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Sainted Andrew, Archbishop of Crete, was born in the city of Damascus in
to a pious Christian family. Up until seven years of age the boy was mute and di
d not talk. However, after communing the Holy Mysteries of Christ he found the g
ift of speech and began to speak. And from that time the lad began earnestly to
study Holy Scripture and the discipline of theology.
At fourteen years of age he went off to Jerusalem and there he accepted
monastic tonsure at the monastery of Saint Sava the Sanctified. Saint Andrew led
a strict and chaste life, he was meek and abstinent, such that all were amazed
at his virtue and reasoning of mind. As a man of talent and known for his virtuo
us life, over the passage of time he came to be numbered amongst the Jerusalem c
lergy and was appointed a secretary for the Patriarchate -- a writing clerk. In
the year 680 the locum tenens of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, Theodore, included
archdeacon Andrew amongst the representatives of the Holy City sent to the Sixth
OEcumenical Council, and here the saint contended against heretical teachings,
relying upon his profound knowledge of Orthodox doctrine. Shortly after the Coun
cil he was summoned back to Constantinople from Jerusalem and he was appointed a
rchdeacon at the church of Saint Sophia, the Wisdom of God. During the reign of
the emperor Justinian II (685-695) Saint Andrew was ordained bishop of the city
of Gortineia on the island of Crete. In his new position he shone forth as a tru
e luminary of the Church, a great hierarch -- a theologian, teacher and hymnogra
Saint Andrew wrote many a Divine-service song. He was the originator of
a new liturgical form -- the canon. Of the canons composed by him the best known
is the Great Penitential Canon, including within its 9 odes the 250 troparia re
cited during the Great Lent. In the First Week of Lent at the service of Complin
e it is read in portions (thus called "methymony" [trans. note: from the useage
in the service of Compline of the "God is with us", in Slavonic the "S'nami Bog"
, or in Greek "Meth' Humon ho Theos", from which derives "methymony"], and again
on Thursday of the Fifth Week at the All-night Vigil during Matins.
Saint Andrew of Crete gained reknown with his many praises of the All-Pu
re Virgin Mary. To him are likewise ascribed: the Canon for the feast of the Nat
ivity of Christ, three odes for the Compline-service of Palm Sunday and also in
the first four days of Holy Passion Week, as well as verses for the feast of the
Meeting of the Lord, and many another church-song. His hynographic tradition wa
s continued by the churchly great melodists of following ages: Saints John of Da
mascus, Cosma of Maium, Joseph the Melodist, Theophan the Written-upon. There ha
ve also been preserved edifying Sermons of Saint Andrew for certain of the Churc
h feasts.
Church historians are not of the same opinion as to the date of death of
the saint. One suggests the year 712, while others -- the year 726. He died on
the island of Mytilene, while returning to Crete from Constantinople, where he h
ad been on churchly business. His relics were transferred to Constantinople. In
the year 1350 the pious Russian pilgrim Stefan Novgorodets saw the relics at the
Constantinople monastery named for Saint Andrew of Crete.
The Nun Martha, mother of Saint Simeon of the Wondrous-Mount (Divnogoret
s; -- his account is located under 24 May), lived during the VI Century and was
a native of Antioch. From her early years she yearned for monasticism, but her p
arents persuaded her to marry. Her husband, John, soon died, and righteous Marth
a with all her strength devoted herself to the raising of her son. She was for h
er son an example of high Christian temperament: often she visited the temple of
God, attentively and with piety she hearkened to the church services, and frequ
ently she communed the Holy Mysteries of Christ. Righteous Martha each night ros

e up to pray, and her prayers she made with heartfelt warmth and tears. She part
icularly venerated the Baptist of the Lord Saint John the Precursor, who was for
her a protector frequently appearing to her in visions. The Nun Martha was char
itable towards the poor, she fed and clothed them, she visited the convalescent
and she attended to the sick, she buried the dead, and for those preparing to re
ceive holy Baptism she with her own hands reading the clothing.
The Nun Martha was reserved, and no one heard from her a frivolous, fals
e or vain word, no one saw her angry, nor fighting with anyone nor bitter. She w
as a model of chaste and pious life and by her example she guided many on the pa
thway to salvation. When her son, Saint Simeon, had become a reknown ascetic, sh
e in visiting him urged him not to exalt himself by his efforts, but in everythi
ng to add in an act of thankfulness to God.
It was made known beforehand to the Nun Martha about her approaching end
: she beheld Angels with candles saying, that they would come for her in another
year's time. The saint was likewise granted visions of the abode of paradise, a
nd the All-Pure Virgin Herself showed to her the Heavenly habitation, prepared f
or the righteous.
The end of Saint Martha was peaceful (+ 551), and her body was buried on
the Wondrous-Mount, at the place of the ascetic deeds of her son, the Monk Sime
on the Pillar-Dweller.
Holy Nobleborn Prince Andrew (Andrei) Bogoliubsky (1110-1174), a grandso
n of Vladimir Monomakh, was the son of Yurii Dolgoruky and a Polovetsian princes
s (in holy Baptism Maria). While still in his youth he was called "Bogoliubsky"
("God-loving") for the constantly inherent to him profound attention to prayer,
his diligence for church services and "his adoption of secret prayers to God". F
rom his grandfather, Vladimir Monomakh, the grandson inherited great spiritual c
oncentration, love for the Word of God and the habit of turning to the Scripture
in all the circumstances of life.
A brave warrior (Andrew -- means "brave"), a participant of the many cam
paigns of his military father, more than once in the fray of battle he was close
to death. But each time Divine Providence invisibly saved the princely man of p
rayer. Thus for example, on 8 February 1150, in a battle near Lutsk Saint Andrew
was saved from the spear of an enemy German by a prayer to the GreatMartyr Theo
dore Stratilates, whose memory was celebrated that day.
The chronicles stress together with this the peace-making activity of Sa
int Andrew, rare amongst the princes and military commanders of these harsh time
s. The combination of military valour with love for peace and mercy, of great hu
mility with indomitable zeal for the Church were in the highest degree innate to
Prince Andrew. A responsible master of the land, and a constant co-worker in th
e city construction and church building activity of Yurii Dolgoruky, he built wi
th his father: Moscow (1147), Iur'ev-Pol'sk (1152), Dmitrov (1154), and he adorn
ed with churches the cities of Rostov, Suzdal', and Vladimir. In 1162 Saint Andr
ew could say with satisfaction: "I have built up white Rus' with cities and sett
lements, and have rendered it with much populace".
When Yurii Dolgoruky became greatprince of Kiev in 1154, he gave his son
as appanage portion Vyshgorod nearby Kiev. But God destined otherwise. One time
by night in the Summer of 1155, the wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God in
the Vyshgorod church was removed. This icon was written by the holy Evangelist L
uke, and in some period before this had come transferred hither from Tsar'grad (
Constantinople), and afterwards it was given the name -- the Vladimir Mother of
God. On this night with the icon in hand, holy Prince Andrew left Vyshgorod goin
g northwards to the Suzdal' land, secretly and without the blessing of his fathe
r, heedful only to the will of God.
The miracle from this holy icon, occurring on the way from Vyshgorod to
Vladimir was recorded by a clergyman of Prince Andrew, "the priest Mikula" (Niko
lai), in his "Reports of Miracles of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God".
Ten versts before reaching Vladimir, the horse, bearing the icon bound f
or Rostov, suddenly stopped. And during the night the Mother of God appeared to
Saint Andrew with scroll in hand and commanded: "I want not that thou shouldst b

ear My image to Rostov, but rather establish it in Vladimir, and upon this place
erect thou a stone church in the name of My Nativity". In memory of this miracu
lous event, Saint Andrew commissioned an iconographer to write an icon of the Mo
ther of God suchlike as the All-Pure Virgin had appeared to him, and he establis
hed feastday for this icon as 18 June. The icon, named the Bogoliubsk, was after
wards glorified by numerous miracles.
Upon the place decreed by the Queen of Heaven, Prince Andrew built (in 1
159) the church of the Nativity of the Mother of God. He situated here also the
city of Bogoliubov, which became his constant dwelling and the place of his mart
yr's end.
When his father Yurii Dolgoruky died (+ 15 May 1157), Saint Andrew did n
ot take up his father's throne at Kiev, but rather remained prince at Vladimir.
During the years 1158-1160 was built the Uspenie (Dormition) cathedral at Vladim
ir, and into it was placed the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. In the year 1
164 there were erected the Golden Gates, with the over-gate church of the Placin
g of the Robe of the Mother of God, and also the church of the Saviour at the pr
incely court.
Thirty churches were built by Prince Andrew during the years of his rule
. The finest of them -- is the Uspenie cathedral. The richness and splendour of
the church served in spreading Orthodoxy amongst the surrounding peoples and for
eign merchants. All the travellers, whether Latins or pagans, -- Saint Andrew ha
d directed, -- were to be led into the churches built by him and to have pointed
out to them "true Christianity". The chronicler writes: "Both Bulgars, and Jews
, and every sort of common person, beholding the glory of God and churchly adorn
ment, came to be baptised".
The conquest of the great Volga journey-way became for Saint Andrew a fu
ndamental task of his civil service to Russia. The Volga Bulgars from the time o
f the campaigns of Svyatoslav (+ 972) presented a serious danger for the Russian
state. Saint Andrew continued with the initiative of Svyatoslav.
A shattering blow was struck against the enemy in 1164, when Russian for
ces burnt and destroyed several Bulgar fortresses. Saint Andrew took with him on
this campaign the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God and a two-sided icon, on w
hich was imaged upon the one side the "Saviour Not-Wrought-by-Hand", and the "Ve
neration to the Cross" on the opposite side. (At the present time both icons are
in the Tret'yakov State Gallery).
A great miracle from the holy icons occurred for the Russian army on the
day of the decisive victory over the Bulgars, 1 August 1164. After the destruct
ion of the Bulgar army, the princes (Andrew, his brother Yaroslav, his son Izyas
lav and others) returned towards the "footmen" (infantry) standing by the prince
ly standards with the Vladimir Icon, and they made prostration to the Icon, "bes
towing it praise and song". And then all beheld the blinding rays of light, issu
ing from the face of the Mother of God and the Saviour Not-Wrought-by-Hand.
Remaining in everything a faithful son of the Orthodox Church, vigilant
in belief and canons, Saint Andrew turned to the Patriarch of Tsar'grad with a f
ilial request to establish a separate metropolitan for north-eastern Rus'. And w
ith the prince's letter of accord there journeyed to Byzantium the candidate cho
sen by the prince, -- the Suzdal' archimandrite Theodore (Feodor). Patriarch Luk
e Chrysobergos however consented to consecrate Theodore only as bishop of Vladim
ir, but not as metropolitan. Yet at the same time, wanting to uphold the positio
n of Prince Andrew as the most powerful amongst the rulers of the Russian Land,
the patriarch dignified bishop Theodore with the right to wear the "white klobuk
" (hierarch's headgarb), which in ancient Rus' was a distinctive sign of churchl
y autonomy -- a recognition of esteem likewise granted the archbishop of Novgoro
d by his white klobuk. Evidently, since the Russian chronicles bespeak bishop Th
eodore with the title of "White Klobuk", much later historians sometimes call hi
m "an autocephalous bishop".
In the year 1167 Saint Rostislav died at Kiev. He was the twin brother o
f Andrew, and had been able to carry out compromise amongst the complicated poli
tical and churchly life of the time. But after this, there was dispatched from T
sar'grad a new metropolitan, Constantine II. The new metropolitan demanded that

bishop Theodore come before him for confirmation of position. Saint Andrew again
recoursed to Tsar'grad for affirmation of the autonomous status of the Vladimir
diocese and again he requested a separate metropolitanate. The letter of reply
from patriarch Luke Chrysobergos has been preserved: it contains a categorical r
efusal for establishing a new metropolitan, a demand to accept the expelled bish
op Leon, and to submit to the Kiev metropolitan.
In fulfilling the duty of this churchly obedience, Saint Andrew urged bi
shop Theodore to journey in repentance to Kiev for the restoration of canonical
relations with the metropolitan. The repentance of bishop Theodore was not accep
ted. Without investigation by a council, and in accord with the Byzantine morals
of the time, metropolitan Constantine condemned him to a terrible execution: th
ey cut out the tongue from Theodore, they cut off his right hand and then they g
ouged out his eyes. After this he was drowned by servants of the metropolitan (b
y other accounts, he died in prison).
Not only the churchly, but also the political affairs of Southern Rus' d
emanded the decisive response of the Vladimir Great-prince. On 8 March 1169 an a
rmy of allied princes with Andrew's son Mstislav at the head conquered Kiev. The
city was devastated and burned, and the Polovetsians participating in the campa
ign did not spare even the churchly treasures. The Russian chronicles viewed thi
s event as a merited requital: "These misfortunes were for their sins (the Kieva
ns), especially for the outrage perpetuated by the metropolitan". In the same ye
ar 1169 the prince moved an army against unruly Novgorod, but they were repulsed
by a miracle from the Novgorod Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign (Comm. 27
November), which had been carried along the city walls by holy Archbishop John (
+ 1186, Comm. 7 September). But when the understandable wrath of the greatprince
gave way to mercy, and in peace he summoned the Novgorod people to him, the ble
ssing of God returned to him: Novgorod accepted the prince appointed by Saint An
In such a manner, towards the end of 1170 Saint Andrew Bogoliubsky was a
ble to attain the unity of the Russian Land under his rule.
In the Winter of 1172 he dispatched against the Volga Bulgars a large ar
my under the command of his son Mstislav. The Russian forces gained the victory,
but their joy was overshadowed by the death of the valiant Mstislav (+ 28 March
...On the night of 30 June 1174 holy Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky accepted
a martyr's death at the hands of traitors in his own household. The "Tver Chron
icle" relates, that Saint Andrew was murdered at the instigation of his second w
ife (a Volga Bulgar), who participated in the conspiracy. At the head of the con
spiracy stood her brothers, the Kuchkovichi: "and they did commit murder in the
night, as did Judas against the Lord". A throng of assassins, twenty men, burst
in upon the court, they killed the few guards and stormed into the bedchamber of
the unarmed prince. The sword of Saint Boris, which hung constantly over his be
d, had been treacherously removed that night by the steward Anbal. The prince su
cceeded in shoving down upon the floor the first of his assailants, whom the con
spirators then mistakenly ran through with their swords. But soon they realised
their mistake: "and then they did perceive the prince, and he fought much with t
hem, for he was strong, and they did thrust with swords and sabres, and copious
wounds did give him". The forehead of the holy prince was struck on the side wit
h a spear, while all the remaining blows from the cowardly assassins were dealt
from behind. When the prince finally fell, they abruptly rushed out of the bedch
amber, taking along their murdered accomplice.
But the saint was still alive. With his final strength he lowered himsel
f along the palace stairway, hoping to alert a guard. But his groans were heard
by the assassins, and they turned back. The prince was able to hide himself in a
niche below the stairway and so be bypassed by them. The conspirators rushed to
the bedchamber but did not find the prince there. "Disaster stands afront us, s
ince the prince is alive", -- in terror cried out the assassins. But all around
it was quiet, and no one came to the aid of the suffering prince. Then the evildoers again regained their boldness, they lit candles and followed along the blo
ody trail to seek out their victim. Prayer was on the lips of Saint Andrew when

the assassins again surrounded him.

The Russian Church remembers and venerates its martyrs and makers. A spe
cial place belongs to Saint Andrew Bogoliubsky within it. Having taken in his ha
nds the wonderworking image of the Vladimir Mother of God, the holy prince as it
were blessed with it both then and through the centuries the major events of Ru
ssian history. In 1395 was the year -- of the transfer of the Vladimir Icon to M
oscow and the deliverance of the capital from the invasion of Tamerlane (Comm. 2
6 August); the year 1480 -- was the salvation of Rus' from the invasion of khan
Akhmat and the ultimate collapse of the Mongol Horde (Comm. 23 June); the year 1
521 -- was the salvation of Moscow from the invasion of the Crimean khan Makhmet
-Girei (Comm. 21 May). Through the prayers of Saint Andrew, his fondest dreams f
or the Russian Church came true. In the year 1300 metropolitan Maksim transferre
d the All-Russian Metropolitan seat from Kiev to Vladimir, making the Uspensky s
obor (Dormition cathedral), -- wherein rest the relics of Saint Andrew, the fore
most cathedral of the Russian Church, and the Vladimir wonderworking Icon -- its
chief holy thing therein.
Later on, when the All-Russian churchly centre shifted to Moscow, select
ions of the metropolitans and patriarchs of the Russian Church were made before
the Vladimir Icon. In the year 1448 in front of it, a Council of Russian bishops
raised up the first Russian autocephalous metropolitan -- Sainted Jona. On 5 No
vember 1917, in front of it was made the selection of His Holiness Patriarch Sai
nt Tikhon -- the first such after the restoral of the patriarchate in the Russia
n Church. And in 1971, on the feastday of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God
, there took place the enthronation of His Holiness Patriarch Pimen.
The liturgical activity of Saint Andrew was multi-faceted and fruitful.
In 1162 the Lord granted the holy prince a great solace: in Rostov there was dis
covered the relics of Rostov saints -- the Sainted-hierarchs Isaiah and Leontii.
The glorification throughout all the Church of these Rostov saints took place s
omewhat later, but Saint Andrew initiated the beginning of their national venera
tion. In 1164 the military forces of Saint Andrew crushed their long-time enemy,
the Volga Bulgars. The victories of the Orthodox nation were marked by a blosso
ming of liturgical creativity within the Russian Church. In this same year of 11
64, at the initiative of Saint Andrew, the Church established the feastday to th
e All-Merciful Saviour and the MostHoly Mother of God on 1 August (venerated by
the Russian people as "Saviour of First-Honey"), -- in memory of the Baptism of
Rus' by holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir and in memory of the victory over th
e Bulgars in 1164.The soon thereafter instituted feastday of the Protection (Pok
rov) of the Mother of God under 1 October embodied in liturgical forms the faith
of the holy prince and all the Orthodox nation -- in the acceptance by the Mot
her of God of Holy Rus' beneathe Her omophorion. The "Pokrov" of the Mother of G
od became one of the most beloved of Russian Church feastdays. The Protection -is a Russian national feastday, unknown to both the Latin West, and the Greek E
ast. It is a liturgical continuation and creative developement of theological id
eas, inherent to the feast of the Placing of the Robe of the Mother of God, on 2
The first church, consecrated to the new feastday, was the Protection at
Nerla (1165), a remarkable monument of Russian Church architecture, built by th
e master artisans of Saint Andrew at the head-waters of the River Nerla, such th
at the prince could always see it from a window of his Bogoliubov garret.
Saint Andrew took an active part in the literary work of the Vladimir ch
urch writers. He participated in the compiling of the Service of Pokrov (the mos
t ancient copy is on the parchment of a XIV Century Psalter), and also a preface
account about the establishing of the feastday of the Protection (Great Chet' M
inei [Great Reading Meneion] under month October), as well as a "Discourse on th
e Protection". He wrote an "Account about the Victory over the Bulgars and the E
stablishing of the Feast of the Saviour in the Year 1164", -- which in several o
f the old manuscripts is entitled thus: "Discourse concerning the Mercy of God b
y GreatPrince Andrei Bogoliubsky". The fate of Bogoliubsky is also noted in the
Vladimir Chronicle entry for the year 1177, completed after the death of the pri
nce by his confessor, the priest Mikula, who inserted therein his special "Accou

nt about the Murder of Saint Andrew". To Saint Andrew's time belongs also the fi
nal redaction of the "Account about Boris and Gleb", inserted into the "Uspensk
Sbornik" ("Compendium" or "Collected-service Book"). The prince venerated partic
ularly Saint Boris, and his chief household sacred-treasure was a cap of Saint B
oris. The sword of Saint Boris hung always over his bed. A memorial likewise of
prayerful inspiration of Saint Andrew is "A Prayer", included in the chronicle u
nder the year 1096 after the "Instructions of Vladimir Monomakh".
The Uncovering of the Relics of the Monk Evphymii of Suzdal' the Wonderw
orker, -- who died on 1 April 1405, occurred in the year 1507 during the constru
ction of a new stone church when the monastery was headed by the hegumen Kirill
(later bishop of Rostov). The incorrupt relics were the source of numerous mirac
les, and they were placed in the Transfiguration cathedral of the monastery. In
1511 after its restorations, the church (a rare memorial of XIV Century architec
ture) was consecrated in the name of the Monk Evphymii.
The PriestMartyr Theodore, Bishop of Cyrenia, lived during the reign of
the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Skilled at writing, and having accomplished gr
eat mastery in his beloved task, he transcribed many a copy of books for the chu
rches. His son by birth Leo denounced him to the district governor, Dignianus, s
aying that his father possessed Christian books and was turning people away from
idol-worship, and instead drawing them to faith in Christ the Saviour. Saint Th
eodore was brought to trial. Many Christians followed after him, in which number
were the women Lucy and Hieroa. The holy bishop was ordered to surrender his bo
oks and renounce Christ, but he refused this demand. They beat him with tin rods
. But Saint Theodore was not intimidated, and with a fiery zeal for the truth he
destroyed the pagan sacrificial offerings. They tortured him for a long while,
they cut out his tongue, and then they threw him in prison, where he died. Put t
o death also were the women Lucy and Hieroa and all, who had accepted holy Bapti
sm from the holy bishop.
The Galatian Icon of the Mother of God is situated in Galata (one of the
districts of Constantinople), at Pergia (in a tower). In honour of the holy ico
n a monastery was formed, which existed until the XVII Century. An exact copy of
the image is located in Moscow, in the Church of Sainted Tikhon, at the Arbat G
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.


The Monk Athanasias of Athos, in holy Baptism named Abraham, was born in
the city of Trapezund. He was early left orphaned, and being raised by a certai
n good and pious nun, he copied his adoptive mother in the habits of monastic li
fe, in fasting and in prayer. Doing his lessons came easily and he soon outpaced
his peers in study.
After the death of his adoptive mother, Abraham was taken to Constantino
ple, to the court of the then Byzantine emperor Romanos the Elder, and was enrol
led as a student under the reknown rhetorician Athanasias. In a short while the
student attained the mastery of skill of his teacher and he himself became an in
structor of youths. Reckoning as the true life that of fasting and vigilance, Ab
raham led a life strict and abstinent, he slept little and then only sitting upo
n a stool, and barley bread and water were his nourishment. When his teacher Ath
anasias through human weakness became jealous of his student, blessed Abraham qu
it his teaching and went away.
During these days there had arrived at Constantinople the Monk Michael M

aleinos (Comm. 12 July), hegumen of the Kimineia monastery. Abraham told the heg
umen about his life, and revealed to him his secret desire to become a monk. The
holy elder, discerning in Abraham a chosen vessel of the Holy Spirit, became fo
nd of him and taught him much in questions of salvation. One time during their s
piritual talks Saint Michael was visited by his nephew, Nicephoros Phokas, a rek
nown military officer and future emperor. The lofty spirit and profound mind of
Abraham impressed Nicephoros, and all his life he regarded the saint with revere
nt respect and with love. Abraham was consumed by his zeal for the monastic life
. Having forsaken everything, he went to the Kimineia monastery and, falling dow
n at the feet of the holy hegumen, he besought to be received into the monastic
form. The hegumen fulfilled his request with joy and gave him monastic vows with
the name Athanasias.
With long fasts, vigils, bending of the knees, with works night and day
Athanasias soon attained such perfection, that the holy hegumen blessed him for
the exploit of silence in a solitary place not far from the monastery. Later on,
having left Kimineia, he made the rounds of many a desolate and solitary place,
and guided by God, he came to a place called Melanos, at the very extremity of
Athos, settling far off from the other monastic dwellings. Here the monk made hi
mself a cell and began to asceticise in works and in prayer, proceeding from exp
loit to exploit towards higher monastic attainment.
The enemy of mankind tried to arouse in Saint Athanasias hatred for the
place chosen by him, and assaulted him with constant suggestions in thought. The
ascetic decided to suffer it out for a year, and then wherever the Lord should
direct him, he would go. On the last day of this year's length of time, when Sai
nt Athanasias set about to prayer, an Heavenly Light suddenly shone upon him, fi
lling him with an indescribable joy, all the thoughts dissipated, and from his e
yes welled up graced tears. From that moment Saint Athanasias received the gift
of tenderness ("umilenie"), and the place of his solitude he became as strongly
fond of as before he had loathed it. During this time Nicephoros Phokas, having
had enough of military exploits, remembered his vow to become a monk and from hi
s means he besought the Monk Athanasias to build a monastery, i.e. to build cell
s for him and the brethren, and a church where the brethren could commune the Di
vine Mysteries of Christ on Sundays.
Tending to shun cares and worries, Blessed Athanasias at first would not
agree to accept the hateful gold, but seeing the fervent desire and good intent
of Nicephoros, and discerning in this the will of God, he set about the buildin
g of the monastery. He erected a large church in honour of the holy Prophet and
Forerunner of Christ John the Baptist, and another church at the foot of an hill
, in the name of the MostHoly Virgin Mother of God. Around the church were the c
ells, and a wondrous monastery arose on the Holy Mount. In it were arrayed a ref
ectory, an hospice for the sick and for taking in wanderers, and other necessary
Brethren flocked to the monastery from everywhere, not only from Greece,
but also from other lands -- simple people and illustrious dignitaries, wildern
ess-dwellers having asceticised long years in the wilderness, hegumens from many
a monastery and hierarchs wanting to become simple monks in the Athos Laura of
Saint Athanasias.
The saint established at the monastery a life-in-common ("coenobitic") m
onastic-rule on the model of the old Palestinian monasteries. Divine-services we
re made with all strictness, and no one made bold to chatter during the time of
service, nor to come late or leave without need from the church.
The Heavenly Patroness of Athos, the All-Pure Mother of God Herself, was
graciously disposed towards the saint. Many a time he was granted to behold Her
wondrous eyes. By the sufferance of God there once occurred such an hunger, tha
t the monks one after the other quit the Laura. The saint remained all alone and
in a moment of weakness he also considered leaving. Suddenly he beheld a Woman
beneathe an aethereal veil, coming to meet him. "Who art thou and whither goest?
" -- She asked quietly. Saint Athanasias from an innate deference halted. "I am
a monk from here", -- answered Saint Athanasias and told about himself and his w
orries. "And on account of a morsel of dry bread thou would forsake the monaster

y, which was intended for glory from generation unto generation? Where is thy fa
ith? Turn round, and I shalt help thee". "Who art Thou?", -- asked Athanasias. "
I am the Mother of thy Lord", -- She answered and bid Athanasias to strike his s
taff upon a stone, such that from the fissure there shot forth a spring of water
, which exists even now, in remembrance of this miraculous visitation.
The brethren grew in number, and the construction work at the Laura cont
inued. The Monk Athanasias, foreseeing the time of his departure to the Lord, pr
ophesied about his impending end and besought the brethren not to be troubled ov
er what he foresaw. "For Wisdom disposeth otherwise than people do judge". The b
rethren were perplexed and pondered over the words of the saint. Having bestown
on the brethren his final guidance and comforted all, Saint Athanasias entered h
is cell, put on his mantle and holy kukol'-headpiece, which he wore only on grea
t feasts, and after prolonged prayer he emerged. Alert and joyful, the holy hegu
men went up with six of the brethren to the top of the church to look over the c
onstruction. Suddenly, through the imperceptible will of God, the top of the chu
rch collapsed. Five of the brethren immediately gave up their spirit to God. The
Monk Athanasias and the architect Daniel, thrown upon the stones, remained aliv
e. All heard, as the monk called out to the Lord: "Glory to Thee, O God! Lord, J
esus Christ, help me!" The brethren with great weeping began to dig out their fa
ther from amidst the rubble, but they found him already dead.
The Uncovering of the Venerable Relics of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh: T
he relics of the Monk Sergei (+ 1392, Comm. 25 September) were uncovered on 5 Ju
ly 1422 during a time when the Monk Nikon (+ 1426, Comm. 17 November) was hegume
n. In the year 1408, when Moscow and its surroundings suffered invasion by the T
atar horde of Edigei, the Trinity monastery was devastated and burnt, and the mo
nks headed by the hegumen Nikon hid themselves in the forests, saving the icons,
sacred vessels, books and other holy things connected with the memory of the Mo
nk Sergei. In a vision by night on the eve of the Tatar incursion the Monk Serge
i informed his disciple and successor about the coming tribulations and foretold
in consolation, that the vexation would not be prolonged but rather that the mo
nastery, arising from the ashes, would flourish and grow even more. Metropolitan
Philaret wrote about this in the "Life of the Monk Sergei": "In semblance to th
is, that it suited Christ to suffer, and through the cross and death to enter in
to the glory of the Resurrection, so also doth it become everyone, that wouldst
be blest by Christ in the length of days in glory, to be tested by one's own cro
ss and death". Going through its own fiery cleansing, the monastery of the LifeOriginating Trinity was resurrected in the length of days, and the Monk Sergei h
imself rose up, so that forevermore his holy relics should dwell within it.
Before the beginning of construction of the new temple in the Name of th
e Life-Originating Trinity upon the spot of the former wooden one (which was con
secrated on 25 September 1412), the Monk Sergei appeared to a certain pious laym
an and bid him inform the hegumen and the brethren: "Why do ye leave me such a w
hile in the grave, covered over by ground and in the water, constraining my body
?" And herewith during the construction of the cathedral, when they dug the ditc
hes for the foundations, the undecayed relics of the Monk Sergei were uncovered
and brought up, and all were astonished, that not only the body, but also the cl
othing upon him was undecayed, although round about the grave there actually sto
od water. Amidst a large throng of the devout and the clergy, in the presence of
the son of Dimitrii Donskoi -- the prince of Zvenigorod Yurii Dimitrievich (+ 1
425), the holy relics were brought up from the ground and placed temporarily in
the wooden Trinity church (at this spot is located now the church of the Descent
of the Holy Spirit). With the consecration in 1426 of the stone Trinity cathedr
al the relics were transferred into it, where at present they remain.
All the threads of the spiritual life of the Russian Church converge tow
ards the great Radonezh saint and wonderworker, and through all of Orthodox Rus'
the graced life-creating currents extend outwards from the Trinity monastery fo
unded by him.
Naming a church for the Holy Trinity within the Russian land began with
holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Ol'ga (+ 969, the account about her is under 11 July)

, who erected the first Trinity temple at Pskov. Afterwards there were erected s
imilar churches in Great Novgorod and other cities.
The spiritual contribution of the Monk Sergei in the teaching of theolog
y about the Holy Trinity is quite significant. The monk had profound insight int
o the secret mysteries of theology with the "mental eyes" of the ascetic -- in p
rayerful ascent to the Tri-Hypostatic (i.e. in Three-Persons) God, and in the sp
iritual experience of communion with God and God-likeness.
"Co-heirs of the perfect light and contemplation of the MostHoly and All
-Sovereign Trinity, -- explained Saint Gregory the Theologian, -- are those whic
h become perfectly co-united in the perfection of the Spirit". The Monk Sergei k
new experientially the mystery of the Life-Originating Trinity, since in his lif
e he became co-united with God, he became a communicant to the very life of the
Divine Trinity, i.e. he attained as much as is possible on earth to the measure
of "theosis" ("divinisation", "obozhenie"), becoming a "partaker of the Divine n
ature" (2 Pet. 1: 4). "Whoso loveth Me, -- saith the Lord, -- that one wilt keep
to My word; and My Father wilt love him, and We shalt come unto him and make ab
ode with him" (Jn. 14: 23). Abba Sergei, in everything observing the commands of
Christ, belongs to the rank of holy saints in the souls of whom the Holy Trinit
y "hath made abode"; he fashioned himself into "an abode of the Holy Trinity", a
nd everyone with whom the Monk Sergei associated, he elevated and brought into c
ommunion unto the Holy Trinity.
The Radonezh ascetic, with his disciples and conversants, enriched the R
ussian and the OEcumenical Church with a new knowledge and vision of the Life-Or
iginating Trinity, the Beginning and Source of life, manifesting Itself unto the
world and to mankind in the "Sobornost'" ("Communality") of the Church, with br
otherly unity and the sacrificial redemptive love of its pastors and children.
In the spiritually symbolic gathering together of Rus' in unity and love
, the historical effort of the nation became a temple of the Life-Originating Tr
inity, erected by the Monk Sergei, "so that by constant attention to It would be
conquered the fright of the hateful discord of this world".
The worship of the Holy Trinity, in forms created and bequeathed by the
holy Hegumen of Radonezh Sergei, became one of the most profound and original of
features of Russian ecclesiality. With the Monk Sergei, in the Life-Originating
Trinity there was posited not only the holy perfection of life eternal, but als
o an image-model for human life, a spiritual ideal towards which mankind ought t
o strive, since that in the Trinity as "Indivisible" ("Nerazdel'nyi", Grk. "Adia
iretos") discord is condemned and "Sobornost'" ("Communality") is blest, and in
the Trinity as "Inseparable" ("Neslyannyi", "Akhoristos", -- per Fourth OEcumeni
cal Council at Chalcedon in year 451) coercion is condemned and freedom blest. I
n the teaching of the Monk Sergei about the MostHoly Trinity the Russian nation
sensed profoundly its own catholic and ecumenical vocation, and comprehending th
e universal significance of the feastday, the people embellished it with all the
variety and richness of the ancient national custom and people's verse. All the
spiritual experience and spiritual striving of the Russian Church was embodied
in the liturgical creativity of the feast of the Holy Trinity, of trinitarian ch
urch rituals, icons of the Holy Trinity, and churches and monasteries of this no
The theological insight of the Monk Sergei in transformation was rendere
d as the wonderworking icon of the Life-Originating Trinity written by the Monk
Andrei (Andrew) of Radonezh, surnamed Rublev (+ 1430, Comm. 4 July), a monk-icon
ographer, monasticised in the Trinity-Sergiev monastery, and written at the bles
sing of the Monk Nikon in praised memory to holy Abba Sergei. (At the Stoglav Co
uncil of 1551 this icon was affirmed as proper model for all successive church i
conographic depiction of the MostHoly Trinity).
"The hateful discord", quarrels and commotions of worldly life were surm
ounted by the monastic life-in-common, planted by the Monk Sergei throughout all
Rus'. People would not have divisions, quarrels and war, if human nature, creat
ed by the Trinity in the image of the Divine Tri-Unity, were not distorted and i
mpaired by Originial sin. Overcoming by his own co-crucifixion with the Saviour
the sin of particularity and separation, repudiating the "my own" and the "mysel

f", and in accord with the teachings of Saint Basil the Great, the life-in-commo
n monks restore the First-created unity and sanctity of human nature. The monast
ery of the monk Sergei became for the Russian Church the model for suchlike rene
wal and rebirth, in it were formed holy monks, bearing forth thereof features of
the true path of Christ to remote regions. In all their works and actions the M
onk Sergei and his disciples churchified life, giving the people a living exampl
e of its possibility. Not for renouncing the earth, but rather for transfiguring
it, they proclaimed ascent and they themselves ascended unto the Heavenly.
The school of the Monk Sergei, through the monasteries founded by him, h
is disciples and the disciples of his disciples, embraces all the vastness of th
e Russian land and threads its way through all the remotest history of the Russi
an Church. One fourth a portion of all Russian monasteries, the strongholds of f
aith, piety and enlightenment, was founded by Abba Sergei or his disciples. The
"Hegumen of the Russian land" was what people called the founder of the Domicile
of the Life-Originating Trinity. The Monks Nikon and Mikhei of Radonezh, Syl've
ster of Obnorsk, Stefan of Makhrisch and Avraam of Chukhlomsk, Athanasii of Serp
ukhov and Nikita of Borovsk, Theodore of Simonovsk and Pherapont of Mozhaisk, An
dronik of Moscow and Savva of Storozhevsk, Dimitrii of Prilutsk and Kirill of Be
lozersk -- they were all disciples and conversants of "the wondrous elder", Serg
ei. Sainted-hierarchs Alexei and Kiprian -- Metropolitans of Moscow, Dionysii Ar
chBishop of Suzdal', and Stephen Bishop of Perm, were associated with him in spi
ritual closeness. The Patriarchs of Constantinople Kallistos and Philotheos disp
atched missives to him and sent their blessings. Through the Monks Nikita and Pa
phnutii of Borovsk threads a spiritual legacy to the Monk Joseph of Volotsk and
others of his disciples, and through Kirill of Belozersk -- to Nil Sorsky, to Ge
rman, Savvatii and Zosima of Solovetsk.
The Church venerates also disciples and co-ascetics of the Monk Sergei,
whose memories are not specifically noted within the "Mesyatseslov" lists of sai
nts under their separate day. We remember, that the first to arrive for the Monk
Sergei at Makovets was the elder Vasilii the Gaunt ("Sukhoi"), called such beca
use of his incomparable fasting. Second was the Monk Yakuta, i.e. Yakov (James),
of simple peasant stock, who without a murmur spent long years at the monastery
on errands of drudgery and difficult obedience. Among his other disciples, ther
e came to the Monk Sergei his fellow countrymen from Radonezh the Deacon Onisim
and son Elisei. When 12 monks had gathered and the constructed cells were fenced
in by an high enclosure, the abba appointed Deacon Onisim the gate-keeper, sinc
e his cell was outermost from the entrance to the monastery. Under the protectiv
e shadow of the Holy Trinity monastery the Hegumen Mitrophan spent his final yea
rs, -- he it was who formerly had vowed the Monk Sergei into the angelic form an
d guided him in monastic efforts. The grave of dead and soon blest Starets Mitro
phan became the first in the monastery cemetery. In the year 1357 there arrived
at the monastery from Smolensk the Archimandrite Simon, who resigned his venerab
le position as head of one of the Smolensk monasteries, to become a simple obedi
ent of the God-bearing Radonezh hegumen. In recompense for his great humility, t
he Lord granted him to share in the miraculous vision of the Monk Sergei about t
he future increase of his monastic flock. With the blessing of the abba, the Ble
ssed elder Isaakii the Silent took upon himself the deed of prayerful silence; h
is silence was more instructive than any words for the monks and those outside.
Only one time after a year of silence did the Monk Isaakii open his mouth -- to
testify, how he had seen an Angel of God serve together at the altar of the Monk
Sergei, in making the Divine Liturgy. An eyewitness of the grace of the Holy Sp
irit, co-effectualised for the Monk Sergei, was also the ecclesiarch Simon, who
once saw, how an heavenly fire came down upon the Holy Mysteries and that the sa
int of God "did commune the fire unburningly". The Elder Epiphanii (+ 1420) was
somewhat later, during the time of hegumen Nikon, a priest of the Sergiev flock.
The Church names him Epiphanii the Wise for his deep learning and great spiritu
al talents. He is known as the compiler of the Life of the Monk Sergei and of hi
s conversant Saint Stephen of Perm in eulogy to them; he wrote also the "Account
of the Life and Repose of GreatPrince Dimitrii Donskoi". The vita of the Monk S
ergei, compiled by Epiphanii 26 years after the death of the monk, i.e. in 1418,

was later reworked by the Monk-hagiographer Pakhomii the Serb, called the Logot
hete, who had come from Athos.
To the monk Sergei, as to an inexhaustible font of spiritual prayer and
grace of the Lord, at all times came in veneration thousands of the people -- fo
r edification and for prayers, for help and for healing. And each of those havin
g recourse with faith to his wonderworking relics he heals and renews, fills wit
h power and with faith, transforms and guides upwards with his light-bearing spi
But it was not only spiritual gifts and graced healings bestown to all,
approaching with faith the relics of the Monk Sergei; to him likewise was given
by God the grace to defend against enemies of the Russian land. The monk by his
prayers was with the army of Dimitrii Donskoi at the Battle of Kulikovo Pole ("F
ield"), -- he even blessed to go to the military effort his own monks, Aleksandr
Peresvet and Andrei Oslyab. He directed Ivan the Terrible the place for erectio
n of the fortress of Sviyazhsk and helped in the victory over Kazan. During the
time of the Polish incursion the Monk Sergei appeared in a dream to the Nizhni N
ovgorod citizen Kozma Minin, ordering him to gather funds and equip an army for
the liberation of Moscow and the Russian realm. And when in 1612 after a moliebe
n to the Holy Trinity the militia of Minin and Pozharsky moved on towards Moscow
, a propitious breeze fluttered the Orthodox standards, "as though from the grav
e of the Wonderworker Sergei himself".
To the period of the Time of Troubles and the Polish incursion belongs t
he heroic "Trinity sitting-tight", when many a monk with the blessing of the heg
umen Saint Dionysii repeated the military holy deed of the Sergiev disciples Per
esvyet and Oslyab. For one and an half years -- from 23 September 1608 to 12 Jan
uary 1610 -- the Polish laid siege to the monastery of the Life-Originating Trin
ity, hoping to plunder and destroy this sacred bulwark of Orthodoxy. But by the
intercession of the MostHoly Mother of God and through the prayers of the Monk S
ergei, "with much disgrace" they fled finally from the walls of the monastery, p
ursued by Divine wrath, and soon even their leader Lisovsky perished a cruel dea
th on precisely the Monk Sergei's day of memory, 25 September 1617. In 1618 the
son of the Polish king, Vladislav, came right up to the walls of the Holy Trinit
y monastery. But being powerless against the grace of the Lord guarding the mona
stery, he was compelled to conclude a peace-treaty with Russia at the monastery
village of Deulino. After this a church was erected in the name of the Monk Serg
In the year 1619 the Jerusalem patriarch, Theophanes, visited the Lavra
amidst his journey to Russia. He especially wanted to see those monks who in tim
e of military danger made bold to put over their monastic garb the chain-mail co
at and with weapon in hand to go up onto the walls of the holy monastery, wardin
g off the enemy. The Monk Dionysii the hegumen (+ 1633, the account about him is
under 12 May), in speaking about the defense, presented to the patriarch more t
han twenty monks.
The first of them was Athanasii (Oscherin), very up in years and with th
e yellowed greyness of an elder. The patriarch asked him: "Didst thou go to war
and lead soldiers?". The elder answered: "Yes, holy Vladyko, it was made necessa
ry by bloody tears". -- "What is most proper for a monk -- prayerful solitude or
military exploits before the people?" Blessed Athanasii, making poklon, answere
d: "Every thing and every deed has its own time. Here on my head is a Latin sign
ature, from a weapon. There are six more memorials of lead in my body. Sitting i
n the cell at prayer, could I indeed have found suchlike inducements towards moa
ning and groaning? I did all this not at my own pleasure, but for the blessing o
f the service of God sent us". Touched by the wise answer of the humble monk, th
e patriarch blessed and hugged him. He blessed also the other soldier-monks and
expressed his admiration to all the brethren of the Lavra of the Monk Sergei.
The deed of the monastery, during this grievous Time of Troubles for all
the nation, was recorded by the steward Avraam (Palitsyn) in "An Account about
the Happenings of the Time of Troubles", and also by the steward Simon Azar'in i
n two hagiographic collections: "Book about the Miracles of the Monk Sergei" and
the "Life of the Monk Dionysii of Radonezh". In the year 1650 Simeon Shakhovsky

compiled an akathist to the Monk Sergei, as "valiant voevoda (military-leader)"

of the Russian land, in memory of the deliverance of the Trinity monastery from
the enemy siege. Another akathist in existence to the Monk Sergei was compiled
in the XVIII Century, and its author is considered to be the Moscow metropolitan
, Platon (Levshin, + 1812).
In the times following, the monastery continued to be an inextinguishabl
e torch of spiritual life and church enlightenment. From its brethren one after
the other were chosen for service many famed hierarchs of the Russian Church. In
the year 1744, for its service to the country and the faith, the monastery was
entitled a Lavra. In 1742 within its enclosure was established the religious sem
inary, and in the year 1814 the Moscow Spiritual Academy was transferred there.
And at present the Domicile of the Life-Originating Trinity serves as on
e of the primary centres of grace of the Russian Orthodox Church. Here at the pr
omptings of the Holy Spirit are done the acts of the Local Councils of the Russi
an Church. At the monastery is a place of residence of His Holiness the Patriarc
h of Moscow and All Rus', which carries upon it the special blessing of the Monk
Sergei, in the established form, "Archimandrite of the Holy Trinity Sergiev Lav
The fifth of July, the day of the Uncovering of the relics of holy Abba
Sergei, hegumen of the Russian Land -- is a crowded and solemn church feastday a
t the monastery.
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Monk Sisoi the Great (+ 429) was an hermit-monk, pursuing asceticism
in the Egyptian wilderness in a cave sanctified by the prayerful labours of his
predecessor -- the Monk Anthony the Great (Comm. 17 January). For his sixty yea
rs of wilderness deeds the Monk Sisoi attained to sublime spiritual purity and h
e was vouchsafed a gift of wonderworking, such that by his prayer he even once r
eturned a dead lad back to life.
Extremely strict with himself, the Monk Sisoi was very merciful and comp
assionate to those nearby and he received everyone with love. Those, who visited
him, the monk first of all always taught humility. To the question of one of th
e monks as to how might he attain to a constant mindfulness of God, the monk rem
arked: "That is still not of much consequence, my son, but more important is thi
s -- to account oneself below everyone else, because such disparagement assists
in the acquisition of humility". Asked by the monks, whether one year is suffici
ent for repentance in having fallen into sin against a brother, -- the Monk Siso
i said: "I believe in the mercy of God the Lover-of-Mankind, and if a man repent
with all his soul, then God wilt accept his repentance in the course of three d
When the Monk Sisoi lay upon his death-bed, the disciples surrounding th
e elder saw that his face did shine. They asked the dying man what he saw. Abba
Sisoi answered, that he looked upon the prophets and apostles. The disciples ask
ed, with whom did the monk converse? He said that Angels had come for his soul,
and he had entreated them to give him a short bit of time yet for repentance. "T
hou, father, hast not need for repentance," -- replied the students. But the Mon
k Sisoi, with his great humility, answered: "I do not know for sure whether I ha

ve even begun to make my repentance". After these words the face of the holy abb
a shone so, that the brethren were not able to look upon him. The monk had time
to tell them that he saw the Lord Himself, and his holy soul expired to the Heav
enly Kingdom.
The Monastic Sisoi, SchemaMonk of Pechersk (XIII), is commemorated in th
e general service of the Monastic Fathers of Kievo-Pechersk reposing in the Fart
her Caves. He is mentioned together with the Monk Gregory the Faster: "Sisoi the
wondrous and Gregory, a name courageous, having by fasting both restrained thei
r passions, humble ye the fierce lust of our flesh: for unto you is given to hav
e grace to help us in our passions" (5th ode of the Canon).
Opening of the Relics of Righteous Maiden Juliania, Princess of Ol'shans
k: Saint Juliania lived during the first quarter of the XVI Century. Her father,
prince Yurii Dubrovitsky-Ol'shansky, was one of the benefactors of the Kievo-Pe
chersk Lavra. The righteous maiden died at 16 years of age. Her body, buried at
the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra near the Great church, was found undecayed during the t
ime of the archimandrite Elisei Pletenets (1599-1624). The holy relics were burn
ed in a fire at the Great church in the year 1718, but the remains were put in a
reliquary and placed in the Nearer Caves. Archimandrite Peter Moghila (afterwar
ds metropolitan of Kiev), to whom the saint appeared in a dream reproaching him
for lack of attention to her grave, ordered a new reliquary to be made. On the r
eliquary then was made the inscription: "By the will of the Creator of heaven an
d earth doth dwell for all years Juliania, patroness and great intercessor to He
aven. Here are the bones -- healing against all passions... Thou adornest paradi
se, Juliania, like a beautiful flower..."
The Holy Martyrs -- Marinus, Martha, Audifax, Avvakum (Habbakuk), Cyrenu
s, Valentine the Presbyter, Asterius and many others with them at Rome:
During the reign of the emperor Claudius II (268-270), Saint Marinus tog
ether with his wife Martha and their sons Audifax and Avvakum journeyed from Per
sia to Rome, to pray at the graves of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. During t
his time fierce persecutions and executions befell the Roman Church. Saint Marin
us with his wife and sons began to aid christians locked up in the prisons, and
also to request the bodies of executed martyrs. At one of these jails they met a
prisoner named Cyrenus and with love they helped him, as being one that had end
ured many torments for faith in Christ. The persecution spread and an even large
r number of christians were arrested. During this time 260 christians, among who
m was the tribune Vlastus, had been sent under the court sentence to dig ground
along the Salerian Way, and were executed by bowmen. Marinus and his family, hav
ing learned about this vicious murder, together with the presbyter John began by
night to take up the bodies of the martyrs for burial in the catacombs. Having
returned later to the prison where Saint Cyrenus was locked up, they did not fin
d him, since he had been executed the day before and his body thrown into the Ti
ber River. Doing their holy duty, Saints Marinus and Martha and their sons remov
ed the body of the holy martyr from the river and committed it to earth. The hol
y workers were among christians, who continued secretly to make the Divine-servi
ces under the lead of holy bishop Callistus, and were hidden by them from pursue
In consummation of their great charitable deeds the holy family was deem
ed worthy to serve the Lord by accepting martyrs deaths. The pagans beheaded the
courageous Confessor Valentine (Valentinus) the Presbyter, and the imperial gar
dener Asterius who had been converted by him, and together with these the holy a
scetics from Persia were arrested and given over to torture. By order of the emp
eror, in the year 269 Saints Marinus, Audifax and Avvakum were beheaded, and Sai
nt Martha was drowned in a river.
The relics of the holy saints are located at Rome, at the Church of Sain
t John the Hut-Dweller, and the relics of Saint Valentine, -- are in the Church
of the holy Martyress Paraskeva.

