told the citizens that if they did not deny Christ. This is the name given to one of the wonderworking icons of the most holy Mother of God. in Moscow in 1688. then. and opened the gates. attacked the governor of Omir. in the land of Omir in southern Arabia. and promised to become a monk if God would help him overcome the shedder of Christian blood. but that shout from a single goodly soul could not hold back the accustomed evil-doing of the butchers from slaying the saint of God. This holy martyr suffered for the Christian faith with more than four thousand other Christians: priests. go to the Church of the Transfiguration of my Son. a vicious persecutor of Christians.' Euphemia did this. he would put them all to death. 4. was greatly distressed and wrote a letter to the Ethiopian Emperor Elesbaan. The Holy Martyr Arethas. The Christians believed him. a disciple of the Apostle Paul. Author's note: In the Greek Synaxarion. in the time of the Emperor Domitian. She then heard a voice: 'Euphemia. sister of Patriarch Joachim. Then the bloodthirsty Jew summoned the aged Arethas to him. who suffered for the Faith in the year 82. and was immediately completely healed. townsmen and women and children. The Icon: 'Joy of all who Sorrow'. as archbishop. Ask the priest to pray before that icon. Heracleia. there you will find the icon "Joy of all who Sorrow". alongside it and interwoven with it. Elesbaan returned to Ethiopia and immediately left the imperial court and went to a monastery. and do not be sad. 2. The apostles. A devout man called Abramius was installed as ruler of Omir by God's revelation and. the Byzantine Emperor. did not just lean on grace but. St Gregory (see Dec. Arethas was the local governor of the town of Negran.for you. Emperor of Ethiopia. the wicked persecutor of Christians in the land of Omir. He went to the Lord in 1190 (see the passage for consideration below). The citizens closed the gates. Her remains were put 60 .Civil Calendar October 24th . and was ninety-five years old when he suffered. Defeating Dunaan. and you will be healed. along with his clergy and other eminent citizens. They suffered and received wreaths of martyrdom from the Lord in 523. where the Apostle Paul appeared to her and said: 'Rejoice. and then indulged in a riot of butchery through the town. and built a church to the holy martyr Arethas and the other martyrs of that city. saying that he would then go away at once. this devout Emperor raised an army against Dunaan. Elesbaan obeyed Justin. the Christians rebuilt the Church of the Holy Trinity that Dunaan had burned.Church Calendar 1. and Dunaan attacked the city wall for a long time without success. The land of Omir was governed by a Jew called Dunaan.

sprang up again and began to spread. the Arian heresy. St Arethas was a monk in the monastery of the Caves in Kiev. The Holy Martyr Anastasius. Heaps of possessions stood in his cell. Then the monk heard what seemed to be a human voice coming from the snakes: 'An angel of God commanded me to bite you because of your impurity and foulness. 2.Church Calendar 1. and from that time counted earthly goods as nothing. God. a greater punishment descends on him than would on an ordinary man. Tabitha (which means 'doe') was a disciple of the apostles and lived in Joppa. when Orthodoxy had two fierce struggles on hand. where the Arians strangled him.Civil Calendar October 25th . the monk cried out: 'As you would flee from holy and righteous Elesbaan. the heretics condemned them to death. from which it was later taken out and given burial. both ardent Arians. Arethas changed his way of life. the present Jaffa. found them and gave them burial. O Thou our Life!' They then laid their heads under the sword and were beheaded. on his arrival. for you have promised to serve God in purity. this godly man went and presented himself to the judge of the Dalmatian town of Solin and confessed his faith in Christ. and the grieving disciples sent to Peter. in the monastery to which the blessed Emperor Elesbaan went.in a sack and thrown into the sea. of which he would give away not one scrap to anyone. Eusebius and Philip. we rejoice that we are leaving this world by such a death. asking him to come and comfort his people. thanking Him that they were finishing their lives as martyrs: 'Lord. When he had finished praying. He was inhumanly tortured and then killed. Drawn by this wonder. A church was later built to them over their relics by St John Chrysostom. Another monk. FOR CONSIDERATION 61 . they raised their hands and prayed to God.'. liked to go often to the tavern. returning from the tavern. who is less dedicated to the hidden will of God. and Tabitha opened her eyes and arose. Recovering from his illness. and his body was thrown into the sea. St Tabitha. against both the pagans and the heretics. When they were led to the scaffold. FOR CONSIDERATION When a holy man commits a transgression. which had till then been kept under. There were two influential nobles at the imperial court. forgave him and later gave him great grace. She was 'full of good works and almsgiving' (Acts 9:36). After the death of the great Emperor Constantine. but now you foul your body and anger the Holy Spirit. The great Apostle of Christ. and the patriarchal throne was seized by the dishonorable Macedonius. Her relics had healing power and gave off myrrh. how the devils snatched his soul from the angel. and the snakes suddenly stopped. These saints were clergy with Patriarch Paul of Constantinople in the time of the Emperor Constantius. in His love. and was very avaricious. In the time of Diocletian's persecution of Christians at the beginning of the fourth century. as if in a vision. enormous snakes fell on him and took turns in chasing him. and the Emperor Constantius himself inclined towards it. Make us worthy to be partakers of eternal life. November 7th . and had been secretaries to Patriarch Paul. The Holy Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius. Through their influence. But he once fell very seriously ill and saw. At that time. She suddenly weakened and died at the time that the Apostle Peter was in the city of Lydda. 3. many came to faith in Christ the Lord. Marcian and Martyrius ranged themselves decisively and with all their strength on the side of Orthodoxy. he called to the dead body: 'Tabitha. but. but an angel of God took them to a place called Risiston. then knelt in prayer. saying: 'It's ours! It's ours!'. arise!'. where he got drunk and even had immoral relations with women. Patriarch Paul was dethroned and driven out to Armenia. where Ammia. when he does the same thing. when the two holy men refused this with scorn. returned to the monastery and did not sin again right up to his death. One day. In great pain and anguish. Marcian was a reader and Martyrius a sub-deacon at the Cathedral. told everyone to leave the room where the corpse lay. go away from me. and presenting Arethas' avarice and commercial bent as proof of this. the wife of a senator. in 355. Thus God chides and has mercy at the prayers of the holy Emperor Elesbaan. The Arians first tried to bribe them. He was a maker of cloth and a zealous Christian.' The monk swore to sin no more.

and entreated the most holy Mother of God and St Dimitrios with great penitence. In doing this. and went off to prison. he lived in asceticism on the Holy Mountain. became sick of an incurable illness. and in gratitude built a much larger church in place of the old one. Guided by a particular stench. and. a demon whose presence the saint had already sensed within this monk. The Russians regarded St Dimitrios as the protector of Siberia. went to Salonica especially to look into the matter. thou sufferer for Christ. November 8th . A disciple of St Niphon. most carefully cherished and educated. He therefore went to Constantinople. Begged of God by these childless parents. at one time. the Emperor sent soldiers to the prison to kill Dimitrios. They came upon the saint of God at prayer. an opponent of Christ. The enraged Emperor cast him into prison. Commemoration of the great Earthquake in Constantinople. St Dimitrios has many times appeared and saved the city from calamity. particularly recommended him to persecute and exterminate the Christians in Salonica. An Illyrian nobleman. the saints were able to tell what passion a man was possessed by. The oxen sniffed at them. when he died. The saint appeared to him on two occasions. had sent Hilarion some of his vegetables When they were set before him. When the Emperor Justinian wanted to take the saint's relics from Salonica to Constantinople. and. His father was the military commander of Salonica. they had the perception of a fragrance from good spirits and a foul stench from impure spirits. and don't touch!'. a niggard and a miser. The Holy and Great Martyr Dimitrios. which was overcome and annexed by Russia on October 26th. on his way back from a war against the Sarmathians. and he longed to suffer for love of his Lord. and see if they would eat them. and ran him through with their spears. Lupus. Knowing what was awaiting him. The people realised that this was God's punishment for their sins. A spirit that is pure and filled with light gives off a lifegiving and fragrant scent. the Emperor made Dimitrios commander in his place. Hearing of this. Euthymius passed by Emilian's cell and smelled the stench of the demon of lust. therefore. Dimitrios not only disobeyed the Emperor: he openly confessed and preached Christ the Lord in the city. there was a terrifying and long-lasting earthquake in Constantinople. a spark of fire leapt from the tomb and a voice was heard: 'Leave them there. Patriarch of Constantinople. Thus St Euthymius the Great recognized the stench of the passion of lust in a monk.Church Calendar 1. Emilian had committed no sin. A certain man. be brave and strong!' After several days. This glorious and wonderworking saint was born in the city of Salonica of well-born and devout parents. The power of this perception was even more wonderfully seen once in St Hilarion the Great. Our Holy Father. and thus the relics of St Dimitrios have remained for all time in Salonica. As the defender of Salonica. and turned their heads away in disgust. He ran prayerfully up to the relics of St Dimitrios and was completely healed. which were crowding into his heart from an unclean demon. He had such great love for Christ the Lord that all his asceticism seemed to him inadequate. glad that suffering for Christ was to be his lot. and there flowed from it a healing myrrh by which many of the sick were healed. the Emperor Maximian. furthermore. 1581.Civil Calendar October 26th . denounced the Emperor's idolatry. the Martyr Joasaph. A small church was very soon built over his relics. Going one day to Matins. Leontius. except that he had at that moment lustful thoughts. Dimitrios was their only son and was. in 740. until God had mercy and the earthquake ended. In the time of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian. Dimitrios gave his goods to his faithful servant. and a darkened and impure spirit gives off a suffocating and unbearable stench.Among other mysterious perceptions by the holy souls of the saints. Dimitrios proclaimed openly before the Emperor that he was a Christian. and there is no way of counting his miracles. in the monastery of St Theoctistus. the saint said: 'Take it away! I can't stand the stench that's coming from these greens! Can't you smell it: the stench of avarice?' When the monks marveled at these words. because of this. summoned Dimitrios and questioned him about his faith. to give away to the poor. 1536. Emilian. In the prison. Christians secretly took his body and gave it burial. 2. 3. 62 . The Emperor. The furious Turks beheaded him on October 26th. where he openly confessed the Holy Trinity and the Son of God before the Turks. the Emperor was furious with Dimitrios and. an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: 'Peace be with thee. Hilarion told them to take the greens and give them to the oxen.

in his lifetime. Underneath this terrace were planted spears with sharp cutting-edges pointing upwards. Thus this glorious Christian hero. At the time of the martyrdom of St Dimitrios the Outpourer of Myrrh. Our Holy Father Nestor the Chronicler. As the imperial gladiator. who knows the heart of man. He defended the city. Nestor. and he did not lay down this office at his death. and took both maidens as an angel had once taken the Prophet Habakkuk. Infuriated by this. help me!' With God's help. Here is a wonderful example of his help to people in need: the barbarians once invaded Salonica. the Emperor Maximian. Nestor's heart swelled with pain and he resolved to go himself to the arena of the gigantic Lyaeus. everyone glorified God and His great servant and commander Dimitrios. He built a special arena. then. trying to dissuade him from fighting Lyaeus. and they all bewailed the probable death of the young Nestor. his relics performed many miracles. he took them to Salonica and set them down in his church.Civil Calendar October 27th . the all-night Vigil Service was in progress. when the prince threatened them with death. When Nestor entered into rest. they both looked at their work and wept with sorrow. He was distinguished by a rare humility and meekness. he would push him from the terrace above onto the whole forest of prepared spears. repelled invaders and helped all who called upon his name. earthly life in 306. In his glorious literary works.Church Calendar 1. by the Emperor's orders. vulgar. The Emperor's favorite was a Vandal called Lyaeus. But God. and. and. an opponent of Christ. and they at first refused to embroider the saint's face. into which he interwove the history of Russian asceticism. for Lyaeus' duels. left behind his young. There. and this blood-letting of his delighted the blood-lust of the idolatrous Emperor. and asked his blessing to do this. When Lyaeus had overcome someone in the duel. 2. kept misfortune at a distance. He first went to the prison where St Dimitrios was kept.' The young Nestor then went to Lyaeus' arena. where the heavy giant soon found death. while St Theodosius was still abbot. miltary commander of Salonica. and said to him: 'You will overcome him. ignorant and filled with every sin. People felt his presence in Salonica especially at times of great need.' The girls told him that St Dimitrios was not a god. therefore. The pagans stood around with their Emperor. when there was a day when no-one came forward voluntarily to duel with Lyaeus. but a servant of the true God and the helper of Christians. became filled with wrath against Nestor and Dimitrios. but could not take it. but Nestor crossed himself and said: 'O God of Dimitrios. felled him and threw him down onto the sharp spears. who had learned the Christian faith from St Dimitrios himself. Among Lyaeus' innocent victims were a large number of Christians. but you will suffer for Christ. he often refers to himself as unworthy. 63 . Then the whole people shouted: 'Great is the God of Dimitrios!' But the Emperor had lost face before the people. Embroider his face on linen for me. Nestor overcame Lyaeus. when the prince saw some of their handiwork. and the wicked Emperor ordered that Nestor be beheaded with the sword and Dimitrios run through with spears. like a terrace on pillars. The girls were skilled in embroidery. Lyaeus challenged men every day to a duel and slew them. they promised to do it and finished the work by St Dimitrios' Day. The Holy Martyr Nestor. there was in Constantinople a young man. and a great many people were gathered in the church. and were delighted when some poor wretch writhed in torment on the spears until he died. and entered into the Kingdom of his Lord. they plundered the whole area and took two beautiful maidens into captivity. November 9th . Learning of the miraculous saving of these two Christian girls. one of them because they had to spend the Feast in slavery and the other because they had to give the embroidered likeness of their beloved saint to an unclean barbarian. Dimitrios. for. on October 27th.FOR CONSIDERATION A miracle of St Dimitrios of Salonica: St Dimitrios was. At that time. giving them to their prince. On the Eve of the Feast. glorified this wonderful man who was so pleasing to Him. 1114. and the two maidens prayed to St Dimitrios to forgive them. He arrived at the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev at the age of seventeen. Nestor. Then the saint appeared. Seeing this horrifying enjoyment of the pagan world. The Emperor was there with a large crowd. Christians were compelled to fight with him. ordered various games and amusements for the people. mourning his favorite. a man of Goliath-like size and strength. He wrote the first history of the Russian people. signed him with the sign of the Cross on forehead and breast. St Dimitrios blessed him. who works great wonders. he said to them: 'I hear that there is in your land a great god. but.

and there built a monastery and church to the Holy Apostles. 2. November 10th . but finally entered into rest peacefully. but in vain (Matt. prayed a moment and then went out. and they were all amazed and glorified God. His main task was to keep an account of the candles and lamps. but by the help and revelation of the saints. a young man called Onesiphorus was given the job of verger. Seeing rare virtues in Arsenius. FOR CONSIDERATION A miracle of St Dimitrios of Salonica: That the saints of God live clothed in great glory and power in heaven is known to Orthodox Christians. Stop this. She suffered greatly for the name of Christ. She later became a disciple of Christ. Paraskeva was taken for trial before the governor of that area. she said that she was called a Christian. Because of this. and gave himself to wholehearted asceticism for his soul's salvation. our circumstances and our actions. your action is displeasing to me. 27:19). Prince of Smolensk. and his wonderworking relics were found in 1540. but Paraskeva said to him: 'I had first to tell you my name in eternal life.Church Calendar 1. all in the name of Christ the Lord. when Sava died at Trnovo on his way home. He became a monk while still a young man.Civil Calendar October 28th . Onesiphorus fell to the ground unconscious. Among many of St Dimitrios' miracles. and related all that had happened to him. Arsenius chose Pec. the maiden Paraskeva began to give her goods away to the poor and needy. Hearing of the wonderful personality and deeds of St Sava.3. an eminent man took some large candles to the saint's tomb. and he again began to steal. Sava designated Arsenius to succeed him on the archiepiscopal throne and. then sell them again. He entered peacefully into rest in the Lord in 1390. Sava sent Arsenius south to find a more secluded spot for the archiepiscopal seat. comforted her. She was that wife of Pilate to whom the Lord appeared in a dream at the time of His condemnation. St Arsenius. where an angel of God appeared to her and. Onesiphorus came up to the candles and put out his hand to take them. When the governor asked her name. she tried to turn her husband from the shedding of innocent blood. and can then give you my name in this transitory life. 64 . and was baptised. Archbishop of Pec. Arsenius was born in Srem. Arsenius went to him at Zica. At that moment. hid himself in a monastery and there. where the saint received him with kindness and drew him into the brotherhood at the monastery. St Procula Claudia is also commemorated on this day. Sava soon installed him as abbot of the Zica community. They appear sometimes in order to be seen and heard by men. the governor threw her into prison. After their death.' Onesiphorus was terrified and ashamed. and repent. for you are stealing candles. they lifted him up and he came to himself little by little. and for a time stopped stealing candles. When a persecution arose under Diocletian (284-305). A great hierarch of the Serbian Church and the successor of St Sava. she was beheaded with the sword and entered into eternal life. a voice like thunder was heard: 'Are you doing that again?' As though struck by a thunderbolt. One morning. When some people came into the church. and are by this bringing trouble on others and especially on yourself. She destroyed all the idols in the pagan temple by her prayers. She was born in the city of Iconium of rich and Christ-loving parents. From love of Christ. Author's note: In the Greek Great Synaxarion. not by some reasoning of their own. lit them. When the Hungarians over-ran the land of Serbia. This young man began to steal candles and take them home.' After flogging her. The governor rebuked her for not giving her ordinary name. Arsenius urged King Vladislav to take Sava's body onto Serbian soil. which later became dedicated to the Lord's Ascension. St Andrew. and entered into rest in the Lord on October 28th 1266. served as verger for thirty years. Before his second departure for Jerusalem. unseen and unheard. disguised and unknown. St Dimitrios appeared to him and said: 'Brother Onesiphorus. he set aside worldly glory and honor. this one is noted: In the Church of St Dimitrios in Salonica. He governed the Church wisely for thirty years. sometimes either to be seen or heard and sometimes. healing her of her wounds. But this was later forgotten. they have influenced our thoughts. After long and harsh torture. The Holy Martyr Paraskeva (Petka).

A great hierarch. the Emperor Andronicus called him back to the patriarchal throne. for at that time. he stood in prayer and recited 'Mother of God and Virgin.Civil Calendar October 29th . rejoice!' When he was ill -.' On another occasion.Church Calendar 1. hearken. and died while at prayer. He had heavenly visions during his life. He was buried there in the church at Pec. just as Dimitri was writing his life. John Beccus (1275-1282). 3. entering into rest at the age of a hundred.. The pagan administrator of the city. writer and ascetic. where he lived in even stricter asceticism than formerly. he suffered for the Christian faith together with his wife and their seven children. especially noteworthy is the translation and publication of the Lives of the Saints. the sinner Arsenius'. When he had prophesied the day of the earthquake in Constantinople. An opponent of union with Rome. St Dimitri. FOR CONSIDERATION St Dimitri of Rostov was a saint in the classical pattern of our first fathers. He was a great light of the Russian Church. but the one whose Life you're now writing. Anastasia was known in the whole neighborhood. and died in 1709. He foresaw his own death three days before. Translator's note: St Arsenius' relics are now in the monastery of Zhrebaonik in Montenegro. in contrast to his predecessor. he was an ascetic and a man of prayer from his childhood. saying to him. Patriarch of Constantinople.which often happened to him -. she was taken into a women's monastery near Rome. being a great faster and a man of prayer. a nun of a high level of perfection. and me. Bishop of Rostov. the saint fell into despair. He was a wonderworker and a clairvoyant. they were all beheaded with the sword. St Barbara appeared to him again to comfort him because of his despair. the Martyr Anastasia the Roman. the saint answered his query. St Orestes the Martyr (Nov. and the righteous were endeavoring not to be influenced by them. She was born in Rome of well-born parents and left an orphan at the age of three.' He went on to show him his left arm. Probus. 4. and he later secretly withdrew again to his asceticism. and asked him: 'Why do you pray in the Latin way?' At this rebuke. during which the power of God was shown. to the Christians as a great ascetic and to the pagans as a rare beauty. 6. Our -Holy Mother. After many tortures. As an orphan. Whenever the clock struck the hour. many Latin false traditions had crept into Russia. where the abbess was one Sophia. he served the Lord with zeal and entered into the heavenly Kingdom.' When St Dimitri began to wonder whether this Orestes was one of the Five Companions (Dec. remember it. heard of her and sent soldiers to 65 . 10th) appeared to him. The writer of many beautiful Canons. He withdrew to his monastery on Mount Ganos.he asked the seminarians each to recite the 'Our Father' for him five times. The Holy Martyr Terence. much against his will. he was born near Kiev in 1651. saying: 'This was cut off'. preacher. St Barbara then appeared to him. 13th). Among many other glorious works of instruction that he wrote. and entered peacefully into rest in 807. saying: 'I'm not the one among the Five Companions. Beloved of the people. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeared to him and chided him gently for leaving his flock to the wolves. St Athanasius. and of Orthodoxy in general. he lived in the community of St Sava the Sanctified near Jerusalem. He not only wrote beautiful books of instruction but also illumined his flock by his example. and said: 'I endured greater sufferings for Christ than you have recorded. 'Don't be afraid. St Stephen of St Sava's.On the wall of the altar at Pec is written: 'O Lord our God. he incurred the displeasure of some of the clergy for his moral strictness. and said: 'This was pierced with a white-hot iron. He was so humble that he even asked the students in his seminary to pray for him. and his thigh.' November 11th . saying: 'The flesh was cut away here. visit and bless this church . After seventeen years. keeping in mind the five wounds of the Lord Jesus Christ. A Syrian. 5. He later became a bishop..' He then showed him his left side.

Abraham set off. how to resist flattering delusion and how to endure torture.bring her to him. Faith is a star shining in this darkness. 2. but his clothing was taken back to Esphigmenou by the elder Germanus. She was finally beheaded with the sword outside the city. gave her a drink. she cried to the judge: 'Whip me and cut at me and beat me. She twice felt a great thirst and asked for water. but on the very day of his wedding. my soul is ready to die for my beloved Jesus.a thousand times. Blessed Sophia found her body and buried it. like Agathangelos of Esphigmenou. said the Lord. he was married and had two daughters. the Martyr Timothy of Esphigmenou. After long resistance. and then drove him out of their village. Then her breasts and tongue were cut off. they begged him to instruct them in the Christian faith. he also pretended to become a Turk. 10:22). in order to save her from the harem. St Abraham offers us a beautiful example of perseverance in endurance. He lived thus for fifty years. for suddenly the villagers were awakened and went in a group to Abraham. gave away their riches to the poor. Abraham married.oh. His body was thrown into a river. his home and all that he had and went off into solitude to live in strict asceticism. 1820. Anastasia openly proclaimed her faith in Christ the Lord and.' When they stripped her naked. Inflamed with zeal for the Faith. his beseeching and faith have their reward.Civil Calendar October 30th . his parents. with great love. to humiliate her. for which he was blessed by the martyr and beheaded by the pagans. The devil simulated to him various sorts of temptation and terror. and was beheaded in Jedrene on October 29th. Our Holy Father. he gave her to a women's monastery and went off to the Holy Mountain. but Abraham did not want to move and become like an evil demon. November 12th . if it were only possible! . plunging him into a tedium that almost got him to the point of leaving the place in which he had settled and moving elsewhere. saying: 'Let God's will be done. were endowed by God with the gift of wonderworking. Anastasia said to her: 'My heart is ready to suffer for Christ. God shielded these hands from every evil intent by men or demons. that God would open the eyes of their hearts to know the truth of Christ. The good Abbess Sophia counseled Anastasia for two hours on how to keep the Faith. the same shall be saved' (Matt. in the province of Kessana in Thrace. Under pressure from his parents. Thus the pagans beat and mocked him without remission for three years. He desired martyrdom for Christ. so that Zenobius was 66 . They thrashed him. and my shame will be covered by my blood!' She was whipped and beaten and cut about. only leaving his cell twice in the whole of that time. they. they inherited the true Faith and great material wealth from their parents. Only after three whole years did his toil and tears. 3. which gave to the poor. Cyril. Faith is the one light that can truly illumine endurance. Because they were so open-handed. His wife was seized by the Turks and converted to Islam. but he prayed to God for them with tears.Church Calendar 1. my naked body will be hidden by wounds. first with promises and then with threats. but he prayed constantly to God for them and was not angered against them. He entered peacefully into rest in 360. FOR CONSIDERATION 'He that shall endure to the end. when the governor tried to dissuade her from the Faith. 'enduring in his faith like a firm rock'. The Hieromartyr Zenobius and his sister Zenobia. his spiritual father. The merciful hands of Zenobius. and Anastasia was crowned with the wreath of martyrdom under the Emperor Decius (249-251). Once it was at the command of the local bishop.' He first built a church in the village and then pulled down the idols before the eyes of the villagers. Bowing down before him. and beat him black and blue. From the town of Aegae in Cilicia. he left his bride. Our Holy Father Abraham the Recluse and his niece Maria. I'm going under obedience. he remained in his own place and overcame the devil. Saving his wife. at the age of seventy.' Brought before the governor. as endurance for its own sake becomes an unbearable darkness. and. From the village of Paraora. The bishop of that area sent Abraham to a pagan village to try to bring it to the Christian faith. to convert a pagan village to the Christian faith. faith softens the sharpness of suffering and bears on its wings all the weight of endurance. first to the Lavra and then to Esphigmenou. not once but . the holy maiden said to him: 'I am ready to die for my Lord. and the other was to save his dissolute niece Maria. and an angel of God appeared to her and upheld her. leaving him almost dead. and a Christian.

he suffered for the Gospel. he immediately vowed to God that he would build as many churches as the years he reigned. but death. his sister presented herself before the judge and said: 'I also want to drink this cup of suffering and be crowned with that wreath. his father. and death for Christ's sake is not death. and died a martyr as Bishop of Iconium. where they received everything without payment. a princess of Byzantium. St Mark (or John. Tertius wrote down Paul's Epistle to the Romans for him (Rom. walked among the people. he said. he was selected for the lot to be cast to replace Judas the betrayer. both in his own land (Treskavac. Apelles and Aristobulus. King of Bulgaria. not only in his own land but throughout the Balkans. The Holy Apostles Stachys. he fought fiercely to defend his faith and his people. the judge Licius seized him and said: 'I offer you the two: life and death . but life. King Milutin.Civil Calendar October 31st . At the moment when the Byzantine Emperor's conscience was weakened. and the nephew of Barnabas. 10th). The Holy King Milutin. at night. he built hospitals for the poor. The son of Uros I and Queen Helena and brother of Dragutin. Author's note: Milutin was married twice. Apart from that. FOR CONSIDERATION That great son of the Orthodox Church. see Acts 12:12) was the son of the devout Mary in whose house the apostles and the early Christians found shelter. and then to Simonida. after the Apostle Sosipater (Nov. to defend his country from them. and thus brother and sister entered into the immortal Kingdom of Christ the King. as in Salonica and Constantinople. Narcissus. for he prayed constantly to God and put himself in His hands. Sophia. He was bishop in the Samaritan town of Apollonia. When Milutin came to the throne. He reigned for forty-two years.' After torture by fire and in boiling pitch.' Holy Zenobius replied: 'Life without Christ is not life. and with God's help saved Orthodoxy. The risen Lord appeared to Cleopas on the road to Emmaus (Lk. Justus and Artemas. 1320. He fought against Michael Palaeologus because the latter had accepted union with Rome and was putting pressure on the whole Balkan people and the monks of Athos to accept the Pope. 2. He who examines the life of this holy king closely will understand why God gave him success after success throughout his life in all that he did. In the midst of his great wealth. Amplias. But King Uros. Mark. exclaimed: 'What is all this. and died peacefully. and built forty-two churches.Church Calendar 1. he lived a very simple family life. They were of the Seventy. offering her to Milutin in order to win the Serbian king to union with Rome. This powerful and wealthy king often dressed himself in simple clothing and. first to Elisabeth. All his wars were successful. St George in Nagoric. King of the Tartars. 3. He had become accustomed to a simple way of life when still in the house of Uros. Jerusalem and on the Holy Mountain. As bishop in Eleutheropolis. He entered into rest in the Lord on October 29th. 'this is the sort of thing we expect in our daughter-in-law. not four times as his detractors would have it. the Holy Mother of God in Skoplje. enquiring for the needy and generously helping the poor. At a time of persecution.' When Zenobius was put to harsh torture. with two or three of his servants. Banjska and so forth) and in Salonica. and Nogai. 16:22). and death if you do not. It is still preserved in that state today in the Church of the Holy King in Sophia. but was not chosen (Acts 1:23-26). and his body was soon seen to be uncorrupt and wonderworking. Tertius.' November 13th . The Holy Apostles Cleopas. and he was made Bishop of Aegae. seeing the senseless Byzantine luxury of the princess and her entourage. he took pleasure in giving to the poor out of his own enormous wealth. He built more than forty churches. He fought against Shishman. Urban. though he never showed this side of himself to outsiders. Beside some of his churches. 67 . 24:13-33). St Artemas was bishop in Lystra in Lycaonia. It is told how the Emperor Michael Palaeologus sent his daughter Anna with a delegation to the court of King Uros. Gracanica. Constantinople. Justus was a son of Joseph the Betrothed. and what is it for? We are not accustomed to this sort of life!' He indicated a Serbian princess with a distaff in her hand: 'See'. saved the Balkans from Uniatism. a Hungarian princess. Together with Matthias. they were both beheaded with the sword in about 285. this knightly and godly Slav stood decisively.able to heal the sick of every sort of infirmity simply by the touch of his hand.life if you bow down to the gods.

4. When the pagans began to torture him for this. Amplias and Urban were also fellow-workers with St Andrew. Nicolas was born in the village of Karyes on the island of Chios. She wept bitterly on witnessing the soul-less torture of the man of God. chatted with him and sent greetings to his daughters through him. his destination. Spiridon was illiterate. being already prepared for the road to suffering. and rest a little. and the father slipped away. spit on me. hearing from the neighbor about their father. put a crown of thorns on my head and a reed in my hand. They were monks and prosfora-makers in the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev. preached the Christian faith in Britain and died peacefully there. In imitation of St John the Baptist. and. The Holy Martyr Nicolas of Chios. and gave his righteous soul into God's hands. The daughters hastened to embrace their father. 10:38). and the father was fleeing from his daughters in order not to sin against the abbot's command. he lived there in asceticism. He was tortured and beheaded by the Turks in 1754. there was one woman with a blind eye. He found Timothy's daughters and recounted to them the heroic death of their father. and I want to endure it!' In the vast crowd that was watching the martyrdom of holy Epimachus. 3. His daughters. Aristobulus. He built a church in Argyropolis. Germanus. who made him bishop of Byzantium. and governed his flock with faithfulness and zeal. Timothy asked his spiritual father. Amplias in Lydda and Urban in Macedonia. to see his daughters and take leave of them. and holy Apelles was Bishop of Heraklion in Trachis. showing them the garment. November 14th . But Timothy's village lay on the way to Propontis.Church Calendar 68 . but he knew the whole Psalter by heart and worked miracles during his lifetime. He entered into rest in 1148. the Spirit of God instructed him in all truth and.Civil Calendar November 1st . A devout young man and a great zealot for the Christian faith. fearing that Timothy's meeting with his daughters would soften him and turn him back from martyrdom for the Faith. They both died as martyrs for Christ the Lord. taught him how to live the ascetic life. as a monk. he went off as a young man into the desert. he resolved to suffer for Christ and. And now a rare sight was seen: the daughters were hurrying to overtake and embrace their father. he went to the city and knocked down the idols. Later. says the Lord. Epimachus discovered how the pagans were torturing and slaughtering the Christians in Alexandria. but in vain. he cried out: 'Smite me. and Germanus managed to save only one of the martyr's garments.They were of the Seventy. and there finished his earthly course a martyr. fleeing from them. The abbot did not permit this. The Holy Martyr Epimachus. FOR CONSIDERATION 'He that taketh not his Cross and followeth after Me is not worthy of me' (Matt. 29th) was at first a married man with two daughters. 2. with no other teacher. hastened to embrace death. The neighbor urged him to turn back and see his daughters. When he got to his village. St Stachys was a helper of St Andrew the First-Called. Born in Egypt. when the torturers flayed his holy body. He is also commemorated on March 16th. so. Timothy took his leave and hurriedly escaped. the brother of the Apostle Barnabas. give me gall to drink. The daughters became exhausted and turned back in despair. At the time of his death. crucify me and pierce me with a spear. St Epimachus was beheaded and his soul entered into eternal joy. The daughters moved quickly. blood spurted from it and a drop fell on her eye. asked his abbot's blessing to return to his village of Kessana. After sixteen years as bishop. which he took to Kessana. Germanus carried out the errand. The Turks beheaded Timothy and threw his body into a river. hurried after him. to return to his village and tell his daughters of their father's death by martyrdom. The Lord endured all that. and were made bishop by him. he met one of his neighbors. he entered peacefully into rest in the Lord. continuing on his way. Our holy father. the martyr Timothy of Esphigmenou (Oct. all afire with zeal for the Faith. Our Holy Fathers Spiridon and Nicodemus. and her blind eye became as whole as the other. Suddenly she could see. In response to his great love for God. and Timothy. in about 250. Narcissus was made Bishop of Athens by the Apostle Philip. Then the woman cried out: 'Great is the God in whom this sufferer believes!' After that. but he yet more quickly.

He was once the guest of a Turkish Bey. he should not be buried with his brother. where he became a monk in the monastery of Iviron. the saint replied: 'And what will you do when the sign of the Son of Man. This poor man would have breathed his last in the greatest torment had he not at the last moment invoked the help of Saints Cosmas and Damian. with his disciples James and Dionysius. then the body of Christ would not have felt hunger or thirst. they were buried together in obedience to a revelation from God. sent a heretic bishop early in the morning to give him Communion. but because she had sworn by the Most Holy Trinity that he should have them. In fact. he had taken her to the Patriarch for prayers to be read over her. James fled to Constantinople. the leaders of the Bogomils came to Hilarion and began to dispute with him about faith. Working as a shepherd. The Bogomils asserted that the Old Testament was of the devil. They were so strict in their unpaid ministry to men that Cosmas became greatly enraged with his brother Damian when he took three eggs from a woman. had it been thus. after trying all doctors and medicines. and all that therein is' (Ps. A farm laborer. devoted all her time and energy to the bringing-up of her sons as true Christians. He was the son of the Gothic King Luvigeld. his wife was made whole. To this. His father threw him into prison and. Luvigeld later repented of having killed his son. after his death. nor would it have undergone death. their mother. of parents called Martin and Paraskeva. Thus the Lord glorified forever by miracles those who glorified Him here on earth by their faith. they were brothers in the flesh and in the spirit. Hilarion replied to this that it is written in the Scriptures: 'God is the King of all the earth' (Ps. and also: 'The earth is the Lord's. The king was furious. The Turks were eating meat. on Pascha. and so fulfilled Christ's command: 'Freely have ye received. As soon as the Patriarch opened the book to read. which entwined itself around his mouth and stomach. was attacked by a snake. and will not do reverence to that Wood by which the whole material world was sanctified?' November 15th . After their father's death. where he became poor. heretic father. Our Holy Father. He was born in the diocese of Kastoria. and suffered for the Faith at the hands of the Turks in Jedrene on November 1st. 10: 8). At one time. freely give' (Matt. a fact that the bishop passed on to the king. To this St Hilarion replied that. Hermenegild. but James was fasting. The Holy Martyr Hermenegild the Heir. 1520. The Bogomils taught that God created the spiritual world. Theodota. a heavenly light filled the church. and gave orders that. the Cross. They were skilled in medicine and ministered to the sick without payment. appears in the heavens. however. His wonderworking relics and those of his disciples are preserved in the monastery of St Anastasia near Salonica. James became rich and thus incurred the envy of his brother. abjured his heresy and returned to Orthodoxy. holy Damian had not taken those eggs as a reward for healing Palladia's sickness. 3. on lying down to sleep at one time. gave away all that he had and went to the Holy Mountain. and when all the nations of the world who did not believe in the Cross will lament?' And he added: 'How can you say that all evil is material evil. God helped her. However. and ordered the executioners to cut off Hermenegild's head. When the prayer was ended. after their death in Fereman. nor weariness and suffering. who reported him to the Turks as having found some money in the ground. 2. Ss Cosmas and Damian. The Bogomils then showed their disapprobation of the sign of the Cross that Orthodox Christians make. This man of God would not receive Communion at the hands of a heretic. in spite of the flattery and threats of his brutal. and her sons grew as two choice fruits and as two holy lamps. the Martyr James. These two holy brothers were great wonderworkers both during their lifetime and after their death. To this the saint replied: 'If the Old Testament indeed came from the devil. could Christ have said: "Search the Scriptures: they testify of Me" (John 5:39). Unmercenaries and wonderworkers. born somewhere in Asia of a pagan father and a Christian mother. He lived in asceticism on the Holy Mountain.Civil Calendar 69 . Palladia.1. FOR CONSIDERATION St Hilarion of Meglin waged a fierce battle against the Bogomils. did not turn from Orthodoxy. hearing how the Bey extolled the Christian faith. purity and mercy. but that the material world was the work of the devil. The Bey said: 'Your Christian faith is indeed great!'. 23:1). which came to pass in 586. who held the Arian heresy. and he related how his wife had been sick in mind and how. and could He have stated that the greatest Commandments are those on love of God and one's neighbor that were aforetime given by Moses?' The Bogomils also asserted that Christ brought His body with Him from heaven. 46:7). James.

he commanded his disciple Eusebius to conceal his body and bury it in secret. When King Sapor put Acyndinus. and clawed at his face in his great fury. and once the Lord Christ Himself. The Hieromartyr Victorinus. Then the three first-named martyrs were finally thrown into a burning furnace. he suddenly went out of his mind and became dumb. When they were arrested and brought to trial before the king. The repentant king did all this only to gain God's forgiveness for his lack of love towards his parents. he believed in Christ and cried out: 'Great is the Christian God!' He was then immediately beheaded. November 16th . and he never had need of any other light. as a man 'with a face radiant as the sun'. He suffered for the Christian faith in about 303. who had also come to faith in Christ. whom their executioners had come to seek out. And so. To entertain the man who is to shed one's blood is indeed a great expression of love for one's enemies. speak!'. which tormented him till his death. A divine light. When one of the torturers. The Serbian King Dragutin stood in arms against his father in order to seize his throne. in the flames. the king condemned him to death. Aphthonius. Seeing his tormentor in such despair. to avoid veneration. Elpidephorus and others with them. being a great wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death. giving him no peace. secret ascetic life.Church Calendar 1. built churches and performed other good deeds. consubstantial and undivided. Without this schooling. Pegasus and Anempodistus be sewn into goat-skins and thrown into the sea. Dragutin relinquished his throne. Anempodistus. saw with wonder that boiling lead did no harm to the martyrs. by which he read the Holy Scriptures. but secretly served Christ their Lord. Many assert that he was a Slovene. He was from the town of Cyrus in Syria. To this they replied: 'Our paternity and life is the most holy Trinity. and wrote commentaries on several books of the Old and New Testaments. They were Persian Christians. one God. and denounced the king for his slaughter of innocent Christians. in 355. The first three were servants at the court of this king. At the time of his death.Civil Calendar 70 nd . Then the King commanded that Acyndinus. But it so happened that he broke his leg. The Holy Martyrs Acyndinus. Aphthonius. and this awakened his conscience. At the time of their torture and imprisonment. one cannot go further. the Son and the Holy Spirit. saying: 'In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. He knew Greek better than Latin. and made over his power to his younger brother Milutin. Elpidephorus was a courtier. along with twenty-eight soldiers and the king's mother. Here is an example of true love for one's enemies. and Elpidephorus was beheaded along with about seven thousand other Christians. He was a contemporary of Patriarch Flavian of Antioch and the Emperors Constantius and Valens. and was distinguished by gentle birth and physical beauty. 2. He also lived an intensive. Bishop of Patav. Blessed Hieronymus cites him as a man learned and devout. and the king was loosed from his dumbness and began to speak. and prayed to God for the king. Pegasius. and they bore the martyrs to dry land and set them free. St Acyndinus wept. angels of God appeared to them several times. When he revealed that he was a Christian. He girded his naked body with a belt of reeds. He entered into rest in the Lord in the year 387. they gave their righteous souls into the hands of the Lord. and withdrew to the desert of Halkis as a solitary. FOR CONSIDERATION How shall he attain to love for his enemies who sets aside love for his parents? Love for one's parents is the chief and fundamental school of love. shone in his cell at night. dressed in coarse sackcloth and prayed to God at night in a secretlyprepared grave. the Father.' The king gave them over to harsh torture. and God forgave him. welcomed them with joy and entertained them in their homes until the time came for them to be put to death. and many others saw and believed. singing psalms and with prayer on their lips. 3. Then St Aphthonius appeared from the other world with three shining angels. and suffered in the time of King Sapor. Our Holy Father Marcian of Cyrus. He left all for Christ.November 2 . he asked them whence they came. Many holy martyrs. Pegasius and the others to harsh torture. being unable to speak. He embarked on great works of mercy. and they endured it all courageously.

to the place where his mother was born. then the wicked and jealous pagans cut down this tree. The Hieromartyr Acepsimas. and above Aeithalas's body there grew a tree. the poor mother went to the icon of the saint. and then returned to Crete. He became very shaky in old age. filled with every Christian virtue. The Holy and Great Martyr George. Acepsimas was beheaded. this one is recorded: on the island of Mytilene. He spent seventy years on arid and inaccessible rocks in the wilderness. When the bishop had been arrested and bound. a handsome young man was taken captive. 3. Our Holy Father Elias of Egypt. The host raised his glass and drank to St George. FOR CONSIDERATION Among many miracles of St George. These soldiers of Christ suffered in Persia in the fourth century. Learning of this. November 17th . lifted him onto the horse and carried him in a flash to his parents home. and shall not return. he said. The sufferings of this wonderful saint are recorded on April 23rd. fasted whole weeks at a time. when a year had passed and St George's Day came round again. and St Acepsimas was seized and taken before a prince who was also a pagan priest. Christ's great martyr. He lived in asceticism near Antinoe. Aeithalas. to keep your mind from your own sins and from seeking God'. Bishop of Naeson. In the time of the Emperor Constantine (305-337). and was presented by the pirates to their prince in Crete. he was thrown into prison. the saint's relics were translated and buried there. Five years passed. ran up to the aged bishop. he was approached by one of his household. the young man replied that. King Sapor raised a fierce persecution of Christians throughout Persia. The prince took him and made him his butler. The mother then returned to her guests at table. knowing that such thoughts are hurled by diabolical power.Civil Calendar 71 . All were amazed and glorified God. and where he had much land that he had given away to the poor. and said: 'Blessed is this head. whence and how he had come there. Cretan Saracens descended one year on the island. I'm going to a higher home. just as he was about to serve his owner with wine in Crete. The saint replied: 'It's no longer my house. the grieving parents. At the time of his death. going to the joy of his Lord. 'Keep your mind from malicious thoughts of your neighbours. His servant did this. He healed all manner of pains and weaknesses. The inhabitants of the whole island flocked to this church on the saint's annual feast. prepared their table and entertained many guests. When they all asked him. and at that moment their son appeared among them bearing a decanter in his hands. and this wonderful saint. and entered into rest at the age of 110.' After long interrogation. were brought a seventy year-old priest called Joseph and a deacon. for it will be martyred for Christ!' This prophecy was soon fulfilled. Innumerable miracles have been wrought by the relics of St George. The boy's parents were in great distress for their son and. kissed him on the head. was sitting one day in his house with his guests when a child. following the ancient custom. there was a church dedicated to St George the great and victorious martyr. On this day we celebrate the translation of St George's relics from Nicomedia to the city of Lydda in Palestine. whence. and Joseph and Aeithalas were buried up to the waist in the ground. the capital of the Thebaid. a knight on horseback appeared before him. in wonder and fear. which healed all manner of disease and pain. fell to the ground and began to beg St George to release her son from slavery. Remembering her son. where he suffered in the time of the Emperor Diocletian (284-305). as a young man. filled with the Spirit of God. who asked him what he wanted done about his house.Church Calendar 1. On the occasion of the consecration of that church. Joseph's body. The eighty-year-old Acepsimas. and others with him. disappeared that night. 2. in the time of the pagan King Sapor. St George asked his servant to take his body and carry it to Palestine. by God's providence. After three years' imprisonment and many sufferings. a beautiful church was built in Lydda by devout Christians.November 3rd . being stoned by a group of men who were without mercy towards Christians. George the victorious commander. laying it waste and enslaving the inhabitants. On that occasion. the next day. He ate only bread and dates and.

Where there is true faith. He laboured in the ascetic life for over fifty years in various places. bringing him up a Christian. They were stoned and dragged over stones. Whilst tending his sheep at pasture. He was a shepherd as a youth. Galaction did not wish to enter into marriage at all. He was a great wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death. The Lord appeared to them in various ways and. they underwent imprisonment and suffered hunger. 2. and he quickly urged Episteme to be baptised and then to become a nun at the same time as he became a monk. Bishop of Myra. Joannicius lived for ninety-four years. he was called into the army. possessing a particular power over snakes. drove out demons. An evil spirit of fleshly temptation had fallen upon the daughter and inflamed the vice of lust in her to such an extent that she desired to leave the monastery and marry. his devout mother Leucippe died. and endured many other tortures which no mortal man could endure without God's special aid. having encircled his flock with the sign of the Cross so that it should not wander off and get lost. This great spiritual light was born in the village of Marykata in the province of Bithynia. and caused men to marvel at his courage. where he became a monk and gave himself entirely over to asceticism. as soon as he touched it. he walked dryfoot through water. for. both of pagan parents. St Joannicius was walking one day past a women's monastery in which. Galaction to a men's monastery and Episteme to a 72 . of his father Myritrices and his mother Anastasia. and entered peacefully into rest in the Lord in 846. a complaint was brought against them before a certain magistrate. there lived a mother and her daughter. and Hermas the Priest. put your hand on my shoulder'. The Hieromartyrs Nicander. Both were ordained by the Apostle Titus. They were finally buried alive by their soul-less tormentors and covered with earth. when they were thrown into a fiery furnace. he ran to it in the hope that it would bite him and he would die. After that. He desired to die rather than let the passion enter his will. persevering in it till his death in great old age. particularly in the wars against the Bulgarians. He was distinguished by an outstanding humility and meekness. They were distinguished by their great zeal for the Faith and their great labours in winning pagans for Christ the Lord. during the iconoclast period he was at first deluded. FOR CONSIDERATION Mercy is a fruit of faith.Church Calendar 1. They were born in the city of Edessa in Phoenicia. In vain did her mother urge her to remain. After her baptism. he was like a giant. Joannicius summoned the girl and said to her: 'My daughter. When the mother saw St Joannicius. huge and strong. tamed wild beasts. it died and the flame of lust disappeared.November 4th . After his military service. among the nuns. but then tore himself away and became an ardent defender of reverence towards the icons. Our Holy Father Joannicius the Great. When the time came for Galaction to marry. Libanus. Because of this. Martyrs. Our Holy Father Galaction and our Mother Episteme. He had a great friendship with Patriarch Methodius of Constantinople. November 18th . her daughter would not listen to her.Church Calendar 1. he would often retreat into solitude and remain in prayer the whole day. and his father betrothed him to a maiden called Episteme. she brought her husband also to the true Faith and baptised her son Galaction. sent them His angel to soothe the flames for them. Then the compassionate Joannicius prayed to God in his heart that He would deliver the girl from temptation and transfer her bodily passion to him. became invisible to men when he so desired and foretold future events. seeing a great snake. He began to provoke it but. The girl did so. Joannicius withdrew to Olympus in Asia Minor. there is true mercy. and he gave them over to fierce torture. But it is in vain that men put others to death when the Lord gives life. a passionate vice fell on him and his blood began to boil as though in fire. In outward appearance. and the saint of God went his on way. And so it came to pass: the girl became completely calm and remained in the monastery. Galaction's mother was barren until she was baptised. she begged him to advise her daughter not to leave the monastery and expose her soul to perdition. Both went away to the mountain of Publion. so. He took an active part in the destiny of God's Church. As he went.Civil Calendar November 5th . and they dishonour in vain those whom the Lord glorifies. and had from God most abundant gifts of wonderworking: he healed all sicknesses and pains.

They were first in labours.women's. in prayer. where 73 . but on the contrary. 1570. and they were both brought to trial. began to show healing powers and to give off a sweet and wonderful fragrance. Galaction was betrothed by his father to the maiden Episteme. to Venice. Such was the power of their love for Christ the Lord and such was the mutual spiritual love with which they loved each other. Michael the Fool for Christ of Klops saw him once as a young boy and said to him prophetically: 'Ivan. 16:14). All of them fulfilled the Law of Christ with love and went to His Kingdom. choose Paul. for you will be archbishop in Novgorod the Mighty'. but.' The people chose Paul. They did not leave their monasteries. The Emperor and the Pope sent letters which restored Paul to his episcopal throne. she ran after him. Jonah was God-fearing and merciful. be diligent in your studies. Gains and Philologus. if you want a suitable man as a figurehead. This was in the year 351. He baptised her. And so it came to pass. One hundred years after his death. 15:16). In the time of the Emperor Theodosius. 16:23) and Philologus in Synope (Rom. after the death of Constans. Episteme's spiritual love for Galaction was so great that. While Paul was celebrating the Liturgy one day in exile. both Pope Julian and the Emperor Constans gave them a warm welcome and upheld them in their Orthodoxy. They cut off their hands and feet. they both rejoiced and glorified God. neither physical contact or even meeting are necessary.Church Calendar 1. Patrobus was bishop of Neapolis. let her share his martyrdom. Brotherhood and sisterhood of blood is nothing compared with the same relationship in the spirit. He also wrote the Lives of these two wonderful martyrs for Christ. my little one. took their bodies and buried them. and went to the joyful. but. holy Episteme wept. choose Macedonius. he was set on by the Arians and strangled with his pallium. Galaction's spiritual love for Episteme was so great that he had no need to see her with his bodily sight. The relics of this holy hierarch did not catch fire among the flames. 4:21). One Eutolius. with spiritual love. Linus. and first in love. Then the sick Patriarch said to them: 'If you want to have a shepherd who will teach you and whose virtues will illumine you. and then they both received the monastic habit. in 381. Episteme was weeping. Patriarch of Constantinople. He built churches and monasteries and cared for his flock as a true and good shepherd. who was at that time in Antioch. When the torturers cut off their hands and feet for Christ's sake. in 1236. this Jonah was elected and consecrated to the throne of Novgorod. begging him not to cast her away but. FOR CONSIDERATION As shadow is to reality (although even this is too weak a comparison). he was taken and educated by a God-fearing woman. who suffered and received their heavenly crowns in 253. such as is rare in a mortal man. and so Paul was quickly deposed and fled to Rome together with St Athanasius the Great. St Paul the Confessor. They were of the Seventy. 2.Civil Calendar November 6th . after the death of Archbishop Euthymius. but spiritual love is enduring. When Galaction was flogged on his naked body by his merciless torturers. his relics were translated to Constantinople. a great fire broke out in Novogorod. Linus in Rome (II Tim. A fierce persecution arose. so is physical love to spiritual. This was not acceptable to the Arian heretics. the Arians raised their heads again and drove the Orthodox Patriarch off to Cucusus in Armenia. Hermes was in Philipopolis (Rom. heavenly mansions. The Holy Apostles Patrobus. There. as a spiritual father and brother. Truly. for later. Gaius in Ephesus (Rom. and they then whipped her also. when she heard that he had been taken for martyrdom. When the blessed Patriarch Alexander was lying on his deathbed. and finally their heads. in humility and obedience. excusing himself because of his great age. for. a love as strong as death. St Jonah. Their physical love was transformed into spiritual. November 19th . 3. a man who had been a servant of Episteme's parents and then a monk together with Galaction. He was offered the throne of Moscow as Metropolitan but declined. and each of them became a true light in the monastery. the lamenting faithful asked him whom he would leave to follow him as chief pastor of the flock of Christ. and. and neither saw the other until the time of their death. He entered into rest peacefully on November 5th. Archbishop of Novgorod Born in Novgorod and orphaned early. Hermes. physical love is like a gaudy butterfly that passes in a moment. nor to the Emperor Constantius. While they were mercilessly whipping Galaction.

he became a monk on the death of his parents and devoted himself to strict asceticism. greatly mitigated the punishment. where Hieron strengthened them all in their faith with great ardour. on a site shown to him by a heavenly light. And so it came to pass: he died on the road. Hieron. and this phenomenon remained over Constantinople for a full forty days. where he was restored to life. at mid day. Hieron was seized and taken before the governor of the city of Melitene. The terrified people fell to repentance and prayer. who knows what would have happened in Constantinople in those days? But timely repentance on the part of sinners. The fate of Sodom and Gomorrah presents a classic example of God's punishment of incorrigible sinners. stood up and prostrated himself before the tomb of the saint. 3. When they reached Melitene. dark clouds. 355 (see their lives on that day). a man in white apparel appeared one night to Hieron and said to him: 'Behold. and they brought him dead into the monastery. If this had not been so. The Holy Martyr Hieron with his Companions. He was a great wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death. That God can repeat this punishment in other places. when it ceased. along with other Christians. which caused darkness to cover the land.Civil Calendar November 7th . The Tsar was so terrified that he fled from the church and. and the prayers of the most holy Mother of God together with the numberless saints and martyrs of Constantinople. and quickly shalt thou come to Him and receive from Him both honour and glory. November 20th . He founded a monastery on the bank of the Volkhov river. The people worked to clear their houses and streets of this sooty ash. Born and brought up a Christian in Novgorod the Great.Church Calendar 1. who was blind. Marcian and Martyrius. Our Holy Father Varlaam of Chutinsk. Stratonica.they still lie. went in procession through the streets from church to church. 2. and fell from noon till midnight. together with the Emperor and the Patriarch. a flame sprang from the grave and blazed along the walls of the church. and. in 472. and then became dark again. FOR CONSIDERATION If God can bring water from a rock to sustain men. All who had understanding recognised God's punishment in this event -. and fended off and drove away those who were sent to take him. and further asked that. hot black ash began to fall from the clouds. Commemoration of the falling of ash from the air. but all their crops were destroyed. In 1471. which is kept to this day beside the saint's tomb. Because of both his faith and his mother. the sky suddenly became darkened by thick. He was born in the Cappadocian city of Tijane of a good and God-fearing mother. but a hand-high layer of ash lay all over the ground. suffered soon after their Patriarch. in his haste. While they were on the road. they should take his dead body to the saint. the Wonderworker. blind mother and be forced as a soldier to bow down and offer sacrifice to idols. Tsar Ivan the Terrible gave orders that the saint's grave be dug up. they were all thrown into prison. and cared for his blind mother with a truly filial love. On November 6th. Finally. In commemoration of this wonder. St Varlaam is also remembered on the Friday after the Sunday of All Saints. Hieron was a very zealous Christian. if he should die on the way.' Hieron's heart was filled with ineffable joy at these words. exhorting them that not one should fall away but that all should freely give their bodies over to torment and death for 74 . The following day was clear and fresh. being able to penetrate human secrets. on October 25th. * His beloved priests and secretaries. *A small piece of their relics is kept at the Russian Cathedral in London -Tr. but shalt engage in a battle for the King of heaven. praying to God with tears and lamentations. and he asked to be carried to the grave of St Varlaam. forgot his staff. for he was loth to leave his helpless. These clouds glowed now and then like live coals. to drive out unclean spirits and to heal all sicknesses. during the reign of the Emperor Leo the Great and Patriarch Gennadius. As soon as they had begun to uncover it. according to the Greek Synaxarion). I reveal to thee thy salvation: thou shalt not wage war for any earthly king. He can also call down fire from heaven as a punishment. He demonstrated over Constantinople in the time of Leo the Great and Patriarch Gennadius. A servant of Prince Vasilii Vasilievitch was taken seriously ill.a gentle punishment because of the speedy repentance of the people before the Lord God. he refused to go into the army. This occurred in Constantinople in 472 (or 475. On the final day.

if they did not so regard them. then he was flogged and tortured in various ways. a rich and arrogant man. who are inscribed in the Book of Life: Hesychius. Eugene. On the eve of the day of their martyrdom. her father drove her from the house and the city. One of the martyr's hands was taken to his blind mother. Barachius. he demanded gold to the measure of its weight. When Christians were seeking Hieron's head from the governor. Eutychius. Callimachus. But Hieron. Theodulus. The Emperor Constantine Monomachus had great respect for him. name from among the condemned and let him go. and walk in the Law of the Lord' (Ps. and she took hold of her son's hand. Athanasius. FOR CONSIDERATION There are decisive moments in life. and so these martyrs were found worthy. Some of them saw the angels as gods and others. except for one kinsman of Hieron's called Victor. The Holy Martyr Thessalonica. He left his village in Magnesia and went to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to the holy places. they all confessed their faith in Christ the Lord before the judge. Victor's. Longinus. After ten years. gained all. by their sufferings. in that decisive moment. Why in 75 . and entered into the glory of Christ. The angels of God have been commemorated by men from the earliest times. to be celebrated in November. both in this world and the world to come. We do not know when such a decisive moment is upon us -. but many vied for the body of Hieron. They suffered in the Macedonian city of Amphipolis. They were savagely tortured and beheaded for Christ.Civil Calendar November 8th . A certain man called Chrysanthus found Hieron's severed head and gave it burial. Ostrichius. and he later built over it a church in honour of St Hieron. The local Council in Laodicea. Nikon. Valerius. and now have only this one little bit!' November 21st . St Lazarus entered into his eternal home at the end of the eleventh century. A nephew of St Hieron's. rejected in its 35th Canon the worship of angels as gods. Victor was frightened of the coming torments and went to the governor of the prison. the thirty-three martyrs sang the psalm: 'Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way. 1:1). Our Holy Father Lazarus of Mount Galesius. Hieron's hands were cut off . begging him to remove his. this Feast of the Archangel Michael and the other heavenly powers was instituted.Church Calendar 1. The Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven. Nicander. reproached Cleon for his inhuman treatment of his daughter. To a man. lamenting bitterly: 'O my beloved son. for which reason we must be constantly vigilant. was arrested with him. No one vied for Victor's body. The governor crossed him off and let him go. a rich and devout man. Because of her faith in Christ. until he was finally beheaded with the sword together with the others. Let us remember by name these honourable martyrs. lost his land. and established the proper veneration of them. Two respected citizens. but this commemoration often degenerates into the divinization of angels (IV Kings 23:5. I bore the whole of you. of the immortal Kingdom. A pillar of light appeared above the house where he was born. Maximian.V. 3. Heretics always wove fantasies round the angels. and the maiden Thessalonica was tortured and killed soon after. on which depend a man`s eternal life or eternal death. Themilius.Christ. Theodotus. Theodore. near present-day Kavala. took them to be the creators of the whole visible world. II Kings). Castrichius. Xanticus. Mamas. he settled on Mount Galesius and toiled in asceticism upon a pillar as a stylite. who repudiated his faith. Callinicus. Thus Victor turned in vain from the moment of decision. and was a wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death. Dorotheus. a pagan priest. This maiden was the daughter of Cleon. Anicetas. with Auctus and Taurion. Auctus and Taurion by name. Theodochus. Antony and Matronian concealed one of Hieron's severed hands from the governor and took it to his blind mother. St Hieron suffered with his companions in 298. promising to give him his own land. that was held in the fourth century. Claudian. lost his friends and lost his life. and Cleon thereupon denounced them as Christians. 2. In the time of Pope Sylvester of Rome and the Alexandrian Patriarch Alexander. Victor suddenly died -. in the fourth century. becoming a monk there in the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified.it may come today. Hilarion Diodotus and Amonitus. Epiphanius. Theophilus. Ducitius. paid the required amount of gold for the martyr's precious head. A. Gigantius. Victor. Theogenes. Chrysanthus. Going out to the place of execution. On returning home.died a natural death at the same moment as St Hieron and his companions died in torment for Christ.

on the Day of Judgement. FOR CONSIDERATION That the angels are constantly involved in this world is testified to. 'Jegudiel' means 'one who glorifies God'. Our Holy Father John the Dwarf (Kolobos). especially the mystery of the Incarnation and all those that are linked with it. Virtues. a great multitude of the holy angels of heaven will be gathered around the throne of Christ. and then burned in iron coffins. words and deeds of every man will be laid bare before them. and holding a physician's jar in his left. and his hands placed together in the attitude of prayer. Principalities. 'Jeremiel' means 'God's exaltation'. Their relics were buried in Pentapolis. When Satan. November 22nd . Amen. and the whole angelic army sang aloud: 'Holy. and in his left a mirror of green jasper. The leader of the whole angelic army is the Archangel Michael. Satan. 'Raphael' means 'God's healing'. many-eyed Cherubim. heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!' (See on the Archangel Michael: Joshua 5:13-15 and Jude v. He is depicted bearing a lantern with a burning candle in his right hand. openly or in secret. He is depicted holding a sword against the Persians in his right hand and a burning brand in his left. He is venerated as an inspirer and awakener of those higher thoughts that raise a man towards God.9). They were thus broken to pieces and gave their holy souls into God's hands. Salathiel. we do in the presence of our guardian angel and that. St Michael was depicted in the earliest Christian times as a leader. Among the angels there rules a perfect unity of mind. 'Michael' in Hebrew means 'Who is like God?'. Raphael. as does each individual Christian. Both from the Scriptures and from Holy Tradition. writes of these nine orders in his book: 'Celestial Hierarchies'. The mirror signifies the wisdom of God as a hidden mystery. fell away from God. Uriel. and carried half the angels with him to destruction. then Michael arose and cried to the unfallen angels: 'Let us give heed! Let us stand aright. Jegudiel and Barachiel (and to these is sometimes added an eighth. of soul and of love. Dominions. holy Lord God of Sabaoth. and it is thought that the world was created in the month of March.Church Calendar 1. The Archangel Michael is considered especially to be the guardian of the Orthodox faith and a fighter against heresy. They were harshly beaten. and the thoughts. May God have mercy on us and save us at the prayers of the holy Archangel Michael and all the bodiless powers of heaven. 76 . holy. godly Thrones. These two wonderful men were martyred for the name of Christ in the time of the Emperor Diocletian (284305). Archangels and Angels. These orders are as follows: six-winged Seraphim. let us stand with fear!'. Gabriel. whatever we do. 2. 'Salathiel' means 'one who prays to God' (II Esdras 5:16). 5:20). 'Gabriel' means 'man of God' or 'power of God'. He is depicted leading Tobias by the right hand (Tobias carrying a fish caught in the Tigris). in Holy Scripture. 'Uriel' means 'fire' or 'light of God' (II Esdras 4:1. or 'Who is equal to God?'. the Orthodox Church has learned the names of the seven leaders of the heavenly powers: Michael.November? Because November is the ninth month after March. 12:15). and after that tied to horses' tails and dragged over stones and thistles. Jeremiel). The ninth month after March was chosen because of the nine orders of angels that were the first created beings. of total obedience of the lesser powers to the greater and of all to the holy will of God. bearing a spear in his right hand with which he attacks Lucifer. Each nation has its guardian angel. St Dionysius the Areopagite. He is depicted bearing a golden wreath in his right hand and a threethonged whip in his left. At the top of the spear is a plaited braid with a red Cross. He is the herald of the mysteries of God. He is depicted with his head bowed and his eyes lowered. 'Barachiel' means 'the blessing of God'. Powers.Civil Calendar November 9th . a disciple of the Apostle Paul (that Apostle who was caught up to the third heaven). Lucifer. He is depicted wearing a white rose on his breast. We must keep in mind that. or 'God the Healer' (Tobias 3:17. clearly and unmistakably. and holding in his left hand a branch of green palm. The Holy Martyrs Onesiphorus and Porphyrius.

Quickly finding marriage to Dometian. She hid in an abandoned church in the middle of the island. and later founded the monastery of Docheiariou. from day to day. under the name of Babylas. who once sent him to Crete to make peace terms with the Arabs. brought to fruition. John used this story about the repentance of the human soul: 'In one town. adding 122 new 'biographies' and correcting 539 others. until. As her husband searched for her unremittingly. Theoctista escaped from the crowd and hid herself. such that his brother had to urge him to moderation. Our Holy Mother Theoctista of Paros. Our Holy Mother Matrona of Constantinople. and John the Dwarf replied: 'and it never sees me angry'. and. They were Serbs by descent and kinsmen of high-ranking aristocrats in Byzantium. He became the Emperor's chief administrator. he returned to Constantinople and soon withdrew from the world and all secular occupation. she fled. His nephew Neophytus succeeded his uncle as abbot of Docheiariou. there lived a beautiful woman. To test John's obedience. a Constantinopolitan nobleman. But he lived a life pure and unstained as a true ascetic. increasing the number of brethren and building a great church. and Paisius to go into the desert and live as a solitary. Discovering this. for he was little of stature. They asked each other what virtues they had. 'Kolobos' means 'little' or 'dwarf. but gathered behind the palace and began whistling. and ordered John to stay where he was and gather companions. including Theoctista and her sister. He entered into rest in about 960. and a fragrant and healing myrrh flowed from his body. One day. A gifted Constantinopolitan. he had both worldly and spiritual learning. and the first among the nobles at court. John watered this dry stick for three whole years. gave himself to asceticism. saying: 'Come and taste of the fruits of obedience!' John the Dwarf had many disciples. Living a hundred years in all. When the Saracens carried the slaves off to the bazaar on the island of Paros. in the intervening time. He entered peacefully into rest in 990. She entered into rest in 881. 4. who had at that time seized the island. FOR CONSIDERATION After a long separation from his friend Paisius. She received the monastic habit at the age of twenty-five. 6.He is counted among the greatest of the Egyptian ascetics. and later the teacher of St Arsenius the Great. and lived in asceticism for seventy-five years. Paisius said: 'The sun never sees me eat'. 3. She was from Perga in Pamphylia. she was forced to move constantly from place to place: Emesa. She promised. Jerusalem. and the prince took her to his court and married her. an angel of God appeared to them. She quickly blocked her ears and hid herself in an inner room of the palace. she died peacefully as abbess of a monastery in Constantinople. locking the door 77 . They did not dare to confront the prince. Pambo ordered him to water a dry stick that he had stuck in the ground until it bore leaves. A prince suggested to this woman that he would take her to wife if she would promise to live honourably and faithfully in wedlock. He was a disciple of St Pambo. He entered peacefully into rest and the joy of his Lord early in the fifth century. Teaching the brethren in Scetis. He wrote lives of the saints. and his disciple Neophytus. and became a nun at the age of seventeen. Savage Saracens descended on the island and enslaved all who fell into their hands. He entered into rest at the beginning of the eleventh century. He was distinguished by a rare military courage and diplomatic wisdom. finally returning to Constantinople. and was for this greatly valued by the Emperor Leo the Wise. Our Holy Father Euthymius of Docheiariou. He came to Scetis with his brother Daniel. unbearable. with surpassing zeal. St Simeon Metaphrastes. where she lived in asceticism for thirty-five years. Euthymius was a friend of St Athanasius and his steward Laurus. Then Pambo gathered the fruits from this tree. it put forth leaves and bore fruit. The woman heard the whistling and recognized it. 5. Beirut. One of his fellow-disciples with St Pambo was St Paisius the Great. She was born on the island of Lesbos. Sinai. a harlot who had many lovers. John the Dwarf visited him and talked with him. when he was in conversation with St Paisius about what sort of asceticism to adopt. went to the monastery of St Bassian in Constantinople. her former lovers plotted to bring her back to her old ways with them. With no hesitation or doubt. dressed herself in men's clothing and. by God's power. and some of his wise sayings have been preserved. and entered into the joy of her Lord in the year 492. Succeeding in this mission. took them to the church and shared them out among the brethren.

her lovers are the passions. 8th). The last three are also commemorated elsewhere: Herodion on April 8th. near which there was a stone statue of a man.' Many had struck at the statue's head but had found nothing. the nephew of St Euthymius. The Holy Martyr Orestes. On this peninsular. tied a rock round his neck and threw him into the sea. and there brought thirty thousand Arabs to the Christian faith. Sosipater and Tertius. She was later glorified for the holiness of her life (see Oct. because of which he was chosen as bishop in 448. When Basil had sunk into the depths of the sea. Neophytus sent a novice. then flayed and cut about. then began to dig there. St Orestes was a cradle Christian and a doctor by profession. The abbot told three trusted monks to go with Basil in the monastery's boat and bring the gold. being beheaded at Nero's command. He was harshly interrogated by a wicked governor. When the governor urged him to deny Christ and worship idols. The monks set off. the passions and demons will take flight and flee from it. he was brought before the governor. in the diocese of Edessa. November 23rd . loaded the gold into the ship and started for home.behind her. The Holy Apostles Olympas. This great saint. From the town of Tyana in Cappadocia. the sun came out and the statue's shadow was thrown to the west. Neophytus began to build a new. and was thus preserved from the new temptation. a man radiant as the sun appeared. Erastus. Ss Olympas and Herodion were followers of the Apostle Peter and. 2.' For this he was harshly beaten. Orestes. The young Orestes spent seven days without bread or water. gathered the bones and took them to a hill near Tyana. But while they were on the sea. 3. Erastus was steward of the Church in Jerusalem. then burned in boiling lead and finally thrown into prison to die of hunger. and Tertius followed him as bishop there. To this Orestes replied: 'I am ready to undergo every torture. when Peter suffered. off on some task. you would reject idolatrous lies and worship the true God.' St John explained this story thus: the harlot is the soul. and later became Bishop of Paneas in Palestine. appeared to St Dimitri of Rostov and showed him all his wounds. Maximinus. St Nonnus. Through his prayers. At that moment. Sosipater was bishop in Iconium. the inner room is the heavenly court and the lovers who whistle and entice her are the demons. On the sculpture was written: 'He who smites me on the head will find much gold. Bishop of Heliopolis. having the sign of my Lord Jesus Christ inscribed on my heart. the prince is Christ. This Basil was standing one day in front of the statue. burying them there. he suffered greatly and brought many to the Christian faith. Basil took a stone and smote the head of the shadow. bigger church to St Nicolas the Wonderworker.' Then the governor ordered that twenty nails be hammered into his legs and that he be bound behind a horse and dragged through thistles and rocks until he expired. The three older monks. He was later translated to the diocese of Heliopolis. where he remained till his death in 471. In the place where Orestes' body was thrown. On the eighth day. after Euthymius' death. Sosipater on April 28th and Tertius on October 30th. Herodion. Quartus. He immediately ran and told Abbot Neophytus. ruminating on the mystery of this inscription. St Nonnus returned to Edessa. He was renowned as a great ascetic in the Tabennisiot monastery in Egypt. deluded by the devil. he ran out of funds and prayed to God for help. bound Basil with cords. After the death of Bishop Ibo. They strove in spirit. FOR CONSIDERATION The strange paths of God's providence are demonstrated in an exceptional and strange event in the monastery of Docheiariou in the time of Blessed Neophytus. Quartus was bishop in Beirut. in the reign of Diocletian (284-305). they suffered too. the notorious sinner Pelagia was brought to the Christian faith. became victors and were crowned with wreaths of glory.Civil Calendar November 10th . Near the monastery of Docheiariou there lay a peninsular called 'Longos'. who began to threaten him with terrible tortures. the Archangels Michael and Gabriel suddenly 78 . Neophytus had a smallish patch of monastic land. Basil.Church Calendar 1. finding a metal pot of gold. Orestes replied: 'If you knew the power of the Crucified. the devil put it into their heads to keep the gold for themselves. and God helped him in a strange way. When. They were all among the Seventy. If the soul is constantly turned from its passions and flees God-ward.

not to St Nicolas. Pyrrhus put holy Menas to harsh torture. but the new one to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. He gave his soul into God's hands in 304. but to the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. but those in the whole of Constantinople. From the diocese of Saragossa in Spain. 3. carried him to the church at Docheiariou. St Menas. but. This is the reason why Euthymius' old church at Docheiariou is dedicated to St Nicolas. November 24th . St Menas suffered in about 304. as an exile in the monastery of the Pantocrator. He has often appeared as a soldier on horseback. The Holy and Great Martyr Menas. He was the son of King Milutin and father of King Dusan. The Holy Martyr Stephen of Decani. burned with torches and tortured in many other ways. King of Serbia.' Hearing this. Our Holy Father Theodore the Studite. and at the command of his light-minded son was. drowned. and entered into the Kingdom of Christ. When five years had passed. and went to a deserted mountain. and learned of the strange thing that had happened to him. were thunder struck. his patience and greatness of soul. in old age. Stephanis. He dedicated it. By his wisdom and ascesis. being tied by the hands and feet to the tops of palm trees. so he left the army and the town. and finally burned on an iron grid. as a true Christian. taking hold of him. and died a martyr in 1336. saying: 'Stephen. when the monks went into the church. 4. and was tortured for Christ in the time of the Emperor Antoninus (138-161). before them all. depositing him in front of the Royal Doors of the locked church. I have come now to proclaim my Christ before you all as the living God. then went to the town and. A church was built over them. 5. asked who and what he was. Whoever has glorified Menas or invoked his aid with faith in time of need has received help. He was flogged. The governor of that town. During his torture. a rare example of the finest Byzantine work and one of the most famous memorials of Serbian devotion.Church Calendar 1. 79 . The three monks then arrived and. His body is preserved in Rome. Menas looked from afar in spirit at a pagan festival in the town of Cotyaeus. receiving the wreath of immortal glory from the Almighty whom he had served so faithfully. Victor was beheaded and Stephanis was torn in half. his meekness and devotion. don't be afraid. in the church bearing his name. I was an officer. The Holy Martyrs Victor and Stephanis.' He then made the sign of the Cross over the blind king. my name is Menas. They buried these remains with care. he built the monastery of Decani. finally being beheaded. could not bear to look upon the foul offering of sacrifice to idols. seeing Basil alive. the society of men and everything else. and they were later taken to Alexandria and buried there. His body was burned to prevent Christians taking it. a young woman. It was easier for Menas to live with the wild beasts than with pagans. An Egyptian by birth and a soldier by profession. confessed his faith in Christ the living God. The next day. St Sava and the holy Prince Lazar make a trio of holiness. He was and remains a great wonderworker in both lives: both on earth and in heaven.' He spent five years in Constantinople. One day. flayed with iron flails.appeared to him in the form of two resplendent youths and. but they did succeed in rescuing some bits from the flames. 2. St Nicolas appeared to him in the church at Ovce Polje (the Sheep-Pasture) and gestured towards his own eyes. The saint replied: 'My fatherland is Egypt. revealed that she also was a Christian. your eyes have been given to me and I will return them to you in due course. St Nicolas appeared to him again and said to him: 'I have come to fulfill my promise. he was terribly tortured for Christ the Lord. seeing the worship of idols. to help the faithful or to punish the faithless. denouncing idolatry and paganism as falsehood and darkness. Stephen surpassed not only the monks in that monastery. The Holy Martyr Vincent the Deacon. nobility and self-sacrifice. The abbot punished them fittingly. He lived his time on earth as a martyr. The holy King Stephen. At the time of his blinding.Civil Calendar November 11th . the gift of the Serbian people. took the gold and completed the church. At the command of his ill-informed father he was blinded. one Pyrrhus. Victor was a Roman soldier. The abbot questioned him. I rejected your honours. Out of gratitude to God. that He may reveal me as His servant in the Kingdom of God. and he received his sight. they found Basil lying bound before the altar.

His wisdom began to be talked of throughout Constantinople. brought him up from childhood as a true Christian. 'If you seek nobility'. In perplexity. being the governor. that he would reign over ten of the tribes of Israel (I Kings 11:29). 'Are you asking me about that second Job. Prince of Serbia. November 25th . Solomon's servant. shutting him in an isolated palace and forbidding him any visitors. Another time. But God preserved blessed Stephen. who started speaking to him of her poverty. from Siloam. Barlaam was in Constantinople at that time and. arriving in Cyprus. both his wife and children went from this world to the next.' The Greek Emperor was at first very harsh towards Stephen. compassion and love for his fellow men. The Greeks. guarding it from pagans and heretics. the words of Christ: 'If thou bring thy gift to the altar. the king. As soon as he had made his peace with that man. by skillful intrigues. it happened that he was met by a poor widow. Emperor John Cantacuzene drove Barlaam with dishonor from the capital. He prophesied a thousand years before Christ. by the providence of God. 5:23). he returned to the Table of Preparation. he said. His father. on the way to the Church of Ss Cyrus and John. and urged the bishop to hurry to the church for the service. and listen to the woman when it was over. John was chosen as Patriarch of Alexandria in the time of the Emperor Heraclius. He was son of King Dragutin. then to Budapest and finally came to rest in Presburg. asked after his son Stephen. The Patriarch's companions were bored by the woman's lengthy lamenting. and the Emperor began to value him and turn to him for advice. Thus. O Lord that hate Thee'. FOR CONSIDERATION If ever there was a holy king on the throne of an earthly kingdom. and he added: 'Dangerous men must be driven from our company. fell before his feet and begged his forgiveness. marveled at the beauty of Stephen's soul. St John the Merciful. the Emperor summoned Stephen and asked him what was to be done with Barlaam. 80 . who regarded the Slavs as barbarians. he married and had children. an inspired teacher of Orthodoxy and wonderful ascetic. Patriarch of Alexandria. 'seek it not in blood but in virtue. entering into the immortal kingdom of his Lord. Born on the island of Cyprus of a princely family.' All the saints are distinguished by compassion. The wise Stephen answered in the words of the Psalmist: 'I hated them. and there remember that thy brother hath aught against thee . and he would not move from the spot until he had heard the widow out. but St John was utterly dedicated to this great virtue. he suffered greatly for the sake of the icons. and he remembered that one of the clergy in the church there had a grudge against him. and was a model of meekness. the abbot replied. Famed for his compassion and devotion. Patriarch John took ship to flee from the assault. and he bore the ascesis of fasting and prayer like a perfected monk. died at his birthplace in 620.The famous abbot of Studium. But.' Hearing this.. 2. He preserved his chastity and purity in marriage.Church Calendar 1. When the Persians invaded Egypt. among other things. He governed the Church in Alexandria for ten years as a true pastor. Under pressure from his parents. His wonderworking relics were first taken to Constantinople. 'Know that his godliness exceeds your royal majesty.Civil Calendar November 12th . Epiphanius. if I don't obey Him?'. against which St Gregory Palamas fought. He left the holy gifts. Celebrating the Liturgy one day. for example. your Majesty?'. and foretold to Jeroboam. and then transferring him to the Pantocrator monastery in the hope that the strict asceticism would weaken and kill him. went up to the priest. St John replied: 'And how will God obey me. He entered into rest in Constantinople in 826.' (Matt. for in virtue lies true nobility. 6. had brought many of those eminent in the Church and the court to his way of thinking. that king was Stephen of Decani. He fell ill on the voyage and. He was a wise organizer of the monastic life. St Stephen contributed to the downfall of the notorious heresy of Barlaam. at the age of sixty-eight. came into the Patriarch's mind. When the Emperor John Cantacuzene sent the abbot of the Pantocrator monastery to King Milutin on business. as one of the rarest wonders of that age. St Urosica. The Holy Prophet Ahijah.. and myrrh flowed from his tomb.

great grace and also great suffering. September 14th. denounced the Empress Eudoxia. November 26th . we unworthy ones must repent daily to prepare ourselves for our departure. deposing many bishops who were given to this vice. One of his disciples was disturbed by the press of visitors. FOR CONSIDERATION The time of their death and passing from this life has in the past been revealed to many holy men and women. an angel of God appeared at the same time to Patriarch Saint Flavian (Saint Meletius' successor) and to Saint John himself. a generous Serbian noble sent him a substantial sum of money. put heretics to shame. myrrh flowed from his body in such abundance that it ran from the top of the hill right down to the sea. He was born in the Morea. Of the immeasurable goods that John had at his disposal as Patriarch of the Alexandrian Church. John was baptised by Saint Meletius. This wonderworking myrrh drew the sick from all sides. 'I am grateful to the good gentleman for his love. only a few pence. he had a son and a daughter. As a hieromonk. and complained in his prayers to his spiritual father. sending missionaries to the pagan Celts and Scythians and purging the Church of simony. One can flee from men. at the desire of Emperor Arcadius. but having no expectation of this gift. the Outpourer of Myrrh.' In their compassion. He spent three years in exile. 'but it would have given me more joy if the money that he intended for me had been given to the poor. A married man. the Empress twice had him sent into exile.Church Calendar 1. these two saints were very alike. interpreted the Scriptures with his golden mind and tongue and left to the Church many precious books of sermons.Civil Calendar November 13th . his asceticism and the power of his words. writing beautiful books on the spiritual life. Saint John was. against them. and against them prayer is required. The holy King Stephen of Decani was often visited in visions by his beloved St Nicolas. Patriarch of Constantinople. and died on the day of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Seeing the vice-ridden life of the capital. who appeared to him before his death and said to him: 'Stephen. He was born in Antioch in the year 347. prepare for your departure. a shining white dove was seen above Saint John's head. prophesying for him great service. his father's name being Secundus and his mother's Anthusa. Our Holy Father Nilus of Sinai. appeared to him in the ship and said to him: 'The King of kings is calling you to Himself. but not from God. with a golden sceptre in his hand. This they did. When the time came for him to be ordained priest. Our Holy Father Nilus. chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople. He entered into rest in the seventeenth century.' 4. Patriarch of Antioch. which quickly came to him. at the time of his death. after which the holy Apostles John and Peter appeared to him. When St John the Merciful fled from the Persians in Egypt. After their death. His wife and daughter went to a women's monastery in Egypt. St Nilus lived for sixty years in asceticism on Sinai. and went to the blessed life of heaven.' Stephen replied to those who brought it. and the flow of myrrh stopped on the instant. John became a monk and began to live in strict asceticism. When Stephen was in the Pantocrator monastery in Constantinople. a man bathed in light. and he left instructions that these be given to the poor. restraint is necessary. and. you will soon come before God. He entered peacefully into rest in about 450. he and his wife agreed to withdraw from the world. John became disgusted with Hellenic paganism and turned to the Christian faith as the one and all-embracing truth. and Nilus and his son Theodulus went to Mount Sinai. but spiritual passions originate in spiritual desires. he had. This is a great gift from heaven. He extended the Church's charitable works. his parents were also baptised. These holy words are his: 'Physical passions have their origin in physical desires. after that. wrote the service for the Divine Liturgy which bears his name. He governed the Church for six years as Patriarch with unequalled zeal and wisdom.' John understood these words and began to prepare for death. St Nilus lived in asceticism utterly in the spirit of the early fathers. he went with his uncle to the Holy Mountain and lived as a solitary in a barren place called 'the Holy Rocks'. He was at first a prefect in the capital. at the age of eighty. Renowned for his wisdom. Constantinople. 81 . The people glorified him.3. St John Chrysostom (the Golden-Tongued). Studying Greek philosophy. When he entered into rest. and. He wrote a book: 'On the Priesthood'. the jealous loathed him. When the Patriarch ordained him.

The holy Apostles John and Peter again appeared to him at the time of his death. to cleanse him from his sin. Our Holy Father. in a place called Comana in Armenia. Then the angel of God led him to the way out from Paradise. There was such a stench from them that people in the street could scarcely pass in front of her house. Firmilian. were suddenly blinded. were his last words. making the sign of the Cross and calling out to the Turks that their faith was false. When the angel asked the cause of his sadness. until the Emperor Theodosius translated Chrysostom's relics to Constantinople. Nicephorus. Philip immediately responded to the call of Christ and followed Him (John 1:43). the Martyr Damascene. and entered into the eternal joy of God eternal. so punishment and reward here on earth are but a shadow of that true. prayed to God after the saint's death that He would reveal to him where Chrysostom's soul was. The greatest persecutors of God's holy hierarch Chrysostom were Theophilus. he was first named Diamantis. Instructed in the Holy Scriptures from his youth. for he stands beside the throne of God. Patriarch of Alexandria and the Empress Eudoxia. he traveled to Constantinople and went into the mosques. harsh punishment fell on them both. But what happened to Chrysostom after his death? He was rewarded with a reward such as God alone can give. were worshipping idols with shouts and dancing. She followed the martyrs when they were taken to the scaffold. There was a great 82 . Manetha was a Christian maiden. Then a bitter repentance grew in him. and she finally died in filth and agony.407. eternal punishment and reward. pastors and teachers of the Church. The Holy Martyrs Antoninus. Desiring martyrdom. and with them the soul of Saint John Chrysostom the Patriarch entered into Paradise. He led a dissolute life in his youth. naming each of them. but they did not see John there. the Arab bishop who received the exiled Chrysostom into his house in Cucusus.Church Calendar 1. But God's hand was even heavier upon her after her death. together with the angelic company of the cherubim and seraphim. After Chrysostom's death by martyrdom. The Jewish leaders. whose aim it was to kill Philip. 3. where this took place. the governor of Palestinian Caesarea. Adeltius. and found themselves in total darkness. and he went to the Holy Mountain where. he was as though taken out of himself. His relics are preserved on Halki. unguents and incenses in an attempt to mitigate the stench from the stricken Empress. Of his relics. and Adeltius was very downcast. He was beheaded before the gateway of the Phanar on November 13th. Eudoxia soon fell ill of an incurable disease. and the Empress Eudoxia was driven from the court by the Emperor Arcadius. even embracing Islam. Once. as were Peter and Andrew. when he was at prayer. the head is preserved at the monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos. The Holy Apostle Philip. Herman and Manetha. and saw a youth bathed in light. but with little success. 'Glory to God for all things!'. where the Jews sought to kill him but the Lord saved him by the might of His wonders. and that Jesus Christ is God and Lord.Civil Calendar November 14th . Theophilus went mad. Doctors made use of the most fragrant perfumes. was so enraged at the action of these three Christians that he ordered that they be beheaded forthwith. But. He was born in Bethsaida near the Sea of Galilee. They all suffered in the year 308.' November 27th . FOR CONSIDERATION Both punishment and reward are in the hands of God. at one of their feasts. 2. in whose church he received Holy Communion for the last time. John Chrysostom. in the monastery of the Holy Trinity. 1681. and also the holy martyr Basiliscus (see May 22nd). as this earthly life is but a shadow of the true life of heaven. Philip preached the Gospel with zeal in many regions of Asia and in Greece. Adeltius replied that he was very distressed not to have seen his teacher. among those there. and was herself seized and burned to death. The first three were watching one day how the pagans. Born in Galata in Constantinople. The youth led him to heaven and showed him the ranks of the hierarchs. and they came out before the crowd and began to preach the one God in Trinity. sores opening all over her body and worms coming out of the wounds. After the descent of the Holy Spirit. as a monk. The coffin containing her body shook day and night for thirty whole years. The angel answered him: 'No man who is still in the flesh can see him. he lived for twelve years in strict asceticism in the Lavra of St Athanasius.

On the Eve of the Feast of St Antony the Great.earthquake. while the brethren all went to church. Stachys had been cured of blindness and baptised by Philip. but to be with the brethren is sometimes necessary. you must pay your debt and not neglect such a gift. at the age of eighty. A youth then appeared. He summoned the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553. and finally overcame him. completing his secular studies. Justin. His relics are preserved in Salonica. of which by far the finest was St Sophia in Constantinople. He entered peacefully into rest in 1359. and himself published strict laws against immorality and licentious behavior. or are you not aware that it is a gift of God's grace?' To this. God made this clear to him in a strange revelation: One day. St Antony the Great. He was consecrated Metropolitan of Salonica in 1347. and lived according to his belief. Justinian's great kingship is inseparably linked with his deep Orthodox faith: he believed. he was probably a Serb from the Skoplje region. Gregory replied: 'But. 3. Many other wonders were wrought. St Philip's relics were later taken to Rome. on the throne in 527. and the wicked pagans seized Philip and crucified him upsidedown on a tree. of which he spent one year in slavery to the Saracens in Asia. and the wine as signifying the knowledge of dogma. both as a hierarch and a wonderworker. to whom should I give it?' Then the young man said to him: 'Even if there are none thirsty for such a drink. having been blind for forty years. to the joy of all the monks. He collected and published the Laws of Rome. he neither ate bread nor drank wine. This reveals his high sense of love for his fellow men. St Justinian. In the Phrygian town of Hierapolis. In the Great Fast. if there is no one in these days who knows the need of such a drink. little by little. Gregory saw himself holding in his hands an overflowing bowl of milk which. being glorified both as an ascetic and a theologian. the earth opened and swallowed up the judge and many others with him. did not want to go into imperial service at court. and there studied and wrote. and then crucified Bartholomew also. and said to him: 'Why do you not share with others that wonderful drink that you are wasting so carelessly. which was first sung in the Liturgy in 536. and the earth opened and swallowed up Philip's wicked persecutors. but ate only vegetables and drank water. Gregory shut himself in a monastery a second time. and died peacefully on November 14th. St John Chrysostom and angels of God all appeared to him at different times. St Gregory Palamas. The terrified people ran to take the crucified apostles down. and built a great many beautiful churches. became changed into wine that spilled over the lip of the bowl and soaked his hands and clothing. but they succeeded only in taking Bartholomew down alive.' Gregory interpreted the milk as signifying the ordinary knowledge of the mass of the people with reference to moral life and conduct. Gregory's father was an eminent official at the court of the Emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus. St Philip worked for the Gospel with John the Theologian. He composed the hymn: 'O only-begotten Son and Word of God'. Archbishop of Salonica. entering into the Kingdom of the heavenly King. and entered into the Kingdom of Christ. 83 . St Dimitrios. by which many of the pagans came to faith in Christ. his own sister Mariamna and the Apostle Bartholomew. This called forth the fury of the benighted people. bathed in light. The most holy Mother of God. At this. which the pagans fed with care and worshipped as a god.' Convinced by this vision. The gifted Gregory. Emperor of Byzantium. God's Apostle destroyed the snake with prayer as though with a spear. the monks called him to the Vigil service but he stayed to work in his cell. He governed the Church in Salonica for twelve years. This wonderful Apostle suffered in the year 86. being half-asleep. but withdrew to the Holy Mountain and became a monk. He was successful in both his wars and his deeds. Bartholomew made Stachys bishop for those baptised in the city. When he had spent three years in silence in a cell near the Great Lavra. There was in that place a dangerous snake. in the time of the Emperor Domitian. He waged war against the heretic Barlaam. St Antony suddenly appeared to him and said: 'Perfect silence is good. where there is a beautiful church dedicated to him. A Slav by birth. the time came for him to go among men and help them from his amassed knowledge and experience. living in asceticism at Vatopedi and the Great Lavra. Philip had already breathed his last. Gregory at once went to the church. St John the Theologian. especially the healing of the sick. He succeeded his uncle. FOR CONSIDERATION St Gregory Palamas learned much through heavenly revelations. 2. 565. He made war against the barbarians of the Danube only because they castrated their captives.

One example of this is the great Emperor Justinian. who was to marry a Goth serving in the Greek army. there is room in this land for us both. giving courage to the faithful who came to them for counsel. Elpidius was a senator. she put her hand into her bosom to bring it out. but God meant it unto good" (Gen. Samonas and Abibus. come and let us meet face to face. in the flames. when the church was opened. were condemned to death and beheaded with the sword in the year 322. though. the Cross was yet again missing from the house. took hold of her and. They suffered for Christ in the time of Julian the Apostate (361-363). in an instant. the slayer of his brother. gave his spirit into God's hands. She told her father what had happened. in 1182. and they appeared to her in the grave. darkness and great hardship. carrying the image of the most holy Mother of God. She took it down. Seeing the way he was tortured and the miracles he wrought. King Milutin. not as his wife. They were then brought out again and tortured afresh. Anna saw a light in the forest. Gurias and Samonas were eminent citizens of Edessa. After the death of his father. They were seized and taken before the judge. Anna took this Cross home. to reign over the people in the fear of God and with justice. tucked it into her bosom and carried it home. FOR CONSIDERATION God most often gives victory in battle to the peacemakers. but take her as his legal wife. He was. The Feast of the Icon of the Mother of God of Kupyatich. When she drew near to that light. take second place in the kingdom as the second son. The Holy Martyrs Elpidius. Stephen took the bandages off his eyes and was joyfully proclaimed king by both the nobles and the people. Setting aside your resolve. under the wicked Emperor Licinius (who ruled the eastern half of the Empire until 324). and all the villagers went off to see the Cross and do it reverence. on the following day. This icon first appeared to a girl called Anna in the village of Kupyatich. raised an army against Stephen. 50:20). she again saw the selfsame Cross in exactly the same place. His mother took his unharmed body from the fire and buried it together with those of Gurias and Samonas. but it was not there. already married. On the following day. he treated her. I say to you: "You thought evil against me. Stephen then wrote to him in the following terms: 'You have heard what has happened to me. the lover of his brethren. in fact. Marcellus and Eustochius. after the tradition I have inherited. they hid outside the city and lived in fasting and prayer. and returned to her flock. carried her from the land of the Goths to Edessa. Simonida's son and Stephen's younger brother on his father's side. and many wonders were performed by this Cross bearing the image of the Mother of God. how I received my sight by God's providence. in the Minsk region. The slave implored the holy martyrs with tears to save her. was tortured for Christ his Lord and. a deacon in Edessa. I am not Cain. but as a slave. as they remained steadfast in the Christian faith. This icon is now to be found in the Church of St Sophia in Kiev. but a friend of Joseph. Christ's holy martyrs replied: 'If we observe the imperial decree. While keeping the sheep. But Constantine. Receiving God's mercy.Civil Calendar November 15th . But Constantine took no 84 . but.' Thus wrote the holy king. 3. that works in all things for good. the girl was found by the tomb of the saints.Church Calendar 1. 2. They alerted the whole village.November 28th . I have inherited my father's throne. the Goth swore over the grave of the martyrs that he would do no ill to the girl. and he went out. When she went to show the Cross to her father. As the mother was concerned at the thought of sending her daughter to a distant land. To her utter amazement. and the story of her miraculous deliverance was heard. she caught sight of a smallish Cross on a tree. one is especially remembered: A widow in Edessa had a young daughter. At the time of a persecution of Christians. who threatened them with death if they refused to observe the imperial decree on the worship of idols. and. and do not be a stranger to your paternity. until his lawful wife died. enduring hunger. to their church.' They were thrown into prison after harsh torture. and were there confined from August 1st to November 10th. The Holy Martyrs Gurias. Of the manifold miracles of these wonderful saints of God. we shall be lost even if you do not kill us. and placed their wonderworking relics in one coffin. saw the Cross in the forest and took it home. When he took the girl back to his own land. The people quickly built a church there. six thousand pagans came to belief in Christ the Lord. Later Abibus. Christians built a church in honor of these three martyrs. In the words of this latter. When the persecution had ended. He then agreed with his kinsman that he should bury his living slave along with his dead wife. and another the holy King Stephen of Decani.

he spoke truly. who was venerated by all. or to all Christians? If it applied only to monks. serving the Church in a manner pleasing to God. and gives it to all Christians without distinction of monk or layman. it is said that he never ate meat. King of Bulgaria. but threw down their weapons in terror and returned home.Church Calendar 1. and it was very soon translated into Greek. Matthew baptized the wife and son of the prince of that land. being a young man.unfortunately. Bear in mind how hard you will find it to answer for innocent blood. then. both the Apostle and the angel underlined the commandment that all Christians must pray to God without 85 . and himself withdrew to prayerful solitude on a mountain. in the elder's presence. The prince then went himself. not only for monks. he consecrated as bishop one Plato. The Holy Apostle Matthew the Evangelist. Of this Evangelist.18:1) apply only to monks. but the power of God kept him alive and unharmed. The saint appeared to Bishop Plato and told him where to find his body in its coffin. He entered peacefully into rest on November 16th. not with the mighty. The soldiers went off.' November 29th . When Plato died. hold your peace and advise others to do the same. The prince then sent a second guard. FOR CONSIDERATION Does the Lord's commandment about unceasing prayer (Lk. In Ethiopia. where the Lord appeared to him. his spiritual eyes remaining closed.notice.' Thus. only on the physical plane. at the age of ninety-two. When this guard drew near to the Apostle. 2. and gave his spirit into His hands. But the Apostle had a kind heart: he prayed to God and the prince's sight was restored . Dragutin's son. the Apostle Matthew appeared to this Matthew and counseled him to accept the episcopate. Turn your weapons on the enemies of the name of Christ. After receiving the Holy Spirit. There lived in those parts a well-known ascetic. Our Holy Father Sergius of Malopinega. So also was Vladislav. the Aramaic original being lost. the prince was baptized and received the name Matthew. the elder Job. he lived a godly life and served for twenty-two years in the Vologda region. So he became a bishop. 'God is with the righteous. He was a Russian parish priest. don't doubt the truth of Gregory's words. Gregory. 9:9). When Job had returned to his cell and was standing in prayer. a follower of his. It has come down to us in Greek.Civil Calendar November 16th . such radiance shone forth from the saint that the prince was blinded on the instant. But the worst of all happened with Michael Shishman. and said to him: 'Old man. Seeing this new marvel. Matthew preached the Gospel among the Parthians and Medes and in Ethiopia. After that. Stop shedding Christian blood. and was beaten in battle by Stephen. he followed Him (Matt. asserting that unceasing prayer was a necessity for all Christians. he shone with a heavenly radiance so brilliant that the soldiers were unable to look at him. but returned to the prince. then. Matthew the son of Alphaeus was at first a tax-collector. He then set aside all earthly vanity and became a priest. Then the Apostle prayed to God. 1585. saying that they had heard Matthew's voice. The prince commanded that the martyr's body be put into a leaden coffin and cast into the sea. but fed only on vegetables and fruit. St Matthew the Apostle wrote his Gospel in Aramaic. that he who robs another loses that which he has. the Apostle would not have written to the Christians in Salonica: 'Pray without ceasing' (I Thess. The Apostle. He seized St Matthew and put him to harsh torture. an angel of God appeared to him in great heavenly glory. the land of the negroes. but had been unable to set eyes on him. and not for all Christians. quoted the Apostle's words. and withdrew in silence. St Gregory Palamas lived for some time as a young man in a monastery in Beroea. The elder Job replied to these words.' Michael scoffed at this letter from the holy king. reiterates the Lord's command word for word. and was a good shepherd for many years. saying that the Jesus prayer is a necessity only for monks. twice lighting a fire on his chest. and the bishop went and brought them back. ceded the argument. and not on Christians. As a priest. until God took him to His immortal Kingdom. and was utterly routed at Velbuzhd in 1330. and there provided an opportunity for the Lord to voice some great truths about His coming to earth. So. calm your wrath and let there be love between us as there was between our parents. Matthew prepared a feast in his house. It happened at one time that St Gregory. another pretender to the Serbian throne. When he approached Matthew. 5:17). Know also. at which the prince was greatly enraged and sent a guard to bring Matthew before him for trial. not wishing to quarrel. and it was as such that the Lord saw him in Capernaum and said to him: 'Follow Me!' Leaving everything. Stephen wrote to him: 'Remember the meaning of Christian love.

he desired to consecrate himself utterly to Christ. when Gregory was standing in the market place with the most famous teachers and philosophers. so that she would go away at once. he spent many years. and to an icon of hers that stood nearby. and. When he departed this life. in the depths of your heart. in great old age. Bishop of Neocaesarea. and this called forth envy and hatred among his peers. as he kept and preserved it to the end of his life. with just seventeen Christians. a dry well was miraculously filled with oil. the bishop of Amasea. and followed him as abbot. with whom he studied for several years and by whom he was baptized. and she began to writhe on the ground in convulsions. One day. If not unceasingly in church. and told him not to be downcast. St John gave him the Creed that is known by Gregory's name. the whole town was Christian. Here is a man of God and a mighty wonderworker. This miracle was ascribed to the most holy Mother of God. and asked a friend who was with him to give her what she asked. The innocent Gregory blushed. who was called a second Moses! Born of wealthy and eminent pagan parents. A monk of Vatopedi. His friend did so. how can we tire of thanking Him for these good things? If He is constantly thinking of us. he was exceptional among the dissolute youngsters of those days. were divided into two camps: some being scandalized and others infuriated at the shameless woman. healed every sort of pain and ill. The bystanders. and they chased her away. St Gregory the Wonderworker. why do we not think constantly of Him? November 30th . as would any innocent man in the face of such coarse slander. the whole town was composed of pagans. His fame spread abroad everywhere. But she began to shout even more loudly in her demand for money. together with St Peter and St Alexis. particularly Origen of Alexandria. and he hid in the wilderness from those sent to find him so that they failed in their quest.ceasing. then unceasingly in every place and at every time. He entered into rest on November 17th. where. gnashing her teeth and foaming at the mouth. 3. By his agency. but showed neither resentment nor hatred. wanted to make him Bishop of Caesarea. He finished his earthly course in the year 270. and Phaedimus. became invisible to his persecutors and had insight into both distant events and men's thoughts. At that moment.Church Calendar 1. Phaedimus consecrated him by devious means. If God does not for a moment tire of giving us good things. he turned to Christian teachers. When the barbarians fell on Russia. the departed Metropolitan of Moscow. Our Holy Father Gennadius of Vatopedi.* Who can enumerate the miracles of this second Moses? He commanded evil spirits. While he was still at the school of philosophy in Alexandria. Finally. at her command. *The Nicene Creed. in painful asceticism. In this. Gregory at first studied Hellenic and Egyptian philosophy. they found a harlot and sent her to carry out their evil designs. he had the obedience of steward. All the 86 . Pure in soul and body. together with St John the Theologian. but. this harlot came up to him and began to shout demands for payment by Gregory of debts incurred by immoral relations with her. he prayed to God to preserve the Russian people from this misfortune. FOR CONSIDERATION The following examples from the life of St Gregory show how God guards and preserves the righteous from assaults. for the invasion was by God's permission for the good of the people. The most holy Mother of God appeared to him. To bring Gregory down. to whom the monastery is dedicated. to which end he withdrew to the desert. hearing this. St Gregory kept his purity of both soul and body. that Gregory was instrumental in establishing at the Second Ecumenical Council in 381 Translator. and gave the woman the money she demanded. commanded mountains and waters. When he arrived in Caesarea as bishop. with just seventeen pagans. and Gregory had to accept the work of a shepherd. 1426. but that it would pass and peace would reign once more. He therefore received a wreath of glory from his Lord in the heavenly Kingdom. He was a disciple of St Sergius of Radonezh. seeing its barrenness and insufficiency.Civil Calendar November 17th . God sent an evil spirit upon that woman. The discerning Gregory was warned of Phaedimus' intention. St Sergius appeared to him. Our Holy Father Nikhon of Radonezh. 2.

and the girl went out of her mind. were filled with fear. and received a wreath of eternal glory. true God. When the warders marveled that Plato could live without food for so long. At this. When there was an idolatrous feast.' He was finally beheaded with the sword in about 266. From the town of Ancyra in Galatia. and at one time preached the Gospel in Antioch. 'that your inhumanity and my endurance may be the more clearly seen. The monk silently presented the other cheek. turn to him the other also' (Matt. and you do not. Among other tortures. Far from being humiliated. Holy Romanus was a deacon of the Church in Caesarea. This is the briefest and dearest teaching on humility.' When the torturer spoke to the martyr about the philosopher Plato. At that moment. When the monk entered the house. The imperial soldiers caught sight of them and followed them. For this. but holy Gregory. he replied: 'I am not like Plato. and she became calm and rational. but I by holy prayer. kindly as a lamb. When a fierce persecution of Christians arose. for he knows the true God. The Holy Martyrs Romanus and Barulas. the evil spirit cried out with a great shout and left the girl. December 1st . Plato was thrown into prison. you rejoice in wine. Plato did not conceal his faith in Christ the Lord. O Governor. 2. and God immediately made them invisible to their persecutors.' The furious governor put Romanus to torture. They are not gods. 'Torture me more harshly'. Even in his youth. and especially that God would help and heal the mad girl. he said to them: 'You are satiated by food. saying that he was a pagan philosopher. When the monk 87 . The Holy Martyr Plato. was going into a pagan temple to offer sacrifice. except in our names. and said to Asclepiades: 'This little child has more understanding than you. together with his deacon.Civil Calendar November 18th . when they went to the house. Someone told the despairing father that no one would be able to heal his daughter but monks. Plato replied: 'There are two deaths: the temporal and the eternal. St Gregory advised the Christians to hide. returned empty handed. then. and the woman was healed and got to her feet. The soldiers searched the vicinity in vain. the mad girl suddenly leapt in front of him and struck him a blow on the cheek. for trial. he could ask them to pray to God for all its occupants. while he teaches the wisdom that is folly before God. he showed great perfection in every virtue. Agrippinus. Thus both these martyrs inherited the Kingdom of Christ. old man. solitaries. and Romanus be strangled in the prison. who lived in the desert and came to Alexandria from time to time to sell the baskets that they had woven: but that none of them would go into the house of a rich nobleman in case he was asked why he was there. being unable to find them. where he spent eighteen days without bread or water. When the governor began to urge him to escape death and save his life by worshipping idols. he was brought before the governor. The father did this: he went to the bazaar on the agreed day. Gregory prayed to God for help. then. There was a rich nobleman in Alexandria who had a young daughter into whom an evil spirit entered. 5:39). true God. Then Asclepiades commanded that little Barulas be beheaded with the sword. Wicked demons fear no one so greatly as the man filled with the Lord's commandments. and he confessed his faith in Christ the Lord as the one. commanded the Lord. It would be best for him to buy their baskets and invite them to his house to be paid. and the governor of Antioch. prayed to God for her.bystanders. and was harshly tortured by him. cried the martyr to the torturers.' After that. Asclepiades. and he. when you go to the idols. denouncing idolaters for their bowing down to dead creatures in place of the living Creator. He quickly bought the baskets and asked the monk to go to his house for payment. I learn and teach the wisdom that is of Christ. seeing this. Gregory thus received the greater glory. which came to pass in the year 303. and his unbelief in the false idols. and he was flogged and flayed without mercy'.Church Calendar 1.' The governor began to question Barulas about his faith.' Then Agrippinus put him to harsher torture. but I in Christ the true Vine. nor he like me. hid on a hill. he was born and brought up a Christian. and that his flesh be cut into strips. he saw a child called Barulas. he commanded that red-hot cannon balls be placed on his naked body. and found one of St Macarius' disciples selling baskets. for Christ is the only. FOR CONSIDERATION 'Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek. but preached it openly. and there are two lives: the one transitory and the other without end. Romanus stood in front of him and said: 'You sin.

his body fell dead to the ground and his soul went to the eternal rest of his Lord and Saviour.Civil Calendar November 19th . hunted down all the prophets of God. God. Barlaam. Lo. Joasaph finally succeeded in bringing his father to Christ. true God. Joasaph was son and heir to King Abenner. and to put such pressure on him that he would offer sacrifice to idols. The judge decided to use ridicule. When he had been baptized. He lived nine hundred years before Christ. By God's providence he was visited by the elder Barlaam. one day. Fleeing thus. and the priest?' When his hand had burned off. and God saved him.' Chrysostom writes: 'The angels looked from the heights. 3. King Abenner lived a further four years in deep repentance (for he had committed grave sins in his persecution of Christians) and then finished his earthly course and went to the better life. and his palm was burned through and fell to the ground with the fire. While undergoing harsh torture. feeding them till the persecution was over (I Kings 18:4). living a hundred years in all. and would not cast it before the idols. though the flames consumed it. The judge cried to him that some sort of magic had done that. The young Joasaph entrusted the kingdom to his friend Barachias. fulfilled his desire. the elder went off into the mountains to live in asceticism. A contemporary of the great Prophet Elias. who would not wish to see a man who made such an ascetic endeavor and did not feel that which it is common to man to feel. and Heliodorus emerged alive. until his fingers were burned and fell off. surpassing in truth all human nature. 'for. said St Basil the Great. still the hand held the fire as ash. brought many to the true Faith and entered into the eternal joy of their Lord. But this heroic soldier of Christ held the fire on his palm. when the king turned away from true worship and bowed down to idols. His one desire on earth was to see his spiritual father. When the wicked Queen Jezebel. but. and called: 'Bless me. he looked down and saw two bears. for the scene was majestic. he heard a voice from heaven: 'Fear not. he fell into a pit and grabbed hold of a tree. and Joasaph remained to wrestle with many temptations in the world and to overcome them by the grace of God. a man who was himself the altar of sacrifice. where he lived a further thirty-five years. Our Holy Fathers Barlaam and Joasaph the Heir. in his mercy. I am with thee!' Thrown into a white-hot copper ox. They both had great love for the Lord Jesus. he told the elders what had happened. St Joasaph handed over his kingdom at the age of twenty-five and went into the desert. After that. and they all glorified God. December 2nd . The white-hot ox was suddenly cooled. and thus involuntarily offer them incense. but to this the martyr replied: 'My magic is Christ!' He was then beheaded and went to the Lord.Church Calendar 1. The Holy Prophet Obadiah. Obadiah took a hundred of them and hid them in two caves. He was from the town of Magidus in Pamphylia. he prayed fervently to God. and.returned to the desert. and himself went off into the desert to live in asceticism for the sake of Christ. Obadiah revered him greatly and hearkened to him in all things. Obadiah lived at the court of King Ahab. 'He had a right hand stronger than fire'. but continued to serve the one. and the sacrifice. and entered peacefully into rest. 2. once more. and was harshly tortured by the dishonorable judge for his faith in Christ the Lord. The Holy Martyr Heliodorus. Obadiah did not follow the king's example. He accordingly took him to the temple and applied fire to his palm. and was tortured for the Christian faith in the time of the Emperor Aurelian (270-75). The Holy Martyr Barlaam. putting incense on the fire with the thought that the martyr would be forced by the pain to throw the fire and incense from his hand in front of the idols. He was born in Antioch. Joasaph stood before Barlaam's cave. Thinking he was out of danger. They were Indian ascetics. one black and one 88 . who taught him the Christian faith and baptized him. FOR CONSIDERATION A tale by the elder Barlaam to Joasaph: A man was fleeing from a unicorn. who gives such great power to those who fulfil His commandments. This glorious and heroic elder suffered in the year 304. 4. the archangels beheld. Father!' The elder Barlaam lived in asceticism in the desert for seventy years. being a follower and pupil of his. because of her feud with Elias.

forgetting all the danger that encompassed him. They suffered for Christ the Lord in about 313. two of their friends. the small honeycomb in the tree is that small sweetness that life offers to man. and entered into the eternal Kingdom of Christ. which from Adam till now pursues a man to kill him. When they were led out to the scaffold. two unusual events occurred. which alternate in order to shorten our days.Church Calendar 1. Sergius and Maria. St Isaac. It happened at times that his face was lit up with heavenly light. From that time. Many of the greatest and most beautiful buildings fell in the terrible earthquake. his parents desired him to marry. 4. The first was the translation of the relics of St John Chrysostom from Comana to Constantinople. Philotheus was ordained priest. He was born in Constantinople at the time that his father was an envoy from the King of Armenia to the Byzantine court. later received the true Faith from Anthimus. He then saw four smaller. a terrible persecution broke out under the Emperor Maximian. and Philotheus' three sons were taken for trial. The soldiers then beheaded their dead bodies. It then returned. While they were still talking. Angels appeared to them many times in the prison. He was the tenth Archbishop of Armenia. when will men learn not to be enraptured by this empty sweetness. The child soon died and was buried in the Church of St Irene. Looking upwards through the tree. a child was miraculously lifted up high into the air. Wherever he found himself. He was born in Isaurian Decapolis of eminent and devout parents. stretched out his hand to reach that small sweetness in the tree. all the people in the procession began to sing it. Holy Mighty. have mercy on us!' Hearing this song. Then the Patriarch. but he fled to the desert and became a monk. 3. and carried them off to show the judge. this wonderful hymn was adopted by the Church. and landed gently on the ground. which. he was consecrated Bishop of Cyzicus in 426. and that angels of God appeared to him. and died peacefully in Constantinople in the ninth century. and as such governed the Church for fifty years. the tree is the path of our life. together with the Emperor and many of the clergy.Civil Calendar November 20th . His 89 .white. Patriarch of Constantinople. Tried. the nobles and the people. The second event was the earthquake in Constantinople and the surrounding country. he saw a small honeycomb in the branches. Looking even further down. the child replied that it had been lifted up to heaven among the angels. and on Mount Olympus. A disciple of St John Chrysostom. In his time. the holy martyrs gave their souls into God's hands. the white and black bears are day and night. interrogated and tortured in various ways. the four poisonous snakes are the four elements of which our bodies are composed. the huge and terrible snake is hell. When he and his wife had died. Philotheus and Eusebia. He lived in various places: in Byzantium and Rome. Oh. He lived a long and godly life. was waiting to devour him when the tree had been felled. he looked upon the beauty of the angels and heard their blessed singing. The Holy Martyrs Eustace. St Proclus served as hierarch for twenty years. who. and in 435 was chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople. Our Holy Father Gregory of Decapolis. the pit filled with all sorts of dangers is this world. Archbishop of Armenia. St Proclus. Palladius and Acacius. Holy Immortal. and the earthquake ceased at once. Bishop of Nicomedia. These three were brothers from Nicomedia. giving them manna for food and filling their youthful hearts with strength and courage in endurance. finally becoming invisible to the eye. When he had finished his schooling. with jaws wide open. and had heard them sing: 'Holy God. gnawing alternately and with great persistence at the roots of the tree in an attempt to gnaw them through and bring the tree crashing down. came up to them and began to speak with them. at the desire of both the Emperor and the Patriarch (the Emperor Theodosius the Younger was on the throne at that time. he made men marvel by his asceticism and miracles. Thespesius and Anatolius. of pagan parents. and. and forgetful of the terrible dangers that surround them and draw them down to eternal ruin? December 3rd . The interpretation is this: the unicorn represents death. he saw a huge and deadly snake. they were finally condemned to death. poisonous snakes around his feet. made a procession. Asked where it had been. and entered peacefully into rest in the Lord in 446. While they were praying in this procession. his soul entering into the joy of his Lord. He governed the Church of God as a wise hierarch. together with their three sons. 2. with his sister Pulcheria).

Civil Calendar November 21st . received the priest's blessing. met her and. and went to the Lord. a kinsman of hers in Nazareth. and returned home. the holiest place of all. There were fifteen steps leading to the Temple. When St Proclus was a novice with Patriarch Chrysostom. Proclus went to inform the Patriarch. taking her by the hand. Maidens went ahead with lighted candles in their hands. If Paul had interpreted them himself. but into the Holy of Holies. live in virginity and thus fulfil both her desire and the demands of the Law. Her parents stood the Virgin on the first step. This being contrary both to the Law and Israelite custom. her parents. and how he could have got to him unannounced.Church Calendar 1. Proclus. Proclus indicated the icon of the holy Apostle Paul. they did not find the journey difficult. St Theophylact of Ochrid says that Zacharias was 'transported in mind and moved by God' when he led the Virgin into the chief place in the Temple. into which none could enter except the High Priest. When Chrysostom asked him if such and such a nobleman had come. followed by the most holy Virgin. one day. The holy Virgin Mary was the first to do this. The Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Mother of God. beyond the second curtain . took her from Nazareth to Jerusalem to give her to the service of God in fulfillment of their promise. Proclus told the nobleman to come again the next evening. had not dared to disturb him because of the elderly. Lo. Many of Joachim and Anna's kinsmen gathered to take part in this celebration. Behind them walked many of their kinsfolk and friends. without entering into marriage. but. where the High Priest. The Three Holy Persian Maidens. but. she was confided at the age of twelve to St Joseph. he could have done no better. December 4th . like those of the 'king's daughter'. the fruits of which healed all manner of pains and ills. history tells us that it was Paul himself who interpreted them through the mind and pen of Chrysostom. and that only once a year. It had obviously been the Apostle Paul himself. directing the pen of his great interpreter. leaving the most holy Virgin in the Temple. his obedience was to keep him informed of visitors. and longed to remain in the Temple for the rest of her days. holy Joachim and Anna. under the protection of betrothal. The same thing happened the next night. Proclus replied that he had been waiting three nights already. looking through the open door. Zacharias. led on either side by her father and mother. He was told in a vision that Armenia would. by the translation of the Scriptures into Armenian. and Proclus wondered the more. 90 .otherwise there could be no explanation of his action. Three fig trees grew over their graves. the holy Virgin was left an orphan. When they departed this life. Her parents then offered sacrifices to God according to the Law. and she ran quickly to the top on her own. Orthodox faith. going as they were on God's work. he saw a man leaning over the Patriarch and whispering in his ear while he was writing. This nobleman came to beg St John to be an intermediary between himself and the Emperor. fall away from the pure. FOR CONSIDERATION No other mortal man has interpreted the Epistles of the Apostle Paul with so much depth and love as St John Chrysostom. in which the invisible angels of God also took part.episcopate was distinguished. all bearing lighted candles. 5. She dwelt in the Temple for nine whole years. the Bride of God (Ps. A certain noble was slandered to the Emperor Arcadius. It was three days journey to Jerusalem. these three maidens were persecuted as Christian and finally beheaded with knives. In the days of King Sapor.10). and the Emperor drove him from the court. for it was unknown in Israel at that time for a girl to vow perpetual virginity. and he was utterly astounded. When the most holy Virgin Mary had reached the age of three. among other things. and himself wondered how that man managed to be with the Patriarch. The Virgin was clad in royal and beautiful garments. The astonished Chrysostom said that he had been unaware of anyone's having been with him the preceding three nights. It continued a third night. led her not only into the Temple. When he asked the novice for a description of the old man. This great hierarch entered peacefully into rest in 440. but that he. 44:9. This went on throughout the night. While her parents were alive. they visited her often. and was later followed by thousand upon thousand of virgin men and women in the Church of Christ. the father of St John the Forerunner. and said that the man had been like him. so that she might. bald stranger who had been whispering in the Patriarch's ear for the whole three nights.

and was consequently thrown into prison. St Cecilia suffered with the others in about the year 230. This was something strange and wrong in the monk's eyes. Born in Rome of rich and eminent parents. I am with thee. to the Faith. He was again seized and brought to trial. Both brothers were very soon condemned to death for their faith. There. he worked as a linen-bleacher. and then himself to live a life of virginity. he met an angel of God. Holy and Righteous Michael the Soldier. Three days later. during those three days that she suffered for Christ. the prison opened of itself and he went out. When the judge asked her whence came her daring. The angel answered him gently: 'The man was pleasing to God in all things. and he asked the angel why he had done such a thing. In the Orthodox Church. Valerian also brought his brother Tibertius to it. While the monk was on the way. whose life he recorded. old man. Embracing the Christian faith. his shackles melted like wax. God put the thought into his head to go a long way to visit an aged spiritual guide and ask him about this. and do not pry too closely into His judgements. 91 . and then he was beheaded. for that can send you out of your mind. being caught in kerchiefs and bowls by the faithful to use for healing. He was named 'Xanthopoulos' after the cell of that name on Mount Athos. giving them food on a silver platter. Valerian. and had nothing in his house that he had acquired unjustly except that silver plate. Vowing life-long virginity to God. that the man might be righteous in all things before God. and so was called 'the Bleacher'.Church Calendar 1. He was inhumanly tortured: his fingers and toes were cut off. who welcomed them warmly.FOR CONSIDERATION Submit yourself to the will of God. St Kallistos wrote of his personal experience of a life of silence in a book containing a hundred chapters. Together with this Ignatius. His severed head glowed at night like a lamp. Kallistos was greatly influenced by his teacher. St Kallistos. prayed to God that He would reveal to him His various judgements in the lives of men. having unwearyingly won over many pagans to the Christian faith. Travelling thus together. In the time of the Emperor Decius (249-251). she had a firm faith in Christ the Lord and a great zeal for the Faith. Her relics are preserved in the church dedicated to her name in Rome. they came upon the house of a God-fearing man. wanted to visit the elder. saying: 'Fear not. but failed to kill her. The Holy Martyr Cecilia. The Holy Martyr Menignus. This book holds a very important place in ascetic literature. St Cecilia buried their bodies together and was then herself taken for trial. Born on the Hellespont. in the semblance of an ordinary man. 3. she had won over four hundred souls. In one evening. too. holy Cecilia wore a rough hair-shirt underneath the costly raiment that her parents gave her. And you. who accompanied him and told him that he.' December 5th . A monk in the desert. these two brothers succeeded in bringing the captain of the guard. but their zeal did not falter in the face of death itself. Such things are the mysterious and unfathomable judgements of God. The executioner brought the sword down on her neck three times. By God's judgement. When they forced her into marriage with a pagan. and they all three suffered together for Christ the Lord. where he lived for a long time in asceticism with his friend Ignatius. the angel took the plate and threw it into the sea. When they had eaten. thinking he had achieved perfection. he tore up the imperial decree on the persecution of Christians. she spent the first night urging her newly-wedded bridegroom to go to Bishop Urban for baptism. to rejoice with him in eternity. I threw away that stolen plate. she sang praises to the Lord. she was condemned to be beheaded with the sword. 4. St Cecilia is regarded as the patron of Church Music because. 2. he only wounded her and the blood ran down from her wounds. St Gregory the Sinaite. she answered: 'From a pure conscience and an unquestioning faith. Maximus. Christ's martyr and virgin gave her spirit into the hands of her Lord.' At that moment. Taken to the scaffold.' After harsh torture. Patriarch of Constantinople. go back to your cell and don't exercise yourself foolishly in trying to examine that which is in the power of the one God. The judgements of God are innumerable and unfathomable.Civil Calendar November 22nd . the Lord Himself appeared to him and encouraged him.

he saw the angel in great light and unspeakable beauty. Among many other works. Maximus also. of his devout parents Chariton and Theodota. she said to him: 'I want to show you a mystery. whom you cannot see. was chosen as bishop in a wonderful way and was saved from slander in a wonderful way. and Amphilochius was chosen in a wonderful way and consecrated as Bishop of Iconium. Archippus and Apphia. at the time that these two brothers were beheaded. he will kill you. and marveled at his wisdom and daring. 5. as a solitary. how you do not tolerate a slight paid to your son? In the same way. this righteous man entered into eternal life. After a few days. saw holy angels and spoke with them. Very soon after that. He entered into rest in 395 in great old age. the Emperor Theodosius commanded that Amphilochius be instantly driven from court. and was a great spiritual guide and ascetic. He is standing here ready to defend me. He went to Jerusalem in a wonderful way. from assault. Valerian begged Cecilia to show him the angel.Church Calendar 1.' Hearing this.' Hearing this. Their lives are recorded on February 19th. He was a marvelous shepherd and a great defender of the purity of the Orthodox faith. If you only touch me. God the Father does not tolerate dishonor paid to His Son. but to the pure. the Emperor understood the reason for Amphilochius' seeming disrespect towards his son. and against the Arians and the Eunomians. and carrying them to heaven with great glory. When St Cecilia had been led to the bridal chamber with her new-wedded husband on the first night. Infuriated by this. called down imprecations on himself from the executioner and the assembled people. he lived in asceticism for forty years. but in 1206 the Emperor Kalo-John translated his relics to Trnovo. FOR CONSIDERATION In vain does one strive to learn if one does not strive for purity of faith and life. Amphilochius did reverence to Theodosius. but the Emperor did not comply with his request. After severe temptations. He himself was a great wonderworker.He was a Bulgarian by birth. and being angered at that accursed Arian heresy.Civil Calendar November 23rd . Amphilochius came before the Emperor again. and you cannot see His angel until you are cleansed of the foulness of your unbelief. St Amphilochius. like beautiful maidens from the bridal chamber. Bishop of Agrigentum. he went into the Greek army to fight against the Hagarenes in Ethiopia. 92 . the guardian of my virginity. So also Tibertius. whom he had taken as co-Emperor. his handmaid. for he was greatly pleasing to God. He killed a poisonous snake and freed a maiden. With his friends. There is standing here an angel of God. that he too might see it. He personally begged Theodosius the Great to drive the Arians out of every city in the Empire. The Holy Apostles Philemon. taking their souls from the bodies of the martyrs. he entered peacefully into rest at the end of the sixth century or the beginning of the seventh. He lived and died in the ninth century. and went to immortal life. The episcopal throne in Iconium then fell empty. sitting at his right hand. His whole life was woven through with God's wonders. When the bishop was taken into the presence-chamber. Valerian's brother. The heavenly world is revealed not to the learned. saying: 'I see angels of God bathed in light like the sun.' When Valerian had been baptized. there displaying an extraordinary fearlessness. He took part in the Fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 553. Amphilochius wrote several books on the Faith. The saint then said to the Emperor: 'Do you see.' But that which he saw was invisible to the unbelievers and the impure. A fellow-countryman and friend of St Basil the Great and other great saints of the fourth century. and took part in the Second Ecumenical Council in 381. 2. He was first buried somewhere in Thrace. but ignored Arcadius as though he were not there. He was born in Sicily. turning with loathing from those who blaspheme against Him. The maiden replied: 'You are a man that does not know the true God. O Emperor. Amphilochius early forsook the bustle of the world and withdrew to a cave where. St Gregory. when he had been baptized and had changed his way of life from impurity to purity. He fought zealously against Macedonius. their fellow-sufferer. Entering the room. the Emperor was sitting on his throne with his son Arcadius. Bishop of Iconium. December 6th . near the town of Agrigentum (where he was later bishop).

exceptionally well-educated in Greek philosophy. 1703. The daughter of King Constus. St Katherine came with daring before him and denounced his idolatrous errors. when he came out of church with the people. and then took him under escort to Rome.Church Calendar 1. Holy Gregory was returned to his diocese. Sabinus and Crescens. today being the commemoration of the translation of his relics to the city of Vladimir. summoned fifty of the wisest men. 310. then. and also the Empress. brought Katherine to the Christian faith. Holy Gregory of Agrigentum was in all things righteous and pleasing to God. to their greater glorification. God let misfortune come upon him. Sabinus and Crescens. St Katherine received a ring from the Lord Jesus Himself as a sign of her betrothal to Him. and after that the Lord Christ Himself appeared to her. she was not able to testify. ascetic and patriot. The woman became mad. the evil spirit leaving her forthwith. The Emperor. stopping and breaking the wheel on which she was being tortured. through her spiritual father. she brought Porphyrius the general. for misfortune overcome reveals both the glory of God and the glory of the righteous. and put them to shame. along with the other slanderers -. The Holy and Great Martyr Katherine.more than a hundred of them -. to whom Gregory had done much good. and received with great exultation by his people. and was brought before the Council as one demented. after this slander. and added great physical beauty to this. his heart was drawn to God from his youth. At St Katherine's martyrdom. but. On that occasion.3. Katherine was beheaded with the sword at the age of eighteen. He overcame the Swedes on the river Neva on July 15th. 4. and kept Gregory in prison for two years without trial. an angel of God appeared to her. seeing that she surpassed him in wisdom and learning. Augusta-Vasilissa. He entered into rest on November 23rd. an evil spirit had taken up residence in her and put her in its power. After many tortures. They shut him up in prison. when Gregory was in church. The Tartar Khan valued him for his wisdom. all confessed the name of Christ at the moment of death. that it cannot abide virtue). He built many churches. found a notorious harlot and bribed her to slander Gregory. Her mother was secretly a Christian and. A famous Russian hierarch. at St Katherine's prayers. When the martyr was in prison. FOR CONSIDERATION God permits misfortune to come upon the righteous. Bishop of Voronezh. Her wonderworking relics are preserved on Sinai. whence he took the name 'of the Neva'. In a vision. Gregory was calm. and his physical strength and beauty. As a madwoman. medicine. They all suffered for Christ. before judgement was given by men. Sabinus and Crescens. strengthening her. he refused to sacrifice to idols or pass through fire. St Alexander of the Neva (Nevsky). December 7th . and performed innumerable works of mercy. and they were punished with exile. The Pope believed his slanderers. she lived with her mother in Alexandria after her father's death. this woman appeared from his room. a like misfortune to that which overtook St Athanasius and St Macarius: two priests. He entered into rest at the age of forty-three. rhetoric and logic. 1263. His wonderworking relics were discovered in 1832. on November 24th. saying that he had had immoral relations with her.Civil Calendar November 24th . on November 14th. to dispute with her about faith and put her to shame. but Katherine was wiser than they. These wise men. God gave His. Milk flowed from her body in place of blood. and prepared for whatever suffering might come. to the Faith. and proclaimed themselves Christians. he was first a friend and then a strong critic of Peter the Great. 1240. This ring remains on her finger to this day. could not abide his virtue (for such is the nature of guilt. A Council was then summoned to look into the affair. The furious Emperor commanded that all fifty wise men be burned.suddenly found their faces turned coal-black. St Mitrophan. Katherine was greatly gifted by God. their kinsman. the woman hid in his bedroom and. Once. 93 . Ss Boris and Gleb appeared to one of Alexander's generals and promised their aid to the great prince. Gregory the wonderworker prayed to God for her and she was healed. She testified through her tears that she had been bribed to slander the man of God and that. with two hundred of his soldiers. Among the Golden Horde of the Tartars. These two priests then began to revile Gregory as an immoral man. The son of Prince Yaroslav. When the wicked Emperor Maxentius offered sacrifice to idols and ordered everyone to do the same.

FOR CONSIDERATION A tale of the elder Barlaam to Joasaph: In a certain town there was a local custom. The Hieromartyr Clement. His father then went off to find his wife and sons. that they then send. he would end his days. and pestered her incessantly. like goods. The citizens would then choose another king. incense-like fragrance. and then his father also. and himself disappeared. while this one is from Alexandria. the Apostle Peter found Clement's aged mother. Thus the whole family was reunited. off to a distant island. during the course of the year. Born in Rome and of royal blood. Finally the Emperor pronounced the sentence that General Mercurius be beheaded with the sword in Cappadocia. on the contrary. Faustinus and Faustinian. where he had neither bread nor roof nor companionship. When they had crowned him king. being then twenty-four years old. there was in the army the commander of an Armenian regiment called the Martesians. and continued to live there in an even better way than he had as king of the town. and he was stripped naked and cast onto the island. He discovered from his servants what happened to the king of the town at the end of a year and therefore.Church Calendar 1. Author's note: This Mastridia is apparently not the same as the one who is commemorated on February 7th. When the year had passed. She lived in Alexandria and led a solitary life of prayer and handwork. Mercurius did not deny this before the Emperor. then a fourth and so on. into the other world to await them there. fed him sumptuously and surrounded him with every luxury. gold and precious stones.2. It came to pass at one time that they chose a very wise and prudent man. and from it there arose a wonderful. In the battle. He was most terribly tortured: cut with knives in strips and burned in a furnace. Mercurius displayed a wonderful courage. December 8th . also a stranger and also for only a year. namely the choosing as king a stranger who did not know their laws and customs. the inhabitants represent the evil spirits. and seeing that it would not be easy to shake off this dissolute youth. going naked of all good works to hell. Bishop of Rome. After this glorious victory. In Alexandria. 3. who was living as a beggar-woman. he was a contemporary of the apostles. mowing the enemy down like grass with his sword. but openly acknowledged it. but some jealous men denounced him to the Emperor as a Christian. do many good works. and they all returned to Rome as Christians. who was already being followed by his two brothers. The latter is from Jerusalem. the foolish and wise kings are men. He replied: 'Your eyes!'. This commander was called Mercurius. and where. they arrayed him in exquisite and costly robes. By God's providence. St Mastridia once asked him what it was in her that most attracted him. he found himself in the midst of an enormous quantity of food. but an angel of God appeared in the prison and healed him. and where they reign in greater splendor and beauty than they did on earth. they deposed their king. set off eastwards to look for his parents and brothers. put a sword in his hand and told him that he would overcome the enemy. Determined not to sin against God. and this one put out her eyes. he made the acquaintance of the Apostle Barnabas.Civil Calendar November 25th . The interpretation is this: the town represents the world. This glorious soldier of Christ suffered for the Faith some time between 251 and 259. The latter fled from scandal to the desert. silver. zealously collected food and goods and all sorts of everyday necessities together on the island. an angel of God appeared to Mercurius. Thus she preserved her own peace and the young man's soul. counting it eternal and losing all in the end in death. When they beheaded him. then a third. his body became as white as snow. Clement remained 94 . and Mastridia took the needle with which she was sewing and put out her eyes. A young man became consumed with lustful passion towards her. When a year had passed. The foolish think only of their comfort in this life. in want and abasement. The Holy and Great Martyr Mercurius. His mother and two brothers were caught by a storm on a voyage and driven to different places. The wise. When the Emperor Decius was once making war on the barbarians. the Emperor made him supreme commander of his army. Clement. and afterwards became a friend of the Apostle Peter. who repented deeply and became a monk. stripped him of all his goods and his royal robes and drove him. completely naked. The Holy Maiden Mastridia. Many of the sick were healed by his wonderworking relics.

where Clement found about two thousand exiled Christians.Church Calendar 1. He also prophesied that first Achilles and then Alexander would follow him as Patriarch.linked with the great apostles. By his prayers. whole families often perishing on the scaffold. Peter prayed to God in the prison.and then Clement. yet more wonderful. and died a martyr by the grave of the holy Apostle Mark in 311. and built a church in honor of St Euphemia. Be careful not to receive him into communion with the Church. the robber chief repented and forsook his brigandage. climbed up onto it and 95 . the people whom I bought with My blood. He has torn it. and cried out: 'My Saviour. When the faithful expressed their disapproval of the fact that their hierarch never sat in his own place. who made him bishop before their death. and so I do not dare to go up and sit on it. and he was to them a living source of comfort. because he is turning My people from Me. he replied: 'Whenever I come up to the throne. Here he erected a Cross. I see a heavenly light upon it. a strange light illumined the prison. and was for a time a teacher at Origen's famous school of philosophy. Six hundred and seventy Christians suffered in Alexandria in his time. Our Holy Father Paphnutius. His wonderworking relics were taken out of the sea only in the time of Ss Cyril and Methodius. and the chief of the band forced him to drink a cup of wine. then Cletus . Near the church. he served in the church in that city with Bishop Theodore. He came to the archiepiscopal throne in 299. and drowned in the sea with a stone round his neck in the year 101. The Lord Himself appeared to this great and wonderful saint in prison. He was the disciple and successor of St Theonas. who had appeared to him in a dream. 3. and this came to pass. for his thoughts are evil and devilish about Me and My people. who were all put to the hard toil of cutting stone in an arid region. he was from his youth dedicated to the service of God. so brilliant that He could not be gazed upon. Archbishop of Alexandria. The Christians welcomed Clement with great joy. when unbelievers were attacking the faithful from without and heretics from within. Before giving him any answer. as demonic visions had been seen there.Civil Calendar November 26th . for he was false and evil. a city in Paphlagonia. from day to day. Linus was bishop in Rome. St Peter drove him from the Church and anathematized him in both this world and the next. as though to hide His nakedness. Born in Hadrianopolis. At this time. The Lord was clad in a white garment that was torn down the front from neck to hem. St Peter had another. He governed the Church in an acutely difficult period. Archbishop of Alexandria. St Peter was greatly troubled and horrified. The Hieromartyr Peter. and the Lord Jesus appeared to him as a twelve-year-old boy. He was clutching the garment round Himself. The Emperor Trajan drove him out to Cherson.' Hearing this. To prevent the further spreading of the Christian faith. desiring a solitary life of prayer and meditation. Seeing this. He was once seized by robbers. Seeing Paphnutius' goodness. he built a high pillar. As a deacon. He governed the Church of God with burning zeal and.' Besides this vision. While he was lying in prison. But. Clement was condemned to death. St Peter replied to his priests Achilles and Alexander that they should not accede to Arius' request. Our Holy Father Alypius the Stylite. but sat at the foot of the steps up to it. in light more resplendent than the sun. 2. He never drank wine. he brought water from the dry ground and converted so many of the pagan inhabitants to Christianity that there were seventy-five churches built in that place in one year. Alypius withdrew to a Greek cemetery outside the city.both of them only for a short time . While he was praying. who has torn Thy garment?' The Lord replied: 'That madman Arius. thereby giving him the opportunity of spreading and confirming his heresy. December 9th . Arius did this solely because he counted on Peter's being killed and himself inheriting the patriarchal throne. Arius was troubling the faithful with his false teaching. the infamous heretic Arius pretended that he had repented of his heresy and sent word to the captive Peter that he had rejected his errors and asked to be received back into the Church. brought large numbers of unbelievers to the Faith. FOR CONSIDERATION It is related of St Peter of Alexandria that he never sat on the patriarchal throne. from which people fled as from a place of terror. He set seven scribes to record the lives of the Christian martyrs who were at that time suffering for their Lord. and the saint anathematized Arius in both worlds.

that he might. St Clement of Rome studied the whole of Greek philosophy. and his soul remained empty and unsatisfied. Alypius was a great and mighty wonderworker. But Alypius courageously defended himself against this diabolical power with the sign of the Cross and the name of Jesus. This saint endured endless assaults from the demons. he desired with his whole soul to discover if there was another. both in his lifetime and after his death. performing many wonders in the name of Christ. Nikon indeed left all for the sake of Christ and went to a monastery. His mother and sisters lived in the women's monastery. 4. Two monasteries were built beside his pillar. and thus became known as 'the Preacher of Repentance'. Finally. Our Holy Father James the Solitary. he was a fellow-countryman and contemporary of St Alypius. receiving baptism and giving himself utterly to the service of the Church of God. come to positive knowledge concerning life beyond the grave. As a preacher. 5. based entirely on Christ risen from the dead. and constantly tormented himself with the question: Would he see them again in another life? The allseeing God so guided him that he met a man who spoke to him of the Christians and their belief in life beyond the grave. He performed great wonders. 2. A Syrian. and his wonderworking relics were discovered in 1804. in the time of Emperor Heraclius. This man of God had such grace that he was often bathed in heavenly light. He lived in asceticism under the open sky and fed on soaked lentils. St Alypius guided the monks and nuns from his pillar by word and example. only to have an undivided love for his Lord. 14th) and a contemporary of St Simeon Stylites. 19:29). because of this. but also stoned him and gave him no peace day nor night for a long time. Of his holy relics. 3.spent fifty-three years there in fasting and prayer. Clement scorned all the conjecture of philosophy and sincerely embraced the Christian faith. the head is preserved in the monastery of Koutloumousiou on the Holy Mountain. Our Holy Father Nikon. and inherit eternal life' (Matt. This roused the young Clement to set off at once from Rome for Judea. Our Holy Father Stylianus. He died in 1731. They not only tried to terrify him with demonic apparitions. and his face became radiant like the sun. where he became a monk. there in the very cradle of the Christian faith. Drawn by the Lord's words: 'He who forsakes father or mother will receive a hundred-fold. He was born in Armenia. he was a disciple of St Maron (Feb. he covered the whole of Anatolia and the Peloponnese. the Preacher of Repentance. From Paphlagonia. he left the monastery and went to preach the Gospel to the people. he entered into rest in the year 640. on one side for men and on the other for women. but no certain proof. an angel appeared to take his soul. The Emperor Leo asked him for his thoughts on the Council of Chalcedon. As then. He had a great love for the Lord Jesus and. and shone like the sun in the sky for them all. At the time of his death.Civil Calendar 96 . He mourned for his lost parents and brothers. even raising the dead in the name of Christ. and a pillar of this light stretched above him to heaven. Neither the mockery of men nor the evil demons could drive him away or shake his purpose. FOR CONSIDERATION Many learned pagans have come into the Church of Christ and received baptism because the Church preaches immortal life as an established fact and not as some conjecture of man's understanding. and men began to revere him and to come to him for his prayers. December 10th . Living for a hundred years. When he heard the preaching of the Apostle Peter. the vanquished demons left him and fled. He rejected all things. comfort. St Innocent of Irkutsk. As a young man of twenty-four. gave himself to strict asceticism. He entered peacefully into rest in the year 457. Philosophy had given him the thinking of various people. showing them the way of salvation. He was a great wonderworker both before and after his death. so today: he who has a firm faith in the risen Christ and a clear certainty of life beyond the grave will endeavor to fulfill all of God's commandments. better life than this. and was of special help to sick children and childless parents. When he had become perfected in all the virtues. He went peacefully to his beloved Lord in Sparta in 998. teaching and healing. He incessantly cried: 'Repent!'.