The Holy Martyrs Isaurios the Deacon, Innocent, Felix, Hermias, Basil, P
eregrinus, -- were Athenians, suffering for Christ in the Macedonian city of Apo
llonia under the emperor Numerian (283-284). Beheaded with them for believing in
Christ were two city-governors -- Ruphus and Ruphinus.
The Holy Martyr Quintus hailed from Phrygia, a Roman province of Asia Mo
nor, where since childhood he was brought up in Christian faith and piety. Havin
g come to Neolida, he did many charitable acts and by prayer he healed those pos
sessed by unclean spirits. The governor of the district Ruphus demanded the sain
t to offer pagan sacrifice to idols, but he fell down into a demonic fit and Sai
nt Quintus healed him in the Name of Christ. The shaken-up and grateful Ruphus r
eleased Saint Quintus, having rewarded him.
The holy ascetic set off to Pergamum, but along the way he was seized by
pagans from the city of Cimum, who began to torture him because he was a christ
ian. But the Lord Himself intervened for the holy confessor: a strong earthquake
occurred destroying the idolatrous temple. The frightened pagans stopped the to
rture, but left the saint in chains until the arrival of the new governor Klearc
hos. Klearchos gave orders to break the legs of Saint Quintus, but by the grace
of God the saint was healed and after his confessor's act he lived 10 years more
in the service of neighbour, working many miracles. He died in the year 283.
The Holy Martyrs Lucy the Virgin, Rexus, Anthony, Lucian, Isidor, Dion,
Diodorus, Cutonias, Aron, Capicus and Satyrus:
Saint Lucy, a native of the Italian district of Campania, from the time
of her youth dedicated herself to God and lived austerely and chastely. And whil
e still quite young, she was taken captive by Rexus, leader of one of the German
ic tribes, and carried off into a foreign land. Rexus at first tried to compel S
aint Lucy to make the pagan rituals but, seeing her firmness of faith and readin
ess to accept torture for the Name of Christ, he was inspired with profound resp
ect for her and even permitted her and her servants the use of a separate house,
where they lived in solitude, spending the time in unceasing prayer. Setting of
f on military campaigns, Rexus reverently asked the prayer of Saint Lucy and he
returned with victories.
After 20 years Saint Lucy, having learned that the emperor Diocletian ha
d started up a persecution against christians, entreated Rexus to send her back
to Italy. She wanted to glorify the Lord together with her fellow countrymen. Re
xus, under the influence of Saint Lucy, by this time had already accepted Christ
ianity and even yearned with a desire for the deed of martyrdom. Leaving behind
his retinue and family, he set of to Rome together with Saint Lucy. By the sente
nce of the Roman prefect Aelius, they were beheaded with a sword. After them wer
e beheaded the holy martyrs Anthony, Lucian, Isidor, Dion, Diodorus, Cutonias, A
ron, Capicus and Satyrus (+ 301).
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Monk Thomas the Maleian was a military
nasticism. Powerful and brave, he had participated
ght victory to his countrymen, for which he gained
ng with all his heart towards God, Thomas left the
took monastic vows.

commander before accepting mo

in many a battle, and he brou
glory and esteem. But, strivi
world with its honours and he

With great humility he visited monastic-elders, asking of them guidance

in the spiritual life. After several years Thomas received the blessing for soli
tary wilderness life and, strengthened in particular by a revelation through the
holy prophet of God Elias, he settled on Mount Maleia (eastern part of Athos).
Dwelling in complete seclusion, Saint Thomas fought with invisible enemies with
suchlike a courage, as before he had against the visible enemies of his country.
The life and deeds of Saint Thomas were not able to be concealed from th
e surrounding area. People began to flock to him seeking spiritual guidance, and
even those suffering from sickness, since he received from God the blessing to
heal infirmities.
Many believers received help through the prayers of the monk and upon hi
s departure to God (X).
The Monk Akakios of Sinai (VI Century): The account about him is located
under 29 November.
The Nun Evphrosynia, in the world Evdokia, was the daughter of the Suzda
l' prince Dimitrii Konstantovich (+ 1383), and from 1367 was the spouse of the M
oscow GreatPrince Dimitrii Donskoi. Their happy union was for Russia a pledge of
union and peace between Moscow and Suzdal'. Great influence was had upon the sp
iritual life of the princess Evdokia by Sainted Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow,
and even by the Monk Sergei of Radonezh, who baptised one of the sons of Dimitri
i and Evdokia. the godfather of another was the Monk Dimitrii of Prilutsk. The h
oly princess was a builder of churches. In 1387 she founded in the Moscow Kremli
n the Ascension women's-monastery. In 1395, -- during the time of the invasion o
f Tamerlane into the southern regions of Russia, upon her advice the Vladimir Ic
on of the Mother of God was transferred to Moscow, miraculously defending the Ru
ssian land. In secret as an ascetic deed during Lent, the princess wore chains b
eneathe her splendid royal clothes. By her patronage was written the famous imag
e of the Archangel Michael, set afterwards as the temple patron-saint icon of th
e Kremlin Archangel Cathedral.
Having raised five sons (a sixth died in infancy), the princess took mon
astic vows with the name Evphrosynia. Having completed her earthly journey in pr
ayer and ascetic deeds, Saint Evdokia peacefully reposed on 7 July 1407 and was
buried in the Ascension monastery founded by her.
An emotionally imbued memorial of old-Russian church poetry is known of,
expounding the lament of the princess for her husband, who had died at age 39.
The Holy Martyrs Peregrinus, Lucian, Pompeius, Isichius, Papius, Satorni
nus and Germanus (II) were natives of Italy. They suffered for Christ under the
emperor Trajan in the city of Dirrachium, located at the shore of the Adriatic s
Being present at the martyrdom of Bishop Astius, who was crucified by th
e Romans upon a cross, they openly praised the courage and firmness of the holy
confessor, for which cause they were seized, and as confessors of faith in Chris
t, they were drowned in the sea. Their bodies, carried by the waves to shore, we
re hidden there in the sand by christians. The martyrs appeared to the bishop of
Alexandria 90 years later with a command to bury their bodies and to raise up a
church over them.
The MonkMartyrs Epictetos and Astion the Monastic lived during the reign
of the Roman emperor Diocletian in one of the eastern districts of the Roman em
pire. The virtuous presbyter Epictetos from the time of his youth had dedicated
his life to God. He was vouchsafed the gift of wonderworking, and by his prayers
he accomplished numerous healings of those afflicted by unclean spirits and oth
er maladies.
Once during the time of a stroll, the son of the city-governor -- the il
lustrious pagan-youth Astion, came upon Saint Epictetos. In a prolonged conversa
tion Saint Epictetos enlightened Astion, he sowed the Word of God in the soul of
the youth, telling him about the True God, about the great value of the immorta

l human soul, about the insignificance of transitory worldly pleasures. [trans.

note: Epictetus was a pre-Christian Greek Stoic philosopher, and the trait-name
bestown upon the saint may reflect a didactic message that pagan philosophy was
a preparation of the pagan mind with a propensity for the ultimate Truth of the
Gospel, as also the Pax Romana, etc.].
Having believed in Christ and having accepted holy Baptism, the blessed
youth then began zealously to beseech of his guide to go together with him to so
me far-off land, so as to completely dedicate his life to God. Setting off on a
ship, Saints Epictetos and Astion journeyed to the land of the Skythians. At the
mouth of the River Danube (Dunaj) they settled not far from the city of Almiris
ium among the pagan Slavs, and passed their lives in deeds of prayer and fasting
The God-pleasing lives of the hermits could not long remain unknown to t
he world. People began to come to the saints, those who were afflicted by variou
s illnesses and oppressed by evil spirits, and they received healing by prayer.
The pagans even began to ask help of the holy ascetics, and having received reli
ef in their suffering, they were converted to Christ.
At this time the governor of the district, Latronian, arrived in the cit
y of Almirisium, and pagan priests began to make denunciation against Saints Epi
ctetos and Astion, that by sorcery they attracted people to their faith. They se
ized hold of the saints and began interrogation.
After thirty days locked in prison without food and water, the holy mart
yrs Epictetos and Astion were again brought to trial before Latronian. They rema
ined ready to bravely accept new suffering for Christ.
They sentenced them to beheading with a sword (+ 290).
The parents of the holy Martyr Astion -- Alexander and Marcellina -- acc
epted holy Baptism from the bishop of the city Thomas the Evangeliser, who soon
also suffered for Christ by beheading with a sword.
The Holy Martyress Kyriakia suffered for Christ at Nikomedia during the
time of a persecution under Diocletian. She was the only daughter of the pious c
hristians Dorotheos and Eusebia, who had given a vow to dedicate their daughter
to God.
At the beginning of the persecution Saints Dorotheos and Eusebia were se
parated from their daughter and given over to trial under the governor Justus, b
ut Saint Kyriakia was sent to Nikomedia to the co-ruler of Diocletian -- Maximia
n Hercules. The holy martyress firmly endured the tortures, praying to God. The
Lord worked many miracles to bring the idol-worshippers to their senses: idols f
ell down in the pagan temples, just as they brought the saint there; wild animal
s brought to the martyress lay down peacefully at her feet. Seeing this, many pa
gans were converted to Christ. When the sentence of death was read, Saint Kyriak
ia requested time for prayer. After a final prayer she peacefully died, delivere
d by the Lord out of the hands of the Roman executioners (IV).
The Blakhernai Icon of the Mother of God was discovered at Jerusalem by
the empress Eudokia during the time of Sainted Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem (
Comm. 2 July), and the Monk Euthymios the Great (Comm. 20 January). The holy ico
n was sent to Constantinople, where the empress Pulcheria set it within the Blak
ernai Church, there where was preserved the Venerable Robe of the Mother of God
(celebrated 2 July).
This holy icon is also called the "Hodegetria", that is, "Putevoditel'ni
tsa" or "Way-Guide". And in particular it was with this icon that Patriarch Serg
ios (610-631) made the rounds of the walls of Constantinople in the year 626 wit
h moliebens during a siege of the capital by the Avars. In memory of this and ot
her victories, gained thanks to the intercession of the MostHoly Virgin, there w
as established annually on Saturday of the Fifth Week of Great Lent to celebrate
a feast of Praise to the MostHoly Mother of God ("Saturday Akathist"). At firs
t the celebration was done only at the Blakhernai temple at Constantinople. In t
he IX Century the feast was included in the ustav (rule) of the Monk Sava the Sa
nctified and in the Studite ustav, but later was included in the Lenten Triodion

and made universal for all the Orthodox Church.

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Blakhernai Icon was transf
erred to Athos, and in 1654 it was sent by the Athos monks to Moscow as gift to
the tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich.
The celebration of the Blakhernai Icon is done also on 2 July (on feast
of the Robe-placing) and in the Saturday Akathist -- on the Fifth Week of Great
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
(XVIII), VYSHENSK (1812), PENZENSK (1666).
The Appearance of the Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God in the City of
Kazan (1579): On 1 October 1552, on the feastday of the Pokrov-Protection of the
MostHoly Mother of God, at night, tsar Ivan IV in heading the Russian forces ma
de ready for a decisive assault against the Tatar city of Kazan, and suddenly he
heard the peeling of the Moscow bells. The tsar realised that this was a sign o
f the mercy of God: that through the prayers of the mighty commander-in-chief, t
he Lord deigned that the Kazan people should be converted to Him.
The surrender of Kazan on the feast of the Pokrov-Protection of the Most
Holy Mother of God completed a course of events, initiated way back centuries ea
rlier in the year 1164 by holy Prince Andrei Bogoliubsky (+ 1174, Comm. 4 July),
against the Moslem Volga Bulgars. With the taking of Kazan, the Volga -- the ch
ief waterway route of the land, became finally a Russian river. And from Tatar s
ervitude were liberated 60,000 Russian people. The enlightenment of the Tatars w
ith the light of the Gospel truth was started. There were the first martyrs -- S
aints Peter and Stephen (Comm. 24 March). The newly established Kazan diocese en
tered into the complexion of the Russian Church and was soon illustrious in its
own archbishops: Sainted Gurii (+ 1563, Comm. 5 December) and Sainted German (+
1567, Comm. 6 November).
But the advance of Orthodoxy was especially enabled amongst the Volga Ma
hometans by the appearance, on 8 July 1579, of the wonderworking Icon of the Mot
her of God in the city of Kazan. Preaching the Gospel had been a difficult matte
r in this conquered kingdom amongst the incorrigible Moslems and pagans. The Mos
tHoly Mother of God, Mediatrix of preachers of the Word of God, Who even during
Her earthly life shared in the evangelic work of the holy Apostles, -- in lookin
g down upon the efforts of the Russian missionaries, She did not hesitate to sen
d them Heavenly help, manifest through Her wonderworking Icon.
On 28 June 1579 there occurred a terrible conflagration which had starte
d around the church of Sainted Nikolai of Tula. This fire destroyed part of the
city and turned to ashes half of the Kazan Kremlin. The adherents of Mahomet glo
ated, supposing, that God had become angered against the Christians. "The faith
of Christ, -- says the chronicler, -- is rendered a fable and an outrage". But t
he conflagration at Kazan was the foreboding of the ultimate fall of Islam and a
ffirmation of Orthodoxy throughout all the land of the Golden Horde, the future
East portion of the Russian realm.
The city began quickly to rise up from its ruins. Together with others w
ho had been burned out, and not far from where the conflagration had started, -was built the house of the musketeer Daniil Onuchin. The Mother of God appeared
in a dream to his nine year old daughter Matrona and commanded her to find Her

icon, hidden in the ground by secret confessors of Orthodoxy way back still in t
he time of Moslem rule. But to the words of a mere girl they paid no attention.
Thrice the Mother of God appeared and pointed out the spot, where the wonderwork
ing icon had been concealed. Finally, Matrona with her mother began to dig in th
e indicated place and they found the sacred icon. To this place of the miraculou
s discovery there came archbishop Jeremii at the head of his clergy and transpor
ted the holy image into a church of Saint Nicholas situated nearby. From there,
after a molieben, amidst a church procession they transferred it to the Annuncia
tion cathedral -- the first Orthodox temple in the city of Kazan, erected by tsa
r Ivan the Terrible. During the time of the procession there occurred the healin
g of two blind men -- Iosif and Nikita.
A copy of the Icon, which had appeared at Kazan, together with an accoun
t of the circumstances of its discovery and descriptions of the miracles was dis
patched in 1579 to Moscow. Tsar Ivan the Terrible gave orders to build at the pl
ace of its appearance a temple in honour of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God,
to install therein the holy icon, and to found there also a women's monastery.
Matrona and her mother, instrumental in finding the sacred icon, accepted monast
ic tonsure at this monastery.
At the Nikol'sk (Nicholas) church, where the first molieben had been mad
e before the Kazan Icon, was serving at this time as priest the future Sainted E
rmogen, Patriarch of Moscow (+ 1612, Comm. 17 February). Fifteen years later, in
1594, now as Metropolitan of Kazan, he compiled a report of the holy events to
which he had been an eyewitness and participant: "Account and Miracles of the Mo
stPure Mother of God from Her Venerable and Gloriously Manifest Image at Kazan".
In this account are descriptions with great factual precision regarding many an
instance of healing, from the wonderworking Icon through the prayers of believe
rs. The "Account" manuscript -- written by His Holiness Patriarch Ermogen -- was
in its entirety reproduced in facsimile edition: "Report about the Wonderworkin
g Kazan Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God", with an introduction by A. I. Sobol
evsky, M(oscow) 1912.
The not-large Icon, discovered by the girl Matrona in the then recently
annexed foreign frontier of the Russian realm, soon became a national sacred ite
m, a sign of the Heavenly protection of the Mother of God, manifest for all the
Russian Church, since the soul of the Orthodox nation sensed the special partici
pation of the All-Pure Lady Mother of God in the historical destiny of its "Rodi
na" native-land. Not by mere chance was the Kazan Image a copy of the ancient Bl
akhernae Icon (Comm. 7 July) written by the holy Evangelist Luke, and considered
in its iconographic type to be of icons named "Hodegetria" ("Putevoditel'nitsa
", "Way-Guide"). Many a time the "Kazan Mother" showed the way to victory for Ru
ssian Orthodox soldiers in the fulfilling of their sacred duty for God and Count
In the year of its appearance at Kazan (in other sources two years after
wards) there began the remarkable onward march "Beyond Kazan" (beyond the Ural M
ountains) envisioned by Blessed German (+ 1567, Comm. 6 November), and taken by
the Cossack ataman Ermak Timofeevich Povol'sky (+ 1584), an effort crowned final
ly with the annexation of Siberia. With a graced energy and coursing about in mi
raculous manner it proved sufficient, that for some several decades Russian expl
orer-missionaries should proceed to the East, " to meet the sun", going many tho
usands of kilometers. On the feastday of the Pokrov (Protection, 1 October) in 1
639 they sailed out on their first voyage along the Pacific Ocean, preaching sal
vation to the surrounding peoples.
Orthodox soldiers and missionaries went east, while apostates fled to th
e West. Jesuits seemingly attempted to drown Rus' at the beginning XVII Century
with tumultuous waves of sovereign-imposters and "rapacious people". It was inde
ed through Divine Providence, during the period of the Polish Occupation (1605-1
612), which the nation termed the "Time of Troubles", that the Russian Church wa
s headed by a great confessor of Orthodoxy -- the PriestMartyr Ermogen, Patriarc
h of Moscow and All Rus', who had been among those first to venerate the Kazan I
con of the MostHoly Mother of God, becoming the author of the "Account" about it
and the Service to it.

During the difficult days when Moscow was occupied by the Polish, and di
scord and disorder having spread throughout all the land, this resolute sufferer
for the Holy Faith and Fatherland was held under guard, and he managed secretly
to send off to Nizhni Novgorod an appeal: "Write to Kazan to metropolitan Emphr
em, and let there be sent a document of direction to the regiments for the boyar
s and to the Cossack forces, that they should rise up in force for the faith, pu
t an end to the plundering and preserve brotherhood, and should vow to pledge th
eir souls for the house of the All-Pure and the wonderworkers and for the faith,
let there be done. And in every city... write thus in my name". The Nizhni Novg
orod people responded to the appeal of the archpastor. Prince Dimitrii Mikhailov
ich Pozharsky headed the gathered militia.
The Kazan forces, joining in with the militia, brought with them a copy
of the wonderworking Kazan Icon, which they gave to prince Dimitrii at Yaroslavl
'. The MostHoly Lady Mother of God took the militia under Her protection, and by
Her intercession Russia was saved.
The Russian forces experienced tremendous difficulties: inward hostiliti
es, and insufficient armament and supplies. In the bad weather of Autumn the Rus
sian army moved on to storm Moscow, situated in the hands of the Polish.
A three day fast and fervent prayer before the Kazan Icon of the Mother
of God inclined the Lord to mercy. Within the besieged Kremlin at this time was
held captive the Hellas Archbishop Arsenios (Arsenii, afterwards Suzdal' archbis
hop, + 1626, 13 April), who had arrived from Greece and was grievously ill from
his journeying and being shaken about. By night the cell of Sainted Arsenii was
suddenly lit up by a Divine light, and he beheld the Monk Sergei of Radonezh (Co
mm. 5 July and 25 September), who said: "Arsenii, our prayers are heard; through
the intercession of the Mother of God the Divine judgement of the Fatherland is
changed to mercy; on the morrow Moscow wilt be in the hands of its besiegers an
d Russia saved".
As though in proof of the veracity of this prophecy, the archbishop rece
ived healing from his sickness, and then this joyful occurrence became known to
the Russian forces. On the following day, 22 October 1612, Russian forces, inspi
red by the vision, seized a sweeping victory and took the Chinese-quarter, and 2
days later -- the Kremlin itself.
On Sunday, 25 October, Russian forces triumphantly in church procession
made entry into the Kremlin, bearing the Kazan Icon. At the Skull-Place ("Lobnoe
mesto", i.e. the public execution spot), the church procession was met by Archb
ishop Arsenii emerging from the Kremlin, bearing the Vladimir Icon of the Mother
of God, saved by him in his captivity. Moved by the effect of the meeting of th
e two wonderworkings icons of the Mother of God, the people with tears made pray
er to the Heavenly Mediatrix.
With the expulsion of the Polish from Moscow, -- according to the Nikono
v chronicle, prince Dimitrii Pozharsky had the holy Kazan Icon placed in his own
parish church of the Entry in the Temple of the MostHoly Mother of God, at Luby
anka in Moscow. Afterwards, at the expense of the prince-patriot, there was erec
ted the Kazan cathedral on Red Square. The holy icon, which had been with the ar
mies of Pozharsky during the liberation of Moscow, was transferred in 1636 into
the newly constructed temple, the Kazan cathedral. At present, this holy image i
s situated in the Patriarch's Theophany cathedral in Moscow.
In commemoration of the liberation of Moscow from the Polish, a special
feastday in honour of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was established under
22 October. At first this celebration was made only at Moscow, but from 1649 it
became an all-Russian celebration.
In 1709, before the Poltava Battle, Peter the Great prayed with his sold
iery in front an icon of the Kazan Mother of God (that from the village of Kaplu
novka). In 1721 Peter transferred one of the copies of the Kazan Icon of the Mot
her of God from Moscow to Peterburg, where at first the icon was placed in a cha
pel, then at the Alexandro-Nevsky Lavra monastery, and from 1737 it was in the c
hurch of the Nativity of the Mother of God on Nevsky Prospekt. In 1811, before t
he Fatherland War, the holy icon of the Heavenly Mediatrix was transferred into
the newly constructed Kazan cathedral.

In 1812 the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God provided blessing for Russia
n soldiers in repulsing the French invasion. On the feast of the Kazan Icon, 22
October 1812, Russian detachments under the command of Miloradovich and Platov d
estroyed the Davu rearguard. This was the first outstanding blow against the Fre
nch after their departure from Moscow, and in which the enemy lost seven thousan
d men. And on this day snow fell, bitter frosts began, and the army that had sub
dued Europe began to falter.
...The Kazan cathedral at Peterburg was built in the years 1801-1811 -as though especially for this, to be a commemorative temple of Russian glory in
the 1812 Fatherland War. The iconostas of the main altar was an elaborately wrou
ght work, made of an hundred pud-weight [pud = 36 lbs] of silver: of this, fort
y puds were an offering to the temple by the Don Cossacks, having taken this sil
ver in 1812 from the French. The walls of the cathedral were adorned with trophi
es, taken from the French in 1812. Buried at the cathedral and with enemy standa
rds draped over his holy tomb was prince Mikhail Kutuzov-Smolensky, saviour of t
he Fatherland. Bronzen sculptures of Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolli stand before t
he temple at the end of the colonnades, in the hemisphere circling upon the cath
edral square...
Numerous wonderworking copies of the Kazan Icon in Rus' glorify the AllPure Mother of God, Protectress of the Orthodox Russian people. Of the plethora
of icons of the Mother of God venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church, none is
more widespread in number than the Kazan Icon. For all Orthodox Rus' it is estee
med as holy, and to it oftenest of all do they turn their gaze in misfortunes an
d illnesses, crying out: "O fervent Mediatrix, Mother of the Lord MostHigh, for
all pray Thine Son Christ our God... with everything grant benefit and save all,
O Virgin Birthgiver of God, and be Thou the Divine protection for Thine servant
With blessings of grace are dispersed icons of the All-Pure Mother of Go
d throughout the extent of the Russian land, truly imaging the Heavenly protecti
on, with Her constant intercession sent down by Her Divine Son, having offered H
imself in sacrifice for the salvation of mankind. The ancient Vladimir holy Imag
e of the Mother of God preserves and blesses the Northern bounds, the Smolensk a
nd Pochaev Icons guard the West, and in the East, to the ends of the land shine
the rays of the inexhaustible grace of the wonderworking Kazan Image of our AllPure Mother.
The Holy GreatMartyr Procopius, in the world Neanius, a native of Jerusa
lem, lived and suffered during the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Hi
s father, an eminent Roman by the name of Christopher, was a Christian, but the
mother of the saint, Theodosia, remained a pagan. He was early deprived of his f
ather, and the young lad was raised by his mother. Having received an excellent
secular education, he was introduced to Diocletian in the very first year of the
emperor's accession to the throne, and he quickly advanced in government servic
e. Towards the year 303, when open persecution against Christians was enacted, N
eanius was dispatched as a proconsul to Alexandria with orders to mercilessly pe
rsecute the Church of God. But on the way to Egypt, near the Syrian city of Apam
eia, Neanius had a vision of the Lord Jesus, just as once formerly had happened
with Saul on the road to Damascus. A Divine voice exclaimed: "Neanius, why perse
cutest thou Me?" Neanius asked: "Who art Thou, Lord?" -- "I am the crucified Jes
us, the Son of God". And at this moment in the air appeared a radiant cross. Nea
nius sensed in his heart an inexpressible joy and spiritual happiness and he was
transformed from being a persecutor into instead a zealous follower of Christ.
From this point in time Neanius became fondly disposed towards Christians and st
ruggled victoriously only against the barbarian pagans.
But for the saint there transpired the words of the Saviour, that "the e
nemies for a man -- are of his own household" (Mt. 10: 36). His mother, a pagan
herself went to the emperor with a complaint against her son, of not reverencing
the ancestral gods. Neanius was summoned to the procurator Judaeus Justus, wher
e he was solemnly handed the missive of Diocletian. Having read through the miss
ive filled with its blasphemies, Neanius quietly before the eyes of everyone tor

e it up. This itself was already a crime, which the Romans regarded as an "insul
t to authority". Neanius was held under guard and in chains sent off to Caesarea
Palestine, where the Apostle Paul once languished. After terrible torments they
threw the saint into a dank prison. By night in the prison room there shone a l
ight, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, having come with luminous Angels, made
Baptism for the suffering confessor, and gave him the name Procopius.
Repeatedly they led Saint Procopius to the courtroom, demanding him to r
enounce Christ and anew they subjected him to tortures. The stolidity of the mar
tyr and his fiery faith brought down God's abundant grace viewing the execution.
Inspired by the deed of Procopius, beneathe the sword of the executioner went m
any of the holy prisoner's former guards and Roman soldiers together with their
tribunes Nicostrates and Antiochus. And with martyr's crowns was sealed the fait
h of 12 Christian Women, having themselves come to the gates of the Caesarea Pra
etorium. Struck by the great faith of the Christians and their courage, and havi
ng seen the firmness of her son in bearing terrible sufferings, Theodosia became
repentant and stood amidst the line of confessors and was executed. Finally the
new procurator, Flavian, convinced of the uselessness of the tortures, sentence
d the holy GreatMartyr Procopius to beheading by the sword. By night Christians
took up the much-tortured body, and having wrapped it in grave-clothes, with tea
rs and prayers they committed it to earth (+ 303).
Righteous Prokopii of Ust'yansk (XVII): The undecayed relics of Righteou
s Prokopii were uncovered during the XVII Century near the Ust'yansk parish Entr
y of the Mother of God church in Vologda diocese and placed in the church, where
over the course of two hundred years they remained in open view, a source of nu
merous healings. About the origin and life of the holy saint of God no account h
as been preserved. His name became known when he himself revealed it in a vision
to a pious local inhabitant named Savela.
In connection with an increase in the number of miraculous healings, the
relics of Righteous Prokopii were inspected in 1696 (or 1645) and in 1739, afte
r which in honour of the saint there was consecrated a chapel in the church wher
ein rested his relics, and his icon was written and a service compiled to him.
In 1818 there was established the generally observed feastday in memory
of the saint.
The Sign from the Annunciation Icon of the Mother of God in the City of
Ustiug: The "Ustiuzhsk Annunciation" -- is a venerable icon, before which on 25
June 1290 with intense fervour prayed Saint Prokopii, Fool-for-Christ (+ 1303),
for the salvation of the city of Ustiug from the wrath of God.
The icon was written by a Novgorod iconographer during the years, when i
n the city ruled holy nobleborn Prince Vsevolod-Gavriil (Gabriel, + 1138, Comm.
11 February). In 1567, under holy Metropolitan Philip (Comm. 9 January), the hol
y icon was transferred from Great Ustiug to Moscow and placed in the Uspensky ca
thedral. At the present time it is located in the state Tret'yakov gallery.
The Copy of the Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God, Situated amidst
the Russian Military, before which the patriots Minin and Pozharsky prayed in 1
612, was placed in the Moscow Kazan cathedral in 1636.At present this holy image
is situated in the Patriarch's Theophany cathedral. At Moscow are known likewis
e other venerable copies of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God: in the Kremlin
Ascension monastery (1701), in the Simonov monastery (XIX), in the Vysoko-Petrov
sk monastery (1849), in Christ-Nativity church on Povarsky Street, in the church
of the Kazan Mother of God at the Kaluzhsk gates and in the Entry of the Mother
of God church.
The Wonderworking Copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, found in
1579, is situated in the Kazan cemetery church named for the holy nobleborn Prin
ce Theodore (Feodor) and his sons David and Konstantin. The holy image is revere
ntly venerated by the residents of the city.

A Copy of the Wonderworking Kazan Icon of the Mother of God at Peterburg

in 1721 was placed in the Trinity cathedral on the orders of the emperor Peter
I, and in 1811 it was transferred to the newly constructed Kazan cathedral, on t
he day of its consecration.
The Ancient Copy of the Wonderworking Kazan Icon of the Mother of God at
Shlissel'burg: In 1611 a copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, located i
n a church in the fortress of Oreshek, was mortared over in a wall prior to the
surrender of the fortress to the Swedes. In 1702 the fortress again passed over
to Russia and was named Shlissel'burg.
One time a sentry noticed a light issuing from the wall and reported thi
s. In the morning a crack had appeared in the wall and the Kazan Icon of the Mot
her of God could be seen. From the holy icon began to occur healings.
The Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, named the Yaroslavsk, was found in
the year 1588 in a journey to Kazan by Gerasim, whose hand had become crippled.
The Mother of God, appearing to him, gave orders at a directed place to take up
Her icon, transport it to the city of Romanov, and put it within a church. The i
nvalid fulfilled these directions precisely and his hand was healed.
The holy icon was 21 years at Romanov, but in 1609 during the time of th
e Polish intervention it was taken to Yaroslavl'. The Yaroslavsk people installe
d the icon in a church, and from it occurred miracles. Nearby the church arose a
women's monastery. A copy of the holy icon was sent back to Romanov.
The Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, named the Vyaznikovsk, was situated
in the cathedral church of the city of Vyaznika in Vladimir diocese. From this
icon happened many an healing. In 1624 was made an investigation of it with the
blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Philaret. All the instances of healing were c
orroborated, and the icon was acknowledged as wonderworking.
The Kazan Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God, named the Nizhnelomov
sk, appeared in 1643 at a spring near the city of Nizhni Lomov in Penzensk distr
ict. The icon was placed in a chapel, and here in 1648 was built a church. Befor
e the Icon of the Mother of God, by Divine mercy, the sick received healing. And
nearby the church was built a monastery.
The Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God appearing in the City of Tob
ol'sk in 1661 was under the following circumstances: a clerk of the Tobol'sk Zna
menie-Sign monastery named Ioannikii reported that in a dream there had been a t
hrice-repeated appearance of a sainted-hierarch, whom he recognised as the holy
Metropolitan Philip, telling him in the name of the Mother of God to take the Ka
zan Icon, carelessly left in a stateroom of the Three Saints church, and put it
in a new temple, which should be built in three days, and on the fourth day cons
ecrated. "Then, -- said the appeared saint, -- in the city wilt cease the prolon
ged rain and the harmful bugs will disappear". Ioannikii was afraid at first to
tell the monastery head about these visions. At Matins, during the reading about
an account of the appearance of the Mother of God at Kazan, he fell into a deep
stupor. Regaining his senses, the clerk told everything to his priest-confessor
, and that one in turn told the monastery head. And the commands of the All-Pure
Virgin were fulfilled. The constant rain in that locale at once ceased and the
nasty insects disappeared. And from the Icon of the Mother of God from that time
began miraculous healings.
The Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, named the Kaplunovsk, appeared in t
he year 1689 in the village of Kaplunovka in Khar'kov diocese. At the icon praye
d emperor Peter I before the Poltava Battle (1709), and through the prayers of t
he Mother of God, he gained a brilliant victory over the Swedes. (The account ab
out the appearance of the holy icon is located under 11 September).
The Tambovsk Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God is located in the T

ransfiguration temple of the Tambov cathedral church. The first miracle from it
occurred on 6 December 1695, when during the time of the all-night vigil it shed
tears. From that time constantly the holy icon has provided healing to the infi
rm. The icon was written in the Kazan form.
The Kazan Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God, named the Vysochinsk,
is situated in the Mikhailo-Arkhangel'sk church of the men's monastery near the
city of Zmiev in Khar'kov district.
The holy icon appeared in the XVIII Century to a forest warden in a pine
woods at the bank of the River Mzha. The warden saw standing on a marsh hillock
the icon, from which shone bright rays of light. When he took hold the holy ico
n to put it in his sentry-hut, below the hillock welled up a spring of pure wate
One time, when the warden's father was in the sentry-hut (a decrepit bli
nd old man, getting about on crutches) with his ten year old grandson, the boy s
aw bright light emit from the icon. The boy became frightened and told his grand
father, lying at the stove, that in the corner something was burning. The old ma
n with difficulty got up from the stove and made his way to the corner, where st
ood the holy icon. Suddenly his eyes could see and he beheld the holy Kazan Icon
of the Mother of God and he sensed himself completely healed. With tears he gav
e thanks to the Mother of God for the wondrous miracle.
On the following morning the warden's entire family set off to church in
the nearest village to give thanks to God for the healing of the old man and to
report everything to the local priest. The holy icon was put into the church, a
nd the family returned home. To the astonishment of everyone, on the following m
orning the holy icon was at its place in the sentry-hut. Three times the holy ic
on was taken to the church and thrice it returned back to its place. Then they d
ecided to leave the icon there, where the MostHoly Mother of God wanted it. And
many people came hither, beseeching the help of the Mother of God.
After the Poltava Battle the emperor Peter I rewarded with a parcel of l
and a company commander, named Vasilii Vysochinov, who had distinguished himself
in the fight. Vasilii thus became owner of the place, where the wonderworking i
con stood in the sentry-hut. Learning about the appearance of the holy icon, Vys
ochinov made request to transfer the parish church of the village of Artiukhovka
to the place of the appearance of the holy icon.
In 1795 a stone church was built, and in 1886 at Vysochinovka was founde
d a men's monastery, in which was installed the wonderworking icon.
The Venerable Vyshensk Copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God: At t
he time of the 1812 War, whilst fleeing the French, the Moscow nun Mironia Danko
va set off to the Tambovsk Ascension monastery. She took with her a Kazan Icon - given her in parental blessing. Along the way the coachman intended to murder
Mironia. Mironia turned to the Mother of God, and from the Icon resounded the Vo
ice: "Fear not, I am thine Mediatrix". The coachman suddenly went blind and only
after repenting did he regain his sight.
Mironia kept the icon with her in her cell. Before her death she bequeat
hed it to the Vyshensk monastery, whither the icon was transported on 7 March 18
27. Here many a miracle occurred from the holy icon. Sometimes by night they saw
a wondrous light, coming from the icon. In 1841 by the intercession of the Most
Holy Mother of God the city of Tambov was saved from cholera. In memory of this
event the Vyshensk Icon annually was carried in Tambov in church procession.
A Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was given by tsar Alexei Mikhailovich
(1645-1676) to the city of Penza at its founding in 1666. Those resorting with f
aith to this icon always received help in various needs. On the eve of 4 August
1717 during a time of incursion of the Nogai Tatars (the so-called "Kuban pogrom
"), when no help remained in saving the city, all the people gathered in the cat
hedral for vigil, which did not cease the whole night. In the morning they carri
ed out the icon to the fortress ramparts and began to sing an akathist. When the
Nogai Tatars came in assault, the face of the Mother of God grew dim and the ho

ly icon repulsed the enemy. During the time of the reading of prayers, in the Ta
tar camp there ensued confusion, and they fled. At the end of the XIX Century a
feastday on 4 August was established to this icon. And in the all-night vigil wa
s put the magnification: "We magnify Thee, O MostHoly Virgin, and thine holy ima
ge we do venerate, that by which we art delivered from the horrors of invasion".
2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The PriestMartyr Pankratios, Bishop of Tauromeneia, was born at a time,
when our Lord Jesus Christ yet lived upon the earth.
The parents of Pankratios were natives of Antioch. Hearing about the goo
d-news of Jesus Christ, the father of Pankratios took his young son with him and
set off to Jerusalem, in order to see for himself personally the great Teacher.
The miracles astonished him, and when he heard the Divine teaching, he then bel
ieved in Christ as the Son of God. He became close with the disciples of the Lor
d, especially with the holy Apostle Peter. And it was during this period that yo
ung Pankratios got to know the holy Apostle Peter.
After the Ascension of the Saviour one of the Apostles came to Antioch a
nd baptised the parents of Pankratios together with all their household. When th
e parents of Pankratios died, he left behind his inherited possessions and went
to a Pontine mountain and began to live in a cave, passing his days in prayer an
d deep spiritual contemplation. The holy Apostle Peter, one time passing through
these parts, made a visit to Pankratios at Pontus, and took him along to Antioc
h, and then to Cilicia, where the holy Apostle Paul then was. And there the holy
Apostles Peter and Paul ordained Saint Pankratios as bishop of the Cilician cit
y of Tauromeneia.
Saint Pankratios toiled zealously for the Christian enlightenment of the
people. Over the course of a single month he built a church, where he celebrate
d Divine-services. The number of believers quickly grew, and soon almost all the
people of Tauromeneia and the surrounding cities accepted the Christian faith.
Saint Pankratios governed his flock peacefully for many years. But one t
ime pagans connived against the saint, and seizing an appropriate moment, they f
ell upon him and stoned him. Thus did Saint Pankratios end his life as a martyr
(I). The relics of the saint rest in the church named for him, at Rome.
The PriestMartyr Cyril, Bishop of Gortineia, was for 50 years bishop at
Gortineia. He suffered either under the emperor Decius (249-251), or according t
o other historical sources the emperor Maximian (284-305), being at the time an
84 year old elder.
Brought to trial before a governor named Lucius, who demanded him to off
er sacrifice to idols, the holy elder steadfastly confessed his faith in Christ
and refused to fulfill the soul-destroying command. The governor sentenced Saint
Cyril to burning, but the flames did not touch the saint. Beholding this miracl
e, many a pagan came to believe in Christ, and Lucius himself in astonishment of
fered up praise to the Christian God and set free the saint.
Saint Cyril continued with his preaching and led many pagans to Christ,
but also he grieved, that he had not been given to suffer for the Saviour. After
a certain while it was reported to the governor, that Saint Cyril would not cea
se his evangelising, and that he continued successfully to convert people from t
he darkness of paganism to the light of Christ. Hearing the sentence against him
, Saint Cyril rejoiced that he was to be granted a martyr's death for Truth, and
he willingly placed his head beneathe the sword (III).

The MonkMartyrs Patermuphios, Koprios and the Martyr Alexander suffered

under the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). Patermuphios and his disciple K
oprios were Egyptian hermits. When the apostate-emperor learned of the saints, h
e ordered them to be brought to him and he tried to seduce them into paganism, w
ickedly saying, that formerly he had served Christ but had learned, that only th
e pagan gods could provide salvation. Koprios was deceived by these words of the
emperor and he betrayed Christ, but by the entreating prayers and tears of his
elder he perceived his downfall, he repented and again confessed himself a Chris
tian. The emperor became enraged and gave orders to torture Koprios fiercely. Pa
termuphios encouraged his brother monk to be brave and endure. One of the soldie
rs, Alexander by name, seeing the terrible sufferings of Koprios, believed in Ch
rist and was sentenced to burning. Saints Patermuphios and Koprios were beheaded
by the sword.
The Monks Patermuphios and Koprios: Patermuphios at first was a pagan an
d also the head of a band of robbers, but then he repented, was baptised and wit
hdrew into the wilderness. The monk devoted all the rest of his life to attendin
g the sick and burying the dead. For his love of toil and efforts, Patermuphios
received from God the gift of wonderworking.
Presbyter Koprios was an eyewitness of the doings of the Monk Patermuphi
os and recorded his life and miracles. Saint Koprios narrated this vita to presb
yter Ruphinos, who in turn transmitted it to Palladios, Bishop of Hellenopolis,
who in turn included the account in his book, the "Historica Lausiaca".
One time the Monk Koprios entered into a debate with the heretic Manicha
eos, and seeing that he could not prevail against him in dispute, he suggested t
o the heretic to arrange a large bon-fire and together with him to go into it, s
o that the Lord Himself should decide, whose was the true faith. Manichaeos refu
sed to go in first, but Koprios went into the bon-fire, and standing amidst the
burning embers, he remained unharmed. The people glorified the faith of Koprios,
while the heretic who wanted not to go into the flames they threw into the bonfire. The heretic jumped out all scorched and tried to flee, but they caught hol
d of him and again cast him into the bon-fire. The Monk Koprios then quelled the
crowd and let Manichaeos go.
Sainted Theodore, Bishop of Edessa, was born in the Syrian city of Edess
a. All his life the holy saint was a bright witness of the great deeds of God, g
lorified in His Saints.
At twelve years of age, having lost his parents and given away his inher
itance to the poor, he set out to Jerusalem, where at the Laura of the Monk Sava
the Sanctified he took monastic tonsure. After 12 years of fervent monastic obe
dience and then another 24 years of full seclusion and great abstinence the Lord
summoned the valiant ascetic to be bishop, so that he might bring light to the
world. For after the death of the Edessa bishop, no more worthy a successor was
found than Theodore, and through the mutual assent of the Antioch and Jerusalem
Patriarchs, and likewise of both clergy and laity, this fine man was chosen bish
op. It was not easy for Saint Theodore to forsake his quietude, but he submitted
himself to the will of God and entered into the guidance of the Edessa Church.
This occurred during the reign of the Greek emperor Michael and his mother Theod
ora (842-855). During the time of the episcopal imposition of hands over the Mon
k Theodore, there occurred a great miracle. The people beheld a dove white like
snow, soaring about beneathe the cupola of the church, which then came down upon
the head of the newly-made bishop. Setting about the governance of his flock, S
aint Theodore devoted all his abilities to this service. He was a model for the
faithful in word, in life, in love, and by the good example of his holy ascetic
life he guided the flock, entrusted to him by God, onto the path of salvation. T
heodore exerted much effort in the struggle with heretics, and with a firm hand
he guarded the Church from temptations and errant thought. By his consolation an
d support for Saint Theodore, the perspicacious elder and pillar-dweller the Mon
k Theodosios likewise served the spiritual community, while asceticising not far

from the city near the monastery of the holy GreatMartyr George.
With the blessing of the elder, Saint Theodore undertook a journey to Ba
ghdad to the caliph Mavi with a complaint about unjust measures against the Orth
odox. Having come to Mavi, the saint found him seriously ill. Calling on the hel
p of the Lord, the holy bishop threw into a vessel with water a bit of earth fro
m the Sepulchre of the Lord and gave it to the caliph to drink, and the sick one
was healed. The grateful Mavi, favourably disposed towards the saint, happily h
eard out his teachings and finally, together with three close associates he acce
pted holy Baptism with the name John.
Shortly afterwards for his open confession of faith in Christ before the
Mussulmans, the caliph John was killed with his three close associates. Having
appeared in a dream simultaneously to Saint Theodore and to the Pillar-Dweller T
heodosios, he reported that he had been granted to suffer for Christ, being numb
ered among the rank of the Martyrs, and he would soon meet the two of them in th
e Kingdom of Heaven. This was an indication to the saint of God, that his own en
d was approaching. Three years later, again in solitude at the Laura of Saint Sa
va the Sanctified, he peacefully expired to the Lord (IX). Saint Theodore has le
ft to Christians his writings of edification. The Life of Saint Theodore of Edes
sa was a beloved reading in Rus' during the XVI-XVII Centuries and was preserved
in many a manuscript.
The Cypriot Icon of the Mother of God appears thus: the Mother of God si
ts upon a throne with the Divine-Infant in Her arms, and at Her sides are two an
gels, holding branches.
The holy icon manifest itself in the year 392 on the Island of Cyprus, a
nd is situated there in a monastery. Reknown venerable copies from it are at the
Moscow Uspensky cathedral, and in the Nikolo-Golutvinsk church in the village o
f Stromyna, Moscow diocese.
The Koloch Icon of the Mother of God manifest itself in the year 1413 du
ring the reign of Vasilii I Dimitrievich, 15 versts from the city of Mozhaisk, i
n the vicinity of Koloch in the Smolensk governance. A peasant of this village b
y the name of Luke found this holy image and took it to his home. One of his hou
sehold suffered from a crippling of the body. The sick one with faith put his fo
rehead to the icon and received complete healing.
This became known of through the surroundings, and many of the suffering
began to throng to the wonderworking icon for veneration, and they received gra
ced help from the Mother of God. Luke afterwards took the image to Mozhaisk, and
from thence to Moscow. At the capital, Metropolitan Photii, together with an as
semblage of clergy and a multitude of the people, met the holy icon. During the
carrying of the image through Moscow many of the sick were healed of their infir
mities. Later they returned the icon to Mozhaisk.
At the place of the appearance of the icon was built a church named for
the Mother of God, into which was put the holy image.
With the offerings of the peasant Luke and other Orthodox, prince Andrei
Dimitrievich built at this locale a monastery, called the Kolochsk or Mozhaisk.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
ONKS (+ 1073).

The Placing of the Venerable Robe of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Moscow (16
25): The Saviour's venerable Robe [Slavic "Riza", Greek "himatia", Latin "vestim
enta", literally "over-garments"] is not identically the same thing with His sea
mless "Chiton" [Greek and Slavic "khiton", Latin "tunica", literally "under-garb
tunic"] -- they are clearly distinct within Holy Scripture: "The soldiers then,
when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments (odezhdu, vestimenta, ta himat
ia) and divided them into four parts, to each soldier a part, and the chiton-shi
rt (et tunicam, kai ton khitona). The chiton indeed was without seam, woven whol
e from the top down, and so they did say one to another: let us not rend it asun
der, but for it cast lots, whose it wilt become. Wherefore was fulfilled the say
ing in Scripture: they divided My raiment-garb (riza, vestimenta, ta imatia) amo
ngst them, and upon My vesture-garb (imatisme, in vestem, epi ton himatismon) di
d they cast lots" (Jn. 19: 23-24; Ps. 21 [22]: 18-19).
According to the tradition of the Gruzinian (Georgian) Orthodox Church,
the Chiton-tunic of the Lord was carried by the Hebrew rabbi Elioz from Jerusale
m to Mtsketa and at present is beneathe a crypt in the foundations of the Mtsket
ian Patriarchal cathedral of Svetitskhoveli (the feast in honour of the Chiton-t
unic of the Lord is celebrated on 1 October). None of the Mohamedan invaders eve
r ventured to enroach upon this spot, glorified with a sign by the mercy of God
-- the Life-Creating Pillar.
The Robe of the Lord, -- actually one of its four parts, the lower porti
on namely (other parts of the Robe of the Lord are likewise known of in Western
Europe: in the city of Trier in Germany, and in Argenteuil near Paris in France)
, just like the Chiton-tunic of the Lord, came to be in Gruzia. In contrast to t
he Chiton-tunic, the Robe portion was not kept underground, but was in the treas
ury of the Svetitskhoveli cathedral right up to the XVII Century, when the Persi
an shah Abbas I, in devastating Gruzia, carried off with other treasures also th
e Robe of the Lord. In order to ingratiate himself with tsar Mikhail Feodorovich
, the shah in 1625 dispatched the Robe of the Lord as a gift to Patriarch Philar
et (1619-1633) and tsar Mikhail. The authenticity of the Robe was testified to b
y Nektarii, Archbishop of Vologda, also by the Jerusalem Patriarch Theophanes wh
o had come from Byzantium, and by Ioannikes the Greek, but especially also by th
e miraculous signs, manifest by the Lord through the venerable relic.
Afterwards two parts of the Robe came to be in Peterburg: one in the cat
hedral at the Winter Palace, and the other in the Petropavlovsk (Peter and Paul)
cathedral. A portion of the Robe was preserved likewise at the Uspenie-Dormitio
n cathedral in Moscow, and small portions -- at the Kiev Sophia cathedral, at th
e Ipat'ev monastery near Kostroma and at certain other old temples. At Moscow an
nually on 10 July the Robe of the Lord is solemnly brought out of a chapel named
for the holy Apostles Peter and Paul at the Uspensky cathedral, and it is place
d on an analoi-stand for veneration during the time of Divine-services. After Li
turgy they carry the Robe to its former place.
On this day likewise is proper a service to the Life-Creating Cross of t
he Lord, since the Placing of the Robe in the Uspensky cathedral in 1625 was don
e on 29 March, on the day which then occurred to be the Lenten Sunday of the Ven
eration of the Cross.
The Forty-five Martyrs of the Armenian City of Nikopolis suffered during
the reign of the emperor Licinius (307-324), then a co-regent with Constantine
the Great. Licinius fiercely persecuted Christians and in his Eastern districts
of the empire he issued an edict to put to death anyone who would not consent to
return to paganism. When the persecutions began at Nikopolis, more than forty o
f the persecuted of Christ decided to voluntarily appear before their persecutor
s, to openly confess their faith in the Son of God and accept martyrdom. The hol
y confessors were headed by Leontios, Mauricios, Daniel, Anthony and Alexander,
and were distinguished by their virtuous life. The hegemon-procurator of the Arm
enian district, Licius, before whom the holy confessors presented themselves, wa
s amazed at the directness and bravery of those who voluntarily doomed themselve
s to torture and death. He tried to persuade them to renounce Christ and offer s
acrifice to the pagan gods, but the saints remained steadfast. They refuted all

the arguments of the governor, pointing out to him all the falseness of faith in
the disgusting and vice-filled pagan gods, leading to ruin those that worship t
hem. The hegemon-procurator gave orders to beat the confessors about the face wi
th stones, and then shackle and imprison them.
In prison the saints rejoiced and sang psalms of David. Saint Leontios i
nspired and encouraged the brethren in the faith, readying them to accept new to
rtures for the true faith, and telling them of the bravery of all those formerly
that had suffered for Christ. In the morning, after repeated refusal to offer s
acrifice to the idols, the saints were again given over to torture. Saint Leonti
os, seeing the intense suffering of the martyrs and worrying, that certain of th
em might collapse in spirit and lose faith, prayed to God, that he might see a q
uick end of the matter for all.
When the holy martyrs sang psalms at midnight, an Angel of the Lord sudd
enly appeared to them, and the prison blazed with light. The Angel declared to t
he martyrs, that their deed was near its end, and their names already were inscr
ibed in Heaven. Two of the prison guards, Meneas and Virilades, beheld what was
happening and believed in Christ. On the following morning the governor decided
to put to death the martyr-witnesses of Christ. After beastly tortures they burn
ed them in a fire, and their bones they threw in a river (+ c. 318). Pious peopl
e found them, gathered them up and saved them. Later on, when freedom had been b
estown to the Church of Christ, on this spot was built a church in the name of t
he holy 45 Martyrs.
The Monk Antonii (Anthony) of Pechersk was born in the year 983 not far
from Chernigov, at the locale of Liubech. Possessing the fear of God from his yo
uthful years, he desired to be clothed in the monastic form. Attaining maturity
of age, he set off wandering, and having reached Athos, he burned with the desir
e to emulate the deeds of its holy inhabitants. Here he received monastic tonsur
e and in everything the young monk pleased God in his asceticising upon the path
of virtue; he throve especially in humility and obedience, such that all the mo
nks did rejoice to look upon his holy life.
The hegumen foresaw within Saint Antonii the great future ascetic, and o
n an inspiration from God, he sent him off back to his native land, saying: "Ant
onii! It is time for thee to guide others also into an holy life. Return to thin
e own Russian Land, and be thou upon thee the blessing of Holy Mount Athos, so t
hat from thee shalt come a multitude of monks".
Having returned to Rus', Antonii began to make the rounds of the monaste
ries about Kiev, but nowhere did he find that strict life, which had drawn him t
o Athos.
Through the Providence of God, on one of the hills of Kiev at a steep ba
nk of the River Dneipr, reminiscent for him of the beloved Athos, in a forested
area near the village of Berestovo, he espied a cave, dug out by the Priest Ilar
ion (who afterwards became Metropolitan of Kiev, Comm. 21 October). He began to
asceticise there in prayer, fasting, vigil and work, eating over the course of a
day but a bit of food, and sometimes he did not eat throughout the week. People
began to come to the ascetic for blessing and counsel, and some decided to rema
in thereafter with the saint. Among the first disciples of the Monk Antonii was
Saint Nikon, who in the year 1032 tonsured at the monastery the similarly arrive
d Monk Theodosii (Feodosii) of Pechersk (+ 1074, Comm. 3 May).
The holy life of the Monk Antonii brightened all the Russian Land with t
he beauty of monastic striving. Saint Antonii received with love those yearning
for monasticism. After instructions on how one ought to follow Christ, he bid Bl
essed Nikon to tonsure those willing. When 12 men had gathered about the Monk An
tonii, the brethren together dug out a large cave and within it was built a chur
ch and cells for the monks. Saint Antonii, having appointed Blessed Varlaam as h
egumen over the brethren, himself withdrew from the monastery, and having dug ou
t for himself a new cave, he secluded himself within it. But there also, around
the place of his seclusion, monks soon began to settle. Thus were formed the Nea
rer and Farther Cave monasteries. Afterwards over the Farther Caves was built by
the monk a small wooden church in honour of the Uspenie-Dormition of the Mother

of God.
At the insistence of prince Izyaslav, the hegumen Varlaam withdrew to th
e Dimitriev monastery. With the blessing of the Monk Antonii and with the genera
l agreement of the brethren , there was chosen as hegumen the meek and humble Th
eodosii. During this time the number of brethren had already reached an hundred
men. The Kiev Great-prince Izyaslav (+ 1078) gifted to the monks the hill, on wh
ich was built the large church and cells, and around it was built a palisade wal
l. Thus was established the reknown monastery, which was called the Pechersk, fo
undationed over the caves. Giving the account of this, the chronicler remarks, t
hat many a monastery exists built by rich emperors and nobility, they however ca
nnot compare with those, which are built up by the prayers of saints, and by the
ir tears, fasting and vigil. And thus though the Monk Antonii possessed not gold
, he raised up by his efforts a monastery, incomparable with others, which becam
e the first spiritual centre of Rus'.
For his holiness of life, God glorified the Monk Antonii with the gift o
f foresight and wonderworking. In an especial instance this occurred during thei
r construction of the Great Pechersk church. The MostHoly Mother of God Herself
stood before him and the Monk Theodosii in the Blakhernae church (in Byzantium),
whither they had been miraculously transported and enraptured, without having l
eft their Pechersk monastery (Vide account of this under 3 May, regarding the Ki
evo-Pechersk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God). Having received gold from the
Mother of God, the saints commissioned master-architects, who on the command of
the Queen of Heaven set off (from Byzantium) to the Russian Land for building th
e church at the Pechersk monastery. During this appearance the Mother of God for
etold the impending death of the Monk Antonii, which occurred at age 90 on 7 May
1073. The relics of the Monk Antonii, through Divine Providence, remain conceal
The Monk Siluan, Kievo-Pechersk SchemaMonk, was a zealous preserver of p
urity both of soul and body, he beset his flesh with fasting and vigil, and he c
leansed his soul with prayer and meditation on God. He was granted by the Lord a
n abundance of spiritual gifts: an especial prayerful boldness towards God, cons
tant joy in the Lord, perspicacity and wonderworking. The monk lived at the endXIII to beginning-XIV Centuries. His relics rest in the Theodosiev Caves.
The Holy Martyr Apollonias came from the city of Sardes, located in Lydi
a (Asia Minor). He declared himself a Christian and was arrested. When they dema
nded that he swear an oath on the name of the emperor, he refused, saying that i
t was improper to swear on the name of a mortal man. They tortured Saint Apollon
ias for a long time and then crucified him on a cross. This occurred at Iconium
either under the emperor Decius (249-251) or the emperor Valerian (253-259).
The Holy Martyrs Uianor (Vianor) and Siluanos (Sylvanus): Saint Uianor c
ame from the Psidia district in Asia Minor. As a confessor of Christianity they
brought him to the governor of the city of Isauria in Likaoneia, who demanded th
at Saint Uianor renounce Christ. The saint stood steadfast in the true faith, in
spite of the refined tortures. A man by the name of Siluanos beheld the sufferi
ng of the martyr. The endurance and bravery of Saint Uianor inspired the faith o
f Christ in Siluanos, and he openly declared this. They therewith cut out his to
ngue and then cut off his head. Saint Uianor after long torturing likewise was b
The date of the suffering of the holy Martyrs Uianor and Siluanos is not
precisely known; it is presumed, that they died under the Roman emperor Dioclet
ian (284-305).
The Konevsk Icon of the Mother of God: It was with this icon of Greek or
igin that John, hegumen of one of the Athos monasteries, did bless Saint Arsenii
, founder of the Konevsk monastery (the account about him is located under 12 Ju
ne). The holy icon was glorified by many graced signs. In the year 1610 during a
n invasion of the Swedes into the Novgorod lands, with the blessing of the Novgo

rod archbishop Isidor, the icon was transferred from the Konevsk monastery to th
e Novgorod Derevyanitsk monastery. At this monastery annually on 10 July was mad
e a festal celebration of the MostHoly Mother of God on account of Her holy icon
. In the year 1709, with the blessing of the Metropolitan of Peterburg and Novgo
rod Gavriil, the wonderworking icon was returned to the Konevsk monastery.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
IA (+ 969).
Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga was the spouse of the Kiev GreatPrince I
gor. The struggle of Christianity with paganism under Igor and Olga, who reigned
after Oleg (+ 912), entered into a new phase. The Church of Christ in the years
following the reign of Igor (+ 945) became a remarkable spiritual and political
force in the Russian realm. The preserved text of a treaty of Igor with the Gre
eks in the year 944 gives indication of this: it was included by the chronicler
in the "Tale of Bygone Years", under the entry recording the events of the Bibli
cal year 6453 (945).
The peace treaty had to be sworn to by both the religious communities of
Kiev: "Baptised Rus'", i.e. the Christian, took place in the cathedral church o
f the holy Prophet of God Elias (Comm. 20 July); "Unbaptised Rus'", i.e. the pag
ans, in turn swore their oath on their weapons in the sanctuary of Perun the Thu
nderer. The fact, that Christians are included in the document in the first plac
e, indicates their significant spiritual influence in the life of Kievan Rus'.
Evidently at the moment when the treaty of 944 was being drawn up at Tsa
r'grad (Constantinople), there were people in power in Kiev sympathetic to Chris
tianity, who recognised the historical inevitability of conjoining Rus' into the
life-creating Christian culture. To this trend possibly belonged even prince Ig
or himself, whose official position did not permit him personally to go over to
the new faith, nor at that time of deciding the issue concerning the Baptism of
the whole country with the consequent dispersal throughout it of Orthodox Church
hierarchs. The treaty therefore was drawn up in the circumspect manner of expre
ssion, which would not hinder the prince to ratify it in either the form of a pa
gan oath, or in the form of a Christian oath.
But when the Byzantine emissaries arrived in Kiev, conditions along the
River Dneipr had essentially changed. A pagan opposition had clearly emerged, at
the head of which stood the Varangian voevoda (military-leader) Svenel'd (or Sv
einald) and his son Mstislav (Mtsisha) to whom Igor had given holdings in the Dr
evlyani lands.
Strong also at Kiev was the influence of the Khazar Jews, who could not
but be displeased with the thought of the triumph of Orthodoxy in the Russian La
Unable to overcome the customary inertia, Igor remained a pagan and he c
oncluded the treaty in the pagan manner -- with an oath on his sword. He refused
the grace of Baptism and was punished for his unbelief. A year later, in 945, r
ebellious pagans murdered him in the Drevlyanian land, cut down betwixt two tree
s. But the days of paganism and the lifestyle of the Slavic tribes basic to it w
ere already numbered. The burden of government fell upon the widow of Igor -- th
e Kiev Great-princess Olga, and her three year old son Svyatoslav.
The name of the future enlightener of the Russian Land and of her native
region is first to be met with in the "Tale of Bygone Years", -- in the phrase

where it speaks about the marriage of Igor: "and they brought him a wife from Ps
kov, by the name of Ol'ga". She belonged, so specifies the Joakimov Chronicle, t
o the lineage of the Izborsk princes, -- one of the obscure ancient-Russian prin
cely dynasties, of which in Rus' during the X-XI Centuries there numbered no les
s than twenty, but who were all displaced by the Rurikovichi or merged otherwise
with them through marriage. Some of them were of local Slavic descent, others - Varangian new-comers. It is known, that the Scandinavian Viking "koenigs" (kin
glets) called to become princes in the Russian cities -- invariably assimilated
to the Russian language, and often, they soon became genuinely Russian with Russ
ian names and lifestyle, world-outlook and even physical appearance of attire.
The spouse of Igor thus also had the Varangian name "Helga", which in th
e Russian "rendering" of pronunciation, is Ol'ga, Vol'ga. The feminine name Ol'g
a corresponds to the masculine name "Oleg" (Helgi), which means "holy" [from Ger
manic "heilig" for "holy"]. Although the pagan understanding of holiness was qui
te different from the Christian, it also presupposed within man a particular fra
me of reference, of chasteness and sobriety, of mind and of insight. It reveals
the spiritual significance of names, that people termed Oleg the Wise-Seer ("Ves
chi") and Ol'ga -- the Wise ("Mudra").
Rather later traditions regard her a native of a village named Vybuta, s
everal kilometers from Pskov up along the River Velika. They still not so long a
go used to point out at the river the Ol'ga Bridge, the ancient fording place, W
here Olga was met by Igor. The Pskov geographic features have preserved not a fe
w names, connected with the memory of this great descendent of Pskov: the villag
e of Ol'zhinets and Ol'gino Pole (Ol'ga Field); the Ol'ga Gateway -- one of the
branches of the River Velika; Ol'ga Hill and the Ol'ga Cross -- near Lake Pskov;
and the Ol'ga Stone -- at the village of Vybuta.
The beginning of the independent rule of Princess Olga is connected in t
he chronicles with the narrative about her terrible revenge on the Drevlyani, wh
o murdered Igor. Having sworn their oaths on their swords and believing "only in
their swords", the pagans were doomed by the judgement of God to also perish by
the sword (Mt. 26: 52). Worshipping fire amongst the other primal elements, the
y found their own doom in the fire. And the Lord chose Olga to fulfill the fiery
The struggle for the unity of Rus', for the subordination to the Kievan
centre of mutually divisive and hostile tribes and principalities paved the way
towards the ultimate victory of Christianity in the Russian Land. For Olga, thou
gh still a pagan, the Kiev Christian Church and its Heavenly patron saint the ho
ly Prophet of God Elias [in icons depicted upon a fiery chariot] stood as a flam
ing faith and prayer of a fire come down from the heavens, and her victory over
the Drevlyani -- despite the severe harshness of her victory, was a victory of C
hristian constructive powers in the Russian realm over the powers of a paganism,
dark and destructive.
The God-wise Olga entered into history as a great builder of the civil l
ife and culture of Kievan Rus'. The chronicles are filled with accounts of her i
ncessant "goings" throughout the Russian land with the aim of the well-being and
improvement of the civil and domestic manner of life of her subjects. Having co
nsolidated the inner strengthening of the might of the Kiev great-princely thron
e -- with the consequent weakening of the influence of the jumbled hodge-podge o
f petty local princes in Rus', Olga centralised the whole of state rule with the
help of the system of "pogosti" (administrative trade centres). In the year 946
she went with her son and retinue through the Drevlyani land, "imposing tribute
and taxes", noting the villages, inns and hunting places, liable for inclusion
in the Kiev great-princely holdings. The next year she went to Novgorod, establi
shing administrative centres along the Rivers Msta and Luga, everywhere leaving
visible traces of her activity. "Her lovischa (hunting preserves) were throughou
t all the land, the boundary signs, her places and administrative centres, -- wr
ote the chronicler, -- and her sleighs stand at Pskov to this very day, as are h
er directed places for snaring of birds along the Dneipr and the Desna Rivers; a
nd her village of Ol'zhicha stands to the present day".
The "pogosti" established by Olga, as financial-administrative and law-c

ourt centres, represented sturdy props of great-princely power in these places.

Being first of all, and in the actual sense of the word, centres of trad
e and exchange (the merchant as "guest") gathered together and became organised
around the settlements (and in place of the "humanly arbitrary" gathering of tri
bute and taxes, there now existed uniformity and order with the "pogosti" system
). Olga's "pogosti" became an important network of the ethnic and cultural unifi
cation of the Russian nation.
Later on, when Olga had become a Christian, they began to erect the firs
t churches at the "pogosti"; from the time of the Baptism of Rus' the "pogost" a
nd church (parish) became inseparably associated. (It was only afterwards with t
he existence of cemeteries alongside churches that there developed the current m
eaning of the Russian word "pogost" to nowadays signify "parish graveyard".)
Princess Olga exerted much effort to fortify the defensive might of the
land. The cities were built up and strengthened, Vyshgorod (or Detintsa, Kroma)
they enclosed with stone and oak walls (battlements), and they bristled them wit
h ramparts and pallisades. Knowing how hostile many were to the idea of strength
ening the princely power and the unification of Rus', the princess herself lived
constantly "on the hill" over the Dneipr, behind the trusty battlements of Kiev
an Vyshgorod ("Verkhna-gorod" or "Upper-city"), surrounded by her faithful retai
ners. Two thirds of the gathered tribute, as the chroniclers testify, she gave o
ver for the use of the Kiev "veche" (city-council), and the remaining one third
went "to Olga, for Vyshgorod" -- for the needs of building fortifications. And t
o the time period of Olga, historians note the establishment of the first state
frontiers of Russia -- to the west, with Poland. Heroic outposts to the south g
uarded the peaceful fields of the Kievans from the peoples of the Wild Plains. F
oreigners hastened to Gardarika ("the land of cities"), as they called Rus', wit
h merchandise and craftwares. Swedes, Danes, Germans all eagerly entered as merc
enaries into the Russian army. The foreign connections of Kiev spread. This furt
hered the developement of construction with stone in the city, the beginnings of
which was initiated under Olga. The first stone edifices of Kiev -- the city pa
lace and Olga's upper enclosure -- were discovered by archaeologists only but in
this century. (The palace, or more properly its foundations and remains of the
walls were found in excavations during the years 1971-1972).
But it was not only the strengthening of the civil realm and the improve
ment of domestic norms of the manner of life for people that attracted the atten
tion of the wise princess. Even more urgent for her was the fundamental transfor
mation of the religious life of Rus', the spiritual transfiguration of the Russi
an nation. Rus' had become a great power. Only two European realms could compare
with it during these years in significance and might: in Eastern Europe -- the
ancient Byzantine empire, and in the West -- the kingdom of Saxony.
The experience of both empires, connected with the exaltation in spirit
of Christian teaching, with the religious basis of life, showed clearly, that th
e way to the future greatness of Rus' lay not through military means, but first
of all and primarily through spiritual conquering and attainment. Having entrust
ed Kiev to her teenage son Svyatoslav, and seeking grace and truth, Great-prince
ss Olga in the Summer of 954 set off with a great fleet to Tsar'grad. This was a
peaceful "expedition", combining the tasks of religious pilgrimage and diplomat
ic mission, but the political considerations demanded that it become simultaneou
sly a display of the military might of Rus' on the Black Sea, which would remind
the haughty "romanoi" [Byzantine Greeks] of the victorious campaigns of Askol'd
and Oleg, who in the year 907 advanced in their shields "to the very gates of T
The result was attained. The appearance of the Russian fleet in the Bosp
horus created the necessary effect for the developing of Russo-Byzantine dialogu
e. In turn, the southern capital struck the stern daughter of the North with its
variety of beauty and grandeur of architecture, and its jumbled mixture of paga
ns and peoples from all over the world. But an especial impression was produced
by the wealth of Christian churches and the holy things preserved in them. Tsar'
grad-Constantinople, "the city of the imperial Caesar-tsar", the Byzantine Greek
empire, strove in everything to be worthy for its Heavenly Mediatrix. At its ve

ry foundation (or more precisely, restoration), the city had been consecrated in
the year 330 by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine the Great (Comm. 21
May) to the MostHoly Mother of God (this event occurred in the Greek Church on t
he date of 11 May and from there passed over into Russian commemoration). The Ru
ssian princess was present at Divine-services in the finest churches of Constant
inople -- Saint Sophia, the Mother of God Blakhernae, and others.
In her heart the wise Olga found the desire for holy Orthodoxy, and she
made the decision to become a Christian. The sacrament of Baptism was made over
her by the Constantinople Patriarch Theophylaktos (933-956), and her godfather w
as the emperor Constantine Porphyrigenitos (912-959). At Baptism there was entru
sted to her the name Elena (Helen) in honour of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles H
elen (Comm. 21 May), the mother of Saint Constantine, and she also had been the
discoverer of the Venerable Wood of the Cross of the Lord. In an edifying word s
poken at the conclusion of the sacramental rite, the patriarch said: "Blessed ar
t thou amongst Russian women, in that thou hast forsaken the darkness and hast l
oved the Light. The Russian people shalt bless thee in all the future generation
s, from thy grandson and great-grandson to thine furthermost descendants". He in
structed her in the truths of the faith, the churchly rules and the rule of pray
er, he explained the commands about fasting, chastity and charity. "She however,
-- says the Monk Nestor, -- bowed her head and stood, literally like a sponge a
bsorbing water she hearkened to the teaching, and bowing down to the Patriarch,
she did say: By thine prayers, Vladyka, let me be preserved from the wiles of en
It is precisely thus, with a slightly bowed head, that Saint Olga is dep
icted on one of the frescoes of the Kiev Sophia cathedral, and likewise on a Byz
antine miniature contemporary to her, in a manuscript portrait of the Chronicles
of John Scilitius in the Madrid National Library. The Greek inscription, accomp
anying the miniature, terms Olga "Archontessa (i.e. ruler) of the Russes", "a wo
man, Helga by name, who came to the emperor Constantine and was baptised". The p
rincess is depicted in special head attire, "as a newly-baptised Christian and v
enerable deaconess of the Russian Church". Alongside her in the same attire of t
he newly-baptised -- is Malusha (+ 1001), the mother later on of the Equal-to-th
e-Apostles Saint Vladimir (Comm. 15 July).
For one who had originally so disliked the Russians as did the emperor C
onstantine Porphyrigenitos, it was no trivial matter for him to become the godfa
ther to the "Archontessa of Rus'". In the Russian chronicles are preserved narra
tives about this, how resolutely and on an equal footing Olga conversed with the
emperor, amazing the Greeks by her spiritual depth and wisdom of governance, an
d displaying that the Russian nation was quite capable of accepting and assimila
ting the highest attainments of the Greek religious genius, the finest fruition
of Byzantine spirituality and culture. And thus by a peaceful path Saint Olga su
cceeded in "taking Tsar'grad", something which no other military leader before h
er had ever been able to do. According to the witness of the chronicles, the emp
eror himself had to admit, that Olga "had given him the slip" (had outwitted him
), and the popular mind, jumbling together into one the traditions about Oleg th
e Wise and Olga the Wise, sealed in its memory this spiritual victory in the byl
ina or folk-legend entitled "Concerning the Taking of Tsar'grad by Princess Olga
In his work "About the Ceremonies of the Byzantine Court" -- which has s
urvived to the present-day in but one copy, Constantine Porphyrigenitos has left
us a detailed description of the ceremony surrounding the stay of Saint Olga at
Constantinople. He describes a triumphant reception in the famed Magnaura palac
e, beneathe the singing of bronze birds and the roars of copper lions, where Olg
a appeared with an impressive retinue of 108 men (not counting the men of Svyato
slav's company). And there took place negotiations in the narrower confines of t
he chambers of the empress, and then a state dinner in the hall of Justinian. An
d here during the course of events, there providentially met together at one tab
le the four "majestic ladies": the grandmother and the mother of holy Equal-to-t
he-Apostles Saint Vladimir (Saint Olga and her companion Malusha), and the grand
mother and the mother of Saint Vladimir's future spouse Anna (the empress Helen

and her daughter-in-law Theophano). Slightly more than half a century would pass
, and at the Desyatin church of the MostHoly Mother of God at Kiev would stand a
side each other the marble tombs of Saint Olga, Saint Vladimir and "Blessed Anna
During the time of one of these receptions, -- relates Constantine Porph
yrigenitos, -- the Russian princess was presented a golden plate inset with jewe
ls. Saint Olga made an offering of it at the vestry of the Sophia cathedral, whe
re at the beginning of the XIII Century it was seen and described by the Russian
diplomat Dobrynya Yadeikovich (who afterwards was to become the Novgorod archbi
shop Antonii): "The large golden official plate of Ol'ga of Russia, when she too
k it as tribute, having come to Tsar'grad; upon the plate be precious stones, an
d upon it is written in these stones the name Xpictoc-Christ".
Moreover, the wily emperor, having reported such details as would unders
core how "Olga had given him the slip", likewise presents a difficult riddle for
historians of the Russian Church. The matter involves this, -- that the Monk Ne
stor the Chronicler relates in the "Tale of Bygone Years" that the Baptism of Ol
ga took place in the Biblical year 6463 (955 or 954), and this corresponds to th
e account of the Byzantine chronicles of Kedrinos. Another Russian Church writer
of the XI Century, Yakov Mnikh, -- in his work "Eulogy and Laudation to Vladimi
r... and how Vladimir's Grandmother Ol'ga was Baptised", speaks about the death
of the holy princess (+ 969) and he notes, that she lived as a Christian for fif
teen years, and he places the actual date of Baptism as the year 954, which like
wise corresponds within several months to that indicated by Nestor. In contrast
to this, describing for us the stay of Olga at Constantinople and providing the
precise dates of the receptions given in her honour, Constantine Porphyrigenitos
has us to understand in no uncertain terms that all this occurred in the year 9
To reconcile the cited chronicles, on the one hand, with the testimony o
f Constantine on the other hand, Russian Church historians are led to suppose ei
ther one of two things: either Saint Olga journeyed a second time to Constantino
ple in the year 957 to continue negotiations with the emperor, or that either -she was in no wise baptised at Constantinople, having previously been baptised
at Kiev in 954, and that she was merely making pilgrimage to Byzantium, being al
ready a Christian. The first supposition is the more credible.
As for the immediate diplomatic outcome of the negotiations, there were
basic matters for Saint Olga that had been left unsettled. She had gained succes
s on questions concerning Russian trade within the territories of the Byzantine
empire, and also the reconfirmation of the peace accord with Byzantium, conclude
d by Igor in the year 944. But she had not been able to sway the emperor on two
issues of importance to Rus': the dynastic marriage of Svyatoslav with a Byzanti
ne princess, and the conditions for restoring an Orthodox metropolitan to Kiev a
s had existed at the time of Askol'd. The evidently inadequate outcome of her mi
ssion is detected in her answer, when she had already returned home, which was g
iven to emissaries sent out by the emperor. To the emperor's inquiry about promi
sed military aid, Saint Olga through the emissaries curtly replied: "If thou had
st spend a time with me similarly at Pochaina, as I did at the Court, then would
I give the soldiery in aid".
Amidst all this, in spite of her failed attempts at establishing the Chu
rch hierarchy within Rus', Saint Olga in having become a Christian zealously dev
oted herself to efforts of Christian evangelisation amongst the pagans, and also
church construction: "demanding the distressing of demons and the beginning of
life for Christ Jesus". She erected churches: of Saint Nicholas and Saint Sophia
at Kiev, of the Annunciation of the MostHoly Mother of God at Vytebsk, and of t
he Holy Life-Originating Trinity -- at Pskov. Pskov from that period has been ca
lled in the chronicles the Domicile of the Holy Trinity. The church, built by Ol
ga at the River Velika at a spot pointed out to her from on high, -- according t
o the chronicler, -- by a "light-beam of the Thrice-Radiant Divinity", stood for
more than one and an half centuries. In the year 1137 holy Prince Vsevolod-Gabr
iel (+ 1138, Comm. 11 February) replaced this wooden temple with one made of sto
ne, which in turn in 1363 was rebuilt and replaced finally with the presently ex

isting Trinity cathedral.

Another verymost important monument of Russian "Monument Theology", -- a
Church architecture frequently is termed, -- connected with the name of Saint O
lga, is the temple of Sophia Wisdom of God at Kiev, which was started soon after
her return from Tsar'grad, and consecrated on 11 May 960. This day was afterwar
ds observed in the Russian Church as a special Church feastday.
In the Mesyatseslov (calendar supplement)of a parchment Epistle-book fro
m 1307, under 11 May is written: "On this day was consecration of Saint Sophia a
t Kiev in the year 6460". The year-date of memory is indicated in the so-called
"Antioch" rather than generally-accepted Constantinople manner of chronology, an
d it corresponds to the year 960 from the Birth of Christ.
It was no mere co-incidence that Saint Olga received in Baptism the name
of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Helen (Elena), who was the one to find the Ve
nerable Wood of the Cross at Jerusalem. The foremost sacred item in the newly bu
ilt Kiev Sophia temple was a piece of the Holy Cross, brought by this new Helen
from Tsar'grad, and received by her in blessing from the Constantinople Patriarc
h. The Cross, by tradition, was hewn out from an entire piece of the Life-Creati
ng Wood of the Lord. Upon the Cross-Wood was inscribed: "The Holy Cross for the
Regeneration of the Russian Land, Received by Noble Princess Ol'ga".
Saint Olga did much to eternalise the memories of the first Russian conf
essors of the Name of Christ: over the grave of Askol'd was erected the Nikol'sk
(Nicholas) church, where according to certain accounts, she herself was afterwa
rds interred. Over the grave of Dir -- was built the afore-mentioned Sophia cath
edral, which stood for half a century and burned in the year 1017. On this spot
Yaroslav the Wise later on built a church of Saint Irene in 1050, but the sacred
items of Olga's Sophia temple were transferred into a stone church of the same
name -- standing at present as the Kiev Sophia, started in 1017 and consecrated
in about the year 1030. In the Prologue account of the XIII Century, it said abo
ut the Olga Cross: "for It be now at Kiev in Saint Sophia in the altar on the ri
ght side". The plundering of Kiev's holy things, which after the Mongols was con
tinued by the Lithuanians who captured the city in 1341, did not spare even this
. Under Jagiello in the period of the Liublin Unia, which in 1384 united Poland
and Lithuania into one state, the Olga Cross was snatched from the Sophia cathed
ral and carried off by the Catholics to Liublin. Its further fate is unknown.
But even in Olga's time there were at Kiev amongst the boyar-nobles and
retinue-retainers no few people who, in the words of Solomon, "hated Wisdom", an
d also Saint Olga, for having built Wisdom's temple. Zealots of the old paganism
became all the more emboldened, viewing with hope the coming of age of Svyatosl
av, who decidedly spurned the urgings of his mother to accept Christianity, and
even becoming angry with her over this. It was necessary to hurry with the inten
ded matter of the Baptism of Rus'. The deceit of Byzantium, at the time not want
ing to promote Christianity in Rus', played into the hands of the pagans. In sea
rch of a solution, Saint Olga turned her gaze to the west. No contradiction here
yet existed. Saint Olga (+ 969) belonged still to the undivided Church (i.e. be
fore the Great Schism of 1054), and she had scant possibility to study the theol
ogical points involved between the Greek and Latin faith-confessions. The opposi
tion of West and East presented itself to her first of all as a political rivalr
y -- of secondary importance in comparison with her pertinent task -- the establ
ishing of the Russian Church and the Christian enlightenment of Rus'.
Under the year 959, the German chronicler named "the Continuant of Regin
on", records: "to the king came emissaries of Helen, queen of the Russes, who wa
s baptised in Constantinople, and which did seek for their nation to have bishop
and priests". King Otto, the future founder of the German empire, willingly acc
eded to the request of Olga, but he bid the matter not be in haste, in quite Ger
man the ponderence. It was only on Nativity of the following year 960, that ther
e was established a Russian bishop Libutius, from the monastery brethren of Sain
t Alban am Mainz. But he soon died (15 March 961). In his place was ordained Ada
lbert of Trier, whom Otto "generously furnishing all needs" dispatched, finally,
to Russia. It is difficult to say, what would have happened, had the king not d
elayed for so long a while, but when in 962 when Adalbert showed up at Kiev, he

"did not succeed in the matter for which he had been sent, and did consider his
efforts to be in vain". Furthermore, on the return journey "certain of his compa
nions were murdered, and the bishop himself escaped not mortal danger".
It turned out that after the passage of years, as Olga indeed had forese
en, matters at Kiev had twisted ultimately in favour of paganism, and Rus' -- ha
ving become neither Orthodox nor Catholic, had second thoughts altogether about
accepting Christianity. The pagan reaction thus produced was so strong, that not
only did the German missionaries suffer, but also some of the Kiev Christians w
ho had been baptised with Olga at Tsar'grad. By order of Svyatoslav, Saint Olga'
s nephew Gleb was killed and some of the churches built by her were destroyed. I
t seems reasonable, that this transpired not without Byzantium's secret diplomac
y: given the possibility of a strengthened Rus' in alliance with Otto, the Greek
s would have preferred to support the pagans, with the consequent intrigues agai
nst Olga and various disorders.
The collapse of the mission of Adalbert had providential significance fo
r the future Russian Orthodox Church, escaping papal dominion. Saint Olga was ob
liged to accede to the humiliation and to withdraw fully into matters of persona
l piety, handing over the reigns of governance to her pagan-son Svyatoslav. Beca
use of her former role, all the difficult matters were referred over to her in h
er wisdom of governance. When Svyatoslav absented himself from Kiev on military
campaigns and wars, the governance of the realm was again entrusted to his mothe
r. But the question about the Baptism of Rus' was for the while taken off the ag
enda, and this was ultimately bitter for Saint Olga, who regards the good-news o
f the Gospel of Christ the chief matter in her life.
She meekly endured the sorrow and grief, attempting to help her son in c
ivil and military affairs, and to guide matters with heroic intent. The victorie
s of the Russian army were a consolation for her, particularly the destruction o
f an old enemy of the Russian state -- the Khazar kaganate. Twice, in the years
965 and 969, the armies of Svyatoslav went through the lands of "the foolish Kha
zars", forever shattering the might of the Jewish rulers of Priazovia and lower
Povolzhia. A subsequent powerful blow was struck at the Mahometan Volga Bulgars,
and then in turn came the Danube Bulgars. Eighteen years were spent on the Danu
be with the Kiev military forces. Olga was alone and in worry: it was as though,
absorbed by military matters in the Balkans, Svyatoslav had forgotten about Kie
In the Spring of 969 the Pechenegs besieged Kiev: "and it was impossible
to lead out the horses to water, for the Pechenegs stood at the Lybeda". The Ru
ssian army was far away, at the Danube. Having sent off messengers to her son, S
aint Olga herself headed the defense of the capital. When he received the news,
Svyatoslav rode quickly to Kiev, and "he hugged his mother and his children and
was distressed, with what had happened with them from the Pechenegs". But after
routing the nomads, the warrior prince began anew to say to his mother: "It doth
not please me to sit at Kiev, for I do wish to live at Pereslavl' on the Dunaj
(Danube) -- since there be the centre of my lands". Svyatoslav dreamed of creati
ng a vast Russian holding from the Danube to the Volga, which would unite all Ru
s', Bulgaria, Serbia, the Near Black Sea region and Priazovia (Azov region), and
extend his borders to those of Tsar'grad itself. Olga the Wise understood howev
er, that all the bravery and daring of the Russian companies could not compare a
gainst the ancient empire of the Byzantine Romanoi, and that the venture of Svya
toslav would fail. But the son would not heed the admonitions of his mother. Sai
nt Olga thereupon said: "Thou dost behold, that I am ill. Why wishest thou to fo
rsake me? When thou buriest me, then set out whitherso thou dost will".
Her days were numbered, and her burdens and sorrows sapped her strength.
On 11 July 969 Saint Olga died: "and with great lament they bewept her, her son
and grandsons and all the people". The final years, amidst the triumph of pagan
ism, for her as once haughty ruler transpired with having a priest secretly by h
er, so as to not evoke new outbursts of pagan fanaticism. But before death, havi
ng found anew her former firmness and resolve, she forbade them to make over her
the pagan celebration of the dead, and she gave final instructions to bury her
openly in accord with Orthodox ritual. Presbyter Gregory, who was with her at Co

nstantinople in 957, fulfilled her request exactly.

Saint Olga lived, died, and was buried as a Christian. "And thus having
lived and well having glorified God in Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit,
having worshipped in the blessed faith, she did end her life in the peace of Chr
ist Jesus, our Lord". As her prophetic testament to succeeding generations, with
deep Christian humility she confessed her faith concerning her nation: "God's w
ill be done! If God be pleased to have mercy upon my native Russian Land, then s
halt they be turned in heart towards God, as for me also wast this gift".
God glorified the holy toiler of Orthodoxy, the "initiator of faith" in
the Russian Land, by means of miracles and incorrupt relics. Yakov Mnikh (+ 1072
), an hundred years after her death, wrote in his work "Memory and Laudation to
Vladimir": "God hath glorified the body of His servant Olena, and her venerable
body be in the grave, incorrupt to this day".
Saint Olga glorified God with good deeds in all things, and God glorifie
d her. Under holy Prince Vladimir, ascribed by some as occurring in the year 100
7, the relics of Saint Olga were transferred into the Desyatin church of the Usp
enie (Dormition) of the MostHoly Mother of God and placed within a special sarco
phagus, into suchlike as was customary to enclose the relics of saints in the Or
thodox East. "And hear ye concerning a certain miracle about her: the grave of s
tone is small in the church of the Holy Mother of God, this church built by bles
sed Prince Vladimir, and in the grave is Blessed Ol'ga. And atop the grave was a
n opening wrought -- for to behold the body of Blessed Ol'ga lying there whole".
But not everyone was given to see this miracle of the incorrupt relics of the s
aint: "For whosoever with faith did come, the aperture opened up, and there was
beheld the venerable body lying intact, and one would marvel at such a miracle - the body lying there for so many years without decay. Worthy of all praise be
this venerable body: in the grave whole, as though sleeping at rest. But for ano
ther, who not in faith shouldst approach, the grave aperture would not open up,
and they would not catch sight of this venerable body, but only the grave".
Thus even after death Saint Olga espoused life eternal and resurrection,
filling believers with joy and confounding non-believers. She was, in the words
of the Monk Nestor the Chronicler, "a precursor in the Christian land, like the
dawn before sunrise or light the twilight before the light".
The holy Equal-to-the-Apostles GreatPrince Vladimir, himself giving than
ks to God on the day of the Baptism of Rus', witnessed before his countrymen con
cerning Saint Olga with the remarkable words: "The sons of Rus' do bless thee, a
nd also the generations of thine ultimate lineage".
Remembrance of the Miracle of Saint Euphemia the All-Praiseworthy: The h
oly GreatMartyress Euphemia (the account about her is located under 16 September
) suffered martyrdom in the city of Chalcedon in the year 304, during the time o
f the persecution against Christians by the emperor Diocletian (284-305). One an
d an half centuries later, -- at a time when the Christian Church had become vic
torious within the Roman empire, God deigned that Euphemia the All-Praiseworthy
should again be an especial witness and confessor of the purity of the Orthodox
In the year 451 in the city of Chalcedon, in the very church wherein res
ted the glorified relics of the holy GreatMartyress Euphemia -- there took place
the sessions of the Fourth OEcumenical Council (the account about it is under 1
6 July). The Council was convened for determining the precise dogmatic formulae
of the Orthodox Church concerning the nature-composition of the God-Man Jesus Ch
rist. This had been necessitated because of the widely-dispersed heresy of the M
onophysites ["mono-phusis" meaning "one nature"], who opposed the Orthodox teach
ing about the two natures in Jesus Christ -- the Divine and the Human natures [b
ut in one Divine Person as Son of God within the Holy Trinity of three Divine Pe
rsons]. The Monophysites falsely affirmed that within Christ was only one nature
-- the Divine [i.e. that Jesus is God but not man, by nature], causing discord
and unrest within the Church. At the Council were present 630 representatives fr
om all the Local Christian Churches. On the side of the Orthodox in the concilia
r deliberations there participated Sainted Anatolios, Patriarch of Constantinopl

e (Comm. 3 July), Sainted Juvenalios, Patriarch of Jerusalem (Comm. 2 July), and

representatives of Sainted Leo, Pope of Rome (Comm. 18 February). The Monophysi
tes were present in large numbers, headed by Dioscoros, the Alexandrian patriarc
h, and the Constantinople archimandrite Eutykhios.
After prolonged discussions the two sides could not come to a decisive a
The holy Patriarch of Constantinople Anatolios thereupon proposed that t
he Council submit the decision of the Church dispute to the Holy Spirit, through
His undoubted bearer Saint Euphemia the All-Praiseworthy, whose wonderworking r
elics had been discovered during the Council's discussions. The Orthodox hierarc
hs and their opponents wrote down their confessions of faith on separate scrolls
and sealed them with their seals. They opened the tomb of the holy GreatMartyre
ss Euphemia and placed both scrolls upon her bosom. Then, in the presence of the
emperor Marcian (450-457), the participants of the Council sealed the tomb, put
ting on it the imperial seal and setting a guard to watch over it for three days
. During these days both sides imposed upon themselves strict fast and made inte
nse prayer. After three days the patriarch and the emperor in the presence of th
e Council opened the tomb with its relics: the scroll with the Orthodox confessi
on was held by Saint Euphemia in her right hand, and the scroll of the heretics
lay at her feet. Saint Euphemia, as though alive, raised her hand and gave the s
croll to the patriarch. After this miracle many of the hesitant accepted the Ort
hodox confession, while those remaining obstinant in the heresy were consigned t
o the Council's condemnation and excommunication.
After an invasion by the Persians during the VII Century, the relics of
Saint Euphemia were transferred from Chalcedon to Constantinople, into a newly b
uilt church dedicated in her name. Many years later, during the period of the Ic
onoclast heresy, the reliquary with the relics of the saint was cast into the se
a -- by order of the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-741). The reliquar
y was rescued from the sea by the ship-owning brothers Sergios and Sergonos, who
gave it over to the local bishop. The holy bishop ordered that the relics be pr
eserved in secret, beneathe a crypt, since the Iconoclast heresy was continuing
to rage. A small church was built over the relics, and over the reliquary was pu
t a board with an inscription stating whose relics rested therein. When the Icon
oclast heresy was finally condemned at the holy Seventh OEcumenical Council (in
the year 787), -- during the time of Sainted Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinop
le (784-806) and the emperor Constantine VI (780-797) and his mother Saint Irene
(797-802), -- the relics of the holy GreatMartyress Euphemia were once again so
lemnly transferred to Constantinople.
The Holy Martyr Kindeios was a presbyter in the village of Sida, in Pamp
hylia, Asia Minor. During the time of the persecution against Christians by the
emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Kindeios was arrested and as a Christian sen
tenced to burning. The soldiers leading him to execution along the way encounter
ed a wood-cutter with a large bundle of firewood, and by force they confiscated
the firewood as kindling for the bon-fire. But Saint Kindeios demanded 30 copper
coins of them to pay the wood-cutter, and then he took up the burden upon his o
wn shoulders and carried it to the place of execution. With the help of God, Sai
nt Kindeios even in the bon-fire remained a steadfast warrior of Christ, and ami
dst the flames he found within himself the strength to call the people standing
about to accept the true faith and the grace of the Lord. At this point a strong
thunderstorm broke out with a downpour of rain, and the bon-fire went out. When
the storm abated, the holy martyr peacefully gave up his soul to Christ. Presen
t at the martyrdom was a pagan priest who listened to the preaching of the holy
Martyr Kindeios, and he together with his wife came to believe in Christ, and it
was they who consigned to burial the body of the holy Martyr Kindeios.
The Monk Arkadii of Vyazemsk and Novotorzhsk: The relics of the Monk Ark
adii, glorified by miracles, were uncovered on 11 July 1677 at the Novotorzhsk B
orisoglebsk (Boris and Gleb) monastery. Two days later they were transferred fro
m the right side of the Borisoglebsk cathedral to the left side, beneathe a chap

el in honour of the holy Righteous Ancestors of God Joakim and Anna. In 1755 the
y were re-situated into a stone tomb. The account about the life of the Monk Ark
adii is located under 13 December, the day of his repose.
The Rzhevsk or Okovetsk Icon of the Mother of God: On 26 May 1539, on th
e day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost), in Tver diocese, in Vyryshe
nsk town situated amidst the virgin forest on the bank of the rivulet Vyryshna i
n the Okovetsk district, not far from the city of Rzhev, at a crossroads for peo
ple from four surrounding villages, the monk Stefan made a discovery: fastened t
o a pine-tree was a large iron cross and on another tree -- a not-large oldly wr
itten icon, imaging the Mother of God with Child, and with Saint Nicholas of Myr
a the Wonderworker. With the discovery of the holy cross and the icon there shon
e an extraordinary light and healings occurred. Over the course of the weeks fro
m Spirit Day to the onset of the Peter Lent, 27 healings occurred.
The monk Stefan, and right after him the Rzhevsk priest Grigorii Onisiph
orov, journeyed to Moscow with reports of the appearance of the holy icon and cr
oss and the healing that occurred. The then head of the Russian Church, the Mosc
ow metropolitan Joasaph (1539-1541), gave thanks to the Lord, and after verifyin
g the miracles of that place, gave blessing to erect there two churches: the one
in glory of the Bringing-forth of the Venerable Wood of the Cross of the Lord,
and the other in honour of the Hodegetria Mother of God, having with it a chapel
in honour of Sainted Nicholas the Wonderworker. At the consecration of the chur
ches there was dispatched a priest and deacon from Moscow, together with church
utensils, images, vestments, books and bells.
In January 1541 the Rzhevsk icon was solemnly transferred to Moscow for
the consecration of a church in honour of the Rzhevsk Icon of the Mother of God.
After the consecration of the temple, the icon and cross were transferred to th
e Uspensk (Dormition) cathedral, where they remained until 11 July. On this day
the Rzhevsk icon and cross were returned to the place of their miraculous appear
ance. The metropolitan together with all the assembled clergy of the capital, an
d with the young tsar' Ioann (Ivan) Vasil'evich, and all the people, accompanied
the icon from the Uspensk cathedral to the church of the Rzhevsk Icon of the Mo
ther of God, where there was left a copy of this venerable icon. In memory of th
is celebration there was established the feastday of the Rzhevsk Icon of the Mot
her of God on 11 July.
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
The Holy Martyrs Proklos and Ilarion were natives of the village of Kali
pta, near Ancyra, and they suffered during the time of a persecution under the e
mperor Trajan (98-117). Saint Proklos was put under arrest first. Brought before
the governor Maximus, he fearlessly confessed his faith in Christ. The governor
decided to compel the saint by force to submit himself to the emperor to offer
sacrifice to the pagan gods. During the time of tortures, the martyr predicted t
o Maximus, that soon he himself would be compelled to confess Christ as the True
God. They forced the martyr to run after the chariot of the governor, heading t
owards the village Kalipta. Exhausted along the way, Saint Proklos prayed, that
the Lord would halt the chariot. By the power of God the chariot halted, and no
sort of force could move it from the spot. The dignitary sitting in it was as it
were petrified and remained unmoving until such time, at the demand of the mart
yr, that he would sign a statement with a confession of Christ; only after this

was the chariot with the governor able to continue on its way.
The humiliated pagan took fierce revenge on Saint Proklos: after many to
rtures he commanded that he be led out beyond the city, tied to a pillar and exe
cuted with arrows. The soldiers, leading saint Proklos to execution, told him to
give in and save his life, but the saint said that they should do what they had
been ordered.
Along the way to the place of killing, there met them the nephew of Sain
t Proklos, Ilarion, who with tears hugged his martyr-uncle and also confessed hi
mself a Christian. The soldiers seized him, and he was thrown into prison. The h
oly Martyr Proklos beneathe the hail of arrows prayed for his tormentors and wit
h prayer gave up his soul to God.
Saint Ilarion, having been brought to trial, with the same fearlessness
as Saint Proklos confessed himself a Christian, and after tortures he was senten
ced to death. They tied the martyr's hands and dragged him by his feet through t
he city, wounded and bloody, and then they beheaded him 3 days after the death o
f his uncle, the holy Martyr Proklos. Christians buried them together in a singl
e grave.
The Monk Michael Maleinos was born about the year 894 in the Charsian re
gion (Cappadocia) and at Baptism he received the name Manuel. He was of the same
lineage with the Byzantine emperor Leo VI the Wise (886-911). At age 18 Manuel
went off to Bithynia, to the Kimineia monastery under the guidance of the elder,
John Heladites, who vowed him into monasticism with the name Michael. Fulfillin
g a very difficult obedience in spite of his illustrious lineage, he demonstrate
d an example of great humility.
After the passage of a certain while he was vouchsafed the grace of the
priesthood. Constantly studying the Holy Scripture, the Monk Michael showed how
the priesthood ought to be properly conjoined with monasticism, -- he attained t
o an high degree of dispassion and acquired the gift of perspicacity. He was ver
y compassionate and kindly towards people, he could not let remain without help
and consolation those who were in need and in sorrow, and by his ardent prayer h
e accomplished many miracles.
After much monastic effort under the guidance of the elder John, the Mon
k Michael besought of him blessing for a solitary life in a cave, Five days of t
he week he spent at prayerful concentration and only on Saturday and Sunday did
he come to the monastery for participation in Divine-services and communion of t
he Holy Mysteries.
By his example of sublime spiritual life the holy hermit attracted many
seeking after salvation. In a desolate place called Dry Lake, the Monk Michael f
ounded a monastery for the brethren gathering to him, and gave it a strict ustav
(monastic-rule). When the monastery was secure, the Monk Michael went to a stil
l more remote place and built there a new monastery. By the efforts of the holy
abba, all the Kumineia mountain was covered over by monastic communities, where
constantly prayers were raised up for all the world to the Throne of the Most-Hi
About the year 953 amongst the brethren entered the youth Abraham, flour
ishing under the guidance of Saint Michael, who gave him the name Athanasias. La
ter on the Monk Athanasias (Comm. 5 July) himself founded the reknown Athos Laur
a, the first life-in-common monastery on the Holy Mountain. In the building of t
he Laura great help was rendered to the Monk Athanasias by the nephew of the Mon
k Michael -- the later Byzantine emperor Nicephoros Phokas (963-969), who in vis
iting his uncle met also Athanasias. After fifty years of incessant monastic eff
ort the monk Michael Maleinos peacefully expired to the Lord in the year 962.
The Holy Martyrs Theodore (Feodor) the Varangian and his son John lived
at Kiev in the X Century, when the Varangians, ancestors of the present-day Swed
es and Norwegians accepted a particularly active role in the governance and mili
tary life of Rus'. Merchants and soldiers, they opened up new trade routes to By
zantium and to the East, they took part in campaigns against Tsar'grad (i.e. Con
stantinople), and they constituted a significant part of the populace of ancient

Kiev and the princely mercenary retinues. The chief trade route of Rus' -- from
the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea -- was then called "the Way from the Varangians
to the Greeks".
The chieftains and organisers of the early Russian realm relied upon the
ir Varangian retinues in their undertakings. Just like the Slavs, among whom the
y lived, many of the sea-faring newcomers under the influence of the Byzantine C
hurch accepted holy Baptism. Kievan Rus' occupied a middle place between the pag
an Scandinavians and the Orthodox Byzantines, whereby there prevailed in the spi
ritual life at Kiev alternately in turn the vivifying influence of the Christian
faith (under Blessed Askol'd in the years 860-882, under Igor and Saint Ol'ga i
n the years 940-950), and then in alternation the destructive whirlwind of pagan
ism, blowing down from the North from the Varangian Sea (under the reign of Oleg
, killing Askol'd in 882; under the revolt of the Drevliani murdering Igor in 94
5; under prince Svyatoslav, refusing to accept Baptism despite the insistence of
his mother, Equal-to-the-Apostles Ol'ga).
When in 972 (other sources give 970) Svyatoslav was killed by the Pechen
egs, the great-princedom of Kiev became the undertaking of his eldest son, Yarop
olk. Oleg the middle son held the Drevlianian land, while Vladimir the youngest
son held Novgorod. The reign of Yaropolk (970-978), just like that of his grandm
other Ol'ga, again became a time of predominating Christian influence in the spi
ritual life of Rus'. Yaropolk himself, in the opinion of historians, confessed C
hristianity, although possibly of the Latin rite, and this did not at all corres
pond to the interests of the Scandinavian mercenary retinue -- pagans, who were
accustomed to consider Kiev a bulwark of their own influence in the Slavic lands
. Their leaders strove to create discord between the brothers themselves, they i
ncited a fratricidal war of Yaropolk with Oleg, and after this when Oleg was kil
led, they supported Vladimir in a struggle against Yaropolk.
The future Baptiser of Rus' started on his way as a convinced pagan and
he relied upon the Varangians, especially those having come to him from over the
sea, as his military force. His campaign against Kiev in 978, crowned with comp
lete success, pursued not only military-political aims: it was also a religious
campaign of Russo-Varangian paganism against the outgrowth of Kievan Christianit
y. On 11 June 978 Vladimir "sat on the throne of his father at Kiev", and the ha
pless Yaropolk, invited by his brother for negotiations, upon his arrival in the
entrance hall was treacherously murdered by two Varangians stabbing him with sw
ords. For the intimidation of the Kievans, among whom were already many Christia
ns both Russian and Varangian, to renew and strengthen with new idols, in the pa
gan sanctuary human sacrifices were made -- til then a practise unknown to the D
niepr' Slavs. In the chronicles it says about the setting up of idols by Vladimi
r: "And they brought to them sacrifices, acclaiming them gods, and they brought
to them their own sons and daughters, and these sacrifices went to the devils...
both the Russian land and this hill were defiled with blood".
Apparently, to this first period of the triumph of paganism at Kiev with
the coming to rule of Vladimir, there may have followed the destruction of the
holy Martyrs Theodore (Feodor) and his son John, -- which possibly in this case
would set the date as 12 July 978. But it is probable otherwise, that the exploi
t of the holy Kievan Varangian-martyrs took place in the year 983, when the wave
of pagan reaction rolled not only through Rus', but throughout all the Slavic-G
ermanic world. Against Christ and the Church almost simultaneously there rose up
pagans in Denmark, Germany, the Baltic Slavic principalities, and everywhere th
e unrest was accompanied by the destruction of churches, and by the killing of c
lergy and Christian confessors. This was the year Vladimir went on campaign agai
nst the Lithuanian tribe of the Yatvyagi, and gained victory over them. In recog
nition of this victory the Kievan pagan-priests also decided again to make a blo
ody sacrificial offering.
...There lived among the Kievans, -- reports the Monk Nestor the Chronic
ler, -- a Varangian by the name of Feodor, for a long time before this in milita
ry service at Byzantium and there having accepted holy Baptism. His pagan name,
preserved in the term "Turov pagan-temple", was Tur (Scandinavian Thor) or Utor
(Scandinavian Ottar), and in the old manuscripts is met with also this other sig

nature. Feodor had a son John, a pious and handsome youth, confessing Christiani
ty like his father.
"And said the elders and boyars: let us cast lots upon the lads and maid
ens, upon whom it fall, that one we shall slaughter in sacrifice to the gods". E
vidently not unintentionally the lots, thrown by the pagan priests, fell upon th
e Christian John.
When the messengers told Feodor, that his son "the gods themselves had c
hosen, that we may offer him to them in sacrifice", the old warrior decisively a
nswered: "This is not a god, but wood. Today it is, and tomorrow it rots. They d
o not eat, nor drink nor speak, but are crafted by human hands from wood. God ho
wever is One, He it is the Greeks do serve and worship. He created heaven and ea
rth, the stars and the moon, the sun and man, and foreordained him to live upon
the earth. But these gods what have they created? They themselves are made. I sh
alt not give my son over to devils".
This was a direct challenge by the Christian to the customs and beliefs
of the pagans. An enraged crowd of pagans rushed at Feodor, smashed up his court
yard, and surrounded the house. Feodor, in the words of the chronicler, "stood a
t the entrance-way with his son", and bravely with weapon in hand he met the ene
my. (The entrance-way in old Russian houses as mentioned was set up on posts of
a roofed gallery of the second storey, to which a ladder led up). He calmly gaze
d upon the devil-driven pagans and said: "If they be gods, let them dispatch one
of the gods to take my son". Seeing, that in a fair fight with them there would
be no overcoming Feodor and John -- brave and seasoned warriors, the besiegers
knocked down the gallery posts, and when they were broken, the crowd rushed upon
the confessors and murdered them...
Already during the era of the Monk Nestor, less than an hundred years af
ter the confessor's deed of the Varangians, the Russian Orthodox Church venerate
d them within the assembly of the saints. Feodor and John became the first marty
rs for the holy Orthodox faith in the Russian land. They were called the first "
Russian citizens of the heavenly city" by the transcriber of the Kievo-Pechersk
Paterikon, Sainted-Bishop Simon of Suzdal' (+ 1226, Comm. 10 May). The last of t
he bloody pagan sacrifices at Kiev became the first holy Christian sacrifice -with a co-suffering for Christ. The pathway "from the Varangians to the Greeks"
became for Rus' the pathway from paganism to Orthodoxy, from darkness to light.
On the place of the martyrdom of the Varangians, holy Equal-to-the-Apost
les Vladimir later on erected the Desyatin Church of the Uspenie (Dormition, Rep
ose) of the MostHoly Mother of God, consecrated on 12 May 996 (celebrated 12 May
). The relics of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Ol'ga were transferred into it i
n the year 1007. Eight years later it was destined to become the final resting p
lace of Saint Vladimir himself, -- the Baptiser of the Russian land, and in 1044
his son, Yaroslav the Wise, transferred into the church the remains of his uncl
es, Yaropolk and Oleg, previously "having baptised the bones". Evidently, this f
inal matter was called for by the requirement of a church rule about repeating a
baptism of a Christian in the absence of reliable witnessing of a first baptism
. But on the other hand, in old Kiev they ascribed great significance to ancient
-Christian sayings about the possibility through an especial mercy of God of an
after-death making of the sacrament of Baptism over people, having died outside
the community of the Church. Such an account is read, for example, in the reknow
n artifact of old-Russian instructive literature -- "the Izbornik [article-colle
ction] of 1076", belonging to the son of Yaroslav the Wise, noble prince Svyatos
lav (+ 1076).
...Wondrous is God in His saints. Time does not spare stones and bronze,
but the lower framework of the wooden house of the holy Varangrian martyrs, bur
ned a thousand years previous, have been preserved to our day: it was discovered
in the year 1908, during the time of excavation at Kiev at the altar of the Des
yatin church.
The MonkMartyr Simon of Volomsk, in the world Simeon, son of the peasant
Mikhail from the vicinity of Volokolamsk, was born in the year 1586. At 24 year
s of age, after long pilgrimage through Orthodox monasteries, he took monastic v

ows at the Pinegsk Makar'ev monastery, and in the year 1613 he settled 80 versts
to the southwest of Ustiug at the River Kichmenga, in the Volomsk forest. Here
he spent five years alone, remote from people; he nourished himself with vegetab
les which he himself cultivated, and sometimes indeed asked for bread in some se
ttlement. When lovers of the quiet life began to gather to him, the Monk Simon,
through a grant of tsar Mikhail Feodorovich and with the blessing of the Rostov
metropolitan Varlaam, erected a temple in honour of the Cross of the Lord, and i
n 1620 was made head of the monastery founded by him. A strict ascetic, serving
as an example to all in virtue, love of toil, fasting and prayer, he was wickedl
y murdered in his own monastery on 12 July 1641. The body of the Monk Simon with
reverence was buried on the left side of the church built by him.
Veneration of the monk began in 1646 after gracious manifestations witne
ssed to of his relics. His life was compiled in the XVII Century.
The Holy Martyress Golinducha, in Baptism Mary, lived in Persia during t
he reign of Chosroes I the Elder. She was the wife of the chief magician of the
Persian empire. Endowed with a lucid mind, Golinducha perceived the falseness of
the pagan wisdom, and she pondered much about what the true faith might be. Hav
ing learned about the existence of Christianity, she very much wanted to learn w
hat it taught. Soon through the providence of God, her wish was fulfilled. In sl
eep an Angel showed Golinducha the place of torment of sinners and the paradise,
in which dwell the believers in Christ, the True God. After this dream she bega
n fervently to pray to the True God, so that He might help her become a Christia
n. The Angel of God directed Golinducha to a Christian priest, from whom she rec
eived holy Baptism with the name Mary.
After Baptism she left her magician-husband, and he made complaint to th
e emperor Chosroes. The emperor himself, and dignitaries sent by him, and illust
rious women all urged Golinducha to return to her husband. For her decisive refu
sal the emperor sentenced her to be locked up in life imprisonment. In prison Sa
int Mary-Golinducha spent 18 years.
During the reign of the successor of the emperor Chosroes, his son Ormis
das, in Persia there had arrived an ambassador of the Byzantine emperor Mauriciu
s, -- Aristoboulos. Having learned, that for many years already Mary the Christi
an was languishing in prison, Aristoboulos with the permission of the emperor re
peatedly visited her in prison and taught her to sing the Psalms of David. After
the departure of Aristoboulos, Ormisdas gave orders to present Saint Mary-Golin
ducha before him and for a long time he tortured her, subjecting her to all sort
s of beatings and torments. But in all the torments through the intercession of
God the saint was preserved unharmed. When they gave her over for defilement, th
e Lord made her invisible to the impious and preserved her purity. Finally the e
mperor gave orders to cut off the head of the martyress, but the Lord sheltered
her from the hand of the executioner and brought her to Christians living in con
When the persecution against Christians in Persia ceased during the reig
n of Chosroes II, -- who occupied the throne with the help of the Byzantine empe
ror Mauricius, Saint Mary-Golinducha began openly to preach the Christian faith.
At the end of her life Saint Mary made pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where sh
e prayed at the tomb of the Lord and other holy places. On the return journey sh
e died (+ 591) in the church of the holy Martyr Sergios at Niziba.
Righteous Veronica was, according to tradition, that woman with the issu
e of blood, who received healing by a touch to the hem of the robe of Christ (Mt
. 9: 20-22). She gave the Lord a veil, with which the Lord wiped His face, when
He went to crucifixion. On the veil was imaged the Face of the Lord.
The Icon of the Mother of God, named "Three-Handed": The wonderworking i
mage, before which the Monk John Damascene (Comm. 4 December) received healing o
f a cut-off hand, was given over by him to the Laura of the Monk Sava the Sancti
fied. In the XIII Century the icon was situated in Serbia, and afterwards it was
miraculously transported to Athos to the Khilendaria monastery. A more detailed

account about the icon is located under 28 June.