Thou didst give Thy spirit into the hands of Thy Father. he said: 'A vine is pruned thus. He lived in the fourth century and followed the ascetic life in various places. and hast made me worthy to offer Thee my six fingers. Moved by this letter. his shoulders and finally his head. little by little. He had many disciples. he said: 'Receive. 3. These Christian monks suffered in India under King Abenner. Yezdegeherd. The Holy Martyr James the Persian. O Lord. Our Holy Father Romanus the Wonderworker.' At the fifth: 'May my rejoicing be as great as that of the five wise virgins at the marriage. their tongues cut out and their arms and legs broken before they were beheaded with the sword. and was enlightened by pondering on the things of God. which the king also worshipped. The pursuers did not catch him. then his toes. fleeing the praise of men. His head is to be found in Rome. and I offer Thee thanks for the suffering of this ninth finger. A Nitrian monk. 2. that new growth may come in its time. but seized seventeen other monks and brought them before the king. and I bless Thee that Thou hast made me worthy to endure the cutting-off of the fingers of my two hands for the Ten Commandments written on the tablets of stone. the repentant martyr gave thanks to God. the Son. the second branch of Thy sowing. He lived in asceticism in the vicinity of Antioch. Flattered by the king. He entered into rest in the Lord in the second half of the sixth century. The Seventeen Holy Fathers Martyred in India. Our Holy Father Nathanael. and added that his body was to be cut to pieces. what wonderful faith and love! Oh.' As the fourth was cut off: 'Thou who acceptest praise from the four beasts.' At the eighth: ' Thou Thyself.Church Calendar 1. Inflamed with anger against the elder Barlaam for having baptized his son Joasaph. he was brought up in the Christian faith and married a Christian wife. A fragrance came from his wounds as of cypress. and their eyes were first put out. O Lord.' At the ninth: 'At the ninth hour. the princely soul of this prince of Christ's! 97 . accept the suffering of these four fingers. Born in the Persian town of Elapa. He helps childless women when they ask his aid. his legs and arms. O Lord. But the Christian faith in the Indian kingdom was only the more strengthened by the blood of these glorious soldiers of Christ the Lord. A contemporary of St Cassian (Feb. didst rest on the eighth day. James was deluded and offered sacrifice to idols. During the entire process. who didst at the sixth hour stretch out Thy most pure arms on the Cross. of Christian parents.' When they cut off the next finger. he prayed to God both day and night. He died peacefully. 4. 5. and courageously confessed his faith in Christ the Lord before the king. upon a ten-stringed lute. who glorified Thee seven times a day. The executioners fulfilled this command of the accursed king to the letter. he was a great Egyptian ascetic. The king condemned them to death. wrote him a reproachful letter in which they grieved over him as an apostate and one spiritually dead. begging him at the end of the letter to repent and return to Christ. O Lord. where he is commemorated on May 22nd. so do I today glorify Thee with these seven fingers. Thus this wonderful man repented of his sin.' As the third was cut off. O Lord. His mother and wife. he said: 'I bless the Father. or Vilat. hearing of this. He never kindled a fire in his cell. and his soul went to Christ his God in the heavenly Kingdom. or lit a candle. loved James for his gifts and for his skill. The furious king condemned him to death. and was a wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death. who strove to emulate the lofty example of their teacher. He did not cross the threshold of his cell for thirty-eight years.' At the seventh: 'Like David. James repented bitterly. O my Christ. The Persian king. cut off for Thy sake. FOR CONSIDERATION When the executioner cut off St James' right thumb. and first cut off James' fingers. and made him a noble at his court.November 27th . King Abenner sent men in pursuit of Barlaam. He suffered in about 400.' At the sixth: 'Praise be to Thee. 19th). Our Holy Father Pinuphrius.' Oh. until he changed his faith.' At the tenth: 'I sing to Thee. and a part of his relics in Portugal. and the Holy Spirit.

and then taken to Constantinople. 3. 2. go in peace. of which the sixth and youngest was not yet weaned. beating and buffeting him. Stephen showed himself to be a zealous defender of the veneration of the holy icons. Leo the Isaurian. As Stephen the Protomartyr had suffered at the hands of the Jews. The Emperor Copronymos urged her to say that she had had physical relations with St Stephen. a light sleep fell on her in which she saw the holy Virgin. A harsh fate overtook the Emperor Maurice: Phocas dethroned him and condemned him to death together with all his six sons. they followed the whole order of church services as in a monastery. solely to break Stephen and to get him out of the way. The Holy and Devout Emperor Maurice. he incurred the resentment of a Turk who slandered him to the judge. In the course of selling his fruit. calling on all who were on the Emperor's side to stone this 'enemy of the Emperor'. When Copronymos' men urged St Stephen to reject the veneration of icons and thus please the iconoclast Emperor. His holiness drew many disciples to him. so this Stephen suffered at the hands of the iconoclast heretics. in fulfillment of your prayer. She was whipped for this. and was crowned with unfading glory. and heard her voice: 'Woman. and then thrown into prison. In the prison. The six boys were flogged one after 98 . The demented Emperor listened to various slanders against Stephen. The saint foresaw his death forty days before. saying that he had promised to embrace Islam and then retracted. and was glorified forever in the Kingdom of Christ our God. This glorious soldier of Christ suffered in the year 767. he took out some money that he had concealed under his belt. He received the monastic habit at the age of sixteen on Mount St Auxentius near Constantinople. He was an Albanian Christian living in Constantinople. I would shed it for the icon of Christ!' The Emperor Maurice had six sons. whom she venerated as her spiritual father. After interrogation. you have a son in your womb. he was urged to eat. When the Emperor Constantine Copronymos began to persecute the icons even more ferociously that his foul father. and the saint breathed his last.Civil Calendar November 28th . FOR CONSIDERATION The reading of examples of steadfastness in the Faith and the greatness of soul of the saints of God makes us steadfast in faith and great of soul. taking on himself labor upon labor. and took his leave of the brethren. saying: 'It is better for me to go before my Christ fasting.Church Calendar 1. For this youngest son. A woman of gentle birth. Stephen stretched out his hand. Stephen remained on that mountain in strict asceticism. at the age of fifty-three. Stephen was exiled to the island of Proconnesus. There he met three hundred and forty-two captive monks.' Anna indeed conceived and bore a son. Our Holy Mother Anna. The Emperor's servants took him from the prison and. He was beheaded by the Turks in 1748. but this holy woman refused to become involved in the Emperor's intrigues against the saint. from whom he learned divine wisdom and asceticism. he was put in chains and thrown into prison. the Emperor kept a wet-nurse at the court to feed it. put in chains and cast into prison. but he refused.December 11th . so Anna the mother of Stephen prayed God to give her a son. Our Holy Father. she was tonsured as a nun after her husband's death by St Stephen the New. the Martyr Stephen the New. in order to humiliate him before the people. The Holy Martyr Christos. The wicked Emperor condemned Stephen to death. at the hands of the elder John. this holy Stephen.' After that. One of the heretics aimed a blow at the saint's head with a piece of wood. 4. As aforetime Hannah the mother of Samuel. where she gave her holy soul into God's hands. and gave it to one of the captives with the request that he use it for several liturgies to be celebrated for his soul. dragged him through the streets of Constantinople. radiant like the sun. and himself devised a number of intrigues. Praying thus at one time in the Blachernae church in front of the icon of the most holy Mother of God. brought from all ends of the kingdom and thrown into prison for their veneration of icons. When John entered into rest in the Lord. and was a gardener by profession. clenched his fist and said: 'If I had in myself only a fistful of blood. He was murdered along with his six sons by the Emperor Phocas in 602. In prison.

there passed along the road running beside the temple a respected man called Paramon. The Holy Martyr Apollonius. 3. However. suddenly and unexpectedly. then cried out: 'Oh. he was beheaded for Christ the Lord in 182. The foul-tempered elder daily groused and grumbled at Acacius. King of Armenia. 30th). with prayer in his heart. was ferociously persecuting Christians. my disciple. He stopped beside the group of bound men and learned what was happening. They suffered in the year 250. A well-known pastor and teacher. and the holy elder called out: 'Brother Acacius. he confessed it before the entire senate. The Emperor's youngest son grew up believing his nurse to be his mother. The elder buried him and then went off to lament to another elder. Aquilinus. he replied : 'Well. that he might in this way requite the innocent baby that had been put to death in his place. After that. He at first persecuted Christians with great ferocity. Acacius died.the other before their father's eyes. the Emperor Maurice was himself beheaded. So. replied: 'I am not dead. and 370 others with him. 5. He died peacefully in the fourth century.' They then both went to the dead man's grave. The young Acacius was a novice with an evil elder in the monastery on Sinai. but bore it all patiently and with trust that it would work for his salvation. and often beat him. the obedient cannot die. Bishop of Corinth. Denounced for his faith. 2. but God's punishment fell on him and he went mad and became like a beast. He once seized three hundred and seventy Christians and took them with him in bonds to some place where there was a temple to the god Poseidon. not a single one of the Christians submitted to it. tormenting and ill-treating him in every possible way. Acacius did not complain. that the sinners may fear and the righteous be encouraged. the governor.Church Calendar 1. he became very serious. They caught up with him and seized him. obedient even in death. how many innocent and righteous men does this foul governor desire to slaughter because they will not bow down to his dumb and dead idols?' Paramon then continued on his way. The Holy Martyr Dionysius.Civil Calendar November 29th . 'The Ladder'.' 'I don't believe it. Here. He was a Roman senator. where he became a monk and consecrated himself to God. and at that moment resolved to preserve one of them alive. then deliberately left the world and withdrew to Mount Sinai. When people saw his bruises and asked him how he survived. is dead. When she revealed the secret to him. it sometimes falls much later. great sons of God and innocent lambs. and the furious governor sent servants to kill him. 'Acacius is not dead. He was a contemporary of Diocletian. she handed over her own son. for which he was beheaded in the year 186. were beheaded with the sword and thus entered into the immortal Kingdom of Christ the Lord. FOR CONSIDERATION God's punishment often falls on sinners immediately after they have sinned. first piercing his tongue with a thorn and then stripping him and stabbing him all over. When the nurse had to hand over the youngest to be murdered. are you dead?' The obedient Acacius. when they went to drag the child from her breast.' replied the holy elder. 4. Holy Paramon. where he spent the rest of his life in repentance and prayer. with true greatness of soul. Although he threatened with death any who refused to obey his command. Our Holy Father Acacius of Sinai. The Holy Martyr Paramon.' Then the evil elder repented and shut himself in a cell near Acacius' grave. At that time. After nine years of obedience and illtreatment. these three hundred and seventy martyrs. as happened aforetime to Nebuchadnezzar. In Asian Bithynia. Finally. that sinners may 99 . the wicked governor tried to force them to offer sacrifice to idols. St Tiridates. gave his soul into God's hands. she. as before the Lord God'. From that time until his death. mourned over the fate of the unhappy Emperor and his children. a holy man. St Gregory miraculously healed him of his madness (see Sept. St John Climacus records the life of this saint. In his famous book. December 12th . saying: 'Acacius. Tiridates spent his life in repentance and devotion. and he was beheaded.

in Kiev he raised the Cross on high and prophesied a Christian future for the Russian people. When the soldier acknowledged that he had received healing from the holy icons. King Tiridates was healed. King Tiridates. and was immediately healed. a learned man from Tyre called Meropius traveled to India. he brought the whole of Abyssinia to the Faith during his lifetime. it became maddened under him. His relics were translated to Constantinople. St Andrew left his first teacher and followed Christ. in Thrace. then in the lands along the Danube. but. He took with him two young Christians. This light lasted for half an hour and. except at those times when repentance takes the place of punishment. when John pointed to the Lord Jesus and said: 'Behold the Lamb of God' (Jn. St Athanasius consecrated Frumentius bishop. Frumentius described the situation in Abyssinia to the Patriarch and sought pastors to bring the people to the Faith. After that. In the city of Patras he performed many wonders in the name of Christ and brought many to the Lord. the iconoclast Emperor Copronymos summoned this soldier and questioned him. After the descent of the Holy Spirit. and the wild Abyssinians killed all the people from the ship except these two brothers. finished his earthly course. Greece and the Peloponnese. among whom were the brother and wife of the imperial governor. The people wanted to take him down from the cross.know that God forgets nothing. Edessius and Frumentius. the Apostle gave his holy soul into God's hands. In the time of the Emperor Constantine the Great. the ship foundered in a storm on the Abyssinian coast. it fell to the lot of the first of Christ's apostles. and at his prayers. Finally. While he was still alive on the cross. The two brothers then took ship. Frumentius began to preach the Christian faith. and this wonder was spoken of on all sides. FOR CONSIDERATION 100 . at first fairly cautiously. a persecutor of Christians. St Frumentius. infuriated by this. Greece and the Peloponnese. but he would not let them. The reason for his madness and the means of restoring him to sanity were revealed to his devout sister in a dream. Punishment sometimes follows as quickly on sin as day does night. 1:36). Stephen told him to venerate the icons of Christ and the Mother of God. to be healed by his prayers. among friends and admirers. Edessius to Tyre to his parents and Frumentius to Alexandria. the Enlightener of Abyssinia. brothers called Edessius and Frumentius. and sometimes as slowly as year follows year. St Gregory was taken out of his pit. but his head was later taken to Rome and one hand to Moscow. but King Balthazzar saw the hand that wrote his deadly fate at a time when he felt himself at ease at a wedding feast. They lived in Abyssinia for several years and succeeded in entering the service of the king. when it disappeared. The Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. Aegeatus. A gravely-sick soldier was brought to St Stephen the New. Aegeatus. he brought many people to the Faith and gave them bishops and priests. Epirus. who first of the twelve Great Apostles came to know the Lord and followed Him. Later. Andrew brought his brother Peter to the Lord. when the king and his entourage had gone hunting for pleasure. 2. St Andrew suffered for his Lord in the year 62. madness suddenly fell on him. the Apostle prayed to God and a strange radiance surrounded him. threw him off and trampled him with its hooves until he gave up the ghost. and was ashamed of his faith in the icons. where he suffered. The soldier did this. This great pastor of Christ's flock and enlightener of Abyssinia died peacefully in the year 370. in Russia and around the Black Sea. and he returned to Abyssinia where. The terrified soldier repudiated his veneration before the Emperor. born in Bethsaida and a fisherman by profession. and entered into the Kingdom of his Lord. and finally in Epirus. He was the son of Jonah and brother of Peter. to Patriarch Athanasius the Great. This is an example of a punishment that follows immediately on the sin. The earth swallowed up Dathan and Abiram immediately after they had sinned. But it never fails to come. On the journey.Civil Calendar November 30th . In Byzantium he installed St Stachys as its first bishop. Thus the firstcalled Apostle. St Andrew.Church Calendar 1. the Emperor furiously began to rebuke him for his veneration of them. and became convinced that the land was ripe for such preaching. Hearing of it. by his zeal and his miracles. and he went unpunished. repented and received baptism. December 13th . When this soldier left the court and mounted his horse. to preach the Gospel in Byzantium and Thrace. put Andrew to torture and then crucified him. He was first a disciple of St John the Baptist. threw St Gregory into a deep pit and killed thirty-seven holy nuns. the Apostle of Christ taught the Christians who were gathered round him.

But he prayed to God. the Empress Irene was on the throne with her young son Constantine and. having blessed them and instructed them to cleave to God and His Law. The Emperor was well-pleased with her and took her to wife. This means: all gifts. thus bringing the people to the Faith in great masses. the daughter of Hypatia. Holy Nahum lived for forty-five years before going to his rest in the Lord. and of his inability to plough with only one ox. and God had protected them and not destroyed them. and went on with his charitable works with trust in the Lord who has said: 'Blessed are the merciful. prophet. if they showed no repentance. As an evangelist. leaving us a small book of his true and genuine prophecies. And. his face shone like the sun and a sweet fragrance arose from his body. forsaken his parents. The envious king then asked him: 'You lived among us for so many years.and. but. warning them that. Philaret did not become proud in this change of fortune but. remaining thus for the rest of his days. This righteous man of God went to his rest in 797. as a result of his constant almsgiving. From the village of Amnia in Paphlagonia. when he saw how the cow pined after her calf. with gratitude to God. flood and fire that its location is no longer known. for the sake of Christ. through consecration at the hands of Athanasius. And so the aged Philaret was left hungry in an empty house. We see this in the life of the great Apostle Andrew the First-Called: how he is apostle and evangelist. so Philaret unharnessed his own and gave it to him. just as our forefather Jacob did aforetime. as a pastor he founded and organized many churches. and brought Philaret and all his family to the capital. as in all the others.Church Calendar 1. a man came to him with the news of the death of his ox in harness. He gave away his remaining horse to a man who was called away to battle. By divine Providence. We see in this apostle. Nahum foretold their doom. and miracles were worked over his relics. This was by a gift of the Holy Spirit that is not given to all. gave the man the cow as well. allowing him to be shamed in his hope.'All is given to the apostles'. these men happened upon Philaret's home and beheld his very beautiful and modest grand-daughter Maria. all the fullness of the grace that God gives to all the faithful is given to the apostles. and how he had. At the age of ninety. and the saint then explained to the king how he had. performed still greater deeds of charity than before. When he had done this. he called all his children to him and. in accordance with the custom of the time. and they took her to Constantinople. the grace of wonderworking. The people of Nineveh had repented after hearing Jonah's preaching. When he returned to Abyssinia from Alexandria as a consecrated bishop. But. on top of this. The entire city was so utterly destroyed by earthquake. the Empress sent men through the whole Empire to find the best and most distinguished maiden to wed her son. received the grace of priesthood. as a teacher he tirelessly taught right up to his crucifixion. The Holy Prophet Nahum. Born of the tribe of Simeon in a place called Elkosh. FOR CONSIDERATION 101 . and we never saw you work such wonders. he was a martyr. he became utterly destitute. God does not abandon the righteous man. showering honor and wealth upon them. That every act performed by a follower of Christ must be supported by grace is testified to by St Frumentius. for they shall obtain mercy'.Civil Calendar December 1st . marriage and the whole world. He was not afraid of poverty. 2. St Philaret the Merciful. he began to perform great wonders. he lived seven hundred years before Christ and foretold the fall of Nineveh two hundred years after the Prophet Jonah. paying no attention to the disapproval of his wife and children. they would receive no protection. December 14th . foretold to each of them how their lives would develop. as a prophet he prophesied the baptism of the Russian people and the greatness of Kiev as a city and as a center of Christianity. they came to forget God's mercy and turned again to evil. he went to a monastery and there gave his soul into God's hands. At that time. Once. but that of the grace of the priesthood'. Philaret was at first a man of some substance. on the further side of the Jordan. with the passage of time. says St John Chrysostom. Whence is it that you do so now?' To this blessed Frumentius replied: 'This is not my action. 4:11). and the calf from his remaining cow . entrusting himself to Him. when he was ploughing in his meadow. he carried the good news of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth. the fullness of the grace of the Holy Spirit. His wife and all his children and grandchildren lived and died in the Lord. all powers. and then on the cross till his last breath. At his death. pastor and teacher (Eph.

The son of King Dusan. the poor and helpless. Myrope'. for the hand would find whatever God in His providence had given. and placed in the Cathedral beside the bodies of Prince Lazar and Despot Stephen Stiljanovic. and thou shalt soon be with us and receive the crown prepared for thee'. The Holy Prophet Habakkuk. when he was carrying lunch to the workers in the fields. On the prince's orders. At the end of the feast. It is omitted in the Hebrew Bible. A sweet fragrance came forth from her body and filled the whole prison. 1367. but to give whatever was in the hand when it came out of one's pocket. the courageous Myrope took the body away secretly and buried it in a special place. and is to be found in the Apocrypha under Bel and the Dragon). However. and cast into prison covered with wounds. Killed by men. he was glorified by God. who brought about his death. Habakkuk went into the land of the Ishmaelites. and brought them to the feast. the wretched. and foretold the devastation of Jerusalem. during the Second World War. St Myrope entered into eternity in the year 251. The passion of this holy virgin took place soon after the passion and death of the soldier-martyr Isidore (May 14th). 'take the dinner which God hath sent thee!' And Daniel took it and ate. He sat them down at table and told his wife and sons to serve them. he meant the Lord Christ Himself. he prophesied six hundred years before Christ. appeared to her. The wicked prince Numerian heard that the martyr's body had been stolen. St Philaret was no less generous in poverty than he was in wealth. One day. When his grand-daughter became Empress. and so they worked especially hard to prepare the feast. the despised. Hearing that innocent people were to suffer for her act. Whoever begins to practice the virtue of compassion knows and acknowledges no limit. in the time of King Manasseh.' cried Habakkuk. he becomes yet more thirsty and seeks to drink more and more often. 'Peace to thee. The holy martyr was filled with joy. blessed Myrope came before the authorities and confessed that it was she who had taken the martyr's body and buried it. 'O Daniel. and threatened to execute the guards. His wonderworking relics were preserved in the monastery of Jazak in the Fruska Gora. pious and gentle. December 15th . His relics were discovered during the reign of Theodosius the Great. Habakkuk preached and prophesied about the liberation of Jerusalem and the coming of Christ. he refused to attempt to restrain the power of the powerful nobles by force. carry the meal that thou hast into Babylon. The Holy Martyr Myrope. But the Lord did not leave His martyr comfortless. and by the 'great men'. he told his wife and children to prepare the most lavish feast they could. Then the angel of God again took hold of Habakkuk and carried him back to his field in Judea. over an immense distance. and there suffered for Christ.Virtue is like a thirst. 2. whence they were taken to Belgrade in 1942. he became a rich man once again. neither do I know where the den is' (Daniel 14:33 in the Greek text.Civil Calendar December 2nd . Philaret went around the streets and gathered all the poor. Everyone thought that the old man meant to invite his son-in-law. the Emperor. When Nebuchadnezzar. attacked Jerusalem. to the lion's den where Daniel had been cast by King Cyrus because he would not worship idols. and said: 'Let us invite our King and Lord and all His great men to our feast'. Humble. he gave each guest a gold coin. she went to the island of Chios with her mother. The son of Sapnat. When the torturers had beheaded Isidore.Church Calendar 1. Amongst these was Vukasin. with St Isidore in their midst. During the 102 . When a man begins to drink. Then everyone understood that by 'the King'. One of the guards who witnessed all this was moved to belief in Christ and was baptized.' Habakkuk replied: 'Lord. of the tribe of Simeon. King of Babylon. King of Serbia. St Uros. and many angels. unto Daniel who is in the lion's den. Christ's holy virgin was savagely beaten. and at that moment surrendered her soul into God's hands. he ruled during the difficult time of the fall of the Kingdom of Serbia. After the death of her father. He entered into rest in great old age and was buried at Keilah. Then the angel seized him by the hair and carried him straight to Babylon. Daniel. 'thy prayer has ascended to God. He used to say that one must not decide beforehand what money to give to the poor. I never saw Babylon. the lame and the enfeebled. an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him and said: 'Go. Good King Uros suffered a martyr's death on December 2nd. and not a wit less generous. 3. A heavenly light illumined the prison in the dead of night. St Isidore said to her. Myrope was born in Ephesus of Christian parents. whence he returned to Jerusalem and made his living working on the land. and soon thereafter suffered a martyr's death. One day. at the age of thirty-one.

he said: 'Repent every moment. Bishop of Tsiklan. Grgur. Seeing the evil and intrigues of the world and his inability to put matters right. Many see their lone-dead kinsfolk and talk with them -.' When they urged him yet further. shout. the monastery of St Nahum was built beside Lake Ochrid by one of Uros' nobles.Church Calendar 1. he replied: 'I'm not. 3:1-4). he cried out with rapture: 'Sing.reign of this benevolent king. Ashdod. His relics are preserved in the church dedicated to him in that Syrian city. and was a contemporary of the Prophet Jeremiah.this being quite a common occurrence. He foretold the day of the wrath of God and the punishment of Gaza. and would only say: 'Save yourselves!' When many of them pressed him hard to say what he had seen in the other world after his death. her prophets are light and treacherous persons. and his uncle. they have done violence to the Law' (Zeph.' The Prophet Habakkuk journeyed with an angel. Even in our own time.Civil Calendar December 3rd . The example of his life drew his brother. This clairvoyant of secrets and mysteries went to his rest in the place where he was born. He lay dead for two days. St Myrope saw a host of angels. her judges are evening wolves . O daughter of Sion. he was a great wonderworker. Ekron. When they came to bury him. be glad and rejoice with all thy heart. St Jesse. the Recluse of the Kiev Caves. prayer and fasting. In 1926. cases of seeming death occur. and I can see them just as clearly as I can see you!' December 16th . you would not believe me or want to listen to me. was on his deathbed. he was made Bishop of Colonia. both noted members of the court of the Emperors Zeno and Justinian. he replied: 'If I should tell you. they found him sitting up and weeping. When his living relatives said to him: 'You're rambling!'. he was found worthy of seeing into the future. then suddenly returned to life. St Athanasius of the Caves was dead to the world for two days and alive only in the next. I'm talking with them just as I'm talking with you. He was talking with his children who had died twenty years earlier. O Israel. her priests have polluted the sanctuary. Ashkalon. there to await the general Resurrection and his reward from God. Theodore. He looked upon Jerusalem as 'a filthy. O daughter of Jerusalem!' (3:14). The visions and reports of those who have seemed to die and have then returned to life are not contradictory. One should reply: 'Repent of your sins if you wish to find out. he was the son of Encratius and Euphemia. Nineveh. asking him: 'How have you come back to life? What have you seen? What have you heard?' He would say nothing about it. but complement and augment one another. and pray to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His most pure Mother. Our Holy Father Athanasius. he lived and prophesied in the seventh century before Christ. Foreseeing the coming of the Messiah. and you will see. Jerusalem and Egypt. this holy man died and was washed.. After a long life of asceticism. He became a monk at the age of eighteen and gave himself to asceticism.. He shut himself in his cell and lived a further twelve years on bread and water. in the village of Vevcani. The Holy Prophet Zephaniah. polluted and oppressing city . Born in Nicopolis in Armenia. 2. 4. pure mind and constant striving after God. make yourselves worthy. Pergamius. St John the Silent (the Hesychast). her princes within her are like roaring lions. he abandoned the episcopal 103 .. He changed the course of a distant river by his prayers. being deeply amazed at what he had seen in the other world. attired and prepared for burial. in the time of Josiah the pious King of Judah. and caused it to flow close to the city of Tsiklan. With his great humility. Meletije P. For example: every person who 'dies' sees some part of that other world that is vast. thoroughly cleansing his heart with tears. After ten years. with St Isidore the Martyr among them. to lead lives pleasing to God. FOR CONSIDERATION 'Who has ever come with tidings of the other world?' This is a frequent question on the lips of unbelievers. Upon the return of his soul to his body. Born on the mountain of Savarat and of the tribe of Simeon.. One of the thirteen Syrian fathers (May 7th). 5. He entered into rest in the Lord in 1176. immeasurably larger than this world. they all gathered round him.

Thereupon St Sava suggested to the Patriarch that he be ordained priest. and. and heal the sick.' John did not realize at once the sort of heretic to which the holy father was referring. he appeared to many people. at the proper time and according to the needs of the Church. and then he returned to the monastery. being great in humility. set up idols for worship and built her a bath house with two windows. He remained there a number of years quite unknown. just as it had been in his vision. December 17th . sustaining himself with wild herbs. Dioscorus.Civil Calendar December 4th .' Then John begged him. 4. The Hieromartyr Theodore. he abandoned the vanity of this world after the death of his wife. I am still with you in the spirit. she came out of the tower and. He went from this life to the better one in 1406. She had a third window cut in the bath house as a symbol of 104 . After serving as Patriarch for two years. St Sava appeared to him in a vision and said: 'Do not grieve. Once. Our Holy Father Theodulus. Dioscorus shut up his only daughter.throne and went to the monastery of St Sava near Jerusalem. When the great Sava the Sanctified died. When the Patriarch came to do this. FOR CONSIDERATION God hearkens to the prayers of the just and answers them sometimes at once and in full. although she had no human teacher to bring her to the knowledge of Him. Coming out of his ecstasy.Church Calendar 1. and made a great contribution to the struggle against that heresy and its condemnation. When he reached Bethlehem. was a pagan in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt. on which he spent a good thirty years in asceticism. when her father was away from the city. and was famed for his wealth and standing. John was in great grief and anguish. and she came to know Him as the one. and finally beheaded him for the Faith in 606. Barbara's heart was set on fire with love for Christ. he was tortured by the pagans. God desires you to remain to comfort and strengthen the faithful against the heretics. 'Father. he spent nine years in the desert. gave her a host of attendants. met some Christians who told her about the true Christian faith. Our Holy Father Sava of Storozhev. 5. surrounded her with all possible comforts. and left Constantinople for a pillar near Ephesus. for a great tribulation has yet to come on the monastery. true God and Creator. God has in mind either that man's salvation or the well-being of the whole Church. while still at prayer. In other words. St John set out at once on the road from St Sava's to Bethlehem. sometimes to instruct. Father John. 3. sometimes to warm and sometimes to heal. in answering the prayer of a righteous man. He was a disciple of St Sergius of Radonezh and a great wonderworker. St John the Silent prayed to God to reveal to him how the soul takes leave of the body. who was both intelligent and beautiful. He entered peacefully into rest in 558 at the age of a hundred and four. conscientiously and capably performing whatever service the abbot gave him. in a high tower. The Holy and Great Martyr Barbara. Her father. Afterwards. This famous follower of Christ was betrothed to Him from her early years. He was able to perceive the spiritual realm with clarity. having already conquered himself. pray to the Lord to take me with you!'. because. disguised as a simple monk. Barbara's mind was opened by the grace of God. he saw the dead body in front of the church. He could easily subdue demons. and at other times only later. As she gazed through the windows of the tower upon the earth below and the starry sky above. Then St John shut himself into his cell and spent year after year in silence and prayer. John confessed that he already bore the rank of bishop. when the Origenists began to shake the Church of God. he was taken out of himself and had the following vision: A good man died in front of the church in Bethlehem. power and godly wisdom. and Sava replied: 'That is impossible for now. although I am separated from you in the body. He wrested the faithful away from the heresy of Origen. and angels took his soul from his body and bore it up to heaven with sweet singing. Archbishop of Alexandria. After his death. by God's providence. They put a crown of thorns on his head. A noted patrician at the court of Theodosius the Great. but he found out later.

the Caliph repented. There. is the basis of the spiritual life and the foundation of salvation -. coupled with humility. He wrote the hymns for the Parting of the Soul from the Body. hymnographer and theologian. she has appeared many times down to our own days. chasing after her to kill her. and it later gave healing from sickness to many. John also recognized him. he stood in the market-place and waited for customers. The innocent Barbara was stripped and beaten until her entire body was covered in bloody wounds. and Juliana was slain by soldiers while Barbara was killed by her own father. he was from the beginning a model of humility and obedience and of all the works of asceticism prescribed for monks. When he told interested passers-by the price of his goods. When she appeared again. A great monk. but God. left as a monk a deep impression on the history of the Church by his extraordinary example of obedience and humility. then their breasts were cut off and much blood flowed from them. beheld this and conceived a desire for martyrdom herself. the governor of the city. who handed her over for torture. When he came to Damascus. Juliana. he brought the various books of Sacred Scripture together in one book and composed a system to find the date of Pascha (the Pachalia) for the next five hundred and thirty-two years. who sees all things. and. A spring of water gushed forth from the bath house floor from her footprint. the humility and the patience of his famous disciple. He entered peacefully into rest in about 749. Dioscorus took her to Marcian. in whose service he also had been. John fell down in prayer before the icon of the most holy Mother of God. wishing to test him. lightning struck Dioscorus' house. When he beheld this wonder. the man recognized him as the former nobleman and first minister of the Caliph. 3. he was slandered by the Emperor to the Caliph. His wonderworking relics are preserved in the Chudov monastery in Moscow. He stood there the whole day. and although John was wearing a monk's poor habit and his face was shrunken and pale from fasting. without a word. A certain woman. Damascene is counted among the great Fathers of the Church. thinking that they would not sell at such a price and would have to be brought back. and wrote many theological works of an inspired profundity. to enter as a poor monk the city where he had earlier been the man next to the Caliph. For his ardent advocacy of the veneration of icons while still a courtier during the reign of the iconoclast Emperor Leo the Isaurian. should the baskets not be sold. John silently prostrated before the elder and. firstly to undertake a very long journey. St Gennadius. The elder laid down a very high price for the baskets. the Irmologion. did not abandon His patient servant. A passing citizen happened to glance at John. 2.the Holy Trinity. The great John Damascene. one day handed him some woven baskets and told him to take them into Damascus and sell them there. but John no longer desired to remain at court as a nobleman. took up the baskets and set out. thirdly. Archbishop of Novgorod. being seventy-five years old. St Barbara suffered in 306. Even though John told him the ridiculously high price of the baskets. and a great warrior for the truth of Christ. He was first a minister of Caliph Abdul-Malek. to ask an absurdly high price for the baskets. St Barbara is the protectress from sudden death. Both of them were fearfully tortured and taken around the city to be mocked. which etched itself deep in the stone as if cut by a chisel. When Dioscorus found out about his daughter's faith. he had to endure the long journey there and back for nothing. He entered into rest in the Lord in 1505. and her wonderworking relics are preserved in Kiev. A writer of note. The elder wished. and healed her. but a cliff opened and hid Barbara from her irate father. and then became a monk in the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified. a champion of truth and one who suffered for the truth of Christ. but to withdraw to a monastery. On the same day. they began to laugh and mock him as a lunatic. then. They were finally led out to the place of execution. His elder and spiritual father. put together the Octoechos. the 105 . fourthly. and traced a Cross with her finger on one wall of it. secondly. John had.and the foundation also of the whole edifice of the Church of God. St John Damascene. sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of the most holy Mother of God. in this way. but they began to deal as strangers. he beat her harshly and drove her from the tower. and his hand was rejoined to his arm and miraculously healed. killing both him and Marcian. to test the obedience. Greatly glorified in the Kingdom of Christ. who had his right hand cut off. FOR CONSIDERATION Obedience. the Menologion and the Pascha Canon. but the Lord Himself appeared to her in the prison with many angels. exposed to mockery and ridicule. great in every virtue.

and the others were beheaded with the sword. They very quickly grew in number. Sava went into the desert. For details of this. When his father died. see October 10th. and these holy and wonderful men. Karion left his wife and their two children and went off to become a monk. mindful of the good deeds that Damascene had once done for him. Father and son. he entered into the Kingdom of Christ on December 5th.' FOR CONSIDERATION A man may be great in some skill. Among all his other great and good works. He later went to Karyes. when he had become a perfected monk. 4. and the demons with the sign of the Cross and the invocation of God's aid. The Union was the work of the Pope and the Emperor Michael Palaeologus (1260-81). and that he would found a monastery that would be greater than any other of that day. Euthymius. Some Armenians also came to him.man bought them and paid the price without comment. After ten years. where he lived for five years as a hermit in a cave which an angel of God showed him. He left the home of his parents. where he continued his asceticism in the cell of the Holy Archangels. and they celebrated the services there in their own language. from heretics. so that Sava had to build both a church and many cells. at the hands of the Papists. became famous through this great light of the Orthodox Church. After St Euthymius' death. his aged mother Sophia came to him and he made her a nun and gave her a cell away from the monastery. John and Sophia. 3. demonic attacks and painful illnesses. and he outstripped in asceticism both his father and many other notable ascetics. the Martyrs of Karyes. are considered to be the greatest lights and pillars of Orthodoxy in the East. Our Holy Fathers Karyon and Zachariah. he replied: 'He who constantly exercises himself in the fulfilling of God's commandments. together with his father who was also a monk. hope and love. This holy father endured many attacks from those close to him. 20th) and Theoctistus. Born in Bitola. where he founded the second of his seven monasteries. Our Holy Fathers. he moved to the monasteries of Palestine. Kings and Patriarchs were brought to the right Faith by them. 1500. The greatness of the faith and hope in God held by St Sava the Sanctified is best shown by the following incident: One day the monastery treasurer came to Sava and said he would not be able to sound the semantron* the following Saturday and Sunday to summon the brethren for the common 106 . and he set aside a cave for them. The Protos of the Holy Mountain was hanged. December 18th . He and his neighbor. But he overcame them all in these ways: those close to him he won over by his goodness and forbearance. He had a particularly severe battle with the demons on the mountain of Castellium. They suffered at the time of the Union of Lyons. the heretics by an unshakable confession of the Orthodox faith. When they asked Zachariah: 'Who is truly a monk?'. let this be remembered above all: that he compiled the first Order of Services for use in monasteries. they were great Egyptian ascetics. and from demons. as a statesman or a military leader. he lived in asceticism in the monastery of the Holy Physicians Cosmas and Damian. Our Holy Father Sava the Sanctified. The unknown village of Mutalaska. Our Holy Father Nectarius of Bitola. he began by divine providence to gather round him many desirous of the spiritual life. St Sava entered into rest in 532 at the age of ninety-four. for St Sava was born there. served each and every man as an example of humility. Then holy John returned singing triumphantly to the monastery. foretold that he would be a famous monk and leader of monks.Civil Calendar December 5th . His incorrupt and fragrant relics are preserved in his cell. after a life of great labor and great reward. under the direction of the elders of Philotheou and Dionysiou. at the age of eight and became a monk in a nearby monastery called 'Flavian's'. Theodosius the Great. where she lived in asceticism till her death. in the province of Cappadocia. but no one amongst men is greater than the man great in faith. staying longest in the monastery of St Euthymius the Great (Jan. now known as the Jerusalem Typikon. The young Zachariah was taken into the monastery as a child. After conquering human envy.Church Calendar 1. who had the gift of discernment. strong in the power of God. 2. and brought joy to his elder. After that.

Translator. 'What do you say now. and his mere presence among people would bring solace. responding speedily to them. Bishop of Patara. When he embraced a life of solitude and silence. But. in his zeal. His face would shine with light as Moses' did aforetime. He entered into rest on December 6th. and to spread the glory of God. 343. a voice from on high came to him: 'Nicolas. he set his nephew on the spiritual path and ordained him priest.service and meal. he built them one. he saved three men from undeserved sentences of death. shaped for resonance. by God's wondrous providence. Some monks rebelled against St Sava. For this act. and were driven from the monastery by order of Patriarch Elias. even the Divine Liturgy was impossible. before Saturday dawned. and lived there in dire straits without the bare necessities of life. 'Shall we not strike the semantron and gather the fathers?' The treasurer was ashamed of his lack of faith. He was cast into prison during the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian. fulfilling the Lord's words: 'Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth' (Matt. my brother?'. Sava's biographer called him 'severe with demons. he was removed from the Council and from his episcopal duties. thinking to live in that way until his death. Theophanes and Nona. Hearing that they were starving. wise and fearless. and went to his rest in the Lord after a life full of labor and fruitful toil. famed throughout the entire world today. St Nicolas. St Nicolas was instructed in the spiritual life by his uncle Nicolas. 3. moved by divine Providence.' Immediately after that. nor anything at all to eat or drink.Civil Calendar December 6th . December 19th . and is able to sustain us in a time of hunger. -. They built themselves huts on the bed of the Tekoa river. and was hanged in Smyrna in 1657. 2. Archbishop of Myra in Lycia. St Theophilus. and begged the abbot's forgiveness. *Semantron (in Serbian. which is struck rapidly with a mallet. until some of the chief hierarchs had a vision of our Lord Christ and His most holy Mother showing their sympathy with Nicolas. citizens of Patara in Lycia. He was present at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in 325. Merciful. because there was not a trace of flour in the monastery. They dedicated to God the only son He gave them. On two occasions. The uncle of the great St Nicolas. he was chosen as archbishop of the city of Myra in Lycia. Seeing that they had no church.a long piece of wood. but afterwards they returned his love with love. 6:3). he was known for his charitable works. a monastery founded by his uncle. This saint. and repented of their former evil towards him. St Nicolas the Wonderworker. wine and oil to the monastery. This wonderful saint was a defender of the truth of God.' And he placed all his trust in God. brought thirty mules laden with wheat. Nicolas distributed all the property he inherited to the poor and kept nothing back for himself. when Christians were forbidden to ring bells because the Turks held the superstition that bells call demons. he walked among the people like an angel of God. Bishop of Antioch. For the same reason. He now enjoys eternal happiness in the Kingdom of heaven. nor the brothers a customary meal.Church Calendar 1. and was ever a spirited champion of justice among the people. and became a monk at 'New Sion'. and. klepalo) -. 4. On the death of his parents. but even there continued to instruct the people in the Law of God. struck Arius with his hand. so that the divine services might not be foregone. St Sava loaded mules with flour and took them to them himself. He would appear both in dreams and in reality to those who called upon him for help. set about your work among the people if you desire to receive a crown from Me. peace and goodwill. In this extremity. The saint replied without hesitation: 'I shall not cancel the Liturgy because of a lack of flour. he sickened of a slight illness. As a priest in Patara. It became widely used in place of a bell under Turkish rule. some men. He who commanded us not to be concerned for bodily things is faithful to His word. and invoked his aid when in torment or distress. Sava asked the treasurer. continuing to help the faithful on earth by his miracles. but mild with men'. whether close at hand or far away. trustworthy and loving right. he was prepared to send some of the church vessels and vestments to be sold in the city. At first the monks received him with hatred. was the only son of his eminent and wealthy parents. Bishop of Patara (see below). Nicolas was a true shepherd to his flock. The Holy Martyr Nicolas of Karamanos. People considered him a saint even during his lifetime. In old age. He was harshly tortured by the Turks. 107 . Merciful.

wrote many instructive books and was an example of a true Christian and a true shepherd. 108 .' That was the first occasion. Seeing this. Our Holy Father Gregory the Hesychast. firstly. where he wept over his sins and prayed. worked and prayed constantly and fasted every day except Saturday and Sunday. offering to the saint those marks of rank that had been stripped from him. When the bishop of Milan died. of which province Milan was the chief city. heal the sick of every ailment and see into the future. while still a child. and at that time some of the monks took his relics to Serbia. who was so pleasing to Him. which is known by the name of Grigoriou after him. Ambrose was baptized. and passed through all the necessary ranks in one week. In this capacity. He discovered the relics of Ss Protasius. Thereupon. While he was still in his cradle. and quickly returned to Nicolas that which they had taken from him. died. St Nicolas struck Arius in the face. The second occurred at the time of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. and to perform many himself. Gervasius. and a pagan. although it was against his will.A man well-versed in Hellenistic philosophy. the self-styled Emperor. John. and. the then Archbishop of Myra. FOR CONSIDERATION On icons of St Nicolas. and they banned Nicolas from the Council and stripped him of all marks of his episcopal rank. cursed Maximus for tyranny and murder and forbade the Emperor Theodosius to enter a church until he had repented of his sin. he strengthened the faith of the Orthodox. while his mother was a Christian. 2. The holy fathers at the Council strongly disapproved of such behavior. and secondly his vindication and reinstatement following the punishment for his clash with Arius. His work 'On the Faith' is extant today. and Nicolas was installed as Archbishop of that city. 14th). being no stranger to toil and full of good works. he became a Christian through reading the Holy Scriptures and became a great champion of the Christian faith. His father was the imperial governor of Gaul and Spain. Shortly after this vision. He died peacefully at daybreak on the day of Pascha in the year 397. there was great dissention between the Orthodox Christians and the heretical Arians about the choice of a new bishop. Ambrose went into the church to keep order.Civil Calendar December 7th . Patriarch of Constantinople. for I shall be a bishop!' On the death of his father. This has a twofold historical significance: it denotes. restrained heretics. left some honey on his lips and flew off. He reproached the Empress Justina for heresy. drive demons from men. This great Father of the Orthodox Church was of eminent parentage. he thrust out his hand and said prophetically: 'Kiss it. was very austere in his personal life. he was fearless before the great. He refused to meet the powerful Eugenius. a swarm of bees once settled on him. and went to his rest in the year 181. adorned churches. God granted this man. the great hymn of thanksgiving. standing by him and holding out to him the Gospels adorned with gold and pearls. He governed the Church in Antioch for thirteen years. a serious fire broke out in the monastery. and unanimously elected Ambrose as their bishop.Church Calendar 1. This man of God entered into eternal rest in 1406. who was visited by people from distant lands for his wisdom and gracious words. Bishop of Mediolanum (Milan). This renowned hierarch. several of the fathers had the selfsame vision: how the Lord stood on one side of Nicolas with the Gospels and the Mother of God on the other with a omophorion. In 1761. this being his responsibility. the Emperor made him governor of Liguria. He slept little. and was consecrated bishop. That very night. and to interpret his action against Arius not as some senseless rage but as the expression of great zeal for God's truth. and the most holy Mother of God on the other with an episcopal stole in hers. A Serb by birth. Nicolas' calling to episcopal office. December 20th . he was the founder of the monastery of St Nicolas on the Holy Mountain. St Ambrose. writes: 'One night. St Nicolas saw our Savior in glory. a child at its mother's breast cried out: 'Ambrose for bishop!' All the people took this to be the voice of God. St Methodius. and the Mother of God standing on his other side and placing a omophorion on his shoulders. such grace that he could raise the dead. Nazarius and Celsus (see Oct. spread the Faith among the pagans. our Lord and Savior will often be seen on one side with the Gospels in His hand. They began from that time to respect him as a great man. Humble before lesser men. He also composed the Te Deum. He built himself a cell about four hours' journey from the monastery. the fathers were amazed. Unable to put a stop by argument to the senseless blasphemy of Arius against the Son of God and His most pure Mother. God therefore permitted him to witness many of His wonders.

3. Our Holy Father Nilus of Stolobnoye. A worker on the land, born in Novgorod, he went off into a lonely place and survived on plants and gleanings. He was instructed by a voice from on high to move to the island of Stolobnoye (Table Island). Once, some robbers burst into his cell, and were immediately blinded. He dug his own grave close to his cell, and wept over it every day. He entered into eternal rest in the kingdom of Christ in 1554, and his wonderworking relics are preserved in the place where he led his life of fasting. FOR CONSIDERATION God repays a hundred-fold that which is loaned to him by the poor. There was once a Christian woman married to a pagan, and they lived together in love and poverty. When the husband had put by fifty pieces of silver, he remarked to his wife that they should lend the money out on interest, because their savings would otherwise be frittered away coin by coin, and they would be left with nothing. His wife replied: 'If you want to lend the money, lend it to the Christian God.' 'And where is this Christian God?', he asked. His wife took him to the church and told him to distribute all the money to the beggars in front of it, saying: 'The God of the Christians will accept it from them, for they all belong to Him.' So, giving every single one of the fifty coins of silver to the poor, they went home. After a while, they were left without bread in the house, and the woman told her husband to go to the church for the money that he had lent to God. Off the husband went to the church, but he saw only beggars there, and, in doubt about who would give him the money, he paced around the church building. Suddenly, he saw a silver coin lying before him. He picked it up, bought a fish with it and took it home, where he complained to his wife that he had not seen anybody, and nobody had given him anything at all, but that he had come upon a single coin on the ground quite by chance. His wife replied: 'God is invisible, and works in an unseen way.' When she opened the fish, she found a glittering stone in it. She gave it to her husband, who took it to a merchant to see what he could get for it. The merchant offered him five silver pieces, and the man began to laugh, thinking the merchant was joking in offering so high a price. However, the merchant thought that the man was laughing on account of the meanness of his offer, and offered him first ten, then fifteen, thirty and finally fifty silver pieces. The man then realized that it was a precious stone, and began to demur. The merchant raised his price higher and higher, until he reached three hundred pieces of silver. Then the man accepted the three hundred pieces and went off home full of joy. 'Do you see how good the Christian God is?', asked his wife. The amazed husband was baptized straight away, and lived to glorify God together with his wife. December 21st - Civil Calendar December 8th - Church Calendar 1. Our Holy Father Patapius. Born and brought up in the Faith and in the fear of God by pious parents in the Egyptian city of Thebes, he early perceived and rejected the empty vanity of the world and went into the Egyptian desert, where he devoted himself to cleansing his heart from every worldly thought and desire for the sake of divine love. When his virtues became known among the people, they began to come to him and seek relief from their troubles. Afraid of human glory, which darkens a man's mind and separates it from God, Patapius fled from the desert to Constantinople, for this wonderful saint thought that he could more easily hide himself from men in the heart of a city than in the desert. He built himself a hut close to the Blachernae church and there, enclosed and unknown, took up again his interrupted life of asceticism. But the light cannot be hidden. A child, blind from birth, was led by divine Providence to St Patapius and begged him to offer a prayer that he might be given his sight and look upon God's creation, and praise God all the more. Patapius had pity on the suffering child and prayed to God, and the child saw. Through this miracle, Patapius' godly life became known throughout the entire capital, and people began to turn to him for healing, comfort and teaching. Patapius healed one eminent man of dropsy after blessing him with a cross and anointing him with oil. Making the sign of the Cross in the air, he freed a youth from an unclean spirit which had cruelly tormented him, and the evil spirit went out of God's creature like smoke, uttering a great cry. He made the sign of the Cross over a woman who had sores on her breasts all filled with worms, and she was healed. St Patapius worked many other miracles, all through prayer in the name of Christ and by the power of the Cross. He entered into rest in great old age, going to the Kingdom of God in the seventh century.
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2. The Holy Apostles Sosthenes, Apollos, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, Onesiphorus, Cephas and Caesar. All these are commemorated on January 4th with the other lesser apostles. St Apollos is also commemorated on September 10th, St Onesiphorus on September 7th, and Cephas and Caesar on March 30th. St Sosthenes was Bishop of Caesarea and Tychicus succeeded him in the same city. Epaphroditus was bishop in Colophon in Pamphylia, Cephas in Iconium and Caesar in the Peloponnese. They all preached the Gospel of Christ with burning love, and endured suffering for His name's sake before they entered into the Kingdom of eternal joy. 3. The Holy Martyrs in Africa. They suffered for the truth of Orthodoxy in the reign of Gunerik of the Vandals (477-484), at the hands of the heretical Arians. Two priests were burned, sixty had their tongues torn out and three hundred laymen were beheaded. All of them suffered terribly, but they overcame falsehood by their deaths, and Orthodoxy was strengthened and was handed down to us pure and untarnished. The Lord crowned them with crowns of glory in His immortal Kingdom. FOR CONSIDERATION He who entrusts himself completely to God is led by Him towards salvation, and is used by Him for the good of many others. St Nicolas, entrusting himself to the will of God, fled from human vanity, from his town of Patara, and came to the city of Myra in Lycia, where he knew no-one and was known by none. With no means at all of supporting himself (for, although he had been rich, he had abandoned everything), without acquaintance and without any plan, he went unnoticed about the city, waiting for God to direct his footsteps. At that time, John, the archbishop of the city, died and the Synod that was assembled for the election of a new archbishop could not agree on any one candidate. Finally, the members of the Synod decided to fast and pray that God would show them who was most worthy of the position. God heard the prayers of His servants, and disclosed to them who was the most worthy. While the presiding bishop was standing at prayer, a man appeared to him, clothed in white, and told him to go out early and stand in front of the church, awaiting the first man to arrive for morning prayer. 'Make him archbishop; he is called Nicolas', he said. The bishop informed the others of what he had heard and seen, and he went to the church early the next morning and waited. St Nicolas, who was accustomed to rising early to pray, came to the church. Seeing him, the bishop asked: 'What is your name, my son?' Nicolas was silent. The bishop asked him again, and this time he answered: 'I am called Nicolas, and am your lordship's servant.' Then the bishop took him by the hand and, leading him into the Synod, said: 'Receive, my brethren, your pastor, whom the Holy Spirit has anointed and who has been elected not by a human Synod, but by divine Providence.' December 22nd - Civil Calendar December 9th - Church Calendar 1. The Conception by St Anna of the Most Holy Mother of God. Righteous Joachim and Anna were childless for fifty years of their married life. In their old age, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to them, to each one separately, and told them that God had heard their prayer and that a daughter would be born to them. Then St Anna conceived by her husband and, after nine months, bore a daughter blessed by God and all generations of men: the most holy Virgin Mary and Mother of God. There is a fuller account of all this on September 9th. 2. St Hannah, Mother of the Prophet Samuel. Hannah was the wife of Elkanah from Ramathaim-Zophim, or Arimathea (I Sam. 1). She had had no child, being barren, and she wept and grieved bitterly for this. But God in His mercy took pity on her, and removed her barrenness in response to her ceaseless prayers and sighs. Hannah bore a son, Samuel, and dedicated him to God from his childhood. Samuel was a great leader of the nation of Israel, and a prophet who anointed two kings, Saul and David. St Hannah sang a hymn of thanksgiving to God, a hymn wonderful in its wisdom and beauty, which is used to this day in church services (I Sam. 2:1). 3. Our Holy Father Stephen the New Light.
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This godly man was born and brought up in Constantinople in the house of his parents Zacharias and Theophano, his father being a priest at the Great Church in the time of Patriarch Methodius. When she was carrying him in her womb, his mother fed only on bread and water, and, when the child was born, a cross of light shone on his breast. Because of this, and because of his pure and godly way of life, he is named 'the New Light'. At the age of eighteen, Stephen shut himself up in a cell attached to the church of St Peter the Apostle, and devoted himself to prayer and fasting. Once St Peter appeared to him, and said: 'Peace be to thee, my child; thou hast made a good beginning. May the Lord strengthen thee.' After that, he spent many years in a cell by the church of the holy martyr Antipas. This saint also appeared to him, encouraging him: 'Know that I will not abandon thee.' Stephen took greater and greater labors upon himself. He ate only twice a week, and that unsalted cabbage. In all, this holy man spent fifty-five years in asceticism for the sake of the kingdom of Christ, and went to his rest in the Lord in 879, at the age of seventy-three. 4. St Sophronius, Archbishop of Cyprus. He was born and brought up in Cyprus. Because of his great spiritual erudition and his many virtues, in particular his compassion, he was made archbishop after St Damian. Having faithfully served the Church and led a life pleasing to God, he died peacefully in the sixth century. FOR CONSIDERATION Fear of God drives all fear of men from the heart. In all the great hierarchs of the Orthodox Church, we notice a wonderful combination of humility and fearlessness. St Nicolas seized the sword of an executioner so that he could not execute innocent men. St John Chrysostom castigated the Empress Eudoxia for her misdeeds, with no consideration for the unpleasantness and danger to his life to which he exposed himself in consequence. There are many other similar examples: when the Emperor Valentinian the Elder had listened to the stern criticism of St Ambrose, he said to him: 'I knew of your fearlessness when I helped in your election as bishop. Correct our faults, teach the Law of God and cure our unrighteousness.' When Valentinian the Younger, at the instigation of his mother Justina (who was an Arian), ordered that the cathedral in Milan be opened for heretics, Ambrose shut himself in the church with the faithful, and would not come out for three days. He sent word to the Emperor and Empress that, if they desired his death, he was prepared at any time 'here in the church to be run through, either by a sword or a spear'. Hearing this, the Emperor and Empress rescinded their order. When a quarrel broke out in Salonica, and the Emperor Theodosius the Great had more than seven thousand people beheaded, Ambrose was so furious with the Emperor that, when he visited Milan and wished to enter the church, the saint forbade him to do so. The Emperor said to Ambrose: 'David sinned, and yet was not deprived of God's mercy.' The bishop replied: 'As you have imitated David in sin, so now imitate him in repentance also.' The Emperor was ashamed and turned back, and repented bitterly of the sin he had committed. December 23rd - Civil Calendar December 10th - Church Calendar 1. The Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes and Eugraphus. Both Menas and Hermogenes were born in Athens. They both lived in Constantinople, where they enjoyed the high favor of the Emperor and the honor of the people. Menas was known for his great learning and gift of speech and, although he acted outwardly as a pagan, he was in his heart a convinced Christian. Hermogenes was Eparch of Constantinople, and was a pagan through and through. He was, however, a merciful man and performed many good deeds. When dissention broke out between the Christians and the pagans in the city of Alexandria, the Emperor Maximian (285-305) sent Menas to calm the turmoil and drive the Christians from the city. Menas went and restored peace, but he also declared himself to be a Christian and brought many of the pagans to the true Faith by the power of his words and the witness of his many miracles. When the Emperor heard this, he sent Hermogenes to punish Menas and to liquidate the Christians. Hermogenes brought Menas to trial, and he cut off his feet and his tongue, gouged out his eyes and then threw him into prison. The Lord Jesus himself appeared to him there, to heal and console His suffering servant. When he saw Menas miraculously healed, Hermogenes was baptized and began to preach the mighty Faith of Christ, being made Bishop of Alexandria. Then the furious Emperor Maximian came himself to Alexandria and put Menas and Hermogenes to harsh torture, which they endured courageously with the help of God's grace. Beholding the fortitude of these soldiers of Christ and the miracles God wrought upon them, Eugraphus, Menas' secretary, went into the
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judgement-hall and shouted to the Emperor's face: 'I too am a Christian!' The Emperor flew into a rage, took a sword and beheaded Eugraphus himself, and then he commanded the executioner to behead Menas and Hermogenes. Their holy relics, thrown into the sea, floated in a miraculous way to Constantinople, where the bishop, forewarned in a dream, met them with great ceremony and buried them with honor. 2. Our Holy Mother Angelina and St John the Despot. The daughter of Prince George Skenderbeg of Albania and the wife of Stephen, Despot of Serbia and son of Despot George, she endured exile with her husband and shared with him all the vicissitudes of life in Serbia, and also in Albania and Italy. She brought up her two sons, Maxim and John, in a truly Christian spirit. Becoming a nun on her husband's death, she devoted herself to prayer, works of charity and the building and repair of churches. A faithful wife, a good mother and a perfect Christian, she indeed merited the title 'Mother Angelina' given her by the people. Her wonderworking relics are preserved, along with the relics of her righteous husband Stephen and her devoted sons Maxim and John, in the monastery of Krusedol, though some of them were destroyed by the Turks. She entered into rest and into life eternal at the beginning of the sixteenth century. 3. The Holy Martyr Gemellus. An honored citizen of Ancyra, Gemellus appeared before the Emperor Julian the Apostate when he visited the city, and openly reproached him for his apostasy. For this, he was tortured and crucified in the year 361. While he was enduring his passion on the cross, a voice was heard from heaven: 'Blessed art thou, Gemellus!' 4. Our Holy Father Thomas of Bithynia. A great faster, a conqueror of demons and a clairvoyant, he once received a letter from the Emperor Leo the Wise, and replied without opening it. He entered into rest in the Lord in great old age, in the ninth century. FOR CONSIDERATION The living Lord has innumerable ways of knowing when to be gentle and when to chastise, to deliver the faithful from temptation, to bring unbelievers to the Faith and to punish its incorrigible persecutors. When the wicked Maximian had slain Christ's martyrs Menas, Hermogenes and Eugraphus, he set sail with his retinue from Alexandria en route for Constantinople. He was at that moment blinded, as his soul and mind had long been blind, and began to complain to those around him of invisible hands that were beating him. He soon died an evil death, as he had lived an evil life. In the time of St Ambrose, the following incident occurred: The heretical Empress Justina had persuaded Euthymius, a great Milanese landowner, to seize the bishop she hated and take him somewhere far off into exile. Euthymius prepared a cart, and found lodgings in a house close to the church, the more easily to keep watch on Ambrose and bear him off in the cart. On the very day on which he had everything prepared to seize Ambrose, an imperial order arrived, sending Euthymius into instant exile for some crime. The soldiers came, seized the wicked man and took him off to exile in the very cart that he had prepared for Ambrose. On another occasion, an Arian came into the church where Ambrose was celebrating, bent on hearing Ambrose say something for which they could condemn him. Looking around, the heretic saw God's saint teaching the people, and an angel of light alongside him, whispering in his ear. This made the Arian greatly afraid and ashamed, and, casting off his heresy, he returned to Orthodoxy. December 24th - Civil Calendar December 11th - Church Calendar 1. Our Holy Father Daniel the Stylite. Born in the village of Maroutha, near the city of Samosata in Mesopotamia, of Christian parents, Elias and Martha, he was a gift of God through the tearful prayers of his mother, who was barren, and was dedicated to God in his youth. He embraced the monastic state at the age of twelve and visited Simeon Stylites, receiving his blessing. Desirous of solitude, Daniel left his monastery and withdrew to an abandoned pagan temple on the shore of the Black Sea. He endured many assaults from demons, but overcame them all by prayer, endurance and the sign of the Cross. After that, he climbed up onto a pillar, where he remained till his death, enduring with equanimity both heat and cold, and attacks from both men and demons. Many disciples gathered around his pillar, and he led them towards eternal life by his example and his words. God rewarded His devoted
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servant with great grace in this life, and he worked many miracles of help to men, and foretold future events. People came to his pillar from all parts, seeking help and advice from the saint of God. Kings and patriarchs came to him, as well as simple folk. The Emperor Leo the Great used to bring his foreign guests, princes and nobles, and show them Daniel on his pillar: 'Here is the wonder of my empire!' Daniel foretold the day of his own death, taught his disciples as a father would his children, and took leave of them. At the time of his death, his disciples saw angels, prophets, apostles and martyrs around the pillar. Having lived in asceticism for eighty years, this angelic man entered into rest, and into the Kingdom of Christ, in 489. 2. Our Holy Father Luke the Stylite. Luke lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. He fought as a soldier in the war against the Bulgars and witnessed the slaughter of many thousands, but he himself emerged from the war alive and unharmed. Seeing the finger of God in his deliverance, he scorned all the vanity of this world, took himself off to a pillar near Chalcedon and there spent forty-five years in asceticism, cleansing his soul from every sinful thought and desire. He entered into rest after a life pleasing to God, some time between 970 and 980, and went to the better life. 3. Our Holy Father Nikon the Dry. He was enslaved by the Tartars as a monk of the Kiev Caves, and spent three years in captivity, fettered, tortured and abused. When his kinsmen brought the money to ransom him from his owner, he refused, saying: 'If the Lord had wanted me to be free, He would not have given me into the hands of these lawless men.' Once he told his owner that Christ would free him in three days. The Tartar thought that this meant that his slave was going to run away, so he cut his tendons below the knee. On the third day, though, Nikon was indeed carried by invisible hands to Kiev. After a time, the Tartar came to Kiev and recognized his former slave. He repented and was baptized, and the former owner became the servant and disciple of his erstwhile slave. Nikon, called 'the Dry' because of the great emaciation of his body, was a great visionary and wonderworker. He entered peacefully into rest in the Lord on December 11th, 1101. 4. The Holy Martyr Meirax. An Egyptian, he was tricked by the Mohammedan Emir into accepting Islam. He later repented, went into a mosque bearing a cross, declared himself a Christian and called upon the Moslems to forsake their errors and turn to the Truth. He was tortured and martyred in about 640. FOR CONSIDERATION 'The Lord preserveth all them that love Him' (Ps. 144:21). The lives of the saints affirm this with sun-like clarity. Certain envious priests complained to Patriarch Anatolius about St Daniel, slandering him and saying that he was a magician. This sprang from their jealousy of the young ascetic, who had outstripped them in every virtue and had drawn many to himself by his manner of life. The Patriarch summoned Daniel, and examined him in his faith and his way of life. Daniel having laid all before him, the Patriarch rose from his seat and embraced him, speaking highly of him and sending him away in peace. Several days later, Patriarch Anatolius fell ill, and he called Daniel and asked him to pray to God for his recovery. Daniel prayed, and the Patriarch was instantly restored to health. When the Patriarch sought to reward Daniel in some way, the young saint asked, as his reward, that his slanderers be pardoned. The Patriarch said: 'How could I not forgive them when they are the means of such a great blessing -- that I should come to know you and obtain healing through you?' Indeed, 'the Lord preserveth all them that love Him', and turns to good the evil that men devise. While St Nikon the Dry was a slave among the Tartars, his master became sick and was at the point of death. Realizing that he was in this state, he ordered his sons to crucify Nikon on his grave. St Nikon foresaw the future baptism of his cruel master, and prayed to God for his recovery. Against all expectation, the Tartar recovered. Thus, through prayer, Nikon saved himself from physical death and his master from the death of his soul. December 25th - Civil Calendar December 12th - Church Calendar 1. St Spiridon the Wonderworker, Bishop of Tremithus.
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The island of Cyprus was both the birthplace of this famous saint, and the place in which he spent his life in the service of the Church. He was of simple farming stock, and remained simple and humble to the end of his days. He married young and had children, but, when his wife died, he devoted himself entirely to the service of God. He was chosen for his devotion as Bishop of Tremithus, and even as a bishop did not change his simple style of life, taking charge of his cattle himself and tilling his own land. He consumed very little of his own produce, giving the greater part to the poor. He performed great wonders by God's power, making rain fall in a drought, stopping the course of a river, raising several of the dead, healing the Emperor Constans of a grave sickness, seeing and hearing angels, foreseeing future events and penetrating the secrets of the human heart. He turned many to the true Faith, and did much else. He was present at the first Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in 325, and, by his simple and clear expositions of the Faith, as well as by convincing miracles, brought back many heretics to Orthodoxy. He dressed so simply that once, when he was invited by the Emperor to the imperial court, a soldier took him for a beggar and struck him a blow. The meek and guileless Spiridon turned him the other cheek. He glorified God with many miracles, and was of great aid both to individuals and to the whole Church of God. He entered into rest in the Lord in 348, and his wonderworking relics now lie on the island of Corfu and continue to glorify God with many wonders. 2. The Hieromartyr Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was at first bishop in Cappadocia, but, during the persecution under Severus in 203, was thrown into prison and then exiled. After that, he accepted the see of Jerusalem, and there founded a famous library that was of great use to Eusebius when he was writing his Ecclesiastical History. He was tortured in various ways during the reign of Decius, and was thrown to the wild beasts. Alive and unharmed, he was cast back into prison, where he finished his earthly course and went to the Lord in the year 251. 3. The Holy Martyr Synesius. He boldly preached the truth of Christ as a young reader in Rome, and denounced the idolaters. He was beheaded for his outspokenness during the reign of Aurelian, towards the end of the third century. FOR CONSIDERATION Nothing will help us if we are not generous and forgiving towards human weakness in others. If we do not forgive others, how can we hope that God will forgive us? St Spiridon once sold a merchant a hundred goats at a given price, and told the buyer to produce the money. Knowing that Spiridon himself would never count it, he put down enough for ninety-nine goats and secreted the money for the hundredth. Spiridon then counted out a hundred goats for him, but, when the merchant and his servant started driving them away, one of them returned bleating. It was driven off again, and again returned. It kept returning to the flock, and would not go with the other goats. The saint then whispered into the merchant's ear: 'You know, my son, that animal is not acting like this without a reason. Have you, perhaps, withheld the price?' The merchant was ashamed and acknowledged his sin, and, as soon as he had paid the full amount, the goat immediately went off and joined the rest of the flock. On another occasion, some thieves went into Spiridon's pasture. When they had seized as many rams as they wanted, they tried to leave the field, but an invisible force riveted them to the earth and they could not move from the spot. At dawn, the bishop came to the pasture, and, seeing the thieves, reproached them mildly and told them to try, in future, to live by their own labor and not by thieving. He then caught a ram and gave it to them, saving: 'Take this, so that your trouble and night vigil should not have been in vain', and he sent them away in peace. December 26th - Civil Calendar December 13th - Church Calendar 1. The Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius and Orestes. These five courageous men shone like five resplendent stars in the dark days of the anti-Christian Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. St Eustratius was a Roman general in the city of Satalios, Eugene was one of his comrades in arms and Orestes likewise a respected soldier. Auxentius was a priest and Mardarius a simple citizen who came, like Eustratius, from the town of Aravraca. The imperial governors, Lysias and Agricola, tortured Auxentius first as he was a priest. Beholding the innocent suffering of the Christians, Eustratius
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presented himself before Lycias and declared that he also was a Christian. While Eustratius was being tortured, Eugene stood up before the judge and cried out: 'I am a Christian too, Lycias!' When they were driving Eustratius and the other martyrs through the town, Mardarius saw them from the roof of his house, and he took leave of his wife and two frail daughters and hastened after them, shouting into the faces of their tormentors: 'I am a Christian too, like the Lord Eustratius!' Orestes was a young and handsome soldier, who stood head and shoulders above all the other soldiers. One day, when he was at target practice in Lycias' presence, the Cross he was wearing fell from his breast, and Lycias realized that he was a Christian. Orestes openly confessed his faith, and was martyred with the others. Auxentius was beheaded, Eugene and Mardarius died under torture, Orestes was exposed on a red-hot iron grid and Eustratius died in a flaming furnace. St Blaise (see Feb. 11th) gave Communion to St Eustratius in prison before his death. Their relics were later taken to Constantinople, and are preserved in the church dedicated to them -The Holy Five Companions. They were seen alive in that church, and St Orestes appeared to St Dimitri of Rostov (see Oct. 28th). A beautiful prayer by St Eustratius is extant, which is read at the Midnight Service on Saturdays: 'I glorify Thy majesty, O Lord for Thou hast regarded my lowliness and hast not shut me up in the hands of my enemies, but hast saved my soul from want...' 2. The Holy Martyr Lucy the Virgin. With her mother, Lucy visited the grave of St Agatha in Catania, and the saint appeared to her. Her mother, who had an issue of blood, was miraculously cured in the church at that time. Lucy gave away all her goods to the poor, and this embittered her betrothed, who denounced her to Paschasius the judge as a Christian. The wicked judge ordered that she be taken to a brothel and defiled, but, by the power of God, she remained immovable, as if rooted to the earth, and not even a vast number of people was able to move her from the spot. An enraged pagan then ran her through the throat with a sword, and she commended her soul to God and entered into the Kingdom of eternity. She suffered in the year 304. 3. The Hieromartyr Gavrilo, Patriarch of Serbia. In the fearful period of Turkish rule in Serbia, this great hierarch went to Russia, where he took part in the Moscow Synod of 1655. When he returned to Serbia, he was denounced as a traitor. Certain wicked Jews also brought against him the charge of having converted several Jews to the Christian faith. These Jews, in order to stir up the Turkish authorities, made a special point of the fact that he had worked for the baptism of Turks. He was tried, and sentenced to forcible conversion to Islam. Since Gavrilo would have none of this, he was, after a period of imprisonment, sentenced to death and hanged in Brussa in 1659, and so went to his beloved Christ, to receive at His hands the double wreath of hierarch and martyr. FOR CONSIDERATION To give alms out of one's own need is true almsgiving. Not even the most hardened sinner sins then, for it is an act precious before God. When St Lucy had seen her sick mother miraculously healed, she suggested to her that her possessions be used as alms to the needy. Her mother replied that she was not willing to relinquish her goods until her death, but agreed that, when that happened, Lucy should use them in whatever way she wished. 'First cover my eyes with earth', she said, 'and then do what you will with them.' Lucy said: 'He who gives to God only what he cannot take with him into the grave, or make use of in this life, is not very pleasing to God. If you want to do something pleasing to Him, give Him that which you yourself need. In death, you can use nothing at all, and need from Him things that you cannot take with you. It is better to give to Christ that which you have while you are alive and well. Give to Him all that you have set aside for me, and do it now!' The devout mother hearkened to her wise daughter, and did so. When the torturer Paschasius was trying to force this holy maiden into carnal sin, Lucy tried to keep the thought of it from entering her will. When the torturer threatened that his men would defile her by force, saying with a smirk: 'When you have been defiled, the Holy Spirit will flee from you', Lucy, full of grace, replied: 'The body cannot be defiled without the consent of the mind', and holy Lucy went to her death having given away all her goods and having preserved her pure young body from defilement. December 27th - Civil Calendar December 14th - Church Calendar
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His zeal for God's justice among men was seen especially in two notable events. Leucius went to his execution as joyfully as if he were going to a wedding. He was condemned to death by the Emperor. the Bishop of Caesarea. Then Arrian himself became a Christian. During the reign of Diocletian. Nicholas seized the sword. Many idols fell down through the power of his prayer. was converted to the Christian faith. he having accepted a bribe from their enemies. went before the judge and rebuked him for his crimes and his lack of belief in the one. but he endured all the torments as if in a dream and not in reality. He was therefore beaten and cast into prison.Church Calendar 116 . Saints Thyrsus and Leucius were eminent citizens of Bithynian Caesarea. At the end of the fourth century. When Philemon went before the idols. The condemned men had been led out to the place of execution. When Cumbricius. On the eve of their execution. His zeal for the truth of the Faith was especially evident at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. blessed Thyrsus was inflamed with divine zeal and. Eustathius. and perished together with four soldiers who had likewise declared themselves to be Christians. praying and thanking God for his sufferings. denounced them for their injustice and ordered them to free the three men from prison at once. the light of the Christian faith suddenly shone in his heart. a pagan. both Philemon and Apollonius were beheaded by Arrian the judge. Philemon was subjected to fearful tortures. keeping a careful watch over his heart. to offer sacrifice to the idols in his place. Once. When he was informed of this. Apollonius. pulled it out of the executioner's hand and set the condemned men free. All three were perfectly present in the soul of St Nicholas the Wonderworker. a pagan priest. because his blind eye was healed in a miraculous way at Philemon's grave. and he peacefully gave his soul into the Lord's hands. Callinicus. the avaricious military governor. Apollonius became afraid of the tortures. true God. He then went out of the temple and began to shout: 'I am a Christian. The Emperor signed the death-warrant. so both he and Thyrsus were condemned to death. like Leucius. He was healed of his wounds by the invisible hand of God.1. Leucius and Callinicus. and placed his holy relics in it. the latter being baptized and the former still a catechumen. When he beheld Leucius' courageous death. December 28th . three generals. The saint appeared in a vision to the Empress Pulcheria. In a similar way. were slandered before Eulavius the governor of Constantinople and the Emperor himself. and they set the generals free both from their death-sentence and from prison. dressed in his clothes. The Holy Martyrs Philemon. 2. Callinicus. Callinicus was beheaded with the sword. Finally. zeal for the truth of the Faith and zeal for God's justice among men. Nepotianus. a servant of Christ the living God!' Hearing this. Cumbricius?' The enraged judge ordered that he be flogged and tortured. Later. He seized Apollonius and threatened him with torture. At that instant. deliver us innocent men from death!' That night. the Emperor and the governor each related to the other the selfsame nocturnal vision. Nicholas appeared to both the Emperor and the governor in their sleep. Then Thyrsus arose from the coffin. Thyrsus went at once to Phileas. Arrian and others. saying: 'O God of Nicholas. began to torture and murder the Christians. Ursus and Erpilionus. and he made the sign of the Cross. thinking that Philemon was mocking the Christians. He showed zeal in self-purification through his whole life. and the executioner had already raised his sword over them. and Thyrsus was placed in a wooden coffin to be sawn asunder.Civil Calendar December 15th . After his baptism. where he entered into a fearful conflict with Arius. the intrepid Leucius stood before him and reproached him: 'Why have you begun to make war on your own soul. the three men prayed to God. Arrian. in his absence from Myra. but God's power prevented this and the saw could not penetrate the wood. heir to the Emperor Decius. a judge in Egypt. the Emperor Flavian built a church to St Thyrsus near Constantinople. The next day. St Nicholas returned to Myra in the greatest haste. was a pagan priest who offered sacrifice to idols. he was again seized and tortured. Philemon. to be baptized by him. The Holy Martyrs Thyrsus. and then beheaded with the sword. He then rebuked Eustathius and brought him to shame and repentance. In terrible torment. When he saw this. cruelly persecuted the Christians there. which also opened the prison doors and led him forth. and bribed an unknown musician. the judge laughed. and suggested that she bury the relics of the Forty Martyrs beside his own. however. when on each occasion he saved three innocent men from the death penalty. FOR CONSIDERATION There are three sorts of praiseworthy zeal: zeal in cleansing oneself from sinful desires and thoughts. sentenced three men to be beheaded.

the imperial executioners cut off the honored head of St Eleutherius. Our Holy Father Paul of Latros. sent a commander. burning him on an iron grid. and suffered much at the hands of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian because of his. St Stephen the Confessor of Sourozh. and entered peacefully into rest in old age. as merrily as though he were going to a feast. The Emperor Hadrian. he went in. heard the Gospel from the great Apostle Paul himself. earthly law frees the murderer. that it was God's will that he live and not perish. but because of an unintentional sin. therefore. At that moment. but does not leave him without a penance. he calmed down. When his mother. St Pardus. adding to their number from day to day. but the lion leapt over him and would not touch him. hoping the beast would kill him. Is this not a sensitive. the Church forbids him to serve as a priest for the rest of his life. Stephen's. he was a wagoneer. loving and God-fearing soul? Is not this the refined and sharpened 117 . Born in Pergamum. Being early left a widow. with soldiers. his heart was so burdened that he felt as though he were himself guilty of the child's death. killed by his ass. Stephen brought many to the Christian faith by his zeal. by God's power. came and stood over the dead body of her son. When the furious Felix arrived in Valona and went into the church. he offered God his repentance for the murder of the child. he made up for what he lacked in years. with his seat at Valona in Albania. He searched out a lion. she entrusted her only son to the education and service of the Bishop of Rome. Our Holy Father Pardus the Solitary. priest at eighteen and bishop at twenty. Stephen returned to his diocese and was pastor to his flock as a true man of God. and this the Patriarch did. Born in Cappadocia and educated under the care of the Patriarch. a child fell in front of the ass. He was glorified by his asceticism and his many miracles. in the year 120. Christians with sensitive souls and sharpened consciences take on themselves a harsher penance than the Church lays down. and was baptized by him. the bishop ordained him deacon at the age of fifteen. struggle against the iconoclasts. once arrived in Jericho. Leaving his ass in front of an inn. and prayed to God that He would somehow bring this about. as a waggoner. He lay in the narrow track that the lion had taken. a persecutor of Christians. He lived in Palestine in the sixth century. flogging him. FOR CONSIDERATION For unintentional murder. this wonderful saint had noble and eminent parents. Anacletus. 2. boiling him in pitch and burning him in a fiery furnace. But. and heard and saw God's holy hierarch. where St Eleutherius glorifies the name of Christ to this day by many wonders. In his youth. Felix. He was born in Rome. He desired to give his life for that of the child. After the evil death of this evil ruler. The Emperor put the gently-born Eleutherius to harsh torture. and so also blessed Felix. An angel appeared to St Germanus and told him to make Stephen bishop of the town of Sourozh (now Sudak in the Crimea). for instance. Endowed by God with wisdom. and the animal trampled on it and killed it. Their bodies were taken to Valona. Eleutherius was delivered from all these deadly torments. Choribus the governor proclaimed that he himself was a Christian. he lived in asceticism on a mountain called Latros in Asia Minor. The Church lays penance on the unintentional murderer. a penance much lighter than that for a willful murderer. he left the world and withdrew to the desert to live in asceticism. The Hieromartyr Eleutherius. departing this life peacefully at the end of the eighth century. he went off into solitude and lived hidden from the world. Choribus was tortured and then beheaded. but remained to his death a lowly penitent. Finally. A good fruit of a good tree. going to the Lord in the year 950. prophesying to the Emperor his imminent decease. 4. Seeing how greatly Eleutherius was gifted and illumined by the grace of God. not to trial and torture. He suffered in the time of Hadrian. This conscience-stricken man laid on himself the harshest penance: he abandoned his trade. where his father was in imperial service. she was also beheaded. This godly man was made bishop in Illyria. When Pardus saw the dead and trampled child. Seeing all this. holy Anthea. St Germanus. His mother. Anthea. Eleutherius baptized him and set off with him for Rome. 3. With many tears. his heart was suddenly changed and he became a Christian. hoping that it would eat him. forsook the world although he was very young. to seize Eleutherius and take him to Rome. but the lion fled from him. and went off into the arid desert for strict bodily asceticism and spiritual toil and repentance. Seeing. If a priest kills unintentionally.1. He kept his flock like a good shepherd.