1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Sobor of the ArchAngel Gabriel is celebrated on the day following af
ter the Annunciation/Blagoveschenie, ie. 26 March. This feast is celebrated a se
cond time 13 July. The reason for its being established probably served the dedi
cation in the XVII Cent. of a church at Constantinople, constructed in the name
of the Holy Archi-Strategos / Chief of the Heavenly Hosts.
An account of the Holy ArchAngel is located under 26 March and 8 Novembe
The Monk Stephanos Savvaites, nephew of Saint John of Damascus (Comm. on
4 December), was born in the year 725. The ten year old lad entered the Lavra o
f Saint Savva and spent his whole life at this monastery, sometimes going out in
to the wilderness for solitary ascetic deeds. The monk Stephanos was bestowed th
e gifts of wonder-working and perspicacity: he healed the sick, cast out devils,
and discerned the thoughts of those coming to him for counsel. He died in the y
ear 724, foretelling in advance the day of his death. The life of the monk was c
ompiled by his student Leontios.
Sainted Julian, Bishop of Cenomanea, was elevated to bishop by the Apost
le Peter. There exists the opinion that he -- is one and the same person with Si
mon the Leper (Mk. 14, 3), in Baptism receiving the name Julian.
The Apostle Peter sent Saint Julian to preach the Gospel in Gaul.
He arrived in Cenomanea (the region of the River Po in the north of pres
ent-day Italy) and settled into a small hut out beyond a city (probably Cremona)
, and he began to preach among the pagans. The idol-worshippers at first listene
d to him with distrust, but the preaching of the saint was accompanied by great
wonders. By prayer Sainted Julian healed various of the sick. Gradually there be
gan to flock to him a great multitude of people, asking for help. In healing bod
ily infirmities, Sainted Julian healed also the souls, enlightening those coming
to him by the light of faith in Christ.
In order to quench the thirst of his numerous visitors, Sainted Julian,
having prayed to the Lord, struck his staff on the ground and from that dry plac
e there came forth a spring of water. This wonder converted many pagans to Chris
tianity. One time the Sainted Bishop wanted to see the local prince. At the gate
of the prince's dwelling there sat a blind man whom Saint Julian took pity on,
and having prayed, gave him his sight. The prince came out towards the Sainted B
ishop, and having only just learned that he had worked this miracle, he fell dow
n at the feet of the bishop, requesting Baptism. Having catechised the prince an
d his family, Saint Julian imposed on them a three-day fast, and then he fulfill
ed over them the mystery of Baptism.
On the example of the prince, the majority of his subjects also converte
d to Christ. The prince donated his own home to the bishop for the constructing
of a temple in it and he provided the Church with means. Saint Julian fervently
concerned himself with the spiritual enlightening of his flock and as before he
healed the sick. Deeply affected by the grief of parents, the sainted bishop by
his own prayer entreated of God the raising up of their dead children to life. T
he holy Bishop Julian remained long on his throne, teaching his flock the way to
Heaven. The Sainted Bishop died in extreme old age (I Cent.). To the end of his

days he preached about Christ and he completely eradicated idol-worship in the

land of Cenomanea.
The Holy Martyr Serapion suffered for Christ before the Emperor Severus
(193-211). As a Christian he was brought to judgment before the governor Achille
s. The holy martyr firmly announced to the pagans about his faith in Christ and
he was subjected to inhuman torments, after which he was thrown into prison.
Healed by the Lord Jesus Christ, he was brought to the judgment place an
d he presented himself before the judge completely healthy. The enraged pagans s
entenced the saint to burning. Thrown into a bon-fire, he gave up his soul to Go
d (+ c. 205).
The Holy Martyr Marcian, a native of Lyceian Iconium, while still at a y
outhful age converted many to Christ by his fiery preaching. For his zealousness
the idol-worshippers subjected the saint to bodily punishment, and then sent hi
m to Cappadocia to the governor Perennias, who now by persuasion now by threaten
ing, attempted to turn away the youth from the Truth -- Christ. Saint Marcian fe
arlessly testified about the truthfulness of the Christian faith and he accused
Perennias of worshipping soul-less idols. The enraged governor gave orders to su
bject the saint to severe torments, but in his sufferings the saint remained ste
adfast in his faithfulness to Christ. They cut off his head when he prayed, givi
ng thanks to God for his fate (+258).
The Transfer of the Relics of the Monk Antonii of Leokhovo (1620). (The
account about the saint is located under 17 October).
Copyright 1996 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


Saint Aquila, Disciple from the Seventy. It is possible, that he was a d
isciple of the Apostle Paul, a native of Pontus and a Jew, living in the city of
Rome with his wife Priscilla (Comm. 13 February). During the reign of the emper
or Claudius (41-54) all the Jews were banished from Rome. Saint Aquilla and his
wife were compelled to leave. They settled in Corinth. A short while afterwards
the holy Apostle Paul arrived there from Athens preaching the Gospel. Having mad
e the acquaintance of Aquila, he began to live at his house and laboured togethe
r with him over the making of tents.
Having accepted Baptism from the Apostle Paul, Aquila and Priscilla baca
me his devoted and zealous disciples. They accompanied the apostle to Ephesus. T
he Apostle Paul instructed them to continue the preaching of the Gospel at Ephes
us, and he himself set off to Jerusalem, in order to be present there for the fe
ast of Pentecost. At Ephesus Aquila and Priscilla heard the bold preaching of a
new-comer from Alexandria, the Jew Apollos, who had been instructed in the funda
mentals of the faith, but knew only the baptism of John the ForeRunner [i.e. Joh
n the Baptist]. They called him over to themselves and explained more precisely
about the way of the Lord.
After the death of the emperor Claudius, Jews were permitted to return t
o Italy, and Aquila and Priscilla then returned to Rome. The Apostle Paul in his
Epistle to the Romans recollects about his faithful disciples: "Greet Priscilla
and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus, who put forth their heads for my sou
l, whom I do not alone thank, but also all the Church of the Gentiles and the ch
urch of their household" (Rom. 16: 3-4). Saint Aquila did not long dwell in Rome
: the Apostle Paul made him a bishop in Asia. Saint Aquila zealously laboured at

preaching the Gospel in Asia, Achaeia and Herakleia: he converted pagans to Chr
ist, he confirmed in the faith newly-converted Christians, he established presby
ters and destroyed idols. Saint Priscilla constantly assisted him in the apostol
ic work. Saint Aquila finished his life a martyr: pagans murdered him. According
to the tradition of the Church, Saint Priscilla was killed together with him.
The Monk Stefan of Makhrisch was a native of Kiev. He accepted monastici
sm at the Pechersk monastery, where he spent several years in deeds of obedience
and prayer. The oppressions by the Papists compelled him to journey on to Mosco
w, where GreatPrince Ivan II (1353-1359) graciously received him, permitting him
to settle in the locale of Makhrisch not far from Gorodisch, 35 versts from the
Sergeev wilderness-monastery.
Having built himself a cell and spending his life at ascetic labours, an
d esteeming silence, he did not accept those wishing to join him. But then he yi
elded to the requests, and by such manner, in 1358 he founded a monastery, in wh
ich he was established as hegumen.
Living near his monastery were the Yurkov brothers, fearing that the lan
d which they ruled might be given over to the monastery, and they threatened to
kill the holy ascetic. The admonitions of the monk did not help. Saint Stefan th
en moved to a different place. Sixty versts north of Vologda, at the River Avnez
ha, he founded with his disciple Grigory a wilderness-monastery in the Name of t
he Holy Trinity. GreatPrince Dimitrii Ioannovich sent books and other liturgical
items to the Avnezhsk wilderness, but the Monk Stefan sent them in turn to the
Makhrisch monastery. Having returned to his monastery, Saint Stefan ordered life
in it according to a "life in common" ustav (rule).
When the Monk Sergei of radonezh moved form his monastery, in order to f
ind a place for his ascetic deeds, the Monk Stefan then received him, and gave t
he great ascetic Sergei his own disciple Simon, who knew the surrounding area qu
ite well. The Monk Sergei settled together with Simon on the island of Kirzhach
, where he founded a monastery.
Saint Stefan was strict with himself and indulgent towards others, he it
was that worked for the monastery the hardest of all, he zealously guided the b
rethren to the ways of salvation with gentle and quiet talks, and he wore clothi
ng very old and coarse.
The monk lived to extreme old age, became a schema-monk and died in 1406
on 14 July. In 1550 during the construction of a new stone church in the Name o
f the Holy Trinity, his holy remains were uncovered undecayed. They were glorifi
ed by blessings of help in various sicknesses and misfortunes for all calling on
the name of the saint.
The Holy Martyr Justus was a Roman pagan-soldier. The Life-Creating Cros
s of the Lord appeared to him in a vision. Justus believed in Christ and gave aw
ay his possessions to the poor. By decree of the official of Magnesia, Justus as
a Christian was taken to trial. After various tortures the holy martyr was thro
wn into a bon-fire and therein gave up his soul to God, but the flames did not h
arm his body (I).
The Monk Hellios lived and died in the IV Century. Given over at childho
od to a monastery, he was raised in piety, temperance and chastity.
Having grown up, he set out into the Egyptian wilderness, where by inces
sant ascetic deeds he attained deep ability in the spiritual life: he was endowe
d with the gift of perspicacity, he knew all the thoughts and disposition of the
monks conversing with him. Great faith, simplicity of soul and deep humility al
lowed Saint Hellios to command wild animals. One time, when the monk carried an
heavy load to the wilderness monastery and had become very tired, and having pra
yed, he called a wild donkey to himself and placed on it his burden. The donkey
meekly carried the load to the place and was set free to return to the wildernes
s. Another time, when the Monk Hellios needed to cross over a river and there wa
s no boat, he called forth from the water a crocodile and, standing on its back,
he happily crossed to the opposite shore.

One of the young novices of the monastery, whom Saint Hellios visited wi
th, besought him to take him along into the deep wilderness. The Monk Hellios wa
rned the youth about the great work, exploits and temptations, which inevitably
beset all the hermits, but since the novice continued fervently to ask, he took
him along. On the first night the novice, frightened by terrible visions, in tre
mbling ran to the cave to the Monk Hellios. The monk comforted and calmed him do
wn and ordered him to return. Having secured the cave with the sign of the cross
, the monk said that the young hermit should not fear, since these apparitions w
ould appear no more. Trusting the word of the saint, the novice decided to remai
n in solitude and afterwards attained such perfection, that he was granted, like
his preceptor Hellios, to receive at the necessary time food from an Angel.
In extreme old age the Monk Hellios peacefully settled into the Heavenly
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir: Few names in the annal
s of history can compare in significance with the name of holy Equal-to-the-Apos
tles Vladimir, the Baptiser of Rus', who stands forever at the onset of the fore
ordained spiritual destiny of the Russian Church and the Russian Orthodox people
. Vladimir was the grandson of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga, and he was the s
on of Svyatoslav (+ 972). His mother, Malusha (+ 1001) -- was the daughter of Ma
lk Liubechanin, whom historians identify with Mal, prince of the Drevlyani. Havi
ng subdued an uprising of the Drevlyani and conquered their cities, Princess Olg
a gave orders to execute prince Mal, for his attempt to marry her after his murd
er of her husband Igor, and she took to herself the children of Mal, Dobrynya an
d Malusha. Dobrynya grew up to be a valiant brave warrior, endowed with a mind f
or state affairs, and he was later on an excellent help to his nephew Vladimir i
n matters of military and state administration.
The "capable girl" Malusha became a Christian (together with GreatPrince
ss Olga at Tsar'grad), but she preserved in herself a bit of the mysterious dark
ness of the pagan Drevlyani forests. And thus she fell in love with the austere
warrior Svyatoslav, who against the will of his mother Olga made her his wife. T
he enraged Olga, reckoning as unseemly the marriage of her "housekeeper" and cap
tive servant with her son Svyatoslav, heir to the Great Kiev principality, sent
Malusha away to her own native region not far off from Vybut'. And there in abou
t the year 960 was born the boy, called with the Russian pagan name -- Volodimir
, meaning peaceful ruler, ruling with a special talent for peace.
In the year 970 Svyatoslav set out on a campaign from which he was fated
not to return. He had divided the Russian Land amongst his three sons. At Kiev
Yaropolk was prince; at Ovrucha, the centre of the Drevlyani lands, there was Ol
eg; at Novgorod there was Vladimir. His first years as prince we see Vladimir as
a fierce pagan. He heads a campaign, in which the whole of pagan Rus' is sympat
hetic to him, against Yaropolk the Christian, or in any case, according to the c
hronicles, "having given great freedom to the Christians", on 11 July 978 he ent
ers into Kiev, having become the "sole ruler" of the Kiev realm, "having subdued
the surrounding lands, some -- by peaceful means, and the unsubmissive ones -by the sword".
Young Vladimir indulged himself in a wild sensuous life, though far from
being the libertine that they sometimes portray him. He "shepherded his land wi
th truth, valour and reason", as a good and diligent master, of necessity he ext
ended and defended its boundaries by force of arms, and in returning from milita
ry campaign, he made for his companions and for all Kiev liberal and merry feast
But the Lord prepared him for another task. Where sin increases, there -

- in the words of the Apostle, -- grace abounds. "And upon him did come visitati
on of the MostHigh, and the All-Merciful eye of the Good God didst gaze upon him
, and shine forth the thought in his heart, of understanding the vanity of idolo
us delusion, and of appealing to the One God, Creator of all things both visible
and invisible". The matter of the acceptance of Baptism was facilitated through
external circumstances. The Byzantine empire was in upheaval under the blows of
the mutinous regiments of Bardas Skliros and Bardas Phokas, each of which sough
t to gain the imperial throne. In these difficult circumstances the emperors -the co-regent brothers Basil the Bulgar-Slayer and Constantine, turned for help
to Vladimir.
Events unfolded quickly. In August 987 Bardas Phokas proclaimed himself
emperor and moved against Constantinople, and in Autumn of that same year the em
issaries of emperor Basil were at Kiev. "And having exhausted his (Basil's) weal
th, it compelled him to enter into an alliance with the emperor of the Russes. T
hey were his enemies, but he besought their help, -- writes one of the Arab chro
nicles of events in the 980's. -- And the emperor of the Russes did consent to t
his, and did make common cause with him".
In reward for his military help, Vladimir besought the hand of the emper
ors' sister Anna, which for the Byzantines was an unheard of audacity. Princesse
s of the imperial lineage did not go off to marry "barbarian" rulers, even thoug
h they be Christian. At this same time the emperor Otto the Great was seeking th
e hand of this Anna for his son, and he was refused, but herein regarding Vladim
ir Constantinople was obliged to consent.
An agreement was concluded, according to which Vladimir had to send in a
id to the emperors six thousand Varangians, to accept holy Baptism, and under th
ese conditions he would receive the hand of the imperial daughter Anna. Thus in
the strife of human events the will of God directed the entering of Rus' into th
e graced bosom of the OEcumenical Church. GreatPrince Vladimir accepted Baptism
and dispatched the military assistance to Byzantium. With the aid of the Russian
s, the mutineers were destroyed and Bardas Phokas killed. But the Greeks, gladde
ned by their unexpected deliverance, were in no hurry to fulfill their part of t
he agreement.
Vexed at the Greek duplicity, Prince Vladimir "hastened to collect his f
orces" and he moved "against Korsun, the Greek city", the ancient Chersonessus.
The "impenetrable" rampart of the Byzantine realm on the Black Sea fell, and it
was one of the vitally important hubs of the economic and mercantile links of th
e empire. This blow was so much felt, that its echo resounded throughout all the
regions of Byzantium.
Vladimir again had the upper hand. His emissaries, the voevoda-commander
s Oleg and Sjbern soon arrived in Tsar'grad for the imperial daughter. Eight day
s passed in Anna's preparation, during which time her brothers consoled her, str
essing the significance of the opportunity before her: to enable the enlightenin
g of the Russian realm and its lands, and to make them forever friends of the Ro
manoi-Byzantine realm. At Taurida Saint Vladimir awaited her, and to his titles
there was added a new one -- Caesar (tsar', emperor). It required the haughty ru
lers of Constantinople to accede also in this -- to bestow upon their new brothe
r-in-law the Caesar (i.e. imperial) insignia. In certain of the Greek historians
, Saint Vladimir is termed from these times as a "mighty basileios-king", he coi
ns money in the Byzantine style and is depicted on it with the symbols of imperi
al might: in imperial attire, and on his head -- the imperial crown, and in his
right hand -- the sceptre with cross.
Together with the empress Anna, there arrived for the Russian cathedra-s
eat metropolitan Michael -- ordained by holy Patriarch Nicholas II Chrysobergos,
and he came with his retinue and clergy, and many holy relics and other holy th
ings. In ancient Chersonessus, where each stone brings to mind Saint Andrew the
First-Called, there took place the marriage-crowning of Saint Vladimir and Bless
ed Anna, both reminiscent and likewise affirming the oneness of the Gospel goodnews of Christ in Rus' and in Byzantium. Korsun, the "empress dowry", was return
ed to Byzantium. In the Spring of 988 the greatprince with his spouse set out th
rough the Crimea, Taman' and the Azov lands, which had come into the complexion

of his vast realm, on the trip of return to Kiev. Leading the greatprincely cort
ege with frequent moliebens and incessant priestly singing they carried crosses,
icons and holy relics. It seemed, that the OEcumenical Holy Church was moving i
nto the spacious Russian land, and renewed in the font of Baptism, Holy Rus' cam
e forth to meet Christ and His Church.
There ensued the unforgettable and quite singular event in Russian histo
ry: the morning of the Baptism of the Kievans in the waters of the River Dneipr.
On the evening beforehand, Saint Vladimir declared throughout the city: "If any
one on the morrow goeth not into the river -- be they rich or poor, beggar or sl
ave -- that one be mine enemy". The sacred wish of the holy prince was fulfilled
without a murmur: "all our land all at the same time did glorify Christ with th
e Father and the Holy Spirit".
It is difficult to overestimate the deep spiritual transformation -- eff
ected by the prayers of Saint Vladimir, effected within the Russian people, in a
ll the entirety of its life and world-outlook. In the pure Kievan waters, as in
a "bath of regeneration", there was realised a mysteried transfiguration of the
Russian spiritual element, the spiritual birth of the nation, called by God to y
et unforeseen deeds of Christian service to mankind. -- "Then did the darkness o
f the idols begin to lift from us, and the dawn of Orthodoxy appear, and the Sun
of the Gospel didst illumine our land". In memory of this sacred event, the ren
ewal of Rus' by water and the Spirit, there was established within the Russian C
hurch the custom of an annual church procession "to the water" on 1 August, comb
ined afterwards with the feastday of the Bring-Forth of the Venerable Wood of th
e Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, in common with the Greek Church, and likewise
the Russian Church feastday of the All-Merciful Saviour and the MostHoly Mother
of God (established by Saint Andrei Bogoliubsky in the year 1164). In this comb
ination of feasts there is found a precise expression of the Russian theological
consciousness, for which both Baptism and the Cross are inseparable.
Everywhere throughout Holy Rus', from the ancient cities to the far outp
osts, Saint Vladimir gave orders to tumble down the pagan sanctuaries, to flog t
he idols, and in their place to chop along the hilly woods for churches, in whic
h to consecrate altars for the Bloodless Sacrifice. Churches of God grew up alon
g the face of the earth, at high elevated places, and at the bends of the rivers
, along the ancient trail "from the Variangians to the Greeks" -- figuratively a
s road signs, and lamps of national holiness. As regards the famed church-buildi
ng activity of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir, the Kiev Metropolitan Saint
Ilarion (author of the "Word about the Law and Grace") exclaimed: "They demolish
ed the pagan temples, and built up churches, they destroyed the idols and produc
ed holy icons, the demons are fled, and the Cross hath sanctified the cities". F
rom the early centuries of Christianity it was the custom to raise up churches u
pon the ruins of pagan sanctuaries or upon the blood of the holy martyrs. Follow
ing this practise, Saint Vladimir built the church of Saint Basil the Great upon
an hill, where a sanctuary of Perun had been located, and he situated the stone
church of the Uspenie-Dormition of the MostHoly Mother of God (Desyatinnaya) on
the place of the martyrdom of the holy Varangian-Martyrs (Comm. 12 July). The m
agnificent temple intended to become the place of serving for the Metropolitan o
f Kiev and All Rus' -- and hence the primal-altar of the Russian Church, was bui
lt in five years: it was richly adorned with wall-fresco painting, crosses, icon
s and sacred vessels, brought from Korsun. The day of the consecration of the ch
urch of the MostHoly Mother of God, 12 May (in some manuscripts 11 May), was ord
ered by Saint Vladimir to be inserted as an annual celebration in the Church-kal
endar lists. This event was tied in with other previous happenings for the celeb
ration of 11 May, and it provided the new Church a twofold sense of succession.
Under this day in the Saints is noted the churchly "renewal of Tsar'grad" -- ded
icated by the holy emperor Saint Constantine as the new capital of the Roman Emp
ire, the Constantine-city Constantinople, dedicated to the MostHoly Mother of Go
d (330). And on this same day of 11 May, under holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga,
there had been consecrated at Kiev the church of Sophia -- the Wisdom of God (in
the year 960). Saint Vladimir, having had the cathedral church consecrated to t
he MostHoly Mother of God, followed the example of Saint Constantine in dedicati

ng the capital city of the Russian Land, Kiev, to the Queen of Heaven.
And then there was bestown on the Church a tithe or tenth; and since thi
s church had become the centre of the All-Russian gathering of churchly tithes,
they called it the Desyatinnaya (Tithe) church. The most ancient text of the dee
d-grant document, or churchly ustav-rule by holy Prince Vladimir spoke thusly: "
For I do bestow this church of the Holy Mother of God a tenth of all mine princi
pality, and likewise throughout all the Russian Land from all the princely juris
diction a tithe of squirrel-pelts, and from the merchant -- a tithe of the week,
and from households each year -- a tenth of every herd and every livelihood, to
the wondrous Mother of God and the wondrous Saviour". The ustav likewise specif
ied "church people" as being free from the jurisdictional power of the prince an
d his "tiuni"-officials, and placed them under the jurisdiction of the metropoli
The chronicle has preserved a prayer of Saint Vladimir, with which he tu
rned to the Almighty at the consecration of the Uspensky Desyatin-Tithe church:
"O Lord God, look Thou down from Heaven and behold, and visit Thine vineyard, wh
ich Thy right-hand hath planted. And make this new people, whom Thou hast conver
ted in heart and mind -- to know Thee, the True God. And look down upon this Thi
ne church, which Thy unworthy servant hath built in the name of the Mother Who h
ath given birth to Thee, She the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. And whosoever doth p
ray in this church, let his prayer then be heard, on account of the prayers to t
he All-Pure Mother of God".
With the Desyatin-Tithe church and bishop Anastasii, certain historians
have made a connection with the beginnings of Russian chronicle writing. At it w
ere compiled the Vita-Life of Saint Ol'ga and the account of the Varangian-Marty
rs in their original form, and likewise the "Account, How in the Taking of Kors
un, Vladimir came to be Baptised". Here also there originated the early Greek re
daction of the Vitae-Lives of the holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb.
The Kiev Metropolitan cathedra-seat during the time of Saint Vladimir wa
s occupied successively by the Metropolitan Saint Michael (+ 15 June 991, Comm.
30 September), Metropolitan Theophylakt -- transferred to Kiev from the see of A
rmenian Sebasteia (991-997), Metropolitan Leontii (997-1008), and Metropolitan J
ohn I (1008-1037). Through their efforts the first dioceses of the Russian Churc
h were opened: at Novgorod (its first representative was Sainted Joakim the Kors
unite -- + 1030, compiler of the Joakimov Chronicle), Vladimir-Volyn (opened 11
May 992), Chernigov, Pereslavl', Belgorod, and Rostov. "And thus throughout all
the cities and villages there were set up churches and monasteries, and the cler
gy did increase, and the Orthodox Faith did blossom forth and shine like the sun
". To advance the faith amongst the newly enlightened people, learned people and
schools were needed for their preparation. Saint Vladimir therefore with holy M
etropolitan Michael "did command fathers and mothers to take their young childre
n and send them to schools to learn reading and writing". Saint Joakim the Korsu
nite (+ 1030) set up such a school at Novgorod, and they did likewise in other c
ities. "And there were a multitude of schools of scholars, and of these were the
re a multitude of wisdom-loving philosophers".
With a firm hand Saint Vladimir held in check enemies at the frontiers,
and he built cities with fortifications. He was the first in Russian history to
set up a "notched boundary" -- a line of defensive points against nomadic people
s. "Volodimir did begin to set up cities along the Desna, along the Vystra, alon
g the Trubezha, along the Sula and along the Stugna. And he did settle them with
the Novgorodians, the Smol'yani, the Chuds and the Vyatichi. And he did war aga
inst the Pechenegs and defeated them". But the actual means was often the peacef
ul Christian preaching amongst the steppe pagans. In the Nikol'sk Chronicles und
er the year 990 was written: "And in that same year there came to Volodimir at K
iev four princes from the Bulgars and they were illumined with Divine Baptism".
In the following year " there came the Pecheneg prince Kuchug and accepted the G
reek faith, and he was baptised in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, a
nd did service to Vladimir with a pure heart". Under the influence of the holy p
rince there were baptised also several apparent foreigners, as for example, the
Norwegian "koenig" (king") Olaf Trueggvason (+ 1000) who lived several years at

Kiev, and also the reknown Torval'd the Wanderer -- founder of a monastery of Sa
int John the Precursor along the Dneipr near Polotsk, among others. In faraway
Iceland the poet-skalds called God the "Protector of the Greeks and Russians".
Amidst the Christian preaching was also the reknown feastings of Saint V
ladimir: after Liturgy on Sundays and Church Great-Feasts there were put out abu
ndant feasting tables for the Kievans, they rang the bells, choirs sang praise,
the "transported infirm" sang bylini-ballads and spiritual verses. On 12 May 996
, for example, on the occasion of the consecration of the Desyatin-Tithe church,
the prince "made a bright feast", "distributing goods to many of the poor, and
destitute and wanderers, and through the churches and the monasteries. To the si
ck and the needy he delivered through the streets casks and barrels of mead, and
bread, and meat, and fish, and cheese, desiring that all might come and eat, gl
orifying God". Feasts were likewise arrayed in honour of the victories of Kievan
bogatyr-warriors, and the regiments of Vladimir's retinue -- of Dobrynya, Aleks
andr Popovich, Rogda the Bold.
In the year 1007 Saint Vladimir transferred the relics of holy Equal-tothe-Apostles Ol'ga to the Desyatin-Tithe church. And four years later, in 1011,
there was also buried there his spouse and companion in many of his undertakings
, the Blessed Empress Anna. After her death the prince entered into a new marria
ge -- with the young daughter of the German Graf Kuno von Enningen, grand-daught
er of the emperor Otto the Great.
The era of Saint Vladimir was a crucial initial period for the state for
mation of Orthodox Rus'. The unification of the Slavic lands and the formation o
f state boundaries under the domain of the Riurikovichi resulted from a strenuou
s spiritual and political struggle with neighbouring tribes and states. The Bapt
ism of Rus' by Orthodox Byzantium was a most important step in its state self-de
finition. The chief enemy of Vladimir became Boleslav the Brave, whose plans inc
luded the extensive unification of the West-Slavic and East-Slavic tribes under
the aegis of Catholic Poland. This rivalry arose still back in the times, when
Vladimir was still a pagan: "In the year 6489 (981). Volodimir went against the
Lakhs and took their cities, Peremyshl', Cherven', and other cities, which be un
der Rus'". The final years of the X Century are likewise filled with the wars of
Vladimir and Boleslav.
After a short lull (the first decade of the XI Century), the "great stan
d-off" enters into a new phase: in the year 1013 at Kiev a conspiracy against Sa
int Vladimir is discovered: Svyatopolk the Accursed, who is married to a daughte
r of Boleslav, yearns for power. The instigator of the conspiracy is the clergym
an of Boleslav -- the Kolobzheg Catholic bishop Reibern.
The conspiracy of Svyatopolk and Reibern was an all-out threat to the hi
storical existence of the Russian state and the Russian Church. Saint Vladimir t
ook decisive measures. All the three involved were arrested, and Reibern soon di
ed in prison.
Saint Vladimir did not take revenge on those that "opposed and hated" hi
m. Under the pretense of feigned repentance, Svyatopolk was set free.
A new misfortune erupted in the North, at Novgorod. Yaroslav, still not
so very much "the Wise" -- as he was later to go down in Russian history, in the
year 1010 having become ruler of Novgorod, decided to defect from his father th
e greatprince of Kiev, and he formed his own separate army, moving on Kiev to de
mand the customary tribute and tithe. The unity of the Russian land, for which S
aint Vladimir had struggled all his life, was threatened with ruin. In both ange
r and in sorrow Saint Vladimir gave orders to "secure the dams and set the bridg
es", and to prepare for a campaign against Novgorod. His powers were on the decl
ine. In the preparations for his final campaign, happily not undertaken, the Bap
tiser of Rus' fell grievously ill and gave up his spirit to the Lord in the vill
age of Spas-Berestov, on 15 July 1015. He had ruled the Russian realm for thirty
-seven years (978-1015), and twenty-eight of these years had been spent since ho
ly Baptism.
Preparing for a new struggle for power and hoping for Polish help in it,
and to play for time, Svyatopolk attempted to conceal the death of his father.
But patriotically inclined Kievan boyar-nobles, secretly by night, removed the b

ody of the deceased sovereign from the Berestov court, where Svyatopolk's people
were guarding it, and they conveyed the body to Kiev. At the Desyatin-Tithe chu
rch the coffin with the relics of Saint Vladimir was met by Kievan clergy with M
etropolitan John at the head. The holy relics were placed in a marble crypt, set
within the Clement chapel of the Desyatin Uspenie church alongside the marble c
rypt of Empress Anna...
The name and deeds of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir, whom the peop
le called the Splendid Sun, is interwoven with all the successive history of the
Russian Church. "Through him we too have come to worship and to know Christ, th
e True Life, -- testified Saint Ilarion. His deeds were continued by his sons, a
nd grandsons and descendants -- rulers of the Russian land over the course of al
most six centuries: from Yaroslav the Wise with the taking of the first steps to
wards the independent existence of the Russian Church -- down to the last of the
Riurikovichi, tsar Feodor Ioannovich, under whom (in 1589) the Russian Orthodox
Church became the fifth independent Patriarchate in the dyptich-lists of Orthod
ox Autocephalous Churches.
The feastday celebration to holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir was esta
blished under Saint Alexander Nevsky, in memory of the intercession of Saint Vla
dimir on 15 May 1240, for his help in gaining the reknown victory by Nevsky over
Swedish crusaders.
But the first reverencing of the holy prince began in Rus' rather earlie
r. The Metropolitan of Kiev Saint Ilarion (+ 1053), in his "Word on Law and Grac
e", spoken on the day of memory of Saint Vladimir at the saint's crypt in the De
syatin-Tithe church, calls him "an apostolic sovereign", "like" Saint Constantin
e, and he compares his apostolic evangelisation of the Russian Land to that of t
he evangelisation by the holy Apostles.
The Holy Martyrs Kyrikos and Julitta lived in Asia Minor in the city of
Iconium in the Likaoneia region. Saint Julitta was descended from an illustrious
family and was a Christian. Widowed early on, she raised her three year old son
Kyrikos. During the time of the persecution made against Christians by the empe
ror Diocletian (284-305), Saint Julitta with her son and two trustworthy servant
s departed the city, leaving behind her home and property and servants.
Under the guise of being impoverished she his out first at Seleucia, and
then at Tarsis. And it was there in about the year 305 that she was recognised,
arrested and brought to trial before the governor named Alexander. Strengthened
by the Lord, she fearlessly gave answer to the questions of the judge and she f
irmly confessed her faith in Christ. The governor gave orders to beat the saint
with canes. During the time of torment Saint Julitta kept repeating: "I am a Chr
istian and will not offer sacrifice to demons".
The little boy Kyrikos cried, seeing his mother being tortured, and want
ed to go to her. The governor Alexander tried to hug him, but the boy broke free
and shouted: "Let me go to my mother, I am a Christian". The governor flung the
boy from the high rostrum onto the stone steps, and the boy tumbled downwards s
triking the sharp edges, and died. The mother, seeing her lacerated son, gave th
anks to God that He had vouchsafed the boy a martyr's end. After many cruel tort
ures they beheaded Saint Julitta with the sword.
The relics of Saints Kyrikos and Julitta were discovered during the reig
n of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine (+ 337, Comm. 21 May). In honour of
these holy martyrs there was built near Constantinople a monastery, and not far
off from Jerusalem was built a church. In popular custom, Saints Kyrikos and Jul
itta are prayed to for family happiness, and the restoring to health of sick chi
2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


The PriestMartyr Athenogoras and his Ten Disciples suffered for Christ d
uring the time of persecution against Christians in the city of Sebasteia. The g
overnor Philomarkhos made a large festival in honour of the pagan gods and summo
ned the Sebasteia citizenry to offer sacrifice to the idols. But the inhabitants
of Sebasteia, Christian in the majority, refused to participate in the impious
celebration with its offering of sacrifice to idols. Soldiers were ordered to ki
ll people, and many Christians then accepted a martyr's crown.
It came to the governor's attention, that Christianity was being widely
spread about by the graced preaching of Bishop Athenogoras. Orders were issued t
o seek out the elder and arrest him. Saint Athenogoras and ten of his disciples
lived not far from the city in a small monastery. But not finding the bishop the
re, the soldiers arrested his disciples. The governor gave orders to slap them i
nto chains and throw them in prison.
Saint Athenogoras came then to Sebasteia and began reproaching the judge
that those thrown into prison were guiltless. He was arrested. In prison, Saint
Athenogoras encouraged his spiritual children for their impending deed. Led for
th to trial, all the holy martyrs confessed themselves Christians and refused to
offer sacrifice to idols. After undergoing fierce tortures, the disciples of th
e holy bishop were beheaded. And after the execution of the disciples, the execu
tioners were ordered to put the elder to the test of torture. Strengthened by th
e Lord, Saint Athenogoras underwent the tortures with dignity. His only request
was -- that he be executed in the monastery.
Taken to his own monastery, the saint in prayer gave thanks to God, and
he rejoiced in the sufferings that he had undergone for Him. Saint Athenogoras b
esought of the Lord the forgiveness of sins of all those people, who should reme
mber both him and his disciples.
The Lord granted the saint to hear His Voice before death, announcing th
e promise given to the penitent thief: "Today with Me thou shalt be in paradise"
. The priestmartyr himself bent his neck beneathe the sword.
The Holy Martyrs Paul, Aleutina and Chionea were from Egypt. During the
time of the persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian (305-313),
they were taken to Palestine Caesarea. Without the slightest fear before the go
vernor they confessed themselves followers of Christ. In the year 308 the sister
s Aleutina and Chionea were burnt, and Paul was beheaded.
The Holy Martyr Antiochos, a native of Cappadocian Sebasteia, was the br
other by birth of the holy Martyr Platon (Comm. 18 November), and he was a physi
cian. The pagans learned that he was a Christian, and they brought him to trial
and subjected him to fierce tortures. Thrown into boiling water, the saint remai
ned unharmed, and given over for devouring by wild beasts -- he did not suffer w
ith them, for the beasts lay peacefully at his feet. Through the prayers of the
martyr many miracles were worked and the idolatrous statues crumbled into dust.
The pagans beheaded the Martyr Antiochos. And seeing the guiltless suffering of
the saint, Kyriakos, a participant in the execution, was converted to Christ. He
confessed his faith in front of everyone and likewise was beheaded (IV). They b
uried the Martyrs aside each other.
The Holy Martyress Julia was born in Carthagena into a Christian family.
While still a maiden she fell into captivity to the Persians. They carried her
off to Syria and sold her into slavery. Fulfilling the Christian commandments, S
aint Julia faithfully served her master, and she preserved herself in purity, ke
pt the fasts and prayed much to God.
No amount of urging by her pagan master could sway her to idol-worship.
On time the master set off with merchandise for Gaul and took Saint Juli
a with him. Along the way the ship stooped over at the island of Corsica, and th

e master decided to take part in a pagan festivity, but Julia remained on the sh
ip. The Corsicans plied the merchant and his companions with wine, and when they
had fallen into a drunken sleep, they took Julia from the ship. Saint Julia was
not afraid to acknowledge that she was a Christian, and the savage pagans cruci
fied her on a cross.
An Angel of the Lord reported about the death of the holy martyress to t
he monks of a monastery, situated on a nearby island. The monks took the body of
the saint and buried it in a church in their monastery.
In about the year 763 the relics of the holy Martyress Julia were transf
erred to a women's monastery in the city of Breschia (historians give conflictin
g years of the death of the saint: as either the V or VII Century).
The Fourth OEcumenical Council, at which 630 bishops participated, was c
onvened in the year 451 in the city of Chalcedon under the emperor Marcian (450457). Still back in the time of the emperor Theodosius II (408-450), the bishop
of Dorileuseia Eusebios in 408 reported to a Council held at Constantinople unde
r the holy Patriarch Flavian (Comm. 18 February), concerning a personage of one
of the monasteries of the capital, the archimandrite Eutykhios, who in his undau
nted zeal against the soul-destroying heresy of the Nestorius -- went to the opp
osite extreme and began to assert, that within Jesus Christ the human nature und
er the hypostatic union was completely absorbed by the Divine nature, in consequ
ence of which it lost everything characteristic of human nature, except but for
the visible form; wherein, such that after the union in Jesus Christ there remai
ned only one nature (the Divine), which in visible bodily form lived upon the ea
rth, suffered, died, and was resurrected.
The Constantinople Council condemned this new false-teaching. But the he
retic Eutykhios had patronage at court, and was in close connection with the her
etic Dioskoros, the successor to Sainted Cyril (Comm. 18 January) upon the patri
archal cathedra-seat at Alexandria. Eutykhios turned to the emperor with a compl
aint against the injustice of the condemnation against him, and he demanded the
judgement of an OEcumenical Council against his opponents, whom he accused of Ne
storianism. Wanting to restore peace in the Church, Theodosius had decided to co
nvene a Fourth OEcumenical Council in the year 449 at Ephesus. But this Council
became branded in the chronicles of the Church as the "Robbers Council". Dioskor
os, appointed by the emperor to preside as president of the Council, ran it like
a dictator, making use of threats and outright coercion. Eutykhios was exonerat
ed, and Saint Flavian condemned. But in the year 450 the emperor Theodosius died
. The new emperor Marcian raised up onto the throne with him the sister of Theod
osius, Pulcheria.
Restoring peace to the Church was a matter of prime importance. An OEcum
enical Council was convened in the year 451 at Chalcedon. The Patriarch of Const
antinople, Saint Anatolios (Comm. 3 July) presided over the Council. Dioskoros a
t the first session was deprived of his place among those present, and at the th
ird session he was condemned with all his partisans. The Sessions of the Council
were 16 in all. The Chalcedon holy fathers pronounced anathemas against the her
esy of Eutykhios. On the basis of Letters Saint Cyril of Alexandria and Pope Sai
nt Leo the Great, the fathers of the Council resolved: "Following the holy fathe
rs, we all with one accord teach to confess as one and the same the Son, our Lor
d Jesus Christ, perfect in Divinity and perfect in humanity, truly God, truly ma
n, of Whom is a reasoned soul and a body, One in Essence with the Father through
Divinity and that Same-One one-in-essence with us through humanity, in all thin
gs like unto us except for sin, begotten before the ages from the Father in Divi
nity, but in these latter days born for us and our salvation from Mary the Virgi
n Mother of God in humanity. This self-same Christ, Son and Lord, the Only-Begot
ten, is in two natures perceived without mingling, without change, without divis
ion, without separation [Greek: "asugkhutos, atreptos, adiairetos, akhoristos";
Slavic: "neslitno, neizmenno, nerazdel'no, nerazluchno"], such that by conjoinin
g there be not infringement of the distinctions of the two natures, and by which
is preserved the uniqueness of each nature conjoined in one Person and One Hypo
stasis, -- not split nor separated into two persons, but rather the One and Self

-same Son, the Only-Begotten, the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, as in anti
quity the prophets taught of Him and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us,
and as the Creed-Symbol of the fathers has passed down to us".
In the two final Sessions of the Council, 30 Canon-rules were promulgate
d concerning ecclesial hierarchies and disciplines. Beyond this, the Council aff
irmed the decrees not only of the three preceding OEcumenical Councils, but also
of the Local Councils of: Ancyra, Neocaesarea, Gangra, Antioch and Laodiceia, w
hich had occurred during the IV Century.
The Chirsk (Pskovsk) Icon of the Mother of God was initially situated in
the Chirsk village church of Pskov diocese, from whence its name "Chirsk". On 1
6 July 1420, during the time of Great-prince Vasilii Dimitrievich, the archbisho
p of Novgorod and Pskov Simeon and the Pskov prince Feodor Aleksandrovich were p
resent in Pskov during a time of a deadly pestilence: tears trickled down from t
he eyes of the Chirsk Icon of the Mother of God. This was reported to authoritie
s in the city of Pskov. Clergy-servers transported the wonderworking icon to Psk
ov. A church procession was made in meeting the icon. They placed the icon in th
e cathedral church of the Holy Trinity.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
(* Celebrated on the Sunday before or after 16 July).
The Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Six OEcumenical Counc
ils: In the Ninth Section of the Nicea-Constantinople Symbol-Creed of Faith -- w
orked out by the holy fathers of the First and Second OEcumenical Councils, we c
onfess our faith in "One, Holy, Catholico-Conciliar ("Sobornyi") and Apostolic C
hurch". By virtue of the Catholico-Conciliar ("Sobornyi") nature of the Church,
the All-Churchly or OEcumenical Council is the Church's supreme facility, and po
ssessing the plenitude, to resolve the major questions of religious life. An OEc
umenical Council is comprised of archpastors and pastors of the Church, and repr
esentatives of all the Local Churches, from every land of the "oikumene" (i.e. f
rom all the whole inhabited world, the oecumenical/ecumenical basis of the "Univ
ersality" ("Vselennost'") of the Church is implied in the Greek word "kath'olon"
, from whence the word "catholic", which encompasses the evangelisation of the w
hole world).
[Trans. note: The Church Slavonic word "Sobornyi" -- in English usually
translated merely as "Catholic", has actually a deeper and more profound meaning
than commonly understood in the West, and it reflects linguistically the Greek
word "katholikos" as interpreted by Holy Tradition for Saints Cyril and Methodio
s. The adjective form "Sobornyi" has its word-root in "Sobor" -- meaning an "ass
embly" or "council". The erudite might also recognise similarity with the word "
Sobornost'" -- a term emphasised in ecclesiology by the Russian religious-philos
opher A. S. Khomyakov in the 1800's. "Sobornost'" is translated sometimes as "Ca
tholico-Conciliarity", but often also as "Communality". This latter nuance signi
fies the "Catholicity" of the Church, not as a formal external quality regarding
the Church as worldly institution and outward authority, but rather existing as
a spiritually inward and dynamic quality within each believer. It is the Gospel
that defines the locus of the Church saying: "The Kingdom of God is within you"
. This however does not mean the fragmenting individualism of belief often seen
in Protestantism. The Church as "ekklesia" (assembly of believers) is "One" in C
hrist in the Apostolicity and Holiness of its faith in Christ -- our own oneness
is with the one authentic faith of the Holy Apostles in the teachings of our Lo

rd Jesus Christ, preserved as Holy Tradition throughout all the generations of b

elievers. The "Communality" or "Communion in Christ Jesus" is not merely with ou
r fellow believers in the Church in the present time, but with all the generatio
ns of the "faithful" that have gone before us. All the Four Marks of the Church
-- One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic -- are inter-connected. The Catholicity of the
Church extends universally not merely through spatiality, but also back through
time -- it is the "Church Triumphant" as well as the "Church Militant".]
The Orthodox Church acknowledges Seven Holy OEcumenical Councils: The Fi
rst OEcumenical Council (Nicea I) (Comm. 29 May, and also movably, on 7th Sunday
after Pascha) was convened in the year 325 against the heresy of Arius, in the
city of Nicea in Bithynia under the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine the G
The Second OEcumenical Council (Constantinople I) (Comm. 22 May) was con
vened in the year 381 against the heresy of Macedonias, by the emperor Theodosiu
s the Great.
The Third OEcumenical Council (Ephesus) (Comm. 9 September) -- was conve
ned in the year 431 against the heresy of Nestorius, in the city of Ephesus by t
he emperor Theodosius the Younger.
The Fourth OEcumenical Council (Chalcedon) (Comm. 16 July) -- was conven
ed in the year 451, against the Monophysite heresy, in the city of Chalcedon und
er the emperor Marcian.
The Fifth OEcumenical Council (Constnatinople II) (Comm. 25 July) -- "Co
ncerning the Three Chapters", was convened in the year 553, under the emperor Ju
stinian the Great.
The Sixth OEcumenical Council (Constantinople III) (Comm. 23 January) -during the years 680-681, was against the Monothelite heresy, under the emperor
Constantine Pogonatos.
The Seventh OEcumenical Council (Nicea II) (Comm. as moveable feastday o
n Sunday nearest 11 October) -- was convened just like the First Council, at Nic
ea, but in the year 787 against the Iconoclast heresy, under the emperor Constan
tine and his mother Irene. (Accounts about the Councils are likewise located und
er the days of commemoration).
The significance of a special Church veneration of the Holy Fathers of t
he OEcumenical Councils consists in this, that the OEcumenical Councils, and onl
y they, are of themselves in entirety expressive of the faith, will and mind of
the OEcumenical Catholic Church -- of an Orthodox Plenitude, by virtue of the im
mutable promises of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit,
and by the Apostolicity inhering in the hierarchy, -- they possess the wherewith
al to bring forth infallible and "of benefit to all" definitions in the areas of
Christian faith and Church piety.
The dogmatic conciliar definitions -- "orosoi" in Greek, are employed in
the Orthodox Church as having an inalienable and constant authority, and such d
efinitions always begin with the Apostolic formula: "It hath pleased the Holy Sp
irit and us" (Acts 15: 28).
The OEcumenical Councils were convened in the Church each time regarding
a special need, in connection with the appearance of divergent opinions and her
esies, so as to seek out the Orthodox Church teaching of faith and tradition. Bu
t the Holy Spirit has thus seen fit, that the dogmas -- the truths of faith, imm
utable in their content and scope, constantly and consequently are revealed by t
he conciliar mind-set of the Church, and are given precision by the holy fathers
within theological concepts and terms in exactly such measure, as is needed by
the Church itself for its economy of salvation. The Church, in expounding its do
gmas, is dealing with the concerns of a given historical moment, "not revealing
everything in haste and thoughtlessly, nor indeed, ultimately hiding something"
(Saint Gregory the Theologian).
A brief summary of the dogmatic theology of the First Six OEcumenical Co
uncils is formulated and contained in the First Canon-rule of the Council of Tru
llo (also known as Quinisext), held in the year 692. The 318 Holy Fathers of the
First OEcumenical Council are spoken of in this Canon I of Trullo as having: "w
ith one-mindedness of faith revealed and declared to us the oneness of essence i

n the three Hypstaseis-Persons of the God-original nature and, ... instructing t

o be worshipped -- with one worship -- the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, the
y cast down and dispelled the false-teaching about unequal degrees of Divinity".
The 150 Holy Fathers of the Second OEcumenical Council left their mark on the t
heology of the Church as regards the Holy Spirit, "repudiating the teaching of M
acedonias, who wanted to chop apart the Undivided Unity, such that there should
not perfectly be the mystery of our hope". The 200 God-bearing Fathers of the Th
ird OEcumenical Council expounded the teaching about "the One Christ, the Son of
God Incarnate" and they confessed that "truly the God-begetter [Theotokos, Bogo
roditsa, i.e. Mother of God] without seed hath given birth to Him, whilst being
the Immaculate and Ever-Virgin". The point of faith of the 630 God-chosen Holy F
athers of the Fourth OEcumenical Council promulgated "One Christ, the Son of God
... glorified in two natures". The 165 God-bearing Holy Fathers of the Fifth OEc
umenical Council "collectively gave anathema and repudiated Theodore of Mopsueti
a, the teacher of Nestorius, and Origen, and Didymas, and Euagrios, renovators o
f the Hellenic teaching about the transmigration of souls and the transmutation
of bodies and the impieties raised against the resurrection of the dead". The fa
ith-confession of the 170 Holy Fathers of the Sixth OEcumenical Council "explain
ed, that we ought to confess two natural volitions, or two wills [trans. note: t
he one Divine, and the other human], and two natural operations (energies) in He
That hath been incarnated for the sake of our salvation, our One Lord Jesus Chr
ist, True God".
In decisive moments of Church history, the holy OEcumenical Councils pro
mulgated their dogmatic definitions, as trustworthy delimitations in the spiritu
al militancy for the purity of Orthodoxy, which will last until such time, as "a
ll shalt come into the oneness of faith in the knowledge of the Son of God" (Eph
. 4: 13). In the struggle with new heresies, the Church does not abandon its for
mer dogmatic concepts nor replace them with some sort of new formulations. The d
ogmatic formulae of the Holy OEcumenical Councils need never to be superseded, t
hey remain always contemporary to the living Tradition of the Church. Wherefore
the Church proclaims:
"The faith of all in the Church of God hath been glorified by men, which
were luminaries in the world, cleaving to the Word of Life, so that it be obser
ved firmly, and that it dwell unshakably until the end of the ages, conjointly w
ith their God-bestown writings and dogmas. We reject and we anathematise all, wh
om they have rejected and anathematised, as being enemies of Truth. And if anyon
e doth not cleave to nor admit the aforementioned pious dogmas, and doth not so
think nor preach, let that one be anathema" (from Canon I of the Council of Trul
lo, ascribed to the Sixth OEcumenical Council).
Besides the dogmatic activity, the Holy Fathers of the OEcumenical Counc
ils exerted great efforts towards the strengthening of churchly discipline. Loca
l Councils promulgated their disciplinary canon-rules, as is obvious, according
to the circumstances of the times and place, frequently differing among themselv
es in various particulars. The universal unity of the Orthodox Church required u
nity also in canonical practise, i.e. a conciliar deliberation and affirmation o
f the most important canonical norms by the fathers of the OEcumenical Councils.
Thus, according to conciliar judgement, there have been accepted by the Church:
20 Canons from the First, 7 Canons from the Second, 8 Canons from the Third, an
d 30 Canons from the Forth, OEcumenical Councils. The Fifth and the Sixth OEcume
nical Councils concerned themselves with the resolving of exclusively dogmatic q
uestions and did not leave behind any disciplinary canon-rules. The need to esta
blish in codified form in the Church of the customary practises over the years 4
51-680, and ultimately to affirm the aggregate of a canonical codex for the Orth
odox Church, occasioned the convening of a special Council, the activity of whic
h was wholly devoted to the general application of churchly rules. This was conv
ened in the year 692. The Council "in the Imperial Palace" or "Under the Arches"
(in Greek "en trullo"), came to be called the Trullo Council. They also called
it the "Qunisext" [meaning the "fifth and sixth"], considering it to have comple
ted in canonical matters the activities of the Fifth and Sixth Councils, or rath
er moreso -- that it was simply of the Sixth Council itself, i.e. a direct conti

nuation of the Sixth OEcumenical Council, separated by but a few years.

The Trullo Council, with its 102 Canon-rules (more than of all the OEcum
enical Councils combined), had a tremendous significance in the history of the c
anonical theology of the Orthodox Church. It might be said, that by the fathers
of this Council there was a complete compilation of the basic codex from the rel
evant sources for the Orthodox Church's canons. Listing through in chronological
order, and having been accepted by the Church -- the Canons of the Holy Apostle
s, and the Canons of the Holy OEcumenical and the Local Councils and the holy fa
thers, the Trullo Council declared: "Let no one be permitted to alter or to annu
l the aforementioned canons, nor in place of these put forth, or to accept other
s, made of spurious inscription" (2nd Canon of Trullo Council, ascribed to the S
ixth OEcumenical Council).
Church canons, sanctified by the authority of the first Six OEcumenical
Councils (including the rules of the Seventh Oecumenical Council in 787, and lik
ewise the Constantinople Councils of 861 and 879, which were added on later unde
r holy Patriarch Photios), form the basis of the books of "The Rudder" or "Korm
chaya Kniga" (a law-canon codex known as "Syntagma" or "Nomokanon" of 14 titles)
. In its repository of grace is expressed a canonical norm, a connection to ever
y time-period for guidance in churchly practise for all the Local Orthodox Churc
New historical conditions can lead to the change of this or that particu
lar external aspect of the life of the Church, which causes for it the necessity
of creative canonical activity in the conciliar reasoning of the Church, as reg
ards the inclusion of external norms of churchly life in conformity with histori
cal circumstances. The details of canonical regulation are not at all once flesh
ed out into life for the various eras of churchly organisation. But amidst every
push to either forsake the literal-letter of a canon or fulfill and develope it
, the Church again and again turns for reasoning and guidance to the eternal leg
acy of the Holy OEcumenical Councils -- to the impoverishable treasury of dogmat
ic and canonical truths.
The Holy GreatMartyress Marina was born in Asia Minor, in the city of An
tioch, into the family of a pagan priest. In infancy she lost her mother, and he
r father gave her over into the care of a nursemaid, who raised Marina in the Or
thodox faith. Upon learning that his daughter had become a Christian, the father
angrily disowned her. During the time of the persecution against Christians und
er the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Marina at fifteen years of age was ar
rested and locked up in prison. With firm trust in the will of God and His help,
the young prisoner prepared for her impending fate. The governor Olymbrios, cha
rmed with the beautiful girl, tried to persuade her to renounce the Christian fa
ith and become his wife. But the saint, unswayed, refused his false offers. The
vexed governor gave the holy martyress over to torture. Having beaten her fierce
ly, they fastened the saint with nails to a board and tore at her body with trid
ents. The governor himself, unable to bear the horror of these tortures, hid his
face in his hands. But the holy martyress remained unyielding. Thrown for the n
ight into prison, she was granted Heavenly aid and healed of her wounds. Tied to
a tree, they scorched the martyress with fire. Barely alive, the martyress pray
ed: "Lord, Thou hast granted me to go through fire for Thine Name, grant me also
to go through the water of holy Baptism".
Hearing the word "water", the governor gave orders to drown the saint in
a large barrel. The martyress besought the Lord, that this manner of execution
should become for her holy Baptism. When they plunged her into the water, there
suddenly shone a light, and a snow-white dove came down from Heaven, bearing in
its beak a golden crown. The fetters put upon Saint Marina of themselves came ap
art. The martyress stood up in the fount of Baptism glorifying the Holy Trinity
-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Saint Marina emerged from the fount completely
healed, without any trace of burns. Amazed at this miracle, the people glorified
the True God, and many came to believe. This brought the governor into a rage,
and he gave orders to kill anyone, who might confess the Name of Christ. There t
hen perished 15,000 Christians, and the holy Martyress Marina was beheaded. The

sufferings of the GreatMartyress Marina were described by an eye-witness of the

event, named Theotimos.
Up until the taking of Constantinople by Western crusaders in the year 1
204, the relics of the GreatMartyress Marina were situated in the Panteponteia m
onastery. According to other sources, they were located in Antioch until the yea
r 908 and from there transferred to Italy. Her venerable hand was transferred to
Athos, to the Batopedeia monastery.
The Monk Irinarkh of Solovetsk accepted tonsure at the Solovetsk monaste
ry, and in his monastic life he zealously imitated the Monks Zosima (Comm. 17 Ap
ril) and Savvatii (Comm. 27 September). In 1614, after the death of the hegumen
Antonii, Irinarkh became his successor. During these times the Solovetsk monaste
ry held tremendous significance in the defense of Northern Russia from the Swede
s and the Danes. The new hegumen did much to fortify the monastery. Under the Mo
nk Irinarkh there was constructed a stone wall with turrets, deep ditches dug, a
nd with stones spread out. Concerned about the external dangers to the monastery
, the monk also devoted much attention to fortifying it inwardly and spiritually
. Very humble and meek, constantly immersed in thought on God, he was zealous fo
r supporting in the monks a true monastic spirit. Under the spiritual guidance o
f the Monk Irinarkh at the Solovetsk monastery there matured many a worthy ascet
ic. With the blessing of the hegumen and under his assist, the Monk Eleazar (Com
m. 13 January), a friend and co-ascetic of the Monk Irinarkh, founded a skete mo
nastery on Anzersk Island.
In an imperial grammota-document to the Solovetsk monastery in the year
1621, the monks were bidden "to live according to the rules of the holy fathers.
.. and in full obedience to their hegumen (Irinarkh) and the elders".
The last two years of the life of the monk were spent in the exploit of
silent prayer.
The saint died on 17 July 1628.
The Monk Leonid of Ust'nedumsk lived in the Poshekhonsk district of the
Vologda outskirts, and he was a farmer by occupation. At age fifty, he saw in a
dream the Mother of God, Who directed him to go to the River Dvina to the Morzhe
vsk Nikolaev wilderness-monastery, to take there the Hodegetria Icon of the Moth
er of God, and at the River Luza and Mount Turin build a church. The Monk Leonid
decided not to follow the advice of this vision, thinking it but simply a dream
. He went off to the Kozheezersk monastery, accepting monasticism there and spen
ding about three years at work and monastic efforts. From there the monk transfe
rred to the Solovetsk monastery and toiled there in the bakery. The miraculous d
ream-vision was repeated. The Monk Leonid thereupon set off to the Morzhevsk wil
derness-monastery, and after a year he told the monastery-head Kornilii (1599-16
23) about the command of the Mother of God. Having received from the monastery-h
ead both a blessing and the Hodegetria icon, the monk reached the River Luza nea
r the Turin Mount, 80 versts from the city of Ustiug, and he built himself an hu
t from brushwood. But some not so good people compelled him to resettle up along
the river, in a marshy wilderness spot. At 30 versts from the city of Lal'sk th
e elder constructed a cell and set about the building of a monastery. For drawin
g down the marshes, the ascetic dug out three canals, in length about 2 kilomete
rs, -- from the River Luza to Chernoe Ozero ("Black Lake"), and from Chernoe Oze
ro to Svyatoe Ozero ("Holy Lake"), and from there to the to the Chernaya-Black R
ivulet. During this time of heavy work he was bitten by poisonous vipers. Consig
ning himself to the will of God, the Monk Leonid decided not to take any sort of
measures of treatment nor did he think of the consequences -- and he remained h
ealthy. In gratitude to the Lord for His mercy, he called the canal the "Nedumay
a Reka" ("Unplanned River"), and his monastery -- the "Ust'nedumsk" (the "Neduma
ya-mouth") monastery.
With the blessing of the Rostov Metropolitan Philaret (afterwards the Al
l-Russia Patriarch, 1619-1633), the Monk Leonid in 1608 was ordained priest-monk
. In the newly-erected church in honour of the Vvedenie-Entrance into the Temple
of the MostHoly Mother of God, Priest-monk Leonid installed the Hodegetria icon

, as commanded him by the Mother of God. By his not so easy efforts on the front
ier, called the "Luzsk Permtsa", which means "the pocket-land of the wild Permia
ns", God's saint merited rightful veneration as one of the first enlighteners of
these remote lands.
The monk had many a struggle with the severe and inhospitable forces of
nature. Although his canal-system had drained the marsh, in times of floodings t
he River Luza overflowed the wilderness-monastery. Towards the end of his life t
he tireless toiler undertook construction on a point of land at Chernoe-Black La
ke. At the new locale was likewise erected a church, consecrated in 1652. The Mo
nk Leonid died at age 100, on 17 July 1654. He was buried at the monastery Vvede
nie-Entrance church -- where for a long time they preserved his coarse and heavy
hair-shirt -- a reminder of the ascetic toils of the holy saint.
They have a tropar to the Monk Leonid, and his holy icons are in churche
s at the places of his toilings.
The Svyatogorsk Icon of the Mother of God: In the year 1563, during the
times of Ivan the Terrible, in the environs of Pskov to a native of Voronicha -a fifteen year old shepherd and fool named Timothy, not far from the stream Lug
ovitsa, there appeared with a miraculous shining in the air an "Umilenie" ("Tend
erness") icon of the Mother of God. This icon was thereafter situated in the Vor
onicha parish church of Saint George. The voice from the icon announced, that af
ter six years upon this hill would shine forth the grace of God.
In 1569 to this same youth upon the Sinicha hill, there appeared an Hode
getria icon of the Mother of God upon a pine-tree. Timothy spent forty days at t
his place in fasting and prayer. The miraculous voice from the icon commanded, t
hat the clergy and the people should come to the Sinicha heights with the Umilen
ie-Tenderness icon on the Friday, following the Sunday of All Saints. When the c
hurch procession, made at the command of the Mother of God, reached the hill and
began the molieben, at the time of the reading of the Gospel there suddenly sho
ne a light, the air was filled with fragrance and everyone saw upon the pine-tre
e the Hodegetria icon. Both holy icons, the Hodegetria and the Umilenie, were pu
t into the church of the GreatMartyr George. From them began many miraculous sig
ns and healings, about which reports were made to tsar Ivan IV. Through his ukaz
-decree, upon the Sinicha Hill -- called from that time the "Svyata" ("Holy"), t
here was built a chapel, into which were transferred the wonderworking icons. Bu
t soon, on the feastday of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God,
when a church procession with icons was made to Holy Hill, the chapel that night
suddenly burned. The fire destroyed everything else inside, but the holy things
remained unharmed.
On this sacred spot they erected a stone church in honour of the Uspenie
-Dormition of the MostHoly Mother of God, the altar of which was situated on the
place where the Hodegetria icon had appeared. Both glorified icons were placed
into the lower tier of the iconostas: the Hodegetria -- on the right side (a cha
pel in honour of which was built in 1770), and the Umilenie -- on the left (a ch
apel was built in 1776).
In that same year of 1569 on Svyata-Holy Hill was founded the Svyatogors
k ("Holy-Hill") Uspenie monastery.
Annually on the 1st Friday of the Peter and Paul Lent, the icons are con
veyed to the Trinity cathedral of the city of Pskov, and on the following Sunday
there is made a procession with them along the inner walls of the city.
The celebration in honour of the Umilenie icon is made on 19 March and o
n the 9th Friday after Pascha, and in honour of the Hodegetria -- on 17 July and
on the day of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God (i.e. 1 Octob
2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


The Holy Martyr Emelian, a Slav, suffered for Christ during the reign of
the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). Julian wanted to restore in the Roma
n empire the cult of the pagan gods, and he circulated an edict throughout all t
he regions, according to which all Christians would be subject to death.
The city of Dorostolum, situated on the banks of the River Dunaj (Danube
), where Saint Emelian lived, was governed by an official named Capitolinus. The
imperial edict was read in the city square. The people of Dorostolum said that
there were no Christians in the city.
Saint Emelian was a slave of the local city-head, and he was secretly a
Christian. Emboldened by the harsh edict, Saint Emelian snuck into the pagan tem
ple, he destroyed statues of the idols with an hammer, he overturned the altars
and the candle-stands, and then emerged without notice. But soon the pagans disc
overed, that the pagan-temple was in ruins. An angry crowd began to beat up a ce
rtain Christian, who by chance happened by. Saint Emelian then shouted out loudl
y, that they should not lay hold of that innocent man, and then he said that he
himself had wrecked the pagan-temple. They seized hold of him and led him for ju
dgement to Capitolinus. By order of the official, Saint Emelian was for a long t
ime beaten mercilessly, and then he was condemned to burning. Thrown into a bonfire, he did not perish, but rather the flames burnt many of the pagans standing
about. And when the bon-fire had gone out, Saint Emelian lay down upon the dyin
g embers and with a prayer gave up his spirit to the Lord (+ 363). At Constantin
ople afterwards there was built a church in honour of the holy Martyr Emelian, w
herein also they transferred his relics.
The Holy Martyr Iacynthos (Hyacinthe) (IV) was born into a pious Christi
an family in the city of Amastridea (now Amastra in Anatolia). An Angel which ap
peared gave him his name. As a three year old boy Saint Iacynthos besought of Go
d that a dead infant might be resurrected, and the Lord hearkened to his childis
h prayer: the dead one arose. Both lads afterwards grew up together, and togethe
r they asceticised in virtuous life. Saint Iacynthos once noticed, how the pagan
s were worshipping a tree, and so he chopped it down. For this they subjected hi
m to harsh tortures. They smashed out all his teeth, and having bound him with r
ope, they dragged him along the ground and threw him in prison. And it was there
that the holy sufferer expired to God.
The Monk John the Much-Suffering, of Pechersk, pursued asceticism at the
Kievo-Pechersk Lavra.
The ascetic related, that from the time of his youth he had suffered muc
h, tormented by fleshly lust, and nothing could deliver him from it -- neither h
unger nor thirst nor heavy chains. The monk then went into the cave wherein rest
ed the relics of the Monk Antonii, and he fervently prayed to the holy abba. Aft
er a day and a night the much-suffering John heard a voice: "John! It is necessa
ry for thee to here seclude thyself, so that at least to weaken the vexation by
silence and the unseen, and the Lord shalt help thee through the prayers of His
monastic saints". The saint settled into the cave from that time, and only after
thirty years did he conquer the fleshly passions. Tense and fierce was the stru
ggle upon the thorny way on which the monk went to victory. Sometimes the desire
took hold of him to forsake his seclusion, but then he resolved on still greate
r an effort. The holy warrior of Christ dug out a pit and with the onset of Grea
t Lent he climbed into it, and he covered himself up to the shoulders with groun
d. The whole of Lent he spent in such a position, but the burning of his former
passions did not quit his much-exerted flesh. The enemy of salvation brought ter
ror upon the ascetic, in wanting to expel him from the cave: a fearsome serpent,

breathing fire and strewn with sparks, tried to swallow the saint. For several
days these evil doings continued. On the night of the Resurrection of Christ the
serpent seized the head of the monk in its jaws. Then Saint John cried out from
the depths of his heart: "O Lord my God and my Saviour!Wherefore hast Thou fors
aken me? Have mercy upon me, Thou Only Lover-of-Mankind; deliver me from my foul
iniquity, so that I wither not in the snares of the malevolent one; deliver me
from the mouth of mine enemy: send down a lightning-flash and drive it away". Su
ddenly a bolt of lightning flashed, and the serpent vanished. A Divine light sho
ne upon the ascetic, and a Voice was heard: "John! Here is the help for thee; he
nceforth be attentive, that nothing worse happen to thee and that thou suffer no
t in the age to come". The saint prostrated himself and said: "Lord! Why didst T
hou leave me for so long in torment?" "For the power of thine endurance, -- was
the answer, -- I brought upon thee temptation, so that thou might be smelted pur
e like gold; it is to the strong and powerful servants that a master doth assign
the heavy work, and to the infirm and to the weak -- the easy tasks; wherefore
pray thou to the one buried here (the Monk Joseph the Hungarian), he can help th
ee in this struggle: he even moreso than Joseph (the Handsome)". The monk died i
n about the year 1160, having acquired grace against profligate passions. His ho
ly relics rest within the Antoniev Caves.
The Monk Pamva, a Kievo-Pechersk Hermit and PriestMonk, fulfilled the ex
ploit of confessor. Caught while on a monastic obedience, he was taken off by Ta
tars and for many years suffered from them for his refusal to renounce the Chris
tian faith. The monk was afterwards miraculously transported from captivity and
put within his own cell. He died in seclusion in 1241. His relics rest in the Th
eodosiev Caves.
The Monk Pamba (IV) asceticised in the Nitreian wilderness in Egypt. The
Monk Anthony the Great (Comm. 17 January) said, that the Monk Pamba by the fear
of God inspired within himself the Holy Spirit. And the Monk Pimen the Great (C
omm. 27 August) said: "We beheld three things in Father Pamba: hunger every day,
silence and handcrafts". The Monk Theodore the Studite termed Saint Pamba "exal
ted in deed and in word".
At the beginning of his monasticism, Saint Pamba heard the verses from t
he 38th [39th] Psalm of David: "preserve mine path, that I sin not by my tongue"
. These words sank deep into his soul, and he attempted to follow them always. T
hus, when they asked him about something, he answered only after a long ponderin
g and a prayer, risking to say something that he afterwards might regret. Saint
Pamba was a model of a lover of work for his disciples. Each day he worked until
exhausted, and by the bread acquired by his own toil.
The disciples of the Monk Pamba became great ascetics: Dioskoros, afterw
ards Bishop of Hermopolis (this Dioskoros, bishop of Hermopolis, mustneeds be di
stinguished from another Dioskoros -- an arch heretic and patriarch of Constanti
nople, who lived rather later and was condemned by the Fourth OEcumenical Counci
l), and also Ammonios, Eusebios and Eythymios -- mentioned in the life of Sainte
d John Chrysostom. One time the Nun Melania the Roman (Comm. 31 December) brough
t Saint Pamba a large amount of silver for the needs of the monastery, but he di
d not leave off from his work nor even glance at the money that was brought. Onl
y after the incessant requests of Saint Melania did he permit her to give the al
ms to a certain monastic brother for distribution to the needs of the monastery.
Saint Pamba was distinguished by his humility, but together with this he highly
esteemed the vocation of monk and he taught the laypeople to be respectful of m
onastics, who often converse with God.
The monk died at age 70. Telling the brethren that stood about his death
-bed concerning the virtues he strove for during his life, Saint Pamba said: "Fo
r I do expire to the Lord such, as that I am but begun to live a God-pleasing mo
The Holy GreatMartyr Athanasias (III-IV) was a contemporary and friend o
f the holy Martyrs Sergios and Backhos (Comm. 7 October). Having received the of

ficial position of eparch, he was sent to Egypt by the persecutor-emperor Maximi

an (284-305). They soon made denunciation against him for confessing the Christi
an faith. The governor, in supposing that Saint Athanasias had changed his mind,
sent him off to Klisma (on the Red Sea) with an order to close down the Christi
an churches. Having arrived at this place, Saint Athanasias solemnly celebrated
the feast of the Nativity of Christ in church. Soon the governor also arrived in
Klisma. Learning about what had occurred, for a long time he urged the saint to
renounce Christ, but seeing the steadfastness of the saint, he ordered him behe
The Monk Leontii was the founder of the Karikhov monastery, near Novgoro
d. He expired to the Lord on 18 July 1429.
The Kaluzhsk Icon of the Mother of God: The feast on this day was establ
ished and done at Kaluga in grateful memory of the deliverance of the city from
cholera on 18 July 1892. (The account about the appearance of the icon is locate
d under 2 September).
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


MONK DIOS (+ C. 430).
The Monastic Macrina, Sister of Sainted-Hierarchs Basil the Great and Gr
egory of Nyssa, was born in Cappadocia at the beginning of the IV Century. Her m
other, Emilia, saw in a dream an Angel, naming her yet unborn one Thekla, in hon
our of the holy First-Martyress Thekla. Saint Emilia (Emily, Comm. 1 January) fu
lfilled the will of God and named her daughter Thekla. Another daughter that was
born they named Macrina, in honour of a grandmother, who suffered during the ti
me of persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian Galerius.
Besides Macrina, in her family were nine other children. Saint Emila her
self guided the upbringing and education of her elder daughter. She taught her r
eading and writing in the Scriptural books and Psalms of David, selecting those
examples from the Sacred books, which instructed of a pious and God-pleasing lif
e. Saint Emilia trained her daughter to attend church services and make private
prayers. Macrina was likewise taught the proper knowledge of domestic governance
and various handicrafts. She was never left idle and did not participate in chi
ldish games or amusements.
When Macrina grew up, her parents betrothed her to a certain pious youth
, but the bridegroom soon died. Many young men sought marriage with her, but Mac
rina refused them all, having chosen the life of a virgin and not wanting to be
unfaithful to the memory of her dead fiancee. The Monastic Macrina lived in the
home of her parents, helping them fulfill the household tasks as an overseer tog
ether with the servants, and she carefully followed after the upbringing of her
younger brothers and sisters. After the death of her father she became the chief
support for the family.
When all the children grew up and left the parental home, Saint Macrina
convinced her mother, Saint Emilia, to leave the world, to set their slaves free
, and to settle in a women's monastery. Several of their servants followed their
example. Having taken monastic vows, they lived together as one family, they pr
ayed together, they worked together, they possessed everything in common, and in
this manner of life nothing distinguished one from another.
After the death of her mother, Saint Macrina guided the sisters of the m

onastery. She enjoyed the deep respect of all who knew her. Strictness towards h
erself and temperance in everything were characteristic of the saint over the co
urse of all her life. She slept on boards and had no possessions. Saint Macrina
was granted a gift of wonderworking. There was an instance (told by the sisters
of the monastery to Saint Gregory of Nyssa after the death of Saint Macrina), wh
en she healed a girl of an eye-affliction. Through the prayers of the saint, at
her monastery in times of famine there was no shortage of wheat, necessary for t
he use of the sisters.
Saint Macrina died in the year 380, after a final sigh of exalting praye
rs of thanks to the Lord for having received of Him blessings over all the cours
e of her life. She was buried in the same grave with her parents.
The Monk Dios was born in the city of Syrian Antioch towards the end of
the IV Century into a pious Christian family. From the years of his youth he was
noted for his temperance, he took food in small quantity and not each day, his
flesh was humbled by vigil and incessant prayer. For these deeds the Lord grante
d Saint Dios dispassion and the gift of wonderworking.
The Lord in a vision ordered Saint Dios to go to Constantinople and ther
e to serve both Him and the people. Saint Dios settled beyond the city in a soli
tary place, where people feared to live. The Monk Dios bravely contended with th
e evil spirits which tried to expel him from this place. The Lord heard the pray
er of His saint: his staff took root, began to grow and with time was transforme
d into an immense oak, which stood for a long time even after the death of Saint
The surrounding inhabitants began to come to the saint for advice and gu
idance, and they besought healing from ills of body and soul. Saint Dios by pray
er doctored the infirm, and whatever was offered him he distributed to the poor,
the homeless and the sick.
Accounts about Saint Dios reached even the emperor Theodosius the Younge
r. He came to Saint Dios for a blessing together with the Constantinople Patriar
ch Atticus (406-425). The emperor wanted that on the place of Saint Dios' effort
s there be built a monastery, and he provided the means for its construction. Th
e patriarch ordained the monk into the priestly dignity and made him the hegumen
. Soon numerous monastic brethren gathered to Saint Dios. The monastery was in n
eed of a well. They dug at it for a long time without success. Through the praye
r of the monk the Lord brought forth a spring of pure water, which soon filled u
p the entire well. One time through his prayer the monk raised up a drowned man.
And many another miracle the Lord worked through His saint.
In extreme old age the Monk Dios became grievously ill. He took his leav
e from the brethren, communed the Holy Mysteries and lay upon his cot, like one
dead. At the monastery for making the funeral service His Holiness Patriarch Att
icus (Comm. on Cheesefare Saturday) and also the Alexandria Patriarch Alexander,
who was then at Constantinople. The holy elder unexpectedly rose up from his de
ath bed and said: "The Lord hath given me yet fifteen years of life". Great was
the joy of the brethren.
Saint Dios actually did live another 15 years, helping all with guidance
and counsel, healing the sick, and being concerned for the poor and homeless. S
hortly before death a radiant man in priestly garb appeared to him in the altar
of the church and forespoke to him about the impending day of death. Having give
n thanks to the Lord for this news, Saint Dios quietly died and was buried in hi
s monastery (about the year 430).
Uncovering of the Relics of the Monk Seraphim, Wonderworker of Sarov: At
the beginning of the last century (i.e. the 1800's) a new bright taper blazed u
pon the candle-tiara of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Lord deigned to send to
us on earth a great man of prayer, an ascetic and wonderworker.
In 1903 occurred the glorification of the Monk Seraphim of Sarov, 70 yea
rs after his repose (the Vita (Life) of the saint is located under 2 January, th
e day of his repose). On 19 July, the birthday of the saint, his relics were ope
ned with great solemnity and placed in a prepared reliquary. The long awaited ev

ent was accompanied by numerous miraculous healings of the sick, who in large nu
mber had gathered at Sarov. Very widely esteemed while yet alive, the Monk Serap
him became one of the most beloved saints of the Russian Orthodox nation, indeed
like the Monk Sergei of Radonezh.
The spiritual path of the Monk Seraphim was marked by great modesty, inh
erent to the Russian saint. From childhood having been chosen by God, the Sarovs
k ascetic without hesitation or misgiving ascended from strength to strength in
his striving for spiritual perfection. Eight years of novitiate tasks and eight
years of temple service in the dignity of deacon and priestmonk, wilderness-dwel
ling and pillar-dwelling, hermitage and solitude followed upon each other and cr
own his eldership. His deeds, by far exceeding natural human abilities (for exam
ple, the prayer upon the stone for a thousand days and nights), harmoniously and
readily enter into the life of the saint.
The mystery of a living and prayerful communality defines the spiritual
legacy of the Monk Seraphim, but he left to the Church still another precious th
ing -- a short but fine directive, written in part by himself, and in parts by t
hose listening to him. Shortly before the glorification of the saint there was f
ound and printed in 1903 his "Conversation of the Monk Seraphim of Sarov, Concer
ning the Goal of Christian Life", compiled at the end of November 1831, roughly
a year before his repose. This conversation was a very precious contribution of
the ascetic into the treasury of teachings of Russian holy-fathers. Besides his
teaching about the essence of Christian life, in it are contained new explanatio
ns of many important places of Holy Scripture.
"Fasting, prayer, vigil and every good deed, -- taught the Monk Seraphim
, -- being howso no less fine in themselves, yet however in fact the goal of our
Christian life does not consist only but in them, though they serve as means fo
r its attainment. The true goal of our Christian life is the acquisition of the
Holy Spirit of God". Once however situated in the Spirit of God, the monk glimps
ed all the Russian land, and it was filled and as it were covered over by the in
cense-cloud of the prayers of the faithful, rising up in supplication to the Lor
In the recorded life and deeds of Saint Seraphim are quoted many eye-wit
ness accounts of the graced gift of perspicacity (i.e. insight), which he utilis
ed for stimulating within people repentance of sins and moral rectification.
"The Lord hath revealed to me, -- said he, -- that there shalt be a time
, when the hierarchs of the Russian land and other spiritual persons will deviat
e from the preservation of Orthodoxy in all its purity, and for this the wrath o
f God wilt strike them. For three days I stood, I besought the Lord to have merc
y on them and besought it better to deprive me, the wretch Seraphim, of the King
dom of Heaven, than to punish them. But the Lord inclined not to the plea of the
wretch Seraphim and said, that there would be not mercy for them, since they wi
ll teach human teachings and commandments, while their hearts stand far from Me"
Manifesting the graced gifts and power of God to people, the Monk Seraph
im instructed those coming to him, on how to transverse the narrow path of salva
tion. He commanded obedience of his spiritual children and to the end of his lif
e he was faithful to it. Having spent all his life in ascetic deeds beyond the p
ower of ordinary people, his advice was to go by "the royal (middle) way" of the
holy-fathers and not take upon oneself excessive difficult works: "to take on e
xcessive measure of exploit is not necessary; but strive, so that the other aspe
ct -- our flesh -- be true and capable for the doing of good deeds".
The monk considered prayer to be the prime exploit and means for the acq
uisition of the Holy Spirit. "Every good deed, done on account of Christ, bestow
s the grace of the Holy Spirit, but... prayer most of all beareth the Holy Spiri
t, and it is most convenient of all for each to improve".
The Monk Seraphim advised during the time of Divine-services to stand in
temple now with eyes closed, and then to turn one's gaze upon an image or burni
ng candle and ponder this thought, -- that it would suggest the fine comparison
of human life with a waxen candle.
If someone complained to the holy elder about the impossibility to fulfi

ll the rule of prayer, he then advised them to pray unceasingly: both during the
time of work, and when going wherever, and even in bed. And if anyone can make
the time, said the monk, let them take on soul-edifying prayers and readings of
prayer-canons, akathists, psalms, the Gospel and Epistles. The saint also advise
d to study the order of Divine-services and to commit them to memory.
The Monk Seraphim regarded a lengthy rule of prayer as non-obligatory an
d he gave his Diveevsk community of women monastics a light rule. The Mother of
God forbade Father seraphim to obligate novices with the reading of long akathis
ts, so as not to impose an excessive burden on the incapable. But with this the
saint strictly mentioned, that prayer ought not to be a formality: "Those monks,
who do not unite external prayer with the inner, are not monks, but black torch
-heads!" There thus became known the Seraphim Rule for those laypeople, who unde
r the circumstances of life were not able to read the customary morning and even
ing prayers -- in the morning, before lunch and at evening to read the "Our Fath
er", thrice the "Hail Mary, Virgin Mother of God", the Creed "I Believe" once; a
ttending to necessary tasks, from morning til dinner to do the Jesus Prayer "Lor
d, Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner" or but simply "Lord, have
mercy", and from dinner til evening the prayer "MostHoly Mother of God, save me
a sinner" or "Lord, Jesus Christ, through the Mother of God have mercy on me a
"In prayers be attentive to thyself, -- advised the ascetic, -- that is,
prepare the mind and unite it with the soul. On the first day, twice or more ma
ke this prayer with the whole mind, attending separately to each particular word
. Later on, when the Lord heats thy heart with His warm grace and unites that in
thee in one spirit: then flows within thee unceasingly that prayer and always w
ill it be with thee, delighting and nourishing thee..." The monk said that in fu
lfilling this rule with humility, it is possible to attain Christian perfection
even in worldly life.
"One mustneeds provide the soul with the Word of God. Most of all one ou
ght to exercise in the reading of the New Testament and the Psalter. From this o
ccurs enlightenment of the intellect, which is transformed by a Divine transform
ation", -- advised the holy ascetic of Sarov, himself constantly reading through
all the New Testament during the course of the week.
Communing the Holy Mysteries each Sunday and each feastday without fail,
-- to the question of how often one should approach for Communion, the Monk Ser
aphim answered: "the more often, the better". He said to the priest of the Divee
vsk community, Vasilii Sadovsky: "The Grace, given us by Communion, is so great,
that though a man be unworthy and sinful, if such a man in humility conscious o
f his all-sinfulness approacheth nigh [for Communion] to the Lord, Who hath rede
emed us all, though he be covered head to foot by the bounds of sin, yet shalt h
e be cleansed by the grace of Christ, for all the more and more it illumineth hi
m, and altogether it doth enlighten and save him".
"I believe, that through the great blessing of God grace doth make its m
ark also upon those communing..." The saint however did not give everyone the id
entical advice regarding frequent Communion. For many he advised to make the pre
paratory fast during all four lenten periods and during all the twelve feastdays
. But it is necessary to remember his warning about the possibility of communing
unto condemnation: "Sometimes thus it doth happen: here on earth they indeed do
commune, but with the Lord they remain non-communicants!"
"There is no worse a sin and nothing is more terrible and harmful of spi
rit than despondency", -- said Saint Seraphim. He himself shone with a spiritual
joy, and with this quiet peaceful joy he in abundance filled the hearts of thos
e about him, greeting them with the words: "My joy! Christ is Risen!" Every burd
en of life became light while being close to the ascetic, and a multitude of the
grieving people and seekers of God crowded about his cell and together with the
m hermits, wanting to share in the graces radiating from the God-pleasing saint.
In the eyes of all was affirmed the truth, expressed by the saint himself in a
great angelic calling-out: "Acquire peace, and around thee a thousand wilt be sa
ved". This command about the acquisition of peace leads up to the teaching about
the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, but of itself it appears as a most importan

t step on the way of spiritual growth. The Monk Seraphim, in experience having p
assed through all the ancient Orthodox science of ascetic deed, foresaw how the
spiritual activity of coming generations would be, and he taught to seek out pea
ce of soul and to condemn no one: "Whoso goeth about in a worldly manner, that o
ne as though a liar draweth up spiritual gifts". "For preserving peace of soul..
. everyone ought to flee the judging of others... In order to be delivered from
judgement, one ought to attend to oneself, and not from whomever to adopt extran
eous ideas and become deadened towards everything".
The Monk Seraphim rightly can be called a disciple of the Mother of God.
The MostHoly Mother of God thrice healed him from grievous illness, and repeate
dly She appeared to him, guiding and encouraging him. While still at the beginni
ng of his way he heard, how the Mother of God in directing him as he lay upon hi
s sick bed, said to the Apostle John the Theologian: "This one is of our kind".
Upon emerging from seclusion the monk devoted much effort to the buildin
g up of the women's monastic community at Diveevo and he himself said, that he g
ave no particular directives on his own, but rather he gave everything through t
he will of the Queen of Heaven.
The Monk Seraphim stands at the head of a remarkable upwards-flight of R
ussian Orthodox spirituality. With great strength resounds his recollection: "Th
e Lord seeketh out the heart, overflowing with love towards God and neighbour; h
ere is the throne, upon which He doth love to preside and appear in the fullness
of His supra-heavenly Glory. "Son, give Me thine heart, -- sayeth He, -- and al
l else I Myself wilt provide thee", -- wherefore it is in the human heart that t
he Kingdom of Heaven can be realised".
The Holy Nobleborn Prince Roman Olegovich of Ryazan was from a line of p
rinces, who during the time of the Tatar (Mongol) Yoke won glory as defenders of
the Christian faith and of their Fatherland. Both his grandfathers perished for
the Fatherland in the struggle with Batu. Raised in love for the holy faith (th
e prince lived in tears and prayers) and for his Native-land (Rodina), the princ
e with all his strength concerned himself about his devastated and oppressed sub
jects, and he defended them from the coercion and plundering of the khan's "bask
aki" ("tax-collectors"). The "baskaki" hated the saint and they slandered him be
fore the Tatar khan Mengu-Timur. Roman Olegovich was summoned to the Horde, wher
e khan Mengu-Timur declared that he had to choose either of two things: either a
martyr's death or the Tatar faith. The noble prince answered, that a Christian
cannot change from the true faith to a false one. For his firmness in the confes
sion of faith he was subjected to cruel torments: they cut out his tongue, gouge
d out his eyes, cut off his ears and lips, chopped off his hands and feet, tore
off from his head the skin and, having chopped off his head, they impaled him up
on a spear. This occurred in the year 1270.
The veneration of the prince-martyr began immediately with his death. Th
e chronicle says about the saint: "Thou hast gained by thy suffering the Kingdom
of Heaven and a crown bestown from the hand of the Lord together with thy kinsm
an Mikhail Vsevolodovich, co-sufferers with Christ for the Orthodox Christian fa
From the year 1854 there was made at Ryazan a church procession and moli
eben on the day of memory of Saint Roman. In 1861 at Ryazan was consecrated a ch
urch in honour of holy Prince Roman.
The Monk Paisii of Pechersk was a monk of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery.
From the general canon to the Kievo-Pechersk monks, venerated in the Farther Cav
es, it is known, that he was connected by oneness of mind and brotherly love wit
h the Monk Merkurii (the account about him is under 24 November). Both saints we
re inseparable, they lived in the same cell, and after death were put into the s
ame grave. At the present time their relics rest in separate reliquaries.
Blessed Stefan (Stephen) was the son of prince Saint Lazar of Serbia (Co
mm. 15 June). In the terrible times of the Turkish Yoke Saint Stefan became the
great benefactor of his enslaved countrymen. He built up the city, constructed c

hurches and expended his treasury on the help of the needy. Saint Stefan exceede
d many a ruler by his wisdom, his charity and his faith. He died peacefully in t
he year 1427.
Saint Militsa was the mother of Blessed Stefan. She founded the Liubosti
n women's monastery, in which she took vows with the name Evgenia. She died at t
he monastery a schema-monastic on 11 November 1405.
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
GN" (1637).
The Holy Prophet Elias (Ilias) (Elijah) -- one of the greatest of the pr
ophets and the first dedicated to virginity in the Old Testament -- he was born
in Galaadian Thesbia (Tishbe) into the Levite tribe 900 years before the Incarna
tion of the Word of God.
Sainted Epiphanios of Cyprus gives the following account about the birth
of the Prophet Elias: "When Elias was born, his father Sobach saw in a vision,
that handsome men greeted him, they swaddled him in fire and fed the fiery flame
". The name Elias (the Lord's strength) given to the infant defined his whole li
fe. From the years of his youth he dedicated himself to the One God, settled in
the wilderness and spent his whole life in strict fasting, Divine-meditation and
prayer. Called to prophetic service afront the Israelite king Ahab, the prophet
became a fiery zealot of the true faith and piety. During this time the Israeli
te nation had fallen away from the faith of their fathers, they abandoned the On
e God and worshipped pagan idols, the worship of which was introduced by the imp
ious king Jereboam. An especial advocate of idol-worship was the wife of king Ah
ab, the paganess Jezebel. The worship of the idol of Baal led the Israelites tow
ards complete moral decay. Beholding the ruin of his nation, the Prophet Elias b
egan to denounce king Ahab for impiety, and exhorting him to repent and turn to
the True God. The king would not listen to him. The Prophet Elias then declared
to him, that in punishment there would then be neither rain nor dew upon the gro
und, and the dryness would cease only through his prayer. And indeed, through th
e prayer of the prophet the heavens were closed, and there befell drought and fa
mine throughout all the land. The nation suffered from the incessant heat and hu
nger. The Lord through His mercy, seeing the suffering of the people, was prepar
ed to forgive all and send rain upon the earth, but did not want to annul the wo
rds of the Prophet Elias, sorrowed with the desire to turn about the hearts of t
he Israelites to repentance and return them to the true worship of God. Having s
aved the Prophet Elias from the hands of Jezebel, the Lord during this time of t
ribulation sent him into a secret place of the stream Horath. The Lord ordered r
apacious ravens to bring food to the prophet, moving him to pity for the sufferi
ng nation. When the stream Horath dried up, the Lord sent the Prophet Elias to S
idonian Sarepta to a poor widow, who suffered together with her children in the
expectation of death by starvation. At the request of the prophet she prepared h
im a bread with the last measure of flour and the remainder of the oil. Thereaft
er through the prayer of the Prophet Elias, flour and oil were not depleted in t
he home of the widow for all the duration of the famine. By the power of his pra
yer the prophet did another miracle -- he resuscitated the dead son of the widow
. After the end of three years of drought the Merciful Lord sent the prophet to
king Ahab to bring an end to the misfortune. The Prophet Elias gave orders to ga

ther upon Mount Carmel all Israel and the pagan-priests of Baal. When the nation
had gathered, the Prophet Elias proposed the building of two sacrificial altars
: one -- for the pagan-priests of Baal, and the other -- for the Prophet Elias i
n the service of the True God. "Upon whichever shalt come down upon it fire from
the heavens, that one wilt be shewn to have the True God, -- said the Prophet E
lias, -- and all shalt be obliged to worship Him, and if not invoking Him shalt
be given over to death". The prophets of Baal rushed off first to offer sacrific
e: they called out to the idol from morning till evening, but in vain -- the hea
vens were silent. Towards evening the holy Prophet Elias built up his sacrificia
l altar from 12 stones -- the number of the tribes of Israel; he placed the sacr
ifice upon the fire-wood, gave orders to dig a ditch around the altar and comman
ded that the sacrifice and the fire-wood be soaked with water. When the ditch ha
d filled with water, the fiery prophet turned to God with a prayer and asked, th
at the Lord send down fire from the heavens to teach the wayward and obdurate Is
raelite people and turn their hearts to Himself. Through the prayer of the proph
et there came down fire from the heavens and it fell upon the sacrifice, the woo
d, the stones and even the water. The people fell down to the ground, crying out
: "In truth the Lord is the One God and there is no other besides Him!". Then th
e Prophet Elias had put to death all the pagan-priests of Baal and he began to p
ray for the sending down of rain. Through his prayer the heavens opened and ther
e came down an abundant rain, watering the parched earth.
King Ahab acknowledged his error and repented his sins, but his wife Jez
ebel threatened to kill the prophet of God. The Prophet Elias fled into the king
dom of Judea and, grieving over his failure to eradicate idol-worship, he asked
of God his death. An Angel of the Lord came before him, strengthened him with fo
od and commanded him to go upon a long journey. The Prophet Elias went for forty
days and nights and, having arrived at Mount Horeb, he settled in a cave. Here
after a terrible storm, an earthquake and a burst of flame the Lord appeared "in
a quiet wind" (3 Kings 19: 12) and revealed to the grieving prophet, that He pr
eserved seven thousand faithful servants who were not worshippers of Baal. The L
ord commanded the Prophet Elias to anoint Elisei (Elisha) unto prophetic service
. Because of his fiery zeal for the Glory of God the Prophet Elias was taken up
alive to Heaven on a fiery chariot. The Prophet Elisei (Elisha) began with the t
estimony of the ascent of the Prophet Elias to the heavens on a fiery chariot an
d received together with his fallen-down mantle (cloak) a gift of prophetic spir
it twice as great, than the Prophet Elias had possessed.
According to the tradition of Holy Church, the Prophet Elias will be a F
ore-Runner of the Terrible Second Coming of Christ upon the earth and during the
time of preaching will be a sign of bodily death.
The life of the holy Prophet Elias is recorded in the Old Testament book
s (3 Kings; 4 Kings; Sirach/Ecclesiastes 48: 1-15; 1 Maccabees 2: 58). At the ti
me of the Transfiguration [Preobrazhenie] the Prophet Elias conversed with the S
aviour upon Mount Thabor (Tabor) (Mt. 17: 3; Mk. 9: 4; Lk. 9: 30).
For the day of the fiery ascent to Heaven of the Prophet Elias his vener
ation in the Church of Christ was constant over the centuries. The Russian Ortho
dox Church venerates the Prophet Elias among the saints. The first church, built
at Kiev under prince Igor, was in the name of the Prophet Elias. After Baptism
the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles princess Ol'ga (Comm. 14 July) built a temple of
the holy Prophet Elias in his native region, at the village of Vibuta.
The iconographic tradition portrays the Prophet Elias rising up on a cha
riot with fiery wheels, which are encircled on all sides with flames and harness
ed to four winged horses.
Holy Righteous Aaron the First-Priest: about him is contained an account
in the Bible, in the book "Exodus".
The Monk Avraam (Abraham) of Galich, Chuklomsk, lived and pursued asceti
cism at the monastery of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh during the XIV Century. Aft
er long years of novitiate he was deemed worthy of the priestly dignity. Yearnin
g after the perfection of silence, he petitioned the blessing of the Monk Sergei

and in the year 1350 settled in the Galich countryside, settled by foreign trib
es of people. Having settled in a place of wilderness, the Monk Avraam through a
revelation went up upon a mountain, where he found an icon of the Mother of Go
d shining with an indescribable light. The appearance of the holy icon became kn
own to the Galich prince Dimitrii, who entreated the monk to bring it to the cit
y. The Monk Avraam came with the icon to Galich, where he was met by the prince
and a throng of clergy. Numerous healings were worked from the icon of the Mothe
r of God. Prince Dimitrii bestowed upon the monk the means for construction of a
church and monastery near Chukhlomsk Lake, at the place of the appearance of th
e icon of the MostHoly Mother of God. The church was built and dedicated in hono
ur of the Dormition [Uspenie] of the MostHoly Mother of God. The newly built mon
astery of the Monk Avraam became a source of spiritual enlightenment for the loc
al foreign peoples. When the monastery was built up, he established in his place
as head his student Porphyrii, and he himself withdrew 30 versts away in search
of a solitary place, but there also disciples found him. Thus rose up still ano
ther monastery with a temple in honour of the Placing of the Robe of the Mother
of God, called "the great Avraamite wilderness-monastery". The Monk Avraam twice
withdrew off to a quiet place, after which there gathered about him anew the di
squieters. Thus were founded two more monasteries -- one in honour of the Sobor
(Assemblage) of the MostHoly Mother of God, the hegumen of which the Monk Avraam
made Porphyrii; and the other -- in honour of the Protection [Pokrov] of the Mo
stHoly Mother of God, where the Monk Avraam finished his earthly life. He died i
n 1375, having the year before his blessed end given over the governance to his
disciple Innokentii. The Monk Avraam was an enlightener of the Galich land, havi
ng founded in it four monasteries dedicated to the Mother of God, granting him H
er icon at the beginning of his prayerful exploits.
The Monk Leontii of Stromynsk was the first hegumen of the Stromynsk Usp
enie monastery, founded by the Monk Sergei of Radonezh at the request of GreatPr
ince Dimitrii Donskoi (1363-1389) -- in honour of the victory over the Tatars 50
versts from Moscow, on the way to Yur'ev. The Monk Sergei established as hegume
n of the monastery his student, the Monk Leontii. The Monk Leontii died at the e
nd of the XIV Century.
The Monk Savva of Stromynsk, a student of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh, e
stablished the Stromynsk monastery together with the Monk Leontii. From 1381 thr
ough 1392 he was hegumen of the monastery. The Monk Savva died in the year 1392
and was buried at a wooden chapel of the Stromynsk monastery.
The Holy MonkMartyr Athanasii (Afanasii) of Bretsk (Uncovering and Trans
fer of Relics 1649): The martyr's death of the holy Passion-bearer Athanasii, He
gumen of Bretsk, transpired on 5 September 1648 (the account about his life and
deeds are located under this day). For the space of eight months the body of the
sufferer for Orthodoxy lay in the ground without church funeral. On 1 May 1649
a boy pointed out to the brethren of the Simeonovsk monastery the place of buria
l of the hegumen. The ground in which the martyr was buried belonged at the time
to the Jesuits, and therefore they had to go to work secretly. At night the mon
ks dug up the undecayed body of the hegumen and immediately took it off to anoth
er place, and in the morning -- to their monastery, where after several days, on
8 May, they buried him with honour at the right-side kleros (choir) in the main
church of the monastery dedicated in honour of the Monk Simeon the Stylite.
The earthly life of the MonkMartyr Athanasii had come to an end, but the
remembrance of him remained always alive and sacred among the Orthodox inhabita
nts of the west Russian frontier. The profound veneration of believers here for
his holy name, and the undecayed relics of the monk-martyr -- placed in a copper
reliquary, were glorified by grace-abundant gifts of wonderworking and attracte
d a vast number of believers.
On 8 November 1815 at the time of a fire occurring at the Bretsk Simeono
vsk monastery, the wooden monastery church burned, and the copper reliquary, in
which the relics of the monk-martyr were kept, melted in the flames of the confl

agration. The day following the fire an unharmed portion of the relics were foun
d by the priest Samuel of Lisovsk and placed by the pious inhabitants of the cit
y of Bretsk beneathe the altar of the monastery refectory church. In the year 18
23, with the blessing of the archbishop of Minsk Anatolii, the holy relics were
placed in a wooden vessel by the head of the monastery and put in church for ven
It pleased God to bestow miraculous power and by this preserved a portio
n of the relics of the MonkMartyr Athanasii.
In finely drawn traces there rises up before us this priestly image of t
he great champion of Orthodoxy, unsparing for faith and neighbour. Deeply religi
ous, inexorably devoted to the faith of the holy fathers, he became bold of spir
it and expressed by word and by deed his priestly indignation against the oppres
sion of Orthodox Christians by the haughty Latino-Uniates. With fervent faith in
his calling by God he entered into the struggle for his oppressed brethren. "I
am not a prophet, but only a servant of God my Creator, sent in accord with the
times, in order to speak to everyone the truth... He for this hath sent me, so t
hat I might proclaim beforetime the destruction of the accursed Unia". Suchlike
were the words of the fervent, unyielding and inspired struggler for Orthodoxy,
deeply believing in the victorious power of the true faith-confession.
The complete affirmation of Orthodoxy and the final and total undoing of
the Unia -- Saint Athanasii saw in this his single goal, the realisation for wh
ich he gave up his holy life. Besides this end, there was naught other than as h
e already lived in his personal life. Having submitted to the will of God, he ha
d no thought for dangers, nor considered the obstacles, to fulfill his holy duty
. His daring, spiritually-inspired speech and writings of petition, his publishe
d grievances against the gatherings and voluntary folly in Christ -- the MonkMar
tyr Athanasii tried all these expedients for the attainment and triumph of his s
acred goal -- the affirmation of Orthodoxy in the ancient Russian land. One time
, having repudiated the Unia, he was inspired with a deep sense of pity and love
towards those who had become the victims of Uniate complicity. The righteousnes
s and sincerity of Saint Athanasii in relation to those nearby defined the cours
e of all his deeds. By his existence in the solitary life, surrounded by open an
d hidden enemies, the holy ascetic remained a steadfast defender and pillar of O
rthodoxy, strengthened only by the light of faith in its solemnity and veracity.
A martyr's death did not frighten him, wherefore he preached the fulfillment of
his prophetic prediction: "The Unia will die out, but Orthodoxy will flourish".
The Icon of the Mother of God of Galich-Chukhlomsk "Tenderness" [Umileni
e] appeared in the year 1350 to the Monk Avraam of Galich, having come there fro
m the north for ascetic deeds with the blessing of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh.
On the wild shores of the Galich lake near the large mountain, hidden in the den
se forest, he turned with prayer to the Mother of God, asking Her blessing for h
is labours. After prayer the monk sat at rest and suddenly there appeared on the
nearby mountainside a bright light and he heard a voice: "Avraam, come up the m
ountain, where is set an icon of My Mother". The monk went up the mountain where
the light shone, and indeed on a tree found an icon of the Mother of God with t
he Praeternal Infant. With tenderness and in gratitude to God, the holy ascetic
took the revealed image and, strengthened by prayers to the MostHoly Mother of G
od, he built a the blessed place a chapel, in which he put the icon. After a cer
tain length of time the Galich prince Dimitrii Feodorovich, having learned about
a trip of the elder, turned to him with a request to bring the icon. The Monk A
vraam rowed across the Galich lake in a boat and, accompanied by clergy and a th
rong of people, he took the wonderworking icon to the cathedral church of the ci
ty of Galich. On this day a large number of the sick were healed from this icon.
When the Monk Avraam told about the appearance of the icon, the prince offered
money for the building of a monastery. Soon there was built a church in honour o
f the Dormition of the MostHoly Mother of God, around which arose a monastery. A
fterwards the Monk Avraam founded several more monasteries, the last being found
ed was the Chukhlomsk, not far from the city of Chukloma, -- from the name of th
is monastery the ascetic was named "of Chukhlomsk", and the wonderworking icon t

ook on the name "Galich-Chukhlomsk. The commemoration of this icon is also on 28

May and 15 August.
The Abalatsk "Sign" [Znamenie] Icon of the Mother of God: the account ab
out this icon is located under 27 November.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Holy Prophet Ezekiel lived in the VI Century before the Birth of Chr
ist. He was born in the city of Sarir, and descended from the Levite tribe; he w
as a priest and the son of the priest Buzi. In the second invasion against Jerus
alem by the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnessar, at age 25 Ezekiel was led off to
Babylon together with the king Jechoniah II and many other Jews.
In captivity the Prophet Ezekiel lived by the River Chobar. There, in hi
s 30th year of life, in a vision there was revealed to him the future of the Heb
rew nation and of all mankind. The prophet beheld a shining cloud, in the midst
of which was a flame, and in it -- a mysterious likeness of a chariot moving by
the spirit and four-winged beasts, each having four faces: of a man, a lion, an
ox and an eagle. Under their faces was situated a wheel, bestrewn with eyes. Ove
r the chariot towered as it were a crystalline firmament, and over the firmament
-- the likeness of a throne as though of glittering sapphire. And upon this thr
one a radiant "likeness of Man", and about Him a rainbow (Ez. 1: 4-28).
According to the explanation of the fathers of the Church, the most-brig
ht "likeness of Man" radiant upon the sapphire throne, was a prefigurament of th
e Incarnation of the Son of God from the MostHoly Virgin Mary, manifest as the T
hrone of God. The four creatures prefigured the four evangelists, the wheel with
a multitude of eyes -- the sharing of light with all the nations of the earth.
During this vision the holy prophet out of fear fell down upon the ground, but t
he voice of God commanded him to get up and then explained, that the Lord was se
nding him to preach to the nation of Israel. From this time began the prophetic
service of Ezekiel. The Prophet Ezekiel announces to the nation of Israel, situa
ted in Baylonian Captivity, about its coming tribulations for straying in the fa
ith and forsaking the True God. The prophet proclaimed also a better time for hi
s captive fellow-countrymen, and he predicted their return from Babylon and the
restoration of the Jerusalem Temple.
Particularly important are two significant elements in the vision of the
prophet -- the one about the vision of the temple of the Lord, full of glory, - the second about the bones upon the field, to which the Spirit of God gave new
life. The vision about the temple was a mysterious prefigurament of the freeing
of the race of man from the working of the enemy and the building up of the Chu
rch of Christ through the redemptive deed of the Son of God, incarnated of the M
ostHoly Virgin Mary, -- called by the prophet "the shut gates", through which wo
uld be entered the One only Lord God (Ez. 44: 2). The vision about the dry bones
upon the field -- prefigured the universal resurrection of the dead and the new
eternal life of the redeemed by the death on the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ
(Ez. 37: 1-14).
The holy Prophet Ezekiel had from the Lord a gift of wonderworking. He,
like the Prophet Moses, by prayer to God divided the waters of the river Chobar,
and the Hebrews crossed to the opposite shore, escaping the pursuing Chaldeans.
During a time of famine the prophet besought of God an increase of food for the
For his denunciation of the idol-worship of a certain Hebrew prince, Sai
nt Ezekiel was given over to execution: bound to wild horses, he was torn to pie
ces. Pious Hebrews gathered up the torn body of the prophet and buried it upon M

aur Field, in the tomb of Sim and Arthaxad, fore-fathers of Abraham, not far fro
m Baghdad. The prophecy of Ezekiel was written down in a book, mentioning him by
name, and is included in the Bible.
Sainted Dimitrii of Rostov drew attention for believers to the following
concept in the book of the Prophet Ezekiel: if a righteous man, hoping on his o
wn righteousness, were to venture to sin and in sin would die -- he would answer
for the sin and be subject to judgement; but a sinner, if he repenteth, and in
repentance would die -- his former sin would not be remembered before God (Ez. 3
: 20; 18: 21-24).
The Monks Simeon, Fool-for-Christ, and his Fellow-Ascetic John were Syri
ans, and they lived in the VI Century at the city of Edessa. From childhood a cl
ose friendship held them together. The older of them, Simeon, was unmarried and
lived with his aged mother. John, however, although he entered into marriage, li
ved with his father (his mother was dead) and with his young spouse. Both friend
s belonged to wealthy families. When Simeon became 30 years old, and John 24, th
ey made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on the feast of the Exaltation of the Venerabl
e and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord. On the return journey home the friends co
nversed about the ways of salvation for the soul. Journeying with horses, they s
ent the servants with the horses on ahead, and they themselves went on foot. Goi
ng through Jordan, they saw monasteries, situated at the edge of the wilderness.
Both of them were filled with an irrepressible desire to leave the world and sp
end their remaining life in monastic deeds. They turned off from the road, along
which their servants went into Syria, and they prayed zealously to God, to guid
e them towards the monasteries on the opposite side. They besought the Lord to i
ndicate which monastery for them to choose and they resolved to enter whichever
monastery the gates of which would be open. At this time in a dream the Lord inf
ormed the hegumen Nikon of a monastery to open the monastery gates, and that the
sheep of Christ would enter in. In great joy the comrades came through the open
gates of the monastery, where they were warmly welcomed by the hegumen, and the
y remained at the monastery. In a short while they took monastic vows. Having dw
elt for a certain while at the monastery, Simeon became keen with the desire to
intensify his effort, to go into the deep wilderness and there to pursue ascetic
ism in complete solitude. John did not wish to be left behind by his companion a
nd he decided to share with him the work of wilderness-dweller. The Lord reveale
d to the hegumen Nikon the intentions of the companions, and on that night when
the Monks Simeon and John intended to depart the monastery, he himself opened fo
r them the gates, he prayed with them, gave them his blessing and sent them into
the wilderness. Having begun wilderness life, the spiritual brothers at first u
nderwent the strong assault of the devil, suggesting to them grief over abandoni
ng their families, frightening the ascetics, directing upon them weakness, despo
ndency and idleness. The brothers Simeon and John, firmly mindful of the monasti
c vows given by them, and trusting on the prayers of their starets the hegumen N
ikon, continued straight upon their chosen path, and they passed the time in unc
easing prayer and strict fasting, encouraging each the other in their struggle a
gainst temptation. After a certain while, with the help of God, the temptations
stopped. The monks received from God the report, that the mother of Simeon and t
he spouse of John had died and that the Lord had vouchsafed them the blessing of
paradise. After this Simeon and John dwelt in the wilderness for 29 years, and
they attained complete dispassion (apatheia) and an high degree of spirituality.
The Monk Simeon, through the inspiration of God, pondered about that it now was
proper that he should serve people, and for this it was necessary to leave the
wilderness solitude and go into the world. But Saint John, reckoning that he had
not attained to such a degree of dispassion as his companion, decided not to qu
it the wilderness. The brethren parted with tears. Simeon journeyed to Jerusalem
, and there he worshipped at the Tomb of the Lord and all the holy places. By hi
s great humility the holy ascetic zealously besought the Lord to permit him to s
erve his neighbour in suchlike manner, that they should not acknowledge him. Sai
nt Simeon chose for himself the difficult task of fool-for-Christ. Having come t
o the city of Emessus, he stayed in it and passed himself off as a simpleton, do

ing strange acts, for which he was subjected to insults, abuse and beatings, and
amidst which he accomplished many good deeds. He cast out devils, healed the si
ck, delivered from immanent death, brought the unbelieving to faith, and sinners
-- to repentance. All these good deeds he did under the guise of foolishness, a
nd in no wise did he receive praise or thanks from people. But the Monk John hig
hly esteemed his spiritual brother: when someone of the inhabitants of the city
of Emessus visited him in the wilderness, asking advice and prayer, he would inv
ariably direct them to "the fool Simeon", who could better offer them spiritual
counsel. For three days before his death Saint Simeon ceased to appear on the st
reets, and he enclosed himself in his hut, in which, except for bundles of firewood, there was nothing. Having remained at unceasing prayer for three days, Sai
nt Simeon reposed to the Lord. Some of the city poor, companions with him, and n
ot coming across the fool, went to his hut and there found him dead. Taking up t
he dead body, they carried him without church singing to a place, where the home
less and strangers were buried. While they carried the body of Saint Simeon, sev
eral of the inhabitants heard a wondrous church singing, but could not comprehen
d from whence it came. After Saint Simeon, the Monk John peacefully expired to t
he Lord in the wilderness. Shortly before death, Saint Simeon was given to behol
d the crown upon the head of his spiritual brother with the inscription: "For en
durance in the wilderness".
The Monk Onuphrii the Silent, of Pechersk, pursued asceticism in the nea
rer Antoniev Caves in the XII Century. A second commemoration is done 28 Septemb
er in the Sobor (Assemblage) of the Monastic Fathers of the Kievo-Pechersk Neare
r Caves.
The Monk Onysim of Pechersk (XII-XIII), having pursued asceticism at the
Kievo-Pechersk Lavra, became an hermit at the Nearer Caves (of the Monk Antonii
). The holy relics of the monk were buried on the place of his ascetic deeds.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Holy Myrh-Bearer Equal-unto-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene. On the bank
s of Lake Genesareth (Galilee), between the cities of Capharnum and Tiberias, wa
s situated the small city of Magdala, the remains of which have survived to our
day. Now at this place stands only the small village of Mejhdel.
In Magdala sometime formerly the woman was born and grew up, whose name
has entered forever into the Gospel account. The Gospel tells us nothing about t
he youthful years of Mary, but tradition informs us, that Mary from Magdala was
young and pretty, and led a sinful life. It says in the Gospels, that the Lord e
xpelled seven devils from Mary. From the moment of healing Mary led a new life.
She became a true disciple of the Saviour.
The Gospel relates that Mary followed after the Lord, when He went with
the Apostles through the cities and villages of Judea and Galilee preaching abou
t the Kingdom of God. Together with the pious women -- Joanna, wife of Khuza (st
eward of Herod), Susanna and others, she served Him from her own possessions (Lk
8, 1-3) and undoubtedly, shared with the Apostles the evangelic tasks, in commo
n with the other women. The Evangelist Luke, evidently, has her in view together
with the other women, stating that at the moment of the Procession of Christ on
to Golgotha, when after the Scourging He took on Himself the heavy Cross, collap
sing under its weight, the women followed after Him weeping and wailing, but He
consoled them. The Gospel relates that Mary Magdalene was present on Golgotha at
the moment of the Lord's Crucifixion. While all the disciples of the Saviour ra
n away, she remained fearlessly at the Cross together with the Mother of God and

the Apostle John.