Then. she gave thought to the salvation of her soul. and these two innocent souls spent three years there.Civil Calendar December 16th . the Emperor summoned all his nobles to court for a feast. built the church of All Saints. on the feast of the holy prophet Elias. in 892. the son of the Emperor Basil the Macedonian. This caused great confusion among the courtiers. who were kin to several Emperors. saying that. and besought the Mother of God to give them a family. Hearing of John's banishment. When she had grown up. The monastery of St Sava the Sanctified was distinguished by a particular discipline. if Theophano were a saint. At that time. Then the abbot gave him to an elder who was simple and strict. 118 . John began to sing them. but. St Nicholas Chrysoverges. and entered peacefully into rest in the Kingdom of God. He urged Zerubbabel and Joshua the priest to restore the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. and they all begged the Emperor to release his son and daughter-in-law. and it repeated these words a number of times. Theophano. and to the accustoming of themselves to total obedience and consecration.the hymns at a funeral that the Church uses today. which has been known from that time by the name 'It is meet' (see June 13th). being utterly given to God. God gave them this daughter. would appear in the new Temple. none of the eminent spiritual guides would venture to take this famous nobleman and writer as his cell-servant.C. when he at that time taught the monk to praise the Mother of God with the hymn 'It is meet…'. she would be glorified together with the others. When St John Damascene arrived at this monastery. the gullible Basil shut his son and daughter-in-law up in prison. After his father's death. In his days. To comfort this desolate monk. prophesying for this Temple greater glory than the former Temple of Solomon: 'The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former. nor any unnecessary speech or the least slander.Church Calendar 1. At one moment. one day. and. the brethren plucked up courage and. Patriarch of Constantinople. alack. going to the elder. order and willing obedience. Constantine and Anna. the feast of All Saints was introduced. Having composed them. and did so. who had a brother in the same monastery. He governed the Church from 984 to 996. The Emperor Leo wanted to build a church over her grave. that one of the monks. at the right opportunity. and told John to do nothing without his knowledge and permission. Her parents were for a long time childless. writing the hymn on tablets in a chapel of one of the cells. At the time of her death. Imbued with a Christian spirit right from her youth. He lived to see the first half of the new Temple completed by Zerubbabel. When his elder heard the hymns. then gave her soul to God. my Lord Leo!'. Reacting to the slander that Leo carried a knife in his breast with which. however. there came to pass a wonderful revelation of the Archangel Gabriel at Karyes. John wrote stichera for the departed for the dead man -. be it by their own preference when they had the choice or by the direct act of God. and rested with his fathers. founding monasteries and churches. being called 'the Wise'. FOR CONSIDERATION The saints devoted immense labor to the killing of pride and selfishness in themselves. and ordained the great Symeon the New Theologian priest when this spiritual giant was chosen as the superior of the monastery of the holy martyr Mamas in Constantinople. The Holy Prophet Haggai. 3. The Emperor was touched. The elder forbade John to write any hymns. and endured much misfortune alongside her husband. He prophesied in 520 B. Theophano outstripped her companions in every Christian virtue. Theophano did not consider her imperial dignity to be of much account. Born in Babylon in the time of the captivity of Israel. He was a great and eminent hierarch. the Saviour. he was furious and drove John away. fasting and praying and giving alms. she called together her closest friends and took leave of them. and the monk was in unspeakable grief for his dead brother. No lying word ever passed her lips.conscience of a true Christian? December 29th . the Emperor's parrot suddenly spoke these words: 'Alack. to kill his father. and died in old age. 2.. he was of the tribe of Levi. she entered into marriage with Leo. and visited Jerusalem as a young man. saith the Lord of Hosts' (2:9). when the Patriarch refused to allow this. to be celebrated on the Sunday after the feast of the Holy Trinity. She was born of eminent parents. It happened. St Theophano the Empress. died. for the Lord. this Leo became Emperor.

sufferings and prophecies can be found in detail in his book. According to St Cyril of Alexandria. The brethren once more besought the elder for John. When Ananias was beheaded. Abused by the Saracens. An angel of God carried their bodies to Judea. Daniel saw God on His throne with the angelic powers. Tekel. the elder was rebuked by an angel for stopping John from writing his beautiful hymns glorifying Christ and His Holy Mother. Daniel. but. 1814. Daniel from his early youth received from God the gift of great discernment. when John received the elder's message. who put pressure on him to shave off his beard. The sorrowful brethren told John of this. the courageous Habakkuk sang. and many other Israelites. 2. what a true son of holy obedience this man is!' After this. He was a nobleman.Church Calendar 1. and was amazed. but the elder remained unmoved. and saved the chaste Susannah from an unjust death. But his fame among the Babylonians stemmed from the day when he solved and interpreted the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. he went to Constantinople. For this. of kingdoms and of the whole human race. to Mount Gebal. this wonderful soldier of Christ replied to her. the king made him a prince at his court. and quoting the great figures of the Old Testament who 119 . then continued on to Jerusalem. Paisius was abbot of the monastery of Trnava near Cacak in Serbia. His fame among the Jews in Babylon began when he denounced two lecherous and unrighteous elders. But an angel of God appeared in the furnace and soothed the flames. The account of his life. December 30th . He then brought the Children out of the furnace and did them great honor. who gave him the name Stephen. Being acquainted with all the vanity of this world. When his mother begged him with tears to save his life by accepting Islam. In Jerusalem. where he became a monk. The Holy Prophet Daniel and the Three Children: Ananias. King Belshazzar was killed. and were beheaded with the sword for the true Faith. After this. Daniel and the Three Children lived to great old age in Babylon. he received the Great Habit at the hands of Patriarch Christodoulos. When the king made a golden idol in the Plain of Dura. an invisible hand wrote these three words on the wall: 'Mene. Lord God of our fathers!' The king saw this marvel. and sang: 'Blessed art Thou. Our Holy Father Daniel. then Misael caught Azarias' head and Daniel Misael's. When Nebuchadnezzar destroyed and plundered Jerusalem. the New Martyrs Paisius and Habakkuk (Avakum). He entered into the Kingdom of Christ in the tenth century. with joy. According to tradition. as a boy. so that the Children walked in the furnace untouched by the fire. where he spoke with the Emperors Constantine and Romanus Porphyrogenitus. That night. and God preserved him alive. Upharsin'. where he suffered greatly and died for the name of Christ. Both of them were. these four men arose at the time of the death of the Lord Jesus and appeared to many. embraced John and said through his tears: 'Oh. Utterly given to God. living God. and governor of the island of Niberta. King of Judah. what a sufferer for Christ have I fathered! Oh. Azarias held out his robe and caught his head. near Cadiz in Spain. was taken off into slavery together with Jehoiachin. carried out his command. Daniel was thrown into a den of lions for his faith in the one. thanking her for her motherhood and not for her advice. and lamented at having transgressed his elder's command. He lived and prophesied halfway through the thousand years before Christ. he went to Egypt. for which they were cast into the burning fiery furnace. thinking that he would leave the monastery rather than do it. No one could interpret these words but Daniel. he forsook its glory and riches and went to Rome. as Christians. John wept bitterly. Dragging his spike through the streets of Belgrade. when the king was eating and drinking with his guests at a feast out of consecrated vessels taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. In the time of King Belshazzar. often saw angels. then fell asleep again. and prophesied the time of the coming of the Saviour on earth. the elder burst into tears. Our Holy Fathers. on December 17th. had insight into the future of certain people. and Habakkuk his companion and deacon. 3. Azarias and Misael. John thereafter wrote many of the hymns that the Church uses today. All four of them were of the royal tribe of Judah. he rejoiced greatly and.begged him to forgive John and receive him back. Then the elder laid this penance on his disciple: to clean the lavatories of every cell in the monastery with his own hands if he desired forgiveness. Seeing this.Civil Calendar December 17th . the Three Children refused to worship it. to lay some penance on him and then forgive him. impaled on stakes by the Turks on Kalemegdan in Belgrade. Daniel is counted as one of the four Great Prophets (with Isaiah. and placed them under a rock. Jeremiah and Ezekiel).

The Holy Martyr Sebastian and those with him.' There is a great fallacy that abstinence from food and the eating of fasting foods are harmful to physical health. But the eunuch was afraid that the young men would be weakened by the fasting food. he saved Christians from torture and death and. and spoke of his fear to Daniel. he healed the two sick sons of Claudius the commander. St Florus. and then compare them. who made him captain of the imperial guard. of the same infirmity and brought him and his son Tiburtius to baptism. He suffered gloriously for Christ his Lord and entered into the heavenly Kingdom in 287.Civil Calendar December 18th . of gout and pains in his legs which had troubled him for eleven years. December 31st . Marcus and Marcellinus. and. upright and merciful man. It is a known fact that those who fast are the longest-lived and the least prone to sickness. Then the pagans beat him to death with staves. when this was not possible. until the martyr's whole body was so covered with arrows that it was invisible beneath them. and the judge placed live coals before him. As he spoke with them. Nicostratus was killed with a stake. Abstinence from food. After ten days. Tranquillianus was drowned and Marcus and Marcellinus were run through by spears. who were in prison for Christ and already on the verge of denying Him and worshipping idols. Sebastian supported his words by marvels: he healed Zoë. Then Tiburtius was seized. and remained unharmed. Zoë was the first to suffer. The eunuch did what Daniel advised. He was destined in his youth to be a soldier. Of these.suffered for. An honorable. but to feed these four only on herbs for ten days. she was thrown into the river Tiber. and brought him and his whole household also to baptism. This glorious martyr of Christ was born in Italy and brought up in the city of Milan. gave them courage to die for Christ the living God without turning back. When they thought that he was dead. and for the peace of the Roman Empire. When the King commanded his eunuch to feed the young men on meat from the royal table. St Tibertius made the sign of the Cross and stood barefoot on the coals. Chromatius.' The Emperor ordered that he be stripped and shot at with arrows. the father of Marcus and Marcellinus. He secretly confessed the Christian faith. to see whether the fasting food would weaken them or not: to give food from the king's table to the other young men at court. and prayed to the living God. The holy prophet Daniel and the three Holy Children offer us an example of this. Daniel told the eunuch that they were not willing to take the meat and wine from the king's table. Bishop of Aminsus. but wanted only herbs (for Daniel did not want to eat meat sprinkled with blood from the idolatrous sacrifices). and looking to the end of his own martyrdom in the immortal Kingdom of Christ. Whenever possible. exhorting them not to fear death for Christ. and not to desire one or another sort of food. or to stand himself barefoot on the coals. Sebastian was greatly loved by his soldiers. commended himself to the Emperor Diocletian. 120 . The soldiers then shot at him. but he said: 'I always pray to my Christ for your health. not to stir up hunger in oneself by looking at good food. and give them good wine to drink. The Emperor rebuked him for his betrayal. means: 'Not to desire or demand much food. Then Sebastian was taken before the Emperor Diocletian. the wife of Nicostratus the gaoler. according to the words of that son of grace. He was then beheaded with the sword. challenging him to choose life or death: to cast incense on the coals and cense the idols. the faces of the four young fasters were fairer and their bodies stronger than those of the Babylonian youths. he healed the Roman Eparch. and brought Nicostratus and his whole household to baptism. not to give oneself over to gratification of the appetite. his face was illumined like that of an angel of God. handsome and courageous man. Two brothers. were confirmed in their faith and strengthened in their martyrdom by Sebastian. either sweet or costly. being seized while at prayer beside the tomb of the Apostle Peter. he showed himself alive and healed of all his wounds. when Gaius was Bishop of Rome. and through bodily purity comes spiritual purity. and brought him to baptism together with his whole household. he healed Tranquillianus. God. and glorified. who had been dumb for six years. to eat nothing outside the stated times. as an educated. Then the prophet suggested that he make a test. FOR CONSIDERATION Bodily purity is primarily attained through fasting.Church Calendar 1. 2. who had eaten and drunk from the king's table. After torture. St Ephraim the Syrian.

10:36). He forsook the bustle and vanity of the world and withdrew to a monastery. Aglaïs evinced the desire to have the relics of some martyr in her house as a blessing so that God would forgive them for their sinful life through the prayers to the martyr. They all in concert urged them to reject the heavenly Kingdom for the sake of the earthly. do you mean to lose the eternal wreath for the sake of the flattery of your kinsmen? Do you mean to lower the banner of victory for the sake of women's tears? This life is transient. their mother besought them by the milk of the breasts by which she nourished them. He was at first servant to a wealthy and dissolute woman. FOR CONSIDERATION Man is presented with a choice in this life: the kingdom of this world or the Kingdom of heaven. Their kinsmen came to the prison with one sort of advice. where he lived in asceticism. This is shown by the example of St Boniface. their children wept around them.' With these and many other words. and joyfully went to their death for Christ. St Modestus. He was only five months old when his parents died. He withdrew to Mount Sinai. who are trying to turn you from God. then that boiling lead be poured into his mouth and. She then repented. Their kinsmen wept and implored them to do what the judge wanted and spare their youth. 2. so she sent her servant to Asia to find and buy for her what she desired. January 1st . 121 . and so unworthy and faithless that it cannot save even those who love it. and he freed him. some their hands. but each man chooses freely. but he succeeded in bringing his owner to the Christian faith. or be put to death. but. will you receive it with honor?' Aglaïs rebuked him. entering peacefully into rest in 634.Civil Calendar December 19th . he was brought up in a Christian spirit. The slaves then took his body back to Rome. Patriarch of Jerusalem. Boniface took some slaves with him and a fair amount of money and. took Boniface's body. the pagan judge left them for a month to ponder on whether they would deny Christ and His Kingdom. the life that has no end. built a church for his relics and placed them there. Sebastian prevailed. Coming to the city of Tarsus. said to Aglaïs: 'If I can't find any martyrs and if they bring you back my body. yet others were dying on the gallows and so forth.He lived in the time of the Emperors Justin II (565-76) and Maurice (582-602). but holy Sebastian counseled the opposite. he is the guardian of your soul and the protector of your life. What is this life worth. The Holy Martyr Boniface. living a further fifteen years in bitter penitence. Their tearful father showed them his grey hairs and his infirmity. even if we live a hundred years? When the last day dawns. Martyrdom for Christ makes sinners into saints. He was then chosen as Patriarch of Jerusalem. to live in asceticism for the salvation of his soul. When he was grown up. Boniface's heart was changed. at the moment of parting. and had unclean and unlawful relations with her. and the holy martyrs sought the Kingdom of heaven rather than the earthly. An angel of God appeared to Aglaïs and said: 'Take him who was at one time your servant. saying that this is serious business. martyred for Christ. When the brothers Marcus and Marcellinus were condemned to death. others their eyes put out. being the son of a nobleman. and Sebastian with another. that he be beheaded. saying: 'O courageous soldiers of Christ. Bishop of Omir. God puts no pressure on this choice. 3.Church Calendar 1. he was pleasing to God and entered peacefully into His Kingdom. and governed Christ's flock like a true shepherd. Aglaïs. St Boniface suffered in the year 290. when one will receive that eternal life in which delight.' Aglaïs went in wonder to meet them at the dock. St Gregory. He was then chosen as bishop of the town of Aminsus in Cappadocia. riches and rejoicing begin. by God's providence. but is now our brother and fellow-servant. As an ascetic and a hierarch. as this did him no harm. They are no friends of yours. Boniface saw many Christians undergoing torture: some were having their legs cut off. He called out among the Christian martyrs: 'I too am a Christian!' The judge took him for interrogation and ordered that he be harshly flogged. he was sold as a slave to a pagan in Egypt. gave away all her goods to the poor and withdrew from the world. Remember the Lord's words: "A man's foes shall be they of his own household'' (Matt. and he repented of his sinful life with tears. will not all our past years and all earthly delights seem as though they had never been? It is indeed folly to fear the loss of this fleeting life. in Rome.

where Patriarch Proterius. saying: 'Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child. A luminous cloud appeared from the east. facing east. Three fingers of his right hand are to this day raised in prayer. Ignatius rejoiced to be suffering for his Lord. He was a monk of the Kiev Caves. In the Omirian town of Aphar. Also. helped by prayer. When he had finished his prayer. One only is Lord: Jesus Christ. He organized the Church in Omir. he received a hundredfold from the Lord. All saw Him in unsurpassable glory and beauty. FOR CONSIDERATION Can faith remove mountains (Matt. and that none should hinder his death. 3. the earth quaked and there was a clap of thunder. which the holy King Elesbaan (Oct. both Jews and Christians. Our Holy Father Elias of Murom. As bishop in Antioch. After a long and difficult journey from Asia through 'Thrace. with the help of the Christ-loving King Avram. Bishop of Antioch. 17:20)? Yes. the Crucified heals you of the unbelief of your forefathers'. undoubtedly. the majority of the inhabitants were Jews. In the midst of the cloud stood a man of unspeakable beauty.He was at first a deacon in the church in Mediolanum (Milan). and the heavens opened to eastward. The Emperor's urgings and threats being in vain. He took a child and set it among them. and prayed to God that the wild beasts should be the tomb for his body. demanded that he in some way show them Christ alive. Macedonia and 122 . and fell on their faces in fear. He was a good shepherd and a great wonderworker. This is a commentary on those who do not make the sign of the Cross with three fingers. he heard about Ignatius. His uncorrupt relics have wonderworking power. Then the Jews suggested to him and to King Avram that they should have a debate on faith. The Jews. the same is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. built many churches and baptized a great number of the Jews. St Boniface the Merciful. He performed great and terrible wonders by his prayers. St Gregory knelt. St Gregory strove to bring them to the Christian faith. and it can do more than that: faith can move God Himself to compassion towards us sinners. and had many visions. to the glory of God the Father. which led to their baptism. holy Ignatius was put in irons and sent to Rome. and the cloud slowly disappeared as it had come. seeing that they would be defeated by the irrefutable reasons and proofs brought by Gregory. together with Polycarp. The Jews were then baptized. Bishop of Ferentino. there came a voice to the Jews from the Lord's glory: 'For the sake of the bishop's prayers. and died in 1188. This child was Ignatius. and was the first to introduce antiphonal singing into the Church. summoned him and urged him to offer sacrifice to idols. He had a rare compassion from childhood. he was thus named because he was held in the arms of God incarnate. By God's providence.Church Calendar 1.Civil Calendar December 20th . The debate lasted several days. whence it is seen that he died at prayer. he was taken to the city of Alexandria. The Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer. This holy man was named the 'God-Bearer' because he always carried the name of the living God in his heart and on his lips. in the presence of several thousand people. that they might see Him with their own eyes. Amen!' At this. by tradition. He walked across the cloud till He stood above Bishop Gregory. Having governed the Church for thirty years. he entered peacefully into eternal life in the late fifth century. aflame with brilliant rays. This way of singing was revealed to St Ignatius from among the angels in heaven. the Bishop of Smyrna. On a day when the Lord was teaching His disciples humility. 18:4). to be thrown to the wild beasts. and slowly descended to earth at the spot where the people were gathered. he governed the Church of God as a good shepherd. 4. in response to a heavenly revelation. with the assurance that. He was later a disciple of St John the Theologian. He died peacefully in Italy in the sixth century. so that he could be made a senator. they would all embrace the Christian faith. if they were defeated. with a radiant face and raiment like lightning. being scolded for this by his mother. and they would then believe. But. escorted by ten bestial soldiers. consecrated him bishop of the land of Omir in southern Arabia. January 2nd . When the Emperor Trajan passed through Antioch on his way to battle with the Persians. in which two choirs alternate. even bringing about a revelation of Christ the Lord before the unbelieving Jews. Gregory cried out: 'One only is holy. Jesus Christ. Having utter confidence in the Lord because of the purity of his heart. 24th) had already freed from the tyranny of Dunaan the Jew. before them all and prayed to God.

and she appeared before the eparch whole and unharmed. January 3rd . the breaking of my bones. and. in writing and in speech. St Danilo. by their prayers or in some outward way. and there is no spark of love in me for any earthly thing. May every devilish torture come upon me: fire. may I be ground by the teeth of beasts. a great ascetic. neither have I been condemned to death for any transgressing. wild beasts. consumed by love for Christ. and finally Archbishop of Serbia. The eparch ordered that she be harshly beaten. Juliana told him that she would not marry him unless he became eparch of that city. Archbishop of Serbia. were like unquenchable flames.. and then handed her over to the eparch for torture. The eparch condemned them all to death. inscribed in gold: 'Jesus Christ'. not to do this. and the 630 martyrs with her. but Eleusius worked at it. 'Forgive me'. and denounced her to her father. then she was thrown into prison all torn and bleeding. a great worker and a great patriot.' When he had been devoured by the wild beasts. he spoke thus to the people: 'Citizens of Rome. where he was thrown to the lions in the circus. But the Lord healed her in the prison. Then the wicked judge condemned holy Juliana to be beheaded with the sword. He was from beginning to end a strict ascetic. Under his supervision. but for the sake of my God. A certain senator. The Holy Martyr Juliana. he fled and became a monk in the monastery of Konculsk near the Ibar. Her head was cut off. by whose love I am gripped and whom I desire with an insatiable desire. He was Bishop of Banja and then of Hum. She said this thinking that the young man would not be in the least likely to attain to such a high position. I am His wheat. He then put her into a glowing furnace. either visible or invisible. Ignatius reached Rome. Her furious father poured scorn on her and whipped her. the sword. This glorious virgin martyr was born in Nicomedia of pagan parents. 1338. helping to this day all who call on him for help. 2. by flattery and bribes. and ordered that they be beheaded with the sword. My love cleaves to the Cross. his heart was. but to come to Christ. many came to believe in Christ the Lord. Hearing the Gospel preached. It is better for me to die for Christ than to reign to the ends of the earth . crucifixion. FOR CONSIDERATION The holy martyrs. was her betrothed. He was a great hierarch. on the night of December 19/20th. The son of rich and God-loving parents. by God's providence.. saying: 'What would it profit us to be united physically but divided in spirit?' Eleusius was exasperated. and could not enter into marriage with him unless he accepted her faith. and her soul went to Christ's eternal Kingdom of light. the crushing of my whole body -. Five hundred men and a hundred thirty women were converted. They tore him to pieces and devoured him. that I may be His pure bread. I but begin to be a disciple of Christ when I desire nothing. but. He was later abbot of Hilandar and suffered much at the hands of the plundering Latin crusaders. This love eased their sufferings and made death sweet. and he restored and built many other churches. prayed on her knees to God and laid her head on the block. St John Chrysostom says of St Ignatius: 'He put off his body as easily as a man takes off his clothes. He appeared many times from the other world and worked wonders. Seeing this wonder. the monasteries of Banja and Decani were built. in the time of the Emperor Trajan.' Travelling to Rome to his death. he entered peacefully into rest in the time of King Dusan. When the faithless pagans cut open his holy heart. and fought fiercely against the Latins and the Bogomils. Untiring in the service of God to the end of his life. This glorious lover of the Lord Christ suffered in the year 106 in Rome. Eleusius. 123 .Epirus. He also recorded the lives of the Serbian kings and saints.' When he was taken to the circus. in the year 304.Civil Calendar December 21st . she turned to Christ with all her heart and began to live in exact observance of the Lord's commandments. Juliana then revealed to him that she was a Christian. Ignatius had only one fear: that Christians would some how impede his martyrdom for Christ. leaving only a few of the larger bones and his heart. In order to free herself from him.Church Calendar 1. Juliana went out to the scaffold. He therefore implored them constantly. Rejoicing in spirit. left among his bones. gained the post of Eparch of Nicomedia. but the fire did not burn her. from love of God. tearing asunder. he was given a careful upbringing. 'I know what is useful to me. with a special gift of tears. He made peace between Kings Dragutin and Milutin. he said.. know that I am not being punished for any wrong-doing. and their souls entered into Paradise.only that I may receive Jesus Christ. King Milutin took him to his court. they found inside the words. and later between Milutin and Stephen of Decani.

The Holy and Great Martyr Anastasia the Deliverer from Poison. she became widely-known 124 . guided in Christian teaching by a devout teacher. Themistocles. St Anastasia took their bodies. and was drowned on the voyage. and by this you will know who he is.' And the devil was bound. January 4th . the Jews to stone Stephen. he built himself a tomb in the Church of the Dormition. and so forth. This great heroine of the Christian faith was born in Rome into a wealthy senatorial family. her husband tortured her harshly by imprisonment and starvation. smiled at her. Publius. and confused. I am with you. washing their wounds and loosening their bonds. and declared himself a Christian. At that time.' The martyr was horrified at these words. asking him if he knew where Dioscorides was hiding. where the dogs tore him to pieces and devoured him. Publius was sent to Persia by the Emperor. The Emperor Diocletian was once in the town of Aquileia. the first two being cast into fire and the third shot through with arrows. be brought to him. and these obstructions are manifold and varied. and commanded that Chrysogonus. anointing them with aromatic spices. Thus this holy maiden. but swam to an island. he received the monastic habit at the age of twelve. helped the poor with alms. When this holy maiden was lying in prison. the adversary appeared to her in angelic light. overcame him. and will forgive you for the weakness of your body. where she ministered to those who were suffering for Christ. As Metropolitan. God is greatly concerned for you. Then St Anastasia began to minister openly to the Christian martyrs and. fortified by God's strength. There. Anastasia married a pagan landowner. he suffered a great deal at the hands of the envious and of heretics. although he knew. He entered into rest in 1326. the confessor of Christ. she clave in love to the Lord Jesus. Chionia and Irene (April 16th) suffered. They are mostly the evil workings of demons. From her early youth. 3. in 251. St Peter the Wonderworker. Born in the province of Volinsk. she never had physical relations with him. giving you power and authority over the one who has come to you. his ship broke up and he fell into the water. using the pretext of woman's weakness. He was tortured and beheaded in the time of Decius. Agapia. but. As a herdsman. and became its abbot. and has therefore sent me with the message that you should obey the eparch. from her great inheritance. by her vigilant and ardent prayer. During his lifetime. and then three sisters. did not give herself to delusion from the evil spirit but.Church Calendar 1. and those with her. Then she heard a voice from heaven: 'Be brave. and fell to prayer with tears. The frightened Juliana asked: 'Who are you?' The adversary replied: 'I am an angel of God. That the adversary is able to appear as an angel of light is shown in the life of the holy martyr Juliana. Holy Chrysogonus was beheaded at the Emperor's command. gave them burial. Metropolitan of Russia. begging God to show her who it was who had spoken with her. and laid even heavier tortures on her when he discovered that she went secretly to the prisons of the Christian martyrs. Anastasia followed him on the way. Therefore every man zealous for the spiritual life must be on his guard not to take every shining vision from the other world as a divine revelation. Juliana. Under pressure from her father. He was made Metropolitan of Kiev against his will. But. Nero to crucify Peter upside down and behead Paul. For this. her father being a pagan and her mother a Christian. governing the Church for eighteen years as a good and zealous pastor.Civil Calendar December 22nd . He did not find death in the waves. He was a great ascetic and an icon-painter. 2. the young Themistocles kept sheep in a field near Myra in Lycia. and consecrated in Constantinople by Patriarch Athanasius. He founded a monastery on the river Rata.God's punishment quickly fell on Eleusius: sailing over the sea. that your body may not be covered in wounds. where his holy and wonderworking relics are preserved to this day. and counseled her to offer sacrifice to idols and so avoid torture. wrapped them in white linen and. she was freed from her wicked husband. The Holy Martyr Themistocles. Chrysogonus. and went to his true homeland. and came upon Themistocles. the persecutors of the Christians were seeking St Dioscorides. and forced to reveal that he was the same who tempted Eve in Paradise. The Lord is gracious. by God's providence. who told Cain to kill Abel and Herod to kill the children in Bethlehem. FOR CONSIDERATION He who sets his sights on Christ's Kingdom will have to encounter obstructions. As he was being brought. refused to say. ministering to their needs. Then Anastasia went to Macedonia.

2. to eternal rejoicing.Church Calendar 1. they upset the boat containing the Christians. nourishing herself only with tears and prayers. Falling into low company. Ulphian. St Anastasia lived with her when she was in Macedonia. in the year 250. St Niphon the Wonderworker.Civil Calendar December 23rd . Anastasia constantly clung to Him in her heart. Because of his sin. Euporus. Zoticus. He had innumerable visions of the heavenly world and waged a four-year war with the demons. When Anastasia had conversed many times in this way with Theodota. after leaving this world. ministered to the Christian captives in the prisons. St Theodota suffered for Christ before St Anastasia did. an angel of God suddenly appeared beside her and struck the man. During the thirty days of her imprisonment. Condemned to death by starvation. when they got out into deep water. 2. They suffered for Christ the Lord during Decius' persecution. along with several others. She was finally tied hand and foot to four wheels over a fire. St Theodota finished her earthly course with honor and entered into the Kingdom of eternal glory. Anastasia was then thrown into a small. Saturninus. They were all honored and eminent citizens. together with her. Left a young widow with three children. After that. Desiring to die for her beloved Christ. By the mercy of the most holy Mother of God. A certain pagan high priest. Taken for trial. St Anastasia lay in prison for thirty days. who whispered to him incessantly: 'There is no God! There is no God!'. Niphon received great power over the evil spirits and was freed from these heavy temptations. Nicetas. When the thirty days had passed. and strengthened her in her sufferings. Theodota gave herself utterly to the service of God and the bringingup of her children in piety. When a shameless pagan tried to touch her body. dingy prison to die there of hunger at the judge's command. a hundred and twenty pagans came at once to faith in Christ and were baptized. January 5th . she was put in a boat with several other Christians to be drowned. and thus they were all preserved from death together with St Anastasia. because each wanted to be the first to go to his beloved Christ. when the Lord Jesus Himself appeared to him alive on an icon. Theodota replied that God gave to the souls of the martyrs the special grace that. and. the true light. the young Niphon became dissolute and gave himself to great sin and vice. but God saved her from this death. He then condemned her to death by drowning. but he was suddenly blinded and gave up the ghost. he was brought back to the way of righteousness and became a monk. Then a wonderful thing happened: St Theodota appeared walking on the water and took the boat to the shore. she asked her one night how it was that she was able to come to her after her death. Born in Paphlagonia. and thus gave her holy soul into God's hands. The soldiers put the Christians into a small boat and themselves got into another. but. He had such insight that he saw angels and demons around men as clearly 125 .as a Christian. he was brought up in Constantinople at the court of a great commander. The Holy Martyr Theodota with her three Children. Theodota confidently confessed Christ the Lord. the torturer brought Anastasia out of the prison. he could not even pray to God. so that the water would flow in and drown them. Condemned to death and thrown into a glowing furnace with her three children. She was then sent to the Governor of Bithynia. tried to touch St Anastasia's body out of lust. When they were taken to the scaffold. Gelasius. St Theodota appeared to her every night from the other world. The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete. they could come to whomsoever they would in order to instruct or comfort. Pompey. they were filled with joy and discussed among themselves who would be the first to be beheaded. for which she was seized and taken for interrogation before various judges. Agathopous. amazed to see that she was still alive. and. O eternal King!' They were beheaded and entered into the Kingdom of glory. Seeing this wonder. She suffered and entered into Christ's Kingdom in 304. Eunician. the cream of the cream. that all may be released from the darkness of ignorance and come to know Thee. Their names were: Theodulus. FOR CONSIDERATION Our merciful God often sends comfort to those pleasing to Him on earth through His saints from the other world. Then they prayed: 'O Lord. forgive Thy servants and accept our outpoured blood on our own behalf and that of our kinsfolk and friends and all our fatherland. Basilides and Evaristus.

The Church teaches that suicide is a mortal sin. and his wonderworking relics to this day perform many miracles. the doors of the prison opened and they went out freely. Alexander. weeping bitterly. Our Holy Father Nahum. not suspecting that she was a woman. The Church teaches that sincere repentance on the part of a sinner. but. FOR CONSIDERATION While still in the flesh. In the Greek Synaxarion. The daughter of Philip. He entered into rest in the first half of the tenth century. a wonderworker and a man of prayer. and one of the Five Followers . Eugenia revealed herself to her father as his daughter. being then archdeacon of the church in Alexandria. St Nahum labored especially to translate the Holy Scriptures from Greek into Slavonic. and Philip was chosen as Bishop of Alexandria. the chains fell off them. After this. A tireless worker. gathered many monks together and saved many souls. Eparch of all Egypt. and has been through the ages a fount of strength and recourse for the sick and the wretched. she was born in Rome. and went to the joy of his beloved Christ. governing the Church of God well for a short period. and those with her. The overjoyed Philip was baptized. He worked wonders both during his lifetime and after his death. who was a wise teacher. St Athanasius the Great visited him at the time of his death. went to a men's monastery where she received the monastic habit. the Christians had been driven out of Alexandria and were living outside the town. 3. while the guardian angel of this soul went off. Ss Clement and Nahum are called the new Moses and Aaron. St Nahum built a monastery on the southern shore of the lake. She so purified her heart by voluntary asceticism that she received from God the gift of healing the sick. Then St Eugenia moved to Rome with her 126 . While St Clement was working in Ochrid as bishop. St Niphon saw the soul of a suicide being dragged down to hell by the devil.Civil Calendar December 24th . At the time of his return from Rome. St Nahum traveled to Rome. Many monks from all over the Balkans gathered around St Nahum. and thus healed a rich woman. by God's power. He was a disciple of Ss Cyril and Methodius. even at the eleventh hour. The saints are thus a very great joy to the faithful.as he saw the people themselves. he saw men's souls leaving their bodies and their guardian angels meeting them. and this marvel is recorded of them: heretics in Germany bound them and threw them into prison. this wicked woman. That was the soul of a servant who had committed suicide because his master was merciless and he was not willing to endure to the end and be saved. coming to Alexandria. This monastery adorns that shore till this day. the saints had great revelations from God and visions both from heaven and of the infernal powers. was baptized by Bishop Elias and. He often spoke with angels and disputed with demons. When they were brought out for trial. St Niphon saw the Mother of God and the Lord Christ alive in glory. January 6th . and he saw Niphon's face shine like the sun. Hearing of this. who. Melanthia. He spoke with angels in visions and disputed with demons. the Wonderworker of Ochrid. The maiden Eugenia visited the Christians and received their Faith with all her heart. the prison shook. All the visions and revelations they had confirmed the Orthodox faith in all its tenets. entered into Christ's eternal Kingdom. and. particularly healing from grave illness and from madness. on the shores of Lake Ochrid. Our Holy Mother. through a heavenly revelation. She fled from her parents with her two faithful eunuchs. He built a church to the most holy Mother of God in Constantinople. St Niphon saw the soul of one such sinner repenting at the last moment. and he could discern men's thoughts. the Roman Emperor sent a wicked general. the woman conceived a physical passion for her. out of revenge. Being firmly repulsed by Eugenia. where he was renowned both for his wonderworking power and his great learning. The eparch ordered that all the monks be bound and thrown into prison together with Eugenia. with the help of the Emperor Boris Michael of Bulgaria. secretly killed Philip. as the name of St Nahum adorns the history of Slav Christianity. saves the soul of the penitent. Niphon was already old by that time. wearing man's clothing. the Archbishop of Alexandria.those zealous fellow-workers with these apostles of the Slavs. consecrated him bishop of the town of Constantia on Cyprus. went to the Eparch and slandered her just as Potiphar's wife had slandered chaste Joseph. though. with his whole household. He knew many languages. he settled. a strict ascetic. the Martyr Eugenia.Church Calendar 1. he saw how an angel defended it from the bullying demons and carried it to Paradise. At that time. Terence.

Eugenia appeared to her mother in great glory. The torturers first threw her into water and then into fire. Vassilia. He was an eye-witness of the sufferings of our holy Fathers of St Sava's (May 16th). The next night. out of gratitude to God. and. He suffered at the hands of the Turks in Constantinople in 1682. Nicholas spent the night in an inn. martyrdom came to Eugenia. as Eugenia had foretold to her. Nicholas refused once. he had the following vision: he was standing in a great open space and saw near him a strong man sitting with his right leg crossed over his left. Nicholas looked and saw the following: while the strong man kept his right leg crossed over the left. he saw reproduced exactly at the time of the battle. advising her to guard her virginity and not give her body and soul over to the devil. and thus brought a beautiful maiden. Finally. When this commander went off with the army of the Emperor Nicephorus against the Bulgars. The Lord Jesus Himself appeared to her in the prison and told her that she would suffer on the day of His Nativity. repose both of body and soul. This strong man told him to watch carefully what was about to happen. The following day he continued on his way with the army. In Rome. The whole field was covered with corpses. large enough to accommodate one body. Only in the middle of these corpses was there an empty space. but Nicholas returned home alive -. O Master. he embraced the Christian faith and laid down his life for it. your body and soul have been preserved from death. left his command and became a monk. And so it came about. Some people think that this great saint was a Slav of Balkan origin. He died peacefully in the ninth century. The innkeeper had a daughter. a young girl. Before him stood two armies facing each other on the field.not to the barracks but to a monastery. but God preserved her. He wrote many prayers. In the Greek Synaxarion. of which the best-known is the one read daily at Compline: 'And grant us. but the shameless girl came a second and then a third time to the commander's room and attempted to seduce him. the Greek army prevailed over the Bulgars. and then her two eunuchs. In long asceticism. FOR CONSIDERATION Victory over temptation is victory over death. He also compiled another book entitled 'Pandect'.mother and brothers. Then the man said to Nicholas: 'This place was set apart for your body. The Greek army all perished on the field of battle. January 7th . and that it was both unworthy and dangerous for a soldier to foul himself by such an impure act. A wonderful experience had by St Nicholas the Soldier proves this. Greek and Bulgar. as we lay us down to sleep. Nicholas was commander of the part of the army that went to war against the Bulgars. She was beheaded with the sword on December 25th. were beheaded. who tried to lead him into sin. when the Greeks were utterly routed by the Bulgars in 811. she fearlessly and zealously brought pagans to the true Faith. On the road.Civil Calendar December 25th . is also commemorated. Thus this Godloving man overcame temptation. saying to her that she was enticing him to a satanic act. A Turk by birth and a builder by trade. but. recorded their sufferings at the hands of the Saracens. In the time of the Emperor Nicephorus. He said finally that he was a soldier and was going to war. Our Holy Father Antiochus. whose presence had caused the Temple of Diana to fall in ruins. piled one on another. After her death. and entered into the blessed Kingdom of Christ the Lord. in Rome.. especially maidens. 2. and comforted her. to the Faith. the Bulgars prevailed and ferociously cut the Greeks down.. it happened that he spent the night at a wayside inn. The Holy New Martyr Achmed is also commemorated.Church Calendar 127 .' That which Nicholas saw in the night-vision. he attained such perfection that he became a great clairvoyant and man of God.'. This dream came true in the war. which would rouse God's anger and bring him to certain death. and when he changed his position and crossed the left leg over the right. Vassilia was quickly beheaded for Christ. as an eye-witness. The Commander refused on each occasion more and more decisively. attracted by the looks and presence of the imperial commander. where he experienced a great temptation and had a strange dream. Then the strong man took the commander over to the massacred Greek army. 262. Nicholas was preserved and. a monk of Palestine. as you three times last night overcame diabolic temptation. Protus and Hyacinthus. Our Holy Father Nicholas the Soldier.

it has been the custom from time immemorial that. that is. Thus it can be said that. the Christian Church gives glory and praise to the most holy Mother of God. On the second day of Christmas. And when the ninth month had come after the archangel Gabriel appeared to the most holy Virgin in Nazareth. offering Him their gifts (Matt. withered. but Herod the stranger was on the throne. the Lord Jesus Christ. frankincense and myrrh. she herself wrapped Him in swaddling bands. with long white hair and beard. Therefore righteous Joseph came with the most holy Virgin to Bethlehem. God sent His only-begotten Son' (Gal.1. the whole human race worshipped our incarnate Lord and God. ruddy of face. It can be added that these three wise men represented the three chief races of men that descended from Noah's three sons: Shem. directed by an angel of God. was first worshipped by shepherds and wise men from the East -. born in Bethlehem. 4:4). bearing their gifts: gold. He brought the Lord the gift of frankincense. May His be eternal glory and praise! Amen. who bore our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. there being a great many people in that small city for the census. The Nativity of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. saying: 'Hail. Joseph and Mary could not find lodging in any house. The Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God. He brought the Lord the gift of gold. to save the human race. the Mother of God. 128 . on this day. from Constantinople to Milan and from Milan to Cologne. But.. The shepherds had heard a multitude of angels singing: 'Glory to God in the highest.Church Calendar 1. those who most sincerely worship the Lord Jesus as God and Savior are the simplest and the wisest of this world. on the eve of the second day of Christmas.the simplest and the wisest of this world. This feast is called a 'general commemoration' because. this star appeared nine months before the birth of the Lord Jesus. He was old. common feast in her honor. They spent these nine months in studying this star. 'And when the fullness of time was come. their bodies were taken to Constantinople. Bearing Him without pain. young and beardless. The second man was called Caspar. One of them was called Melchior. and on earth peace. At that time there also came wise men from the East. He asserts that they were kings of small regions or groups of towns in Persia. worshipped Him as God and laid Him in a manger. wise men and kings. in the city of Bethlehem. Arabia and Egypt. messengers and heralds. Then the shepherds came in from the fields. Twisted simplicity and crazed wisdom have always been enemies of Christ's divinity and of His Gospel. and worshipped Him as Messiah and Saviour. the Chieftain. of the lineage of David according to the flesh.Civil Calendar December 26th . prophets and righteous men. at the time when the most holy Mother of God conceived Him.at that time a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus that all the inhabitants of the Roman Empire be taxed. goodwill among men' (Luke 2:14). black-skinned and heavily bearded. The wonderful star that heralded the birth of the new King appeared to them. Ham and Japheth. In Ochrid. through these three.. and worshipped Him as King of kings. thou shalt conceive and bear a son' . After many types and prefigurings. 2:11). They arrived in Bethlehem very shortly after the birth of the Savior of the world. Vespers has been celebrated only in the church of the Mother of God. All the clergy and people there together glorify the most pure Mother of God. finally He appeared. He brought the Lord the gift of myrrh. Then righteous Joseph drew near and worshipped Him as the divine Fruit of a virgin womb. FOR CONSIDERATION The Lord Jesus. everyone had to go to his own town and there be inscribed. Thus He came into the world Whose coming had been foretold by the prophets and Who was born in the way that they had prophesied: of the most holy Virgin. In our day also. the Lord of the world and King of kings. the Arabian Shem and the Egyptian Ham. The third was called Balthazar. and to celebrate a triumphant. thou that art highly favored. they were greatly learned in astrology. But who were these wise men from the East? This question was closely investigated by St Dimitri of Rostov. in preparing for the journey and in travelling. After their deaths. In accordance with this decree. as He was conceived without sin of the Holy Spirit and not of man. the city of David. According to St Dimitri. At the same time. all the faithful come together to glorify her. led by a wonderful star. for they were both of the royal House of David. to perform the work of the salvation of mankind that could not be performed by His servants. January 8th . In this cave the most holy Virgin gave birth to the Saviour of the world. at the time when there was no longer in Jerusalem a king of the tribe of Judah. The Persian represented Japheth. and found shelter in a cave which the shepherds used as a sheepfold.

19:1). The Holy Protomartyr Stephen the Archdeacon. and then the holy family returned to Palestine in response to a command by an angel of God. His name was Dysmas. where he set his household affairs in order and then. And so a second prophecy was fulfilled: 'Out of Egypt have I called My Son' (Hosea 11:1). having worshipped the Lord in Bethlehem. and in the village of Matarea near Cairo. that wicked King. saying: 'He has done no evil'. brigands leapt out into the road to steal what they could. Looking at Christ the Lord. He is famed for his fasting and for his many miracles. And so the words of the prophet: 'The Lord. Joseph. to his town of Nazareth. the tree remains under which the Mother of God rested with the Lord Jesus. the Mother of God said to him: 'This Child will reward you richly for having spared Him today'. he abandoned the diplomatic service and became a monk.23:41-43). riding upon a swift cloud. he was flogged with bull-whips. taking his son James with them. Thus the Lord rewarded with Paradise him who had spared Him in childhood. Under the Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast. Dysmas is. meaning to lead it away. When the Cross was made on his head at his baptism. at the command of an angel. where a miraculous spring of water sprang up under the tree. Stephen was the first of the seven deacons whom the holy apostles ordained for the service of the poor in Jerusalem. Reading the works of St Ephraim the Syrian. planned to slaughter all the children in Bethlehem. Herod. one of the robbers went across to the Mother of God to see what she had at her breast.Church Calendar 1. Dysmas repented of his whole life and. Joseph did this. and on his bloodstained throne sat a worthy successor in his wicked son Archelaus.Civil Calendar December 27th . He would not be more beautiful than this child!'. He was a kinsman of the Apostle Paul and one of those Jews who lived in a Hellenic milieu. from the East. that penitent thief to whom the Lord said: 'Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise' (Lk. He was very strict with himself and wore chains on his body. astrologers. while Gestas reviled the Lord. crucified in His innocence. hearing that Archelaus was reigning in Jerusalem. Taking the divine Child and His most pure Mother. At that moment. who was somewhat better than his wicked brother Archelaus. 3. Herod was dead. it remained visible there till his death in Constantinople in the seventh century. 5. He lived for seventyfive years. He foretold the day of his death seven years in advance. eating dry bread only once a week. Galilee was at that time ruled by another of Herod's sons. while the name of the robber on the left was Gestas. They lived in Egypt for several years. Our Holy Father Constantine of Synnada. 2:14). Seeing the Christ-Child. This is why 129 . Full of gratitude to this kindly robber. Our Holy Father Evarestus. returned home. went off to Egypt (Matt.2. He took part in the Seventh Ecumenical Council. The wise men. Thirty-three years later. Commemoration of the Flight into Egypt. returned to Galilee. during which he died a martyr in 840 and received a wreath of glory in heaven. In old Cairo today the cave where the holy family lived can be seen. Dysmas rebuked his fellow-robber. another way. this same robber was crucified for his wrongdoing on the right of Christ's cross. and the robber told his fellows to take nothing from these travelers. he traveled first to Nazareth (Lk. Herod the Younger. the robber marveled at His beauty and said in wonder: 'If God were to take human flesh Himself. 2:39). where he settled in his own home. and went to the Lord in about 825. Bishop of Sardis. Righteous Joseph was leading the donkey on which were some few possessions and on which the most holy Mother of God was riding with her Son at her breast. FOR CONSIDERATION A story of the divine Christ-Child: when the holy family was fleeing before Herod's sword to Egypt. and spent about thirty years in exile for his veneration of icons. but God saw Herod's intention and sent His angel to Joseph. St Euthymius the Confessor. January 9th . The robbers seized the donkey. shall come into Egypt' (Is. He was a Jew who came to the Christian faith. then. were fulfilled. 4. The angel of God spoke to Joseph in a dream and commanded him to take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt.

prophesied that the Lord would come to Egypt. in which. I see the heavens opened. He was a Jewish prince and a secret Christian. and they venerated this picture. all the idols fell to the ground'. And this mystery was indeed fulfilled. and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God' (Acts 7:56). 130 . The wicked Jews disputed with him. Stephen opened his mouth and spoke of God's manifold works and marvels. January 10th . St Stephen's body was taken secretly and buried by Gamaliel in his own ground. but in the whole world. and came near to an idolatrous temple. Michael Balbus and Theophilus. 2. Then the malicious men took him out of the city and stoned him to death. Jer. stirred up the people and leaders against this innocent man. Isaiah wrote: 'Behold. In the time of the wicked Emperor Maximian Hercules. the Christian faith flourished in Nicomedia. Then the shameful Jews. They were monks in the community of St Sava the Sanctified. from which they became known as 'the Branded'. The 20.000 Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia. When the most holy Virgin went into that temple with the divine Child in her arms. Thus this first of Christ's martyrs made a glorious end and entered into the Kingdom of Christ our God. They suffered harsh persecution for their defense of the icons under three Emperors: Leo the Armenian. While they ground their teeth. or chief. they were skilled in both worldly and spiritual learning. and witnessed the martyrdom of this first martyr for the truth of her Son and God. and Theodore died there of his wounds. and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence' (Is.he is called the Archdeacon . Brothers in the flesh. and she prayed for Stephen. and of the people's manifold transgressions and opposition to God.Church Calendar 1. performed in the past for the People of Israel. his face was illumined by the light of grace as was the face of Moses when he talked with God. had foretold to the Egyptian pagan priests that the idols would fall and all the graven images would be destroyed at the time when a Virgin Mother with a Child born in a manger would come to Egypt. all the idols in the temple suddenly fell down and were broken to pieces. adept at calumny and slander. all these idols fell down and were smashed. and that they were awaiting its fulfillment. of them. St Palladius writes about this: 'We saw the idolatrous temple there.13). and received a glorious reward from Christ in the deathless Kingdom of light. These two wonderful brothers suffered for Christ.cf. and spoke to the Jews of what he saw: 'Behold. and all saw his face 'like the face of an angel': that is. He died in 845. and idols all over the land of Egypt fell in the same way. and were there ordained priests. At one time the Emperor. At that time. and ordered that they have mocking verses branded on their faces. 43:12. staying in the city. They slandered Stephen. calling them 'betrayers and murderers' (Acts 7:52). The holy Prophet Jeremiah. later the Apostle Paul. the Lord shall come into Egypt. Among his murderers was his kinsman Saul. By the power of his faith. at the presence of the Savior. When the divine refugees came to the city of Hermopolis (Cairo). Stephen looked and saw the heavens open and the glory of God. wrapped in swaddling bands. and quickly found false witnesses who supported their assertion. He especially denounced them for the slaying of Christ the Lord. Then Stephen stood before the people. born in Palestine. saying that he had blasphemed against God and against Moses. and they replied that it was a mystery. the most holy Mother of God was standing on a rock at a distance with St John the Theologian.Civil Calendar December 28th . and revealed not only in Egypt. the Martyrs Theodore and Theophanes the Branded. The demented Theophilus beat them with his own hands. Stephen worked many wonders among the people. FOR CONSIDERATION A story of the divine Christ-Child: Both great prophets. In some place there were three hundred and sixty-five idols. and that His presence would shake the temples and destroy the idols. depicted in their temples a virgin resting in bed with a child in a manger beside her. in accordance with it. They were thrown into prison in the town of Apamea in Bithynia. and spread from day to day. foretold by a prophet to their forefathers. Pharaoh Ptolemy asked the priests what the picture meant. Isaiah and Jeremiah. 19:l. Our Holy Fathers. who had lived in Egypt in old age.the first. and was made Metropolitan of Nicaea by Patriarch Methodius. Theophanes was freed in the time of the Emperors Theodore and Michael. but were always confounded by his wisdom and the power of the Spirit who acted through him. came to know of the large number of Christians. This happened exactly a year after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. The priests remembered this prophecy and.

Then the archdeacon. One night. The travelers were weary from their long journey. and understand that our true Lord and God will now sacrifice on this. when the divine family drew near to the tree. When all the Christians were assembled in the church after midnight and the glorious celebration was beginning. A virgin and priestess of the foul idols at the court of the Emperor Maximian. The Holy Martyr Domna. while Joseph went into the village. She was grieving deeply for St Indes. and they drank the water from this wonderful spring. they saw a tree before the gate of the city. and a marvelous golden light was seen around it. so shall we not lay down our lives for Him in this holy place?' The people were fired with enthusiasm to die for Christ. was killed with stones and arrows. by God's providence. the church be surrounded by soldiers and set alight. a deacon with Bishop Anthimus. terrified at the presence of the Christ Child. This was at the time that the twenty thousand Christians were burned in the church by the Emperor Maximian. St Theophilus. and all the catechumens were baptized and chrismated. Near the village. and the Emperor's envoy went into the church and told the Christians of the Emperor's command that they either immediately offer sacrifice to idols or all be burned to death. he was famed for his asceticism. she went to their aid and. Called by the fishermen to help them. 'Look. were burned in the flame singing the glory of God. and went up to the tree to rest a little. it trembled and the evil spirit. for all the other water in Egypt comes from the Nile. women and children died gloriously and received wreaths of eternal glory in the Kingdom of Christ. they saw a fig tree and. took their bodies and gave them burial. on that day. she read the Acts of the Apostles one day. together with a eunuch called Indes. the nun Theophila and the nobles Dorotheus. The bent tree thus gave a deep shade. Gorgonius and Peter were thrown into the sea with rocks around their necks. and St Domna was seized and beheaded. 'at the table of sacrifice in the Lord's altar. Abbess Agatha. who had openly denounced the Emperor for his idolatry. FOR CONSIDERATION A story of the divine Christ Child: When the most holy Virgin. When the Emperor learned that a young man was tending and censing the graves of the Christian martyrs. where blessed Agatha was abbess. Immediately after this. What was even stranger: a living spring of water suddenly sprang up near the fig tree. They suffered and were glorified in the year 302. and they settled there. a courageous soldier of Christ. This was the only spring of living water to be found in the whole of the land of Egypt.and he was greatly enraged and devised a means of slaughtering them all. the tree received miraculous healing power from Christ the Lord. 131 . Domna was walking by the sea and saw some fishermen casting their nets into the water. Zeno the commander. an evil spirit dwelt in this tree. The soldiers then set fire to the church on all sides and the Christians. ordered that. the soldiers surrounded the church so that no one could leave. drew out three human bodies in the net. fled. and was crowned with a wreath of glory in the heavenly Kingdom with the other martyrs. When the Emperor began to search for Domna. which branches out into innumerable canals. for they believed that some divinity was hidden within it. In fact. was beheaded. drew near to the city of Hermopolis. 3. discovering that all the Christians gathered in the church on this feast. Ss Indes. Then the tree bent its tip down and worshipped its Maker like a rational creature. he ordered that he be beheaded. his visions and his miracles. The holy travelers then went on to the village of Matarea. The church burned for five days. From that day. and its lower branches opened in such a way that mother and Child could go inside and rest. Then a marvel was seen: the tree bowed its crown down to the ground to give shade to the travelers. and a smoke with a fragrant and intoxicating smell rose from it. began to encourage the people. to heal every human sickness. in which the weary travelers could rest. and the Emperor. So. Thus these many men. St Cyril sent her to a women's monastery. 2. Domna recognized Indes. The Egyptians called this tree 'Persea' and worshipped it as a god. Mardonius. the holy Virgin sheltered with the Lord under this tree. Migdonius and Euthymius were also slain for the sake of Christ. reminding them of the Three Holy Children in the furnace in Babylon. But the tree was very tall and gave little shade. my brethren. Joseph found a hut near this. Agatha dressed her in men's clothing and sent her to a men's monastery.' he said. twenty thousand of them. by the Emperor's command. with her divine Child and righteous Joseph. The founder of the monastery of Simonopetra on the Holy Mountain. Gorgonius and Peter. The feast of the Nativity of Christ was approaching. aflame with divine zeal. came to faith in Christ and was baptized by Bishop Cyril in Nicomedia. He entered peacefully into rest and went to Christ in 1257. Our Holy Father Simon the Myrrh-Streamer.

Herod then turned on the Jewish elders. Finally. he appeared to his close friend. and the monk opened his eyes and lived till the following day. This glorious and holy man entered into rest in 486. that it was stainless and without pain and that the Virgin Mother remained a virgin after the birth as she was before it. and drove out devils with ease. The 14. his legs swelled. my brother. returned to their home another way. After his death. Salome came to visit her. and went to God soon after the Presentation in the Temple. Thus this terrible ruler lost his inhuman soul and was given to the devil for eternity. Slaying the children in Bethlehem. and showed him a very large basin full of tears. trampled some of them underfoot and drowned others with their own hands. An angel appeared to him at the time of his death. but. 13:15. She was punished for her 132 . God's punishment fell on him: he began to tremble. after the way of a midwife. He was a clairvoyant. and was amazed that such a young girl should give birth without the aid of a midwife. When the wise men from the East failed to return to Jerusalem from Bethlehem to tell Herod about the newborn king.Thus like called to like: the Lord Jesus. When Zacharias refused to hand John over. at a time when Herod was trying to find the divine Child. John. called forth this spring of living water from the earth. at the angel's command. or had dried on his face. a kinswoman of Joseph and Mary. and thus they who conspired with Herod to kill the new baby King came to an evil end. but visited them in the shepherd's cave. and seventy elders from the Sanhedrin. FOR CONSIDERATION A story of the most pure Virgin Mary: she conceived the Lord Jesus on a Friday. 2:18). who was already washed and prepared. 'Wait till tomorrow. but stretched out her hand to the most holy Virgin's body. that had fallen to the ground or been wiped away with his hand. Herod was as furious as a wild beast. and bore Him on the first day of the week. Salome would not believe it. he was abbot of the community of the Sleepless Ones in Constantinople. His nose became blocked and an unbearable stench spread around from it. This terrible command of the king's was carried out to the letter. St Lucian. Thus in heaven they know and keep all our tears along with our sufferings and labors and sighs for the sake of our salvation. She could not receive her kinsfolk into her house. and went to the kingdom of Christ. After that. he ordered that they all be slaughtered. January 11th . if this was so. he was killed in the Temple on Herod's orders. They were monks of the Kiev Caves. Our Holy Father Marcellus. on this day our Lord and Savior was born and was on this day baptized in the Jordan. Theophilus wept constantly for his sins. This evildoing towards the hordes of innocent children came to pass a year after the birth of Christ. dashed others on the stones. 2. a healer and a great wonderworker. so. These were Theophilus' tears. the deathless and heavenly Spring of living water. Rachel weeping for her children' as had been prophesied (Jer. From Apamea in Syria. He sought Zacharias' son. your grave isn't ready yet'. These holy servants of God entered into rest in the eleventh century. the lower part of his body became putrid.000 Holy Children in Bethlehem. Matt. meaning to kill him in the belief that John was the new king. There lived in Bethlehem at that time the aged Salome. should swaddle the child herself and still be on her feet. and commanded that all the children of two years and under in Bethlehem and its surroundings be killed. catching his tears in a basin.Civil Calendar December 29th . When it was explained to Salome that this birth was of God and not of man. on this day manna fell from heaven.Church Calendar 1. 1:3). When the most holy Virgin stainlessly bore the Lord and Savior. At the time of his death. Our Holy Fathers Mark the Gravedigger and Theophilus the Weeper. and worms came out of the sores. His soldiers cut off some of the children's heads with their swords. He killed Hyrcanes the High Priest. and told him that he had begged God to take Lucian quickly to His heavenly Kingdom. that they should not rejoice at his death. It was on this first day that God said: 'Let there be light' (Gen. 3. St Simeon the Host of God was also killed. he remembered that there were many captive Jews in prison. and three of his sons. Herod killed his own brother and sister and wife. St Mark had such grace that he could command the dead and they would listen to him. who had revealed to him where the Messiah would be born. to examine. he is recorded as having said to a dead monk. He spoke with angels. The weeping and lamentation of their mothers rose to heaven: 'Lamentation and bitter weeping.