The evangelists enumerate among those standing at the Cross moreover als
o the mother of the Apostle James the Less, and Salome, and other women follower
s of the Lord from Galilee itself, but all mention first Mary Magdalene; but the
Apostle John aside the Mother of God, names only her and Mary Cleopas. This ind
icates how much she stood out from amidst all the women gathered round the Lord.
She was faithful to Him not only in the days of His Glory, but also at t
he moment of His Extreme Humiliation and Insult. As the Evangelist Matthew relat
es, she was present at the Burial of the Lord. Before her eyes Joseph and Nikode
mos went out to the tomb with His lifeless Body; before her eyes they covered ov
er the entrance to the cave with a large stone, behind which went the Sun of Lif
Faithful to the Law in which she was trained, Mary together with the oth
er women stayed all the following day at rest, because it was the great day of t
he Sabbath, coinciding in that year with the Feast of Passover. But all the rest
of the peaceful day the women succeeded in storing up aromatics, to go at dawn
Sunday to the Grave of the Lord and Teacher and according to the custom of the J
ews to anoint His Body with funereal aromatics.
It is necessary to suggest that, having agreed to go on the first day of
the week to the Tomb early in the morning, the holy women, having gone separate
ly on Friday evening to their own homes, did not have the possibility to meet to
gether with one another on Saturday, and how only at the break of dawn the follo
wing day did they go to the Sepulchre, not all together, but each from their own
The Evangelist Matthew writes, that the women came to the grave at dawn,
or as the Evangelist Mark expresses, extremely early before the rising of the s
un; the Evangelist John, as it were elaborating upon these, says that Mary came
to the grave so early that it was still dark. Obviously, she waited impatiently
for the end of night, but it was not daybreak when round about darkness still ru
led -- she ran there where lay the Body of the Lord.
Now then, Mary went to the Tomb alone. Seeing the stone pushed away from
the cave, she rushed away in fear thither where dwelt the close Apostles of Chr
ist -- Peter and John. Hearing the strange message that the Lord was gone from t
he tomb, both Apostles ran to the tomb and, seeing the shroud and winding cloths
, they were amazed. The Apostles went and told no one nothing, but Mary stood ab
out the entrance to the gloomy tomb and wept. Here in this dark tomb still so re
cently lay her lifeless Lord. Wanting proof that the tomb really was empty, she
went down to it -- and here a strange light suddenly prevailed upon her. She saw
two angels in white garments, the one sitting at the head, the other at the foo
t, where the Body of Jesus had been placed. She heard the question: "Woman, why
weepest thou?" -- she answered them with the words which she had said to the Apo
stles: "They have taken my Lord, and I do not know, where they have put Him". Ha
ving said this, she turned around, and at this moment saw the Risen Jesus standi
ng about the grave, but she did not recognise Him.
He asked Mary: "Woman, why weepest thou? Whom dost thou seek?" She answe
red thinking that she was seeing the gardener: "Sir, if thou hast taken him, tel
l where thou hast put Him, and I will reclaim Him".
But at this moment she recognised the Lord's voice, a voice which was kn
own from the day He healed her. This was the voice in those days and years, when
together with the other pious women she followed the Lord through all the citie
s and places where His preaching was heard. She gave a joyful shout "Rabbi" that
means Teacher.
Respect and love, fondness and deep veneration, a feeling of thankfulnes
s and recognition at His Splendour as great Teacher -- all came together in this
single outcry. She was able to say nothing more and she threw herself down at t
he feet of her Teacher, to wash them with tears of joy. But the Lord said to her
: "Touch me not, for I am still not ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren
and tell them: "I ascend to My Father and your Father and to My God and to your
She came to herself and again ran to the Apostles, so as to do the will

of Him sending her to preach. Again she ran into the house, where the Apostles s
tayed still in dismay, and announced to them the joyous message "I have seen the
Lord!" This was the first preaching in the world about the Resurrection.
The Apostles were obliged to proclaim the Glad Tidings to the world, but
she proclaimed it to the Apostles themselves...
Holy Scripture does not tell us about the life of Mary Magdalene after t
he Resurrection of Christ, but it is impossible to doubt, that if in the terrify
ing minutes of Christ's Crucifixion she was the foot of His Cross with His All-P
ure Mother and John, undoubtedly, she stayed with them during all the happier ti
me after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. Thus in the Book of the Acts
of the Apostles Saint Luke writes: that all the Apostles with one mind stayed in
prayer and supplication, with certain women and Mary the Mother of Jesus and Hi
s brethren.
Holy Tradition testifies, that when the Apostles departed from Jerusalem
for preaching to all the ends of the earth, then together with them also went M
ary Magdalene to preach. A daring woman, whose heart was full of reminiscence of
the Resurrection, she went beyond her native borders and set off to preach in p
agan Rome. And everywhere she proclaimed to people about Christ and His Teaching
, and when many did not believe that Christ is risen, she repeated to them what
she had said to the Apostles on the radiant morning of the Resurrection: "I have
seen the Lord!" With this preaching she made the rounds of all Italy.
Tradition relates, that in Italy Mary Magdalene visited the Emperor Tibe
rias (14-37 AD) and proclaimed to him about Christ's Resurrection. According to
tradition, she took him a red egg as a symbol of the Resurrection, a symbol of n
ew life with the words: "Christ is Risen!" Then she told the emperor about this,
that in his Province of Judea was the innocently condemned Jesus the Galilean,
an holy man, a maker or miracles, powerful before God and all mankind, executed
on the instigation of the Jewish High-Priests and the sentence affirmed by the p
rocurator named by Tiberias, Pontius Pilate.
Mary repeated the words of the Apostles, that believing in the Redemptio
n of Christ from the vanity of life is not as with perishable silver or gold, bu
t rather the precious Blood of Christ is like a spotless and pure Lamb.
Thanks to Mary Magdalene the custom to give each other paschal eggs on t
he day of the Luminous Resurrection of Christ spread among Christians over all t
he world. On one ancient hand-written Greek ustav, written on parchment, kept in
the monastery library of Saint Athanasias near Thessalonika (Solunea), is an es
tablished prayer read on the day of Holy Pascha for the blessing of eggs and che
ese, in which it is indicated, that the Hegumen (Abbot) in passing out the bless
ed eggs says to the brethren: "Thus have we received from the holy fathers, who
preserved this custom from the very time of the holy apostles, wherefore the hol
y equal-unto-the-apostles Mary Magdalene first showed believers the example of t
his joyful offering".
Mary Magdalene continued her preaching in Italy and in the city of Rome
itself. Evidently, the Apostle Paul has precisely her in view in his Epistle to
the Romans (16, 6), where together with other ascetics of evangelic preaching he
mentions Mary (Mariam), who as he expresses "has done much for us". Evidently,
she extensively served the Church in its means of subsistence and its difficulti
es, being exposed to dangers, and sharing with the Apostles the labours of preac
According to Church tradition, she remained in Rome until the arrival of
the Apostle Paul, and for two more years still, following his departure from Ro
me after the first court judgment upon him. From Rome Saint Mary Magdalene, alre
ady bent with age, moved to Ephesus where unceasingly laboured the holy Apostle
John, who with her wrote the first 20 Chapters of his Gospel. There the saint fi
nished her earthly life and was buried.
Her holy relics were transferred in the IX Century to the capital of the
Byzantine Empire -- Constantinople, and placed in the monastery Church of Saint
Lazarus. In the era of the Crusader campaigns they were transferred to Italy an
d placed at Rome under the altar of the Lateran Cathedral. Part of the relics of
Mary Magdalene are located in France near Marseilles, where over them at the fo

ot of a steep mountain is erected in her honour a splendid church.

The Orthodox Church honours the holy memory of Saint Mary Magdalene -- t
he woman, called by the Lord Himself from darkness to light and from the power o
f Satan to God.
Formerly immersed in sin and having received healing, she sincerely and
irrevocably began a new life and never wavered from the path. Mary loved the Lor
d Who called her to a new life. She was faithful to Him not only then -- when He
having expelled from her the seven demons and surrounded by enthusiastic crowds
passed through the cities and villages of Palestine, winning for Himself the gl
ory of a miracle-worker -- but also then when all the disciples in fear deserted
Him and He, humiliated and crucified, hung in torment upon the Cross. This is w
hy the Lord, knowing her faithfulness, appeared to her first, and esteemed her w
orthy to be first proclaiming His Resurrection.
The Transfer of the Relics of the Priest-Martyr Phokas from Sinope to Co
nstantinople occurred on 22 July in either the year 403 or 404. The account abou
t him is located under 22 September.
The Monk Kornilii of Pereyaslavl', in the world Konon, was the son of a
Ryazan merchant. In his youthful years he left his parental home and lived for f
ive years as a novice of the Starets/Elder Paul in the Lukyanovsk wilderness nea
r Pereyaslavl'. Afterwards the young ascetic transferred to the Pereyaslavl' mon
astery of Saints Boris and Gleb on the Peskakh/Sands. Konon eagerly went to chur
ch and unquestioningly did everything that they commanded him. In the refectory
the holy novice did not sit down with the brethren, but contented himself with w
hat remained, accepting food thrice a week. After five years he took monastic or
ders with the name Kornilii. From that time no one saw the monk sleeping on a be
d. Several of the brethren scoffed at Saint Kornilii as foolish, but the monk qu
ietly endured the insults and intensified his monastic efforts. Having asked per
mission of the hegumen to live as an hermit, he secluded himself into his own se
parately constructed cell and constantly practised asceticism in fasting and pra
yer. One time the brethren found him barely alive: the cell of the monk was lock
ed from within. Three months the Monk Kornilii lay ill: he could take only water
and juice. The monk, having recovered and being persuaded by the hegumen, staye
d to live with the brethren. Saint Kornilii was sexton in church, he served in t
he refectory, and toiled in the garden. Blessing the labours of the monk, in the
monastery garden there grew excellent apples, which he lovingly distributed to
those approaching. From strict fasting the body of the Monk Kornilii was withere
d up, but he did not cease to toil: with his hands he built a well for the breth
ren. For thirty years the Monk Kornilii lived in complete silence, being conside
red by the brethren as deaf and dumb. Before his death on 22 July 1693, the Monk
Kornilii made confession to the monastery priest Father Varlaam, communed the H
oly Mysteries and took on the schema. The monk was buried in the chapel. After 9
years during the construction of a new church his relics were opened uncorrupt.
In the year 1705 Saint Dimitrii, Metropolitan of Rostov, (Comm. 28 October), wi
tnessed to the relics of the Monk Kornilii, and they were situated in the new ch
urch in a secluded place. Then the sainted bishop composed a tropar and kondak t
o the monk.
Blessed Kiprian, fool-for-Christ's-sake, was gatekeeper of the church in
Voskresensk, near the city of Kovrov in Vladimir Diocese. Saint Kiprian pursued
his calling in silence on an island near the mouth of the rivers Kliazma and Uv
od. At his death on 22 July 1622 the body of the saint of God was buried near th
e church in the village of Voskresensk. In the year 1751 diligent admirers of th
e saint added a chapel to the church near his grave, in honour of the "Pokrov/Pr
otection" of the Mother of God. On the iconographic original of the saint it say
s: "22 July the death of the holy righteous Kiprian, fool-for-Christ's-sake in t
he village Voskresensk and wonderworker of Suzdal'; in appearance dark-featured,
hair hung behind the ears, a beard like (Saint John) the Theologian forked, in
clothes of green, legs barefooted, hands in prayer".

Copyright 1996 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

The Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God is among the most venerable sacred
items of the Russian Church. It is reknown throughout all the Slavic world: the
y venerate it in Russia, in Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria and other places. Christian
s also of other confessions come for veneration of the wonderworking image of th
e MostHoly Mother of God, alongside the Orthodox. At the Pochaev Lavra, an ancie
nt rampart of Orthodoxy, the wonderworking icon has resided about 400 years. (Th
e account about the transfer of the icon to the Pochaev monastery is located und
er 8 September). The miracles, which issued forth from the holy icon, are numero
us and are testified to in the monastery books with the inscriptions of the fait
hful, who with prayer have met with deliverance from unclean spirits, liberation
from captivity, and sinners brought to their senses.
The celebration in honour of the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God on 23
July was established in memory of the deliverance Uspenie-Dormition Lavra monas
tery from a Turkish siege on 20-23 July 1675.
In the Summer of 1675 during the time of the Zbarazhsk War with the Turk
s, during the reign of the Polish king Jan Sobesski (1674-1696), regiments compo
sed of Tatars under the command of khan Nurredin via Vishnevets fell upon the Po
chaev monastery, surrounding it on three sides. The weak monastery walls, just l
ike some of the stone buildings of the monastery, did not offer much defense aga
inst a siege. The hegumen Iosif Dobromirsky urged the brethren and laypeople to
turn themselves to Heavenly intercessors: to the MostHoly Mother of God and the
Monk Job of Pochaev (Comm. 28 October). The monks and the laypeople prayed ferve
ntly, prostrating themselves before the wonderworking image of the Mother of God
and the reliquary with the relics of the Monk Job. On the morning of 23 July wi
th the rising of the sun, as the Tatars were holding a final meeting about an as
sault on the monastery, the hegumen ordered the singing of an akathist to the Mo
ther of God. With the first words, "O Queen of the Heavenly Hosts", suddenly the
re appeared over the church the MostHoly Mother of God Herself, in "an unfurled
gleaming-white omophor", with heavenly angels holding unsheathed swords. The Mon
k Job was beside the Mother of God, bowing to Her and beseeching the defense of
the monastery. The Tatars took the heavenly army for an apparition, and in confu
sion they began to shoot arrows at the MostHoly Mother of God and the Monk Job,
but the arrows fell backwards and wounded those who shot them. Terror seized the
enemy. In a flight of panic and without looking, they trampled upon and killed
each other. The defenders of the monastery attempted pursuit and took many priso
ner. Some of the prisoners afterwards accepted the Christian faith and remained
at the monastery thereafter.
In the year 1721 Pochaev was occupied by Uniates. But even in this diffi
cult time for the Lavra, the monastery chronicle notes 539 miracles from the glo
rified Orthodox sacred image. During the time of the Uniate rule in the 2nd half
of the XVIII Century, for example, the Uniate nobleman count Nicholas Pototski
became a benefactor of the Pochaev Lavra through the following miraculous circum
stance. Having accused his coachman for overturning the carriage with frenzied h
orses, the count took out a pistol to shoot him. The coachman, turning towards P
ochaev Hill, reached his hands upwards and cried out: "Mother of God, manifest i
n the Pochaev Icon, save me!" Pototski several times tried to shoot the pistol,
which had never let him down, but the weapon misfired. The coachman remained ali
ve. Pototski then immediately set off to the wonderworking icon and decided to d
evote himself and all his property to the building-up of the monastery. From his

wealth was built the Uspenie-Dormition cathedral and buildings for the brethren
The return of Pochaev into the bosom of Orthodoxy in 1832 was marked by
the miraculous healing of the blind maiden Anna Akimchukova, who had come on pil
grimage to the holy things together with her 70 year old grandmother, from Kreme
nets-Podol'sk 200 versts away. In memory of this event, the Volynia archbishop a
nd Lavra archimandrite Innokentii (1832-1840) established weekly on Saturdays th
e reading of the cathedral akathist before the wonderworking icon. During the ti
me of the rule of the Lavra by archimandrite Agathangel, archbishop of Volynia (
1866-1876), there was constructed a separate chapel in the galleries of the Holy
Trinity church in memory of the victory over the Tatars, which was dedicated on
23 July 1875.
The Holy Martyrs Trophymos, Theophilos, and Thirteen Holy Martyrs with t
hem, suffered during the time of the persecution against Christians under the em
peror Diocletian (284-305). Brought to trial, they bravely confessed themselves
Christians and refused to offer sacrifice to idols. After fierce tortures, they
threw the holy martyrs with broken legs into a fire. Strengthened by the Lord, t
hey came out of the fire completely unharmed, and still all the moreso did they
glorify Christ. Then in despair of breaking the will of the holy confessors, the
torturers beheaded them.
The PriestMartyr Apollinarius, Bishop of Ravenna: During the reign of th
e Roman emperor Claudius (41-54), the holy Apostle Peter came to Rome from Antio
ch, and he ordained the Antiochene Apollinarius, who had come with him, to be bi
shop of Ravenna. Arriving in Ravenna as a stranger, Saint Apollinarius asked she
lter of a local inhabitant, the soldier Ireneius, and in conversation with him r
evealed also for what purpose he had come. Ireneius had a blind son, whom Saint
Apollinarius healed, having turned to the Lord with prayer. The soldier Ireneius
and his family were the first in Ravenna to believe in Christ. The saint stayed
at the house of Ireneius and preached about Christ to everyone wanting to hear
what he said. One of the miracles of healing, done by Saint Apollinarius, was th
e healing of the incurably sick wife of the Ravenna tribune, Thecla. After she s
tood up from her bed completely healthy -- through the prayers of the saint, not
only did she believe in Christ, but so also did the tribune. At the house of th
e tribune Saint Apollinarius constructed a small church, where he made Divine Li
turgy. For the newly-baptised people of Ravenna Saint Apollinarius ordained two
presbyters -- Aderetus and Calocyrus, and also two deacons.
Saint Apollinarius preached the Gospel at Ravenna for twelve years, and
the number of Christians steadily increased. Pagan priests made complaint agains
t the bishop to the governor Saturninus. Saint Apollinarius was brought to trial
and subjected to grievous tortures. Thinking that he had died, the torturers to
ok him out of the city to the sea-coast and threw him in. But the saint was aliv
e. A certain pious Christian widow rendered him aid and gave him shelter in her
home. Saint Apollinarius stayed at her home for six months and continued secretl
y to preach about Christ. The whereabouts of the saint became known, when he hea
led the loss of speech of an illustrious resident of the city named Boniface, at
the request of his wife, who besought the help of the saint for her husband. Af
ter this miracle many pagans were converted to Christ, and they again brought Sa
int Apollinarius to trial and tortured him, setting his bared-feet on red-hot co
als. They removed him from the city a second time, but the Lord again kept him a
live. The saint did not cease preaching until they expelled him from the city. F
or a certain while Saint Apollinarius found himself elsewhere in Italy, where as
before he continued to preach the Gospel. And again having returned to Ravenna
to his flock, Saint Apollinarius again went on trial and was sentenced to banish
ment. In heavy fetters he was put on a ship sailing to Illyrica to the River Dun
aj-Danube. Two soldiers were responsible to convey him to his place of exile. Th
ree of the clergy voluntarily followed their bishop into exile. Along the way th
e vessel suffered shipwreck and all drowned, except for the rescued Saint Apolli
narius, his acompanying clergy and the two soldiers. The soldiers, listening to

Saint Apollinarius, believed in the Lord and accepted Baptism. Nowhere having fo
und shelter, the travellers came to Mycea, where Saint Apollinarius healed a cer
tain illustrious inhabitant from leprosy, and for which both he and his companio
ns received shelter at his home. In this land Saint Apollinarius likewise preach
ed tirelessly about Christ and he converted many of the pagans to Christianity,
for which he was subjected to persecution on the part of unbelievers. They beat
up the saint mercilessly, and boarding him on a ship sailing for Italy, they sen
t him back. After a three year absence, Saint Apollinarius returned to Ravenna a
nd was joyfully received by his flock. The pagans, however, having fallen upon t
he church where the saint made Divine Liturgy, scattered those at prayer, and dr
agged the saint to the idolatrous priests in the pagan temple of Apollo, where t
he idol fell just as they brought in the saint, and it shattered. The pagan prie
sts brought Saint Apollinarius for trial to the new governor of the district, na
med Taurus. Apollinarius worked here a new miracle -- he healed the son of the g
overnor, who had been blind from birth. In gratitude for the healing of his son,
Taurus strove to shelter Saint Apollinarius from the angry crowd. He dispatched
him to his own estate outside the city, where the son and wife of Taurus were b
aptised, but he himself fearing the anger of the emperor did not accept Baptism,
but conducted himself with gratitude and love towards his benefactor. Saint Apo
llinarius lived for five years at the estate of Taurus and preached without hind
rance about salvation. During this time pagan priests dispatched letters of denu
nciation to the emperor Vespasian with a request for a sentence of death or exil
e of the Christian "sorcerer" Apollinarius. But the emperor answered the pagan p
riests, that the gods were sufficiently powerful to take revenge for themselves,
if they reckoned themselves insulted. All the wrath of the pagans fell upon Sai
nt Apollinarius: they caught hold of him when the saint left the city setting ou
t for a nearby settlement, and they beat him fiercely. Christians found him bare
ly alive and took him to the settlement, where he survived for seven days. Durin
g the time of his pre-death illness the saint did not cease to teach his flock a
nd he predicted, that after persecution Christians would enter upon better times
, when they could openly and freely confess their faith. Having given those pres
ent his archpastoral blessing, the PriestMartyr Apollinarius expired to the Lord
. Saint Apollinarius was bishop of Ravenna for 28 years and he died in the year
The Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Sorrowing" ("With Petty Change
") was glorified in the year 1888 in Peterburg, when during the time of a terrib
le thunderstorm lightning struck in a chapel, but the icon of the Queen of Heave
n situated in it remained unharmed; to it however was melted small metal coins (
half-kopeck pieces), laying before the icon. A church was built in 1898 on the s
pot of the chapel.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
(+ 1015).
The Martyress Christina lived during the III Century. She was born into
a rich family, and her father was governor of Tyre. By the age of 11 the girl wa
s exceptionally beautiful, and many wanted to be married to her. Christina's fat
her, however, envisioned that his daughter should become a pagan-priestess. To t
his end he situated her in a special dwelling, where he had set up many gold and
silver idols, and he commanded his daughter to burn incense before them. Two se
rvants attended to Christina.
In her solitude Christina began to ponder over the thought, -- who had c
reated this beautiful world? From her room she was delighted by the stars of the

heavens and she constantly came back to the thought about the One Maker of all
the world. She was convinced, that the voiceless and soul-less idols standing in
her room could not create anything, since they themselves were created by human
hands. She began to pray to the One God with tears, beseeching Him to reveal Hi
mself. Her soul blazed with love for the Unknown God, and she intensified her pr
ayer all the more, and combining with it fasting.
One time Christina had the visitation of an Angel, which instructed her
in the true faith in Christ, the Saviour of the world. The Angel called her a br
ide of Christ and announced to her about her future act of suffering. The holy v
irgin smashed all the idols standing in her room and cast them out the window. I
n visiting his daughter Christina's father, Urban, asked her where all the idols
had disappeared. Christina was silent. Then, having summoned the servants, Urba
n learned the truth from them. In a rage the father began to slap his daughter o
n the face. The holy virgin at first remained quiet, but then she revealed to he
r father about her faith in the One True God, and that by her own hands she had
destroyed the idols. Urban then gave orders to kill all the servants in attendan
ce upon his daughter, and he gave Christina a fierce beating and threw her in pr
ison. Having learned about what had happened, the mother of Saint Christina came
in tears, imploring her to renounce Christ and to return to her ancestral belie
fs. But Christina remained unyielding. On another day Urban brought his daughter
to trial and urged her to offer worship to the gods, to ask forgiveness for her
misdeeds, but he saw instead her firm and steadfast confession of faith in Chri
The torturers tied her to an iron wheel, beneathe which they set a fire.
The body of the martyress, turning round on the wheel, was scorched from all si
des. They then threw her in prison.
An Angel of God appeared at night, healing her from her wounds and stren
gthening her with food. Her father, in the morning seeing her unharmed, gave ord
ers to drown her in the sea. But an Angel sustained the saint while the stone sa
nk down, and Christina miraculously came out from the water and re-appeared befo
re her father. In terror, the torturer imputed this to the doings of sorcery and
he decided to execute her in the morning. But by night he himself suddenly died
. Another governor, Dion, was sent in his place. He summoned the holy martyress
and likewise tried to persuade her to renounce Christ, but seeing her unyielding
firmness, he again subjected her to cruel tortures. The holy martyress was for
a long while in prison. People began to throng to her, and she converted them to
the true faith in Christ. Thus about 300 were converted.
In place of Dion, a new governor Julian arrived and anew set about the t
orture of the saint. After various tortures, Julian gave orders to throw her int
o a red-hot furnace and lock her in it. After five days they opened the furnace
and found the martyress alive and unharmed. Seeing this miracle take place, many
believed in Christ the Saviour, and the torturers executed Saint Christina with
a sword.
The Holy Martyrs Nobleborn Princes Boris and Gleb, in Holy Baptism -- Ro
man and David (+ 1015): The account about them is located under 2 May.
The Child SchemaMonk Bogolep was the son of a Moscow nobleman Yakov Luki
ch Umakov and his wife Ekatarina. He was born in 1660 at Moscow. During Baptism
they gave the new-born the name Boris, in honour of the holy nobleborn Prince Pa
ssionBearer ("Strastoterpets") Boris (Comm. 24 July).
Umakov was appointed voevoda (military-commander) in the city of Chernyi
Yar, situated 250 versts from Astrakhan. He was known for his integrity. Boris
from infancy displayed unusual traits. On Wednesdays and Fridays he would not su
ckle the milk from his mother's breasts; when the bells pealed at the church, he
began to cry and at once became quiet, when they brought him into the church. W
hen they did not take the infant to church, he cried all day and ate nothing.
In 1662 a deadly pestilence spread about in Russia. The child fell ill - the pestilence afflicted him in the legs. He became lame, but continued to wal
k to church. The parents prayed about the health of their son and they tried eve

rything in their power, that he would be healed. But no sooner had the one illne
ss gone, than upon his face there appeared another, called scales.
One time during his illness the child saw a wandering monk, who visited
at their home. The angelic garb so impressed the child, that he began to implore
his parents to dew him suchlike garb and permit him to take monastic tonsure. A
midst this the holy lad proclaimed: "Lo, ye wilt see for yourselves, when ye ton
sure and grant me the angelic garb, I shall be well". The parents consented. The
child was invested in the schema with the name Bogolep (the Russian version of
the Greek name Theoprepios, meaning -- "in the semblance of God"). On the next d
ay the holy schema-monk was completely healthy, his face was clear and there rem
ained not a trace of the illness. But on the third day there was a new illness,
he was feverish, and it mortally struck down the lad. He died on 1 August 1667 a
nd was buried at the left wall of the wooden Chernoyarsk church in honour of the
Resurrection of Christ. (This church was erected, following a great conflagrati
on in Chernyi Yar, in the year 1652 on 24 July, the day of memory of Saint Boris
). Over the grave of the lad was built a chapel.
Numerous miracles of healing through the prayers of the holy SchemaMonk
Bogolep appear to be the basis of establishing the feastday to him on his name-d
ay in common ("tezoimenitstvo") with the holy nobleborn Prince Boris -- 24 July.
The life of the holy SchemaMonk Bogolep was compiled under a vow by the
Chernoyarsk merchant Savva Tatarinov during the years 1731-1732.
Icons of the saint, with the tropar and kondak to him, were widely dispe
rsed throughout the Astrakhan region.
In 1750 on the place of the wooden church was built a stone church with
a side-altar in honour of the holy Martyr John the Warrior. The grave of the hol
y schema-monk was enclosed in this side-altar. The bank of the river, at which t
he church of the Resurrection of Christ was situated, was constantly eroding. By
the mid XIX Century the structure of the church was threatened, and they remove
d all the holy things from it. But for a long time the Chernoyarsk people did no
t remove the chief holy thing -- the grave of the holy schema-monk. Finally, in
1851 when the water had already approached 2 arshin [4 ft. 8 in.], the people re
coursed to the MostHoly Synod with a request to transfer the holy remains of the
Schema-Monk Bogolep, and they received permission for this. The small child's c
offin was laid bare, but just when the city head took it into his hands, it slid
out from his hands and together with the crumbled earth it disappeared into the
waters of the Volga.
This disappearance just at the opening of the grave was accepted as happ
ening at the Will of God, since the holy lad had repeatedly appeared to many eit
her in sleep, or awake while walking along the river bank or coming down the hil
l. Amidst this he gave the consolation, that spiritually he would be present wit
h believers.
The simple life, but full of the mysteries of God, of the holy Schema-Mo
nk Bogolep manifests the power of the words of the Saviour concerning children:
"Let the children come unto Me and hinder them not, for of such is the Kingdom o
f God. Truly I tell ye: whoso cometh not to the Kingdom of God as a little child
, shalt not enter therein. And, having hugged them, He raised His hands over the
m and He blessed them" (Mk. 10: 14-16).
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
(+ 413).

The Falling-Asleep (Dormition-Uspenie) of Righteous Anna, Mother of the

MostHoly Mother of God: The God-wise, God-blest and Blessed Anna was the daughte
r of the priest Nathan and his wife Mary, from the tribe of Levi by descent of A
aron. According to tradition, she died peacefully in Jerusalem at age 79, before
the Annunciation of the MostHoly Virgin Mary. During the reign of the holy Sain
t Justinian the Emperor (527-565), a church was built in her honour at Deutera.
And emperor Justinian II (685-695; 705-711) restored her church, since Righteous
Anna had appeared to his pregnant wife. And it was at this time that her body a
nd omaphorion (veil) were transferred to Constantinople. (The account about Righ
teous Joakim and Anna is located under 9 September).
Saint Olympiada the Deaconess was the daughter of the senator Anicius Se
cundus, and by her mother she was the grand-daughter of the noted eparch Eulalio
s (he is mentioned in the account about the miracles of Saint Nicholas). Before
her marriage to Anicius Secundus, Olympiada's mother had been married to the Arm
enian emperor Arsak and became widowed. When Saint Olympiada was still very youn
g, her parents betrothed her to a nobleborn youth. The marriage was supposed to
take place when Saint Olympiada reached the age of maturity. The bridegroom soon
however died, and Saint Olympiada did not wish to enter into another marriage,
but instead preferred a life of virginity. After the death of her parents she be
came the heir to great wealth, which she began top distribute with a general han
d to all the needy: the poor, the orphaned and the widowed; she likewise gave si
gnificant monies to the churches, monasteries, hospices and shelters for the dow
ntrodden and the homeless.
Holy Patriarch Nektarios (381-397) appointed Saint Olympiada as a deacon
ess. The blessed saint fulfilled her service honourably and beyond reproach.
Saint Olympiada provided great assistance to hierarchs coming to Constan
tinople -- Amphylokhios, Bishop of Iconium, Onysimos of Pontum, Gregory the Theo
logian, Saint Basil the Great's brother Peter of Sebasteia, Epiphanios of Cyprus
-- and she attended to them all with great love. Her wealth she did not regard
as her own but rather God's, and she distributed not only to good people, but al
so to their enemies.
Saint John Chrysostom (+ 407, Comm. 13 November) had high regard for Sai
nt Olympiada and he bestowed her his good-will and spiritual love. And when this
holy hierarch was guiltlessly and unjustly banished, Saint Olympiada together w
ith the other deaconesses were deeply upset. Leaving the church for the last tim
e, Saint John Chrysostom called out to Saint Olympiada and the other deaconesses
Pentadia, Proklia and Salbina, and he said that the matters incited against him
would come to an end, but scarcely more would they see him. He asked them not t
o abandon the church but instead be obedient to the bishop who would be appointe
d in his place, since the Church is not able to be without bishop. The holy wome
n, shedding tears, fell down before the saint.
The Alexandria patriarch Theophilos (385-412), having repeatedly benefit
ed formerly through the generosity of Saint Olympiada, turned against her for he
r devotion to Saint John Chrysostom, but also for the additional reason, that sh
e had taken in and fed monks arriving in Constantinople, whom Patriarch Theophil
os had banished from the Egyptian wilderness. He levelled unrighteous accusation
s against her attempted to cast doubt on her holy life.
After the banishment of Saint John Chrysostom, the cathedral church of S
aint Sophia caught fire and after this a large part of the city burnt down.
All the supporters of Saint John Chrysostom came under suspicion of arso
n, and they were summoned for interrogation. And then also did Saint Olympiada s
uffer. They summoned her to trial, rigourously interrogating her, and although t
hey did not produce any proof, they sentenced her to payment of a large fine of
money for the arson, of which she was not guilty. After this the saint left Cons
tantinople and set out to Kyzikos (on the Sea of Marmara). But her enemies did n
ot cease with their persecution: in the year 405 they sentenced her to imprisonm
ent at Nicomedia, where the saint underwent much grief and deprivation. Saint Jo
hn Chrysostom wrote to her from his exile, consoling her in her sorrow. In the y

ear 409 Saint Olympiada died in imprisonment.

Saint Olympiada appeared in a dream to the Nicomedia bishop and commande
d, that her body be placed in a wooden coffin and cast into the sea: "Whither th
e waves carry the coffin, there let my body be buried", -- said the saint. The c
offin was brought by the waves to a place named Brokhti near to Constantinople.
The inhabitants, informed of this by God, took the holy relics of Saint Olympiad
a and put them in the church of the holy Apostle Thomas. Afterwards, during the
time of an invasion of enemies, the church was burned, but the relics were prese
rved and under the Patriarch Sergios (610-638) they were transferred to Constant
inople and put at the women's monastery founded by Saint Olympiada. From her rel
ics miracles occurred and healings made.
The Nun Eupraxia was daughter of the Constantinople dignitary Antigonos,
a kinsman of the holy Emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395).
Antigonos and his wife Eupraxia were pious and bestowed generous alms on
the destitute. A daughter was born to them, whom they likewise named Eupraxia.
Antigonos soon died. The mother withdrew from the imperial court and together wi
th her daughter she set out to Egypt under the pretext of looking over her prope
rties. And there near the Thebaid was a women's monastery with a strict monastic
rule. The life of the inhabitants attracted the pious widow. She wanted to best
ow aid on this monastery, but the hegumeness Theophila refused and said, that th
e nuns had fully devoted themselves to God and that they did not wish the acquis
ition of any earthly riches. The hegumeness consented to accept only candles, in
cense and oil.
The younger Eupraxia was at this time seven years old. She liked the mon
astic manner of life and she decided to remain at the monastery. Her pious mothe
r did not stand in the way of her daughter's wish. Taking leave of her daughter
at the monastery, Eupraxia asked her daughter to be humble, never to dwell upon
her nobleborn descent, and to serve God and her sisters fervently. In a short wh
ile the mother died. Having learned of her death, the emperor Saint Theodosius s
ent Saint Eupraxia the Younger a letter, in which he reminded her, that her pare
nts had betrothed her to the son of a certain senator for when she reached age f
ifteen, and that he desired that she would fulfill the commitment made by her pa
rents. In answer to the letter, Saint Eupraxia wrote to the emperor, that she ha
d already become a bride of Christ and she requested of the emperor to dispose o
f her properties, distributing the proceeds for the use of the Church and the ne
Saint Eupraxia, having reached the age of maturity, intensified her asce
tic efforts all the more. At first she partook of food once a day, then after tw
o days -- three days or more and finally, once a week. She combined her fasting
with the fulfilling of all her monastic obediences: she toiled humbly in the kit
chen, she washed dishes, she swept the premisses and served the sisters with zea
l and love. And the sisters loved the unpretentious Eupraxia. But one of them en
vied her and explained away all her efforts as a desire for glory. This sister b
egan to trouble and to reproach her, but the holy virgin did not answer her back
, and instead humbly asked forgiveness.
The enemy of the human race caused the saint much misfortune. One time i
n getting water she fell into the well, from which the sisters extracted her; an
other time Saint Eupraxia was chopping wood for the kitchen and cut herself on t
he leg with an axe. When she carried an armload of wood up upon the ladder, she
stepped on the hem of her garment, she fell and a sharp splinter cut her near th
e eyes. All these woes Saint Eupraxia endured with patience, and when they asked
her to give herself a rest, she would not consent. For her efforts, the Lord gr
anted Saint Eupraxia a gift of wonderworking: through her prayer she healed a de
af and dumb crippled child, and she delivered from infirmity a demon-oppressed w
oman. They began to bring the sick for healing to the monastery. The holy virgin
humbled herself all the more, reckoning herself least among the sisters. Before
the death of Saint Eupraxia, the hegumeness had a vision. The holy virgin was t
ransported into a resplendid palace and was greeted with a spot before the Thron
e of the Lord surrounded by holy Angels, and the All-Pure Virgin showed Saint Eu

praxia about the luminous chamber and said to her, that She had made ready for h
er and that she would come into this habitation after the space of ten days.
The hegumeness and the sisters wept bitterly, not wanting to lose Saint
Eupraxia. The saint herself, in learning about the vision, wept that she was not
prepared for going into eternity, and she besought the hegumeness to implore th
e Lord to leave her alive even one year more for repentance. The hegumeness cons
oled Saint Eupraxia and said, that the Lord would grant her His great mercy. Sud
denly Saint Eupraxia sensed herself not well, and having sickened, she soon peac
efully died at age thirty (+ 413).
The Monk Makarii of Zheltovodsk and Unzhensk was born in the year 1349 a
t Nizhni-Novgorod into a pious family. At twelve years of age he secretly left h
is parents and accepted monastic tonsure at the Nizhegorodsk Pechersk monastery
under Saint Dionysii (afterwards Archbishop of Suzdal'; + 1385, Comm. 26 June).
With all the intensity of his youthful soul he gave himself over to the work of
salvation: extremely strict fasting and exact fulfilling of the monastic rule di
stinguished him amongst the brethren.
The parents of the Monk Makarii only learned three years later where he
had taken himself off to. His father went to him and tearfully besought his son
merely that he would come forth and show himself. The Monk Makarii conversed wit
h his father through a wall and said, that he would see him in the future life.
"Extend me at least thine hand," -- implored the father. The son fulfilled this
small request and the father, having kissed the extended hand of his son, return
ed home. Burdened by fame, the humble Makarii set out to the shores of the River
Volga and here he pursued asceticism near the waters of Lake Zhelta. Here by fi
rm determination and patience he overcame the abuse of the enemy of salvation. L
overs of solitude gathered to the Monk Makarii, and in 1435 he organised for the
m a monastery in the Name of the MostHoly Trinity. Here also he began to preach
Christianity to the surrounding Cheremis and Chuvash peoples, and he baptised bo
th Mahometans and pagans in the lake, which received its name from the saint. Wh
en the Kazan Tatars destroyed the monastery in 1439, they took captive the Monk
Makarii. Out of respect for his piety and charitable love, the khan released the
saint from captivity and set free together with him nearly 400 Christians. But
in return they accepted the word of the Monk Makarii not to settle by Lake Zhelt
a. The Monk Makarii reverently buried those killed at his monastery, and he set
out 200 versts to the Galich border. During the time of this resettlement all th
ose on the way were fed in miraculous manner through the prayers of the monk. Ha
ving arrived at the city of Unzha, the Monk Makarii 15 versts from the city set
up a cross and built a cell on the shores of Lake Unzha. And here he founded a n
ew monastery. During the fifth year of his life at Lake Unzha the Monk Makarii t
ook sick and reposed at age 95.
While yet alive, the Monk Makarii was granted a graced gift: he healed a
blind and demon-afflicted girl. After the death of the monk, many received heal
ing from his relics. The monks erected over his grave a temple and established a
life-in-common rule at the monastery. In 1522 Tatars fell upon Unzha and wanted
to tear apart the silver reliquary in the Makariev monastery, but they fell bli
nd, and in a panic they took to flight. Many of them drowned in the Unzha. In 15
32, through the prayers of the Monk Makarii, the city of Soligalich was saved fr
om the Tatars, and in gratitude the inhabitants built a chapel in the cathedral
church in honour of the saint. More than 50 people received healing from grievou
s infirmities through the prayers of the Monk Makarii, -- this was certified to
by a commission, dispatched by Patriarch Philaret in 1619.
The Monk Christopher of Sol'vychegodsk and Koryazhemsk was a student and
novice under the Monk Longin, hegumen of the Koryazhemsk monastery. After the d
eath of his teacher, the Monk Christopher dwelt for yet another ten years at the
Koryazhemsk monastery, and then he settled along the upper tributaries of the L
arge Koryazhemka, where he lived in solitude.
When novices began to come to him, the Monk Christopher founded a monast
ery and built a church in honour of the Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God, wh

ich he brought with him to this place, and from which they received many healing
s. The monastery of the Monk Christopher was famed for the strictness of life of
its residents, and also for a curative water-spring, from which there was recei
ved a relief from illness by Anastasia (1457-1460), the spouse of Ivan the Terri
ble (1533-1584). In 1572 the Monk Christopher left the monastery and he secretly
settled alone in an unknown place. They say, that the Monk Christopher died bet
ween the years 1572-1582.
The Holy Martyrs Sactus (Sanctus), Maturus, Attalus, Blandina, Biblius (
Viblius), Vittius, Epagathus, Pontinus, Alexander and 43 Others were tortured by
the pagans for their belief in Christ in the city of Lyons (then named Lugdunum
) under the emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180), in the year 177. After a vicious
death, their bodies were burned, and the ashes thrown into the River Rhone.
The Fifth OEcumenical Council (Constantinople II) was at Constantinople,
held under the holy Emperor Saint Justinian I (527-565) in the year 553, to res
olve the question about the Orthodoxy of three long-since dead bishops: Theodore
of Mopsuetia, Theodoret of Kyr (Cyr) and Ibas of Edessa, who had expressed Nest
orian opinions in their writings way back in the time of the Third OEcumenical C
ouncil (at Ephesus in year 431, Comm. 9 September). These three bishops had not
been condemned later at the Fourth OEcumenical Council (at Chalcedon in year 451
, Comm. 16 July), which condemned the Monophysites, and in turn had been accused
by the Monophysites of Nestorianism. And therefore, to remove from the Monophys
ites the stance of accusing the Orthodox of sympathy for Nestorianism, and also
to dispose the heretical party towards unity with the followers of the Chalcedon
Council, the emperor Saint Justinian issued an edict: in it were condemned thre
e "Chapters" of the three deceased bishops. But since the edict was issued on th
e emperor's initiative, and since it was not acknowledged by representatives of
all the Church (particularly in the West, and in part, in Africa), a dispute aro
se about the "Three Chapters". The Fifth OEcumenical Council was convened for re
solving this dispute.
At this Council were present 165 bishops. Pope Vigilius, while being pre
sent in Constantinople, refused to participate in the Council, although he was t
hree times asked to do so by official deputies in the name of the gathered bisho
ps and the emperor himself. The Council was opened with Sainted Eutykhios, Patri
arch of Constantinople (552-565, 577-582), presiding. In accordance with the imp
erial edict, the matter of the "Three Chapters" was carefully examined in eight
prolonged sessions from 4 May to 2 June 553. Anathema was pronounced against the
person and teachings of Theodore of Mopsuetia unconditionally. But as regards T
heodore and Ibas the condemnations were confined only to certain of their treati
ses, while they as persons had been cleared without doubt by the Chalcedon Counc
il because of repentance, and they were thus spared from anathema. The need of t
his measure was that certain of the proscribed works contained expressions used
by the Nestorians to interpret to their own ends the definitions of the Chalcedo
n Council. But the leniency of the fathers of this Fifth OEcumenical Council, in
a spirit of moderating economy as regards the persons of bishops Theodore and I
bas, instead embittered the Monophysites against the decisions of the Council. B
esides which, the emperor had given the orders to promulgate the Conciliar decis
ions together with a chastening of excommunication against Pope Vigilius, as bei
ng like-minded with the heretics. The Pope afterwards concurred with the general
frame of mind of the fathers and gave his signature on the Conciliar definition
. But the bishops of Istria and all the region of the Aquilea metropolia remaine
d more than a century in schism.
At the Council the fathers likewise examined the errors of presbyter Ori
gen, a long since dead reknown Church teacher of the III Century. His teaching a
bout the pre-existence of the human soul was condemned. Other heretics were also
condemned, who did not admit of the universal resurrection of the dead.
[trans. note: Both the Monophysite and the Nestorian heresies ultimately
deny the Chalcedon Fourth OEcumenical Council's definition of the Son of God ou
r Lord Jesus Christ as One Divine Person -- the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity -

- in a mysteried hypostatic union (without mixture or confusion) of His perfect

Divine Nature and His perfect Human Nature. The Monophysite (OneNature) heresy a
ffirms only the Divine Nature of Christ, and denies His Human Nature. At the opp
osite pole, the earlier Nestorian heresy in various forms asserts that there are
two persons in Christ: the one Divine, the other Human; which is to say that th
ere is a Christ Who is God and a Christ Who is man -- but they are not one and t
he same Person, which is ultimately to say that the Only-Begotten Son of God did
not truly become humanly the Son of Man, but remains separate. Nestorianism is
also a Mariological heresy, asserting that Mary is only "Christotokos" (bearer o
f Christ), but that She is not "Theotokos" ("Bogoroditsa", i.e. Mother of God, "
Bogomater", "Mater tou Theou"). Both these heresies originate in an attempt to q
uell the "intellectual scandal", that in Christ, God truly has become Man, while
perfectly preserving the dignity and integrity of both the Divine and the Human
Natures -- that our Lord Jesus Christ is truly the God-Man, rather than being "
merely God" or "merely Man". Both heresies are imperfect attempts to deal with t
he abyss separating God and man -- which is overcome in the salvific Divine Pers
on of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The imperial intrusion of Justinian on the Church's perogatives obviousl
y but worsened matters. The innovation of retroactively anathemising those long
since dead was in general greeted with dismay by many, and Justinian himself is
alleged to have for a time flirted with the Monothelite heresy whilst persecutin
g the Orthodox. The secular considerations of restoring under Justinian's rule t
he Roman "Western Empire" underlay the captivity and rough treatment of Pope Vig
ilius, and the need for Byzantium to placate Monophysite Egypt, in vain, as inde
ed our account relates. But amidst all the external considerations, it pleased t
he Lord that the Holy Spirit should inspire the fathers of the Council in a furt
her definition of Orthodoxy, that preserves the integrity and dignity both of Go
d and of mankind, without the distortion of either that transpires within the Ne
storian or Monophysite heresies.
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
. 1043).
The PriestMartyrs Hermolaus, Hermippos and Hermocrates, Clergy of Nicome
dia, were among the small number of those remaining alive after the burning of 2
0,000 Christians of the Nicomedia Church in the year 303 (Comm. 28 December), -done upon the orders of the emperor Maximian (284-305). They hid themselves in
remote places and did not cease to teach pagans the Christian faith. Often there
passed by the house, in which Saint Hermolaus had concealed himself, the young
pagan named Pantoleon (Holy GreatMartyr Panteleimon, Comm. 27 July). One time Sa
int Hermolaus chanced upon the youth and asked him to stop by for him at the hou
se. In their conversation Saint Hermolaus began to explain to his guest the fals
eness, impiety and vanity of worshipping the pagan gods. From that day on Pantol
eon began daily to visit Saint Hermolaus and received of him holy Baptism. When
the trial of the holy GreatMartyr Panteleimon was being held, Saints Hermolaus,
Hermippos and Hermokrates, were also arrested. The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to
Saint Hermolaus on an evening and revealed to him, that on the following day he
would suffer for Him and receive a martyr's crown. Saints Hermippos and Hermokr
ates were arrested and brought to trial after Saint Hermolaus. All three were gi
ven the chance to abjure from Christ and offer sacrifice to idols. But they reso
lutely refused, confessed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and were prepared
gladly to die for Him. The pagans began to threaten the holy priests with tortu
re and death. Suddenly a strong earthquake occurred, and the idols and pagan tem

ple collapsed and shattered. A report was made about this to the emperor. The en
raged Maximian gave the holy martyrs over to torture and pronounced upon them a
sentence of death. Bravely enduring all the torments, the holy PriestMartyrs Her
molaus, Hermippos and Hermokrates were beheaded in about the year 305.
The Monk Moisei (Moses) the Ugrian (Hungarian) of Pechersk, by descent a
Magyar, was a brother of the Monk Ephrem of Novotorzh (+ 1053, Comm. 28 January
), and of Saint George. Together with them he entered into the service of the ho
ly Nobleborn Prince Boris (+ 1015, Comm. 24 July). After the murder in 1015 of S
aint Boris at the River Al'ta, -- Saint George also perishing with him, Saint Mo
isei fled and hid himself away at Kiev with Predslava, sister of prince Yaroslav
. In 1018, when the Polish king Boleslav seized Kiev, Saint Moisei and his compa
nions wound up in Poland as captives.
Built tall and handsome, Saint Moisei attracted to himself the attention
of a certain rich Polish widow, who burned with a passionate desire for him and
wanted to make him her husband, after ransom from captivity. Saint Moisei resol
utely refused to exchange captivity for slavery to a wife. But, despite his refu
sal, the Polish woman bought the captive.
She tried every which way to seduce the youth, but he preferred hunger p
ains to banquets of food. Then the Polish woman began to convey Saint Moisei thr
ough her lands, thinking to captivate him by power and riches. Saint Moisei told
her, that he would not trade spiritual riches for the perishable things of this
world, and that he would become a monk.
Passing through the area, an Athonite priest-monk gave Saint Moisei mona
stic vows. The Polish woman gave orders to stretch Saint Moisei on the ground an
d to beat him with canes, such that the ground became soaked with blood. She sou
ght permission of Boleslav to do with the captive all that she pleased. The sham
eless woman once gave orders to put Saint Moisei on a bed with her, she kissed a
nd embraced him, but she accomplished nothing by this. Saint Moisei said: "From
the fear of God I loathe thee as impure". Hearing this, the Polish woman gave or
ders to give the saint each day an hundred lashes, and then to emasculate him. B
oleslav soon undertook a persecution against all the monks in the land. But a su
dden death overtook him. A revolt arose in Poland, in which the widow also was k
illed. Having recovered from his wounds, the Monk Moisei arrived at the Pechersk
monastery, bearing on himself martyr's wounds and a crown of confessor as a vic
tor and courageous warrior of Christ. The Lord provided him strength over the su
fferings. A certain monastic brother, oppressed by impure passion, went to the M
onk Moisei and besought his help, saying: "I give promise to keep to the death e
verything that thou dost direct me". The Monk Moisei said: "Never in life speak
a word with a woman". The brother promised to obey the advice of the monk. Saint
Moisei had in his hand a staff, without which he was not able to walk because o
f the wounds which he had received. With this staff the Monk Moisei struck at th
e chest of the brother who had approached him, and immediately that one was deli
vered from temptation. The Monk Moisei pursued asceticism at Pechersk for 10 yea
rs; he died in about the year 1043 and was buried in the Nearer Caves. With a to
uch to the holy relics and fervent prayer to him, the Pechersk monks were wont t
o be healed of fleshly temptations.
The MonasticMartyress Paraskeva was the only daughter of Christian paren
ts and from the time of her early years she dedicated herself to God. Living in
her parental home, she spent much of her time at prayer and the study of the Hol
y Scriptures. After the death of her parents Saint Paraskeva distributed all of
her inheritance to the poor, took on monasticism, and emulating the holy Apostle
s she began to preach to the pagans about Christ, converting many to Christianit
A denunciation about her activity was made to the emperor Antoninus Pius
(138-161), and Saint Paraskeva was brought to trial. She fearlessly confessed h
erself a Christian. Neither enticements of honours and material blessings, nor t
hreats of torture and death shook the firmness of the saint nor turned her from
Christ. She was given over to beastly tortures. On her head they put a red-hot h

elmet and threw her in a cauldron with boiling tar. But by the power of God the
holy martyress remained unharmed. When the emperor peered into the cauldron, Sai
nt Paraskeva threw him in the face a droplet of the red-hot tar, and he was burn
ed. The emperor began to ask her for healing, and the holy martyress healed him.
After this the emperor sent Saint Paraskeva free.
Traveling from one place to another preaching the Gospel, Saint Paraskev
a arrived in a city, where the governor was named Asclepius. Here again they tri
ed the saint and sentenced her to death. They took her to an immense serpent liv
ing in a cave, so that it would devour her. But Saint Paraskeva made the sign of
the Cross over the snake and it died. Asclepius and the citizens in seeing this
miracle and believed in Christ and set free the saint. She continued her preach
ing. In a city, where the governor was a certain Tarasius, Saint Paraskeva recei
ved a martyr's death. After fierce tortures they beheaded her.
The Monk Gerontios founded a skete monastery in honour of Saint Anna on
Mount Athos.
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The GreatMartyr and Healer Panteleimon was born in the city of Nikomedia
into the family of the illustrious pagan Eustorgias, and he was named Pantoleon
. His mother Ebbula was a christian. She wanted to raise her son in the Christia
n faith, but she died when the future greatmartyr was still a young lad. His fat
her sent Pantoleon to a fine pagan school, at the completion of which the youth
began to study the medical art at Nikomedia under the reknown physician Euphrosy
nos, and he came to the attention of the emperor Maximian (284-305), who wished
to see him at court.
During this time there dwelt secretly at Nikomedia the Priest-Martyr pre
sbyters Hermolaos, Hermippos and Hermocrates -- survivors in the Nikomedia Churc
h after the burning of 20,000 Christians in the year 303. Saint Hermolaos saw Pa
ntoleon time and again, when he came to their hideout. One time the presbyter su
mmoned the youth to the hideout and spoke about the Christian faith. After this
Pantoleon visited every day with the priestmartyr Hermolaos.
One time the youth saw upon a street a dead child, bitten by a viper, wh
ich was still alongside. Pantoleon began to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ for th
e resuscitation of the dead child and for the death of the venomous reptile. He
firmly resolved, that if his prayer were fulfilled, he would become a follower o
f Christ and accept Baptism. The child revived, and the viper shattered into pie
ces before the eyes of Pantoleon.
After this miracle Pantoleon was baptised by Saint Hermolaos with the na
me Panteleimon (meaning "all-merciful"). Conversing with Eustorgias, Saint Pante
leimon prepared him for the acceptance of Christianity, and when the father behe
ld, how his son healed a blind man by invoking the Name of Jesus Christ, he then
believed in Christ and was baptised together with the blind man restored to sig
After the death of his father, Saint Panteleimon dedicated his life to t
he suffering, the sick, the misfortunate and the needy. He treated without charg
e all those who turned to him, healing them in the Name of Jesus Christ. He visi
ted those held captive in prison -- being usually christians, who filled all the
prisons, and he healed them of their wounds. In a short while accounts about th
e charitable physician spread throughout all the city. And forsaking the other d

octors, the inhabitants began to turn only to Saint Panteleimon.