Civil Calendar December 30th . A Greek by birth. The Holy Martyr Anysia. Better is age.' At that time. He rejoiced at this ridicule for the sake of Christ. she pushed him away and spat in his face. and there. Immediately after leaving the Temple. insisted that she was a virgin although she had given birth. as it touched the divine Child. she entered peacefully into rest in 755. openly before the Turks. but remained unharmed. according to the custom. His wonderworking relics are preserved in the church of the Holy Apostles in the village of Turnovo. The Emperor Leo the Isaurian took her from the monastery by force and betrothed her to one of 133 . Theodora was not only educated there: she also lived in asceticism. hope in Him with faith. in Turnovo in Thrace. he received the blessing of his spiritual father and went to the place where he had been forced into Islam. This holy maiden suffered in 298 and was buried by Christians. enduring much ill-treatment at the hands of the pagans. In remorse. January 12th . 4. and then for Egypt. and of the Seventy Apostles. when. the Mother of God and Joseph left Jerusalem for Nazareth. and entered into the kingdom of Christ. in the monastery of Karakallou. and gave herself over to pondering on God and prayer in her own home. 3. and herself lived from the labor of her own hands. Our Holy Father. slept very little and always wept in prayer. It was the day of a pagan festival of the sun.unbelief and impudence: her hand was seized and withered. for you either create scandal or are scandalized. it was restored to its former wholeness. the most pure Virgin came with the Child to the Temple in Jerusalem. 27th). asking her name. The Pharisees and priests were amazed at this. Then. This holy maiden once went out into the street to go to church. and I'm going to church. he fled to the Holy Mountain. and Salome believed in the virginity of the holy Virgin Mary and the divinity of Christ. and finally threw him into a place of excrement. The Holy Apostle Timon. and wanted to move her to the place for married women.Church Calendar 1. where. She was orphaned young. Desiring martyrdom for Christ. and lamented over her withered hand. preparing herself to receive the monastic habit.' When the impudent soldier came closer and began to speak as one deranged. and ran her through under the rib. as they had once done to St James the Persian (Nov. he received the monastic habit. he was forced to embrace Islam as a youth. After strict asceticism in the monastery of St Anna. Born in Salonica of wealthy and eminent parents. A soldier saw her fairness of face and went up to her with impure lust. When sleep overtook her. 2. without trial or sentence. she said to herself: 'It is dangerous to sleep while the enemy keeps vigil. He was thrown into fire. He finally died by crucifixion. Fired with the love of Christ. She made the sign of the Cross and said to him: 'I am Christ's handmaid. Zacharias the High Priest stood her in the place reserved for virgins. Because of this. The Turks shaved his head. The soldier aimed a blow at her with his sword. she often said: 'Oh. in their trouble. placed him upside-down on a donkey and led him through the town. Our holy Mother Theodora of Caesarea. The old woman was greatly frightened by this. he was made bishop of Bostra in Arabia an there preached the Gospel. how false is the life of youth. of very poor parents. the wicked Emperor Maximian issued a decree that any man was free to kill Christians when and where he came across them. I am seized with sorrow at the length of time that separates us from heaven!' She sold her goods and gave away the proceeds to the poor. and a part of them is to be found in his monastery of Karakallou. the Jewish elders hated Zacharias and advised Herod to kill him. where he gave his holy soul to God in the year 1818. They then chopped off all his fingers and toes with an axe. and was crowned with a wreath of glory by God in the heavenly Kingdom. A church was built over her grave. the Martyr Gideon. She kept strict fasts. confessed the Christian faith and denounced Mohamet as a false prophet. but Zacharias. After forty days. but oh. FOR CONSIDERATION Here are two more examples of how our merciful God helps those who. One of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5). Blessed Theodora of Caesarea was born into a noble house and given to the monastery of St Anna for education. gifted with insight. she was brought up in the Christian faith.

and ministering to those cared for in it.Civil Calendar December 31st . which was driven about until he died of his wounds. Pinian. A second example: in the monastery of the 'Sleepless Ones'. She was taken very seriously ill in giving birth to her second child. to help others to salvation. The commander went. Righteous Joseph is so named in the Gospel (Matt. They are commemorated on the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ. she was forced by them to marry a young nobleman. Theodora was freed and. returned to her monastery. 134 . the Provider of all has kept back ten talents. Constantius. St Marcellus. and entered into rest at the age of a hundred and ten. Going to Alexandria. as a nun. Holy and Righteous Joseph. and never returned. but the treasurer did not give them all ten. by God's help.his commanders. When it pleased God to take both children to Himself. in her deep joy. became known for her rare asceticism. She then returned to the Mount of Olives. was healed. he himself was a simple carpenter in Nazareth. containing a place for the treatment of infectious diseases. every three years. 3. Archbishop of Ochrid. and for this. One can learn all about King David. living with her husband as with a brother and fellow-ascetic. the Old and New Testaments. everywhere doing good works. God entrusted the most holy Virgin to his protection and gave him great honor in the economy of human salvation. At the invitation of her kinsman. but was as powerless as a lamb in a wolf's claws. She followed the practice of reading the Scriptures right through. fasting and prayer. a pagan. Our Holy Mother Melanie the Roman. She lived thus for fourteen years. being killed in battle. Protector of the Poor. Although Joseph was of the royal lineage of David. as a pure maiden. He gave them nine and kept one for the monastery's needs. Constantine's son. The abbot told him to give all ten coins to the poor men. welcomed some poor men one day and entertained them. the Martyr Zoticus. Her husband agreed and Melanie. They visited famous spiritual guides in Upper and Lower Egypt. where she went to God in 438. There Melanie became an anchoress. cast off all worldly things and received ordination to the priesthood. the abbot. and founded monasteries for men and women. He was eminent both of birth and rank. from the Book of Kings. He moved to Constantinople. the senator Volusianus. She lamented and prayed constantly to God in her heart that He would not forsake her. Blessed Theophylact. Theodora resisted the marriage with all her soul. news arrived from the Emperor that the Scythians had invaded the Empire. they agreed to sell all their possessions and give the proceeds to the destitute. Born in Rome of devout and very wealthy parents. Our Holy Father. while the guests were feasting. but as you disobeyed me and kept back one silver piece. with a summons for the commander to set out at once with the army against them. January 13th . Melanie lived in strict fasting. and gave herself completely to pondering. He suffered in the fourth century. He asked the monastery's treasurer how much money they had altogether. Thus. King David and James the Lord's Brother. God had intended to send us a hundred talents through this devout man. the Church and the monasteries. They traveled through many lands and cities. they received the blessing of the Patriarch. she went to Constantinople and brought him to the Christian faith. as the situation was becoming acute. where she received the habit and. He was a close acquaintance of the Emperor Constantine the Great. On the very day of the marriage. tied him behind a wild ass. After that.Church Calendar 1. and brought the abbot ninety talents of gold. He took the most holy Virgin from the Temple into his home at the age of eighty. and told her husband that she would be healed only if he vowed before God to live with her in future as brother and sister. A rich man suddenly visited the monastery. During all that time. 1:19). In retaliation for the gold that Zoticus had had from him for his plague-victims. and for holy James see October 23rd. at the age of fifty-seven. Then the discerning Marcellus summoned the treasurer and said to him: 'See. St Cyril. there was great want during a year of famine. fervent prayer and the reading of the Holy Scriptures. and received much instruction and inspiration from them. then wanted to give them some money for their journey. the son of Jesse. 2. after which she came out. they went to Jerusalem and settled on the Mount of Olives. founding a home for the poor. 4. and he replied that they had ten silver pieces.

a little dry bread and a salt pot.' The furious Emperor condemned Zoticus to death. The elder held the gold out to her on his palm. On the eighth day after His birth. are living pearls. Basil fully deserved his title "the Great". as she was on the way back. St Basil the Great. desiring thus to fulfill all the Law. a bowl for water. and sent. and took them to his house to look after them there. the Emperor Constantius ordered that everyone affected be immediately thrown into the sea.Church Calendar 1. The Circumcision of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. she heard the elder running after her and calling her to stop. a great builder and pillar of the Church of God. Thus. When his money ran out. and then returned to his cell. Theophylact withdrew from Ochrid to Salonica.) 2. the Emperor asked Zoticus for the promised pearls. Discovering in advance that the elder would not take money from her. treating them as dust and ashes! When St Melanie visited the hermits in Egypt with the intention of giving them some financial help. and was by nature melancholy and sensitive. He was chosen as bishop. the divine Child was taken to the Temple and duly circumcised according to the Jewish Law that had been observed from the time of Abraham. At this time He was given the name Jesus. saying: 'I don't need this. The Lord was truly circumcised. A great champion of Orthodoxy. he gathered further plague-victims and looked after them. One day. Among his fellow-students were Gregory the Theologian and Julian.Civil Calendar January 1st .Born on the island of Euboea. in about 330. In the Office for 135 . both secular and theological. we know of his Letters. He wrote commentaries on the Four Gospels and on other books of the New Testament. this Feast of the Lord has neither Forefeast nor After-feast. The Emperor gave him some money and. but a new creature" (Gal. The Lord's Circumcision shows that He took true human flesh upon Himself. against his will.' He replied: 'No-one around here would have any use for it. St Zoticus brought together those infected. These are the finest works of their sort after St John Chrysostom. which He Himself had given through our forefathers and the prophets. He superseded them by Baptism in His Church. Archbishop of Caesarea. take what's yours. He was Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia for nearly ten years. he became a priest in the Great Church. she was astounded at their utter scorning of goods and wealth.' Melanie said to him: 'If you don't need it.' When Melanie would not take the gold back. But. went to the blessedness of eternity. She stopped. astronomy and other contemporary secular disciplines. In old age. Of his other works. and the Emperor remained to expiate and repent of his sin. (In the Church Calendar. saying: 'These. with this. the elder swung his arm and threw the gold into the river. and saw nothing in his cell but mats. and a Life of St Clement of Ochrid. she visited one hermit. and died at the age of fifty. where he spent about twenty-five years (from about 1082 to 1108). she seized the opportunity to hide several gold pieces in the salt pot. nor uncircumcision. he was in the Jordan together with his former tutor Evulios. of refined Byzantine tastes. Theophylact felt himself among the Slavs of Ochrid like an exile among barbarians. he went to the Emperor and asked for money to buy precious pearls for him. for. Fulfilling all the ordinances of the Law. a great torch of moral purity and zeal for the Faith. not its semblance as heretics later taught of Him. how low a value they set on earthly goods in themselves. a great theological mind. and educated in Constantinople by the most eminent teachers of his day. While still unbaptized. as the Apostle declares: "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing. to Ochrid. The Baptism of the New Covenant was prefigured in the Circumcision of the Old Covenant. When already of mature years. later the apostate emperor. and finishing his earthly course. He was a man of enormous learning. O Emperor. rhetoric. the name announced to the most holy Virgin by the Archangel Gabriel (Luke 1:31). and are read to this day with great benefit. Chomatianus of Ochrid calls him 'the wisest archbishop'. During an outbreak of plague in Constantinople. and Zoticus took him and showed him the men in his house. he spent fifteen years in Athens studying philosophy. which I have acquired with toil and money for your salvation. FOR CONSIDERATION How wisely holy men and women were able to handle their wealth! How skillfully they bought heavenly goods with their earthly riches! Oh. give it to someone else. Ephestion. January 14th . St Basil was born in the reign of the Emperor Constantine. 6:15). Zoticus entered into eternal life.

Bishop of Rome. When one of his monks asked him for counsel.000 monks living in asceticism under his direction. Helena. finishing with honor his earthly life. apologetic. St Sylvester. he was skilled from his early years in secular learning and in Christian doctrine. Born in 1759. Many of the writings of this Father of the Church have survived . In His logic are contained all eternity and all transient goodness. Why. on asceticism and on the Canons. on every Sunday in the Great Fast with the exception of Palm Sunday. firmer than rock. you can fit a 136 . with profound spiritual discernment. for example. He had the blessed gifts of wonderworking and spiritual discernment. he referred to himself as "humble Seraphim". St Basil departed this life peacefully on January lst. abolishing. he is referred to as a bee of the Church of Christ. an orchard of choice. he departed this life in 1833. he said to him in reply: 'Be as a transgressor in prison and ask repeatedly. and. and brought up her sons to do the same. and on the Thursday and Saturday in Great Week. He was distinguished by great humility. He was a great ascetic of the fifth century and had charge of the Tabennisiot monastery in Upper Egypt. He became Bishop of Rome at the age of thirty. eminent or intellectually gifted though that man may be? Because the Church was founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and is guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. so you could. 2. If a man remains opposed to the community of the saints. This Liturgy is celebrated ten times in the year: on January lst. Being praised by all the world. nourished himself in that same spirit for the rest of his life. seeing the example of his teacher's self-sacrifice. fruit-bearing trees. There is also the Liturgy that bears his name. wider than the world.Church Calendar 1. and. If you cannot fit a barrel into a thimble. whose death for the Faith he witnessed.. if you wished. "If you are within. Born in Rome. St Theodota.. entered into the heavenly Kingdom in the year 335. as he would: "When will the Judge appear?" So thou also. Timothy. She is higher than the heavens. and reformed certain Christian customs. listen to him? "The Church is an enclosure". with about 3. she lived a life pleasing to God. find a place therein for yourself. therefore. the wild beasts will get you . on the Eves of the Nativity of Christ and the Theophany. she never grows old. By his prayers and miracles. FOR CONSIDERATION Why must one obey the Church and not some man whose thinking is opposed to that of the Church. He made good use of the tuition of a priest. and assisted Queen Helena in the finding of the Holy Cross. and entered into the Kingdom of Christ. the wolf cannot enter. but if you stray outside. Also because "the Church" signifies the community of the saints. 4." January 15th . The mother of the holy brothers Cosmas and Damian.theological. that means that he is unholy. Our Holy Father Ammon of Tabennisi.' FOR CONSIDERATION How do we reply to those who say that there is no room in our logic for Christ the worker of miracles? Answer simply: Place yourself within His. bringing honey to the faithful but stinging those in heresy. and his life was always governed by the precepts of the Gospel. 379. Do not wander from the Church. ask thou this with fear. and decreeing that only Great Saturday and those Saturdays that fall within fasting seasons should be so observed. he was instrumental in the conversion and baptism of the Emperor Constantine and his mother. He was one of the greatest Russian ascetics and wonderworkers. the Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers. says the wise Chrysostom. Our Holy Father Seraphim of Sarov. the Saturday fast that had up to that time been the rule among some Christians. She is your hope and your salvation. He governed the Church for twenty years. but is forever renewing her youth.Civil Calendar January 2nd . 3. there is nothing more impregnable than the Church.his Feast.

he went down into a town where pagan games were held. At these times. 12:20). He was chronologically the last of the prophets. or because of his purity of spirit. 137 . The governor attempted in vain to turn him from the Faith with flattery and threats. 16: 18).' for the truth is never contained only in the processes of rational thought. again. saying: "It would obviously be an act of the greatest folly to trade this brief life for eternal torment and spiritual peril. perhaps. The saint. speaking with the executioners on the way of the wonderful and sweet knowledge of Christ. he sat down to his mid-day meal. as also the biblical words: "Pride goeth before destruction" (Prov.Church Calendar 1 The Prophet Malachi. furthermore. and that which thou art pleased to bring upon me (i. others also heard its voice but were not worthy to look on its face." Condemned to death. St Geneviéve. At midnight Tarquinius was deprived of his proud spirit in the greatest torment. he summoned St Sylvester and threatened him with death if he did not reveal the whereabouts of Timothy's earthly possessions and if.. He was unusually fair of face. he did not immediately offer sacrifice to idols. perhaps because of his outward fairness. he was an officer in the Roman army under the Emperor Licinius. The young prophet spoke forth that which the angel revealed to him. born after the return of the Jews from exile in Babylon in 538 B. but they to the sun. and so also to make new the logic of men. he hastened joyfully to the place of execution. With this desire. he clearly foretold the coming and work of St John the Baptist (3:7). Having done this. and after him there was no prophet in Israel until John the Baptist.Civil Calendar January 4th . Gordius spent his time in prayer and in pondering the mysteries of heaven and earth. he was named 'the angel'. Gordius remained unyielding and firm as diamond. When the wicked Roman governor Tarquinius had beheaded blessed Timothy. answered fearlessly in the words of the Gospel: "Thou fool. She entered into rest on January 3rd. thy soul shall be required of thee this night" (Lk. FOR CONSIDERATION God looses ruin and debasement on man in his pride. or. From mid-day to midnight doctors strove to save his life.Civil Calendar January 3rd . And so the prophecy of St Sylvester was fulfilled. 512. January 16th . He went to God young in years. According to folk-tradition.Church Calendar 1. He presented himself to the governor as a Christian. he left the army and his former rank and went into the Sinai desert. Born in Caesarea of Cappadocia. He is the corrective of our minds.e. death) shall come upon thee! The proud governor put Sylvester in chains and cast him into prison. January 17th . At the outbreak of a terrible persecution. Alone on Mount Horeb. not He with ours. Christ came to make men new. In particular he pondered on vanity and on the worthlessness of all for which people struggle and strive so on earth. with the intention of swiftly bringing about his death. He came finally to the desire to die and so move into that life that is without transience or corruptibility. prayer and works of mercy. Blessed Clement of Alexandria says: 'Philosophers are as children until they become mature in Christ. 3. 2. she became worthy of the Kingdom of God by fasting. gifted with foresight. He cried out against the ingratitude of Israel and the sins of the priests. But he was chiefly the prophet of the Day of Judgment (4:1-3).thimble into a barrel. The Holy Martyr Gordius.. when the latter thinks that his strength is eternally assured. Thus we must direct our minds in accordance with His. but all in vain. a fishbone stuck in his throat. because of his companionship with an angel. The Assembly of the Seventy Apostles. With the name of Christ on his lips. at the age of 89.C. As he ate. He is our Logos and our logic. The sun does not adjust itself to our clocks. Five hundred years before Christ. he delivered his youthful body to the sword and his righteous soul to God in the year 320. with whom he often spoke face to face. Protectress of Paris.

6:66). and declared to the Turks that he wished to become one of them. after some time had elapsed. as the Turks threw it into the sea. at the age of 32. went to Hilandar and there became a monk. so the places of these were filled with others chosen. Theonas. was then chosen to be Bishop of Zeta and. to be Archbishop of Serbia. When St Genevieve was living the monastic life in Paris. who were in hourly expectation of its occupation by the enemy. he went to Trnovo and presented himself to the Turkish authorities.In addition to the twelve Great Apostles. the Lord chose besides seventy other. with the blessing of his spiritual father. The Eunuch of Queen Candace. Finally the Emperor called in a magician. but their firm faith and burning love for the risen Lord made them conquerors of the world and heirs of the Kingdom of heaven. then moved on to greater asceticism at Hilandar. He died a martyr and was counted worthy of the Kingdom of God. These apostles labored in the same way as the twelve Great Apostles. Theonas dissolved a very strong poison in water and gave it to Theopemptus to drink. When the Emperor Diocletian gave orders for the persecution of Christians. and sent them to preach to the Jews. In time he became abbot of Hilandar. He was possessed of great anger towards his parents in his youth. St. without any obvious reason. of God-fearing parents. After a very short time. Attila and his savage Huns laid siege to the city.Church Calendar 1. I commend my spirit. After his baptism. To that threat. He immediately repented of these words. The Hieromartyr Theopemptus and the Holy Martyr Theonas. the eunuch returned home and began to teach about Christ. he became a monk as a young man in Zeta. and went to some other place. the Martyr Onuphrius of Hilandar. Do with it whatever you will!' He was cruelly beaten and starved. lesser apostles. Fear and horror took hold of all the inhabitants. January 18th . seeing that it had no effect on Theopemptus. Theonas. Theopemptus made the sign of the Cross over the cup and drank the poison. So. 4. so some among these Seventy withdrew from Him. as also from the lives of the apostles and saints. not with the intention of betraying Him but from human weakness and lack of faith (Jn. St Eustathius. He sent them out two by two before His face. But as Judas. turned to the Emperor and cried out: 'I too am a Christian. to trick the man of God in some way with magic. and began to fast and to pray. And as Judas' place was filled from among the other apostles. stating that he was a Christian and mocking Mahomet. that the calamity might be averted. Our Holy Father. The Apostle Philip baptized this negro eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). O Lord.Civil Calendar January 5th . Born in the diocese of Budim. You. The body of this spiritual hero was lost. I send you as sheep among wolves" (Lk. one of the Twelve. 3. the enemy withdrew from Paris. and tortured in many ways. Theopemptus. He was the first apostle of the Faith among the negroes of Ethiopia. Bishop of Nicomedia. saying: "Behold. Genevieve then called on the people to fast and pray. O King. he determined on martyrdom. and 138 . 1818. they were the assistants of the Twelve in the spreading and strengthening of the Church of God in the world. as a result of which he was slain on January 4th. Genevieve herself kept the strictest fast and made the most fervent prayer to God. the prayer of one righteous person can perform. from men and from demons. FOR CONSIDERATION God hearkens to the prayer of a righteous man. Archbishop of Serbia. who threatened him with death if he did not deny Christ. the courageous bishop replied: 'It is written: "Fear not those who are able to kill the body". They suffered much torture and malice. have power over my body. exclaiming as death drew near: "Into Thy hands. He was a man of great virtue and led Christ's flock with zeal and love."' His relics are preserved in the crypt of the church at Pec. Many men and women responded to the saint's call. was the first to suffer for Christ. He was brought before the Emperor. 10: 1-5). 2. That which cannot be accomplished by the swords of many sinners. This is clearly seen in the lives of Moses and Elias and of many righteous men and prophets of the Old Testament. Tormented by his conscience. He entered peacefully into rest at a great age in 1279. fell away from the Lord. to each town and place.

At a certain gathering of Athenians.C. the Athenians expressed their gratitude to the Spartans in well-rounded phrases. writing nothing down. "Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down. lifting up her soul constantly to God and burning with love towards His whole creation. not a man. those who do not fast fall into the same sicknesses. so virtue. She entered into rest in the year 470. at which envoys from Sparta were present. she entered a men's monastery where she lived in asceticism. they all leapt to their feet and offered him their places. health. And the well-spring of goodness in man is a good. and prophesied evil to King Ahab. A native of Macedonia and educated in Alexandria.that she had been a woman. she lived to the age of eighty.worship the Crucified!' They were both condemned to death. the regent during the minority of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. Good fruit is a God-loving heart. She had many suitors. in vigils and prayer. and no-one gave him his seat. the beginning of the Gospel . Our Holy Mother Apollinaria. trying to find somewhere to sit down. is quickly eclipsed and lost. insane. There was another Micah. is quickly seized upon.Civil Calendar January 6th . St Syncletica taught: 'Do not abandon a fast in time of sickness. by God's providence. 18:7). who was killed in battle against the Syrians (I Kings 22:8. who prophesied the birth of the Lord in Bethlehem (Mic. the secret became known . and cast into the fire" (Matt. when discovered. the wisdom she attained coming not from reading but through suffering and pain. When the Lord Jesus had lived for thirty years from His birth in the flesh. Among other counsels. but bad Fruit is a heart filled with self-love.the mystery of the Holy Trinity of God. Her counsels to the nuns have always been regarded as true spiritual pearls.). FOR CONSIDERATION It is fruit. wearing man's dress and using the man's name Dorotheus. but refused them all and fled from her parents' home to a monastery. but do not do it. 2. She refused to marry. she was a rich young woman of standing. When the old man drew near to the Spartans. for lo. So much the more must it be the rule among the followers of Christ. that prayers might be read over her. 5:2) and wrote one of the prophetic books. power. II Chron. in the eighth century. He marked this very beginning of the beginning by His Baptism in the Jordan. She was the elder daughter of Anthemius. being in her heart betrothed to Christ. St Cyril of Jerusalem says: 'The beginning of the world . He prophesied entirely orally. God-loving heart. And so. honor. In the greatest self-denial. learning -. fruit and fruit alone that the Lord seeks from man. it came to pass that Apollinaria healed her insane sister by the power of prayer. The manly courage of this holy virgin has remained as an example and stimulus throughout the ages to all who take thought for their salvation.' 4. Her soul entered into that higher world in the year 350. The Father revealed Himself to the sense of 139 . daughter to the hermit. through constant meditation and spiritual converse with the divine world. It was suggested to Anthemius the Regent that he send his remaining. his second-born daughter being insane.Church Calendar 1. All other things that a man has and enjoys status. The Theophany. wealth. They suffered with honor and became citizens of the Kingdom of Christ.the Jordan. Micah was a contemporary of the Prophet Elias (9th century B. January 19th . that living tree. Seeing this. The Athenians mocked at him. Theopemptus was slain with the sword and Theonas buried alive in the year 298. 3:10).' At the Baptism of the Lord in the water. one old man was going from bench to bench. He began His teaching and saving work. The Holy Prophet Micah the First (or Micaiah). 3. Even non-Christian peoples rate good works above fine words.these are no more than the leaves of the tree. Going off into the Egyptian desert. To this the Spartans replied: 'The Athenians know what is good. that mystery was revealed to the world that was predicted in the Old Testament and fabled in ancient Egypt and India .' Also: 'Treasure. Our Holy Mother Syncletica. As soon as she died. when it is made public.water.' He who does good is like a tree that bears good fruit for its owner.

by his role of baptizer of men to repentance and his baptism of the Messiah. from the earliest times. and sometimes clenched. forsaking the one. for the enemy will lose his weapons (Ps. When the judge called on Athanasius to repudiate his faith and embrace Islam. St John is commemorated several times during the year. renewed and re-born. On the following day. further beyond these. He succeeded. he seeks water in the arid wastes and moves into an uninhabited and thirsty land.) 2. dedicated the day following that feast to his memory. The Turk was educated and adroit with words. The word "Theophany" means "the revelation of God". In the first case it indicated that it would be a fertile year. St John the Baptist. See Malachi 3:1. He was of such moral purity that he indeed deserved the name 'angel'*. About the hand of St John: it is related that each year.' The same can be said today of many who. the vessel of the truth of God. --Tr. Here is the Savior and here is the way of salvation. The Evangelist Luke desired to take John's body from Sebaste. but was rich in faith and in wisdom through the Spirit of God. His body was buried in the Church of St Paraskeva in Smyrna. true God. On one occasion he was inadvertently involved in a quarrel with a Turk. 1:29). 9:6). as he had given the impression of declaring to his companion of the previous day. And the Church of God. by diligent prayer.hearing. The Feast of the Theophany is also called the Feast of Lights. by the manner of his birth in this world and of his earthly life. by the tragic manner of his departure from this world.Civil Calendar January 7th . and lastly. the city of his execution.Church Calendar 1. which taketh away the sin of the world' (Jn. Separated from God. The Father gave His testimony of the Son. January 20th . The Holy Martyr Athanasius. He dies under it (the immersion) and rises again (the coming up out of the water). They then parted. Blessed Clement of Alexandria says about heretics who left the Church: 'He who falls into heresy wanders through a dry desert. And when John the Baptist bore witness of Christ and said: 'Behold the Lamb of God. the Son was baptized in the waters and the Holy Spirit. studying hypotheses and theories. and because of this the Church has. sinful man and rise again. in acquiring and taking only one hand. where the great prophet had been beheaded by Herod. the Spirit to the sense of sight and the Son. hovered over the waters. rather than being thought of as just a mortal man. in Greek. FOR CONSIDERATION 140 . the person of John the Baptist holds a very special place. John's greatest role during his life was enacted on the day of the Theophany. and we must die to the old. Athanasius cried out: 'I would die a thousand deaths before I would deny the Faith of Christ!' He was therefore condemned to death and beheaded in the year 1700. Sometimes the hand appeared open. This day is also connected with an event involving the hand of the Forerunner. 11-10. This martyr of Christ was a poor and simple man. on his feast-day. It was then moved to Constantinople. whence it disappeared during the Turkish occupation. FOR CONSIDERATION In some periods the fables of heretics vexed the Church of God. his own birthplace. as he was named in the Scriptures. but his greatest feast is on this day. January 7th. 'angelos'. to the sense of touch. By endurance in the Faith. cleansed. and in the second that it would be a year of famine. will triumph in the end. to Antioch. the archbishop would bring it out before the people. John differs from all the other prophets in that he had the joy of showing forth to the world the One Whom he had foretold. but Athanasius strove with all his might to present and uphold the truth of the Christian faith and its superiority over Islam. (*The word 'messenger' is. That is to say: Christ takes upon Himself the sin of the whole human race. are guided by figments of their own imagination and not by the truth of God. Athanasius was summoned to trial. there were thus revealed both the mission of Christ in the world and the path of our salvation. but now she is vexed by the fables of unbelievers. and found the Turk standing there as his accuser. Matt. which was kept in Antioch till the tenth century. though. in the form of a dove. and when he immersed the Lord in the Jordan and baptized Him. Among the Gospel-figures surrounding the Savior. by witness and even by martyrdom --only by these things will this new vexation be brought to naught.

seven brothers from that locality. The Holy Martyrs Julian and Vasilissa. were themselves converted to Christianity. not just your face. They gave their goods to the poor and embraced the monastic state. raised from the dead by his prayers.000 monks and Vasilissa one for about a thousand nuns. he entered into rest in the year 1012.purity of soul. Vasilissa besought God that none of her nuns should suffer torture nor repudiate the Orthodox faith. Vasilissa had a vision of her sisters in the other world. during the next six months. though married. They all suffered with honor for Christ and became citizens of the Kingdom of heaven in about the year 313. says St Basil the Great. agreed to live in celibacy as brother and sister. Bishop of Ochrid. The Lord inspired and strengthened him in his torments and he endured them with heroism. A pagan. so it is with the external appearance of a man. as the Lord said: 'Blessed are the pure in heart. but it is only clear to spiritual sight that the body is not the man but only the dwelling he inhabits. who. at the time of his own martyrdom. They were all bathed in light and were rejoicing like the angels. accompanied by four girls who were likewise ignorant of God. They appealed to their spiritual mother to join them as quickly as possible. as likewise does a man from the spirit within him.Civil Calendar January 9th . and did not falter in that zeal right up to the time of her death at a great age. For the whole spirit of man is concentrated in his heart. St Domnica. The Lord hearkened to the petition of His worthy servant and. FOR CONSIDERATION On a tablet in the Church of St Sophia are inscribed the words: 'Wash your sins. and finally their abbess Vasilissa. He lived the ascetic life in the seventh century in the Chozebite community on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. January 22nd . she was able to predict the future and perform miracles through prayer. It is only the place where the householder lives. 4. She entered into rest in about the year 474. and Julian was inhumanely tortured. St Domnica devoted herself to asceticism with whole-hearted zeal.'The whole man is not outwardly visible'. keeping faith and glorifying the name of Christ. when will we learn to give as much attention to washing ourselves from sin as we devote daily to the washing of our faces? God will then see into our hearts as in a mirror. St Gregory. Julian's monastery was burned by fire. A pious teacher and pastor of Christ's flock. He baptized them and blessed them to live as nuns.Church Calendar 1. Together with Julian were beheaded the son and wife of the persecutor Marcian. Julian founding a men's monastery of about 10. It is easily apparent to bodily sight that the house is not the householder. But a house receives honor from him who inhabits it. Also martyred with him were twenty Roman soldiers. a priest named Antony and a man called Anastasius whom Julian. she came from Carthage in the reign of the Emperor Theodosius to Patriarch Macarius. Our Holy Father George the Chozebite.Church Calendar 141 . 2. January 21st .' Whoever entered this church read this inscription and remembered that the Christian faith demands moral purity -. 3. They were both of rich and noble families and.' The most complete outward purity is of no help whatever in the attaining of the Kingdom of heaven. By the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Celsus and Maronilla. he is called 'Gregory the Wise'. being killed only after the most horrible sufferings. where our holy Father John the Chozebite first lived as a monk. As one house is like another. When a violent persecution of Christians was launched under Diocletian. heart and mind. On an inscription in the Church of St Sophia in Ochrid. one by one. Oh. took all the nuns to Himself.Civil Calendar January 8th . seeing Julian's heroic and patient sufferings. Before her own death.

at the same time teaches them perfect obedience. but when his wife. But the holy man could not witness with indifference the atrocities of that terrible Tsar. he was standing one day in church. as was all the land of Armenia. have mercy'. During seventy-five years of monastic life. he promised to become a believer. The Holy Martyr Polyeuctus. though with great sorrow at not having brought his friend Polyeuctus to the true Faith. the priests to the bishops and the faithful to the one and the other. the body of the saint was found to be whole and uncorrupt. Nearchus prepared himself for death. The bishops owe obedience to the Lord. when he heard the priest read from the Gospel the words: "No man can serve two masters" (Matt. When Polyeuctus became aware of Nearchus' sorrow.1. After some years. but always on his right. but counseled him strongly and then fearlessly denounced him. he was chosen and consecrated as Bishop of Nyssa. he was at first a married priest. He was filled with awe at these words. He died at the age of 95. from which flow both order and harmony among the faithful. But a horrible death quickly overtook all who had opposed Philip. I beg you. who constitute the assembly of the Apostles . On December 23rd. He was tortured and condemned to death. he related to Nearchus a dream that he had: the Lord Himself had appeared to him in light. as though they were said to him alone. and giving off a very beautiful fragrance. he caught sight of Nearchus in the crowd and called joyfully to him: 'Save your soul. an emissary of the Tsar. The first blood shed for Christ in that town was that of St Polyeuctus. 1569. Metropolitan of Moscow. he who would deceive his visible bishop would scorn also the Invisible . It was transferred to the monastery of Solovetzk. FOR CONSIDERATION The Orthodox Church. not thinking that whatever may seem to you to be right.Church Calendar 1. The faithful have. The Tsar found false witnesses against Philip. Because of this. St Philip. who occupy the place of God. In time he became abbot. stripped him of all but his simple monastic rank and imprisoned him at Tver. Tsar Ivan the Terrible translated him to the vacant See of Moscow as Metropolitan in 1566. he was a great ascetic and man of prayer. in isolation. spilled in about the year 259. The brother of St Basil the Great. The Armenian town of Melitene was soaked in Christian blood. in teaching men perfect love. Born on February 11th. Polyeuctus went off to the town. in such instances. he never lay on his left side to sleep. and the priests." The Orthodox have always accepted this. St Ignatius writes about this: "It is your duty to obey without hypocrisy. 2. he repeated over to himself throughout the service: 'Lord.. After relating this dream. the former baptized and the latter unbaptized. 3. and was enlightened in that same moment. my dear soul-friend! Remember the vow of love confirmed between us!' And St Nearchus later ended a martyr for Christ in the fire. Our Holy Father Eustratius. who were contemporaries of St Ignatios.. after a long and hard novitiate. A native of Tarsus. and resplendent as the sun in holiness. that they must not be obedient to disobedience. came into Philip's cell and suffocated him with a pillow. take care to fulfil all in the unity of God. but when the bishop preaches anything other than true Orthodoxy. ousted the bishop and replaced him with one who is Orthodox. Bishop of Nyssa.. during the reign of Valerian. 1507. where.. the faithful are admonished by the testimony of the Apostles. On the way to the place of execution. He was distinguished by great secular learning and 142 . that should you do on your own. he received the monastic habit. died.Civil Calendar January 10th . the blessed Theosevia. He went off to the monastery of Solovetzk. In church. while still a young man. There were in the town two friends who were officers: Nearchus and Polyeuctus. clothed him in new and shining raiment and set him upon the saddle of a winged horse. stripped his old clothing from him. On the following day. became known throughout the land of Russia. January 23rd . Malyuta Skhuratov. under the guidance of your bishops. tore up the royal decree on the persecution of Christians and smashed many statues of idols. St Gregory. 6:24). dismissed him. When a decree went out from the Emperor that all Christians were to be killed. His feast is on April 22nd.

He therefore built a church for each language group. He took with him a censer containing cold charcoal and incense. does not in fact do so. was very hard towards himself. He was an Egyptian ascetic. and he went to God. The first founder and organizer of cenobitic monasticism. so the spiritual worth of a man does not appear on the outside.Church Calendar 1." This great man. In 381. to heal the sick. he visited St Simeon Stylites. he strove and prayed to God to kill all anger in him. 3. he spent it unstintingly on two objects: the building or restoring of churches. and was a great preacher. during the greater part of the reign of Marcian and Pulcheria. and charity to the poor. the Bride of Christ. where the service was conducted in Greek. to be present and help from a 143 . my boy. and entered into rest at the beginning of the fifth century. Finally. while being so generous to the churches and the poor. they managed to depose him from his episcopal seat and drive him into exile. they held all possessions in common. he stopped. 6:8). He was born in Rome. full of years and good works. 2."If I had a daughter and was-giving her in marriage to some nobleman. in vigils and in all the Christian virtues. but he's still just a ram!" To be a Christian and take pride in one's apparel is more foolish than to be a king and take pride in the dust beneath one's feet. The inheritor of great wealth from his parents. He built two new churches in Constantinople dedicated to St Anastasia and St Irene. on seeing a young man flaunting his attire. He who has nothing else of which to be proud takes pride in his attire. a translator of the Scriptures and a theologian. St Marcian. in the year 471. so that services were conducted and God praised at the same moment in Greek. Theodosius set out in search of a place in which to found a monastery.spiritual experience. Theodosius was a sublime example to all the monks. I am adorning the Church. And God endowed him with the gifts of wonder-working. and famed as beautiful and holy places. He achieved such perfection of goodness that he was no longer aware of the existence of evil in the world. He was an outstanding expert in the Scriptures. regarding him as their chief enemy.Civil Calendar January 11th . There is a story of how a famous philosopher. As gold is not found lying on the surface of the ground. Our Holy Father Ammon of Egypt. But on a day when they were to receive Holy Communion. in which to take pride. As a young man. an example in work. he entered into the Kingdom of God and has been commemorated through all succeeding ages as a great light in the Church. but lived as a priest in Constantinople to the end of his life. It was written of him: "He was utterly in God and God in him". When asked why he spent so much of his wealth on churches. This was in 376. settled down and began to lead a life of asceticism. At the place where the charcoal suddenly ignited of itself. he replied. FOR CONSIDERATION Vanity in dress has a particularly free reign in our day. The refectory was common to all. finishing his life at a great age in about the year 395. There very quickly gathered round him many monks of different nationalities and with different languages. The holy Father spent several years in patient exile. all the brethren gathered in the great church. of more value than dress. the ram got there first. would I not expend much gold to adorn her as a worthy bride? Here. Georgian and so forth. At the age of fourteen. Armenian. He received it when he unhesitatingly gave himself to the service of God and clothed himself in tatters. They were so successful in this that. He who might have something else. Our Holy Father Theodosius the Great. While St Arsenius wore golden clothing in the royal palace. endured in common and often hungered in common. he was born of devout parents in Cappadocia. enduring poverty and humiliation. and it is thought that he formulated the final part of the Creed concerning the Holy Spirit. in the village of Mogarisses. let us therewith be content" (I Tim. January 24th . moved up to him and whispered in his ear: "You know. their confederate. with a fleece like that. who blessed him and predicted for him great spiritual glory. in prayer. labored in common. in the reign of the Emperor Valens. he took part in the Second Ecumenical Council. he never received the title 'the Great'. following the evangelical counsel: "Having food and raiment. in fasting. they did everything in their power to crush him. As a result of his opposition to the Arians.

where his relics are preserved. When the Emperor Anastasius (491-518) fell into the Eutychian heresy. for which they were tortured and killed. The Holy Martyr Tatiana of Rome. to tame wild beasts. After the death of the Emperor Heliogabalus. an uncertainty that was clearly expressed by his keeping statues of both Christ and Apollo. ostensibly for the needs of his monastery. he cried out with great joy: 'My one desire is to die for my God!' He was crucified. And lo. and to him the Emperor sent thirty litres of gold. Tatiana. and he thus received praise from God. he rebelled against the decisions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and attempted to revoke them. a Russian of princely family. like his Lord. was fulfilled . 3. Finally she was led out. he was condemned to death. In that way a prophecy. He entered peacefully into rest in the Lord in the year 529. might be hidden in it. 2. "She who gives suck". When the virgin Tatiana was led to martyrdom. and gave up his spirit on the cross. but the lion became tame before her and did her no harm. and was crowned with an immortal crown of glory. St Tatiana's martyrdom was long-drawn-out: she was flogged. He would not keep the money for the monastery. His chief advisors took it into their own hands to persecute the Christians without his orders. so he instantly distributed all the gold to the poor in the Emperor's name. that this act of charity might strengthen his prayers for the Emperor's repentance and return to the true path. In order to win the chief leaders of the Church to his side. Theodosius realized immediately that the Emperor meant this as a bribe. Julia Mammaea. eight of them were converted to Christ. His mother. their eyes were opened and they saw four angels around the martyr.that one day a Serbian priest called Sava would come and would be given the icon and his staff. St Theodosius was the first in renown in Palestine. Prayer was on his lips day and night. appeared before her torturers each morning in perfect health. at the age of 105. nor return it to the Emperor for him to work more evil with it against Orthodoxy. he began sending them various gifts. and then. such bribery is a characteristic only of certain heretics. Seeing this. the Emperor Alexander came to the throne in Rome. to predict the future and to increase bread and wheat. together with her father.Church Calendar 1. of both Abraham and Orpheus. Blessed Michael of Klops. but a manly and valiant spirit. She was thrown to a lion. 2. some magical strength. Bribery in things of the Faith is equivalent to Judas' betrayal of Christ for money. Hearing the sentence pronounced. She was a Christian of an eminent family and a deaconess in the Church. in his palace. The Orthodox Fathers of the Church were never open either to bribes or intimidation. When Sava of Serbia visited the community of St Sava the Sanctified. But God sent His angel to the prison to give her courage and heal her wounds. This is the name given to the icon of the Mother of God that St Sava of Serbia brought from the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified near Jerusalem and placed in his hermitage at Karyes on the Holy Mountain. The Holy Martyr Peter Apselamus. and the two were beheaded. was flung that evening into prison to be brought out on the following day for further torture. FOR CONSIDERATION A man who is open to a bribe cannot be a Christian. January 25th .Civil Calendar January 12th . A native of Eleutheropolis in Palestine. all disfigured and bleeding. was a Christian. the monks called to mind the prophecy of their founder and gave the icon and the 144 . she was sawn with an iron saw. she prayed for her executioners. After terrible tortures. but the Emperor himself was unsure and hesitant about his faith. he made himself a fool in order to hide his virtues from the world and escape the praise of men. parts of her flesh were cut off. he suffered as a youth for the Christian faith in the year 311 under the Emperor Maximian.distance. In such manner this heroic maiden finished her earthly life in about the year 225. therefore. and acted with very great wisdom. She had the weak body of a woman. although it was in great need. A fool for Christ. Her hair was shorn from an idea that occurred to their godless minds that some sorcery. The Icon of the Mother of God. He died in the year 1453 in the monastery of Klops near Novgorod. made 800 years previously by St Sava the Sanctified.

I will not fear what man doeth unto me" (Ps. some quite small occurrence. He sought some sort of catastrophe. But the jailer was one Stratonicus. * Pateritsa . Maximus lived in the fourteenth century following the ascetic life as a monk on the Holy Mountain according to his own particular way. St James lived long and with honor. we see. Our Holy Father Maximus of Kapsokalyvia. that is. too. was arrested and condemned to death. he rejoiced greatly. He thus earned himself the name 'of Kapsokalyvia'. 117:6).' A Christian is an earthen vessel into which are poured godly strength and light.Church Calendar 1. In summer in an open field and in winter in a cave. When he was told that he was being taken out to martyrdom. He took part in the First Ecumenical Council in 325 and defended Orthodoxy against the Arians. Does not gold have the same worth. After harsh torture. and the staff in a cell which received the name 'Pateritsa'*. He did not. St James. and died peacefully in great old age in the year 350. When he. The Emperor Licinius launched a violent persecution against the Christians. seek the destruction of the enemy.The name used for a bishop's staff. If that vessel be placed on a king's golden throne or tucked away in some lightless beggar's hovel. in reply to the Emperor's threats. so are trials and temptations to our life. 4. and fellow-Christians took them and buried them a little ways outside Belgrade. So Hermylas and Stratonicus were bound together in one net and cast into the river. The Holy Martyrs Hermylas and Stratonicus. On one occasion he went down into the city of Nisibis in Mesopotamia.staff to Sava. God heard the prayer of His chosen one and sent a plague of flies and mosquitoes on the Persians. Our Holy Mother Theodora A famous nun and instructress of nuns from Alexandria. These glorious martyrs suffered for Christ and entered into glory in the year 315.' She entered peacefully into rest at the beginning of the fifth century. thus driving them away from the city walls. Peter replied: 'I am a Christian. --TR. 'of the burnt huts'. the father's rod. a Christian and a deacon in one of the churches. St Hermylas. St James lived as a hermit. St James went out onto the ramparts with the banner-icon from the church. 2. a secret Christian who was filled with whole-hearted compassion for Hermylas' sufferings. whether wrapped in a silk scarf or a cabbage leaf? January 26th . The Emperor threatened him in vain. its worth is thereby neither magnified nor diminished.' Saint John of Kronstadt writes: 'The whole world is as thistledown in comparison with the soul of a Christian man. Hermylas openly confessed his faith in Christ and. this holy woman said: 'As cold and snow are necessary to a tree for it to bear fruit. to look into the faith and life of the Christians.' The judge questioned him further: 'Of what rank are you?' To this he replied: 'There is no higher or finer rank than that of a Christian. Licinius ordered that they both be thrown into the Danube. Bishop of Nisibis. The icon was placed at the right-hand side of the Royal Doors in the hermitage. said: "The Lord is my helper. himself raising it aloft and walking round the ramparts fearless of the arrows the enemy was aiming at him. 3.Civil Calendar January 13th . also situated at Karyes. He pretended to be slightly crazed and constantly changed his abode. Walking thus. He was regarded as a fool until St Gregory the Sinaite came to the Holy Mountain 145 . appeared before the Emperor as a Christian. Hermylas was flung into prison. When the judge-torturer Sevirus asked the young Peter Apselamus: 'Of what family are you?'. and was there elected by the people as their bishop. He built hut of boughs. After three days the river threw their bodies onto the bank. that would overcome them and remove them from the vicinity. It happened at one time that the pagan Persian army attacked Nisibis. driving them away and saving the city of Nisibis. FOR CONSIDERATION There is no greater honor or calling on earth than to be a Christian. the saint prayed to God to save the city and the faithful in it by sending flies and mosquitoes on the Persians. and then burned them down in rapid succession.

and perceived in Maximus a unique ascetic. together with his father. he came by night on three occasions to the house of a poor man and threw a purse of gold through the window. my brother has brought it to me with great difficulty). The Mother of God appeared to her and promised her that she would take her to that land. What ostentation and what words concerning brotherly love could replace this simple and silent act of brotherly love? January 27th . He died in Trnovo in the reign of King Asen. Hearing this. the maiden Nina desired from her early years to travel to Georgia and baptize the Georgians. Her grave is in a church in Samtavro. Nina traveled throughout Georgia in the course of her life. St Hilary. would not eat the bread. He made peace among his brothers. burning it at Vracar in Belgrade on April 27th. built the monastery of Hilandar and many other monasteries. and the others in the fifth. Nemanja followed his son's example and himself went to the Holy Mountain. When the Lord opened the path to her. whence Sinan Pasha removed it. who were in conflict over their rights. where he lived and ended his days as the monk Simeon. She baptized Mirian. where she very quickly gained the love of the people. the most important are those on the Holy Trinity. This led him to flee to the Holy Mountain. and also between the Serbs and their neighbors. 2. who then zealously aided Nina in her missionary efforts.Church Calendar 1. his wife Nana and their son Bakar. Our Holy Fathers. He brought peace to all the Balkan peoples. Hearing of the Georgian people. churches and schools throughout the land of Serbia. In creating the Serbian Church. An ardent fighter against Arianism in the West. FOR CONSIDERATION Good deeds in silence are worth far more than good deeds with show. King of Georgia. for which he was venerated and loved by all on the Balkan peninsular. which survived the fall of the Serbian state. the great Serbian national leader. The son of Stefan Nemanja. 3. Of his writings on many subjects. and incomparably more than the cleverest show without good deeds. Then the other monks begged the old man to eat it. Archbishop of Serbia. the young Nina indeed went to Georgia. but his deeds have remained. He gave a Christian soul to the people of Serbia. whence he brought fresh bread for the aged sufferer. St Nina. 146 . being taken ill after the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Theophany in 1236. She performed many miracles both during her lifetime and after her death. where he became a monk and with rare zeal followed all the ascetic practices. he created the Serbian state and Serbian culture along with it. Without any show. he was born in 1169. working for the good of all.Civil Calendar January 14th . saying to him that he must not reject the sacrifice of his brother. The old man. He went to the Lord in the year 1320. saying: 'This is the blood of my brother' (i. the Martyrs of Sinai and Raithu. St Sava.and this during a time of fearful persecution of Christians by the Emperor Diocletian. 4. He entered into rest in the Lord in the year 367. He. and succeeded in bringing all the people to the Christian faith . learning of the labor of the monk who brought it. those of Sinai in the fourth century. Sava obtained the independence of the Serbian Church from the Emperor and the Patriarch and became its first archbishop. These holy fathers were killed by the Saracens. From St Nicholas of Myra not one single word has been preserved. He traveled to the Holy Land on two occasions.e. one of the monks went out without a word and traveled a long way to the town. he suffered greatly for his choice of Orthodoxy. on pilgrimage to the holy places. As a young man he yearned for the spiritual life. She rested from her many labors and entered into peace in the Lord in the year 335. 1595. a wonderworker with the gift of prayer and an 'angel in the flesh'. the Enlightener of Georgia. Bishop of Poitiers. An old man in the hermitage at Myra fell ill and longed to eat a little fresh bread (for the bread eaten there by the monks had been dried in the sun and kept for many months). King Vladislav took his body to Mileseva.

an idol-worshipper. If we wish to be delivered from Gehenna and obtain the Kingdom. Hearing this. and was the only child of rich and eminent parents. and entered into rest in the Lord in about the year 450. he lived a life of asceticism in the 10th century at Kratov on the mountain of Lesnov. overcame the devil. The present beautiful church in this place was built by King Dusan's commander-in-chief. When he fell ill and felt death approaching. The son of the Alexandrian proconsul. They recognized him by a precious Gospel-book which they had given him in childhood and which he had kept with him as his sole possession. we shall find this of no use.FOR CONSIDERATION If the dogma of faith seems at times to you to be tough food. Returning from this visit. you must first try to fulfil Christian moral dogma. he laid aside worldly honor and riches as a young man and embraced the monastic state. but dressed as a beggar. who am a monk in name only. He saw his parents. Our Holy Father Gabriel of Lesnov. without the effort to rectify one's life. and you investigate that which God does not require of you. The Holy Martyr Pansophius.' The monks were filled with shame. He therefore threatened Paul that he would betray him to the authorities as a Christian if he did not hand over his share of the property. to live with them as a nobleman. saved his soul and those of his parents. we shall receive nothing useful to our salvation.Church Calendar 1. This misfortune. but not wishing to reveal himself to them as their son. At one time. lifting up his soul to the higher world. 3. Born of wealthy parents in Lower Thebes in Egypt in the reign of the Emperor Decius. January 28th . In 147 . plotted to seize Paul's half of the inheritance. where he built a church to the Archangel Michael. and being unable to come to any clarity about the mysterious personality of this ancient king and high priest. my children. Antony said to his monks: 'Woe is me. He indeed returned to his parents' home. remained as a beggar in their courtyard. Drawn by inclination to the spiritual life. he revealed himself to his parents. But his brother-in-law. A Slav and a friend of St Prochorus of Pchinja and St John of Rila. coupled with the examples of self-sacrifice by the Christian martyrs that Paul saw with his own eyes. praying to God that He would save the souls of his father and mother. induced him to give his half of the property to his sister and go of into the desert. He lived in great asceticism for 27 years. who once visited Paul and saw how the wild animals and birds of the air ministered to him. Nilus. we must be adorned from both sides: with both true faith and uprightness of life. Our Holy Father John (The Hut-Dweller). where he lived in asceticism until his death. they invited Abba Copres to their place of assembly and questioned him concerning Melchisedek. Our Holy Father Paul of Thebes. 2.in Paradise!' St Paul lived 113 years. and then the understanding of the dogma of faith will be revealed to you.Civil Calendar January 15th . He was born in Constantinople in the early part of the 5th century. and entered peacefully into rest in the Lord in the year 342. He lived thus for three years. is of no use whatever. living off the crumbs that the servants threw to him and enduring much ridicule from all. The inquisitive examination of high things. And so this young man. prayer and obedience to the superior. a sinful and false monk. I have seen John in the desert. Copres! You have set aside that which God ordained for you to do. 4. The spiritual heights attained by this giant of a monk are testified to by no less a person than St Antony the Great. Jovan Oliver. He spent six years in this monastery in the greatest restraint. the young John fled with a monk to a monastery in Asia Minor. He was a wonder-worker both during his life-time and after his death. Chrysostom writes: 'If we hold true dogma and give no thought to our conduct. St Gabriel entered into rest in the Lord at the end of the tenth century. Copres smote himself on the mouth three times and said: 'Woe to you. Then the devil attacked him with the temptation to leave the monastery and return to his parents. he and a sister of his together inherited all their parents' property. and dispersed. albeit so rich. I have seen Elias. a group of Egyptian monks was considering Melchisedek. and also if we give thought to our conduct and neglect true dogma. and I have seen Paul .

He lived in asceticism at Hilandar. St Juvenal. The Holy Martyrs Speusippus. in another place: 'God and His created souls and spirits.Civil Calendar January 16th .' January 29th . The three brothers were triplets.' And again. to which he replied decisively: 'It would be foolishness were I for temporal life to buy eternal peril. The Turks then came and found the woman.Church Calendar 1 . 4. But his murderers immediately met God's punishment. This Eudoxia built the Church of St Peter and placed these chains in it. the exiled wife of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. Our Holy Father. FOR CONSIDERATION Never think that God does not hear you when you pray to Him. 3. because He. the others will be also. When the judge examined them again and saw their yet stronger steadfastness in the Faith.the reign of Decius. but to persevere to the end in all their sufferings and die for Christ. and dragged Damascene off before the judge. Jovilla. for many of the sick were healed by touching them (as with the towel of the Apostle Paul: Acts 19:12). They got into a boat to cross the Danube. the Martyr Damascene of Gabrovo. by His gift and power. cried out: 'I too am a Christian!' They immediately seized her and beheaded her with a sword. He hears our thoughts as we hear one another's voices and words. 148 . as through such a telegraph. Meleusippus and their grandmother Leonilla. made a gift of these chains to the Empress Eudocia. he was dragged before the judge. He was given the alternative: hanging or conversion to Islam. through a living faith. Saint John of Kronstadt writes: 'As we are able to communicate quickly by means of the electric telegraph with people far away from us. and after that flogged and then finally burned. So Damascene sacrificed his life to save his soul. And if He does not act at once in response to your prayer. Send your requests to God and the saints by the telegraph of faith. They suffered for Christ in France in the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). The Patriarch of Jerusalem. the angels and the saints. she set about encouraging them not to give up. together with those in which Peter was shackled before his death under the Emperor Nero. again. After much exhortation on the part of the pious Leonilla and a local priest. he delivered his soul to God. and you will immediately get an answer. or. All three were first hanged on one tree. and in their zeal went out and smashed all the idols in the area. sending one half to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople and the other to her daughter. the living and the dead. together with the aged Leonilla. while her grandsons were pagans. 2. At first only Leonilla was a Christian. She divided them in half. When he sought a debt due to the monastery from some Turks. we are quickly in contact with God. Being baptized. he condemned them to death. stirred by the courage of these martyrs. where he became abbot. where they hung 'like the strings of a lute'. Think about them with your whole heart. The Veneration of the Chains of the Holy Apostle Peter. and. God will ever be with you. they persuaded a Moslem woman to go into the house where Damascene lived. but instead of advising her grandsons to deny the true Faith. so. The faithful kept these chains. both in memory of the great Apostle and also because of their healing power. fell from him (Acts 12:7). when an angel appeared to him in prison. The judge threw them into prison. A woman. the Empress Eudoxia. Leonilla went off without a word to the prison. they acknowledged their action and openly confessed their faith in Christ. and they will be present with you. Today we commemorate the chains with which Peter was shackled by the lawless Herod and which. that is either because your prayer was unworthy. and thought is swift and somehow omnipresent.' He was hanged in 1771 in Svishtov. where he was flogged for the name of Christ until. but suddenly a storm capsized them and they drowned. Eleusippus. then summoned their grandmother and directed her to go to the prison and counsel her grandsons to deny Christ and worship idols. delays the fulfilling of your request until the right moment. are thinking beings. Our Holy Father Romil. they began with youthful fervour to witness to their faith. the three brothers were baptized. Accused and brought before the judge. by His wisdom and providence. or you were seeking something that would be dangerous for you. under great torture. wife of Valentian of Rome.

who for a whole eighty-five years perfected himself.Church Calendar 1. In ancient Sparta. where he spent twenty years as a hermit in company with no-one but God. by word and example.Born in Vidin. leaving behind a whole army of disciples and followers.Civil Calendar January 17th . he shared his inherited possessions with his sister. This famous Emperor. that is. he went only twice to Alexandria: the first time to seek martyrdom during a time of persecution of the Church. He departed this life at the age of 105. Antony entered into rest in the Lord in the year 356. His fame spread through the whole world and around him gathered many disciples whom he. while Antony had understanding. and lived the ascetic life in several monasteries. who was still in her minority. he remained steadfast in the Christian faith. and then it suddenly turned green and bore fruit. he was as a counselor and teacher one of the most learned men of his age. and only thus was able to perfect many others. Just as he drew his sword to cut down his adversary. Full of years and great works. placed on the path of salvation. a zealot for the Faith. Here was an educator of educators and teacher of teachers. FOR CONSIDERATION 149 . it exists not in order to safeguard an earthly kingdom but for the attaining of the Kingdom of heaven. at the age of twenty. patiently undergoing inexpressible demonic temptations. Antony shamed them with the question: 'Which is older. After the death of his rich and noble parents. in unceasing prayer. born in the village of Churkli of very poor parents who were farm-laborers. went off into the desert. John watered the dead wood assiduously for three years. 3. on the shores of the Red Sea. Theodosius the Great went a stage further: he forbade sacrifice to idols in the area under his administration. Constantine the Great forbade the persecution of Christians. and the second at the invitation of St Athanasius. The Holy Martyr George the New of Ioannina. in order to teach his disciple obedience. Made a target by the Turks for conversion to Islam. The Holy Emperor Theodosius the Great. St John the Dwarf began his ascetic life with an elder in the Thebaid. he is still active today. planted a dead tree in the earth and told him to water it every day. to refute the Arians' slanderous allegations that he too was a follower of the Arian heresy. He was an Albanian. He was an Egyptian. St Romil entered into rest at Ravanica in Serbia in about 1375. The elder. he replied: 'It is better to obey the commander than to kill the enemy. consecrated himself to the life of asceticism that he had desired from childhood. as also was St Athanasius the Great. hurrying to engage the enemy. A tale is told of a Spartan soldier in battle. in order to escape the disturbance of men. for they saw that they had only book-learning without understanding. 2. made sure that she was cared for.' Christian obedience is different from this Spartan obedience in that it is voluntary and has as its goal the salvation of the soul. born about 250 in a village called Quemen-el-Arons near Heracleopolis. the understanding or the book? And which of these is the source of the other?' The shamed philosophers dispersed. Our Holy Father Antony the Great. pondering and contemplation. January 30th . When someone who had seen this asked him why he had not run the enemy through. In eighty-five years of ascetic life. gave away his half of the inheritance to the poor and. This is the fruit of willing obedience. for which he was hanged in Ioannina on January 17th. At first he lived near his own village but then. FOR CONSIDERATION Nothing breaks human pride so well as the habit of obedience to one's elders. He played a considerable part in the establishing and spread of the Christian faith in the world. the trumpet sounded for the end of the battle and he resheathed his sword. ruled from 379 to 395. obedience was regarded as a great virtue. The Lord Himself was obedient to death on the Cross (Phil. A great wonderworker and healer. he was a disciple of St Gregory the Sinaite. And although Antony was unlettered. Here was a man who had attained perfection insofar as man is able on earth. 1838. When some Hellenic philosophers tried to test him with literary learning. 2:8).

Son of the Serbian despot Stefan the Blind and his wife Angelina. founded a monastery there and.the Word -. we ask the unbelievers of our generation: 'In what form would you wish God to reveal Himself. as they transferred the knowledge of Him to devils and idols. He suffered greatly for the truth. he at the same time placed in his hand a silk purse filled with grave-dust. the moon or stars. Only human beings have turned themselves from good and changed that truth which belongs to God into deceit. He reconciled the disputing military commanders Radul and Bogdan and averted war between them. All sin is hateful to God.' In Byzantium there was a strange and instructive custom at the coronation of the Emperor in St Sophia's. Julian and Valens. He was forced to hide from his persecutors in a well. knowing their Creator and their King -. What is there. entered into rest on January 18th.they all live as they were created. Do not consider yourself learned or wise. and contributed very greatly to the containing of the Arian heresy and the strengthening of Orthodoxy. After the death of Alexander. if not as man?' February 1st . There are few saints who have been so callously slandered and so criminally persecuted as St Anthanasius. private houses and the deserts. the stars nor water nor space has been unfaithful to its state. Having pressure put on him by the Turks. or as flame or space. But his great soul endured all with patience for the love of Christ and at last emerged victorious from all these terrible and lengthy struggles. which truly loved him. This was that. although he was not on the archiepiscopal throne the whole time. but to come in such a way that the revelation should be bearable to the wretched men whom He had come to serve.Church Calendar 150 . January 31st . He returned to Krusedol in his last years. neither the sun nor the moon nor the sky. No single creature has been in error in the eyes of God save man alone. St Athanasius the Great. let them know that the Lord did not come simply to reveal Himself but to heal and teach those that suffer. why did the Son of God reveal Himself to the world as man and not in the shape of some other creature. but. and by the heretic Arius and his followers. where he was consecrated to the vacant archiepiscopal see of Wallachia.Civil Calendar January 19th . If you have great power. flee all pride and be humble. threaten no man with death. for that will cover all your sins.Church Calendar 1. when the Patriarch placed the crown on the Emperor's head. on the contrary. Born in Alexandria in 296. or all your toil will be lost and your ship will arrive empty at the shore . after great spiritual endeavor. He was persecuted by heretics through almost the whole of his life. but the most hateful of all is pride of heart. Only just before his death did he have a peaceful period as a good shepherd with his flock. by Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and many others. His incorrupt and wonder-working relics lie even to this day in that monastery. his devotion and his zeal for Orthodoxy. St Maxim. unlikely in the Word's (the Son of God's) revealing Himself as man in order to save mankind?' Indeed. Archbishop of Wallachia. Athanasius was chosen as Archbishop of Alexandria. For simply to reveal Himself and make His spectators marvel would mean to come as a show. particularly by the Emperors Constantius. He had not only to come. but as man. he fled into the mountainous part of Romania. he received the monastic habit in the monastery of Manasija. a grave. At this Council. He was a deacon with Archbishop Alexander and accompanied him to Nicaea.St Antony teaches: 'Learn to desire humility.. revering him as his spiritual father. to the First Ecumenical Council in 325.. until the Lord gave him rest in His kingdom as His faithful servant in the year 373. that the Emperor might be mindful of his death. Archbishop of Alexandria. Athanasius became famed for his learning. Coming as a healer and teacher. he had from childhood an inclination to the spiritual life. He often went to St Antony for advice and moral support. 1546. therefore. 2. Twice he was forced to flee to Rome. FOR CONSIDERATION To the question. the sun.Civil Calendar January 18th . the wise Saint Athanasius replied thus: 'If they ask why He did not reveal Himself in the form of some greater creature: for example. know that according to nature you also are subject to death and that each soul takes off its body as its final clothing. He remained in his archiepiscopal calling for more than forty years.

praised his labors and virtues and told him that they had been sent to take his soul to the heavenly Kingdom. His humility made men and demons marvel. hurry. for I never eat. Arsenius. Archbishop of Ephesus. 151 . He married in obedience to his parents' wishes. Cherubim also appeared to him before his death and revealed the heavenly. but his wife died very soon and he went off into the desert of Scetis. 4. when robbers had taken everything from his cell. St Antony and St Pachomius appeared to him from the other world and told him that he would die in nine days' time. the devil). and even helped him to get everything loaded. where he spent sixty years in toil and struggle. for the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed Theodore. finding thieves in the act of plundering his cell. One of the brethren once saw him carrying a full basket of sand uphill and emptying it. Our Holy Father Macarius the Great. or they'll stop me fulfilling Christ's command: "Of him that taketh away thy goods. His relics are preserved in the Cathedral in Corfu. replied the demon. 5. and you will be saved. Returning once on the path to his cell. And so it came to pass. the Fool for Christ of Novgorod. Our Holy Father Macarius of Alexandria. He was an Egyptian and one of the contemporaries of St Antony the Great. Before his death he ran through the streets. asked Macarius. called to the robbers and gave it to them. he lifted his mind up constantly to God. Macarius said nothing to him. 3. such that he even raised the dead from the grave.' 'Then what is it?'. On his deathbed. he replied: 'From fear of God!' He succeeded so greatly in purifying his mind from evil thoughts and his heart from evil desires that God endowed him with abundant wonderworking gifts. He entered into rest in the year 390. called to them: 'Hurry. to keep himself from the snare of the West and to defend Orthodoxy. FOR CONSIDERATION The examples that we find in the holy Fathers of the meek enduring violence are given to us to marvel at. Bishop of Corfu.' He lived for ninety years. Before his death. A demon once said to him: 'There is only one thing in which I cannot excel you: that is not in fasting. Another elder. and immediately went off to seek the ascetic life. and entered into rest in the year 959. looked around and saw that they had left a bundle of money.Civil Calendar January 20th . I'm going on a long journey!' He died in 1392. 6:7). He entered into rest in the year 393. a third elder. Again. When he was asked why he was so thin. 'Your humility'. particularly the temptation to lust for power. blessed world to him in a vision. being nearly a hundred years old. saying to himself: 'We brought nothing into this world' (I Tim. Macarius often said to his disciple. he was at first a fruit-vendor. He was tormented by diabolical temptations. both physical and spiritual. both when he ate and when he fasted. St Mark.Church Calendar 1. for I never sleep.1. The astonished brother asked him why he was doing that. he entered peacefully into rest in the year 1445. Macarius replied: 'I am wearing out him who wears me out' (that is. later the famous Patriarch Gennadius. He was a disciple of St Antony. February 2nd . which had been lying hidden somewhere. His father was a priest. and was the abbot of the monastery of the Cells beyond Nitria. Famous for his courageous defense of Orthodoxy at the Council of Florence in the face of the Emperor and the Pope. Paphnutius: 'Condemn no man. George. He was only baptized at the age of forty. don't let the brothers find you. He was somewhat younger than St Macarius the Great. together with Macarius the Great. St. nor in vigils. 2. so he quickly took up this bundle. Our Holy Father Euthymius the Great. Born in Alexandria. crying to each and all: 'Farewell. He put the sacrament of the blessing of oil together in its present form. but humbling himself by the most rigorous of labors and by unceasing prayer. ask them not again" (Lk: 6:30). he begged his disciple. Macarius the Great saw a robber carrying his things out of it and loading them onto a donkey.

St Euthymius. so is love to the other virtues. Euthymius appeared to his disciple. St Euthymius was a true 'son of light'. contemplation and physical toil. an example followed by monks thereafter. On love. healed grave illnesses. at first in the vicinity of his town. and both these Councils anathematized the Monothelite teaching. gesticulating with his arms. after a visit to Jerusalem at the age of 29. By his efforts. The Patriarch waited the entire day while a great mass of people gave the saint the last kiss. let him be anathema (accursed)!' All his hearers were deeply impressed by these words. That is to say: as Eutyches asserted that there is in Christ only one nature. left his monastery and hid in the desert. FOR CONSIDERATION The saints of the Church were compassionate towards human weakness and fiercely unyielding and unsubmissive with regard to the confession of the truths of the Faith. Patriarch Anastasius of Jerusalem was at his funeral. Bound and left on the ice. and persevered to the end in proving that there are in the Lord two wills and also two natures. a great monastery grew up near his cave. By birth a citizen of Constantinople and at first a high-ranking courtier at the court of the Emperor Heraclius. such as Cyriac the Hermit. mounted the steps and. he then became a monk and the abbot of a monastery not far from the capital. and only in the evening was he able to finish the funeral. one Council in Carthage and one in Rome stood firm. On the seventh day after his death. He was the greatest defender of Orthodoxy against the Monothelite heresy. During his lifetime. a great worker of wonders: he drove out demons. and being unable further to fight with arguments. He also said that it is not good for a monk to move from place to place. so the Monothelites asserted that there is in Him only one will. by God's gift.' Whoever desires to do good can do it in the place where he is. And when agitation was spread in Jerusalem in the Emperor's name against the Fourth Ecumenical Council which had taken place in Chalcedon. for. He was. Maximus resisted this assertion and found himself in opposition to both the Emperor and the Patriarch. that means that you eat the labor of another'. Euthymius remained in the desert until the false Patriarch had been dethroned and Orthodoxy confirmed. near Varna. brought forth water in the desert. The Holy Martyrs Innas. He entered into rest in the year 473. went into one of the great churches. and had a heavenly vision concerning his birth. Theoctistus and others. which was for centuries as full of monks as a hive of bees. St Antony left his desert and went to Alexandria publicly to denounce Arius. 2. February 3rd . His mother.' He went off into the desert in the first week of the Great Fast and remained there in silence and meditation on God until before Pascha. St Nicolas of Myra struck Arius with his hand at the First Ecumenical Council. had prayed for a child. he said: 'A tree that is frequently transplanted does not bear fruit. and that its gate should never be closed. He taught his monks the love of hardship. and when the entire population was going in terror of the heretics. being disciples of the holy Apostle Andrew. so that he should not become proud through his too-great fasting. said to the people: 'If a man does not revere the Four Ecumenical Councils as he does the Four Gospels. Our Holy Father Maximus the Confessor. between Jerusalem and Jericho.Civil Calendar January 21st . in the Wilderness of Pharan. Sava the Sanctified. and none of the heretics dared speak against him. He lived in asceticism from his youth. He filled his days and nights with prayer and meditation. Many disciples gathered round him. Domitian. saying: 'If you eat bread that comes not from your own labors. When one of the younger brethren desired to fast more than others. Nirras and Pinnas. But he was unafraid. in light and joy. then St Theodosius the Great. he forbade him and ordered him to come to the common table.He was born in the Armenian town of Melitene near the River Euphrates in 377. His last command was that there should be loving hospitality to guests in the monastery. They are thought to be the first Slav martyrs recorded in history and they lived to a great age in Scythia. multiplied bread and prophesied. came as the fearless soldier of Christ he was to Jerusalem. which developed from the heresy of Eutyches.Church Calendar 1. Maximus' sufferings for Orthodoxy cannot be described: he was 152 . they froze to death and entered into rest in the Lord. They suffered for the Faith at the hands of their pagan neighbors on the other side of the Danube. the only son of noble and eminent parents. he said: 'As salt is to bread. Dionysia. but then. already burdened with years. He entered into rest at the age of 97. under great pressure from the Empress Eudocia and the false Patriarch Theodosius.

At the time of an idolatrous feast called Katagogium. he was even in childhood a worker of great wonders by the grace of God. a superb preacher and of a gentle spirit. The Holy Martyr Neophytus.' And. Later. February 4th . where he wrote the well-known Canon to the Holy Spirit which is still used in church. in the year 305. for example. she was thrown into the fire for her faith in Christ. Blessed Maximus the Greek. For example. whence he was called to the court of the Russian Tsar Vasilii Ivanovitch as Imperial librarian and translator. This can also be noted in relation to the healthy and the sick. then beheaded with the sword. St John Chrysostom speaks clearly about this: 'There are'. made a merciless. After beatings and imprisonment. Nicaean by birth. both in her lifetime and after her death. He spent a long time in prison. visiting Achaia. in about the year 93. he says. 153 . for example. Even with his tongue cut out. which are in themselves neither good nor evil. and was the only witness of Paul's healing of the man lame from birth. the second are evil and can never be good. the free and the enslaved. 3. 1:4-5). Then he was put before a hungry lion. debauchery. A great zealot for the Faith. through God's grace. as there are good and evil rich people. the pagans.Church Calendar 1. wisdom. he was. freedom and slavery. power and sickness and death itself fall into this neutral category. resentful of the Christians. FOR CONSIDERATION The Christian faith uniquely in the world has one fixed and unchanging scale of values. The Holy Apostle Timothy. cruelty.tortured by hierarchs. The saint recognized this lion as the same one in whose cave he had lived in asceticism. and entered into rest in the Lord in the year 1556. but are the one or the other according to the disposition of men and the use men make of them. if riches were good and poverty were evil. One of the Seventy. able to speak even more clearly in defense of the Faith. he was thrown into fire. those in power and those in subjection. His mother and grandmother were praised by the Apostle Paul for their sincere faith (2 Tim. the fed and the hungry. His honored relics were later taken to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles by the graves of St Luke the Evangelist and St Andrew the First-Called. he chased a lion out of its cave and himself settled there. mercy and so forth. but God preserved him alive. with this explanation by that godly teacher. so there are good and evil poor people. we are daily convinced that. Timothy had St John the Evangelist as his teacher. Italy and Spain with him. Macedonia. However. Led by a white dove to Mount Olympus. the first are good and can never be evil. inhumanity. he was condemned to exile for life in Skhimaris. 2. refusing to deny Christ in any way. As a girl of thirteen. 'three kinds of category. Timothy was an almost constant travelling-companion of Paul's. He was martyred for Christ in Nicaea under Diocletian at the age of fifteen. Paul called him his own son in the faith (I Tim. Timothy contributed greatly to the spreading and establishing of the Christian faith. imprisoned. but the lion fawned around him. until finally. so he pardoned it and ordered it to return to the cave. for 'the martyrs became through death the happiest of all'. But when the Emperor Domitian exiled John from Ephesus to the island of Patmos. spat upon by the mass of the people. She showed great wonderworking power. persecuted. according to the disposition of those who make use of them. The third are sometimes the one and sometimes the other. He brought forth water from rocks and raised his dead mother to life. where he gave his soul into God's hands in the year 662. Then Neophytus was run through with a spear and his soul went to the courts of the Lord. 1:2). He was born in Greece. The Holy Martyr Agnes. 4. he was born in Lystra of Lycaonia of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. then all the rich would be good and all the poor would be evil. He met the great Apostle for the first time in Lystra.Civil Calendar January 22nd . beaten by soldiers. He labored much and also suffered much for the truth. After Paul's martyrdom. She suffered in the reign of Diocletian. Even death is not evil. Timothy remained in Ephesus as bishop. masked attack on Timothy and killed him. one sees how riches and poverty. with his tongue cut out and one hand cut off.

To establish them well in remembrance of death. One time when they were smiting him on the face. 2. to be buried in this grave?' One of them. In the reign of Diocletian. chose the instruments of torture. And he was terribly tortured. and lo. Commemoration of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. 154 . After this condemnation. this Council condemned the Monothelite heresy. St Clement's miracles are without number. one which at the same time witnesses that the spirit of man lives after bodily death and that voluntary obedience brings blessed immortality: when St Theodosius the Great had founded a monastery. Theodosius stood over it. Basil's voice was heard: 'Save yourselves. and never anything slaughtered or with blood. and was finally beheaded by a soldier in 312. ninth and fortieth day. lay down and died.medals. but the latter disappeared. money . greatly yearning for martyrdom himself. with a scornful glance at all the Emperor's gifts. as is the custom for the departed. FOR CONSIDERATION The Orthodox Church possesses an inexhaustible treasure in the evidence of life after death. which held the erroneous teaching that there is in Christ only a divine will and not a human one. and reading this. a priest called Basil. To note one example among many. Held in Constantinople in 680-681 and 692. he very early read the lives of the holy martyrs. not torturing me. the grave is now ready! Is there among you one who is ready for death. prophesied a martyr's death for her son. I. Our Holy Father. the Martyr Anastasius. gathered the seven of them together and said: 'Well. my fathers and brethren. and His cheeks slapped. and harnessed and conquered his body by great restraint. At first only Theodosius saw him. And he was buried in the new grave. piece by piece the flesh was flayed from his body until the bones showed white beneath. am now made worthy of this!' When he was brought before the Emperor Diocletian in Rome. The Lord finally crowned him with the wreath of martyrdom. but he prayed to God that He would open the eyes of the others.2.Church Calendar 1. then taken out of the water and beheaded by the executioner. The Hieromartyr Clement. Christ's martyr. Magundat deserted to the Christians and went to Jerusalem. Bishop of Ancyra. He lay long in prison and was horribly tortured until King Chozroes condemned him to death. he had at first only seven monks. spitting on him and breaking his teeth. Letius. for the mouth of my Lord Jesus Christ was struck in like manner. When the Emperor Heraclius waged war against the Persians. and on the other side gifts . Among other ascetic practices. wetted the book with his tears. and then told Clement to choose. my children. who sent his head to the king. He was born in 258 in the town of Ancyra of a pagan father and a Christian mother. When the grave was ready. Eleven different torturers tormented him. He ate only bread and vegetables. It was not enough for him to be baptized. he ordered them to dig a grave. He spent twenty-eight years under torture and imprisonment. He was healed of these wounds. clothing. There he was baptized and given the name Anastasius. save yourselves!' February 5th . in the town of Bethsaloe near Nineveh.whatever the Emperor was able to bestow. He acquired a mature wisdom in his early years. O Domentian. while he was presiding at the Liturgy as bishop in the church in Ancyra. Clement became so famed for his virtuous life that he was chosen as bishop of Ancyra at the age of twenty. unworthy as I am. it made some rulings concerning the order and discipline of the clergy. Then all the brethren looked and saw Basil among them. Basil. Theodosius ordered that the memorial services be held for Basil on the third. and left this world when Clement was twelve years old. 628. His devout mother. Basil appeared in the morning among the brethren in church and sang with them. In addition to that. intending to embrace Basil. Anastasius was drowned. One of the brethren. he was tortured as terribly 'as anyone has ever been since the foundation of the world'. When the fortieth memorial was finished. On the fortieth day after his burial. he also became a monk in order to give himself entirely to the service of God. He was a Persian by birth. he cried out to Domentian the torturer: 'You are doing me honor. in full health. joyfully spread his arms wide. the Emperor placed on one side various instruments of torture. Her friend Sophia took Clement into her own home as her son and saw that he was brought up a Christian. with the pagan name of Magundat. Anastasius suffered on January 22nd. Euphrosyne. fell to his knees and besought Theodosius' blessing to die.Civil Calendar January 23rd .

Her two slave girls followed the example of their abbess in all things. the bishop dressed himself in the garments of a poor man and told the widow to take him before the prince and exchange him for her son. Though she was a woman. When St Epiphanius was called to Rome to support his sister. she had a man's perseverance in fasting. Our Holy Father Philo. when the Vandals were looting Nola. and in tears. In his sermons. Bishop of Cyprus. Only in old age did he feed himself with baked bread. she refused to marry as her parents desired. and entered peacefully into rest in the year 431. Rig. remaining there in asceticism till her death. In order to escape this. Our Holy Father Macedonius. the Wonderworker. A Sicilian priest who suffered for Christ with two of his disciples in the third century. St Paulinus the Merciful. He was a good and merciful shepherd. Having nothing. was dressed more poorly than her sisters. 2. At the hour of her death (in 450). prayer and vigils. FOR CONSIDERATION 155 . came to her bishop.3. he received baptism.Civil Calendar January 24th . St John Chrysostom stressed and praised nothing more strongly than compassion. where she started a community for virgins. One time. 4. for he was truly merciful in the fullest Christian meaning of the word. at the feet of blessed Xenia. bewailed every day in which he was not given the opportunity to show mercy to someone. He received the monastic tonsure on the Holy Mountain. He entered peacefully into rest in the fifth century. He was first a Roman senator and then Bishop of Nola. the Empress Honoria. Philo wrote a commentary on the Pentateuch and the Song of Songs. 3. they were buried. He finished his earthly course in the year 418. to a place called Mylassa. His relics are preserved in the Church of St Bartholomew in Rome. He was a Syrian hermit. where he entered into rest in the 16th century. St Paulinus was deservedly called the Merciful. FOR CONSIDERATION Compassion has always been a characteristic of a true pastor of Christ's flock. a wonderful sign appeared over the monastery: a wreath of stars encircling a cross more resplendent than the sun. Born in Rome. Following the example of his friend. he withdrew again to the solitude of Olympus. she fled from her home with two of her slaves and came to the island of Kos. they also took many people into slavery. Our Holy Father Dionysius of Olympus. The prince returned her son to her and took Paulinus off to Africa. Before the end of his life. where he served as the prince's gardener until he was freed by the providence of God and returned to Nola with the rest of the slaves. where he lived a life of asceticism. he ate only barley grain soaked in water. She often spent entire nights standing in prayer. by their wish. A certain widow. But. as no light can be hidden. so St Paulinus was found and chosen as Bishop of Nola. and when they died. St Ambrose. Drawn by the love of Christ. whose only son the Vandal prince. sought money of him to buy her son back. after which he withdrew to the Spanish Pyrenees.Church Calendar 1. by his prayers he chose Philo to be bishop. The Holy Martyr Babylas. Many of the sick were healed by her relics. Our Holy Mother Xenia. where he later became abbot of Philotheou. St John the Merciful. 5. He lived the ascetic life on Olympus. February 6th . Before that. Patriarch of Alexandria. had carried away into slavery. and when she ate she often put ashes from the censer on her bread. she was the only daughter of a famous senator.

He founded two communities and entered into rest in the Lord in the year 380. May this be my reward from you. His relics were later taken to Rome. for those who deny Him will suffer the unquenched fire and the ever vigilant worm. left his honors and gave his goods to the poor and himself to the ascetic life in the vicinity of his town. They all suffered in Rome. He often foretold to Julian that he would be an apostate and a persecutor of the Church. educate their children for that vocation which brings the surest physical security and material help. Nonna. 3. Zeugma. a great and wonderful light of the Orthodox Church. nor wounds nor fire.' February 7th . but shed that it too may give me honor. dear heart.. Gregory was especially influenced by his mother. fear His judgment. Clement of Ancyra: 'Do me honor. my sweet son. Our Holy Father Publius. my son. we often hear parents say that they want to insure the lives of their children. She begged God only that she should not be killed before her sons. Publius came to know the light of Christ. with thanksgiving to God. And so it came to pass. remaining there in retirement. The blood that you received from me do not spare. This mother joyfully bade her sons farewell one after the other. he studied in Athens before his baptism with St Basil the Great and Julian the Apostate. where their relics are preserved. 2. when a quarrel broke out in the Council concerning his election as archbishop. and so it came to pass. was condemned to death for her Christian faith in 164. He retired from the world and lived in a hut for thirty-seven years in fasting and prayer and in cleansing his heart from thoughts. as much for the meekness and purity of his character as for the unsurpassable depth of his mind. Give your body to martyrdom. and confess Him with strength and steadfastness. She. But look into the heavens and await thence the great and eternal and rich reward of God. he lived to the age of seventy. as though I myself alone suffered for Him. He was baptized when he had completed his studies. In the year 381. for which he received the title 'the Theologian'.Civil Calendar January 25th . A senator at first. He was distinguished by external beauty and a sweet singing voice. embraced a martyr's death. he withdrew himself. The Holy Martyr Felicitas and her seven sons. 4. by the providence of God. and Emperor Theodosius called him to the vacant archiepiscopal throne of Constantinople. and stand for Christ as a man. St Basil consecrated him bishop of Sasima. his one time school-fellow. in the reign of the Emperor Antoninus. amass riches (often illicit riches). Then she also. the best-known being his theological writings. He is particularly famed for the depth of his Sermons on the Holy Trinity.. who taught wrongly that the Spirit was a creature of God. His works were manifold. prayer and the writing of instructive books until his death. tremble before His all-seeing Eye. He entered into rest in the Lord in the year 389. until she had seen all seven executed. Fear neither threats nor the sword. And so-called Christians do the same. that I may rejoice at that before the Lord. He was. to the salvation of many . blessed Euphrosyne said to her son.In our day. Born in Nazianzus of a Greek father (who later became a Christian and a bishop) and a Christian mother. To this end they make such great efforts. St Gregory the Theologian. on the Euphrates. And. Fear God's majesty. and against Apollinarius who taught that Christ did not have a human soul but that His divinity was in place of His soul. together with her seven sons. He also wrote against the Emperor Julian the Apostate. He entered into rest in the Lord as an old man of ninety in the year 430. that the crown of martyrdom will soon flower upon you. and his head to the Cathedral of the Dormition in Moscow. Nothing can separate you from Christ. so that she might be able to encourage them in their torture and death not to deny Christ. But this is how a true Christian prepares his son for real life: At her death.' He then left Constantinople and went to Nazianzus. 156 . Our Holy Father Mares. declaring: 'Those who deprive us of the (archiepiscopal) throne cannot deprive us of God. I hope. They do this because their concept of real life and real security of life is faulty. although he was in weak health all his life due to the ceaseless attacks of the heretics. for the pain of giving you birth and for the care of your upbringing that I may be known as the mother of a martyr. He also wrote against the heretic Macedonius. and remains.Church Calendar 1. Archbishop of Constantinople.

By God's providence. and after a while he managed by intrigues and bribes to be accepted by the citizens of Constantinople as Patriarch in place of St Gregory. He is regarded as the regenerator of Orthodoxy in Georgia. the brothers were first united with each other and then with their parents.Civil Calendar January 26th . And although the prince prepared his armies for the war of liberation from the Tartars. all other blessings are as nothing. so that each thought the other had perished. When the boys were grown.Church Calendar 1. After two years of mourning. 3. But this Maximus was as wicked and cunning as a snake.FOR CONSIDERATION They deceive themselves who self-confidently assert that they know men well and that no one can deceive them. who lived somewhat later. 2. experience the greater joy. St Gregory the Theologian baptized a philosopher called Maximus and loved him so greatly that he shared his house and table with him. however. Xenophon and Maria lived godly lives. 'We are not to blame'. And we are told by the commandments to open our hearts with fatherly love to anyone who approaches us. God alone knows man's inner secrets. and restored ancient ones. Abba Elenius and Abba Euchius.' The good. Devout Christian kings regarded holy people in their lands as the greatest blessing from God. Xenophon and Maria gave away all their goods to the poor and both embraced the monastic state. that they may later. Compared with this blessing. They were rich and respected citizens of Constantinople. This touching story of these four holy souls demonstrates clearly how the Lord guides most wonderfully the destinies of those who believe in Him. Out of grief for each other. how He looses on them trials and sorrows. a battle fateful for Russia. the devout Prince Dimitri of the Don went off with his chief advisors and commanders to the forest of Radonezh to seek St Sergius and beg his prayers. he lived in asceticism in a cave from his early youth right up to his death. he placed greater confidence in the prayers of one holy man than in a vast army and many weapons. He was named 'the Ancient' by St Simeon Stylites. and defended him against his many attackers until he was in the end. helped by the insight of a holy man. and made every effort to give their sons a Christian upbringing. He built many new churches throughout Georgia. they became monks in two different monasteries. Our Holy Father Simeon the Ancient. and their sons John and Arcadius. kindly man cannot easily comprehend the wickedness of the wicked man. replied the saint. yet more greatly strengthened in their faith. He founded two monasteries and entered into rest in the Lord in the year 390. their parents traveled to Jerusalem to venerate the holy places. The holy Emperor Constantine the Great said: 'We bless the Lord Jesus Christ that there exists in my day three glorious saints: the blessed Abba Antony. Out of gratitude to God. both John and Arcadius were somehow saved and thrown onto the shore by the waves. A friend and companion of St Palladius. in bitter disappointment. FOR CONSIDERATION The greatest blessing any country can have is that of good and holy men living within it. For example: St Basil for a long time considered a hypocritical heretic to be a holy man. There. their parents sent them to Beirut to study. When. He was a great zealot for the Christian faith. King of Georgia (1089-1130). 'if we cannot see through a man's wickedness. Gregory was upbraided for having kept his greatest enemy at his side. They lived and died in the fifth century. can guess what kind of spiritual being any man is? Even the great saints were mistaken in people. St David. February 9th . Who. after many intrigues. Our Holy Father Xenophon and our Mother Maria. but a storm capsized their ship.Church Calendar 157 . convinced of the other's deceit. He restored and strengthened Georgia as a state. this trial was removed.' Before the Battle of Kulikovo. February 8th . in two separate places.Civil Calendar January 27th . but the one God who knows the secrets of the heart.

1. the Emperor again begged forgiveness over them in his mother's name.' The Metropolitan crossed himself and sat down to lunch. Thirty years after his death. 2. Ephraim was constantly either writing books or teaching the monks in the monastery or the people in the city of Edessa. While they were talking. his early youth was spent somewhat tempestuously. The Metropolitan excused himself. Our Holy Father Titus of the Kiev Caves. He spent his time in ceaseless mourning over his former sins. I acted in malice towards thee. The best-known of the latter is the prayer in the Great Fast: 'O Lord and Master of my life . Before the translation. passions tamed. ruled over Ochrid. he retired from the world to the monastery of the Caves in Kiev. My glory passes and there is nought to help me. The Metropolitan.. on touching the coffin. either you eat with me and free twenty-five people from hanging. but receiving a wound in the head in battle. Theodosius the Younger. His books are numerous. but love is greater. the hour of the midday meal arrived. help me. but now that thou livest in eternal life. or you refrain and they hang. and prepared to leave. towards the great Saint that they all wanted the relics of St Chrysostom to be translated to Constantinople. FOR CONSIDERATION Fasting is a great thing. He was a disciple of St James of Nisibis (Jan. St John Chrysostom. Patriarch Proclus made a speech in memory of his spiritual father and mentor. Jeladin Bey. Before his death he was shown by a heavenly vision that all his sins had been forgiven. the spirit steadied. the latter became light in weight. Jeladin and Kalinik. If it is by fasting that devils are driven out.Civil Calendar January 28th . He was a rebel against the Sultan and an independent governor. help me before I come to be condemned before the judgment of Christ. wisdom flowed from his tongue like a stream of honey and from his eyes tears flowed unceasingly. went to Jeladin and besought him to mitigate the sentence.. Father. and the Bey invited the Metropolitan to eat with him. was guilty of having persecuted the Saint) and appealing to him to return to Constantinople. Our Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian. His relics lie in the caves of Theodosius. When this repentant letter was placed on the coffin. as Patriarch. When the relics arrived at the capital. his former residence. ' When they wished to take him by force and make him bishop. many of the sick. begging his forgiveness (for Theodosius' mother. deeply distressed by this event. there to be healed and to receive the monastic habit. In the first half of last century. it is by love that God makes His abode with men. Loving work like a bee. It happened that Jeladin Bey condemned twenty-five Christians to death by hanging. the body calmed. At that time the Church was ruled by Metropolitan Kalinik. so much so.Church Calendar 1. and the execution was to take place on Great Friday. 13th). or was giving himself to prayer and contemplation. The Bey was angered and said to him: 'Choose. in thy glory. where he died in exile in 407. as the fast (of the monastic rule) prevented him from remaining to eat. and Jeladin freed the people from the death sentence. as though it were she herself speaking: 'While I lived in this temporal life. St Ephraim was especially the apostle of 158 . the Golden Mouth of Orthodoxy. his prayers are beautiful. the assembled throng heard these words from his mouth: 'Peace be unto all!' The translation of the relics of St John Chrysostom was carried out in the year 438. were very good friends and often visited each other. Seeing him mad. they left him in peace.' When the Saint was carried into the Church of the Holy Apostles and placed on the patriarchal throne. although of different faiths. but proclaimed love as the greatest commandment. trailing his garments along behind him. A dish of lamb had been prepared for the meal. to Constantinople where earlier. a Turk. By the great grace of God. he feigned madness and began to run through the city of Edessa. Eudoxia. It is related that the coffin containing the relics could not be shifted from its place until the Emperor had written a letter to St Chrysostom. He was at first a soldier. He was a contemporary and friend of St Basil the Great. but on this day is celebrated the translation of his honored relics from the Armenian village of Comana. The Lord Himself emphasized fasting as necessary. that his eyelashes fell out. February 10th . and by this speech so roused the love of the people and the Emperor. Born in Syria of poor parents in the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great. but he suddenly underwent a spiritual crisis and began to burn with love for the Lord Jesus. be thou of help to my soul. The Church celebrates the memory of this Saint on November 13th and January 30th. he had governed the Church. were healed.

They tore him to pieces and he gave his soul to God. But after only five months he left his episcopate and fled secretly to the desert monastery of Rabban-Shapur. where he had been archbishop. was condemned to death and thrown into the Great Circus before the wild beasts. on December 20th. The chief feast of St Ignatius is in winter. he was chosen as bishop of Nineveh and forced to accept this state. By great restraint. The pagans killed them in a terrible way.repentance. Abibus. They all suffered for Christ in Samosta in the time of the Emperor Maximilian. and the others were young men of respected families. St Ephraim instituted the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of St Nicholas to Bari on May 9th. Born in Nineveh. took them to Antioch and buried them. prayer and meditation. but I have seen those who are.Civil Calendar January 29th . He voluntarily chose the solitary life like the earlier recluses Isaac and Nikita. the saint replied: 'Forgive me. Today we celebrate the translation of his relics from Rome. One morning the corpse of a rich man whom brigands had killed and robbed was found lying outside his cell. Our Holy Father Laurence of the Kiev Caves. 2. where he suffered martyrdom.' When St Macarius was praised as a monk. 4. in the year 297. When St Hilarion of Palestine once visited St Antony in Egypt. He entered into rest during the fourth century. by hammering nails into the head of each of them. 2. Then his companions collected his bare bones. St Antony exclaimed: 'Welcome. FOR CONSIDERATION The saints' freedom from envy is a wonderful phenomenon. He was the author of many works. but exerted themselves greatly to ensure that their friends be exalted and they themselves debased. prayed to God and by his prayers raised up the dead man. 3. have come down to us. He entered into rest at a great age at the end of the seventh century. prompted by their great love for their chief pastor. written mainly from his own experience. The Holy Martyrs Romanus. of which about a hundred homilies on the spiritual life and asceticism. He entered into rest at a great age in 373. Philotheus. James. The saint of God. Our Holy Father Ephraim of the Kiev Caves. He was a Syrian hermit. Our Holy Father Palladius.' February 11th . St Hilarion replied: 'And greetings to thee. to Antioch. He departed this life in 1096. Julian and Paregorius. The Hieromartyr Ignatius. The saints not only did not allow envy to conquer their hearts. the relics of St Ignatius were again taken from Antioch to Rome. and in order to clear up the difficulty. strengthen them against sin and turn them back to Christ. Palladius was tried for this crime. he replied: 'Were I to have but one single thought such as Antony's. I would be all of flame. thou pillar of light that supports the universe.' When some people told St Sisoes that he was the equal of St Antony in perfection. a great ascetic and wonderworker. When he became known for his holy life and miracles. Philotheus and Hyperechius were aristocrats. They suffered with honor and entered into eternal joy. guarding himself from the diabolic deception which the other two experienced at the beginning. Hyperechius.Church Calendar 1. Even today his writings soften many hearts. 3. He was without equal as a writer and guide in the spiritual life. he began at an early age to live the ascetic life in the monastery of Mar-Matthew near Nineveh. my brethren! I am not a monk. When the Persians occupied Antioch in the sixth century. O morning star!' To this. When St Ignatius was summoned to Rome to answer for his faith before the Emperor Trajan (98-117) a number of citizens from Antioch accompanied him on this long journey. Our Holy Father Isaac the Syrian. in no wise willing to deny the faith of Christ and scorning all the flattery and promises of the Emperor. 159 .

the deeper. He made the Bulgarian Church independent of Constantinople and defended Orthodoxy in Bulgaria against the Bogomils. FOR CONSIDERATION The more a man progresses in spiritual understanding and purity of heart. The quarrel was settled as indicated by the wonderful vision. the virgin Chrysa was being martyred for Christ. others Gregory for the unfathomable depth and height of his theological mind. But. January 30th being set aside for the common commemoration of the three hierarchs.Civil Calendar January 30th . Basil on the lst. He suffered for the Faith in the time of Claudius. he was brought to trial and condemned to death after prolonged torture. Bishop of Rome. Gregory on the 25th and Chrysostom on the 27th. of how saints flee from vanity and riches. St Hippolytus stood up for her before her torturers and denounced them. The Greeks regard this feast not only as a Church festival. he was beheaded with the sword in the year 784. as you see. Twenty other martyrs suffered with him and Chrysa in about 236. I am not yet perfected in Him. saying: 'My children. in Rome. after an unsuccessful war against the Hungarians and Russians. The common feast we celebrate today was instituted in the 11th century. The Orthodox King Peter of Bulgaria set off with his retinue to the mountain of Rila. and went to the Lord. The Holy Martyr Theophilus the New. and a great admirer of St John of Rila. He discovered from a frightened demon that. As commander-in-chief under the Emperor Constantine and Empress Irene. The Three Great Hierarchs: Saints Basil the Great. to let the saint know. and I speak to you as fellow-pupils of my teachers. But the saint would not agree to see the king. Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. the second Gregorians and the third Johannites. I have not begun in the spiritual life. and how they counsel kings. When he withstood all the Moslems' insistence that he repudiate the Christian faith. The Bishop of Euchaita. others still Chrysostom for the wonderful beauty of his speech and the clarity of his presentation of the Faith. and then all three together. in the time of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus. When. had a vision in his sleep. He went to God in the year 1194. 3. in which each of these saints appeared to him in great glory and indescribable beauty. At one time there was a dispute among the people about who was the greatest of the three. Each has his personal feast day in the month of January. 2. King of Bulgaria. 4. he was enslaved by the Hagarines and held four years in prison. I am only beginning to be a disciple. neither is there among us a first or a second. and there is no dispute among us . One spiritual giant. there were thirty who had received the gift from God of power over evil spirits. They then said to him: 'We are one in God. but as their greatest national and scholastic holiday. Although I am in chains for the Name of Jesus Christ. FOR CONSIDERATION Here is an example of how kings seek counsel of the saints. Some gave Basil the pre-eminence for his purity and courage. He died in 967 at the age of 56. He was the son of Simeon. Because of this protest. this dispute was resolved to the benefit of the Church and the yet greater glory of the three saints. he wrote to the Ephesians: 'I do not command you as though I had some standing. lying on his death bed. The saddened king sent other men with some 160 .. He burst into tears. is the valley in which he finds himself and the higher the peak to which he is aspiring. by the providence of God.he attained a high level of perfection. it seems to him.' When St Ignatius was lying shackled in prison.' The saints also advised Bishop John to compile a common feast for them and to set aside for them a day of common commemoration. John (June 14th). The Hieromartyr Hippolytus. of the 118 monks in the Monastery of the Caves. So the first were called Basilians. heard that he was being praised for his great asceticism. St Peter.. The king sent men on ahead.Church Calendar 1. They bound his hands and feet and cast him into the sea. urged by the irresistible desire to see St John of Rila and benefit from his instruction.' February 12th .

The daughters were: Theoctista. As a monk. be merciful as is your heavenly Father. He read only the Old Testament and was totally unable to open the New. Once when Nikita was at prayer. May your royal purple shine with all the virtues.' said one saint. Let the remembrance of death never leave your soul. he always told them to cleanse their souls from sin by repentance and prayer. Humble yourself before the feet of Mother Church. they loved each other as brothers and remained together to live in asceticism. may give you such blessings as have never entered into the heart of man. that they might be restored and strengthened in body. Cyrus went off to Arabia. came to Arabia to see Cyrus.about crimes. But. a Christian woman called Athanasia was tortured together with her three daughters in the town of Canopus.Church Calendar 1.food. At that time. with her daughters. Our Holy Father Nikita of the Kiev Caves. Neither a holy place nor a holy state is of use to him who does not fulfil the 161 . stopped praying and began to read books. nevertheless the Orthodox Church does not recommend monasticism to all the faithful. bow your head before her greatest saints. FOR CONSIDERATION Although the holy fathers praised monasticism as the angelic state. age 13. and Eudocia. in disobedience to his abbot. She is invoked to help mothers who are unable to nurse their babies. God sent great temptations upon him. He entered into rest in 1108. the king kissed it. seeing your devotion. age 11.' Nikita obeyed. a fair amount of gold and the request that the saint would commit to writing some advice for him. both during their lives and after their death. because she would not repudiate her faith. age 15. Cyrus lived at first in Alexandria. John. accessible to all. On seeing each other. so he became known also in Arabia. February 13th . Discovering that illness came upon people mainly through sin. nor all those in the world be lost. but rather read books.' Receiving this letter. 'Neither will all those in the desert be saved. 2. quiet. Nikita returned to himself. had made up his mind to go to a monastery. and people went to him for help. Do not give yourself to injustice and be not greedy. repented bitterly of his disobedience and pride and directed himself onto the right path. The holy fathers of the monastery finally realized that Nikita had fallen into demonic delusion and began to pray for him. God forgave him and gave him the gift of wonder-working. Their relics were translated to Rome in the time of the Emperor Arcadius. a mad ox was released which gored and killed her. being prevented by some diabolical strength. The Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers Cyrus and John. after torture and imprisonment. Then the torturers took Cyrus and John and. and later referred to it frequently. For his disobedience. 3. where he received the monastic habit. kidnappings. After long penance and many tears. Then. Cyrus and John heard of this and came to Canopus to encourage the mother and daughters not to fall back from the Faith. Athanasia endured all the tortures and. the devil appeared to him as an angel of light and said to him: 'Do not pray any more. he went off and lived as a recluse in a solitary cell. He also prophesied with the help of the devil . She voluntarily and courageously underwent harsh torture for Christ. without any inclination to monasticism. hearing of him and being at that time a Roman officer in Edessa. healed people by the power of Christ together with medicine for the body. as he had become known in Alexandria. a man is neither saved nor lost by the place he is in. and working as a doctor. grateful indeed for the counsel of these saints. but were brothers in spirit. refusing to touch it. and I will pray in your place. John received the food and returned the gold. Theodota. but is saved or lost by his deeds. be meek. St Niphon said: 'My son. and although many of the greatest saints spent their lives and achieved perfection in the silent and lifeless desert. When Diocletian began his persecution of Christians. This came to pass in the first century. And. fires and other evil works which were known to the devil and thence made known to him. realized the abyss into which he had fallen.Civil Calendar January 31st . and replied to the king: 'If you desire the heavenly kingdom. Do not listen to praise from your nobles. These holy martyrs performed innumerable miracles. was slain for Christ. The Holy Martyr Tryphaena. They are invoked for help especially for the sleepless and for the blessing of water and food. so that the King of kings. slew them with the sword in the year 311. To one city-dweller who. These compassionate and wonderful saints were not blood brothers.

but mind the serpent!' Encouraged by this. to make an end for the Name of Jesus Christ. 2. the holiest of all that is holy. For thou art a good and merciful Giver of gifts. At that time the Emperor Gordian (238-44) came to the throne in Rome. when shall I become worthy. they all interpreted it as meaning that death would soon come to them. healing both people and animals and driving out evil spirits. But may Thy holy angel lead me to Thy beauteous habitation and teach me to become an heir of the Kingdom that I so greatly desire. tending the geese and praying to God. the citizens of Nicaea wanted to bury him in their 162 . by the providence of God. where he healed the Emperor's daughter. they received from Christ the eternal reward in the Kingdom of light. and hearken to the prayers of all who will bring Thee offerings in memory of me: look Thou upon them from Thy holy habitation. for ever and ever. but the evil spirit in the girl broke silence and said that noone but Tryphon could cast it out. As lambs butchered for Christ. saying: 'Oh. Felicitas and Satyrus. He had a mad daughter. Tryphon commended his soul to his Creator.Church Calendar 1. and you will be saved. He entered into the eternal Kingdom of Christ in about 429 at the age of 99. this young Tryphon was sent for. After many other Tryphons in the Empire had failed. They were all thrown into prison for their Christian faith in the time of Emperor Septimus Severus. the Lamb of God. The Holy Martyrs Perpetua.' February 14th . Whoever says that it is impossible to be saved with a wife and children is a deceiver. Amen. When Decius. Our Holy Father Peter of Galateia. and he was called the friend of God! Many servants of the Church have been saved. lest he drag me down into the pit of destruction. and he had from childhood great grace from God. who was violently opposed to the Christian faith. I thank Thee that Thou hast made me worthy to finish the spiritual struggle without faltering. let me not fall into the hands of the invisible demon. and the torturers finally condemned him to be beheaded. then in her turn hastened to the top. They all suffered for Christ between 202 and 203. then the rest in order. Lot lived among the lawless Sodomites and was saved. 3. give Thou them abundant and enduring gifts. Judas was among the apostles and went to hell.commandments of the Lord. Satyrus was killed first. He was born in the village of Lampsacus in Phrygia of poor parents. Doctors could do nothing to help her. and call thence to her: 'Perpetua! I'm waiting for you. as if on the first rung. Tryphon was interrogated and cruelly tortured for Christ. There he became so perfect through fasting and prayer that he was able to perform many miracles by the power of the Spirit of God. and also much gold and silver. Perpetua saw in a dream a ladder stretching from earth to heaven. And now I pray Thee. When she reached it. and to Satyrus the first . FOR CONSIDERATION St Tryphon prayed before his death: 'O Lord. hooks. many craftsmen. many aristocrats.which quickly came to be. she saw the beautiful court of heaven and rejoiced with great joy. became Emperor. The Holy Martyr Tryphon. swords. in the year 250. and she encouraged all the other captives in the prison to be fearless in their suffering for Christ. God of gods and King of kings. He kept geese as a child. When she recounted her dream to the other captives. and many farm laborers. the source of great distress to her father.' Because St Tryphon had suffered in Nicaea and many miraculous healings were performed by his relics.Civil Calendar February 1st . nails and other deadly implements. The Emperor heaped gifts on him. and many lovers of the desert. through fire and torture. then Perpetua. which Tryphon gave away to the poor before returning home. He left his parents' home for the sake of Christ at the age of seven. At the moment of his death. Saul lived in regal luxury and perished. David lived in like luxury and received the wreath. This holy youth remained in his village. Be devout towards God and loving towards men. stakes. She saw Satyrus run first up the ladder to the top without injury. and others with them. A terrible serpent lay at its foot. and hid himself in the desert. Abraham had a wife and children and three hundred and eighteen servants. and many soldiers. St Perpetua was of a noble family. Perpetua stood on the serpent's head. all thickly set with sharp knives. He was taken to Rome. Receive my soul. my Lord and God?' No torture was able to harm him. But he endured all his sufferings with great joy. Come on.

explaining to him that the prophecy was true and rightly-expressed. who had from her youth served God in the Temple in fasting and prayer. but its solemn celebration began in the time of the great Emperor Justinian. the holy family had already escaped from the city and set out for Egypt under the direction of an angel of God. Exod. Gabriel. the epidemic and the earthquake ceasing instantly. And though neither the one nor the other was necessary. On the day of the Presentation itself.Church Calendar 1. a virgin shall conceive and bear a son'. Lampsacus. the daughter of Phanuel. On this occasion. he was a coppersmith by profession. to consecrate Him to the Lord and to purify herself according to the Law (Lev. Seeing the powerlessness of men to avert these catastrophes. not that for married women. This happened in the year 544. He stood the Virgin Mary in the place for maidens. The Presentation of the Lord (the 'Meeting'). the father of St John the Baptist. This Simeon was chosen. there were two very special people present: the elder. and who herself recognized the Messiah.' So also with the day of the Presentation of the Lord. The Holy New Martyr Jordan. as one of the famous Seventy to whom was committed the task of translating the Old Testament from the Hebrew into Greek. Simeon. For his open defense of the Christian faith and his denunciation of the falsehood of Islam. he suffered at the hands of the Turks at Galata in Constantinople in 1650.' Simeon also spoke the following words of the Christ Child: 'Behold. but when translating the Prophet Isaiah. but its solemn celebration dates from 544. 12:2).Church Calendar 1. so with this day. He was puzzled and took a knife to scratch out the word 'virgin' and substitute 'young woman'. for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. Believing this to be the new King of whom the star-followers from the East had spoken. At that time. the Emperor and the Patriarch together decided to call for fasting and prayer throughout the whole empire. And the Lord did have mercy. But the Pharisees.Civil Calendar February 2nd .Civil Calendar February 3rd . praised the Lord and made known to the inhabitants of Jerusalem the coming of the awaited One. FOR CONSIDERATION Speaking of the spread of the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. Simeon worked conscientiously. in the time of Emperor Justinian. On the fortieth day after His birth.' Then Anna. now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace. and being vexed with Zacharias for having stood the Virgin Mary in the place for maidens. with five thousand or more people dying every day. A monk. Herod quickly sent to have Jesus killed. At that time Zacharias. the most holy Virgin brought her divine Son to the Temple in Jerusalem. when planted in the earth. This day was commemorated among Christians from the beginning.). in the time of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B. St John Chrysostom says: 'As beautiful and prolific fruit-trees. was serving his turn as high priest in the Temple. and to be buried there. This day has been celebrated from the very earliest times. Born in Trebizond.cemetery. Trees sprout at this time and begin the process of bringing forth their abundant fruit. But in the meantime. made this known to King Herod. Simeon took his Messiah up in his arms and said: 'Lord. quickly attain a great height and ripen and bear fruit. 2. 163 . St Simeon the Host of God. they arranged processions through the towns and villages to implore the Lord to have mercy on His people. February 16th . At the same time there was a terrible earthquake in Antioch. a reader in the great church in Constantinople. As a result. present in the Temple and seeing and hearing all that passed. suffered in the same way in 1676. February 15th . the Presentation came to be celebrated as a great feast of the Lord. and thus translate it into Greek. But at that moment an angel of God appeared to him and held him back from his intention. 12:2-7. nevertheless the Lawgiver would not in any way transgress the Law which He had given through His servant and prophet Moses. Constantinople and its surroundings were struck by an epidemic. he came to the prophecy: 'Behold.C. this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel. and Anna. where he had formerly tended the geese. But the saint appeared to someone in a vision and expressed his desire to be taken home to his own village.

000 letters to various people in which he reprimanded one. vowing that he would consecrate himself wholly to God. In another. St Nicholas then advised him to pray to St Simeon. let him regard them as small and then they will be truly shown to be great. St Simeon departed this life. who recognized the Messiah and made Him known to the people. 'It is more important to be proficient in good works than in golden-tongued preaching'. Lord. the messenger from God said that he.And to confirm its veracity. Thus with no trace of lament for this life. and entered into the Kingdom of Christ in about 450. Peter was taken captive in some battle. Completing his secular studies. These two holy souls came from their home town. that he might be freed from prison. not a dream. had earlier made a similar vow and had not fulfilled it. FOR CONSIDERATION The great heavenly glory attained by St Simeon. St Isidore stood on the side of Chrysostom. glorifying Christ the Lord in his life and his writings. Baneas. Peter begged St Nicholas with tears to pray to God for him.. St Nicholas appeared to him in a dream and said that he had prayed for him. according to Thy word. in Caesarea of Cappadocia. is clearly attested in this incident taken from the life of St Peter the Athonite (June 12th). He was an Egyptian. He wrote to Patriarch Theophilus. advised another. The righteous Simeon rejoiced at these heavenly tidings.this time with St Simeon . to visit imprisoned Christians and to uphold and encourage them. 'who has great power before God. February 17th . Our Holy Father Nicholas the Confessor. after the example of the Lord Jesus. he renounced his riches and worldly standing and gave himself wholly to the spiritual life for the love of Christ. the Spirit of God revealed this to Simeon. and stands near His throne with the most holy Mother of God and St John the Forerunner'. The historian Nicephorus states that St Isidore wrote more than 10. They themselves were taken and condemned to death. St Simeon said to Peter: 'Do you wish to fulfil your vow and become a monk?' Peter replied: 'Yes. 164 . 2. but that God was delaying his deliverance because he. he says: 'If a man wishes his virtues to appear great. wonderful in appearance with light streaming from his countenance. Peter saw Simeon. for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation. Our Holy Father Isidore of Pelusium. one for and one against this great pillar of Orthodoxy.' Then Simeon touched Peter's fetters lightly with his sceptre and they melted as if made of wax.' The first and fundamental rule for Isidore was: first do and then teach. who held the holy Savior in his arms. they entered with joy and honor into eternal life. he writes in one letter.Civil Calendar February 4th . now lettest Thou Thy servant depart . He was clad in the robes of a priest of the Old Covenant and bore a golden sceptre in his hand. with the help of God. St Nicholas appeared to him again . Peter followed this advice and began to pray to St Simeon. The joyful elder took Christ in his arms and prayed to God to let him leave this world: 'Lord.in a vision. who was now a very old man with snow-white hair. Adrian was slain with the sword and Eubulus was thrown to the wild beasts in the year 309. When the Christ Child was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem by the Virgin Mary. Soon after that. left the prophecy unchanged and thanked God that He had found him worthy to live to see the Promised One. At a time when St John Chrysostom was undergoing persecution and the whole world was divided into two camps. This righteous elder is venerated as the protector of young children. the son of eminent parents and a kinsman of the Patriarchs of Alexandria Theophilus and Cyril.. The Holy Martyrs Adrian and Eubulus. bathed in a light that shone round their heads like a halo. saying what a great light Chrysostom was in the Church and begging that the hatred of him should cease. He was a great and ardent interpreter and defender of the Orthodox faith. Simeon. Lying long in prison. consoled a third.Church Calendar 1. instructed a fourth. by the will of God. Anna was then 84 years old. the daughter of Phanuel.' Thither came also Anna the prophetess. Peter. He lived long and labored greatly. He went quickly to the Temple and found there both the Virgin and the Child. would not die until he had seen the Messiah born of a virgin. And he opened the door of the prison and led Peter out. 2. As a military commander. bound and cast into prison in the town of Samara on the banks of the Euphrates.

' And indeed. As a monk. 'Wheat'. The judge gives him a silver piece for killing the criminal. the horses became maddened under him and his soldiers. and remained there to become a monk. there is the following custom: when the executioner beheads a criminal condemned to death. in blessing his new-born daughter. They were savaged on the face. but on the way. During a persecution of the Church on the part of Leo the Armenian. The holy Apostle Peter appeared to her in the prison and restored her to physical wholeness and health.' The judge put her to cruel torture. thrown onto the ground and trampled to death. After that. he goes to the judge and reports that the sentence has been carried out. 3. He went to Constantinople to visit his kinsman Theodore. a boat full of grain. Even non-Christian peoples have some grasp of this. take some penance on yourself. 868. they replied. and orders that he receive forty strokes of the lash for killing a man. 2. Quintian. which Theodula endured with heroism. beaten with bull-whips and finally thrown into prison. for which the judge considered her witless. The Holy Martyr Agatha. As wheat cannot come to the granary until it is cleansed of its chaff. her torturer. February 18th . arrived below the monastery on the third day. Nicholas became abbot of the Studium.Church Calendar 1. That is pleasing to God. the judge. If you have condemned or punished another. where she gave her soul to God in the town of Catania in the year 251. Thus God's punishment came swiftly upon him for his ferocious crime against St Agatha. She suffered for Christ in the time of Diocletian. The Christian saints had a profound understanding of the mystery of sin and the unrighteousness of man. He was born in Aleppo. When Emperor Decius launched a persecution of Christians. This glorious virgin and martyr for Christ was born in the Sicilian town of Palermo of noble and prosperous parents. Then the dying man said: 'He who sustained Israel in the wilderness will send you abundant wheat in three days. He saw Agatha's beauty and desired her for his wife. bound to a tree and beaten till the blood flowed. to which Christ's bride replied: 'These tortures are of great help to me. When the Turks pressured him to embrace Islam. St Agatha was arrested and brought to judgement before Quintian. Theodula showed great courage at her trial. he called the monks together and asked them what they lacked. for instance. a prophecy that was later fulfilled to the joy of her parents. abbot of the Studite monastery. the impious Roman Emperor. Theodula brought one of her torturers.This saint was from the island of Crete.Civil Calendar February 5th . Suffer a little. and that she then be thrown into prison. set out to appropriate her lands. In China. She was once again taken out for torture and again cast back into prison. humiliated. The judge condemned her to cruel torture: Agatha was flogged. The saints knew this mystery when they condemned themselves for the sins of others. For this he was tortured and beheaded in 1686. but began to denounce the falsehood of Islam and to extol the Christian faith. at the age of 75. When he suggested this to her. Each human sin had for them a history as long as that stretching back from us to Adam. Nicholas entered into the heavenly Kingdom on February 4th. Theodore and Nicholas were harshly tortured. for the sins of sinners. To this. he prophesied. sent by the Emperor Basil. He healed Eudocia the wife of the Emperor Basil. The Holy New Martyr Joseph. During her tortures. FOR CONSIDERATION Take on yourself some penance for the sin of others. The Holy Martyr Theodula. After the death of St Theodore. When Helladius openly confessed his faith in Christ. Nicholas followed all the ascetic practices that are prescribed for the soul's salvation. to his senses and to the Christian faith. where they spent three years. a distinguished nobleman who had lost several children. she replied that she was the bride of Christ and could not be faithless to her Betrothed. mocked. Helladius. she retorted: 'It is you who are witless. that she would live and be fruitful. To Theophilus Melisenus. making her 165 . On the very day of his death. Joseph not only refused. voluntarily. he was beheaded. Even during his lifetime.' Then the torturer ordered that her breasts be cut off. and Helen the wife of the patrician Manuel. so my soul cannot enter Paradise unless my body has first been broken by torture. God blessed him with the power to work miracles. After her death. the judge again urged her to deny Christ and so escape further torture. for you forget the one true God and bow down to lifeless stones.

to turn her from Christ. But it happened the other way about: Dorothea succeeded in bringing both sisters to the Christian faith. she asked him to have a picture of her made. Everything within him turned topsy-turvy. Patriarch of Constantinople. 3. Sapricius. she made her torturers marvel by her heroism and brought them to the Christian faith. Christina and Kallista. When the judge threatened Fausta with even harsher tortures. I'll do that!'.' From being a simple monk. O Christ. and his soul quickly followed Dorothea's to the Lord's Paradise. the angel took them to Theophilus and said: 'Here is what you asked for. St Polyeuctus.' The judge cast her into a cauldron of boiling water. When it was ready and shown to her.' When Theophilus received the message and saw the gift. Suffering for Christ in the reign of the Emperor Maximian (between 305 and 311). For his great mind. and went to Paradise. for thou hast desired the light and cast away darkness. and remained on the patriarchal throne until his death in 970. At Dorothea's bidding. She was an eminent and beautiful maiden from Caesarea in Cappadocia. Bishop of Smyrna. 166 . The administrator of the district.Church Calendar 1. Among these were two eminent citizens. but only half as much as we. the martyr replied. and Maximus the Eparch. especially gentleness and meekness. When Dorothea was at the place of execution. 'And what will those who come after us accomplish?' 'They will accomplish what we have accomplished. you bride of Christ. With these two and many others. Sapricius in fury ordered that the sisters be tied together back to back. Then he peacefully departed this life and went to the Lord.Civil Calendar February 6th . There were few baptized Christians in Smyrna. Before his death. where this thirteen-year-old girl departed this life with prayer on her lips. The Patriarch baptized her. and he rejected paganism and became a Christian. he was called a second Chrysostom. He was a disciple of St John the Theologian. and was baptized there in 957. through these trials. St Bucolus. for my soul is established in the Lord. 3. showing her enduring all the tortures with which he was threatening her.torturers marvel and bringing them to Christ. holy Fausta said: 'As this picture feels no torture. and the Emperor stood godfather. and it was winter-time. Bucolus named the famous Polycarp as his successor in the episcopate. who consecrated him bishop of the city of Smyrna. He was tortured and killed for Christ. He was adorned with all the virtues. he was very much afraid. He then condemned Dorothea to death. replied Ischyrion. The Russian Princess Olga came to Constantinople in the time of Patriarch Polyeuctus and Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. These were the eighty-year-old pagan priest Evilasius. Theodula was thrown into a red-hot furnace.' 'And those after them?' 'Those in the last days will have no monastic training. 2.' February 19th . where they all finished this life with honor and were made worthy of the Kingdom of Christ. Polyeuctus was raised to the Patriarchate in 946. This was an angel from God. The Holy Martyr Dorothea. send me apples and wild roses from your bridegroom's paradise!' 'Yes. St Polyeuctus prophesied: 'Blessed art thou among Russian women. but such assaults and temptations will come upon them that they will. Thou Lover of souls. who was present laughed at these words and called out to Dorothea: 'Here. cast into a vat of pitch and then set alight. that Thou callest me to Thy Paradise and leadest me to Thy most holy court!' A nobleman. so my body does not feel the torture of your punishments. the sons of Russia will bless thee to the last generation. She listened to the sentence with joy and cried out: 'I thank Thee. Macarius and Evagrius. be revealed in the Kingdom of God as greater than us and than our fathers. FOR CONSIDERATION The great Abba Ischyrion was asked by his monks: 'What have we accomplished?' 'We have fulfilled the commandments of God'. a handsome youth suddenly appeared with three marvelous apples and three red wild roses. Theophilus. and St Bucolus shone like a lamp in the pagan darkness. his zeal for the Faith and his power of oratory. The Holy Martyr Fausta. gave Dorothea into the care of two pagan sisters.

FOR CONSIDERATION St Barsanuphius. to help you learn patience. and was an instructor of many in Constantinople on subjects that ranged from secular science to the most sublime types of theology. 6. which brought about the death of the body and the passions. being made Patriarch on the Nativity of Christ in 858. He was a forceful protector of the Church from the power-seeking of the Pope and other Roman perverters of the Faith. replied the saint. then stabbed to death with a lance. The Holy Martyrs Martha and Mary and their brother Lycarion. At one time when he was about to drive the evil spirit out of a madman. he caught fish. sold them and shared the proceeds with the poor. who spent fifty years shut in his cell forbidding himself the sight of a single man. They lived in the sixth century. they left us a well-known book of answers to various questions on the spiritual life. He passed through all the ranks from layman to patriarch in six days. St Parthenius.' 'The Lord desires you to reverence every man more greatly than yourself. Luke was born in Castorius. On the way. Luke went and saw his mother. and God heard her prayer. not for himself but for the poor and the visitors. which remained to him. gifted with insight and wonder-working power. Our Holy Father Luke of Hellas. He was the son of a deacon from the city of Melitopolis. Our Holy Fathers Barsanuphius and John. Bishop of Lampsacus. he was chosen as bishop of Lampsacus. he had no desire to taste meat. 167 . He knew the words of the Gospel by heart from his early youth. 'I will give you another man. 2. He cleansed the city of paganism.Church Calendar 1.' February 20th . A great light in the Church. The abbot of that monastery dreamed three times in succession that a woman was vehemently accusing him of having taken her only son. He entered into the eternal peace of Christ in the 4th century. One day he went to sow his field with wheat.' 'Visible robbers are the servants of invisible robbers in the thoughts. from this small amount of seed.Civil Calendar February 7th .4. 5. and strove to fulfill them. attained through the grace of God gifts of discernment and clairvoyance. 'And who is that man?' 'I am he. Patriarch of Constantinople. All three were crucified for Christ. He atoned for this sin on a mountain called 'John's Mountain'. 'Come and make your abode in me'.' When the elder was asked if he would use the services of a paid advocate in a dispute in which the monastery was engaged. By God's providence. Luke ran away from his mother and entered a monastery. All that happens with confusion and bustle is of the devil. he replied: 'If you buy the advocacy of men. and God is slow to hear you. but once again left her. and a holy and perfect rest.' 'The Lord Jesus Christ endured all things and finally ascended onto the holy Cross. God will not be your advocate (lawyer). he sowed. into whom you can enter and in whom you can dwell'. the evil spirit begged him not to. this time for good. he was a kinsman of the Emperor and grandson of the famous Patriarch Tarasius. the evil spirit fled as though burned by fire. Hearing this. St Photius. God provided that. Even as a child. Parthenius told him. closed the temples dedicated to idol-worship. He departed this life in the Lord in about 895. Here are some of the thoughts from his book Answers: 'Every thought that is not preceded by the silence of humility does not originate in God. and was especially powerful over spirits. He healed all manner of sickness through prayer. and spent the whole of his life in purity and prayer. built many churches and strengthened the faithful. He was reputed to be the wisest and most intelligent person in the empire.'. there came a greater harvest than had previously come from the whole amount. After that.' 'When you pray. The abbot then ordered Luke to return at once to his mother. Settling beside a lake. Great ascetics from Gaza. he gave the greater part of the wheat to a poor man and the lesser part. himself living only on barley bread. He prayed at night and worked in the gardens and fields by day. He does this for your good. crying out: 'How can I enter into the house of God?' St Parthenius lived long and showed in his deeds the greatness of his love for God and man. His widowed mother prayed ardently to God to reveal to her where her son was to be found.

his good looks. She lived a life of great asceticism in Jerusalem. He scorned the foolish idol-worship of the superstitious Emperor. 3. such as that of compassion. but that. Archbishop of Serbia. his military status and the goodwill of the Emperor. by the power of God. a Roman commander in the army of the Emperor Licinius and governor of the city of Heraclea. The eleventh of the Minor Prophets.' He entered into rest in the second year of the reign of Darius Hystapes. 25). a Christian must accept and endure it courageously. to mean that many will give themselves to the spiritual life.He was endowed by God with wonder-working gifts. St Isidore says: 'They all kept their virginity. Chosen to be Archbishop of Serbia after St Arsenius. and the forsaking of Christ by His apostles at the time of His Passion: 'Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered. then he was crucified and pierced through with arrows. in about 520 B.Church Calendar 1.C. Following the example of his great uncle. and entered peacefully into rest in the year 946. and in place of all this received terrible tortures for the sake of Christ. myrrh flowed from his relics.Civil Calendar February 8th . 26:42)? It means that no one should seek danger. during which time. During the whole of his torture. FOR CONSIDERATION St Isidore of Pelusium interprets certain words from Holy Scripture: 'Of two grinding grain. so to save them both from sin she took some soaked beans in a basket and went off into the desert. From time to time. but with very different dispositions. when it comes. What is the meaning of the Lord's prayer about the Cup? Why did the Lord beg that the cup of suffering should pass from Him (Matt. but had no other virtues. and taking the name Sava II. and it depends also on the greatness of the suffering which he endures for the sake of Christ. shattered the silver and gold idols. 319. the beans did not come to an end nor her clothing wear out. Why all this? Because St Theodore loved Christ more than anything else in the world. 168 . receiving 600 lashes on the back and 500 on the stomach. The Holy Prophet Zechariah. Theodore repeated unceasingly: 'Glory to Thee. scorned his youth. and entered into the Kingdom of Christ. Virginity by itself is not sufficient for entry into the Kingdom of God. 3. He was the son of King Stephen the First-Crowned and nephew of St Sava the First. His wonderworking relics were taken from Euchaita to Constantinople and buried in the Church at Blachernae. the foal of an ass. There are martyrdoms that are more than costly. Before becoming a monk. The first will be taken into the Kingdom of God. giving the pieces to the poor. He prophesied the solemn entry of Christ into Jerusalem on a colt. 24:41). 4.' February 21st . one sincerely and steadily. at three o'clock in the afternoon. She entered peacefully into rest in about 580. Virginity is of no use if the virgin is filled with pride and self seeking. He is regarded as the protector of soldiers. On the five foolish virgins (Matt. he became a monk and gave himself zealously to the ascetic life. Firstly Theodore was flogged. my God. receiving suffering in its place. Our Holy Mother Mastridia. another slackly and conceitedly. the one shall be taken and the other left' (Matt. brought many to the Christian faith and urged the Emperor himself to reject idolatry and believe in the one God. 2. and Judas' betrayal for thirty pieces of silver: 'They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver'. St Sava the Second. There she spent seventeen years. The costliness of a martyrdom depends on the greatness of the good things of this world that a Christian gives up. Finally he was slain with the sword. and the second left. A young man who saw her began to pester her. he was called Predislav. The Thousand and Three Martyrs of Nicomedia They suffered in the reign of Diocletian. St Theodore. glory to Thee!' He suffered on February 8th. who turn to him for help. he worked together with the Prophet Haggai to persuade Prince Zerubbabel to restore the Temple in Jerusalem. The Holy and Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates.

At the last moment. Hatred had blinded him to such an extent! Nicephorus entreated Sapricius not to deny Christ: 'Oh. my beloved brother. tried many times to establish peace with the priest. Sapricius denied Christ before the executioner and declared that he would worship idols. The Hieromartyr Peter Damascene. He died a confessor and a martyr. Their friendship somehow turned into a terrible mutual hatred. who ordered them to let Sapricius go and to kill Nicephorus in his place. God would not have him receive the gift of martyrdom and the crowning with the wreath. said Nicephorus. FOR CONSIDERATION St Seraphim of Sarov writes on despair: 'As the Lord works for our salvation. This came to pass in 260. But. or subjugation and slavery for the swift salvation of the soul. This saint is considered by some to have lived in the eighth century. the learned priest Sapricius and the ordinary. But the particular gifts are those which God gives to a man individually. The life of this holy martyr demonstrates clearly how God casts down pride and crowns humility and brotherly love with glory. and by others in the twelfth. when he fell into great sin in the testing time of battle. But thou. did not despair nor lose the presence of the Spirit. that killer of men. This difference of opinion arises from there having been two Peters Damascene. Then Nicephorus cried out to the executioners: I too am a Christian. the firm rock. but strengthened and protected by our holy Faith. Nicephorus joyfully laid his head on the block and was beheaded. Nicephorus. thou martyr of Christ'. O thou murderer.' Judas the betrayer was little of soul and untested in battle. and the devil seeing this. 'forgive me if I have in any way sinned against thee. 2. all the wonderful and terrible works of God revealed in the Holy Scriptures. FOR CONSIDERATION St Peter Damascene writes thus of the general and the particular gifts of God: 'The general gifts are the four elements. kill me in Sapricius' place!' The executioners reported this to the judge. attacked him and forced him to suicide.' Sapricius would not turn to his adversary. so that there in exile he preached the Gospel and brought many to the Christian faith. be it wealth for acts of mercy. And he read untiringly. say resolutely to the wicked spirit: 'What hast thou to do with us. for Christ the Son of God has dominion over us and over all. thou fugitive from heaven and slave of wickedness? Thou darest in no wise do us harm. The Holy Martyr Nicephorus. He wrote and left to his descendants a precious book on the spiritual life. But Peter. works to lead man into despair. but borrowed them to read. who feared God. the priest Sapricius was condemned to death and brought to the place of execution. seeing the hardness of the priest's heart. simple townsman Nicephorus. get thee away from us! Strengthened by His precious Cross. or poverty for patience with thanksgiving. and therefore the devil. The one about whom we are speaking was a great ascetic. Nicephorus stood in great distress in the path Sapricius was to take. and all that come from them. Utterly selfless. He entered into rest in 1268. And thus he was made worthy of the Kingdom and crowned with the eternal wreath of glory. When a persecution of Christians broke out. but the latter would not respond. begging him to forgive him before dying. There lived in Antioch two intimate friends. fled from him as from a flaming fire. do not do this! Do not deny our Lord Jesus Christ and lose the heavenly crown!' But all in vain. St Antiochus teaches that when despair descends upon us. we trample upon thy serpent head!' February 22nd . in the reign of the Emperor Gallienus. seeing him in despair. so the devil. my brethren. And.he governed the Church with great devotion and love. we must not surrender to it. but calmly and proudly moved on to death.Church Calendar 1. and his relics lie in the monastery at Pec. thou who hast fallen away from God. and secretly withdrew His blessing. gathering wisdom as a bee does honey. and entered into the Kingdom of Christ. but wept bitterly from a full heart. He was at some time bishop in Damascus. Sapricius was unmoved. but spoke out so strongly against Islam and the Manichean heresy that the Arabs cut out his tongue and sent him into exile deep in Arabia. and to part in peace. But God gave him the power of speech. 'I pray thee. be it power for right judgement and the strengthening of virtue. he had not one single book of his own.Civil Calendar February 9th . be it health for the helping of the infirm or 169 .

Gallina took his body and buried it. The devil had tormented this man for 35 years. Thou knowest that men are flesh and blood. he was named the Orach-eater because the whole time he lived in the monastery he never tasted bread. This great saint was bishop in Magnesia. The ashes that he distributed with his blessing became salt. Gallina. When he gave someone some of this bread with his blessing. but if anyone stole some.' After praying thus. it was obvious to everyone that they were ash and not salt. they are all. the demon smelled the fragrance of the holy man and cried out: 'I beg thee. and. When a violent persecution broke out under Emperor Septimus Severus. known or unknown. are none other than violations of the moral law of God. the godly saint said to the Emperor's soldiers: 'Thank you.' Hearing this. if thou desirest. was filled with a deep respect and love for him. I shall not be able to take all his goods.weakness for the crown of patience. but fed himself on orach prepared according to his own particular method as a sort of bread. I entered into him and have been residing here these 35 years. When Prochorus died in 1107. very good. The demon said: 'This man desired to rob his neighbor. that God would give them bodily health and salvation of soul. the saint of God ordered the demon to come out of the man at once and leave him in peace. O servant of God. Even the Emperor's daughter. let alone his blessing. and suffered for Christ at the age of 113. While St Charalampus was undergoing martyrdom." So he went and killed his neighbor. When the ash were brought there. however. as they are apportioned. ashes.Church Calendar 170 . forgive them their sins and pour out Thy blessing on all. and must bear all infirmities and tribulations with patience and hope. Prochorus distributed ashes to the people for salt. The origins of these great infirmities. but freely and openly preached the Christian faith. Catching him in such an act. the royal torturer learned of his wonder-working power and ordered that a madman be brought before him. Once. the saintly elder gave his soul to God before the executioner had laid his sword to his neck. and the ash again became salt. FOR CONSIDERATION Many of the great infirmities to which man is subject have their origin. my brethren. and that He would grant them the fruits of the earth in abundance: 'Lord. The Hieromartyr Charalampus. it was as sweet as honey. do not torment me before the time. A wonder-worker of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev. This they did.' He says in conclusion that we owe God gratitude for all His gifts. Condemned to death and led to the place of execution. and though they may seem in contrast to one another. and thought within himself: "If I don't first kill the man. or feebleness and clumsiness for submissive humility. to find out if Charalampus could heal him. All these. and the man was healed and became calm. anyone took for himself remained ordinary ashes. to take them and use them as salt. be it understanding and skill in gathering wealth for the sake of the virtues. learning of this. When this madman drew near to Charalampus.Civil Calendar February 10th . Our Holy Father Prochorus the Orach-Eater. and when the prince threw the ash away. and when they flayed the living flesh from him. he placed him with his own hands in a grave near the great Russian Saints Antony and Theodosius. I will tell thee how I entered into the man. The prince himself. but order me and I will come out. February 24th . Then Prochorus told all the people who came to him for salt to go to the prince's court.' He performed many wonders and brought many to the Faith. 2. when there was a dearth of salt in Russia. St Charalampus raised his arms to heaven and prayed for all men. February 23rd . repudiated the paganism of her father and became a Christian. in his past. for scraping off the old body and renewing my soul for new and eternal life.Civil Calendar February 11th . Prince Svyatopolk ordered that all the ashes from Prochorus' cell be brought to the court without his permission. driving him into the deserts and mountains and casting him into mires and abysses.Church Calendar 1. it was as bitter as wormwood. for all that God gives us or brings upon us is for our salvation. He suffered in 202. the aged Charalampus did not hide from his persecutors. such as madness for example.' And the saint ordered him to speak. He endured all tortures as though not in the body.

The whole of his life was devoted to the fight against the Arian heresy.Civil Calendar February 12th . but it is not itself evil. further. the Manicheans) and some philosophers have asserted. then Blaise and the two children. Michael III. Blaise's prayers are sought for the health and well-being of domestic animals and for protection from wild beasts. But the persecutors found the saint in that hidden spot and took him for trial. it was at this time of total triumph of Orthodoxy over all heresies that Saints Cyril and Methodius were sent as missionaries to the Slav peoples. how could people be baptized in water? How could the Apostle James have ordained that the sick be anointed with oil? How could blessed water stay fresh and have miraculous powers? How could the Cross have power? How could Christ's robe have borne the healing power of the Savior. Ferocious wild beasts. and in his heart and soul a faithful and devout Christian. weak and helpless in comparison with the immortal spirit. Seven women and two children were thrown into prison with him. and how could bread and wine be called His body and blood? If matter were in itself evil. of itself.some killed and others fled . came to him and he gently tamed them. The benighted judges tortured him. By the wonderful providence of God. If it were evil. FOR CONSIDERATION Matter is not. which is celebrated to this day on the first Sunday in the Great Fast. The Hieromartyr Blaise. Theodora reigned with her son.Church Calendar 1. how could the Lord Jesus have instituted the Holy Communion from bread and wine.Blaise. As soon as he reached the age of eighteen. could good come to man through evil? No. This great and holy man was an outstanding interpreter and defender of Orthodoxy. 2. from which the woman with the issue of blood was healed? How could the relics of the saints and how could icons have such wonder-working gifts. Blaise brought many unbelievers to the Faith. When the city of Sebaste was left entirely denuded of Christians .1. as certain Christian heretics (for example. On the way there. Not only is it not evil. but George remained as firm as a diamond in the Faith. the women were slain first. Matter is corruptible. Blaise encouraged his flock and visited the martyrs in prison. for the spirit does this just as much as matter does. By his steadfastness in the Christian faith. A Greek Empress. and the veneration of icons were immediately restored at the Council of Constantinople in 842. 867. The Holy Martyr George of Kratov. Bishop of Sebaste. and was a great spiritual and moral light in that pagan town. George was a goldsmith. This holy woman who gave such service to the Church gave her soul to God on February 11th. and such good from the kingdom of blessings befriend man? How. Blaise was meek and God-fearing from early childhood. which did not recognize the Son of God and blasphemed against the Holy Trinity. George was a Serbian from the town of Kratov. in Sophia in the time of Sultan Selim. The struggle between the Orthodox and the heretics became so bitter that once. retired to the mountain of Argeos and lived there in a cave. while St Meletius 171 . St Theodora. As a young man. He suffered for the Christian faith on February 11th. St Meletius. He was three times removed from his archiepiscopal throne by the heretics. by then an old man. among whom was the famous Eustratius. He suffered and was glorified in 316. she was the wife of the wicked Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast. He was chosen for his virtues as bishop of Sebaste. he is also invoked against sore throats. 1515. Born in Cappadocia. In the West. the Turks tried to convert him to Islam. and driven off into Armenia. recognizing a holy man. The Turks then tortured him with many harsh tortures and finally burned him alive at the stake. This was the occasion of the institution of the Feast of the Triumph Orthodoxy. flogging him terribly. matter is in no way evil in itself. During a period of violent persecution of Christians. it is not the sole spreader of evil. evil. but it is not evil. After the death of Theophilus. February 25th . and was glorified with unfading glory in heaven. Every material thing is weighed down and inhibited by the soul of man. Archbishop of Antioch. made the wolf that had taken her pig return it to her. and at the petition of a poor widow. Blaise healed a boy who had a bone stuck in his throat. 3.

and at that moment lightning flashed from his hand before the gaze of all present. In a dream heard a voice that said. As soon as the innkeeper's daughter touched the relics of St Mary. Mary did not defend herself and was driven forth with scorn from the monastery. and being ready to part with life rather than with this saint. she was healed of her insanity and confessed her terrible sin. in that her relics healed many of the sick. He twice went among the 'Golden Horde' of the Tartars. the innkeeper's daughter became deranged. he found that his wife had given away all his wealth to the poor. he first raised three fingers. FOR CONSIDERATION St John Chrysostom quotes the following example from the life of St Meletius. he was at first an ascetic and then Patriarch in the time of Emperor Leo the Wise (889-912). Convinced by this of her sanctity. which fell like hail on the governor's head. His relics were taken to Antioch. St Alexis was a great hierarch of the Russian Church during a difficult period of Tartar oppression of the Russian people. her father desired to become a monk.Mary with short hair and in man's raiment as a youth. but he was a hard man. ran up to the bishop and shut his mouth with his hand. But God glorified this compassionate soul. he covered the governor's head with his cloak. 2. There was an inn near the monastery. Meletius preached by signs. Callia was generous to the poor from pure Christian compassion. so they decided to go together to a men's monastery . the people being loth to part with their archbishop. He thus shamed his enemy by his great meekness and gave his followers a lesson in the goodness we must show to those who insult us. then closed his hand and raised the one fist. she accused Marius of unlawful relations with her. After a life of great endeavor and fruitfulness. Alexis entered into rest in 1378 at the age of 85. demonstrating the true nobility of this great hierarch: Meletius was unjustly exiled from Antioch. After pursuing him without success. 3. but to use our strength to protect them from those dangers that threaten them. St Mary entered into rest and went to eternal joy in 508. once to sooth the wrath of Verdevir Khan against the Russian people. He thereupon killed her. both as a young girl and later as a married woman. 4. A man of great compassion. St Alexis. and then went to sleep. and the innkeeper's daughter fell in love with the pious monk Marius. When Meletius was propounding the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to the Arians. a heretic. and every sort of hardship and privation. He took part in the Second Ecumenical Council in 381. Being unable to preach with words. Metropolitan of Moscow. Thus. A little later. Meletius established Gregory the Theologian in the seat of Constantinople. As a result of all this. and Mary became a monk and received the name Marius. because she had known some other man and borne him a son.was preaching to the people in church on the divine Trinity in unity. Mary was a woman with great courage. then brought them together. God showed a mystery through His archbishop. seated the saint beside him and then began to drive hurriedly through the square. At that Council. Immediately after her death it was discovered that the 'Monk Marius' was a woman. his own deacon. He became a monk at the age of twenty. Returning on one occasion from his work. When the governor got into the coach. St Meletius finished his earthly course in Constantinople. Our Holy Mother Mary (Marius). St Antony. separated one by one. Patriarch of Constantinople. and in time became Metropolitan of Moscow. He professed his father monk and built a monastery over the relics of St Callia. After the death of her mother. But what did the blessed man do? Seeing the stones flying. Her father died. On Meletius' 172 . With the strange child in her care. the citizens rushed from all sides with pebbles. 5. Mary would not be separated from him. Once in childhood he went bird hunting. At that Council. enduring hunger and hatred. why rush around so fruitlessly? I will teach you to catch men!'. and the second time at the invitation of Amurat Khan. opened three fingers to their fullest extent and showed them to the people. how it is not enough just to do them no evil. where the Emperor Theodosius showed him especially great honor. but she was healed and her vision restored when Alexis prayed and anointed her with holy water. Her husband was rich. This-women had been blind for three years. the holy patriarch Antony built a monastery over her relics. and went to the court of the Lord. St Callia. she lived for three years in a grove belonging to the monastery. 'Alexis. Mary died. he raised his arms on high. to cure his wife's blindness. While the Council was still in session.

but we shall meet again hereafter. Repenting of all her sins. Martinian immediately left the island. in which Simeon lived only eight months before his death. he stayed at first in the monastery of Vatopedi together with Sava.' On February 12th St Simeon told Sava to dress him in his burial habit. There they built six chapels: to the Savior. this is common to all. St Simeon's face lit up once more and he gave his soul to God. 173 . Sava. placed his hands on him and blessed him. he leapt barefoot into the fire and stood in it until the pain brought forth tears from his eyes and he had killed all lust within himself. he then. The life of this saint is wonderful beyond measure and is worth reading in full. 1200. FOR CONSIDERATION The great Stevan Nemanja. St Theodore. He took to his bed on February 7th. Saints Zoa and Photinia. but later shook off this dependence and became completely autonomous. And his death was the death of a truly godly man and spiritual guide. vigils and prayer. the Unmercenaries. whose authoritative word was unreservedly heeded by all. defender of Orthodoxy. When a woman came to tempt him and he saw that he would fall into sin with her. where he died in 422. What did he not endure to fulfill the Law of God? At the age of eighteen. creator of an independent Serbian government. put a stone for his head and thus lay him there. according to his wish. at whom peoples and kings trembled. After two years' monasticism at Studenica. and struggling with manifold temptations. Here we part. St Photinia was thrown by the sea onto the island where St Martinian was living in solitude. goodness and prayer. she received the gift of wonder-working from the Lord. unifier of the Serbian lands. But a dolphin took him upon its back and brought him.Civil Calendar February 13th .' And he went to the Lord. their voices reaching the dying man's cell. he fled to a lonely rock in the sea and lived there. Chrysostom writes further: 'It was truly the greatest delight to see his holy face. comfort and guardian of my old age. When he had strengthened the state and the Orthodox Church within the state. He then decided to make nowhere his permanent home but to travel incessantly. being given the name Simeon. called St Sava to him. Our Holy Father Simeon the Myrrh-Streamer. At dawn on the 13th. Stevan Nemanja.Church Calendar 1. he leapt into the sea intending to drown himself. 3. to the shore. Our Holy Father Martinian. Thus he passed through 164 towns in two years. received the monastic habit at the monastery of Studenica in 1195. His wife Anna also received the monastic habit and the name Anastasia. went to a monastery in Bethlehem and lived there in heroic asceticism as a hermit and anchorite.' February 26th . 2. he went off into a mountain in Cappadocia called 'the Ark' and there spent 25 years in fasting. Zoa at first tempted St Martinian to immorality. With his eyes fixed on the icon of the Mother of God with the Savior. When he was at his last breath. the blessed elder pronounced these words: 'Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. for our parting. When. They bought the ruins of Hilandar and built a beautiful monastery. was first baptized in the Latin Church. placed him on a simple rush mat. saying: 'My beloved child. in a shipwreck. where there is no more parting. following the example of his son Sava. became a monk and served the monks of the Holy Mountain as a model example of meekness. but later became a member of the Orthodox Church. when people only looked at him he brought virtue to the soul of the beholder. by God's providence. but when she saw this hermit leap into the fire to kill all lust in himself. while the monks were singing the morning office in the church. But do not grieve. light of my eyes. a woman swam to the rock. When other temptations arose. St George.outward appearance. and not only when he taught or spoke. the time for us to part has come. Then he called together all the monks and asked their forgiveness. There. spread rushes for him on the ground. Serbia was at first dependent on Greece. In its organization. Simeon went to the Holy Mountain. humility. but Photinia remained there to the end of her days in fasting and prayer. driver-out of heresy. the Forerunner and St Nicholas. and retired to a women's monastery. though. the Lord is letting me go forth in peace. Father and son spent days and nights in prayer. the great ruler of the Serbian people. He finally arrived in Athens. my child. exhorting and advising the people. on February 13th. she repented bitterly.