The envious doctors made a denunciation to the emperor, that Saint Pante
leimon was healing Christian prisoners. Maximian urged the saint to disprove the
denunciation and offer sacrifice to idols, but Saint Panteleimon confessed hims
elf a Christian and right in front of the eyes of the emperor he healed a paraly
tic in the Name of Jesus Christ. The ferocious Maximian executed the healed man
who was glorifying Jesus Christ, and gave Saint Panteleimon over to fierce tortu
The Lord appeared to the saint and strengthened him before his suffering
s. They suspended the GreatMartyr Panteleimon from a tree and tore at him with i
ron hooks, burned him with fire and then stretched him on the rack, threw him in
boiling oil, and cast him into the sea with a stone about his neck. Throughout
all these tortures the greatmartyr remained unhurt and with conviction he denoun
ced the emperor.
During this time there was brought before the court of the pagans the Pr
esbyters Hermolaos, Hermippos and Hermocrates. All three firmly confessed their
faith in the Saviour and were beheaded (the account about them is located under
26 July).
By order of the emperor they threw the GreatMartyr Panteleimon to wild b
easts for devouring at the circus. But the beasts lay at his feet and shoved at
each other in trying to be touched by his hand. The spectators gathered together
and began to shout: "Great God of the Christians!" The enraged Maximian ordered
the soldiers to stab with the sword anyone who glorified the Name of Christ, an
d to cut off the head of the GreatMartyr Panteleimon.
They led the saint to the place of execution and tied him to an olive tr
ee. When the greatmartyr prayed, one of the soldiers struck him with a sword, bu
t the sword became soft like wax, and inflicted no wound. The saint ended the pr
ayer, and a Voice was heard, calling the passion-bearer by name and summoning hi
m to the Heavenly Kingdom. Hearing the Voice from Heaven, the soldiers fell down
on their knees before the holy martyr and begged forgiveness. The executioners
refused to continue with the execution, but the GreatMartyr Panteleimon bid them
to fulfill the command of the emperor, saying that otherwise they would have no
share with him in the future life. The soldiers tearfully took their leave of t
he saint with a kiss.
When the saint was beheaded, the olive tree -- to which the saint was ti
ed, at the moment of his death was covered with fruit. Many that were present at
the execution believed in Christ. The body of the saint -- thrown into a bonfir
e -- remained in the fire unharmed and was buried by christians (+ 305). The Gre
atMartyr Panteleimon's servants Lawrence, Bassos and Probios saw his execution a
nd heard the Voice from Heaven. They recorded the account about the life, the su
fferings and death of the holy greatmartyr.
The holy relics of the GreatMartyr Panteleimon were distributed in parts
throughout all the Christian world: his venerable head is now located at the Ru
ssian Athonite monastery of the GreatMartyr Panteleimon.
The veneration of the holy martyr in the Russian Orthodox Church was alr
eady known in the XII Century. Prince Izyaslav -- in Baptism Panteleimon -- son
of Saint Mstislav the Great, had an image of Saint Panteleimon on his helmet. Th
rough the intercession of the saint he remained alive during a battle in the yea
r 1151. On the day of memory of the GreatMartyr Panteleimon, Russian forces won
two naval victories over the Swedes (in 1714 near Hanhauze and in 1720 near Gren
The GreatMartyr Panteleimon is venerated in the Orthodox Church as a mig
hty saint, the protector of soldiers. This aspect of his veneration is derived f
rom his first name Pantoleon, which means "a lion in everything". His second nam
e, Panteleimon -- given him at Baptism, which means "all-merciful", reveals it s
elf in the veneration of the greatmartyr as healer. The connection between these
two patronages of the saint is readily apparent in that soldiers, receiving wou
nds more frequently than others, are more in need of a physician-healer. Wherefo
re Christians in waging spiritual warfare also have recourse to this saint with
a petition to heal the wounds of the soul.

The name of the holy GreatMartyr and Healer Panteleimon is invoked in th

e Sacrament of Anointing the Sick, at the Blessing of Water and in the Prayer fo
r the Sick.
The day of commemoration of the holy GreatMartyr and Healer Panteleimon
at the Russian monastery on Athos is its temple-feast. The forefeast starts 8 da
ys before the feast, on which days after vespers are sung moliebens with kanons
in 8 tones, whereby each day has its own particular canon. The second day of the
feast is the monastery feastday. On this day of the feast after vespers is made
a collective panikhida in memory of the founders and benefactours of the monast
ery, and there is blessed and distributed koliva (kutia -- wheat or rice boiled
with honey). The verses of the 9th Ode of the Kanon of the GreatMartyr and Heale
r Panteleimon from the manuscript of the Athonite service are reprinted in the "
Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate" (1975, No.3, pp. 45-47).
The Monk German (Herman) of Alaska, Apostle to America, was born in the
city of Serpukhov, nigh to Moscow, in the year 1757 into a merchant's family. Hi
s worldly name and family name are unknown. At sixteen years of age he entered u
pon the path of monasticism. At first the monk did his obedience at the SergievTrinity monastery, situated in the environs of Peterburg on the shore of the Bay
of Finland (the monastery belonged to the Sergiev-Trinity Lavra).
The future missionary pursued asceticism at the monastery for about five
years. Wanting complete solitude and silence, the Monk German settled at Valaam
o. The Valaamo monastery, situated on the islands of Lake Ladozh (Ladoga), was c
ut off from the outer world for 8 months of the year.
After careful testing by various obediences the hegumen Nazarii gave ble
ssing to the youthful ascetic for constant life in the forest, in a solitary wil
derness. On feastdays, having come back to the monastery, the monk did choir obe
dience (he had a fine voice). Saint German took monastic vows at the Valaamo mon
It seems probable, that Saint German arrived at Valaamo in the year 1778
. In this year the Monk Seraphim arrived at the Sarov monastery. The monastic li
fe of the Monk German brings to mind the deeds of solitude of his great contempo
rary -- the Sarov wonderworker. Like the Monk Seraphim, the Valaamo ascetic dist
inguished himself with an exceptional and pervasive knowledge of the spirit and
books of Holy Scripture, the works of the holy fathers and teachers of the Churc
The spiritual guide and father confessor of the future missionary was th
e hegumen Nazarii, a Sarov elder (starets), who introduced the Sarov ustav (rule
) at Valaamo. By such manner, the grace-bearing methodology of Sarov asceticism
-- in which was accomplished the spiritual growth of the Monk German at Valaamo
-- became an integral part of his soul and made him related and exceptionally cl
ose in spirit to the Monk Seraphim, the Sarov Wonderworker. There is an account,
that the Monk Seraphim made use in his turn of the guidance of the starets Naza
rii during the time of his living at Sarov.
After a 15 year stay of the Monk German at Valaamo, the Lord summoned th
e humble monk to apostolic service and sent him to preach the Gospel and baptise
the pagans of the sparsely populated and austere territory of Alaska and the is
lands of North America bordering on it. For this purpose there was organised in
the year 1793 a spiritual Mission -- receiving the title Kodiaksk, with its cent
re on the island of Kodiak. Archimandrite Joasaph (Bolotov), a monk of Valaamo m
onastery, was appointed leader of the Mission. Amidst the number of other co-wor
kers of the Mission were also five other monks of Valaamo monastery -- including
among them the Monk German, whom the Lord gave blessing to labour at evangelisa
tion longer and more fruitfully, than some other members of the Mission.
Upon arrival on Kodiak Island the missionaries quickly set about the con
struction of a church and the conversion of the pagans. "The year 1794, Septembe
r -- I live with 24 on the island of Kodiak. All glory to God, more than 700 Ame
ricans are baptised, more than 2,000 marriages joined together, a church built,
and as time allows -- we shall make another, then two, and then it will be neces
sary to make five" -- remarks the archimandrite Joasaph in one of his letters.

Father German at this new place bore the obedience of baker and concerne
d himself with the domestic cares of the Mission.
Under the guidance of Archimandrite Joasaph (afterwards a bishop), the M
ission was short-lived: during the time of a storm (in 1799) His Grace Joasaph w
ith his companions perished in the waves of the ocean. To assist the missionarie
s remaining alive there was dispatched only one priest-monk from the Alexander N
evsky Lavra, -- Gedeon. He headed the Mission for some time. He was concerned wi
th the building up of a school for the children of the baptised Aleuts. In the y
ear 1807 Priest-monk Gedeon left forever from the settlement of the missionaries
, having placed all the responsibilities on the Monk German, who until the end o
f his life remained a spiritual father, pastor, and guardian of human souls entr
usted to him by the Mission. They wanted to ordain the monk to the dignity of pr
iest-monk and make him archimandrite, but the humble monk refused thus to be ele
vated and until the end of his days he dwelt as a simple monk.
For the local inhabitants, the Monk German was a true good pastor and he
defended them, insofar as he was able, from evil and plundering persons, who sa
w the island people only as an object for merciless exploitation. It would be no
wonder, if the newly-converted repudiated their faith of the new-comer, who cam
e most frequently in the role of exploiter and oppressor (having come for the pu
rpose of mercantile profit), returning to their own superstitions. That this did
not happen is due to the great merit of the Monk German. Firmly and insistently
, having no power save for his intense faith, the starets continued on with his
defense of the outraged and the oppressed, seeing in this his duty and calling,
the essence of which he wonderfully expressed with the simple words: -- "I am th
e most humble servant and nurse of the local peoples".
The secret labours and cell prayers of the elder remained unknown to the
world, but are seen as a light surrounding his grace-bearing life, having gone
through conditions of complete self-renunciation, non-avariciousness and austere
disregard for all comforts. His clothes were quite poor and very decrepit. By h
is whole appearance and all his habits, starets German in life reminded his cont
emporaries of the ancient hermits, glorified by the deeds of abstention and sain
tliness. In conversation the elder produced in irresistible impression on listen
ers. Those who conversed were particularly struck by the clarity of his mind, an
d his distinctness and rapidity of his discernment. The Divine grace, permeating
the soul of the Monk German, transformed the hearts of people having contact wi
th him. Vividly testifying about this occurrence was S. I. Yanovsky, governor ad
ministrator of the Russian-American Company, having entered upon his duties in t
he year 1817. Semen Ivanovich Yanovsky, an aristocrat by birth, was a man of man
ifold education and scholarship, but his religio-philosophic outlook consisted i
n the fashionable deism of the period. (Deism -- a religio-philosophic teaching,
which spread about in the XVII-XVIII Centuries, conceived of the existence of G
od only as a first-principle of the world and denied the existence of God as Per
Christianity in its essence he did not know (although he was formally ac
counted a christian). Orthodoxy, the Church, the Sacraments -- were for him mere
notions, not worthy of serious consideration. The Monk German spoke much with h
im. S. I. Yanovsky afterwards wrote: "By such constant conversations and prayers
of the holy elder, the Lord turned me completely around onto the way of truth,
and I was made into a real Christian". He termed the starets "an holy man", "a g
reat ascetic", and like a precious gem he kept his own letters from the Monk Ger
man. Many others of his contemporaries also experienced such reverence towards t
he person of the saint. Father German at first lived nearby the Mission temple o
n Kodiak, but later he settled on Elov (Spruce) Island, which he called "New Val
aamo". Spruce Island was the final refuge in the multi-laboured apostolic wander
ings of the holy elder.
The Monk German foretold to his spiritual children the time of his death
and gave instructions how to bury him. On 13 December 1837 he requested candles
be lit before the icons and to read the Acts of the Holy Apostles. During the t
ime of the reading about the labours of the holy evangelists, the holy starets G
erman passed over from earthly labours to heavenly rest, in his 81st year of lif

e. Over the grave of the elder was at first constructed a simple wooden memorial
, and afterwards was erected a modest wooden church, dedicated in the name of th
e Monks Sergei and German, Wonderworkers of Valaamo.
In this church is preserved an old-fashioned depiction of the Monk Serap
him of Sarov. This was situated in the cell of the Monk German during his lifeti
me: the elder loved and respected his celebrated contemporary and was of one acc
ord with him in the great task in the fields of the Lord. It pleased the Lord to
simultaneously bestow blessing on the great deeds of service to people of these
two reverent lovers of silence and of mental action. The Monk German responded
with love to the needs and sorrows of people during the days of his earthly life
. And he does not leave in their misfortune those calling on him even after his
death. The most famous case of the prayerful intercession of the Monk German is
located in the autobiography of the first Orthodox Bishop in America -- Sainted
Innocent (Comm. 31 March and 23 September). In the year 1842 the sainted bishop
on the brig "Okhotsk" was headed for Spruce Island. Because of a storm the ship
was not able for a long while to come into port, and the lives of the crew and p
assengers was in peril. Sainted Innocent turned with prayer to the Monk German:
"If thou, Father German, art pleasing to the Lord, then allow the wind to shift"
. And there passed not even a quarter of an hour as the wind shifted and became
fair. And shortly thereafter the sainted bishop, having been saved from the stor
m, served a panikhida on the grave of the Monk German. In the 1860's the Russian
Orthodox Church learned about the great local veneration of the memory of the e
lder German at Kodiak. In 1867 one of the Alaskan bishops compiled a record of h
is life and miracles. The first public report about Father German was published
at Valaamo monastery in Finland in 1894. In the 1930's another Russian Orthodox
monk -- archimandrite Gerasim (Shmal'ts) arrived on Elov (Spruce) Island and for
a long time he lived there, as did the Monk German an hundred and some years be
fore him. Before his death in 1969, archimandrite Gerasim uncovered the remains
of his famous predecessor and built there a small chapel. The healings, connecte
d with the prayerful intercession of Saint German, have been recorded during the
course of a long period (from the time of his life through 1970). In March 1969
the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church in America u
nder the presiding of the Archbishop of New York, Metropolitan of All America an
d Canada, Irenei -- made the glorification of the Alaskan monk. The Church throu
gh this canonisation formally stamped with its seal that which many native Alask
ans always knew: the Monk German worthily achieved his Christian calling and now
continues to intercede before God for the living.
Blessed Nikolai Konchanov, Novgorod Fool-for-Christ (+ 1392), was born a
t Novgorod in the family of rich and illustrious parents. From his youthful year
s he loved piety, he went to church zealously, he loved fasting and prayer. Seei
ng his virtuous life, people began to praise him. Blessed Nikolai, disdaining gl
ory "from men", began to practise folly for the Lord's sake. He ran about the ci
ty in bitter frost in mere rags, enduring beatings, insults and mockery. Blessed
Nikolai and another Novgorod fool Blessed Feodor (Comm. 19 January) conducted t
hemselves as irreconcilable foes and graphically portrayed to the Novgorod peopl
e the pernicious character of their internecine strife. One time, having overcom
e his sham opponent, Blessed Nikolai went along the Volkhov, as along dry land,
and threw at Blessed Feodor an head of cabbage, -- wherefore he was called "Konc
hanov" (i.e. "cabbage-head"). The Lord glorified Blessed Nikolai with the gift o
f miracles and perspicacity. Thus, having been turned away by servants from an i
nvited feast, he left, but together with him there vanished the wine from out of
the barrel, and only upon the return of the fool and through his prayer did it
reappear again. Upon his death Blessed Nikolai was buried at the end of the ceme
tery, spread about the Yakovlev cathedral.
The relics of Blessed Nikolai rest under a crypt in a church of the Grea
tMartyr Panteleimon built over his grave.
The Nun Anthysa lived at Paphlygonian Mantinea in Asia Minor during the
VIII Century. Early on having left behind the world, Saint Anthysa pursued ascet

icism in the mountains in complete solitude. Having taken monastic vows from the
priestmonk Sisinias, she became hegumen at a monastery where 90 sisters had gat
hered. The Nun Anthysa suffered during the reign of the emperor Constantine Kopr
onymos, who demanded the saint renounce veneration of holy icons. For not obeyin
g the orders of the emperor, the Nun Anthysa was subjected to torture. At the to
rture was present the spouse of the emperor, for whom the saint predicted the bi
rth of a son and daughter. When the prediction of the martyress was fulfilled, t
hey set her free to her own convent, where she died in extreme old age. The daug
hter born of the emperor's wife was named Anthysa. Having lived a life pleasing
to God, she was accepted by the Lord into the rank of the Saints.
The Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles: Clement -- Bishop of Okhrid, Naum, Savv
a, Gorazd and Angelyar were Slavs, disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius (Comm
. 11 May). They at first pursued asceticism in the fields of enlightenment in Mo
ravia, where in succession to Sainted Methodius, Saint Gorazd then became bishop
. He was a man fluent in the Slavonic, Greek and Latin languages. Saints Clement
, Naum, Angelyar and Savva were presbyters.
The Slavic-Enlighteners were opposed by a strong Latin-German group of m
issionaries, resting upon the support of the then pope and the patronage of the
Moravian prince Svyatopolk. The struggle centered around the questions of the ne
ed of Divine-services in the Slavonic language, the Filioque and Saturday fastin
g. Pope Stephen VI prohibited Divine-services in the Slavonic language.
The proponents of the three-tongued heresy, having consigned to oblivion
the ancestral language of the Slavic peoples, with the help of the princely pow
ers brought to trial the disciples of Saint Methodius, among whose number was Sa
int Clement. They subjected them to fierce torture: dragging them bent over thro
ugh thorn bushes, and holding them in prison for a long time -- just as they had
earlier done with their spiritual father, Saint Methodius. Afterwards with some
of the prisoners (in the year 886) -- they sold the young to slave-traders, who
found themselves on the Venice marketplace. The ambassador of the Byzantine emp
eror to Venice, Basil the Macedonian, ransomed the Slavic-Enlighteners and trans
ported them to Constantinople. Others of the Slavic confessors, those of elderly
age, they subjected to banishment. It is not known, where Saint Gorazd set off
to, nor where Saint Savva found shelter. Naum and Angelyar went to Bulgaria.
In the year 907 Moravia collapsed under the blows of the Magyars, and Mo
ravian refugees slipped through along those same paths, along which earlier went
the holy enlighteners exiled by them.
The Bulgarians received the Slavonic confessors with respect and request
ed them to conduct Divine-services in the Slavonic language. The Bulgarian princ
e Boris "with great fervour sought out" suchlike people as the disciples of Sain
t Methodius, seeking with great zealousness for the enlightenment of his nation.
The enlighteners immediately set about to the study of Slavonic books, gathered
by Bulgarian notables.
Saint Angelyar soon died, and Saint Clement received the appointment to
teach at Kutmichivitsa -- a region in southwest Macedonia. In the Eastern Church
for the rank of teacher was chosen a man of worth, known for his pious life and
possessed with a gift of words. Saint Clement while still in Moravia was in the
"rank of those in the standing of teacher". In Bulgaria Saint Clement fulfilled
the office of instructor until the year 893. He organised in the primary form a
school at the princely court, which attained high esteem during the reign of Si
meon, and in southwest Macedonia he created schools separately for grown-ups and
for children. Saint Clement instructed the children in reading and in writing.
The total number of his students was enormous: merely those chosen and accepted
towards the clergy amounted to 3500 men. In the year 893 Saint Clement was eleva
ted to the dignity of Bishop of Dremvitsa or Velitsa, and Saint Naum took his pl
Sainted Clement was the first Bulgarian hierarch to serve, preach and wr
ite in the Slavonic language. To this end he systematically prepared clergy from
among the Slavic people. The sainted bishop laboured for the glory of God into
his extreme old age. Having become thus weakened, that he was already not able t

o attend to the cathedral tasks, , he turned with a request to tsar Simeon with
a request for retirement. The tsar urged the saint not to forsake the cathedral,
and Saint Clement decided to continue his bishop service. After this he set off
for the duration to Okhrid, to a monastery founded by him. There the saint cont
inued with his translation activity and translated important parts of the Bright
Triodion. Soon the saint became seriously ill and expired to the Lord in the ye
ar 916. The body of the saint was placed in a coffin, made by his own hands, and
buried in the Okhrida Panteleimon monastery.
Sainted Clement is considered the first Slavonic author: he not only con
tinued with the translation work, begun by Saints Cyril and Methodius, but also
left behind works of his own composition -- the first samples of Slavonic spirit
ual literature.
Many of the lessons and sermons of Equal-to-the-Apostles Clement were tr
ansferred to Russia, where they were read and copied out with love by pious Russ
ian Christians.
The relics of Saints Gorazd and Angelyar rest near Berat in Albania, the
remains of Saint Naum -- in a monastery with his name, near Lake Okhrida.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
, YUGSK (1615), IGRITSK (1624), SHUISK (1654-1655), SEDMIEZERNSK (XVII), SE
The Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, named "Hodegetria", which in Rus
sian means "Putevoditel'nitsa" or "Way-Guide", was according to Church tradition
written by the holy Evangelist Luke within the earthly lifetime of the MostHoly
Mother of God. Sainted-hierarch Dimitrii of Rostov suggests that this image was
written at the request of Theophilos, the governor of Antioch. From Antioch the
holy image was transferred to Jerusalem. From there the empress Eudokia, the sp
ouse of Arcadius, gave it at Constantinople to Pulcheria the sister of the emper
or, who put the holy icon in the Blakhernai church.
The Greek emperor Constantine IX Monomachos (1042-1054), -- in 1046 havi
ng given his daughter Anna in marriage to prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich, the son o
f Yaroslav the Wise, -- blessed her on her way with this icon. After the death o
f prince Vsevolod the icon went to his son Vladimir Monomakh, who transferred it
at the beginning of the XII Century into the Smolensk cathedral church in honou
r of the Dormition (Uspenie) of the MostHoly Mother of God. From that time the i
con received the title of Smolensk Hodegetria.
In the year 1238 at the bespeaking of the icon, the self-sacrificing Ort
hodox warrior Merkurii by night penetrated into the camp of Batu and killed many
of the enemy, in which number was also their most powerful warrior. Having acce
pted in the fight a martyr's end, he was enumerated by the Church to the ranks o
f the Saints (Comm. 24 November).
In the XIV Century Smolensk came into the possession of the Lithuanian p
rinces. The daughter of prince Vitovt, Sophia, was given for marriage to the Mos
cow GreatPrince Vasilii Dimitrievich (1398-1425). In 1398 she brought with herse
lf to Moscow the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God. They set the holy image in

the Annunciation cathedral of the Kremlin, on the right side of the royal-doors.
In 1456, at the request of the inhabitants of Smolensk with Bishop Misail at th
e head, the icon was solemnly in church procession returned to Smolensk, and at
Moscow there remained two copies of it. One was put in the Annunciation cathedra
l, and the other -- "a measure for measure" -- was put in the Novodevichei monas
tery, founded in memory of the return of Smolensk to Russia. The monastery was b
uilt on Devichei Pole (Virgin's Field), where "with many tears" the Muscovites h
anded over the holy icon to Smolensk. In 1602 an exact copy was written from the
wonderworking icon (in 1666 together with the ancient icon they conveyed a new
copy to Moscow for restoration), which they situated in the tower of the Smolens
k fortress wall over the Dneprovsk Gates, under a specially constructed mantle-c
over. Afterwards, in 1727, was built there a wooden church, and in 1802 -- a sto
ne church.
The new copy took on the power of grave of the old image, and when the R
ussian armies left Smolensk on 5 August 1812, they took the icon with them for d
efense from the enemy forces. On the eve of the Battle of Borodino they carried
this image through the camp, to encourage and inspire the soldiers to the great
deed. The ancient image of the Smolensk Hodegetria, taken for the while to the U
spensk cathedral, on the day of the Borodino battle was in procession around wit
h the Iversk and Vladimir Icons of the Mother of God through the Belo and Kitai
quarters and the Kremlin walls, and then they sent it to the sick and wounded at
the Lefortovo palace. After the leaving of Moscow the icon was taken to Yarosla
Thus of old were these sister-icons preserved, and the Mother of God thr
ough Her images defended the Native-land. After the victory over the enemy force
s the Hodegetria Icon together with its glorified copy was returned to Smolensk.
The celebration in honour of this wonderworking image on 28 July was est
ablsihed in the year 1525 in memory of the return of Smolensk to Russia.
There exist many venerated copies of the Smolensk Hodegetria, for which
the celebration is set on this day. There is also a day of celebration for the S
molensk Icon, glorified in the XIX Century, -- 5 November, when this image on th
e orders of the commander-in-chief of the Russian army M. I. Kutuzov was returne
d to Smolensk. In memory of the expelling of the enemy from the Fatherland, at S
molensk it was established to celebrate this day annually.
The holy icon of the Hodegetria Mother of God -- is one of the chief hol
y things of the Russian Church. Believers have received and do receive from it a
n abundant help of grace. The Mother of God through Her holy image intercedes fo
r and strengthens us, guiding on the way to salvation, and we call out to Her: "
Thou for faithful peoples -- art the All-Blessed Hodegetria, Thou art the affirm
ation -- the Praiseworthy of Smolensk and all the Russian land. Rejoice, Hodeget
rix, salvation to Christians!"
The Holy Disciples from the Seventy: Prochorus, Nikanor, Timon and Parme
nas were of the first deacons in the Church of Christ.
In the book of the Acts of the Apostles (6: 1-6) it relates, that at Jer
usalem the twelve apostles chose seven men: Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nikanor,
Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and establish
ed them to serve as deacons.
Holy Church makes their memory in common on 28 July, although they died
at various times and in various places.
Saint Prochorus at first accompanied the first-ranked Apostle Peter and
was made by him bishop in the city of Nikomedia. After the Falling-Asleep (Dormi
tion or Uspenie) of the MostHoly Mother of God, Prochorus was a companion and co
-worker of the holy Apostle John the Theologian and together with him was banish
ed to the island of Patmos. There he wrote down the Revelation of God, -- reveal
ed to the holy Apostle John, about the final fate of the world (Apocalypse). Upo
n returning to Nikomedia, Saint Prochorus converted pagans to Christ in the city
of Antioch and there accepted a martyr's end.
Saint Nikanor suffered on that day when the holy First-Martyr Stephen an
d many other Christians were killed by stoning.

Saint Timon was established by the Apostles as bishop of the city of Bas
toria in Arabia and suffered from the Jews and pagans for preaching the Gospel.
He was thrown into a furnace, but by the power of God he came out of it unharmed
. The tradition of the Roman Church says, that Saint Timon died by crucifixion o
n a cross.
Saint Parmenas zealously preached Christ in Macedonia. He died from sick
ness befalling him. There exists also the opinion, that Saint Parmenas suffered
under Trajan (98-117) in the final year of his reign, having accepted a martyr's
Sainted Pitirim, Bishop of Tambov, in the world Prokopii, was born 27 Fe
bruary 1645 (or 1644) in the city of Vyazem. From his youthful years the Lord re
adied Prokopii for high spiritual service, which was set him to fulfill. While s
till in childhood he learned reading and writing. Favoured exercises of Prokopii
were reading the literature of the holy fathers and the Lives of the Saints. Th
is furthered the formal spiritual makeup of the future sainted-hierarch. The boy
was remarkable for his overall love of work, broad knowledge and mature judgeme
nt. He was endowed with artistic talent, and he successfully occupied himself wi
th the writing of icons and adroit knowing of church singing. A sublime spiritua
l disposition early on led Prokopii onto the pathway of monastic efforts. Having
resolved to totally dedicate himself to God, he entered into the Vyazemsk ForeR
unner monastery, known for its strict rule (ustav). In his 21st year of life he
took monastic vows with the name of Pitirim.
The young monk earned the respect of his brethren by his ascetic life an
d was chosen hegumen. In 1684 he was raised to the dignity of archimandrite. On
15 February 1685 Patriarch Joakim (1674-1690) summoned him to Moscow and ordaine
d him bishop of Tambov.
Organised in 1682, the Tambov diocese suffered from the frontier poverty
and the coarse illiteracy of its inhabitants. Pagans comprised nearly all the g
reater part of the settlers: the Mordvi, the Cheremysi, the Mereschi. On the ter
ritory of the diocese lived also many Tatars, bitter opponents of Christianity.
Among the Christian settlers of the diocese were numbered many schismatics and f
leeing or banished criminals.
The saint zealously took on resolving the tasks set before him. On the p
lace of the old wooden church at Tambov he began to build a two-storied stone ca
thedral in honour of the Transfiguration of the Lord with a chapel in the name o
f Sainted-bishop Nicholas. Saint Pitirim not only zealously watched over the con
struction of the temple, but even himself participated in the building work. The
saint allotted great effort to spiritual enlightenment. He built a special scho
ol for clergy-servers, where under his guidance were raised up worthy Church pas
tors. At his dwelling by the labours of the saint was gathered together a librar
y of spiritual literature (in the works of the Moscow Uspenie cathedral there is
noted "two books of Dionysios the Areopagite, leather bound, one in red, the ot
her in black, along the edges gilded", belonging to Saint Pitirim). The saint co
ntinually instructed his flock, preaching the Word of God. He often made trips t
hroughout the diocese, so as to have the possibility to familiarise himself on t
he spot in the needs of the communities.
The holy archpastor was constantly concerned about the reconciliation wi
th the Orthodox Church of the schismatics (raskol'niki), about the reunion of th
e dissenters to it. The deep piety, active compassion towards neighbour and wise
patience of the Saint in conversations with the raskol'niki and dissenters disp
osed them to a full trusting of his word. By fine example of holy life and by th
e power of gracious discourse the saint led many to the true faith. The saint's
sister by birth, Ekaterina, became the first head of the Ascension women's monas
tery founded by him in 1690.
Being an audacious man of prayer and intercessor before God, Saint Pitir
im never forgot about Christian humility. Not relying on his own human strength,
the archpastor shielded the city of Tambov entrusted him by God with icons of t
he Saviour and the Kazan Mother of God, locating them at the two chief gates.
Saint Pitirim prayed much and taught his flock about prayer. He was dail

y present at Divine-services and often himself performed the priestly doings. On

those instances, when the Saint did not serve, he sang in the kleros (choir), t
eaching the choir the correct church singing and reading. In his cell the Saint
very often prayed before icons of the Devpeteruvsk Mother of God and Saint Nicho
Saint Pitirim acutely sensed the beauty of nature in his land, which awa
kened in him a feeling of prayerful thanksgiving to the Trinity for the visible
world. Alongside his favourite spot of strolling and pious meditations was built
in the deep woods the Tregulaev monastery of John the ForeRunner, founded by hi
m together with his spiritual friend, Sainted-hierarch Mitrophan of Voronezh (Co
mm. 23 November and 7 August). The saint set up a large wooden cross with an ima
ge of the Saviour.
Similar to the great ascetics, Saint Pitirim allotted much time to physi
cal work: the water-wells give evidence to this, dug up by the hands of the sain
t at the place of his prayerful deeds.
Sainted Pitirim died in 1698 at age 53.
The body of the saint was buried in the lower level of the Tambovsk Savi
our-Transfiguration cathedral, at the south wall of the right-side chapel in the
name of Saint Nicholas. After the blessed end of Saint Pitirim his spiritual ti
es with his flock were not sundered. The place of his repose started soon to be
devoutly venerated. With each year grew all the more the number of pilgrims, gat
hered on 28 July -- the day of death of the saint, for Divine-services at the Ta
mbovsk cathedral. Each new sign of God's mercy, manifest by prayer to Saint Piti
rim, inspired assurance for the people that the bishop venerated by them -- was
truly of God. From the year 1819 there was begun the conducting of a record of g
rave-testimonials of the manifestations of grace. The veneration of Saint Pitiri
m extended far beyond the bounds of the Tambov diocese. On 28 July 1914 Sainted
Pitirim, Bishop of Tambov, was enumerated to the ranks of the Saints.
The Monk Moisei (Moses) pursued asceticism at the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra (
XIII-XIV) in the Farther (Theodosiev) Caves; he wore chains and an heavy copper
cross. The monk possessed the graced gift of wonderworking.
The Holy Martyr Julian suffered during the reign of Antoninus Pius (138161) in the Italian province of Campagna. The governor Flavian gave orders to se
arch out and bring christians to him for trial. During this time the young Chris
tian Julian arrived in Campagna from Dalmatia. Having met up with soldiers of th
e governor, he greeted them with the words: "Peace, brothers!" The soldiers bega
n to interrogate him: where he was from and what faith he confessed. Julian, wil
ling to suffer and die for Christ, bravely declared that he was a Christian. The
soldiers were amazed at the courage of the youth, but obeying their orders, the
y bound him and led him to the governor. "We shall see, -- they said, -- how tru
e be thy words, whether thou be willing to die for the Crucified One".
Having undergone a beating, the saint prayed to the Lord, that He would
grant him the strength to endure the torture to the end. His prayer was heard, a
nd he heard a Voice: "Fear not, Julian, I am with thee and shalt give thee stren
gth and courage". The holy youth was locked up in a prison, called "the Cold Pit
", in which they held him for seven days without food or water. An Angel of God
brought food and heartened the confessor.
At the following interrogation the governor harassed the youth, saying,
that it was shameful for such an handsome youth to worship the One-Crucified upo
n the Cross, and urged him to offer sacrifice to idols. Saint Julian made bold t
o answer, that he was prepared to die for the true faith. The governor gave orde
rs to tie the youth to a tree and beat him. The martyr began to pray and again h
eard a Voice: "Fear not, Julian, remain brave". Saint Julian, having turned to t
he crowd standing about, said: "Listen, ye accursed ones, trust not on your gods
, which ye have made with your hands. But rather know ye the God, Who from nothi
ng hath created Heaven and earth". After his speech more than 30 men were conver
ted to Christ, and they again led off the saint to prison. In the morning, when
new tortures were started, they announced, that the temple of the pagan god Sera

pis together with the idols standing in it were destroyed. Everyone arrived in s
hock and was terrified, but the christians were heartened and glorified Christ G
od. The pagans however attributed this destruction to magical power and they dem
anded his immediate execution. They decided to do the killing of the holy youth
at the place of the ruined pagan temple. Before the execution Saint Julian bent
down on his knees and prayed, thanking the Lord for granting him to accept death
for His Holy Name. A third time he heard the Voice, summoning him to the Kingdo
m of Heaven. They beheaded the holy martyr with a sword, and he expired to the L
ord, Whom he loved more than earthly life.
The Holy Martyr Eustathios was a soldier. For confessing the Christian f
aith he was arrested and brought before the head of the city on Ancyra. At the i
nterrogation, the saint firmly and bravely confessed himself a Christian and was
sentenced to tortures. They beat him without mercy, they bore into the heels an
d, having tied him about with rope, they dragged him in the city to the River Sa
gka (Sangara). At the bank of the river they put the martyr into a wooden chest
and threw it in the water. An Angel of God brought the chest to shore. The saint
, situated in the chest, was singing the 90th (91st) Psalm: "He that dwelleth in
the help of the Most-High..." Beholding the miracle and sensing himself disgrac
ed, the governor having drawn his sword killed himself. The holy martyr, having
received Communion from the hand of an Angel, gave up his spirit to God (+ c. 31
6). His venerable relics were buried in the city of Ancyra.
The Holy Martyr Akakios was brought to trial for belief in Christ. Three
governors attempted to compel the holy martyr to offer sacrifice to idols, havi
ng subjected him to fierce tortures. Governor Licinius gave orders to rend the b
ody of Saint Akakios with instruments of torture, and he then sent him to Govern
or Terence, who gave orders to throw Akakios into a cauldron, filled with boilin
g tar and tallow, but the martyr remained unharmed. Terence set off to the citie
s of Apameia and Apollonia and gave orders to bring the martyr after him. In one
of these cities Saint Akakios was led into a pagan temple, but by his prayer al
l the idols there fell down. They beat the saint viciously and gave him over for
devouring by beasts. When however they saw that he remained unharmed, they then
threw him into a red-hot furnace. The martyr there also remained unharmed. The
governor, wanting to check whether the furnace was sufficiently hot, went near i
t and himself burned. They then took the holy Martyr Akakios for torture to a ce
rtain Posidonius, who put heavy fetters on the holy martyr and gave orders to ta
ke him to the city of Miletos, but there also the saint by his prayer ruined ido
ls. Finally, the exhausted torturers beheaded Saint Akakios (+ c. 321). A presby
ter by the name of Leontios buried his body in the city of Synados (Asia Minor).
The Monk Paul of Xeropotama, in the world Prokopios, was the son of the
Constantinople emperor Michael Kuropalatos, -- who afterwards resigned the imper
ial dignity and accepted monasticism in a monastery built by him. Having receive
d the finest education, Prokopios became one of the most learned people of his t
ime. His "Discourse on the Entrance into the Temple of the MostHoly Mother of Go
d", the "Canon to the Forty Martyrs", the "Canon to the Venerable Cross" and oth
er works gained him worthy reknown. But knowledge and place of honour in the wor
ld did not captivate him. Having left everything worldly, he exchanged his fine
garb for beggar's rags, and he went to the Holy Mountain [Athos], to the place X
eropotama. He built himself a cell there at the remains of a ruined monastery, f
ounded once by the empress Pulcheria in honour of the 40 Martyrs, and from Cosma
s an hermit he took monastic vows with the name Paul.
Out of humility the Monk revealed his learnedness to no one. Fame about
the strict life of Paul quickly spread throughout all the Holy Mountain. He beca
me called Paul of Xeropotama, and the monastery where he pursued monasticism, to
the present day bears the name Xeropotama ("dry-creek").
At that time there came upon the throne the emperor Romanos, a relative
of Paul. Through the Protos of the Holy Mountain he requested the saint to come
to Constantinople and made for him a splendid reception. The humble Paul, not be

traying his monastic duty, appeared with a cross and in torn robes amidst the co
urtly splendour and magnificence. The Monk Paul confirmed his fame as a chosen o
f God, miraculously healing the grievously ill Romanos, by placing his hand on h
im. But the vanity of courtly life, promised by the gratitude of the emperor, di
d not interest the saint; he returned to the Holy Mountain, having asked of the
emperor but one mercy -- to restore the Xeropotama monastery.
At the holy altar in the consecrated cathedral church of the restored mo
nastery was put a piece of the Venerable Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the
Lord, given to Saint Paul by the emperor Romanos.
Soon the Xeropotama monastery was filled by a throng of monks, wanting t
o put themselves under the guidance of the holy ascetic, but the Monk Paul, havi
ng entrusted the rule of the monastery to one of the brethren, moved off to a re
mote wilderness. His strict quietude was again disturbed by disciples, not wanti
ng to quit their elder. Then the monk requested of the emperor the means for the
building of a new monastery. Thus was founded by the saint a monastery in the n
ame of the holy GreatMartyr and Victory-Bearer Saint George. The first head of t
he new monastery was the Monk Paul himself, who there also brought a piece of th
e Venerable Wood of the Cross of the Lord.
Having been informed in advance by the Lord of his impending end, the sa
int assembled to himself the brethren of the Xeropotama and the new Georgikos mo
nasteries and gave them his final directives. On the day of his death, the Monk
Paul donned the mantle, read the prayer of Saint Ioannikes, which he said contin
ually: "My hope -- is the Father, my refuge -- is the Son, my protection -- is t
he Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, glory to Thee", and he communed the Holy Mysteries
of Christ. Saint Paul had instructed in his will to bury his body on the penins
ula of Pongosa (opposite the Holy Mountain). But by the will of God the ship was
driven to the shores of Constantinople, where the emperor and Patriarch with th
e pious took the body of the saint and solemnly placed it in the Great church. A
fter the sacking of Constantinople by the Crusaders, the relics of Saint Paul we
re transferred to Venice.
The Grebnevsk Icon of the Mother of God, glorified by miracles and situa
ted in a church in the city of Grebna (on the River Chira, flowing into the Don)
, was presented by the inhabitants of the city to GreatPrince Dimitrii Donskoi u
pon his return from the Kulikovo Battle in 1380.
In the XV Century, after a successful campaign against Novgorod, GreatPr
ince Ivan Vasilevich in a vow built the church of the Uspenie in Moscow at Lubya
nka and placed in it the Grebnevsk image of the Mother of God, which he had take
n with him on the campaign. When the church burned in 1687, the icon miraculousl
y was preserved.
The Kostroma Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God was written in 1672 on
the wall of the southwest tower of the Kostroma Theophany monastery. In 1779 a
great conflagration occurred at the monastery, and the tower was all enveloped b
y flames, but the holy Icon of the Mother of God did not suffer from the fire. I
n the year 1824 a church was built at the tower.
The Seraphimo-Diveevsk "Tenderness" (Umilenie) Icon of the Mother of God
belonged to the Monk Seraphim of Sarov, and was his cell icon. With the oil fro
m the lampada, which burned before this holy icon, the Monk anointed the sick, w
ho received healing after the anointing. The ascetic called the icon "Umilenie"
(Tenderness) -- "Joy of all joys", and in front of it he died at prayer on 2 Jan
uary 1833. After the death of the Monk Seraphim of Sarov the monastery head Fath
er Niphont gave the holy icon "Joy of all joys" to the sisters of the Diveevsk S
eraphimovsk monastery.
The Ustiuzhensk Icon of the Mother of God (1290), glorified by many mira
cles, was situated in the city of Ustiuzhna under Novgorod governance (now Volog
da district). At the beginning of the XVII Century the inhabitants of Ustiushna,
praying for salvation before this holy icon, were delivered from an invasion of

the Swedes and Polish by the intercession of the Queen of Heaven.

The Vydropussk Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God in the XV Century wa
s situated in a temple of the GreatMartyr George in the village of Vydropussk, N
ovgorod governance. During the time of a conflagration of the church, this holy
icon remained undamaged. After the taking of Novgorod by the Moscow GreatPrince
Ivan III, his army returned to Moscow. One of the soldiers, a Murom native, havi
ng gone into the church took from it the icon of the Mother of God, and going to
his own estate put it in a church of Saint Nicholas. When they served the first
molieben before the stolen holy icon, after the reading of the words of the Gos
pel: "...and returned to Her own house" (Lk. 1: 56) suddenly a whirlwind flew, t
he canopy of the temple opened, the Icon of the Mother of God was raised up on t
he air and miraculously transported to the church of the village of Vydropussk.
The guilty thief of the holy icon repented himself and came on foot to V
ydropussk, beseeching the Mother of God to forgive him. In the XVI Century this
holy icon was taken to Moscow, and from it an exact copy was made for the church
of the village of Vydropussk, and the original was put in the temple of the Tra
nsfiguration in the city of Torzhek.
The Holy Icon of the Voroninsk Mother of God was situated in the Voronin
sk Uspenie (Dormition) of the Mother of God hermitage in the Cherepovetsk distri
ct of Novgorod governance. Its appearance occurred in 1524.
The Holy Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God, named the Christopherite
(Khristophorovsk), in 1555 was put in the temple of the monastery, founded by th
e Monk Christopher, a disciple of the Monk Longin of Koryazemsk (+ 1540). This i
con was glorified by many miracles, and round about from the monastery flows fro
m the earth a spring of healing water.
The Holy Icon of the Mother of God, named the Suprasl'sk, was located at
the Annunciation women's monastery of Grodnensk governance at the beginning of
the XVI Century. It was glorified by many miracles and both Orthodox and Catholi
cs piously reverence it.
The Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God, named the Yugsk, appeared a
t the beginning of the XVII Century to the starets schema-monk of the Pskovo-Pec
hersk monastery Saint Dorophei. The Mother of God, during a time of invasion of
the Swedes, commanded him to take Her image to a place decreed by Her, and to tr
ansport the image into the environs of the Yaroslavsk diocese and there to start
a monastery. The hegumen of the monastery was not agreeable to let go the Icon
of the Mother of God that had appeared, but She appeared to him in a dream-visio
n commanding to fulfill Her will and let go the starets Dorophei with Her icon.
The starets Dorophei, having come to the place told him in the vision, stopped t
o rest and put the holy icon upon a tree. When he wanted to continue the journey
, then by some certain power he was unable to take the holy icon from the tree.
Starets Dorophei realised, that the Queen of Heaven wanted to remain in this pla
ce. He then built a small hut and stayed to live by this sacred icon. News about
the arrival of the elder quickly spread through the surrounding villages. Pilgr
ims started to throng to him for veneration of the holy icon, from which were do
ne healings. Means were gathered by the pious local inhabitants and the beginnin
g of construction of a new monastery was put in place.
The Monk Dorophei died in the year 1622. Clergy presented facts about th
e working of miracles to Patriarch Philaret. In reply they received the blessing
for the founding at the River Yuga of a monastery with church in honour of the
Uspenie of the MostHoly Mother of God. The monastery became named the Yugsk. In
1654 by the intercession of the Mother of God a deadly pestilence was halted in
these localities.
The Holy Icon of the Mother of God, named the Igritsk, appeared in the y
ear 1624 in the locale of Igritsa at the River Pesochna not far from the city of

Kostroma. Local peasants found the icon in an old half-ruined church, being dur
ing the course of 50 years fully left neglected after a deadly plague. The icon
stood in the altar and shone with bright hues, as though newly written. After th
e first molieben served in front of this holy icon, a boyar's (nobleman's) blind
son Emilian gained his sight. Then four pious Christians stayed to live around
the desolate church and took monastic vows. At the place of the appearance of th
e icon of the Mother of God there afterwards was built a new church and a monast
ic community emerged.
The Holy Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God, named the Shuisk, appeare
d in the city of Shui of Vladimir diocese at the very height of a raging deadly
epidemic in the years 1654-1655. The inhabitants of the city fled this misfortun
e by prayer, and gathered together in the churches, beseeching mercy of the Lord
. A certain pious parishioner of the Resurrection church discussed with his comp
atriots to gather together the means and to commission a copy of the Smolensk Ic
on of the Mother of God and place it in the temple, which was done. The icon was
written in 7 days, during which time the inhabitants of Shui fasted and made fe
rvent prayer to the Mother of God. Having communed the Holy Mysteries, they with
a priest at the head carried the newly written icon into the church. And from t
hat time the deadly pestilence ceased. In 1831 by the intercession of the Mother
of God a cholera epidemic at Shui ceased. From this holy icon the lad Jakov rec
eived healing from demonic-affliction, and likewise many others of the sick.
The Sedmiezernsk Icon of the Mother of God was glorified by great miracl
es in the regions of the city of Kazan in the XVII Century. This holy icon was s
ituated in the Sedmiezernsk hermitage near the city of Kazan. The founder of the
monastery, the Monk Evphymii, placed in the temple of the newly established mon
astery the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God, brought by him from the city
of Great Ustiug. In the middle of the XVII Century throughout all Russia there
raged a deadly plague and it reached Kazan. There within a short time died 48,00
0 men, almost all the inhabitants of the city. And here, a certain pious monk ha
d a vision in a dream: a radiant man came before him and commanded, that the inh
abitants of the city should establish a seven-day fast and go out to meet the ic
on of the Mother of God coming to them for their deliverance from the Sedmiezern
sk hermitage. The monk told the city-heads about the vision. A religious process
ion went out towards the icon of the Sedmiezernsk Mother of God, the icon was pl
aced in a temple, and the deadly pestilence began to cease. The holy icon was in
Kazan for an entire year, and when the pestilence was completely halted, -- it
was returned to the Sedmiezernsk monastery. The Mother of God gave Kazan deliver
ance from this epidemic a second time in 1771. All the Orthodox inhabitants of K
azan and its surroundings deeply revere this holy icon and from the Mother of Go
d they receive healing from sickness and help in misfortune.
The Holy Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God is located at the Holy Trini
ty Sergiev Lavra in the Smolensk church on the left side of the Royal-doors. Fro
m this icon in 1730 there received healing a psalomschik (cantor), whose hands w
ere bent and rigid to the back. The Mother of God appeared to him in a vision an
d healed him. This occurrence was attested to by physicians.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

The Holy Martyr Callinikos (III-IV), a native of Cilicia, was raised fro
m childhood in the Christian faith. In grief that many misguided people would pe
rish for eternity in their worshipping of idols, he went through the cities and
villages to proclaim Jesus Christ and His teachings to the pagans. With the Word
of God he converted many to Christianity. In the Galatian city of Ancyra the ho
ly confessor was arrested and brought to trial before a governor named Sacerdonu
s, a fierce persecutor of Christians. The governor, threatening martyrdom and de
ath, ordered the saint to offer sacrifice to the idols. But the saint fearlessly
declared that he was not afraid of martyrdom, since every believer in Christ re
ceives from Him strength in ordeals, and through death inherits an eternal bless
ed life. They cruelly beat the saint with ox thongs and tore at his body with ir
on hooks, but he endured everything with patience and calm. This led to a still
greater fury in Sacerdonus, and he commanded to shod the saint in sandals with s
harp nails within, and that with whips they should drive the martyr to the city
of Gangra for burning. The pathway was arduous, and the soldiers who accompanied
the condemned man, were weak from thirst. In despair they began to implore the
saint, that he beseech the Lord for saving water. The unassuming saint, taking p
ity on his tormentors, with the help of God drew forth from a stone a miraculous
spring of water. The astonished soldiers were pervaded with a sense of sympathy
for their rescuer and they wanted even to set him free, but fear of execution c
ompelled them to convey the martyr further. In Gangra Saint Callinikos, with joy
having offered up thanks to the Lord, Who had vouchsafed him the crown of marty
rdom, went himself into the blazing bonfire and gave up his soul to God. His bod
y, remaining unharmed, was reverently given burial by believers.
The Monks Konstantin and Kosma were monastic students of the Monk Varlaa
m of Khutynsk (+ 1192, Comm. 6 November) and his successor, the Monk Antonii of
Dymsk (+ 1224, Comm. 17 January). In about the year 1220, having left the Khutyn
sk monastery, they settled upon a wilderness peninsula, situated 3 versts from t
he city of Staraya Russa, between the Rivers Polista and Smezhnya, and in time t
hey founded there a monastery in the name of Saint Nicholas, headed by the Monk
Konstantin until his death (+ c. 1240).
The Monk Kosma continued with the exploits of his mentor. He was buried
in the same grave with the Monk Konstantin. Their bodies rest beneathe the vesti
bule of the Nikolaev church, built in 1820 upon the place of burial of the saint
The Holy Martyress Seraphima the Virgin, a native of Antioch, lived at R
ome during the reign of the emperor Adrian (117-138) with the illustrious Roman
Sabina, whom the saint converted to Christianity. During the persecution against
Christians begun by order of the emperor, the governor Berillus gave orders to
bring Saint Seraphima to trial. Desirous for the crown of martyrdom from the Lor
d, at the first summons she fearlessly went to the executioner. The devoted Sabi
na accompanied her. Catching sight of the illustrious lady, Berillus at first se
t free the maiden, but after several days he again summoned Saint Seraphima and
began the trial.
The governor bid the saint honour the pagan gods and offer them sacrific
e, but she boldly confessed her faith in the One True God -- Jesus Christ. Then
Berillus gave her over to two shameless youths to defile her. The holy martyress
besought the Lord to defend her. Suddenly there began an earthquake and the two
youths fell crippled to the floor. On the following day the governor learned, t
hat his plan had failed. Thinking, that the saint was an adept at sorcery, Beril
lus besought her to return the youths to health and the gift of speech, in order
that they themselves might report about the miracle. The saint, praying to the
Lord, ordered the youths to stand up, and they at once rose up and told the judg
e, that an Angel of the Lord had shielded the saint, and prohibited them from ap
proaching her. The fierce governor did not believe his servants and he continued
to urge Saint Seraphima to offer sacrifice to the idols. But the holy martyress
remained unyielding even then, when they scorched at her with burning candles a
nd mercilessly beat her with canes. Harsh punishment overtook the pitiless gover

nor: chips from the sticks, which the saint was beaten with, caught him in the e
yes, and after three days the tormentor went blind. Powerless before the unyield
ing Christian, the judge ordered her beheaded. Sabina with reverence buried the
body of her holy teacher.
The Holy Martyress Theodotia and her Three Young Children lived during t
he reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). She was a Christian, a native of t
he city of Nicea Bithynia. Having been widowed, Saint Theodotia led a pious mann
er of life and raised her sons in the Christian faith. She was in spiritual frie
ndship with Saint Anastasia the Alleviatrix-of-Captives (Comm. 22 December). Whe
n the persecution against Christians began, they arrested the holy women. At the
trial, the dignitary Leucadius was captivated by the beautiful Theodotia and he
decided to take her home with him, intending to marry her. Finding herself with
her children in the home of Leucadius, Saint Theodotia kept herself in purity,
yielding neither to inducements nor charms, nor threats by the pagan. Angered at
the steadfastness of the saint, Leucadius sent her off with her children to Bit
hynia, to the district governor Niketas. At the interrogation, when the judge be
gan to threaten her with torture, Saint Theodotia's eldest son Evodus said, that
Christians fear not tortures, but fear instead being forsaken by God. They crue
lly beat the boy before the eyes of his mother, such that he began to flow with
blood. Saint Theodotia prayed, that the Lord would strengthen her son in his suf
ferings, and rejoiced in that he was being vouchsafed a martyr's end for truth.
They gave Saint Theodotia over for defilement, but the Lord preserved her. Befor
e the eyes of everyone occurred a miracle: an Angel of the Lord blocked the path
for defilement, holding back everyone from approaching the saint. Imputing it t
o a work of sorcery, the judge sentenced the saint and her children to burning i
n a bon-fire (+ 304).
The memory of the holy Martyrs Theodotia, the Lad Evodus and her other t
wo small sons is celebrated also under 22 December, together with the memory of
Saint Anastasia the Alleviatrix-of-Captives.
The MonkMartyr Michael, a disciple of Saint Theodore of Edessa (Comm. 9
July), was beheaded during the IX Century for his confession of faith in Christ.
His memory is celebrated also on 23 May.
The Holy Martyr Eustathios of Mtskheta was descended from a long line of
Persian fire-worshipping pagan priests, and prior to Baptism he had the name Bg
robandaves. His father and brothers, serving in the Zoroastrian cult, attempted
to make a pagan priest of Bgrobandaves, but in vain. During the reign of the Gru
zian (Georgian) emperor Guram Kuropalat (575-600), at age 30 he resettled from t
he Persian village of Arbuketi (near the city of Gandrakili) to the ancient capi
tal of Gruzia, the city Mtskheta. He earned the means of his livelihood in the s
andal trade. Saint Eustathios began often to visit the Mtskheta cathedral, where
the Christian Divine-services filled his soul with an inexorable delight. Archd
eacon Samuel (the future Katholikos-Archbishop Samuel IV, 582-591), having notic
ed the spiritual proclivity of the Persian pagan, spoke with him about the Chris
tian teachings. Having then come to believe in Christ, Bgrobandaves accepted to
be a catechumen under Archdeacon Samuel, and after a certain while, when Samuel
became Katholikos, he accepted Baptism under him with the name Eustathios. Eusta
thios then married a Christian wife, and led a pious life, abundant in virtue.
Fellow Persians, living also at Mtskheta, were unable to sway Saint Eust
athios into a return to fire-worship, and so they persuaded the Persian head of
the city to have him sent to Tbilisi to Arvand-Gubnav, satrap (vicar) of the Per
sian shah Chosroes Nushirvanes. Dispatched to trial under the satrap together wi
th Saint Eustathios were likewise other Persians, who had accepted Christianity:
Gubnak, Bagdad, Panaguznas, Perozav, Zarmi and Stephen. Two of these, Bagdad an
d Panaguznas, under the fear of death, renounced Christ.
Saint Eustathios and the remaining confessors honourably underwent a six
-month imprisonment and through the intercession of the Katholikos Samuel IV and
a Gruzian notable, they were set free.