Auxentius became a monk and remained only a short time in Constantinople. in some way and fled to Rome.Church Calendar 1. Isaac was a contemporary of Saints Antony and Theodosius.' He did this that the wonder worked should not be attributed to him but to almighty God.' But. then. He offended his master. Only St Antony gave him a blessed loaf through the window every other day. a brother beloved. When he was asked to pray for the healing of someone. but his humility was more wonderful. or he first stirred up the faith of the people and told them that God would give according to their faith. sorrow and despair.one of the most moving writings to be found in the New Testament: 'I beseech thee for my son Onesimus. They regarded all places on earth as equally without value. FOR CONSIDERATION Why do people leave one place and move to another? Mainly because they hope to be happier in the other place. 2. giving all his goods to the poor. whom I have begotten in my bonds . He who has no hope of a better life after death seeks a better sensual pasture in this life.February 27th . He lived to a great age. he excused himself with the words: 'I also am a sinful man. They have not found what they were looking for. he fled and settled on a mountain near Chalcedon that later became known as Auxentius' mountain. And. And if one were to look into their hearts. But if you look into the hearts of the people who have settled themselves in the so-called 'best places' on this terrestrial sphere. 'dry. Deluded by demons. looked into the eyes of death. God took his youthful soul to Himself and left his aged body on the earth from which it was made. He entered into rest in 1090.' Deeply moved by this letter. he worshipped them. He came to the monastery as a rich merchant. of the Kiev Caves. Perhaps he departed for a season. By this time.. but forsook everything. in the end. after which he was healed and became a cautious and experienced ascetic. When men began to praise him. impassable and waterless. and gave him his freedom. where he heard the Gospel from the Apostle Paul and was baptized. He could not realize his desire to remain there permanently. Paul had also brought Philemon to the true Faith. February 28th . Philemon. They fed to satiation everywhere and.Civil Calendar February 14th . still hungry. better or worse.. One of the Seventy. and gave himself to the strictest asceticism in a walled-in cell. not now as a servant. or he said over the head of the sick person: 'The Lord Jesus Christ heals you. Philemon and Onesimus. writing a special epistle to Philemon .' lonely and terrible places that attracted the least attention and that no-one would wish to possess. All this was cause for wonder. believing that he was Christ. but above a servant. in 470.Church Calendar 1. As a result of this he became ill and lay two years in sickness. master and slave. anointing them with oil. hidden from men. a rich and distinguished citizen of Colossae in Phrygia. he approached the healing in the following way: either he called all present to pray with him for the sick person. Our Holy Father Auxentius. from the point of view of earthly life and contentment. They began to bring the sick to him to be healed. and he reconciled the two of them. he was set aflame by the love of Christ. but chose these places solely in order to draw nearer in mind and spirit to their eternal home. as some shepherds found him and made his whereabouts known. At the time 174 .Civil Calendar February 15th . one would perceive joy and contentment. constrained by many requests. But look at the Christian saints! They chose the least verdant places. He also raised up the palsied and freed many who had been possessed by demons. you will perceive discontent. receiving in the end abundant blessings. who appeared to him as angels of light. He took part in the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon and powerfully defended Orthodoxy against the Eutychian and Nestorian heresies. places can indeed be different. Philemon received Onesimus as a brother. indeed. that thou shouldest receive him for ever. and he healed many of them. Onesimus was later made bishop and received the see of Ephesus after the death of the Apostle Timothy. He restored sight to the blind and cleansed lepers. A very distinguished administrator in Constantinople among the officials and courtiers of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. he was a slave of Philemon. The Holy Apostle Onesimus. Our Holy Father Isaac the Recluse. This is recorded in the epistles of Ignatius the God-Bearer. and then Satan himself.

' When asked where they were from. the body can be in constant motion. By non-judgement and silence. he must be vigilant over himself. Theodulus. As they reached the gate of the town of Caesarea they said that they were Christians. where he placed these holy relics. and spent all his time in prayer in the open air. When a man attains to such a state. peace of soul is preserved. enduring all weathers. they replied: 'We have cast away the pagan names given us by our mother. remain always in unshakable peace. The third was Paul.Church Calendar 1. they replied: 'From Jerusalem that is above.. who had embraced one of the martyrs while they were under escort. By constant watchfulness over the heart. St Maruthas. The first of these. for they shall see God" (Matt. He was a great expert in the Holy Scriptures. When asked their names. placed it in a silver coffin and buried it in the year 109. The Turks tortured him terribly. 2. Our Holy Father the Martyr Romanus. the tawdry for the precious and death for immortality. was priest in the church at Caesarea in Palestine. Tertylus. and were therefore brought to trial.. With them were five Egyptians. was arrested and taken to Rome. An officer. Martyropolis. and a young man called Porphyrius. and went to the Lord in 308. A wealthy woman took his body. who had searched for their bodies to give them burial. Samuel and Daniel. the young Romanus yearned for martyrdom himself. who had kissed the dead bodies of the martyrs and honored them. He himself copied this saving Book and gave it to any who desired it. Valentine.' March 1st . a servant of the Roman judge. 2. and an old man. a respected and eminent man.of the persecution under Trajan. old in years and white with wisdom. 5:8). FOR CONSIDERATION Peace of soul is precious to all men. Our Holy Father Eusebius. who had on a previous occasion been cast into the fire for the sake of Christ. Maruthas calmed the wrath of the Persian King Yezdegeherd against the Christians. suffered soon afterwards. by then an old man. according to the words of eternal truth: "Blessed are the pure in heart. Pamphilus. and by watchfulness over oneself to keep the mind and heart from vain movement . a purity of heart is born in which God is seen. 175 . Onesimus. Bishop of the town of Tagrith in Mesopotamia. was imprisoned and finally slain. A Syrian hermit. He went to Salonica. Do not be troubled by the insults of men. Him they burned. and must be as one dead before all that is of this world. 3. he must not dare to receive vain thoughts from another. who had come up to the martyrs and embraced them before the sword descended on their heads. and to call Mahomet a writer of fables. Isaiah. For a man to be able to keep himself from judging others. We must tirelessly keep our hearts from vain thoughts and impressions (Prov. it is also necessary to flee from judging others. With those who have acquired peace of soul. Romanus was a simple and illiterate villager from Carpenesion. St Seraphim of Sarov teaches: 'We must endeavor by every means to keep peace of soul. Lastly Julian. The second was a deacon. followed them in death. a learned and devout man. he receives divine revelation. He finished his earthly course in this town in 422 and went to the Lord. Learning of the heroism and the glory of the martyrs of Christ. occupation or pain. was also burned. It is necessary at all costs to restrain oneself from anger. begged from him the relics of the 400 martyrs in Persia and founded a town. knowing them by heart. but their souls. never even tasting fruit.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year February 29th . For the guarding of peace of soul. he lived at first under the guidance of holy men. 4:23). where he began to extol the Christian faith in the streets. The Twelve Holy Martyrs who suffered in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 16th . He fed himself entirely on vegetable foods. he was famed for his faith and goodness. he corrected the mistakes of various copiers in the text of the New Testament. Jeremiah. He lived to the age of 95 and entered into rest in the Lord in 440. So they exchanged the small for the great. who were returning to their native land from serving a sentence in the mines of Cilicia. and are called Elias. Seleucus. but later went into the solitude of the desert. brothers both in blood and soul. cleaving to God. There he testified before the judge.' They were all beheaded.

As a monk. for thou shalt be in the other life. He is an artist who builds a magnificent palace of clay bricks. where she died. after which an Englishman took it to England. and that towel is kept to this day in the monastery of Docheiariou. When asked why. or its frontier ditches or the towns in it -. but the country for their sake. But what artist in the world can equal Christ the Artist -. They then took him out and executed him. or of the highways in that country. And all sorts of things are. But of what use is a great country to evil men? They fill the field with brambles. But a monk soaked a towel in his blood. not the country. He was prominent in the Council in Bulgaria against the Bogomils in 1360. 'Tyro' means 'Recruit'.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 1st . The sister of the apostle Philip. continued in asceticism in Theodosius' community until his death. But he still yearned for martyrdom for the sake of Christ. that he may bring into being that which he is capable of creating. Christians rescued him from the galley and sent him to the Holy Mountain.or about anything else that has just about as much value as the fence of a meadow or the hut in a field or the ditch in a market garden when weighed against the main crop. Then St Theodore was taken out. Christ came to save. Mariamna continued her missionary work in Lycaonia. and the whole place shone with light. pretended to be a fool and began to lead a dog about the streets. where he lived without bread for forty days. And men must be given into the hand of Christ. where Romanus became a monk under the famous Starets Acacius.who makes the illiterate into wise men. and was brought to trial and imprisoned in a prison that was then locked and sealed. He is an artist who weaves many-colored carpets from the wool of sheep. Take no more earthly food and drink. that He 176 . The Holy and Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro. and gave his soul to the most high God.then handed him over to a galley-captain.Church Calendar 1. and with him preached the Gospel in Hierapolis and in other places. Why do people boast of their country. fishermen into apostles. or of the hut in a field rather than its corn. March 2nd . people? People do not exist for the sake of the country. His disciple. or the ditch in a market garden rather than its vegetables. Theodore did not attempt to conceal that he was a Christian. Light streamed from his body for three days. Theodosius settled not far from the town of Trnovo. The warders on duty saw the angels in white apparel and were filled with fear. Romanus. Upholding the Orthodox faith at that Council. eternal and unending. but the Lord Christ Himself appeared to Theodore in the prison and encouraged His martyr with these words: 'Fear not. He finished his earthly course in Constantinople in 1362. he went to Constantinople. FOR CONSIDERATION Grass is the most important thing in a meadow. A country is valued by the goodness of its citizens. After Philip had died a martyr's death.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 17th . turns old men into heroes and the dissolute into saints? But everything must be given into the hand of the artist. where he founded a community which became known as 'Theodosius' after him.' Then a multitude of angels appeared in the prison. with Me in heaven. that is. I am with thee. 2. but the people. Romanus replied that he fed that dog as Christians fed Turks. The Turks threw him into a dry well. He suffered in 306. This glorious soldier of Christ suffered in 1694. No-one would boast of the fence of a meadow rather than its hay. committed to the hand of the artist. 3. St Mariamna (Maria). tortured and condemned to death. He was thrown into fire. No sooner had St Theodore entered the Marmarite regiment of the army in the town of Amasea than a persecution of Christians broke out under the Emperors Maximian and Maximinus. With the blessing of his starets. she traveled with her brother. FOR CONSIDERATION He is an artist who draws out and carves the shapes of living creatures from rough and formless stone. in fact. as are corn in a field and vegetables in a market-garden. Our Holy Fathers Theodosius the Bulgarian and Romanus his pupil. The wicked judge intended him to die of hunger. Theodore. he put the Bogomils to shame by his reasoning.

The Christians' gathering-place for prayer in 177 . the heretics decided to kill Flavian. He was Patriarch of Constantinople after St Proclus. for. Patriarch Flavian fearlessly defended Orthodoxy like a lion. in 446. after writing it. March 3rd . had for their friend at the imperial court the base eunuch Chrysaphius. Leo not only saved Rome.a divine and a human -. Leo went out to him in his episcopal vestments. except for his sins in the ordaining of priests (from which it is seen how grave a sin it is to ordain an unworthy man).Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 2nd . and which St Peter had corrected. gave themselves to Him. then elected against his own will to the papal throne after Sixtus' death. The Apostle Paul mentions him in his Epistles to the Colossians (4:17) and to Philemon (Phil 2). driven from court in shame. and was a contemporary of Pope Leo. he also contributed greatly to the safeguarding of Orthodoxy against the heresy of Eutyches and Dioscorus. they so beat and illtreated him that on the third day St Flavian gave his soul to God. When neither he nor others succeeded. tamed the wrath of the Hun leader and averted the fall of Rome. who held the heretical teaching that in Christ there are not two natures -. Attila was willing to be guided by Leo both because of his holiness and because of a vision he had of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Pope of Rome. Philemon and Apphia.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 18th .Church Calendar 1. until he was told that these also were wiped out. Nineteen past centuries witness to us that all they who. At a pirate Council in Ephesus. following from this. lost his life. This led to the summoning of the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon. had placed on the tomb of St Peter. This heresy consisted in the merging of the divine and human natures of Christ into one. calling him his fellow-soldier in the battle. Heretics have always made use of the lowest means and the meanest people in the undermining of Orthodoxy. FOR CONSIDERATION Only with the greatest struggle and sacrifice is the chaff of heresy separated from the wheat of Orthodox truth. Flavian and Pulcheria were proclaimed saints and the Orthodox faith was triumphantly confirmed. He battled firmly against Eutyches and Dioscorus. in order to make the Emperor drive him from his throne and replace him with the heretic Eutyches. the denial of the existence of two wills in the Person of our Lord and Savior. Eutyches and Dioscorus were anathematized. begging him to tell him if his sins were forgiven. The Holy Apostles Archippus. he was so mercilessly thrashed and trampled on at a heretical council in Ephesus that he died there. He entered into rest in 449. And what happened in the end? At the Fourth Ecumenical Council.Church Calendar 1. March 4th . St Pulcheria. at which St Leo's Epistle was read . were changed from brutish and ignorant beings into angelic sons of God. The eunuch. standing behind Leo and threatening Attila with a flaming sword. As death drew near. he spent forty days in fasting and prayer by the tomb of the Apostle Peter. St Leo the First.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 3rd . The saint fell to prayer again. being helped in this by the Emperor's sister. and. St Leo entered into rest in the year 461. The Empress Eudocia was exiled from Constantinople to Palestine. The Apostle appeared to him and assured him that they were.but one. 2. before that.a letter which St Leo. When Attila drew near to Rome with his Huns and prepared to ravage and bum the city. Archimandrite Eutyches of Constantinople and Patriarch Dioscorus of Alexandria.may draw out from them and build that which He alone knows and is able to create. St Flavian. Born in Italy of devout parents. The eunuch produced the foulest slanders against Patriarch Flavian for the Emperor Theodosius. He was a faithful soldier of Christ and a courageous defender and confessor of the Orthodox faith.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 19th . The Empress Eudocia was secretly allied with them. he was first archdeacon with Pope Sixtus the Third. Archippus was one of the Seventy. Then he gave his soul to the Lord in peace. far from standing against Christ the Artist. but did not live to see the triumph of Orthodoxy at the Fourth Council.

then after a certain time cut his food down to a quarter. a second soiled by sin and a third blackened by many sins. Philemon was one of these latter.' And indeed.Church Calendar 1. This was the most holy Mother of God. When it was burning fiercely he stood among the flames and pulled Heliodorus to him. Heliodorus was completely burned up. The Apostle Paul. all the faithful in Colossae were. calls this 'the Church in thy house'. and both his zeal for the Faith and his compassion for the needy were great. and after a while to a quarter of that. Philemon's wife. Philemon and Apphia died of this. gathered at prayer in the house of Philemon. and who had regarded him as in some way divine. John and Barsanuphius the Great. The compassionate and zealous Leo became known throughout the whole kingdom as a wonder-worker. but they took Archippus out of the hole barely alive and left him for the children to play with. He had great care for the sick and the poor. This was in the time when the apostles were consecrating their disciples to the episcopate .' He was saved and glorified by total obedience. St Leo. Apphia. While he was looking at a picture of the Dreadful Judgement in some church. All who had been taken in by Heliodorus. who deluded the people with many illusions and greatly seduced the young. He remains forever as an example of monastic obedience and devotion to one's spiritual father. If a body coming forth from an unhealthy womb cannot live. Dositheus was a disciple of the famous Abba Dorotheus. St Leo came up to him. Dorotheus received him as his cell-servant and commanded him utterly to forsake his own will and obey his spiritual father.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 4th . 2. bound him with one end of his pallium and led him out to the market place. always telling him: 'Eating is a habit. me. Sadok replied: 178 . he must fast and not eat meat. you!' Sadok interpreted these words to his congregation as meaning: 'Last year I suffered. so also a soul. were put to shame by this. Philemon and Apphia as their leaders. At the time of a feast of the pagan goddess Artemis. 2. There appeared one day in that town a magician called Heliodorus. They took knives and stabbed him all over. And one soul is pure and light. writing to Philemon. The Hieromartyr Sadok. and pray frequently to God. The organ of bodily vision is the eye. so the soul goes forth naked from the body. As the body is blind without the eyes. There he ordered that a great fire be kindled. travelling to various places. his soul went to the Lord and healing myrrh flowed from his relics.' March 5th . remained to serve the house-church with fasting. Bishop of Catania. the organ of spiritual vision is the mind.the town of Colossae was in the house of Philemon. it cannot be saved or be in communion with God.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 20th . in the town of Catania. and one eats what one is used to eating. Sadok was bishop in Persia after St Simeon. He left him for several days to eat as much as he wanted. some time in the 8th century. One night St Simeon appeared to him in a dream and said: 'Yesterday. who lived with Saints Seridus. she told him that. at parting. so is the soul blind without a right mind and a right life. The pagans came to hear of this gathering. today. as was their custom. Beneath the Mount Etna volcano. FOR CONSIDERATION St Antony teaches: 'As a man comes forth naked from his mother's womb. The heart of the young Dositheus was set afire and he desired the monastic life. This young saint lived early in the 6th century. then buried them up to the waist in the ground and stoned them. if he sought salvation. but Leo remained alive and unharmed. St Leo was a good shepherd and compassionate teacher of the people. When he had finished his course. Finally. He once entered a church during a divine service and began his tricks. He was kinsman to a general and traveled to Jerusalem to see the holy places. King Sapor arrested him with many of his clergy and people and brought them to trial. rushed in on them and seized all the Christians. helping people by his miracles. if it has not come to the knowledge of God through good conduct. this year you will. until he became accustomed to living on the smallest amount of food. He first ordered them to worship fire and the sun as divine. a woman in purple robes came up and explained many things to him. Our Holy Father Dositheus.some to permanent sees and others as missionaries. and thus this fellow-soldier of Paul's in the battle made a good end of his earthly road. in that year. They flogged Archippus.

He departed this life peacefully and gave his soul to God in 577. It is recorded. and after him came St Sophronius (see March 11th). and will not worship fire or the sun. 2. Patriarch of Jerusalem. and the Persians exclaimed: 'The Christian God has come to Persia!' The Emperor Heraclius later compelled King Chozroes to return the Precious Cross to Jerusalem. you will reach a high level of saving vigilance. Air is fine. that they bought 90. and protector of. in our own blood'. Many miracles were wrought in Persia by the Precious Cross. as the Son of God. where he disproved by erudite reasoning the teaching of the Arians. St Eustathius was deposed from his throne and exiled first to Thrace and then to Macedonia. So also every act and word and thought of yours is carried to all parts of the spiritual kingdom. word and thought of yours makes an inescapable impression on four sides: on God and the spiritual world. air is finer than fire. ransacking the city. March 6th . Electricity is fine. Sadok raised this prayer to God: 'Wash us from our sins. prayer. Timothy entered a monastery very young and spent his earthly life in fasting. He suffered much and long. Timothy built within himself a glorious abode for the Holy Spirit. He suffered in 342 or 344. and went to the Lord in 632. is equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit by divine essence. Oh. on nature. and this gift He gave to Timothy. how terrible a thing it is to perform a sinful act. A lawyer.000 Christian slaves from Chozroes and killed them all. The Jews supported him in his wickedness towards the Christians. together with his priests and his people. and carries light over a great distance. Before execution. 3. With the other holy fathers. Through careful watching over his soul. to speak a sinful word and to think a sinful thought! To what an immeasurable distance are waves raised on the spiritual sea! But do not examine distant minutiae that are beyond your ken. Orthodoxy. It is of the greatest importance to know and weigh how every act. both air and electricity are coarse elements. 4. O Lord. among further malice on the part of the Jews. vigils and unceasing toil right up to a great age.'We are ready with all our hearts to die for our God. After the death of the Emperor Constantine. Electricity is very fine. 179 . The Persian King Chozroes attacked Jerusalem. Archbishop of Antioch. electricity is finer than air. until at last he gave his holy soul to God in about 345. he was ordained priest and became Patriarch in 565. Our Holy Father Timothy. he was especially prominent at the First Ecumenical Council. fire is finer than water. including Patriarch Zacharias. the Arians somehow again gained the ascendancy and began hotly to persecute Orthodoxy. but the voice is finer than electricity. St Zacharias spent his remaining days in peace. Patriarch of Constantinople. on other people and on your own soul. A great zealot for. Patriarch Modestus deputized for him on the patriarchal throne. together with the Patriarch and the remaining slaves. He wrote Canons which have been included in the Nomocanon*. in 614. the Cherubic Hymn and the prayer 'At Thy mystical supper' were introduced into the Liturgy. He remained pure and chaste throughout his life. Eustathius confessed the truth that Jesus Christ. in the spiritual world. This holy man entered into rest in 795. He took the Precious Cross off to Persia and enslaved an enormous number of Christians. If you train yourself in this knowledge. The aged Patriarch spent fourteen years in slavery. FOR CONSIDERATION Water is finer than earth.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 5th . .and Sadok gloriously gave his body to death and his soul to God immortal. St Zacharias.Church Calendar 1. But.' They were then tortured and condemned to be beheaded with the sword. in the time of the Greek Emperor Heraclius. and carries the voice over a great distance. The Emperor himself carried the Cross into the Holy City on his back. thought is finer than the voice and the spirit is finer than thought. St John III Scholasticus. A hermit in a place called Symbola on Asiatic Olympus.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 21st . St Eustathius (Eustace). In his day. God gives power over evil spirits to the pure and chaste.

' When the Emperor ordered that their military belts and clothing be stripped from them. for the mosquitoes. Other faiths are more or less divinatory. March 7th . 2. wise and almighty. the relics of many Christian martyrs were excavated. above all other creatures and the spirits of darkness. and sent Photinus the soldier of Christ. FOR CONSIDERATION What is divination? There are three types of belief: in blind chance. the four Mary's and the Lord's brothers. They gave their souls to God in terrible torment after ten days. But Maurice said: 'Thou hast fulfilled our desire. Christianity is a faith of light in two senses: firstly in that it raises man above chance. . In the time of the Emperor Arcadius. St Papius of Hierapolis. The Many Martyrs of Eugenius.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 22nd . and. hence divination can be called belief in darkness. there is no fear in the wise and strong souls of those who love the Lord. 16:7). man can be raised above all other creatures and made stronger than all the spirits of darkness.' Then the Emperor sentenced them to a most inhuman death: he had them taken to a marshy place.' Then the Emperor ordered that Maurice's son be slain before his eyes. Christians secretly took their bodies and buried them. 4:7). Junia (Rom. 'God alone knows their names. No other faith has so totally condemned and rejected divination as has Christianity.* A compilation of canon and secular law compiled in Byzantium and adopted as the basic constitution of the Slav churches.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 6th .' He died in about 130. 180 . He was a disciple of the holy apostles and a Patristic writer.' Emperor Andronicus the First built a fine church over the relics of his namesake in the 12th century. Maurice was in charge of the local army in the town of Apamea in Syria. and so blind chance does not. the powers of things differentiated and the spirits of darkness invoked. bound to trees and smeared with honey. Therefore the Apostle Paul says: 'refuse profane and old wives' tales. 3.Tr. in that it submits man to the power of God the living. The Emperor was unable to make the heroes waver either with flattery or with threats. they said: 'Our God will clothe us with raiment and girdles that are uncorrupting. and some are utterly based on it. one of their special ascetic practices was of silence. Divination means the submission of man to the lowest of creation and of the being of man. they replied: 'Thine honor is dishonorable. O torturer. among them his son. and exercise thyself unto godliness' (I Tim. they replied: 'O Emperor. Syrian hermits. and in the absolute power of the spirits of darkness. near Constantinople. and with eternal glory'. In spiritual union with this all-seeing and living God. There was a great persecution of Christians in the time of the Emperor Maximian. stripped. secondly. in dead things. 4. Nicholas Calligraphus. and He has written them in the Book of Life in heaven. From him we have testimony concerning the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. and pagans reported him to the Emperor as a Christian and a spreader of Christianity among the soldiers. for thou hast forgotten God. No faith but Christianity is free of and clean from divination. wasps and hornets to eat. By divination. on before us. After the death of St Thalassius in 440. Limnaeus joined St Maron and lived with him on a mountain top beneath the open sky. Seventy soldiers were brought before the Emperor with Maurice. among which were those of the Apostle Andronicus and his helper. To them. Photinus. as well as one incomplete manuscript: 'A Commentary on the Words of the Lord. When the Emperor rebuked them for holding in contempt the military status he had given them. Our Holy Fathers Thalassius and Limnaeus. that he might thus intimidate the father and the others. The all-seeing God exists. These courageous soldiers of Christ suffered in about 305. The Holy Martyr Maurice and the 70 soldiers with him. The Emperor himself came and took him for questioning.Church Calendar 1. and went to eternal rejoicing with the holy angels in heaven. These relics were discovered by a revelation from God to a cleric. who gave thee this royal power. events are predicted.

Restrain yourselves from every vice. Do not take the example of him that is weaker than you. Do not depart from God for the sake of transient things. A wonderful. who had gathered for Bucolus' funeral. had the gifts of insight and prophecy.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 23rd . Who is not aware of God's judgement? And do we not know that "the saints will judge the world" (1 Cor. Hate all that brings harm to your soul. The apostolic bishops. and your body be as some statue on earth. 2:9). that he has so forgotten the gifts of his calling. Polycarp said: 'I cannot exchange the better for the worse. Hate all that is of this world and flee from self. he prophesied: 'In three days I shall be consumed by fire for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ!' When. pour forth constant prayer and give God grateful thanks for all that happens to you. and so forth. Frightened by such a phenomenon. that you fall not into laziness and idleness. whom he had met and heard. neither have entered into the heart of man" (I Cor. bound. many pagans regarded him as one of the gods. the judge ordered that Polycarp's dead body be burned according to the Greek custom. He cast out the evil spirit from a servant of a prince and put out a great conflagration in Smyrna by his prayers. He was very old and grey. for he who fears God will live forever. Polycarp was left an orphan in early childhood and a noble widow. Seeing these things.Church Calendar 1. The Hieromartyr Polycarp. Bishop of Smyrna.FOR CONSIDERATION St Anthony teaches about ceaseless abiding with God: 'Let your soul be with God at all times. Be always alert.in you. 6:2). a vast flow of blood gushed out and extinguished the whole fire. at the time of his death. who was at one time a priest with us. and he shone like an angel of God. the soldiers arrested him and took him for trial. St Polycarp suffered in the year 167. 2. Polycarp was God-fearing and compassionate from his early years. on Holy Saturday. and so they dishonorably burned dead him whom they had failed to burn alive. Stand always straight before the face of God. Three days before his death. This great. Callista. consecrated Polycarp bishop. When this was done. proclaimed him his heir in Smyrna. Above all. Our Holy Father Damian. and his body remained whole and unburned.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 7th . and of the Holy Apostles John and Paul. From the very beginning he was endued with the power of wonder-working. he was a contemporary and friend of the great Cosmas of Zographou. Die daily. the then Bishop of Smyrna. St John the Theologian brought him to the Christian faith and baptized him. FOR CONSIDERATION St Polycarp writes the following to the Philippians of a priest. And therefore I pray you. the pagan judge ordered the executioner to stab him with a lance through the flames. apostolic man was born a pagan. on the pyre. that you may live. He who gives himself to avarice defiles himself in idolatry and is counted as a pagan. He made great efforts to emulate the life of St Bucolus. Be attentive to the example of those who have loved the Lord with all their hearts and performed good works. but that of him who is more perfect. who had fallen into the sin of avarice and had embezzled some of the church's funds: 'I am greatly distressed about Valentine. after a vision in a dream. rearing and educating him as her own son. All the people saw how the flames licked around him but did not touch him. St Bucolus ordained him priest and. as Paul teaches? I have noticed nothing like this among you. healed sickness. Have the fear of God always before your eyes. as also the remembrance of death and withdrawal from all worldly things. fresh aroma arose from his grave for forty days after his death. for otherwise it will separate you from God. When they placed him. He who cannot restrain himself cannot teach others restraint. and you will receive the inheritance which the "eye hath not seen nor ear heard. between Esphigmenou and Hilandar. took him in. Valentine. He suffered in the time of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.' March 8th . keep yourselves from love of money and be pure and righteous. and entered peacefully into rest in 1280. he cried out: 'May this be the will of the Lord my God!' When the judge urged him to deny Christ and recognize the Roman gods. He lived in asceticism on the mountain of Samareia. neither have I heard of it -.' The Jews especially hated Polycarp and endeavored to have him burned. on the third day. At the Jews' persuasion. 181 . He brought rain in a drought. Fulfil all that is commanded. he prayed long to God. A monk of the monastery of Esphigmenou on the Holy Mountain.

May God grant them true repentance. took it to Jerusalem and buried it on the Mount of Olives. By God's providence. was afraid and said: 'It is John. that others might be preserved from like sin. left his position in the world and became a monk. he dug deep and found an earthen pot containing a head which. but my churches you have not. fell into despair and began to live aimlessly and lawlessly. St Anthony and St Theodosius have appeared to me. and the most holy Mother of God. that the sinner might be corrected and saved. when he heard about Christ and His great miracles. my brethren. for she feared that the terrible prophet would somehow rise from the dead. that wonder-working head went from hand to hand. and "count them not as enemies" (II Thess.among whom blessed Paul labored and of whom he speaks with praise at the beginning of his Epistle (to the Philippians). After a considerable time.' And he lived three days longer and repented and fell asleep in the Lord. wife of Herod. Blessed John Moschus writes about one eminent woman of senatorial family. Erasmus surrendered to this temptation and believed it. you will yourselves be further built up. he was despised by everyone. that I am a sinner and unrepentant. When the time of his death approached.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 24th . King Herod. When he had impoverished himself and left himself with nothing. But he suddenly sat up in bed and said: 'My fathers and brethren. especially on gold and silver covers for icons. but lo. Her lady-in-waiting was Joanna the wife of Chuza. After some time.' Thus the saints dealt with sinners: cautiously and beneficently. he met this woman and asked her: "How is the girl that I introduced to you?" "She is all right". that your whole body may be healthy. And therefore I am very greatly distressed. deep in the earth. Polycarp and the inhabitants of Smyrna). e. March 9th . an eminent government official came to believe in Christ. you have spoken thus and so. It is important and interesting to note that. St Erasmus entered into rest in 1160. Herodias ordered that his head should not be buried with his body. He venerated it and re-buried it in the same place. who visited the Holy Land: 'Arriving at Caesarea. so she disinterred it secretly. the brothers gathered round him and began to speak of his sins. for he would not consider them for himself.' The Mother of God also said these encouraging words to him: 'The poor you have with you in every place. So she took his head and buried it in some hidden and unworthy place. mother of Michael and wife of Theophilus. until it was finally taken to Constantinople in the middle of the 9th century. John did not work a single miracle (Jn. about Valentine and his wife. Our Holy Father Erasmus. in precisely the place where the Baptist's head had been buried. a courtier of Herod's. was that of the Baptist. whom I beheaded. he settled on the Mount of Olives. Many miracles were performed by the head of the Forerunner. but to his relics was given the blessed power of working miracles. but endeavor to correct them as suffering and prodigal members. Cautiously. 3:15). disappearing into the darkness of forgetfulness and then being once more revealed. in the time of Patriarch Ignatius and the God-fearing Empress Theodora. when we did not yet know Him (i. The devil suggested to him that he had squandered his goods in vain in using them for the beautifying of churches instead of giving them to the poor. The Finding of the Head of St John the Baptist. and have told me that the Lord has given me further time for repentance. 6:16). and applied to the bishop with this request: "Find me a young woman to teach me the fear of God". "but she has been of little help to my 182 . The great and glorious Forerunner was beheaded at the wish and request of the wicked Herodias. as a result of which he came to despise himself. This teaches us that zeal for the Church and for her beautification is a work pleasing to God. while he was alive.Church Calendar 1. beneficently. she planned to remain there. 2. he inherited great wealth from his parents and spent it all on the beautifying of churches. Deciding to build himself a cell. This good and God-fearing Joanna could not bear that the head of the godly man should remain in an unworthy place. Not knowing about all this. But be ye wise in this. Treating them thus. A monk of the Caves in Kiev. He praised you among all the churches. FOR CONSIDERATION Those who let us do as we like are neither good teachers nor good friends. Under the name Innocent.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 8th . 10:41). The bishop introduced her to a humble girl. it was revealed to him secretly. replied the woman. When John had been beheaded. he is risen from the dead!' (Mk.

St Anthony valued him highly and said to all that he was a true ascetic. building them shelters and feeding them. It is because she is humble. He lived another five years in asceticism in a cave near Jerusalem. The bishop found her someone else. retired to a monastery and received the Great Habit. his face shone as with the light of the sun. so the Christian knows that he cannot be completely one with Christ until death separates him from the body.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 10th . and took a kinswoman to live with him. But then his legs became weak and he was no longer able to walk. Tarasius was very compassionate to the poor and indigent. This was during the reign of Irene and Constantine. and he became completely well. As a betrothed girl knows that she must first leave the house of her birth to meet with and be one with her betrothed. Patriarch Paul. so the Christian thinks of Christ. able to heal and to save souls.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 9th . a girl with a fairly rough character who grumbled at her. He spent his youth to the age of 25 in his home town. His predecessor. And the same goes for a Christian's behavior towards Christ. He then began defending himself with his arms. Bishop of Gaza. crawling on his knees. the monk Mark. dreams about him. Tarasius accepted this undesired state in order to help in the struggle of Orthodoxy against heresy. then left his parents' home and worldly life and went off into the Egyptian desert. seeking the Patriarch's blessing to remarry. As a betrothed girl thinks constantly of her betrothed. where the iconoclasts were condemned and the veneration of the holy icons was restored and confirmed. Only by his great faith and 183 .Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 25th .Church Calendar 1. it doesn't matter. prepares gifts for him. to be present at Divine Service. But he was always able. those round him saw him answering the demons: 'I am not guilty of that sin. He found only 280 Christians in Gaza. Porphyrius accepted this obligation with a heavy heart. He then paid a visit to the Holy Land in company with his friend. After some time. especially that of Iconoclasm. was chosen as Patriarch in 784. driving them away from him. Patriarch of Constantinople. She thinks about him. This saint was a contemporary of St Anthony the Great. 2. a senator and advisor to the Emperor. replied the woman of senatorial family -. He had governed the Church for 22 years and four months. nor of that one'. Tarasius not only withheld his blessing. Maria. St Tarasius.' ('The Spiritual Meadow'). Tarasius. Our Holy Father Paphnutius of Kephala. the girl behaves as though he were always there with her. but first counseled and then reproached him. that is.and she thus became very humble. St Porphyrius. One night the Lord Himself appeared to him in a vision and healed him of the weakness in his legs. By Paul's advice.soul because she lets me have my own way. sings about him. He quickly passed through all the stages of ordination and became Patriarch. the young Porphyrius became a monk and remained for five years. called her an ignorant rich woman and so forth. As death approached. When the Emperor Constantine divorced his lawful wife. FOR CONSIDERATION A Christian is like a betrothed girl. until he was incapable of speech. As he breathed his last. speaks of him. and finally excommunicated him. This truly great hierarch entered into rest in 806.Church Calendar 1. When he was chosen as bishop of Gaza. the bishop again asked the woman: "And how does this young woman get on with you?" "She is truly helpful to my soul". but he was decisive with those in power in the defense of faith and morals. but I need her to grumble at me and not let me do as I please". A man of great physical stature and great zeal for Orthodoxy. And if the betrothed is far away from her sight. It is said of him that he wore the same habit for eighty years. from the material home in which his soul dwelt and grew from his birth. March 10th .Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 26th . the rest of the inhabitants being fanatical idol-worshippers. Under the guidance of an experienced spiritual father. secretly left the patriarchal throne. March 11th . This great bishop and pastor was born in Salonica of wealthy parents. He was responsible for the summoning of the 7th Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in 787.

Procopius stood up and defended icons. serve Him and confess Him.patience did Porphyrius succeed in bringing the people of Gaza to the Christian faith. where he spent his remaining days in peace. To conquer his terror by faith in God. grumbling. you do not presume to leave the table before the other. not with trembling but with commotion. By his great faith and love towards God. There was special help forthcoming from the Empress Eudoxia. and shall not give up speaking.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 27th . The temples of the idol-worshippers were closed. even if you have finished first. crowding one another. being already a lost soul. while divine service is still in progress. there should be such quietness. This saint was born in Galata in Constantinople. quarrelling. He entered peacefully into rest in 421.Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 11th . March 12th . He departed this life peacefully in the 9th century. but before the living saints depicted on the icons. When a persecution on the part of the wicked Emperor Leo the Isaurian broke out over icons. and the crier calls for quiet and order. and did much good for the sick and suffering. shouting. I have myself often spoken of this. but only after great toil. the icons were returned to the churches and Procopius returned to his monastery. full of disorder. Is it not scandalous that there. In youth. 2. showing that their veneration is not idolatry. You know the good order that prevails at the pagan Olympic Games. He had to travel in person to Constantinople. 'I shall never deny my sweet Jesus Christ'. When the wicked Emperor was murdered. He offended the Turks by his wholehearted confession of the Christian faith. until the terrible mysteries of Christ are completed. John Chrysostom. jostling their neighbors. but here. The Holy Martyr John Calpha. 1575. imprisoned.Church Calendar 1. 3.an example that is followed by those who hurry away before the final blessing' (From a homily on the Theophany). Our Holy Father Thaleleus. a Syrian hermit. Seeking support. Our Holy Father Titus of the Kiev Caves. famed for the appearing of evil spirits and bogies. where he beheld with joy the living angels and saints whose images were on the honored icons on earth. there should be great tumult? Silence in the stadium and shouting in church! Quietness on the sea but a storm in the harbor! When you are invited to dinner. This saint came from Decapolis by the Sea of Galilee. He suffered with honor for his beloved Christ and went to the courts of the Lord. He died in about 460. 2. and where Christ invites men to Himself. clad in long robes and with a staff in his hand. where the devil holds sway. Our Holy Father Procopius of Decapolis. In old age. he entered into God's Kingdom.' After harsh torture. Porphyrius lived long enough to see the whole city brought to the Christian faith. His relics are preserved in Gaza to this day. replied John heroically. do you leave in the middle and go away? How can that be forgiven? How can it be put right? Judas received communion at the Last Supper on that last night. when the Master of Ceremonies goes round the stadium with a wreath on his head. enduring much from the fallen spirits both day and night. and went out quickly while the rest were still at table -. He was an architect by profession. he was endowed by Him with the gift of working wonders. and they tried to force him to become a Muslim. He was at first in the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified. Procopius was bestially tortured. He was a wonderworker during his lifetime and after his death. for Christians know that to prostrate themselves before icons is not to prostrate before dead matter. Thaleleus settled in that graveyard and lived there for many years. but then settled in a pagan graveyard. the idols demolished and a fine church built with thirty marble pillars. he gave himself to the monastic life and passed through all those prescribed labors that purify the heart and uplift the soul to God. he received it. 'I believe in Him. beaten and flogged with iron flails. suffering and tearful prayer on his part. FOR CONSIDERATION St John Chrysostom writes thus against those who make a tumult in church and leave it before the end of the service: 'Some draw near (to Holy Communion). to the Emperor Arcadius and the Patriarch. 184 . the Turks beheaded him in Constantinople on February 26th. to beg for help in the unequal struggle against the idolaters.

Civil Calendar: Non-Leap Year March 12th . that they might forgive each other. The Hieromartyr Proterius. remains completely dark if it is not lit. Because of his gout. but in vain. he was unable either to stand or to walk. a man of genuine nature. Titus became ill. sown by the devil. He died peacefully in 614. seized the Patriarch and stabbed him. This saint was a priest in Alexandria at the time that the Patriarch there was the heretic Dioscorus. So the soul. it is quenched and dark' (Homily 59). as a result of which he endured much misery.' Proterius returned and went into the church. 'by the grace of God. and thus estranged from the reality of our own being. that is.Church Calendar 1. as brother for brother. with angels of God surrounding himself. Hearing of this. the demons had fled and attacked Evagrius. He governed the Church with zeal and love. Dioscorus was cast down from the patriarchal throne and sent into exile. but the Prophet Isaiah appeared to him on the road and said: 'Return to the town. and pupil of St Procopius of Decapolis. Evagrius. When the latter were defeated. though such was their love at first. in whom the grace of God rules and reigns. we are outside ourselves. contemporary. In the face of such bloody chaos. where he lived for a long time in fasting and prayer. it later became a mutual malice and hatred. Basil faithfully followed his teacher both in peace and in persecution. Thus this wonderful pastor of Christ's flock received the crown of martyrdom for the truth of Orthodoxy in 457. one of the founders of the Monophysite heresy which holds that in Christ there are not two natures but one. Only a grace-endowed man is a natural man. But Titus rose from his bed healed. when one of them used the censer in church. 5. and. He died in 1190. As he said this. we are in no better state than a madman compared with a healthy man. Proterius left the town with the intention of going away for a time. Proterius. 2. Evagrius was brought by force to Titus' bedside. built an almshouse for the elderly in Constantinople. lost in insubstantial shadows. he fell to the ground and breathed his last. the insolent heretics rushed into the church. either in this world or the next. our personality. Then the 4th Ecumenical Council was summoned at Chalcedon.Titus was a priest and had a sincere love for a deacon. urged by the love of Christ. He begged that Evagrius be brought to him. I am what I am' (I Cor. Marcian and Pulcheria were on the imperial throne. a true follower of Christ. About six of the faithful perished along with Proterius. 15:10). FOR CONSIDERATION Whenever we are outside the grace of God. At that time. strengthens its reality and receives its fullness only in closeness to God. St Simeon the New Theologian says: 'A lamp. a holy and devout man. But the followers of Dioscorus did not stop creating confusion in Alexandria. But. March 13th . Our being. The Holy Martyr Julian the Gout-Sufferer. even if it is filled with oil and has a wick. the other turned and went outside. and when he had done so. compared with our grace-endowed nature. Thus sinners are those who are sick. saying that he would not forgive Titus. but he fled away. but then left his courtly service and.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 28th . without reality and without understanding. I am waiting to take you. To be without grace means to be estranged from God. in the time of the Emperor Decius. and where he died in the year 747. They hated each other so much that. and revealed how the demons had flown around him until he forgave Evagrius. 4. stood up against Dioscorus. and in his place the Orthodox Proterius was chosen. A friend. along with his pupil Chronyon. He was brought to trial in Alexandria on a stretcher for his faith in Christ and burned alive on a pyre. Titus tried many times to make peace with his adversary. if it has not the light and grace of the Holy Spirit. St Basil the Confessor. at which the Monophysite heresy was condemned. Basil returned to his monastery together with Procopius. Our Holy Father Stephen. and all thought that he was dying. by God's providence. They endured much from the iconoclasts. As the great Apostle says. with regard to its adornment with all the virtues. He was first an official at the court of the Emperor Maurice. 185 .

and was immediately given the obedience of water-carrier to the monastery. Our Holy Father Barsanuphius. In Constantinople. Our Holy Father John Cassian. and not men's blood!' The soldiers hurried to seize him. he saw in a vision a lamb prepared for sacrifice. the Fool for Christ of Pskov. having intended to wreak great slaughter there. St Cassian's relics are preserved to this day in Marseilles. At the request of the monks. which he interpreted as a sign of his own imminent sacrifice. learning about this blessed man. which he wrote at the request of Archdeacon (later Pope) Leo. he quickly became a model example to all the monks. 2. Nicholas bowed and offered the meat to the Tsar. Yearning after a solitary spiritual asceticism. Bishop of Magydos.3. among which the ones on the lovers of the spiritual life are especially helpful: 'Eight books on the struggle against the eight chief passions' (The Institutes). After that. There he presented himself as the monk Barsanuphius. The one-time archbishop joyfully received this obedience. Bread and salt were set before each house for a welcome to the Tsar. Born a pagan in Palestine. the Tsar pushed away the tray and the bread and salt fell to the ground. Then Blessed Nicholas appeared before the Tsar in a long shirt girded with a cord. His book against the Nestorian heresy (On the Incarnation of the Lord). FOR CONSIDERATION A rare fearlessness is a characteristic of fools for Christ. When the governor of the city brought the Tsar in front of the church to the tray of bread and salt. He lived as a fool in the town of Pskov in the time of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It was the first week of the Great Fast. he was chosen as Archbishop of Damascus. Blessed Nicholas ran through the streets of Pskov. When his virtuous life became known. visited him in his tiny room. who and what he was. Hearing that the Tsar was coming to visit him. Nicholas found a piece of raw meat and. and entered into rest on February 28th. pretending madness. At the time of his death. at Nitria. Blessed Nicholas. He served the Lord faithfully and enriched many by his wisdom. 186 . especially philosophy and astronomy. Only at the time of his death was it revealed to the monks who Barsanuphius was. riding on a hobby-stick like a child and shouting: 'Little Ivan. you feed on men's flesh and blood.' This lecture entered deeply into the heart of Tsar Ivan. March 13th . to learn more and attain this greater perfection.' Then the man of God retorted: 'You do that and worse. He finally returned to the West and settled near Marseilles. little Ivan.Church Calendar 1. but did not stay long in that position. the whole town was in fear and dread of the terrible Tsar. and as a comfort to the humble and meek. eat!' The terrible Tsar answered him furiously: 'I am a Christian. but the people were not in evidence. He went to Bethlehem. The Tsar. one for monks and one for nuns. forgetting not only the Fast but God as well. when the Tsar entered his cell.Civil Calendar: Leap Year February 29th . In his youth he studied the secular disciplines. receiving the name John. 'Eat. This great spiritual guide was born in Rome of eminent parents. and. but he ran off and hid himself. Cassian wrote many books. And so this saint used his own example as a lesson to the proud and to lovers of power. In the time of Decius. By his learned discourses. He entered peacefully into rest and went to the Lord in the year 457. he was baptized at the age of eighteen and immediately became a monk. rebuking people for their secret sins and foretelling what would happen to them. The Hieromartyr Nestor. he was taken for trial and harshly tortured for Christ. he gave himself entirely to the study of Holy Scripture. 4. there founding two monasteries. he secretly left Damascus and went to the desert of Nitria. is very important. and do not eat meat in the Fast. Casian left Rome for the East. He moved from the good to the better. then lingered in Egypt. When Tsar Ivan the Terrible entered Pskov. Nestor was distinguished by great meekness. he became a pupil of St John Chrysostom and was ordained by him to the diaconate. among outstanding spiritual athletes from whom he learned to exercise himself in all the virtues. little Ivan! Eat the bread and salt. He was tortured by the Eparch Publius and finally crucified in Perga in the year 250. and he immediately left Pskov in shame. then entered into eternal rest in 435. his meekness and his zeal. 1576. desiring higher and higher steps to perfection.

but God saved her soul and glorified her forever among the angels in heaven and among the faithful on earth. One must have patience and constant humility of heart. Germanus came and they began a long conversation on that which the old monk had been reading the previous night. deep and true humility is needed. Above all. Our Holy Mother.that after thirteen months she was chosen as abbess. On top of that. For as far as the fire of anger penetrates into us. and retired to a women's monastery. heavenly fragrance by the grace of the Holy Spirit. longer than others. She gained great wealth from her harlotry. she was arrested and harshly tortured for the Christian faith. during the reign of Trajan. she sent a servant to beg that monk to come to her. Coming to Heliopolis in the course of his work. it is necessary to use two weapons. This struggle begins with the first ripe growth and does not finish until all the other passions have been mastered. from which. As soon as it was dawn. 'It is interesting that many other spiritual guides link causally the passion of anger and the passion of unchaste lust. patience. . holy Eudocia was beheaded. to read the Psalter and a book on the Dreadful Judgement. bodily fasting is not enough (though it is of the utmost necessity).Civil Calendar March 1st . Living in Heliopolis. This saint was captured by pirates as a young man. Germanus stayed at the house of a Christian woman whose home abutted onto Eudocia's. then. prayer and fasting . she was at first a great harlot. as is seen in the life of St Agapius. After twelve years he was miraculously freed and returned to Vatopedi by the aid of the most holy Mother of God. The reversal of her life was brought about unintentionally through the providence of God by an elderly monk. taken off 187 . and especially on faith and salvation. adulteries. For the achievement of a perfect and pure chastity. Fear and dread took such hold on her that she remained awake until daybreak. Germanus. She was finally sewn into a sack and thrown into a lake in 302. When at night he began. After her baptism. God glorifies the faithful and obedient. When a persecution of Christians arose under the governor. she gave all her goods to the church to be distributed to the poor. A novice with a staretz near the monastery of Vatopedi. Victory over this passion is a freeing for the perfect purifying of the heart. and keep oneself carefully during each day from anger and other passions.Church Calendar 1. as was his monastic custom. from which it follows that those prone to anger are the most prone to lust. and only a small number of people come to total victory. constant study of the Scriptures together with prudent works. fornications' and so forth (Matt.FOR CONSIDERATION St John Cassian writes thus on the struggle with a spirit of lust: 'The struggle with a spirit of lust is a fierce struggle. In this struggle. the Martyr Eudocia. then a penitent. 15:19).. Here is a wonderful example of how a vessel of uncleanness can be purified. The Holy Martyr Antonina.to obedience. a daily struggle. he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Magnesia. Eudocia heard him and stood listening attentively to his every word until the end. vigils. March 14th . Our Holy Father Agapius. He baptized his former owner and became his confessor. Vincent. These things keep the heart from unchastity and bring it back to itself. sanctified and filled with a precious. compunction of soul and unremitting prayer against that most unclean spirit. FOR CONSIDERATION Faithfulness and obedience to the will of God must adorn the life of every Christian. he departed this life peacefully in the Lord. physical labour and hand-work. The result of these discussions was that Eudocia asked the local bishop to baptize her. 3. She lived fifty-six years in the monastery and was worthy in the eyes of God to be given the gift of raising the dead. without which one will never attain victory over any passion. dismissed her servants and slaves. so afterwards there penetrate more easily the live coals of lust. a nun and finally a martyr.. a city of Phoenicia. 2. according to the words of the Lord. She so devoted herself to the monastic life . flow forth poison and grave ills: 'For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts. Spending the rest of his life in asceticism at Vatopedi. Born in Nicaea.

Seeing this miracle. The Arab. their deaths are recorded by Gregory the Dialogist. When a persecution of Christians arose in the time of the wicked Emperor Licinius.Civil Calendar March 2nd . Bishop of Cyrenia on the island of Cyprus. One of the brethren expressed his liking for a knife with which he had been cutting willow wands for baskets. hearing all this. this man of God was taken before the judge and put to various tortures. believing that the end was near. Sabinus. you will have to answer for the money with which your owner bought you to serve him. marveled at the virtuous Christians and desired to see Agapius' staretz. and he thanked God. Massacred in about 579. And so the one-time harsh owner became the obedient disciple of his former slave. The saint joyfully offered the knife to the brother as a gift. He then entered into rest in the Lord whom he had served faithfully and for whom he had suffered greatly. This holy Euthalia was a Sicilian maiden who had a mother with the same name and a brother named Sermilianus. The Holy Martyr Troadius. St Troadius suffered and was glorified in the 3rd century. faithful and obedient. So go back and serve your owner faithfully. 3. presented himself to his owner and recounted to him all that had happened.' Agapius. he counseled and instructed the Christians that were around him. He was a contemporary of St Macarius and a disciple of St Lot. One night the Mother of God appeared to him and told him to get up and go off without fear to his staretz. he is commemorated on Jan. When the torturer. then to threaten them. Our Holy Father Agathon. Who. 2. His care was to fulfill all the commandments of God. Gregory of Neocaesarea saw him in a vision courageously enduring torture for Christ until he was murdered. He took two of his sons with him to the Holy Mountain. himself obedient to the will of God. Then this saint also was freed. Euthalia believed in Christ. you would wish to suffer for Him as I do!' They hammered nails into his body. The Holy Martyr Euthalia. He suffered for Christ as a young man. by the providence of God. her daughter was also baptized. But. 5. Agapius spent twelve whole years with this Arab. Then the brother 188 . They were all pagans. there came at that moment an order from the Emperor Constantine to free all Christians who had been brought to trial for the sake of Christ. The holy martyrs Alphius. St Agathon also said: 'I would be content to be able to take on myself the body of a leper. and all three became monks and remained till their death in asceticism. a great Egyptian ascetic of the 5th century. but you can in no wise deceive God. thinking that Agapius had escaped by himself from his owner. 4. and went to the courts of the Lord.Church Calendar 1. the faithful Agapius. The mother fled from the house in fear. first under the guidance of Agapius' staretz and then under that of Agapius himself. to his staretz. all because they refused to eat food offered to idols. He was chosen for his wisdom and virtue as bishop.to Asia and sold to an Arab. and governed the Church of God with love and zeal. it is my hope. returned thus tortured to his see in Cyrenia and lived for a further two years. March 15th . 8th). was baptized. will by these brief tortures make me worthy of eternal life. and was healed. you have deceived your master. Sermilianus began to mock his mother and sister for their Christian faith. and the four hundred also because they refused to follow the custom of the Lombard pagans of dancing around a goat's head that had been brought to the demons for sacrifice. On the day of the Dreadful Judgement. Theodotus replied: 'If you knew the goodness of my God. Philadelphus and Cyprinus (May 10th) appeared to her in a dream and told her that she would be healed only if she were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. There he and his sons were baptized. He finished his earthly course in 302. And he saw his soul parting with joy from the body and hastening to heaven. The Four Hundred and Forty Martyrs of Lombardy in Italy. and give him mine. Forty of them were beheaded in one place and four hundred in another. went back at once to Asia. silent and obedient. The elder Euthalia became ill of an issue of blood. When the latter saw Agapius he was sorrowful. The Hieromartyr Theodotus. Agapius got up and came to the Holy Mountain.' Is that not perfect love? (In the Greek Calendar. and for twelve whole years he prayed to the most holy Mother of God to free him from slavery. then. urged him to deny Christ and worship pagan idols. and he said to him: 'My child.

it is difficult to find one greater than this: that someone who calls himself a Christian should go and glean miserable proofs of God and of eternal life from other faiths and philosophies. both Evangelical and post-Evangelical. After all these attempts. The revelation of eternal life. he hurried after his sister. and. A ray from the spiritual world shines through every word of the Gospels. but his heart remained obdurate. through the whole two-thousand-year history of the Church. he was stricken blind. March 16th . When a new governor arrived. not to mention the wonderful happenings. as blood-brothers. He who does not get gold from a rich man is not likely to have it from a poor one. where their commander. glorified before Christ the Lord and Victor. 3. and an evil mother who had an easy life. For the sake of Christ she refused to marry. And thus in this example were fulfilled the words of Christ that He was bringing a sword among men which would divide those of one blood but not those of one faith (Matt. and was made worthy of the Kingdom of heaven. but when the servant assaulted St Euthalia. but the building of the walls and floors. All three were young men. In uncertainty whether to live by the example of her father or her mother.began to persecute his sister. being gifted with insight. Like Cain. for which they gave thanks to Christ that He had counted them worthy to die the death He had died. She saw her father in the Kingdom of God. the decoration and all the furnishings. reminding the governor that Judas lost his soul for silver. When glorious Theodore gloriously laid down his life. they remained behind in prison. and the third. The evil brother saw that wonder. And they therefore said to the governor: 'As the Holy Trinity is indivisible. Thus was the holy virgin Euthalia crowned with a wreath of eternal glory.150 litres of silver . died in peace and was buried with honor. having a good father who suffered much and had a difficult death. through their brotherly love. the roof and domes of the magnificent edifice of the Christian faith. But she was unafraid.which Eutropius likewise refused. FOR CONSIDERATION 189 . the first two were condemned to be crucified. Cleonicus and Basiliscus. She departed this life peacefully. This determined her to devote her whole life to God. St Piama of Egypt. Eutropius and Cleonicus were brothers and Basiliscus a kinsman of Theodore's. They were not condemned for a long time because of the courage of the imperial governor of the town of Amasea. so are we indivisible in faith and inseparable in love. grabbed hold of her and cut off her head. 2. They were comrades of St Theodore the Tyro. and have no fear of death. But all three were. They suffered with honor in 308. and her mother in darkness and torment. the demonstration. which Eutropius refused with a quotation from the Psalms: 'Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsels of the ungodly'. the real phenomenon of the spiritual world . And of all forms of folly.Church Calendar 1. follow the commandments of God without regard to any opposition or misfortune that she might have to endure. He first invited him to dine with him. An Unknown Girl in Alexandria. and spent her time in prayer and meditation. this maiden had a vision in which the state of her father and of her mother were shown to her. And she followed the commandments of God to the end. and gave herself to asceticism in her mother's house.Civil Calendar March 3rd .' All flattery on the governor's part was in vain. for Christ was dearer to her than her brother. Theodore. he is given folly in its place. as were all his efforts to bribe Eutropius. was beheaded. in about the year 377. The Holy Martyrs Eutropius. was waiting for them. It is Revelation. the firm proofs. She was from a wealthy house. Christianity has opened wide the gate of the other world. She took only a little food every other day. followed by interrogation and torture. more inhuman than his predecessor. with His help. in which she was reunited with her beloved father. Basilicus. like her father. commending her soul to the Lord. God's Revelation. he ordered these three to be brought before him. after which he offered him vast wealth .all this is not just the laying of the foundation of the Christian faith. 10:34-35) FOR CONSIDERATION If anyone loses his faith in God.' The wicked brother sent a servant to her to violate her. and she said to Sermilianus: 'I am a Christian. They all entered into the Kingdom of joy.

and though he at first inclined a little towards the Monophysite heresy of Eutyches and Dioscorus. he prayed to God: 'Come to our aid. witnessing your endurance. In the Great Fast he ate nothing but what he received in Holy Communion. the earth quaked and the obedient Lord revealed Himself with the angels and St Theodore. and took a little wine in God's praise. so that anyone could. Many miracles attended their martyrdom and many of the pagans. similar to that of David. God in His compassion will forgive the greatest sins and does not punish those who punish themselves. living in a grave. even when they went out. The Holy Martyrs Paul and Juliana. it is obvious that God listens to man more than man does to God. by the permission of God. then God listens to him.' said Abba Moses. the path from lust to murder was not very long. St Gerasim was an example to all. Your names will be written in the Book of Life. the best-known is St Cyriac the Solitary. St Gerasim entered into rest and into the eternal joy of his Lord in 475. She pretended to weep before him. having been turned from heresy by St Euthymius. However. he was at that Council a great champion of Orthodoxy. the greatest spiritual giants can topple. Of Gerasim's disciples. Brother and sister from Ptolemais in Phoenicia. He was so perfected in godliness that he was able to heal the gravest illnesses by his prayers. they were cruelly tortured for Christ under the Emperor Aurelian and were finally beheaded. having a thorn in its paw. Here is an example. 2. Gerasim came near to it.Speaking on a human level. St Gerasim was present at the 4th Council in Chalcedon in 451. when he at one time prayed for rain in a time of great drought from which both men and cattle were suffering. killed her and threw her into a river. if a man listens to God. When the elder died. were brought to the Faith. as Thou camest to the aid of Thy servant Theodore!' At that. the lion also succumbed to illness after him and died. Christ raised Himself to primacy in the Church. Adam lost his power and primacy over the animals and the natural elements in the hour when he showed himself disobedient to God. Seeing this. He once saw a lion which was roaring with pain. the monks had to leave their cells open. No-one can be a good superior who has not gone through the school of obedience. because. I stood before your faces. He indeed healed her. but then sinned with her and.Civil Calendar March 4th . repented and reformed her life. FOR CONSIDERATION 190 . But the enemy of the human race brought a heavy temptation on him. they were allowed no heat in their cells. Several of them were beheaded in 273 and received martyrs' wreaths. it fell. As always. if he wanted something. The lion was so tame that it followed the elder to the monastery and remained there until the latter's death. the world and human history by obedience. in the time of Marcian and Pulcheria. James put his left hand into the fire and held it there until it was completely burned. When St Eutropius was martyred with his two friends. crossed himself and pulled the thorn out. This well-known saint first learned asceticism in the Egyptian Thebaid. He lived in the sixth century. Then each monk brought and placed before the feet of the abbot the work he had done in the preceding five days. of how wicked the evil demon is. James spent ten years after that as a penitent. how.Church Calendar 1.' March 17th . He learned after that that God had forgiven him. in order to conceal the sin. The fact that the immortal God listens to us corruptible beings more than we do to Him should fill with shame anyone with any conscience remaining. but then went to the Jordan and there founded a community of about seventy monks which remains to this day. On Saturdays and Sundays they gathered in the monastery church. There was once sent to him a woman who had been corrupted by some mockers. and how again. five days they ate only a little dry bread and a few dates. But on a second occasion he did not resist and fell with a young girl whom her parents had brought to him to be healed of her madness. seeing them. but enticed him to sin. 'Obedience begets obedience. by sincere repentance. Our Holy Father Gerasim. St James the Faster. Seeing that he would fall into sin. 3. He formulated a particular rule for his monastery: the monks spent five days a week in their cells weaving baskets and mats. when one counts up how many times a day people sin against the commandments of God. Each monk had only one garment. And the Lord said to the sufferers: 'During the time of your torture. take it from another's cell. ate together boiled vegetables. the woman was filled with fear and horror.

and a church dedicated to St Andrew. they found him dead. He knew the whole of the Holy Scriptures by heart. but withdrew to a mountain called the hill of Maion. the great Patriarch Photius himself held them in high esteem. but later Theophylact. He received communion at the hands of an angel. He was born near Bursa in the eighth century. (In the Greek Synaxarion. During the persecution under Decius he was tortured for Christ. people saw his hut illumined with an unusual light. on the first evening. and stabbed all over with knives. March 18th . who was very rich and very learned? And St Catherine. who had in Athens studied Hellenic philosophy in its fullness. many others who first sought an explanation for the enigmas of the world and light for their souls in philosophy. He foretold that there would be a women's monastery in that place after his death. who was versed in the whole of Indian philosophy? And so many. When his parents forced him to marry. 191 . With nails through his legs.Church Calendar 1. and the saint forbade the hyena in future to slaughter the sheep of poor people. He was buried in the church of St Andrew. why did the philosophers Justin and Origen become Christians? Why did Basil and Chrysostom and Gregory. prayer and the writing of instructive books. 2. light or darkness?' She answered: 'Light'. the bishop of Amasea. and went to the Lord. He was once weeping for the blind whelp of a hyena when the whelp received its sight. this good and virtuous saint was bound behind the prince's chariot and was dragged on and on. fasting and pondering on God. and wept for the distress of any one of God's creature. Among other wonders. took a candle and put it under a vessel. he is commemorated on March 6th. and he and his wife lived as brother and sister. He succeeded in bringing first her and then his parents to the Christian faith. on sobriety and so forth fall into the first rank of ecclesiastical literature. His wife and parents soon died. receive baptism? And Blessed Augustine. which brought many to Christianity. the mother hyena brought him a sheepskin. took him to the town of Amasea. he. and then drew near to the Church and came to worship Christ the Lord. This wonderful saint lived and suffered in the second century. His homilies on the spiritual law. The Holy Martyr Conon of Isauria. Miracles were worked through his prayers. Our Holy Father Mark the Ascetic. He departed this life peacefully and went to the Kingdom of his God in 790. In gratitude. but he remained firm in the Faith and sharply denounced the judges for their folly. in 251. Then he made his last prayer to God and gave his soul into His keeping. who was familiar with Hellenic and Roman wisdom -. Conon was instructed in the Christian faith and baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity by the Archangel Michael himself. and at midnight on the day foretold. he was made a monk at the age of forty by his teacher. The Holy Martyr Conon the Gardener. A month before he died. 3. St John Chrysostom. and he was accompanied by this archangel of God right up to his death.If human philosophy can content a man. and pleasing to God in all things. and when they came to it. the heir of India. and he then began to speak to her of the Christian faith.Civil Calendar March 5th . He was so enlightened and fortified by grace of the Holy Spirit that his heart was kept from all things earthly and clave to the spiritual and heavenly. he was mild and virtuous. He lived for two further years in his own town. evil spirits were forced to serve him. An ascetic and wonderworker. He built himself a hut there. and of the spiritual life as better and finer than the physical. a place with an evil reputation for diabolical apparitions. The sick anointed themselves with his blood and were healed. Mark spent sixty more years in the Nitrian desert in fasting. During a persecution he was arrested and tortured. who was of the royal house and learned in all the secular knowledge of Egypt? And Joasaph.) 4. and he withdrew himself entirely from the world and gave himself to prayer.why did he set aside everything and seek salvation and light in the Christian faith? And St Clement of Rome. until he was utterly spent. on repentance. From Nazareth. and also made himself a garden which he cultivated in order to live by his own toil. he foretold the day and hour of his death. He performed great wonders. Our Holy Father Hesychius the Faster. then asked his bride: 'Which is better. He was very merciful.

FOR CONSIDERATION Why do some people. for at some time each of these peoples has conquered others and governed them. of Christ. the Saracens took the town and enslaved many Christians. what would you say? Whose field was it?' The Saracens replied: 'His. but they floated to the other bank where Christians collected them and gave them burial. or from sin.' 'You have judged right'. with these generals among them. the generals asked them: 'If two men were to quarrel about a field. Christ has many witnesses: the ancient prophets. Their bodies were cast into the Euphrates. but.Church Calendar 1. that He gives us the best lands on earth and an empire much greater than the Christian. and has no other witness. He was born in Moscow in 1635. 'Ignorance urges a man to speak against that which is helpful. and the other saying: "No. Father and Son. He became the confessor of Tsar Peter the Great. and was drawn to the Church by the beauty of the singing and of the services. We know that God sometimes gives victory to Christians.Civil Calendar March 6th . from Moses to John the Baptist. They suffered with honor in 275. then the idol-worship of Egypt and Babylon. 2. but threw these generals into prison. and of Greece and Rome. Those who sincerely set themselves to follow Christ are constantly invited by Christ to a greater and greater depth. whom you also recognize.' After seven years they were beheaded. with one saying: "It's mine!". A superficial knowledge of Christ rejects Him. The Forty-two Holy Martyrs of Ammoria. would have been true faiths. To the superficial and the guilty it is more comfortable to bathe in the shallow pool of human thought than in the dangerous depths of Christ. in 845. it's mine!". When the Emperor lost the struggle against the Saracens around the town of Ammoria. you bathe in His water. withdrew to the monastery of Solovetsk where he lived in strict asceticism. but Mahomet only witnesses to himself that he is a prophet.' St Mark the Ascetic writes that one understands the Law of God insofar as one fulfils His commandments. he cried out: 'Blessed is the God of our fathers! . The Holy Martyrs Conon. of course. 'So it is with Christ and Mahomet. well-educated. at the age of 85. and the fire-worship of Persia. witnessed to Him. As his death drew near.and as He is thus. urging them to accept the Mohammedan faith. If you breathe the air.' To this the generals replied: 'If that were so. and sometimes leaves them in torture and suffering to correct them and bring them to repentance and cleansing from sin. because of some slander. He honors you thus. regard yourself as a guest of the Host. you breathe His air. It is obvious that your victory and power and wealth do not prove the truth of your faith. and were glorified in the Church on earth and in heaven. Superficial and guilty Christians have often become as bitter enemies of Christianity as are pagans. when they were sawn in half for their faith in Christ. and one had many witnesses that it was his field and the other had not a single witness but himself. If you are at table. that is. The father was already an old man. If you bathe. the generals answered them. but attempted then to defend their faith thus: 'That our faith is better than Christianity is seen in this: that God has given us victory over you. and sin flees from Christ like a felon from judgement. who had the many witnesses. Blessed Job. fall away from Christianity into philosophy and learned theories. I have no fear. and insolence breeds vice. When the Saracens told the generals that Mahomet was a true prophet and Christ was not. The remaining Christians they either killed or sold into slavery. These were all generals under the Byzantine Emperor Theophilus.' The Saracens were confounded. If you travel. where they remained for seven years.' March 19th . alleging them to be something truer than Christianity? For two main reasons: either from an utterly superficial knowledge of Christianity. Moslem leaders came many times. FOR CONSIDERATION While you are on earth. and the son a youth of seventeen. as He once said to the Apostle Peter: 'Launch out into the deep. but go from the world with joy!' 3. but the generals refused to do so. He entered into rest in the Lord in 1720. you 192 . baptized as Christians.

Often at night he went out of the monastery to a neighboring cave to pray. you are with His other guests. But Scythian unbelievers caught Capito by the River Dnieper and drowned him. Eugene. Aetherius lived in the time of Constantine the Great. There he became a monk and departed this life on March 7th. If you accumulate goods.Civil Calendar March 7th . with the lightest touch. and focussed on the cave and on Emilianus. but they speak a great truth to you. sent by the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the light of the Gospel there. If you are in the countryside. and all glorified God and praised the firm faith of St Capito. Many miracles were wrought over the relics of St Laurence in that monastery. 2. And the abbot saw Emilianus standing in prayer with awe and tears. you will stay bound. He went to a monastery and there. break it and free yourself. Eugene. March 20th . If you set off anywhere.Church Calendar 1. He was a model of asceticism to his brethren. He went and found ruins there. and the whole town and surroundings were baptized. They were all tortured and suffered for the sake of their Lord. with no scorch-mark either on his body or his clothing. brighter than the sun. Capito. you are in His garden. you accumulate what is His. He sees you. was sent as bishop. which embittered the Jews and they brought charges against him. Basil raised the son of a prince of Cherson to life. He has it in mind. St Laurence. The Seven Hieromartyrs of Cherson. and ordered their lives accordingly. You cannot easily break it and free yourself of it. Many spoke of this wonder at the Council of Nicaea (325). who keeps His servant safe in the burning furnace!'. in your turn. either Jews or Greeks from Scythia. and built a new church. by fasting. subdued and withered his body. and. When he came to his senses and turned from his sin. Aetherius and Capito. the great and powerful God of the Christians. Our Holy Father Emilianus. and was righteous and devout. If you do anything. He was bound by the feet and dragged through the streets of the town until he gave up the ghost. He was born in Rome. On the following day he revealed all that he had seen and heard the preceding night. Not knowing where he went. illumined that hill. He lived in Megara as a married man with two sons. and came out untouched. All the saints knew this truth. the abbot of the monastery followed him in secret one night. Ephraim was beheaded. FOR CONSIDERATION A thick rope is composed of thin strands of hemp. If you are in company with others. Ephraim. If you are alone. you are so by His permission. founder of the monastery of Phaneromene on the island of Salamis is commemorated. And be. If you are influential. All at once a heavenly light. holding his heart and thoughts directed towards God. he trembled at the thought of the judgement of God. and it will strangle you. The holy Mother of God appeared to him in a dream and commanded him to go to the island of Salamis and to restore a church in a certain place. crossing himself. (Only Aetherius died peacefully. These seven hieromartyrs were all bishops in Cherson at different times. if you squander them. vigils and obedience. And they suggested to him that he go into a burning furnace. Their names were Basil. thy sins are forgiven thee!' The abbot was amazed and fled back to the monastery. Then all cried out: 'There is one God. When the last of them. Agathodorus. built a great church in Cherson and died peacefully. These are all simple words. He is the most careful Host whose guest you have ever been. if he were not burned up. They all suffered around the beginning of the fourth century. they would believe. He stood in the flames for about an hour. With fervent prayer and hope in God. 1770. you squander what is His. He is present. As a thick rope is made from 193 . Elpidius.travel around His earth. Author's Note: Under this date in the Greek Great Synaxarion. Elpidius and Agathorodus were beaten with rods and stones until they gave their souls into God's hands. But if a thick rope binds you. And Emilianus was greatly honored among the brethren. and lived long and entered into rest in the Lord. Therefore the immortal Host rewarded them with eternal life in heaven and with glory on earth. One thin strand cannot hold you bound nor strangle you. for you will easily. A good host merits a good guest. And a voice was heard from heaven: 'Emilianus. and committed many grave sins in his youth. and so he governed the Church in freedom and peace. that they might believe. careful towards Him. entered the burning furnace. and all suffered from unbelievers. the savage Scythians sought a sign of him. Capito put on his episcopal pallium and.) They had all gone to that savage land as missionaries.

uproot it immediately!' March 21st . whose number was considerable. repeated. Also Felix. because of the exterior and interior gold-work and because of the amount of gold and silver plate in the church. confess everything to Him. His uncle. and you will not find anyone to deliver you from it. which soon overtook him. The latter was an iconoclast. towards the world. St Theodoretus was beheaded in 362 and went to the glorious Kingdom of Christ the King. When the Emperor's chief counselor. came to Antioch and plundered the golden church. 'To cut out the root of the passions is as difficult as cutting off one's fingers. deposed from his seat and sent into exile.Civil Calendar March 9th . weak strands. To free himself from sinful passions. he denied Christ although he was baptized. this Emperor restored it and tried to displace Orthodoxy.' said one Athonite monk. also called Julian. these three things save a man from slavery to the passions. and. so far will you be cautious towards your enemies. and launched a persecution of Christians. stirred up a veritable storm in the Church of Christ. You can neither cut it out easily nor cast it away from you nor be divorced from it. Nichephorus succeeded to the patriarchal throne in Constantinople. Oh. and He will not betray you. The Emperor also gave this church vast lands for the support of the clergy. said to him: 'O king. Tarasius sent him as bishop to Nicomedia. while still a layman.' For speaking thus St Theophylactus was. initial sins a man can still break and free himself of. at the Emperor's command. he was a good pastor to his flock and showed a rare compassion towards the poor and wretched. and. When the evil judge. Theodoretus not only refused to deny Christ. St Theophylactus. The Emperor Constantine built a cathedral in Antioch. St Emilianus was helped by pondering on death. the flesh and the devil.Church Calendar 1. to trial and put pressure on him to deny Christ. shortly after that. The custodian of these vessels and all the precious things in the church was the priest Theodoretus. Although the iconoclast heresy had been proscribed by the Seventh Ecumenical Council. where he spent thirty years enduring many difficulties and insults and where he finally gave his soul to the Lord in about 845. But sin on sin. of course. brought Theodoretus. in fulfillment of Theodoretus' prophecy. receive all His commandments as good. which masters a man as only it can do. As a bishop. and the judge. have cunning (the dove and the serpent). The Hieromartyr Theodoretus. and when the latter would not retract. but he also scolded the Emperor Julian for having fallen back from the true Faith and turned back to idol-worship as a dog to vomit. have simplicity. urinated in the golden church. FOR CONSIDERATION Have more confidence in God than in your mother. by the grace of God. St Theophylactus withstood the Emperor to his face. Bishop of Nicomedia. When Julian the Apostate came to the throne. among whom was Theophylactus. out of capriciousness. without which it is impossible for one to be freed from such passions. a man of great faith and rare devotion. For insofar as you have confidence in God.Church Calendar 194 . many were then given the monastic habit by him.thin. St Ephraim the Syrian expressed all this better: 'In receiving God's commandments. chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople. Theodoretus prophesied a terrible death for him. St Sisoes was asked how long it takes to uproot a passion. The people named this church 'the golden church'. To think frequently of the closeness of death. felt pains in his abdomen from the time he had urinated in the church.Civil Calendar March 8th . His whole abdomen was rotted by worms and he vomited up his apostate soul in the most terrible torments. Tarasius. Theodoretus was beheaded with an axe for the sake of Christ. and He will not deceive you. The small. Julian. to repent and to beg God's almighty Grace. After the death of St Tarasius. Leo the Armenian came to the imperial throne. an assistant of his. These were laymen. so men's passions are made up of smaller initial sins. great destruction will come upon you. 2.' March 22nd . and as such. when will men guard themselves from these first sins? Then they would not have so much difficulty in freeing themselves from the passions. as the treasurer. friends and admirers of Tarasius. died of a hemorrhage from the mouth immediately after the righteous man had been beheaded. the weave becomes thicker and thicker until it becomes a passion. The saint replied: 'As soon as a passion springs up in you. and adorned it with great beauty. but in the rejection of hostile plots. was.

the commander of the pagan troops ordered his soldiers to take up the martyrs' bodies and burn them. The weather was bitterly cold. from vanity. your fasts and your vigils and prayers. After this. It is true that. He lived in asceticism in Galatia in the fourth century. and how. But when the servants threw the stones at the Christians. deserted his company. he gave a painstaking answer to the question: How long did Adam and Eve spend in Paradise before the Fall? Some had put that time at six hours. your virtues and your good works. saints. they will take care to lessen or squander them. their relics melted into one big mass. the pagans built and lit a bathhouse by the lake. They remain united in heaven for eternity. this soldier. replied: 'Do not take only our military status. After the martyrs' repose. One stone fell on the commander's face and smashed his teeth. probably due to the shock. St Candidus. The brother of St Gregory the Theologian. the New Adam withstood him as a true knight in hunger and thirst in the wilderness. in order to receive praise). removed his military clothing. These were all soldiers in the Roman army. This shows you how you must conceal your spiritual goods. they always conceal the greater part and reveal only the lesser. made themselves as fools in the sight of the world. imperceptibly lose them and suddenly find yourselves wretched. the Lord Christ fasted for forty days in the wilderness. so their relics became one in death. their number remained forty. Therefore. The torturers then stripped and bound the holy martyrs. he says.' And 195 . one of the wreathes would descend upon his head. they snatch them and squander them. and that they should not arouse the envy of malicious men. but. As the forty were united as one in thier earthly life. if they are performed in secret. See how people hide their material goods. and an even smaller number pretend to have more than they really have (and these the world regards as frivolous and mindless). 3. causing them grievous injuries. the stones turned back and fell on them themselves. after the death of that wicked persecutor of Christ. nothing is dearer or of greater honor to us than Christ our God. who were rich in spiritual goods. When the sentry beheld one of the crowns separate from the rest. as soon as you reveal them without need (let us say. St Caesarius' estimate was that they were there for forty days. but also our bodies. he lived in peace and was of help to many. one of the sentries on the shore beheld forty crowns come down from heaven in great light. The Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste. setting a watch all around it to prevent any of them escaping. 2. came out of the water and went into the bathhouse. He was especially praised for his patience. Our Holy Father Philoromus the Confessor. FOR CONSIDERATION Hide your spiritual goods. These are malicious spirits. and was for that length of time tempted of the devil. and forced them onto the ice of a frozen a lake. As each soldier reposed to the Lord. So. that is. he lost both the heavenly life and his earthly life. and the fortieth crown reunited itself with the others. In fact. they were all taken for trial before the commander. St Caesarius was a theological writer. As soon as he entered the bath. who died in 369. with the idea that some of them might deny Christ and acknowledge the idols of Rome. when they are compelled to say how much they have. When the pagans burned the bodies. And you. the hapless one gave up his soul. There can be rascals and the envious also with regard to spiritual goods. St Caesarius. who threatened to strip them of their military status. Only very few people want to reveal all that they have. To make the torture worse. some at twenty-four hours and some at three days. For. in the sight of the freezing sufferers. but believed firmly in the Lord Jesus. As soon as you reveal them. Among other things. while the old Adam was not able to withstand the devil's temptation in the abundance of Paradise. and do not reveal them without necessity. and joined the holy martyrs on the ice. He was persecuted by the Emperor Julian the Apostate and suffered greatly for Christ. It is said of him that he was so perfected in all the virtues that he was more like an angel than a man. Because of that. beholding this wonder and filled with holy zeal.1. confessed Christ. Abba Isaiah writes: 'Good works are pleasing to the Lord. entering into rest at the age of eighty. To this one of them. Many spiritually rich men.' Then the commander ordered his servants to stone the holy martyrs to death. When a persecution arose in the time of Licinius. Why do the wise children of this world not reveal their material goods? For two reasons: that rascals should not hear of them. in order to hide their great wisdom and power from the sight of men. one of them did abjure.

many of the faithful fled to the mountains and caves. Anectus. Paul and Crescens. and one has many witnesses that it is his field. When she was widowed. as a woman under a man's name. she was a lady-in-waiting at the court of the Emperor Justinian. and saw that the Empress Theodora could not abide her. but that our sins are great. from time to time. that Mohammedans were on all sides victorious over Christians. where she spent 28 years and where she entered into rest in the year 563. and. the elder Daniel saw her face shining like the sun. Abba Daniel. Mohammedans themselves would not recognize. they were silent. more importantly.' 196 . The Holy Martyr Codratus of Corinth. They suffered with honor for the truth in Corinth in the year 250. Greeks.' The generals said: 'You have yourselves judged for Christ and against Mahomet. have conquered the world -. In a time of persecution. A spring of water gushed out onto the earth at the spot. FOR CONSIDERATION When the forty-two Greek generals of Ammoria were in the Aga's prison (see March 6th). Then Codratus appeared behind them and shouted at the top of his voice: 'By name. For Christ has behind Him the witness of all the prophets and apostles.had the true faith! But these. then you must accept that all the idolatrous nations who. Romans and others -. He was kept safe and fed by the providence of God and his guardian angel. by which God clearly demonstrated the truth of their faith.' March 23rd . and gave birth to Codratus in a forest. she suddenly disappeared from Constantinople and took herself off to the Egyptian desert. but Mahomet alone witnesses to himself. and our city and place of origin is heaven. servants of Jesus Christ the Lord by office and birth. She was pregnant at the time. 2.whose field is it?' To this the Aga's men replied: 'Of course. so that she might.' After this declaration he was brought to trial. when Valerian shut up many Christians in jail. what do you think . He was a rich nobleman and also a convinced and baptized Christian. Anastasia shut herself in a narrow cell. These sages stressed to the Christian generals two ways in which Islam had primacy over Christianity: first. He studied medicine and then began to heal the sick. using both natural medicines and. that you have been victorious over the Christians does not mean that your faith is better. They were all dragged through the streets and struck with sticks and stones by the unbelievers. Codratus grew up in solitude with nature.the Persians. he went down to the town. He who gave manna from heaven to the Israelites in the wilderness released a sweet dew from a cloud onto the mouth of the child Codratus. in the time of the Emperor Decius and his governor Jason. Five of his friends stood beside him and confessed the name of Christ. and after long and harsh torture was beheaded along with the others. as did Codratus' mother. And. Before her death.St Nilus of Sinai says: 'The hidden skin of the body is white. until they arrived at the scaffold. we are Christians. When a new persecution arose under Decius. by her wish. some Moslem sages came to them and urged them to accept the Mohammedan faith and receive their freedom. the spiritual power and prayer which had been with him from childhood. A famous spiritual guide. To the first point the generals replied: 'If two men are at judgement over a field. Dionysius. Our Holy Mother Anastasia. Codratus bribed the warder and went into the prison to bring the captives food and uphold them in their faith. Codratus was taken for trial and thrown into prison.' To the second point they answered thus: 'If you reckon the truth of a faith by victory in warfare.Civil Calendar March 10th . They were: Cyprian. dying almost at once. more easily evade the imperial searchers. and the other has none to witness for him save his own personal testimony. especially by the children. When they were brought before the judge and questioned about their names. place of origin and status. and there some good people took a fancy to him and educated him. So it is with our hidden and our visible spiritual works. and others with him. 3. In a time of persecution of Christians.Church Calendar 1. Here the martyrs prayed to God and were beheaded with the sword. The Holy Martyr Codratus of Nicomedia. tonsured her and presented her as the castrated monk Anastasius. When he was twelve years old. but the skin that shows is burnt and black. second. because of which God punishes us through you. the field is his who had the many witnesses. which to this day is called by Codratus' name and commemorates the heroic death for Christ of the holy six. A patrician. that Mahomet was a more recent prophet than Christ.

He entered peacefully into rest in the 6th century. and when the fire had at last gone out and everyone thought that he was dead. When Omar quickly began to plunder and ill-treat the Christians in Jerusalem. 10:16). 2. and harmless as doves' (Matt. as far as they could. which the Emperor Heraclius carried into the Holy City on his back. leaving Sophronius with the pledge to take him either to Sinai or to the Monastery of St Theodosius. God demands effort on our part to conform to His will. receive my spirit!'. was followed first by Modestus. Our Holy Father George the Sinaite. The Holy Martyr Pionius. writes St John Chrysostom. with many lamentations. 3. together with him. They condemned him to be crucified. Pionius closed his eyes and prayed to God within himself. and took him back the same day to Sinai. who died in 634. is that the Lord gave this commandment to His disciples 'that they should themselves. and took him to Himself in His heavenly courts in 644. but by the power and will of God. co-operate. He wrote the life of St Mary of Egypt. and that they should not think that wreaths of glory are won for nothing. And He wills all that conforms to the highest wisdom and wholeness. They wrote down all that they discovered. In the monastery of St Theodosius he found himself with the monk John Moschus. After that he was delayed in Jerusalem. calling to the soldiers to put the nails into his hands. Zacharias.March 24th . We must work at the cultivating and preparing of every good thing. he was not content with this. which by that time had been freed from the Persians. and later published it in two books entitled 'The Spiritual Meadow'.Civil Calendar 197 . then. that is. compiled the rite of the Great Blessing of Water and introduced various new hymns and songs into different services. Having acquired worldly wisdom. March 25th . On Pascha night an angel of God carried him to Jerusalem for the service. and breathed his last. Sophronius fulfilled the desire of his teacher and took his body to the monastery. He suffered and was glorified in 250. He was born in Damascus of eminent parents. He can do all things if He wills. to His dispensation in the salvation of men. he suffered there in the time of Decius' persecution. whom he took as his teacher. but much said in them. And God heard his prayer. This saint wrote the life of St Polycarp of Smyrna. which Omar hypocritically promised. where Moschus died.' And so both our effort and God's blessed power are indispensable to our salvation. Their motto was to glean more spiritual wisdom each day. that he should not see the desecration of the holy places. together with whom he now makes merry in the Kingdom of Christ. that it should be seen not only as the work of grace. when he went to the other world. who also returned from slavery.Civil Calendar March 11th . St Sophronius. set out to visit the monasteries and ascetics of Egypt. Pionius laid himself on it and stretched out his arms. Few words. Patriarch of Jerusalem. and if some good germinates and grows and bears fruit. There were many bystanders. The old Patriarch. Sophronius begged him to spare the Christians. When the Arabian Caliph Omar captured Jerusalem. Abbot of Mount Sinai. Pionius opened his eyes and cried out joyfully: 'O Lord. and began also to acquire pure. Sophronius. which was a great joy to him. The interpretation of the Lord's words: 'Be ye wise as serpents. and a fire lit under the martyr's head. which he condemned at his Council in Jerusalem before it was condemned at the 6th Ecumenical Council.Church Calendar 1. The cross was inserted into the ground upside down. he was a great ascetic and a righteous man. that is by God's power and will. The flames could not succeed in igniting even his hair. and then by blessed Sophronius. did not live long and. We plough the furrows and God sows. begged God to take him from among the living upon earth. He witnessed the return of the Precious Cross from Persia.' These are the words of Saints Barsanuphius and John. And as soon as the soldiers assembled the cross and laid it on the ground. A priest of Smyrna. They later went to Rome. FOR CONSIDERATION 'No good thing can be brought to completion by our own efforts. standing in defence of Orthodoxy against the Monothelite heresy. spiritual wisdom. He governed the Church with outstanding wisdom and zeal for four years. However. if He will.

also received the monastic habit in a women's monastery. The splendid and wealthy Theophanes lived for some time in the monastery as the poorest wretch. not the Lord God Himself. are a true theological revelation. When he arrived on Samothrace. An empty corn-cob lifts its head high up over all the field. And David says that God 'keeps the meek in truth and teaches the meek His ways' (Ps. he built six monasteries in Sicily and a seventh in Rome itself. and finally a hermit. he himself became a senator and governor of the city of Rome. His mother. but God showed people where to find him by making a fiery column. in persuading his bride that they should live as brother and sister in chastity. Simeon. No-one cares for giving instruction to him who asserts that he knows everything. He occupied himself with the writing of instructive books. forgive me! I know 198 . though. He had a rare compassion. Theophanes was taken to Constantinople and thrown into prison. especially mania and madness. He left all for Christ and took himself off to a monastery. He went to the Lord in 604. St Gregory the Dialogist.March 12th . reaching from earth to heaven. Peter. 3. he was invited to the 7th Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 787. where he spent two years in discomfort. where he entered the imperial service. 24:9). 2. God gave him the gift of wonder-working and he was able to heal all manner of illness. he was a kinsman of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian (717741) and his son Copronymos (741-775). He then became abbot of the monastery of St Mamas. takes pleasure in instructing the proud. Because of his great purity and chastity. He was the greatest theologian since St Gregory the Theologian. because he had become so known for his firm faith. he lived for only twenty-three days. using all his income for the housing of the poor and on hospitality. He entered into rest in 1022. When another iconoclast period arose under the wicked Emperor Leo the Armenian. Sylvia. if only your guardian angel would some time pull back the curtain from your eyes and disclose to you the endless vista of all that you do not know! You would kneel before every man before whom you have vaunted your pride and whom you have despised. His monastery was in the Syrian mountains in the Cyzicus region. This great and godly Father of the Church was born in Galatai in Paphiagonia and educated in Constantinople. but. Out of his great wealth. Pope of Rome. or 'the one who converses' was the name he was known by. Then. He prayed to God for all the sick and distressed and helped them by his prayers. He also compiled the service of the Presanctified Gifts that is used on Wednesdays and Fridays in the Great Fast. living in asceticism under the guidance of an elder. and all marvelled at the great change in him. at which the veneration of icons was upheld. FOR CONSIDERATION No-one. He had enormous wealth and lived in great splendour. Then he was hindered by a marriage which he was obliged to make. But all this lost its value for Theophanes when he enthroned Christ the Lord in his soul. His archdeacon. often saw a dove hovering over his head when he was writing. and. His writings. he gave himself to the spiritual life. leaving wonderworking relics. pain and humiliation. his wife went to one monastery and he to another. Gregory was chosen as Pope. as soon as his father died. The Emperor then sent him into exile on the island of Samothrace. as soon as his parents died. which he dedicated to the Apostle Andrew. He fled from this honour and power and hid himself in the mountains and ravines. Sygriane. He frequently brought the poor in and fed them from his own table. He succeeded. then went to his Lord and Creator to receive the deserved wreath of glory. Only when he himself fell ill and was sick for a long time did he refuse to pray for his own healing but endured it with thanksgiving. Son of the senator Gordianus. illumined with the grace he carried in his heart. Our Holy Father Theophanes the Confessor. no matter whom. says the wise Sirach (3:19). Named 'the Sygrian' from his birthplace. but the meek man wants to teach no-one but desires constantly to be instructed by someone. abstinence and wisdom. an exile which he had forseen in his spirit and foretold to the prison warders. having written a book entitled 'The Dialogues' in which he brought to light the virtues and miracles of the Italian saints. Our Holy Father Simeon the New Theologian. appear at the place where Gregory was hiding. 'Secrets will be revealed to the meek'. After the death of Pope Pelagius. being tonsured in this last. and would cry with tears: 'Forgive me. 'The Dialogist'. but a full cob has a drooping head! O proud man.Church Calendar 1. The proud man wants to teach everyone and not be taught by anyone himself.

and Michael. for he realised himself that he could. nineteen years later. Oh. St Nicephorus was driven from Constantinople on March 13th. The main commemoration of this great hierarch is on June 2nd. She was harshly tortured in Persia in the 4th century for her unfaltering confession of the Christian faith. he did not persevere long with his schooling. he said: 'Believe me. and on March 13th. St Simeon the New Theologian. how truly great Christians our God-bearing fathers and the martyrs were! In our time. Nicephorus opposed the Emperor. first counselling him and then denouncing him. Italy in 480.. after which he withdrew to a craggy mountain. And this confessor of the Orthodox faith spent thirteen years there. He governed the holy Church with wisdom and zeal as the greatest arch-pastor of Constantinople. with his mother Theodora. Born in Nursia. the relics of St Nicephorus were translated from Prochonnesus to Constantinople and placed first in the Church of St Sophia. Our Holy Father Benedict. When Leo the Armenian made his stand against icons. I had a great and unbearable sadness only because I couldn't find a sufficient means of dying for the love of Christ. The torturers whipped her so terribly that she died from exhaustion.' After a year. 3. he was tortured by unbelievers and beheaded in the 2nd century. (c. I have not encountered anything hard or unbearable .Civil Calendar March 14th .' Are not such souls like flames shut in earthen vessels? Flames are always upright and directed towards heaven.Church Calendar 1. and then in the Church of the Holy Apostles. in 846. and I will give you your reward in My heavenly Kingdom. The Hieromartyr Publius. where he lived for more than three years in a cave in great struggles with his soul. Romanus. He fled to a monastery where a monk.nothing!' To the humble and devout it is often given to know the hour of their death. And on the day of the Dormition of the Mother of God. lose 'the great understanding of my soul'. together with all those who have prayed at these services. FOR CONSIDERATION Great Christians are those who have great love for Christ. and Methodius became Patriarch. Here is what one of those saints. and the flame will leap up higher. 758-829).. And his face shone with the light of the sun. There was a monastery on that island. confessed in his monastery before all the monks. Then. St Gregory the Dialogist tells of a bishop. gave him the habit. his relics were brought back to his patriarchal seat. As bishop. St Nicephorus. March 26th . to whom One from the other world appeared and said: 'Go on doing what you are doing. through book-learning.Church Calendar 1. came to the imperial throne in 842. 2. but on March 13th is commemorated the finding and translation of his uncorrupt relics. how it bore out the truth of the Lord's words: 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light'. bade farewell to his clergy and gave his spirit to God.Civil Calendar March 13th . Patriarch of Constantinople. of rich and eminent parents. Her soul parted from her martyred body and went to dwell in the eternal joy of Christ her King and Lord. which Nicephorus himself had built in honour of St Theodore. Romanus brought him bread and dropped it over the wall of the crag on a 199 . then died and went to the Lord in 827. come to Me. when I have fled to God my Saviour. Then all the iconoclast Emperors perished. and serve Me while your legs will stand and your hands function. on the Feast of the Dormition. March 27th . For this the accursed Emperor exiled him to the island of Prochonis. it is difficult for many to imagine this. Carpus. The Holy Martyr Christina of Persia. Speaking from his experience. who celebrated the Liturgy every day. but death comes unexpectedly to the proud. Just take off the lid. For a brief time of torture he inherited eternal life. This priest and martyr was successor in the episcopate in Athens to the famous Dionysius the Areopagite. from which he had been driven in his lifetime. Bishop Carpus celebrated the Divine Liturgy. And he left school 'an untaught sage and an understanding ignoramus'.

lived in a women's monastery. FOR CONSIDERATION It would be hard to find a better example of how we must not be lazy and leave prayer and work until the next day than that which is given us by St Ephraim the Syrian: 'Once a brother was inspired (by the devil) to think: "Today I'll give myself a rest. He underwent persecution and imprisonment in a period of iconoclasm. and went to the courts of the King of heaven. she came to great spiritual perfection. were very young men and were not yet Christians. where. gave them counsel and gave his soul to the Lord whom he had faithfully served in poverty and purity.' March 28th . He later compiled the 'Benedictine' rule. he replied: 'Christ our God bought His Church from the unbelievers with His precious Blood. joined them. Metropolitan of Kiev. two monks. He founded twelve monasteries. Alexander. Scholastica. apart from Agapius. They all suffered in Palestinian Caesarea at the hand of Urban. 200 . too. who told them that the path was prepared for Benedict."' And St Antony teaches: 'As each day dawns. After that vision. in the time of the Emperor Diocletian. thus bound. St Euschemon. being slanderously denounced to the Mongol ruler by his own Russian people for paying no tribute to the ruler for his position. before he began work. they were inflamed with zeal for Christ. one on the road and one at prayer in a distant cell. which is a model of Orthodox monasticism for his day. the governor. Dionysius and Dionysius. He governed the Church for twenty-five years and entered into rest in the Lord in 1353. guided by her brother and herself practising great asceticism. should be opened.Church Calendar 1. he stripped bare and rolled among nettles and thorns until he had driven out of himself every thought of a woman.Civil Calendar March 15th . and keep yourself from sin." But he answered the thought thus: "Who knows. moved away from that cave. At the top of that path stood a man of indescribable beauty and light. 3. but their baptism was of blood. he was inspired with this thought: "Let me give myself a rest today. each having twelve monks at first. For what do we now pay tribute to unbelievers?' At last he managed somehow to free himself and return home. God endowed him with many spiritual gifts: insight. entering into rest in the time of the Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast (829-842). I'll start work today. One day these seven were watching how the Christians were being tortured: one in fire. a prominent inhabitant of that city who had previously suffered somewhat for Christ. curtained with precious cloth and illuminated at the sides by ranks of people. He was very brutal with himself. His sister. He was Greek by birth and the successor of St Peter of Kiev. He made the sign of the Cross over the glass and it broke into pieces. already prepared as the saint had foreseen that his end was near. he. Timolaus. They had never been baptized with water. He once discerned that he had been given a glass of poisoned wine." He again replied: ''No. had at the same moment the same vision: a path from earth to heaven. St Theognostus. another on the gallows. and tomorrow I'll keep vigil. to flee the praise of men. bound their own hands behind their backs and.so I'd better get up today." So also. and the Lord will look after tomorrow. a third before wild beasts. when an impure rage of fleshly lust fell on him. All of them. They were all beheaded in 303. He suffered greatly from the Mongol hordes from Dzinibek. and they were inspired with an even greater faith in and love for the Lord. On the sixth day before his death he commanded that his grave. Romulus. He gathered all the monks together. came before Urban saying: 'We. When St Benedict set his soul free. Once. Agapius.rope to the mouth of the cave. 2. When the ruler summoned him and questioned him about this. The Holy Martyr Agapius and the seven with him: Publius. plan your life as though it were your last on earth. and when they saw with what patience the Christians endured all these tortures. and I'll start work tomorrow. Alexander. healing and the driving out of evil spirits. He died peacefully in about 550 and went to the eternal Kingdom of Christ the King. When he became known in the neighbourhood. the raising of the dead and the ability to appear to others from a distance in a dream or vision. maybe I shan't get up tomorrow either -. the beloved of God. are Christians!' Urban's flattery and threats were in vain. the two brethren discovered that their beloved abbot had gone from this world. Bishop of Lampsacus.

the idols. so this poor man for money (for two pieces of gold) betrayed his benefactor. Alexander replied: 'Over the whole world live the people whom Christ the Lord created. In the time of a persecution of Christians he went off into a mountain with many other Christians and shut himself in a hut. where he spent the time in fasting and prayer. 'And where is this flock of Christ?'. His skin was first flayed from him and then he was beheaded for his faith in Christ. England). misfortunes and malice.' And St Simeon the New Theologian speaks of this divine love thus: 'O holy love. thou warmest me.2. an evil spirit took hold of him and made him rabid. to which Alexander replied that he was a pastor of the flock of Christ. At last the governor ordered that he be beheaded. he had helped the Christian martyrs and buried their bodies. was taken by soldiers. as Judas did Christ. such as you. But a man's love towards God.' The wicked judge first commanded that he be whipped with iron flails and then thrown into a burning furnace. He was an Egyptian. But the beasts would not touch him. one of the Seventy. can at times cool off and completely disappear in a man. to deliver man from the throes of hell and to lead him to heaven. even for oneself. St Aristobulus is commemorated on March 15th). further enquired the evil and suspicious governor. thou art the crown of the law. Among whom those who believe in Him are His sheep. pagan and wicked. Sabinas. and Aristobulus endured among them unmentionable torments. But there is a love that is like a spring spouting forth from the earth. and at the Dreadful Judgement of God will be put on the left with the goats. The Holy Martyr Nicander. which never stops. In the second case. as a doctor.Civil Calendar March 16th . who are enslaved to creation and the work of men's hands. thou inflamest me with immeasurable love for God and for my brethren . St Alexander suffered between 270 and 275. Then he was flayed and after that thrown to the wild beasts. but those who have fallen away from their Creator. An Egyptian from the city of Hermopolis. to dead idols. does not easily grow cold unless the man loses his mind. a man can lessen his love towards God only and solely because of a change in himself. ordained priests and deacons and finally died there in peace and went to the Kingdom of the Lord whom he had served so faithfully. But a poor man who had brought him food and for whom Sabinas had done much betrayed him. When the great Apostle Paul created many bishops for different parts of the world. FOR CONSIDERATION Love for anyone or anything. He was the brother of the Apostle Barnabas and was born in Cyprus. But the fire could in no way harm him. The Holy Martyr Alexander. and even turn to hatred. He was a follower of the Apostle Paul. he made this Aristobulus bishop of Britain (i. and not in any way because of a change in God. baptized them in the name of Christ the Lord. He suffered with honour in the year 302. After harsh torture. are strangers to His flock. The Holy Martyr Sabinas. In Britain there was a wild people. he was the administrator of that city. that stops very quickly after the rain stops. 2. March 29th . with six others. The first is human love. only in order not to lose Christ. dragged him through the streets. God formed man from love.Church Calendar 1. e.. St Isaac the Syrian said all this more beautifully and clearly: 'There is a love that is like a stream after rain. In the first case he lessens or erases his love either because of a change in himself or because of a change in the object of his love. But in the end this holy man came to success by the power of the grace of God.. who mentions him in his Epistle to the Romans (16:10). and the second divine love. The Emperor Aurelian's governor asked him who and what he was. From love. The Holy Apostle Aristobulus. He enlightened the people. from love He endured all His life-giving suffering. the apostles finished their course. St Alexander is commemorated on March 14th). Thou conquerest me. 3. He was from the town of Side in Pamphylia. But as soon as the judge pronounced the sentence. he was 201 . His crime was that. built churches. but on the way the evil spirit wrested his wicked soul from him. once received and confirmed. He was led howling to his gods. From love the martyrs poured out their blood. (In the Greek Calendar. (In the Greek Calendar. bound and brought to judgement. They smote him without mercy. mocked him and jeered at him.

there lived in Rome a high imperial dignitary. 'Thy law is within my heart' (Ps. For. was kept. The rest will all follow and be conformed to the heart. at sunset. held it in his hand. But then they were comforted.thrown into the River Nile. you will rarely find it necessary to toil over the fulfilling of them in action. Euphemianus. who had lived for thirty-four years without him. he left not only his wife but also his father. was compelled to marry. They suffered with honour in the year 300. That is: if we are not at fault in our thinking. who were standing nearby in great distress. but when they threw the stones at these two brothers. Speaking of the commandments of God. we will find it easy to fulfil it in our actions. who. the Man of God. When he became known as a holy man. They had an only son.' That is. but he who holds its axis. Alexios dressed himself in simple clothing and lived for seventeen years as a poor man in that town. Euphemianus sat down to table only once a day. the Pope and their whole escort came to Euphemianus' house and. who was present. after lengthy questioning. But on the night of the wedding. Author's Note: In the Greek Calendar. but from charity allowed him to live in his courtyard in a little shack. March 30th . Alexios decided to go to his father's house and there. fulfil the Law of God in it. By the providence of God. Having venerated this Face. says the wise David. Or. enkindle the love of God in it and unite it with God. the wheels will easily go with the axis and draw the whole man after the heart. they gave their spirits to the Lord to whom they had remained faithful to the end. discovered that the poor man was the Man of God. our holy father Hesychius says: 'If you make yourself fulfil them in thought. Many miracles have been wrought over his relics. they found him dead with his face shining like the sun. After this they were both crucified. to develop this further. and the Patriarch: 'Look for the Man of God. From their crosses the brothers instructed and encouraged the Christians. we shall not be at fault in our actions. consecrate it to God and worship Him. He was buried in a coffin of marble and emerald. that this was her husband.' Shortly afterwards it was revealed that this Man of God was in Euphemianus' house. continue his life of self-denial. when he was grown up. He entered into rest in 1111. Varied are the paths along which God leads those who desire to be pleasing to Him and fulfil His Law. seeing how God had glorified His chosen one. His head is preserved in the Church of St Laurus 202 . where the wonderful Face of the Lord Himself (the Holy Napkin). on God. Molested by the servants in many ways. The heart is the axis of our being. The infuriated pagans decided to stone them to death. There. 40:8).Civil Calendar March 17th . like an axis. Regarding this as a cross from God. His parents discovered from the paper that he was their son Alexios. In the time of the Emperor Honorius (393-423). He lived in asceticism on the island of Patmos and built a monastery there in honour of St John the Theologian. Both he and his wife. 3. they publicly and freely preached Christ and denounced the folly of the Greeks and Romans. lived lives pleasing to God. the stones turned back upon the throwers and the brothers remained uninjured. in the town of Bofor. and they were overcome by immeasurable sorrow and grief. our tongues and hands and feet and our whole being will be in harmony with Him. saying to the Emperor. Although he was rich. he wrote a few words on a single sheet of paper. Agalais. the ship went off course and took him right to Rome. FOR CONSIDERATION If we fulfil the Law of God in our thoughts.Church Calendar 1. where he gave his spirit to God in 287. on touching his body. if we set our hearts. Then a voice was heard in the Church of the Holy Apostles. It is not he who holds the spoke of the wheel that drives the wheel. constantly praying to God in the porch of the church of the Mother of God. Prepare your heart for God. Brothers by birth from Syria. The Hieromartyrs Trophimus and Thallus. Our Holy Father Christodoulos is also commemorated. 411. took ship and went to the town of Edessa in Mesopotamia. His father did not recognize him. Alexios. if our hearts are fixed on God. St Alexios. Alexios spent seventeen further years. unknown. many of the sick were healed. When they went into his shack. After much suffering. lay down and breathed his last. And when the end drew near. and his bride. and a sweet myrrh came forth from it. The Emperor. he persevered to the end. who was very eminent and very rich. sent to King Abgar. on March 17th. he shunned the praise of men and so went off and took a ship that was going to Laodicea. living only on bread and water.

God has abundantly shown. A letter was sent to the Emperor Constans about this happening. Alexios the Man of God loved God more than his parents. healed the sick of various pains and tamed wild beasts. every day and every hour. Aninus the Wonderworker. which was seen by all living in Jerusalem. And there was a terrible earthquake which destroyed all that had been newly-built. For God. Pionius. or make our choice for sin and find ourselves cast down into the darkness of hell. After a life of great labour and knightly battle for the Orthodox faith. and we can either worship God with our love and be raised up among the angels.in the Peloponnese. We are given this brief life on earth as a school and an examination. and this served for the strengthening of Orthodoxy against the heretics. By the power of his prayers he filled an empty well with water. he entered peacefully into rest and went to the eternal courts of the Lord. And so the words of the Lord came true: 'Not one stone shall remain on another. and all for the love of God. March 31st . that he took the body of the martyr onto his back. but again there was an earthquake. For this he was tortured and beheaded in the third century. Born in Jerusalem in the time of Constantine the Great. who gave such courage to His followers. he was little of stature. until in the end. He was three times deposed from his throne and sent into exile. and he became so fired with enthusiasm for the Faith of the Christ. He was a soldier. Asterius. His love for man. with this renegade and with the Jews. and shows today. A rare arch-pastor and a great ascetic. bore it away and buried it. and beat him up to such an extent that he decided to come down from his pillar and go to complain to the judges. And the merciful God answered love with love: for these 34 years of suffering He gave Alexios eternal life and joy among His angels in heaven. St Cyril. after Mayum's death. Archbishop of Jerusalem. and not only refused to offer sacrifice to idols. A senator. 'Every day and every hour. Seeing this. he died in 386. In order to humiliate the Christians. who became strong under Constans.' Of this saint's many writings there has been kept his 'Catecheses'. but great in spirit and faith. and the other in the time of Julian the Apostate. 2. worn out by fasting and pale of face. proof is demanded of us of our love of God'. like Zaccheus. to be examined whether we want to respond with love to God's great love or not. appeared stretching over Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives and remained for several days. was watching the sufferings of St Marinus. proves His love for us. to learn to love God more than sin and to respond with our small love to the great love of God. a first-class work. and ours is always small. There was a tamed lion with him as his servant.Civil Calendar March 18th . In a time of Arian domination. but took things sacrificed by others and trod them underfoot. God's love is always great. Constantine's son. another sign took place. The Holy Martyr Marinus. he did not return but lived a further eight years in peace and gave his soul to the Lord. at Pentecost. where he atoned for his sins and prayed to God. FOR CONSIDERATION Why are we here on earth? To show our love for God. St Aninus saw his intention in his soul and sent him a letter by means of 203 . which sets out the faith and practice of Orthodoxy to the present day. Cyril prayed to God that this should not happen. 2. clad in costly white raiment. brighter than the sun. and in 350 succeeded the blessed Patriarch Maximus on the patriarchal throne of Jerusalem. says St Isaac the Syrian. at some distance from him. humble. at first with his teacher Mayum and than. He denied himself to the world at the age of fifteen and settled near the River Euphrates in a little hut. He had insight into distant happenings. and a further seventeen years as an unknown and despised wretch in his parents' house. the unbelievers killed him also as a Christian. his wife or his wealth. The Jews began again. In the time of the Apostate. He had two great struggles: one against the Arians. alone. Each day and hour we stand placed between God and sin. He spent seventeen years as a poor man a long way from his home. in the time of Theodosius the Great. He was ordained priest in 346. Julian arranged with the Jews for them to rebuild the Temple of Solomon. both in Paradise and on earth. the sign of the Cross. he was meek. When robbers attacked a stylite.Church Calendar 1. which destroyed not only the new building but also the old stones that were still in place beneath the earth. in the time of Theodosius. and glory on earth. Born in Chalcedon.

embraced the Christian faith with all his house. 1:1). Then his father compelled him to marry the pagan Daria. Claudius was drowned. he saw Moses. Without beginning. the wicked father tried to corrupt him by shutting him up alone with shameless girls. Inexpressible. and has now made Himself man in our image. flowing forth from the Father's well of life. word for word and letter for letter. Uncircumscibed. Chrysanthus and Daria and the others with them. and gave his spirit to the Lord whom he had served so faithfully.the Light of light -. A church was later built on the site. who gives us the knowledge of Himself. He is the Well of life (Ps. Chrysanthus began openly to confess Christ and to live as a Christian. seeing the endurance of these martyrs and the wonders that were revealed at their martyrdom. and preserved his virginity.' This he revealed to his disciples.shines from the bosom of the Father. The truth was revealed to him in the reading of these. Near this pit was a cave. and others with them. These glorious martyrs. There is nothing easier than to shatter this untruth. Almighty. The bishop of Neo-Caesarea made a gift to him of a donkey. April 1st . but he gave this donkey to some poor man who had complained to him of his poverty. who with one word brought all things from non-being into being . But this did not please his father. Immense. and found one in the person of Carpophorus. man. Only-enthroned. telling him to set aside his intention. Aaron and Or coming to him and calling: 'Aninus. The Holy Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria. But God. Here is how St Cyril of Jerusalem writes of the Lord Christ: 'This is He who is and He who was. the Orthodox Church holds the same faith. But worldly wisdom confused him. 45:5. 4:14) that gives life to the world. Chrysanthus was the only son of a great noble. The torturer Claudius himself. 204 . As the son of rich parents. both he and his whole house. He is the treasury of the Father's good gifts and endless blessings. who instructed and baptized him. He is the uncreated Ray that is begotten but not cut off from the primal Sun.Church Calendar 1. both he and Daria were terribly tortured for their faith. Invisible.. Get up and come with us.Civil Calendar March 19th . and he was left ignorant of the truth. sixteen centuries after this confession of faith was written. Chrysanthus studied all the secular disciplines. At the time of his death. Incomprehensible. This is He who created us in the image of God. Indescribable. He -. He was 110 years old when he finished his earthly course. 1:3). Unthinkable. When his father died. who moved from Alexandria to Rome. and God of God.his lion. He is "the brightness of the glory of the Father" (Heb. Coessential with the Father. 35:10). to forgive his assaulters and to continue in his asceticism. Only-begotten. He is the God of gods (Ps. 64:10). Daria showed such endurance under martyrdom that the pagans cried out: 'Daria is a goddess!' Finally it was decreed that Chrysanthus and Daria be buried in a deep pit and covered with stones. But he wanted a teacher. He is God the Word (Jn. FOR CONSIDERATION There are malicious people who think that time has brought Christ glorification. Uncreated. Then. and thus by death drove those Christians from this world into that better world where Christ the Lord reigns in eternity. And he grieved over this. He was inexpressibly generous. but Chrysanthus persuaded Daria to receive the Christian faith and to live with him as his sister although appearing to be married. the Lord is calling you. among whom are Diodorus the priest and Marianus the deacon. but Chrysanthus gained the victory over himself in that. though. to be kept and returned. and that in the first ages of Christianity the Lord was not thought of so highly as in later ages. having the most learned men as his teachers. too. a priest. In the time of the Emperor Numerian. He is the Creator of the substance of all created things. He is the living Water (Jn. but he gave that away.' And today. in no way succeeding. who did all in his power to turn him back from the Christian faith. Discovering this. He is the River of God (Ps. in which some Christians at one time met together for prayer and communion in memory of the holy martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria. For this. assuaged the grief of the young Chrysanthus by putting copies of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles into his hands. which comes forth from the infinity of God but is not separated from Him. but at the same time God. not for his own but only to serve as a water-carrier. The bishop gave him a second donkey. both his sons were beheaded and his wife died on the gallows with prayer on her lips. to ease his carrying of water from the river. Then the bishop gave him a third donkey. who provides for each and all. 49:1). Polemon. the pagans rolled a stone across the entrance to the cave. Equal in power. suffered for Christ in Rome in 283 and 284. Unchangeable..

and thrown into prison. Photina. April 2nd . But a just punishment quickly fell on their savage destroyers.' she wrote. they awaited unarmed the armed Arabs. The Holy Martyr Pancharius. plundered and left empty. By the providence of God. his mother wrote him a letter full of pain and grief: 'You must not fear men. FOR CONSIDERATION God does not punish sinners because it gives Him pleasure to annihilate man. she then came to belief in His Gospel.2. came into contact with St Photina and was brought by her to the Christian faith. but. surrounded by imperial honours. Domnina. Paraskeva and Kyriake. After imprisonment. This famous monastery. as lambs before wolves. denied Christ. returned to the Christian faith. who first encountered the light of truth by a well. When the young Pancharius. The monks would not flee. at the persuasion of his mother and sister. and five sisters who were called Anatolia. Coming to faith in the Lord. Thomas. and those martyred with him from the Community of St Sava the Sanctified near Jerusalem. He would not have formed man out of nothing. Born in Villach in Austria.' And. Our Holy Father John. 4). and not denied Him. Photida. heal his hurts and make him their heir once more. Glory. If that had given Him pleasure. him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven" (Matt. than when they gave him birth. Firstly. The son took his mother's advice and was ashamed of himself. both visited by St Sava of Serbia and endowed by various Serbian rulers. The Holy Martyr Photina. in the time of Patriarch Elias of Jerusalem. And indeed it is so. for which he perished in 302. Nero's daughter. This was that Samaritan woman who had the rare fortune to speak with the Lord Christ Himself at Jacob's Well in Sychar (Jn. 'but you must fear the judgement of God. was thrown into a well. but took counsel together with their abbot. where she died and entered into the immortal Kingdom of Christ. You should have confessed your faith in Christ before kings and princes. Returning to their tents. If we are killed here. is still in existence today. He first denied Christ. In the time of the reign of Constantine and Irene it fell to the Arabs and was plundered. a spiritual birth more important than the first. Victor and Josiah. 2. so deciding. for whose sake we have come here to live. to live eternally with Him. and in the ensuing battle killed each other off. they began to quarrel. to Thine immeasurable mercy!' So speaks St Isaac the Syrian. FOR CONSIDERATION 'This mercy (God's) that raises us up when we have sinned is greater than that which gave us being when we had no existence. Thus his blessed mother brought about a new birth for her son. he was a high-ranking official at the courts of Diocletian and Maximian. The Arabs killed some of them with arrows. But He punishes sinners for more important reasons. O Lord. Remember His words: "Whosoever shall deny Me before men. 10:33)'. it has always been restored by the providence of God.Civil Calendar March 20th . They went to Carthage in Africa. and others they shut into the cave of St Sava and lit a fire at the entrance to suffocate them in the smoke. Earthly parents show greater mercy to a dissolute and fallen son when they receive him again. But they were arrested and taken to Rome in the time of the Emperor Nero.Church Calendar 1. we shall be killed through love for Christ. Several times fallen to the savage Arabs. together with her two sons. He means here that God showed us greater mercy in saving us through Christ from the corruption of sin and death than when He created us out of nothing. physical birth. saying: 'We have fled from the world into this wilderness for the love of Christ. forgive him everything. clean him and tidy him up. Phota. that by punishment He may set the sinner aright and lead him onto the way of 205 . of which two are obvious to us. And thus many of them died as martyrs for the sake of Christ and went to the Kingdom of Him whom they had loved and for the sake of whose love they had perished. they all suffered for Christ. confessed his faith in Christ before the Emperor and died a martyr's death for Christ. They suffered with honour before Pascha in 796. it would be shame to us now to flee from the wilderness from fear of men.

. St Thomas died and went to the Lord in 610.' An undisciplined young man.in a place where there was no other water in summer . Our Holy Father Cyril (Beryllus). St Serapion wrote: 'Do not think that sickness is grave. he was made patriarchal vicar by that saint. But his mother wept bitterly and prayed to God for her son.. suddenly went out of his mind. Palladius and Sozomenes gave him the title 'the Great'. he lived in the Nitrian desert. Singled-out by St John for his great devotion and zeal. April 3rd . The whole town in which this young man lived saw this as God's punishment. was chosen as Patriarch. He entered into rest in about 366. for he punishes a man. People usually say: 'If I had the money.000 monks. whom he had faithfully served in this life. in fasting and prayer and that. only sin is grave. 3. Theodore prayed to God and revealed to the Patriarch that it indicated a great misfortune that would come on the Church and on the Greek state through internal religious and political discord. not in order to be revenged for sin. The young man was kept under restraint for three years. The wise John says again: 'Do not say that you must collect (money) for the poor.salvation. and was possessed by the fear of God. Patriarch of Constantinople. It is known only that he fulfilled the Law of Christ. I would do this and that good deed. St Isaac thinks the same when he says: 'A truly wise man is like God. Indeed the widow in the Gospel did buy it for two farthings. sickness leads us only to the tomb. on the Feast of the Holy Spirit. in charge of the monastery of Arsina which contained 11. that others may see and be fearful of sinning. Christians would fight and would exterminate each other. The people marvelled at this. indicating by this that both he and the Patriarch would die soon. St Thomas. and ends with hatred for the poor. One year. Thomas begged Theodore to pray to God for him. and. but 206 . In his time an unusual event occurred: once when there was a procession with crosses carried. 'Do you command me to come to you. by his prayers he turned some bitter and undrinkable water . and St Theodore died very soon after. you can do many good deeds! Do not believe them.Civil Calendar March 21st . secondly. Neither his birthplace nor the place of his episcopate are known. 2. St John Climacus knew well the most hidden motives of the human soul when he said: 'Love of money begins with the assumption that it produces charity. 4. Let them not believe themselves. For the Kingdom can be bought for two farthings. a famous ascetic and clairvoyant. as in a mirror. but sin follows the sinner beyond it'. to explain what it forebode. After prayers there. the mad boy was healed and came to himself. And that same day the Patriarch fell ill and died. the mother took her mad son to the monastery of St Basil at Ostrog. at those who have money and do not do this or that good deed. Let them look. So would they be if they acquired money. that God would take him before this happened. for they delude both you and themselves. who blasphemed against God and against his parents. A companion of St Antony the Great. After that he repented and became an exemplary man and a true Christian.Church Calendar 1. He finally gave his soul to God. living in strict asceticism. both the very rich and the less rich. Bishop and Confessor. He had the gift of working wonders by prayer: for example. or shall we meet in the other world before God?' So wrote Theodore to the Patriarch. in the time of Copronymos. imprisonment and ridicule of every sort.' This is confirmed in every lover of money. he governed Christ's flock well.into sweet. And all this came quickly to pass. He lived in the reigns of the Emperors Maurice and Phocas. but either to correct the man or to make others fearful. and after the death of Cyriac. FOR CONSIDERATION You will hear the following justification for enrichment from many who seek it: When you are rich. He lived and suffered in the eighth century. Born in Antioch and a pupil of the Apostle Peter. He entered peacefully into rest. he asked Theodore the Sykeote. Our Holy Father Serapion. drinkable water.' Do not believe them. St James. that you may attain to the Kingdom of God through these alms. he endured much hardship and suffering at the hands of the iconoclasts: hunger. and in the time of Patriarch John the Faster and Patriarch Cyriac. and when the Patriarch heard it attested. they began to sway and to hit against each other. Bishop of Catania in Sicily.

shouting: 'Take this and eat it. the Lord Jesus did not condemn sinners. Thus this twenty-year-old youth first died to Christ and then died for Christ. saying: 'they know not what they do!' Let us judge no man. Then St Basil took three gold pieces and gave them to Theodore. whom you have denied and who gave you this earthly kingdom. where they surrendered their souls to their Lord. This was in the year 363. When the Emperor Julian came to Ancyra.they prick horribly!' April 4th . After several years spent in strict fasting and prayer. but Christ is life for me!' This occurrence was noised in the town.' Julian was furious and ordered that seven strips of skin be torn from his body every day. 3. and the Emperor left Ancyra in secret out of shame and went to Antioch. that she would bear first a daughter and then a son. And his torturers carried this out for seven days. His precious head is in the Russian monastery of St Panteleimon on the Holy Mountain. No sooner had he done so than he began to repent bitterly. When Basil was brought out again before the Emperor. saying: 'We don't want many of these thorns -.Church Calendar 1. In this debasement. 2. With the blessing of his spiritual father. But the Empress swore in the name of the Holy Trinity that he should take it. and was for this cruelly mutilated by the Emperor. the Empress offered him much gold. promising him honours and wealth. commit that very sin for which he has condemned his brother.the rich man. After long-drawn-out torture. and Judas was an 207 . 1814. before his death. for you do not know how he will finish his life. Many miraculous healings of the sick were wrought through his relics. He was born in the village of Dimitsana in the Peloponnese. The daughter of the Emperor Trajan. if such food is sweet to you. to praise Christ and to denounce Mahomet. However. St Anastasius of Sinai teaches: 'If you see someone sinning. Julian the Apostate came to the throne and began to persecute the Christians. before whose door Lazarus lay. He returned to the Christian faith and became a monk on the Holy Mountain. He began to make the sign of the Cross in front of him. he was condemned to death and was slain on March 22nd. pray to God that He will give to them. was not able to buy it with all his wealth. At that time. Then Basil answered him: 'I believe in my Christ. That thief crucified with Christ was a murderer. the wife of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Julian. Priest of Ancyra. When. How can you have no shame before the altar under which you were saved from death as an eight-year-old child when they sought to kill you? Therefore He will soon take this earthly kingdom from you. the Martyr Euthymius. he made up his mind to die for Christ. FOR CONSIDERATION Even in His agony on the Cross. The five women were terribly tortured and at last thrown into molten copper. Basil was brought before him and he began to urge Basil to abandon the Christian faith. But Drosida remained under strict imperial guard. For no one is certain that he will not. Our Holy Father. Basil openly denounced this new wickedness and encouraged his people in the Faith.Civil Calendar March 22nd . St Drosida. after Constantius. on Palm Sunday. he went to Constantinople. but later he went to Romania and there gave himself over to great debauchery. do not condemn him. Basil became known as a staunch defender of Orthodoxy and a true shepherd of his flock in Ancyra. he lived as a Christian. his poor servant. The Hieromartyr Basil. and your body shall not be buried when you have spewed forth your soul in bitter torments. that we be not condemned. but held up before His Father forgiveness for their sins. she escaped from the court and after eight days she gave her soul into God's hands. the evil spirit led him to embrace Islam. The saint refused it. he tore a strip of his own flesh off and threw it into Julian's face. If you have nothing to give to the wretched. Under the Emperor Constantius there was much suffering at the hands of the Arians. As a boy. When St Basil the New prophesied to the Empress. but He will shortly take this from you. For this he was thrown into prison. where he somehow succeeded in gaining access to the Grand Vizier. she was seized with five other women when they were gathering the bodies of the martyrs who had suffered for Christ by night. and by that you give alms and purchase the Kingdom of heaven. And they continued to torture Basil with red-hot irons until he surrendered his soul to his Lord for whom he had suffered so much.

Our Holy Father Nikhon of the Kiev Caves. and soon he was given a more responsible job in the company. Desiring to beautify the Church with icons. my brethren. Nikhon was a friend of St Antony of the Caves and the spiritual father of our holy father Theodosius. Born in Naples of a pagan father and a Christian mother. He loved God's house and he wanted to be there more than any place else.' April 5th . St Basil. 3. The Holy Virgin Martyr of Mangazeya. and Prince Quintianus seized Nikon and his companions and gave them over to great torture. For many sin in public and repent in private. his boss tried to entice the youth into homosexual relations. he offered Basil money. When Basil arrived there safely. One hundred and ninety of his disciples and friends were slain. some perverse men used to commit homosexual acts with young men and boys. warlike native tribes and lawless men. Nikon made the sign of the Cross and began to call upon Christ. killing some and putting the others to flight.Civil Calendar March 23rd . Soon after Basil had arrived in Mangazeya. The journey to Mangazeya was long. he shut himself up in a monastery and devoted himself to study and to asceticism. Protector against the sin of homosexuality. had instructed him in the Christian faith. Basil used to go to the church every time he could. where the Bishop of Cyzicus. he tried threats and punishments. He was glorified for his daring asceticism and his spiritual wisdom. when Nikon's company was surrounded during the battle and close to final extermination. you do not know his good works. threw him from a high cliff into a ravine. although his mother. and there devoted himself to preaching the Gospel. was a poor merchant and his family often had very little food. 2. Because his father. Returning home.apostle of Christ's. baptized him. where he found his mother still alive. and went to the Lord in 1066. Basil only continued to fast and pray and ask God to help him remain pure. fell on the dead body of Christ's martyr. and Christians came and buried it. He was finally slain with the sword and his body was abandoned in a field for the birds to eat. beat him and flayed him. The Hieromartyr Nikon. Once. He was not baptized. and we see their sin but do not know of their repentance. Nikhon prayed for assistance. that we be not condemned. and finally. he went to Sicily with nine disciples. Basil agreed to become an apprentice for a merchant in the Siberian town of Mangazeya. but a shepherd boy. and through his prayers some Greek iconographers suddenly arrived in Kiev from Constantinople. St Basil was born in 1587 in Yaroslavl. Thus. in which he was told to consecrate Nikon as his successor. By divine providence Nikon came soon after this to Neapolis. he hurried to the church to give thanks to God for His protection on the road. After his baptism. he was an officer in the Roman army in Naples. full of wild animals. Theodore. took hold of it. Bishop Theodosius had a vision before his death. There were almost no women in Siberia. and was immediately healed. but the thief entered Paradise and Judas went to perdition. his mother advised him that if he were in trouble. but the princess turned the prince's anger to godly fear and holy Nikhon was left in peace. After the tonsuring of the Boyar Varlaam and the eunuch Ephraim he was threatened by Prince Iz'aslav. he set sail in secret for Asia. However. Even as a very small boy. And so. If you see someone sin. There was a terrible persecution of Christians at that time. an important port on the Volga River. when he was setting off with his company to war. Nikon could not stop exclaiming in wonder: 'Great is the God of the Christians!' After he had brought joy to his mother with his report of the victory by the aid of Christ's Cross. He spread the news about Nikon's body. difficult and full of danger. yet Nikon survived all these tortures. St Antony and St Theodore had appeared to them in a vision and sent them to Nikhon in Kiev. The aged Theodosius summoned Nikon immediately and ordained him deacon. Then he went to the merchant's office where he was given the job of clerk. Therefore. St Nikon suffered and went to the Lord in the reign of the Emperor Decius. one-time comrades in battle. let us condemn no man. to make the sign of the Cross and call on Christ to help him. He became abbot of the Monastery of the Caves against his will in old age. He tried flattery. unbeknown to his father. The torturer tied Nikon to the tails of horses.Church Calendar 1. His incorrupt relics are preserved in the Kiev Caves. possessed by a raging evil spirit. Siberia was a very dangerous place. and then priest and bishop. Theodosius. St Basil was a very good and careful worker. 208 . On her death. At that moment he was filled with exceptional strength and rushed upon his opponents.

Many pious people had dreams in which a beardless youth appeared to them and many ill people were healed by this holy boy. many wondrous events began to occur in the area around Mangazeya. He was taken to Constantinople by the Turks as a child and circumcised. the New Martyr Luke from Jedren is commemorated on this day. There he was murdered by the Turks on March 23rd. Discovering the theft. But no matter how much he persecuted and mistreated the innocent lad. on the day of Christ's Radiant Pascha. but when he came to. Bishop of Seleucia. but God chose to conceal the sacred relics of His Saint for fifty-two years. A chapel was built over the relics and many people received healings through the prayers of the young Martyr. He was thirteen years old. they found the sacred relics of the Saint. to Mitylene. Thus. on the day of Christ's Bright Pascha. Get up.Civil Calendar March 24th . the Governor. FOR CONSIDERATION St Paphnutius prayed to God to reveal to him whom he (Paphnutius) resembled. The pain from the tortures became so unbearable that the youth fainted. when the Holy Church calls all people to peace and love. He sent officers to arrest St Basil and drag him right out of the church. thieves robbed the merchandise house in which Basil worked. 1802. In 1652. this innocent. St Basil appeared to him in a dream and told him to open the coffin. but also mud and sand. It is not only pearls that a fishing-net brings up from the bottom of the sea. he again quietly repeated. sighed heavily and gave up his pure soul into the hands of the Lord. An ignoramus grabs at the mud and sand as at the pearl. and don't be lazy!' But God could not say to all of us that we are like merchants seeking goodly pearls. Finally. humble. The whole story of St Basil's martyrdom became known. Rumors of the brutal murder circulated around the town of Mangazeya almost immediately after the incident. A pious archer. Only a merchant who can recognize a true pearl throws the net into the sea innumerable times. During the Paschal Matins. Mr Pushkin. whole and incorrupt. He became a monk on the Holy Mountain and went with his staretz. the blessed one would only reply meekly. and inflamed with love for God. religious life. he heard a voice that said to him: 'You are like a merchant seeking goodly pearls: get up.The boss resented Basil's refusal to submit to his evil lusts. and don't be lazy! The day of your marketing is nearing its twilight. true seed-pearl. God-fearing boy was betrayed by a false witness. St Basil fell to the floor. Then. the boss went to the governor and reported the theft. In that year. during the tenure of the military governor Ignaty Stepanovich Korsakov. 209 . he flew into a demonic rage and struck the innocent virgin on the head with a heavy chain of keys. St Artemon. sifting out the mud and sand until he finds one seed pearl. weighted down with stones. but did nothing about it. Author's note: In the Greek Synaxarion and the Athonite Patrology. the martyr's body gave forth a fragrant myrrh. In spite of all the fierce tortures. In order to hide this foul crime. April 6th . regarding his circumcision as the devil's seal upon him. just as Christ had been betrayed by false witnesses. Basil continued to faithfully and honestly perform all his duties and responsibilities. He was greatly troubled in his conscience because of this. and he especially hated Basil for his meek and humble personality. man. He hated Basil's prayerful. God willed to reveal the glory of His Holy Virgin Martyr. accusing Basil of the crime. The governor did not even investigate the charges. 1600. which he could destroy only by suffering martyrdom for Christ. Christ-like endurance and peaceful reply of the young Saint enraged the evil merchant even more. Vissiarion. noticed the coffin. For many of us do not seek pearls but bury ourselves under thicker and thicker layers of worthless dust. Hanging in the air. That one pearl is a heart purified from passions and evil thoughts. Steven Shiryaev.Church Calendar 1. The governor and Basil's boss began to torture the boy in order to force a confession from him. Inside. and the passion crazed merchant placed the body of the Holy Martyr into a rough coffin and lowered it into a nearby marsh. The meek. the coffin of this Saint rose slowly to the top of the mud. "I am innocent". Why did God compare Paphnutius to a merchant? Because Paphnutius had given all his goods and devoted all his efforts and his time in order somehow to find that one. "I am innocent". The coffin was brought out of the swamp and opened. A strange light was seen over the marsh and unseen voices were heard chanting nearby.

Abba Daniel and Abba Ammoe were journeying together. he began to cry out: 'Holy fathers Antony and Theodosius. confirmed him yet more strongly in the Christian faith and made him bishop of the city.He was born and educated in Seleucia. and entered into eternity in great old age. Zachariah gave it to the monastery and was himself tonsured as a monk. Zacharias replied to the question of St Macarius.' And to the question of Abba Moses: 'What does it mean to be a monk?'. When Zachariah came of age. Nor will he who has tasted the sweetness of prayer be able to separate either his nature or his journeyings from prayer. 3. FOR CONSIDERATION One time. Taking it. The father took Zacharias with him. he was Bishop of Chios for a long time. 4.Civil Calendar March 25th . But he who does not want to pray will not be tied by either church or cell. since his mother was unable to provide for him. April 7th . tormented all at once by a demon. and left in Sergius' keeping a large sum of silver and gold for him to hand over to Zachariah when he had grown up. entering peacefully into eternity. When the Apostle Paul came to that city. 2. the Turks at first tried to force him to embrace Islam and. Although younger than many of the elders in Scetis. Our Holy Father Zacharias. as also withdrawal and solitude. Artemon guided Christ's flock with love and zeal as a physician to the souls and bodies of his people. but when he had sworn this and went up to kiss the icon. Patriarch of Constantinople. He felt as if his whole interior was aflame with the grace of God. Born on the island of Mitylene.the same God. he cannot be a monk. who left wife and children to become a monk. They returned him to his monastery.' He was a great light among the monks in the desert. He was a monk and a brother of the Studite monastery. to be able to pray to God). He lived a long time and was worthy of God's great gifts. facilitate and strengthen it. do not let this merciless angel destroy me!' The demon had attacked him by God's permission. and at his death commended his son to the care of Sergius. he received greater gifts of grace than many of them. swore brotherhood before the icon of the holy Mother of God in this monastery. 5. that he received nothing from John.' By this we are taught the uninterruptedness of prayer. and went to his peace in the Lord at an early age. Father?' (i. But because of false allegations that he was working against the state. when the evil Emperor Leo had made a bad end. and then I will seek nothing more from him. some force held him back and would not allow him to come near. Our Holy Father James the Confessor. he saw Artemon. Then Zachariah said: 'Let him swear before the same icon of the most holy Mother of God. James was given over to great tortures to force him to renounce the veneration of icons. and entered into the company of the citizens of heaven. But when they opened the box. When the great Theodore of the Studion was sent into exile. He then told them of all the money which John had left. they found double the amount. Sergius denied receiving anything from the deceased John. and was later chosen as Patriarch. The Hieromartyr Parthenius. A church building facilitates and strengthens prayer. John and Sergius. beaten and tortured. But he remained steadfast and faithful to Orthodoxy to the end. Zachariah. 'Who is a true monk?' saying: 'He who constantly restrains himself in the fulfilment of God's commandments. Commemoration of the Miracle at the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev. when he refused decisively. Abba Ammoe asked: 'When shall we come to a cell. however. hanged him in 1657. Zacharias took off his hat and trod it underfoot. meditation on God and pondering on His works in us and around us. Then.' Sergius agreed.Church Calendar 210 . saying: 'If a man be not so broken. Abba Daniel replied: 'Who is depriving us of God right at this moment? God is in the cell and outside the cell . in their way. He suffered for the sake of the holy icons under the Emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820). John fell ill. He died of his grievous injuries there in the monastery. Two friends. John was a rich man with a five-year-old son.e. in