The new satrap of Persia, Bezhan-Buzmil (appointed to Tbilisi three year

s later), at the instigation of the former enemies of Saint Eustathios, gave ord
ers that he appear, and demanded that he renounce the faith in Christ and return
to fire-worship. Saint Eustathios gave a dignified reply: "Can one forsake the
Creator of all and worship but a creature of His? Never should this be! Neither
the sun, the moon or the stars are in essence gods, but rather God did create th
e sun for brightening the day, and the moon and the stars, that they might shine
in the darkness of night... And fire is not the Divinity; wherefore fire is pro
duced by man and by man it is extinguished". By order of the satrap, Saint Eusta
thios was beheaded on 29 July 589. Before accepting the crown of martyrdom, on b
ended knee he offered up a prayer, beseeching the Lord, that after death his bod
y be given Christian burial in the city of Mtsketa. The passion-bearer heard the
Voice: "With nothing wilt thou be less than the first martyrs, neither with gra
ce nor with healings, wherefore about thine body be not concerned, but it shalt
be, as thou hast requested".
The body of Saint Eustathios, cast out by night upon a field, was convey
ed by Christians to Mtskheta and with great honour placed by Katholikos Samuel I
V beneathe the altar-table of the cathedral of Svetitskhoveli. The Katholikos Sa
muel IV established the memory to him on 29 July, the day of the glorious death
of the holy martyr.
The Monk Roman of Kirzhachsk was a co-ascetic and student of the Monk Se
rgei, Hegumen of Radonezh (Comm. 25 September and 5 July). The Monks Sergei and
Roman in the forests of Vladimir governance at the River Kirzhach built there a
church in honour of the Annunciation of the MostHoly Mother of God, and establis
hed a new monastery (in 1371). Three years later, with the blessing of Saint Ale
xei, Metropolitan of Moscow (Comm. 12 February), the Monk Sergei returned to the
Troitsky-Trinity monastery, and the Monk Roman remained to head the newly-creat
ed wilderness monastery.
Ordained to the priestly dignity by Saint Alexei, the new head of the An
nunciation monastery with great zeal fulfilled the precepts of his spiritual fat
her and teacher -- the Monk Sergei. A zealous ascetic, a good and demanding inst
ructor, the Monk Roman was an example for all the brethren.
The saint died on 29 July 1392 and was buried in the Annunciation temple
. In the manuscripts of the Saints, the Monk Roman is numbered amongst the Saint
s and is called a wonderworker.

The Holy Disciples from the Seventy: Silas, Sylvanus (Siluanos), Crescen
tius, Epenetos and Andronikos were disciples of the Saviour.
The Disciple from the Seventy, Saint Silas, was a respected figure in th
e original Church at Jerusalem, "of the chief men amongst the brethren" (Acts 15
: 22). The Council of the Apostles was convened at Jerusalem in the year 51 to d
eal with the question, whether it be necessary for Christians converted from amo
ng the Gentile-pagans to observe the (Old Testament) Mosaic Law [the Law-code co
ntained in the Pentateuch, or Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament].
The Apostles afterwards sent a message with Paul and Barnabas to the Antioch Ch
ristians, in which they reported by resolve of the Council, Christians of Gentil

e-pagan origin were free from having to observe the prescripts of the Mosaic Law
. But it was prescribed for them, nonetheless, that they refrain of partaking of
foods offered to idols, from things strangled and from blood, to refrain from f
ornication, and to do naught else than that which be seemly (Acts 15: 20-29). To
gether with Saints Paul and Barnabas, the Council of the Apostles sent along mem
bers of the Jerusalem Church, Saints Silas and Jude, to explain the message in g
reater detail, since they both were filled with the indwelling grace of the Holy
Spirit. Saint Jude thereafter was sent back to Jerusalem, but Saint Silas remai
ned at Antioch and zealously assisted Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, o
n his missionary journeys preaching the Gospel. They visited Syria, Cilicia, Mac
In the city of Philippi they were accused of inciting unrest among the p
eople, and for this they were arrested, thrashed with canes, and then thrown int
o prison. At midnight, when the holy saints were at prayer, suddenly there occur
red a strong earthquake, their chains fell off from them and the doors of the pr
ison opened. The prison guard, supposing that the prisoners had fled, wanted to
kill himself, but was stopped by the Apostle Paul. Then, all atremble he fell do
wn at the feet of the saints, and with faith accepted their "euangelos" ("good-n
ews") about Christ. He then led them out of the prison and took them to his own
home, where he washed their wounds, and was baptised together with all his house
From Philippi Saints Paul and Silas proceeded on to the cities of Amphyp
olis, Apollonia and Soluneia (Thessalonika). In each city they made new converts
to Christ and built up the Church.
At Corinth the holy Disciple Silas was ordained bishop, and he there wor
ked many a miracle and sign, and there too he finished his life.
The Holy Disciple Sylvanus (Siluanos) preached the Word of God together
with the chief Apostles Peter and Paul. In his First OEcumenical Epistle, the ho
ly Apostle Peter makes mention of him: "This in brief have I written to ye throu
gh Sylvanus, your true brother, I do think..." (1 Pet. 5: 12). Saint Sylvanus wa
s made bishop at Soluneia (Thessalonika) and died there a martyr, having undergo
ne many a sorrow and misfortune for the Lord's sake.
About the Holy Disciple Crescentius the holy Apostle Paul makes mention
in his Second Epistle to Timothy (2 Tim. 4: 10), saying that Crescentius had gon
e preaching to Galatia. He was made bishop there, and afterwards he preached the
Word of God in Gaul (modern-day France). In the city of Vienna (modern-day Aust
ria) the holy Disciple Crescentius established his student Zacharius as bishop.
Having returned to Galatia, he died a martyr under the emperor Trajan (98-117).
The Holy Disciple Epenetus was made bishop at Carthage. In his Epistle t
o the Romans, the holy Apostle Paul writes: "Greet my dear Epenetus, who is from
the beginnings in Achaia [alt. Asia] for Christ" (Rom. 16: 5).
The Disciple Andronicus is mentioned also in this same Epistle by the Ap
ostle Paul: "Greet Andronicus and Junia [June], my kinsfolk, famed amongst the A
postles and even before me believing in Christ" (Rom. 16: 7). The holy Disciple
Andronicus was bishop in Pannonia (modern-day Hungary) (Comm. of Saints Andronic
us and Junia is 17 May).
The Holy Martyr John the Warrior served in the imperial army of the empe
ror Julian the Apostate (361-363). Amidst other soldiers he was dispatched to se
ek out and kill Christians. Keeping up the external appearances of being a perse
cutor, Saint John in fact rendered great help to persecuted Christians: those wh
o had been arrested -- he set free, others he warned of dangers threatening them
, and assisted in their flight. Saint John showed charity not only to Christians
, but to all the destitute and those needing help: he visited with the sick, and
he consoled the grieving. When Julian the Apostate learned about the actions of
the saint, he ordered him locked up in prison.

In the year 363 Julian the Apostate was killed in his war with the Persi
ans. Saint John was set free and devoted his life to service of neighbour, and h
e lived in holiness and purity. He died in his old age.
The precise year of his death is unknown, and the place of burial of Sai
nt John the Warrior was gradually forgotten. But then he appeared to a certain p
ious woman and indicated the place of his repose. It became known throughout the
region. His uncovered relics were placed in a church of the Apostle John the Th
eologian in Constantinople. The Lord granted the relics of Saint John the Warrio
r the graced power of healing. Through the prayers of Saint John the aggrieved a
nd sorrowing received comfort.
In the Russian Church, Saint John the Warrior is sacredly revered as a g
reat intercessor in sorrows and difficult circumstances.
The Uncovering of the Relics of the Monk German of Solovetsk occurred in
the year 1484. Saint German lived as an hermit at the River Vyg, by a chapel. I
t was here in about the year 1429 that the Monk Savvatii, from Valaamo monastery
, came upon him, in seeking a solitary place for his ascetic deeds. German told
Savvatii about Solovetsk Island, and both monks, in negotiating the sea, settled
upon Solovetsk. They built themselves a cell beneathe the Sekir Heights, where
they lived for six years. Upon the repose of Savvatii (+ 27 September 1435), the
Monk German continued his ascetic efforts on the island together with another w
ilderness-dweller, the Monk Zosima (Comm. 17 April). German lived on the island
for more than 50 years.
Being unlettered, but made wise by Divine Providence and wanting to pres
erve the memory about the efforts of the Monk Savvatii to edify many others, he
summoned clergy to write down his memories about the Monks Savvatii and Zosima,
and about the events which occurred during their lifetime. The Monk German loved
to listen to edifying readings and in his final instruction to his students he
bid them gather books at the monastery. For the domestic and other needs of the
monastery the monk into his old age made dangerous sailings and prolonged journe
ys to the mainland. On one of these excursions to Novgorod in 1479 he died at th
e Antoniev monastery. They conveyed his body to the Solovetsk monastery, but bec
ause of some ruffians they had to make burial at a chapel in the village of Khav
ron'in on the River Svira. In 1484, when it was decided to move the grave to the
place of the activities of the monk, his relics were found undecayed.
The PriestMartyr Polychronios, Bishop of Babylon, Presbyters Parmenias,
Elimos and Chrysotelos, Deacons Luke and Muko, Holy Persian Prince-Martyrs Abdon
es and Sennis, and the Holy Martyrs Olympios and Maximos suffered during the III
Century during a time of persecution against Christians under the emperor Deciu
s (249-251). Decius, having gained a victory over the Persians and having seized
territories from them, found there many a Christian and he began a persecution
against them. The Babylonian bishop, Saint Polychronios, his presbyters Parmenia
s, Elimos, Chrysotelos and two deacons, Luke and Muko, were arrested and brought
to the emperor, who commanded them to offer sacrifice to idols. But Saint Polyc
hronios boldly replied to Decius: "We do offer ourselves in sacrifice to our Lor
d Jesus Christ, but your insignificant idols, wrought by human hands, we shalt n
ever worship". For these words the enraged Decius had the confessors thrown into
prison. At a second interrogation Saint Polychronios stood silent. Thereupon De
cius said to the presbyters: "Your leader is voiceless". Saint Parmenias retorte
d: "The holy bishop is not without voice, but he doth not wish to defile his pur
e lips and "cast pearls before swine"" (Mt. 7: 6). In a rage Decius commanded th
e tongue of Saint Parmenias to be cut out for these words. In spite of this happ
ening, Parmenias, in turning to Saint Polychronios, clearly uttered the words: "
Pray thou for me, father, for I behold upon thee the Holy Spirit". By order of D
ecius they began to strike the holy Bishop Polychronios about the mouth with sto
nes, and he, lifting up his eyes to heaven, gave up the spirit. They left his bo
dy laying there afront the pagan-temple of Saturn. By night there came the two P
ersian princes, Abdones and Sennis, secret Christians, and they buried the body
of the holy martyr along the city walls.

Decius soon set off to the city of Kordula and gave orders to bring alon
g the three presbyters and two deacons. At Kordula he again demanded the martyrs
to offer sacrifice to idols, but Saint Parmenias, in spite of his cut-out tongu
e, loudly and firmly answered refusal for all.
Reckoning that Saint Parmenias could speak without a tongue through some
sort of magic power, Decius gave orders to intensify the tortures and to burn a
t the confessors with fire. At this moment was heard a Voice from Heaven: "Come
unto Me, ye humble of heart". Decius considered this Voice also the work of magi
c and he gave orders to behead the martyrs. The Persian princes Abdones and Senn
is by night carried off the bodies of the martyrs and buried them in their own v
illage, near Kordula. Reports of this were made to Decius. They arrested the pri
nces and brought them to the emperor who, in seeing their brave and steadfast co
nfession of faith in Christ, commanded the holy princes to be locked up in priso
n. The saints rejoiced and glorified God for such a fate.
And on this same day another two Persians named Olympios and Maximos wer
e brought before Decius on charges of being Christians. For their bold confessio
n of faith in Christ, the holy martyrs after being fiercely tortured were behead
ed by the sword. For five days their bodies lay unburied, but on the sixth day C
hristians secretly by night gave their remains reverent burial.
Returning to Rome, Decius took with him the captives Abdones and Sennis
in chains. And at Rome, having summoned the pagan-priests, Decius demanded the s
aints to offer sacrifice to the gods, promising freedom and honours. The holy ma
rtyrs answered: "We offer ourselves in sacrifice only to our God Jesus Christ, - wherefore offer thy sacrifice to thine own gods". Decius thereupon sentenced t
hem to be devoured by wild beasts. They set loose upon them two lions, and later
on four bears, which would not touch the holy martyrs but instead lay only at t
heir feet. Then they ran through Abdones and Sennis with swords. Their bodies la
y for three days afront an idol to frighten Christians. By night a secret Christ
ian, Cyrenius by name, took the bodies of the martyrs and buried them in his own
home. The holy Martyrs Abdones and Sennis suffered in the year 251. Their relic
s are preserved in the church of Saint Mark at Rome.
The PriestMartyr Bishop Valentine (Valentinus or Ualentinos) and his Thr
ee Disciples the Holy Martyrs Proculus, Ephibius and Apollonius, and Righteous A
vundius lived during the III Century. Saint Valentine was bishop in Umbria (Ital
y), in the city of Interamnum. He had the gift from God of healing various malad
ies through prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ. during this time there had come fro
m Athens to Rome the three pagan youths Proculus, Ephibius and Apollonius, for f
urther study in the Roman sciences and language. They found themselves a tutor,
by the name of Craton, and lived in his home. It so happened, that the son of Cr
aton named Cherimon fell grievously ill, and his spine was so contorted that it
left his head at his knees. Craton turned to Bishop Valentine with an ardent req
uest for help for his sick son. Having come to Rome for Craton, the holy bishop
secluded himself in the same room with the sick youth and prayed fervently all n
ight. When day came, the happy parents beheld their son all healed, they believe
d in Christ and were baptised together with all their household. Craton's studen
ts, the youths Proculus, Ephibius and Apollonius likewise accepted holy Baptism
and became, together with Cherimon, devoted disciples of Saint Valentine. Fame a
bout the spiritual teacher quickly spread, and many a youth and lad was converte
d to the faith in Christ. In their number was also the city-head's son, Avundius
, who having accepted holy Baptism was ablaze in spirit and openly confessed him
self a Christian in front of everyone. This was a bold thing to do, since at thi
s time pagan polytheism ruled in the world, and Christianity was persecuted. The
wrath of the youth's father and other city leaders fell upon holy Bishop Valent
ine, the teacher of the youths. They began to demand that renounce Christ and wo
rship idols. After much torture they threw him into prison, where his students s
tarted coming to him. Learning of this, the city-head gave orders to take Valent
ine out of the prison and behead him. Saint Valentine's students Proculus, Ephib
ius and Apollonius took the body of their teacher and carried it off to the city
of Interamnum, where with reverence they buried it. They spent their days at th

e grave of the holy bishop in prayer, and to them gathered both believers and pa
gans also, whom they converted to the true faith. This became known to the autho
rities. They arrested the youths and threw them in prison. Fearing that people m
ight break the sufferers out of prison, the executioners by night beheaded them.
Righteous Avundius, learning that his friends had been locked up in prison, has
tened off to them, but finding them no longer alive, he grieved deeply. He took
up their bodies and buried them at the grave of holy Bishop Valentine.
The Okonsk Icon of the Mother of God, by tradition, was received by the
Gruzian (Georgian) emperor Vakhtang IV from Jerusalem and initially it was situa
ted at the Gaenat monastery in Gruzia. The Gruzian emperor's son George Alexandr
ovich transferred the holy icon to the cathedral church of the village of Lyskov
, Nizhegorod diocese.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


Righteous Eudokimos, a native of Cappadocia (Asia Minor), lived during t
he IX Century during the reign of emperor Theophilos (829-842). He was the son o
f the pious Christians Basil and Eudokia, an illustrious family and known to the
emperor. The righteous life of Saint Eudokimos was totally guided towards pleas
ing God and service to neighbour. Having given a vow to remain unmarried and cha
ste, he avoided conversation with women and did not look at them; only with his
own mother whom he extremely respected did he carry on edifying conversation. Fo
r his virtuous life the emperor appointed Saint Eudokimos as governor of the Kha
rsian district. Fulfilling his duty as a servant of God, Righteous Eudokimos gov
erned the people justly and with kindness, he concerned himself over the misfort
unate, and about orphans and widows, and he was a defender of the common people.
His personal Christian exploits which he did in secret, were known only to God.
Eudokimos pleased God by his blameless life, and the Lord called him at
age 33. Laying on his death-bed, Saint Eudokimos gave final instructions to plac
e him in the grave in those clothes in which he would meet death. Then he sent e
veryone out of the room and besought the Lord in prayer, that no one would see h
is end, just as no one saw his secret efforts during life. His attendants buried
him as he had instructed them. Right after the death of Righteous Eudokimos mir
acles happened at his grave, many sick people were healed, and the news about th
e miracles of healing spread about.
After 18 months the mother of Saint Eudokimos came to venerate the relic
s, from Constantinople, whither his parents had settled after the death of the s
aint. She gave orders to remove the stone, dig up the ground, open the grave, an
d everyone beheld the face of the saint, bright as though alive, altogether unto
uched by decay. Great fragrance came from him. They took up the coffin with the
relics from the earth, and they changed the saint into new clothes. His mother w
anted to take the relics of her son to Constantinople, but the Kharsian people w
ould not clear a path for their holy one. But after a certain while the priest-m
onk Joseph, having lived and served at the grave of the saint, transported all t
he relics of Saint Eudokimos to Constantinople. There they were placed in a silv
er reliquary in the church of the MostHoly Mother of God, built by the parents o
f the saint.
Righteous Eudokimos is considered in the Russian Church to be one of the
special protectors and intercessors before God of the family hearth.
The Holy Martyress Julitta lived at Caesarea Cappadocia during the reign

of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). A certain pagan pilfered all her property,
and when Julitta turned for relief to the courts, her antagonist reported to th
e judge that she was a Christian. the judge demanded the saint to renounce Chris
t, for which he promised to restore justice and return to her the unlawfully tak
en property. Saint Julitta resolutely refused the deceitful conditions, and for
this she was burnt in a bon-fire in the year 304 (or 305). Sainted Basil the Gre
at devoted his Praiseworthy Discourse to Saint Julitta 70 years after her death
as a martyr.
Righteous Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of our Lord Jesus Ch
rist. As a member of the Sanhedrin he did not participate in the "counsel and de
ed" of the Jews in passing a death sentence for Jesus Christ. After the Crucifix
ion and Death of the Saviour he made bold to go to Pilate and demand of him the
Body of the Lord, to Which he gave burial with the help of Righteous Nicodemus,
who was likewise a secret disciple of the Lord. They took down from the Cross th
e Body of the Saviour, wrapped it in a winding-cloth or plaschanitsa, and placed
it in a new-hewn tomb, in which no one earlier had been buried (this tomb Saint
Joseph had prepared previously for himself) -- in the Garden of Gethsemane, in
the presence of the Mother of God and the holy Myrh-Bearing Women. Having rolled
an heavy stone before the entrance of the tomb, they then departed (Jn. 19: 3742; Mt. 27: 57-61; Mk. 15: 43-47; Lk. 24: 50-56).
Saint Joseph died peacefully in Anglium (England).
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Procession (Carrying-forth) of the Venerable Wood of the Life-Creati
ng Cross of the Lord: In the Greek Chasoslov (Orologion) of 1897 is explained th
us the derivation of this feast: "By reason of the sicknesses, often everywhere
occurring in August, from of old customarily it was done at Constantinople to ca
rry out the Venerable Wood of the Cross along the roads and streets for the sanc
tifying of places and for the driving away of sicknesses. On the eve (31 July),
carrying it out from the imperial treasury, they placed it upon the holy table o
f the Great Church (in honour of Saint Sophia -- the Wisdom of God). From this f
eastday up to the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, making litia through
out all the city, they then placed it forth for all the people to venerate. This
also is the Issuing-forth of the Venerable Cross".
In the Russian Church this feast is combined also with a remembrance of
the Baptism of Rus', on 1 August 988. In the "Account about the making of servic
es in the holy catholic and apostolic great church of the Uspenie-Dormition", co
mpiled in 1627 by order of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus' Philaret, there
is provided suchlike an explanation of the feast: "And on the day of the process
ion of the Venerable Cross there occurs a church-procession for the sanctificati
on of water and for the enlightenment of the people, throughout all the towns an
d places".
Knowledge of the day of the actual Baptism of Rus' was preserved in the
Chronicles of the XVI Century: "The Baptism of Great-prince Vladimir of Kiev and
all Rus' was on August 1".
In the practice now of the Russian Church, the service of the Lesser San
ctification of Water on 1 August is done either before or after Liturgy. Togethe
r with the Blessing of Waters, there is made a Blessing of Honey (i.e. first-hon
ey for the Saviour: "Saviour of the Water", "Saviour Moisture" [apparently in pl

ace of the vinegar and gall offered Him on the Cross?]). And from this day the n
ewly harvested honey is blessed and tasted.
The Feast to the All-Merciful Saviour and the MostHoly Mother of God was
established on the occasion of portents from icons of the Saviour, the MostHoly
Mother of God and the Venerable Cross during the time of a battle of holy Princ
e Andrei Bogoliubsky (1157-1174) with the Volga Bulgars in 1164.
This is the first of three feastdays of the All-Merciful Saviour, celebr
ated in August. The second -- is the Transfiguration (Preobrazhenie, Metamorphos
is) of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Comm. 6 August). The third -- is t
he Transfer from Edessa to Constantinople of the Not-Wrought-by-Hand Image of th
e Lord Jesus Christ (Comm. 16 August, during the Afterfeast of the Dormition of
the MostHoly Mother of God). These three feasts, as it were, connect together th
e Dormition-Uspenie Fast.
The Seven Holy Maccabean Martyrs: Habim, Antonin, Guriah, Eleazar, Euseb
on, Hadim (Halim) and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia and their teacher Eleaza
r suffered in the year 166 before the Birth of Christ under the impious Syrian e
mperor Antiochos Epiphanos. Adhering to an Hellenistic cult, Antiochos Epiphanos
introduced pagan customs at Jerusalem and throughout all Judea. He desecrated t
he Temple of the Lord, putting there in a statue of the pagan god Zeus, and forc
ing the Jews to worship it. Many of them then fell away from the True God. But t
here were also those, who were deeply sorrowed by the downfall of the people of
God and who continued to believe in the coming arrival of the Saviour. A ninety
year old elder -- the law-teacher Eleazar, was brought to trial for his adherenc
e to the Mosaic Law, and he steadfastly underwent tortures and died at Jerusalem
. Bravery was likewise shown by the disciples of Saint Eleazar -- the Seven Macc
abean Brothers and their mother Solomonia. They were brought to trial in Antioch
by the emperor Antiochos Epiphanos. They fearlessly acknowledged themselves as
followers of the True God, and refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. The
eldest of the lads, having been first to answer the emperor in the name of all
seven brothers, was given over to fierce tortures in sight of his remaining brot
hers and their mother. The next five brothers one after the other underwent thes
e tortures. There remained the seventh brother, the very youngest. Antiochos sug
gested to Saint Solomonia to urge the lad into renunciation, so that at least th
is final son would remain for her. But the brave mother encouraged him also in t
he confession of the True God. The lad resolutely ignored the entreaty of the em
peror and likewise firmly underwent the tortures, just like his older brothers.
After the death of all her seven children, Saint Solomonia, standing over their
bodies, raised up her hands in prayer to God and died. The Martyrs Act of the ho
ly Seven Maccabean Brothers inspired Judas Maccabee, and he led the revolt again
st Antiochos Epiphanos with the help of God gaining the victory, and then purify
ing the Jerusalem Temple of idols. All these events are related in the Book of S
econd Maccabees, which is included within the Bible. Sermons of laudation to the
holy Maccabean Martyrs were offered by various fathers of the Church -- Sainted
Cyprian of Carthage, Sainted Ambrose of Mediolanum (Milan), Sainted Gregory Naz
ianzus and Sainted John Chrysostomos.
The Martyrs Leontios, Attios, Alexander, Cyndeos, Minsythias, Kyriakos,
Mineon, Catunos and Eukleos lived in the Pamphlygonian city of Pergium during th
e reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). All of them were baptised in childh
ood. Saint Mineon was a carpenter, and the rest -- farmers. During the time of t
he fierce persecution against Christians, the saints with one accord sought to u
ndertake the deed of martyrdom for Christ. They destroyed a temple of the pagan
god Artemis. For this they were given over for harsh torture and then thrown in
the circus for devouring by wild beasts. But, tamed down by the prayer of the ma
rtyrs, the beasts would not touch them. The onlookers grew tumultuous and began
loudly to shout: "Great is the God of the Christians". A terrible thunderstorm e
nsued. Upon the earth simultaneously fell both hail and fire. From heaven was he
ard a voice, summoning the martyrs to the Heavenly Kingdom. Upon hearing this vo

ice the martyrs came forth with great joy, and laying their necks beneathe the s
word, they received the crowns of martyrdom.
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
EN (C. 428).
The Transfer from Jerusalem to Constantinople of the Relics of the Holy
FirstMartyr Stephen occurred in about the year 428.
After the holy FirstMartyr Archdeacon Stephen was pelted with stones by
the Jews, they threw his holy body without burial for devouring by the beasts an
d birds. The reknown Jewish law-teacher Gamaliel, having begun to be inclined to
wards faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and also defending the Apostles at th
e Sanhedrin (Acts 5: 34-40), on the second night sent people devoted to him to t
ake up the body of the Firstmartyr. Gamaliel gave him burial on his own grounds,
in a cave, not far from Jerusalem. When in turn there died the secret disciple
of the Lord, Nicodemus, who had come to Christ at night (Jn. 3: 1-21; 7: 50-52;
19: 38-42), Gamaliel likewise buried him nearby the grave of Archdeacon Stephen.
Afterwards Gamaliel himself, having accepted holy Baptism together with his son
Habib, was buried near the grave of the FirstMartyr Stephen and Saint Nicodemus
. In the year 415 the relics of the saint were uncovered in a miraculous manner
and solemnly transferred to Jerusalem by the archbishop John together with the b
ishops Eleutherios of Sebasteia and Eleutherios of Jericho. From that time began
healings from the relics.
Afterwards, during the reign of holy nobleborn emperor Theodosius the Yo
unger (408-450), the relics of the holy FirstMartyr Stephen were transferred fro
m Jerusalem to Constantinople and placed in a church in honour of the holy Deaco
n Laurentius, and after the construction of a temple in honour of the FirstMarty
r Stephen the relics were transferred there on 2 August. The right hand of the F
irstMartyr is preserved in the Serapionov chamber of the Troitsky-Sergiev Lavra.
Blessed Saint Vasilii (Basil), Moscow Wonderworker, was born in December
1468 on the portico of the Elokhovsk church in honour of the Vladimir Icon of t
he MostHoly Mother of God, outside Moscow. His parents were common folk and sent
their son for training in the cobbler's (shoemaker's) craft. During the time of
teaching his apprentice the master happened to be a witness to a certain remark
able occurrence, wherein he perceived, that his student was no ordinary man. A c
ertain merchant had brought grain to Moscow on a barge and then went to order bo
ots, specifying to make them such and so, since he would not pick them up for a
year. Blessed Vasilii uttered weeping: "I would thee leave them such, since thou
will not wear them out". To the perplexed questioning of the master the apprent
ice explained, that the man making the order would not put on the boots, but rat
her would soon be dead. After several days the prediction came true.
At age 16 the saint arrived in Moscow and began the thorny exploit of fo
olishness. In the burning Summer hear and in the crisp harsh frost he walked abo
ut bare-legged and bare-foot through the streets of Moscow. His actions were str
ange: here he would upset a stand with kalachi, and there he would spill a jug w
ith kvas. Angry merchants throttled the blessed saint, but he took the beatings
with joy and he thanked God for them. But then it was discovered, that the kalac
hi were poorly cooked, the kvas was badly prepared. The reputation of Blessed Va
silii quickly grew: in him they perceived a fool, a man of God, a denouncer of w

A certain merchant was intent to build on Pokrovna in Moscow a stone chu
rch, but thrice its arches collapsed. The merchant turned for advice to the bles
sed saint, and he pointed him toward Kiev: "Find there John the Cripple, he will
give thee the advice, how to construct the church". Having journeyed to Kiev, t
he Merchant sought out John, who sat a poor hut and rocked an empty cradle. "Who
m dost thou rock?" -- asked the merchant. "My beloved mother I do beweep, long i
ndigent for my birth and upbringing". Only then did the merchant remember his ow
n mother, whom he had thrown out of the house, and it became clear to him, why h
e was in no wise able to build the church. Having returned to Moscow, he brought
his mother home, begged her forgiveness and built the church.
Preaching mercy, the blessed saint helped first of all those, who were a
shamed to ask for alms, but who all the while more were more in need of help tha
n others. There was an instance, where he gave away a rich imperial present to a
foreign merchant, who was left without anything at all and, although for three
days already the man had eaten nothing, he was not able to turn for help, since
he wore fine clothing.
Harshly did the blessed saint condemn those, who gave alms for selfish r
easons, not from compassion for the poor and destitute, but hoping for an easy w
ay to attract the blessings of God upon their affairs. One time the blessed sain
t saw a devil, which took on the guise of a beggar. He sat at the gates of the A
ll-Pure Virgin's church, and to everyone who gave alms, he rendered speedy help
in their affairs. The blessed saint exposed the wicked trick and drove away the
devil. For the salvation of one's neighbours Blessed Vasilii visited also the ta
verns, where he endeavoured, even in people very much gone to ruin, to see a gra
in of goodness, and to strengthen and encourage them by kindness. Many observed,
that when the saint passed by an house in which they madly made merry and drank
, he with tears clasped the corners of that house. They enquired of the fool wha
t this meant, and he answered: "Angels stand in sorrow at the house and are dist
ressed about the sins of the people, but I with tears entreat them to pray to th
e Lord for the conversion of sinners".
Purified by great deeds and by the prayer of his soul, the blessed saint
was vouchsafed also the gift of foreseeing the future. In 1547 he predicted the
great conflagration of Moscow; by prayer he extinguished a conflagration at Nov
gorod; one time he reproached tsar Ivan the Terrible, that during the time of Di
vine-services he was preoccupied with thoughts about the construction of a palac
e on the Vorob'ev hills.
Blessed Vasilii died on 2 August 1557. Saint Metropolitan of Moscow Maka
rii with an assemblage of clergy made the funeral of the saint. His body was bur
ied at the Trinity church, in the trench where in 1554 was being annexed the Pok
rov cathedral in memory of the conquest of Kazan. The glorification of Blessed V
asilii was by a Sobor-Council on 2 August 1588, which His Holiness Patriarch Job
In a description of the appearance of the saint characteristic details w
ere preserved: "All bare, in the hand a staff". The veneration of Blessed Vasili
i was always so strong, that the Trinity temple and the attached Pokrov church a
re to the present named the temple of Blessed Vasilii [i.e. the famous Saint Bas
il's in Moscow].
The chains of the saint are preserved at the Moscow Spiritual Academy.
Blessed Vasilii of Kamensk lived during the XV Century, was a monk at th
e Saviour-Kamen monastery, situated on an island of Lake Kuben (not far from Vol
ogda). At the shrine of his relics, -- built afterwards in a church in honour of
Saint Vasilii (Basil) of Moscow, is an icon in full stature of Saint Vasilii of
Kamensk, with heavy iron chains and a cap of iron strips.
The PriestMartyr Stephen, Pope of Rome, suffered in the year 257 during
the reign of the emperor Valerian. Saint Stephen, occupying the throne (253-257)
of the Sainted First-Bishop of Rome, zealously contended against the heresy of
Novatus, which taught that it is not proper to receive back those returning from

heresy. In hiding during a time of persecution against Christians, the saint ba

ptised many pagans, in which number was the military tribune Nemesius -- convert
ed to Christ after the saint healed his daughter Lucilla. Nemesius, ordained to
the dignity of deacon, and also his daughter, were beheaded by the sword. Their
steward Symphronius, brought by the tribune Olympius into the temple of Mars for
torture, by prayer shattered the golden idol, after which the tribune with his
wife Exuperia and his son Theodolus believed and were baptised. They were all bu
rnt. Their remains were buried by holy Pope Stephen. Then were beheaded his 12 c
lergy: Bonus, Faustus, Maurus, Primitivus, Calumniosus, John, Exuperantus, Cyril
, Theodore, Basil, Castelus, Honoratus and Tertullinus, all converted by Saint S
tephen. Finally, Saint Stephen himself was led before the emperor Valerian, who
condemned him to beheading with a sword in the temple of Mars. But by the prayer
s of the saint, a large part of the pagan-temple was destroyed, and the soldiers
fled. The saint concealed himself in the catacombs (the resting place of Saint
Lucina or Lucy), where afterwards he was killed by arriving soldiers while he wa
s teaching Christians.
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Monks Isaac, Dalmatius and Faustus were hegumens of a Dalmatian mona
stery. The Monk Dalmatius had served in the army of the holy nobleborn emperor T
heodosius the Great (379-395) and gained his notice. Having left the world somew
here between the years 381-383, the Monk Dalmatius together with his son Faustus
went to the monastery of the Monk Isaac near Constantinople. The Monk Isaac vow
ed father and son into monasticism, and they both began to lead a strict ascetic
life. Once during Great Lent the Monk Dalmatius did not partake of food during
the course of 40 days, and later having regained his strength, he was vouchsafed
worthy of a Divine vision. Having drawn near the end of his earthly life, the M
onk Isaac put in his place as monastery head the Monk Dalmatius, through whose n
ame the monastery became known as the Dalmatian.
The Monk Dalmatius showed himself a zealous proponent of the Orthodox fa
ith at the III OEcumenical Council at Ephesus (431), which censured the heresy o
f Nestorius.
After the Council the holy fathers elevated the Monk Dalmatius to the di
gnity of archimandrite of the Dalmatian monastery, at which he died at age ninet
y (after year 446).
About the Monk Faustus is known that he, like his father, was a great as
cetic and in monastic deeds he particularly excelled at fasting. After the death
of his father, Faustus became hegumen of the monastery.
The Monk Anthony the Roman was born at Rome in the year 1067 of rich par
ents, keeping to the Orthodox confession of faith, and he was raised by them in
piety. As an orphan having lost his parents at age 17, he took up the study of t
he fathers in the Greek language. Afterwards he distributed part of his inherita
nce to the poor, and the other portion he put into a wooden box and threw it int
o the sea. And then he took monastic vows at one of the wilderness skete-monaste
ries, where he lived for 20 years. A persecution of the Latins against the Ortho
dox forced the brethren to separate. The Monk Anthony wandered about, going from
place to place, until he came upon a large rock upon the solitary shore of the
sea, where he lived for a whole year in fasting and prayer. A terrible storm, ha
ppening on 5 September 1105, tore away the stone on which the Monk Anthony was s
ituated, and threw him into the sea. On the Feast of the Nativity of the MostHol
y Mother of God the stone halted 3 versts from Novgorod on the banks of the Rive

r Volkhov near the village of Volkhovsk. This event is testified to in the Novgo
rod Chronicles. At this place the monk, with the blessing of Sainted Nikita the
Hermit (+ 1109, Comm. 14 May), founded a monastery in honour of the Nativity of
the MostHoly Mother of God. In another year fishermen fished out the box with th
e inheritance of the Monk Anthony, cast into the sea many years before. Having d
eclared what was in the box, the monk took the box and bought land for the monas
tery. Spiritual asceticism was combined at the monastery with intense physical w
The Monk Anthony was concerned, that from the monastery income help shou
ld be rendered for the needy, and for orphans and widows. In the year 1117 the m
onk began construction with stone at the monastery. Up until our own day there h
as been preserved a cathedral in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother o
f God -- built during the lifetime of the monk in the years 1117-1119 by the rek
nown Novgorod architect Peter, and with wall-frescoes in the year 1125. In the y
ear 1131 Sainted Niphont of Novgorod made the Monk Anthony hegumen of the monast
ery. He died on 3 August 1147 and was buried by Sainted Niphont.
The Monk Anthony was glorified in the year 1597. His memory is noted lik
ewise (in honour of the uncovering of the relics) on the first Friday after the
feastday of the First-Ranked Apostles Peter and Paul (29 June), and on 17 Januar
y -- on the same name-day when the memory of the Monk Anthony the Great is celeb
rated. The first life of the Monk Anthony the Roman was written soon after his d
eath by his student and successor as hegumen -- the priestmonk Andrei. A collect
ed life, with an account about the uncovering of the relics and praiseworthy dis
course, was done by a novice of the Antoniev monastery, the monk Niphont, in the
year 1598.
The Martyr Razhdenes, a Persian and worshipper of the Zoroastrian religi
on, was descended from an illustrious family. He was the tutor of the Persian pr
incess Balendykhta (daughter of the Persian emperor Ormizd), who entered into ma
rriage with the pious Gruzian [Georgian] emperor Vakhtang the Great (446-449). T
ogether with her, Razhdenes resettled in Gruzia. Out of consideration for his hi
gh parentage, the emperor heaped his wife's tutor with favours and made him his
adviser. The simple and good-natured foreigner was soon beloved by all the court
and the people. When he learned about Christianity and had accepted Baptism, he
then began frequently to converse with Archbishop Michael and to visit church.
The heart of the saint burned with an inexpressible love for Christ. He strove t
o comprehend the wisdom of God, he conversed much with the pastors of the Church
and with eagerness he listened to the accounts and teachings about the deeds of
Christian martyrs. The desire to be united with Christ irresistibly attracted h
im to accept suffering for the Saviour.
A bloody war between Persia and Greece spilled over into Orthodox Gruzia
. The new Persian emperor Firuz (from year 456) urged Gruzia to dissolve its uni
on with the same-faithed Greece. Having received refusal, he marched an army aga
inst Gruzia, and began a bitter war. In the words of the chronicler, the women w
ere given over to brazen outrages, and the men -- to cruel torments and tortures
. Looking upon this, Christians remained firm in the faith and, hoping on the he
lp of God, they gave resistance to the enemy. During this time Saint Razhdenes h
ad accepted the command over the army at the capital and its surrounding fortifi
cations. For four months he led a stubborn struggle against the enemies of Chris
tianity and repulsed them from the capital. The Persians decided to take revenge
, having captured the zealous leader alive. All together all at once they attack
ed the Gruzian detachment of the fortress of Armaz and Saint Razhdenes was treac
herously handed over by those to whom he had bestown high rank. They immediately
took the captive to the emperor Firuz. Informed about everything, the emperor q
uestioned Saint Razhdenes about his parentage and the reasons for renouncing his
former faith and people. The martyr answered: "It is certainly true, emperor, t
hat I once left my own nation and its gods, which serve man and are an adornment
of the universe, but I now serve the One True and Living God, Who made Heaven a
nd earth and everything that exists, Who alone possesses immortality and dwellet
h in the Light imperishable, Whom no one hath ever beheld or seeth. This is the

One True God, Whom I know in Three Persons in One Existence. And one of the Pers
ons of the Holy Trinity, the Word and Son of the Father, in the fulness of time
and for our salvation, came down upon the earth, was incarnated of the Holy Virg
in Mary, lived upon the earth, suffered, was nailed to the Cross, died, and on t
he third day after death He arose, and after forty days He ascended up to Heaven
and doth sit at the right side of the Father. At the end of the world This One
-- the Son of God, Jesus Christ, will come again upon the earth in glory, so as
to judge the living and the dead, and then the righteous wilt shine like the sun
, but the impious and those disobedient to Him He wilt bind together with the de
vil in eternal torment".
Knowing the courage of the saint, the emperor Firuz decided to make him
worship the sun and fire not by torture, but with words of flattery. "Let it be
known to thee, emperor, -- answered the martyr, -- that I shalt not renounce my
Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath created me, and I wilt not worship thy gods. Keep to
thyself thy promises to me of riches and glory, which are for me neither necess
ary nor wanted, and for them I shalt not abandon my God, Who called me to the Li
ght of His Son, and I shalt not exchange the eternal life promised us of Christ,
for life temporal and transitory. Wherefore do not promise nor advise me, for t
hou wilt not force me to recant from Christ my God; I reject thy offers of honou
rs and riches and I shalt no more listen to thee, rather than my Lord". When the
y took hold of the martyr so as to begin the tortures, he again turned to the em
peror: "Thou sayest, that thou shalt give me over to tortures, and dost thou thi
nk that these torments would be more terrible than eternal agonies, knowing, tha
t for me Christ and death -- are to my advantage". The fire-worshippers began th
e terrible tortures, and then locked up the martyr in prison. After some time th
e emperor Firuz on the advice of serveral perfidious Gruzinian dignitaries sent
Saint Razhdenes to Mtskheta, where his family lived. The emperor sent him safely
, knowing, that the martyr would keep his given word to return to the Persians.
His family entreated him to spare himself and those near him, but Saint Razhdene
s answered firmly: "Nothing shall turn me away from love for my Lord Jesus Chris
t". He returned to the Persians, and emperor Firuz sent him off to the governor
of Upper Kartalinia, living in the town of Tsrom. They again began with their de
luded exhortations and fierce tortures. Then they cast the mutilated martyr into
a fetid prison. By night the Saviour Himself appeared to him and healed his wou
nds. The astonished Persians then decided that it was time to execute the senten
ce of the emperor -- to crucify the martyr on a cross.
"Rejoice, Life-Creating Wood, by which was slain the serpent of old and
to which are nailed my sins, -- cried out the martyr, seeing the instrument of h
is death by execution. -- And I through thee shall ascend to my Lord Jesus Chris
t, Who shalt grant me the help and the strength to bear to the end the lot prepa
red for me. Wherefore I have witnessed to truth before His enemies and like Him
I shall be nailed to thee". They stripped the holy martyr and nailed him to the
cross amidst four criminals, crucified in a row. Wanting to increase his sufferi
ng, the Persians requested archers from the governor. Struck by poisoned arrows
like the Martyr Sebastian, Saint Razhdenes died on the cross in the year 457. Al
l the ground under him was covered by his holy blood. Portents appeared in the h
eavens: the sun was hid and there began a long eclipse, and during the night the
re arose a terrible storm, such that nothing could be seen right in front of one
self. Only the body of the martyr shone with an Heavenly light. The guards were
seized with terror at the vicious act committed, and they fled to their quarters
. Christians, concealed not far away, took down the martyr from the cross and bu
ried him with honour, near the place where he had been crucified.
The saint's place of burial remained unknown for a long time, until the
martyr himself commanded the priest who had buried him to reveal this to Vakhtan
g the Great. With great solemnity the relics of the Martyr Razhdenes were transf
erred to a Nikozeia church (near the city of Tsinvali).
The name Razhdenes signifies "shining faith". The First-Martyr of the Gr
uzian Church -- by his death, accompanied by the appearance of the Saviour and H
eavenly portents, gives firm hope for the General Resurrection at the Second Com
ing of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Monk Kosma the Hermit lived during the VI Century in the Tharan wild
erness in Palestine. An account of the Bikaneia presbyter Abba Basil about the M
onk Kosma is located in the book "Spiritual Meadow" compiled by the Monk John Mo
skhos. He was strict of fasting, a firm defender of the Orthodox faith and Churc
h dogmas, and profoundly knowledgeable in Holy Scripture and the works of the Ch
urch fathers. The Monk Kosma particularly revered the works of Sainted Athanasia
s the Great and told those to whom he spoke: "If thou comest across a word of Sa
int Atanasias and hast not paper, write it down upon thy clothing". He had the h
abit to stand at prayer all night Saturday through Sunday. Having once come to A
ntioch, he died there. The patriarch buried his body at his monastery. Abba Basi
l relates, that when he came to venerate at the grave of Saint Kosma, he found t
here a beggar, who told him: "It is a great elder, which ye have buried here!",
and he explained that he lay as a cripple for 12 years and received healing thro
ugh the prayers of Saint Kosma.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Seven Youths of Ephesus: Maximilian, Iamblichus, Martinian, John, Di
onysius, Eksacustodianus (Constantine) and Antoninus, lived in the III Century.
Saint Maximilian was the son of the Ephesus city administrator, and the other si
x youths -- were sons of other illustrious Ephesus citizens. The youths were fri
ends from childhood, and all were together in military service. When the emperor
Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizenry to appear f
or offering sacrifice to the pagan gods; torture and death by execution awaited
the recalcitrant. By denunciation from those currying the emperor's favour, the
seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Standing before t
he emperor, the seven youths confessed their faith in Christ. Their illustrious
military decorations -- the military sashes -- were quickly taken from them. Dec
ius however set them at liberty, hoping, that they would change their minds whil
e he was away on military campaign. The youths fled from the city and hid in a c
ave on Mount Okhlonos, where they passed the time at prayer, preparing for the d
eed of martyrdom. The very youngest of them -- Saint Iamblichus, having clothed
himself in beggar's attire, went into the city and bought bread. In one of these
journeys into the city he heard, that the emperor had returned and sought them,
so as to bring them to trial. Saint Maximilian exhorted his companions to come
out of the cave and bravely appear at trial. Having learned where the lads were
hidden, the emperor gave orders to seal the entrance of the cave with stones, so
that the lads would perish in it from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries
, coming before the walled-up entrance to the cave, were secret christians. Want
ing to preserve the memory of the saints, they set in among the stones a sealed
container, in which were located two tin sheaves. On them were inscribed the nam
es of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.
But the Lord brought upon the youths a miraculous sleep, continuing almo
st two centuries. During this while the persecutions against Christians had ceas
ed, although during the reign of the holy nobleborn emperor Theodosius the Young
er (408-450) there had appeared heretics who rejected the belief in the Resurrec
tion of the Dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them sai
d: "How can there be a resurrection of the dead, when there would be neither sou
l, nor body, since they are disintegrated?" Others affirmed: "Only the souls alo
ne would have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise an
d live after a thousand years, when even the dust from them would not remain". T
he Lord therefore revealed the mystery of the awaited Resurrection of the Dead a

nd of the Future Life also through His seven youths.

The master of that region of land, on which Mount Okhlonos was situated,
discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to th
e cave. The Lord had kept alive the youths, and they as it were awoke from their
habitual sleep, not suspecting, that almost 200 years had elapsed. Their bodies
and clothing were completely undecayed. Preparing to accept torture, the youths
entrusted to Saint Iamblichus yet once again to buy bread for them in the city
to keep up their strength. Going towards the city, the youth was astonished, see
ing the holy cross on the gates. And hearing the freely uttered Name of Jesus Ch
rist, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city. Praying for the br
ead, the youth gave the merchant money with the image of the emperor Decius on i
t, and he was detained, as one possibly concealing an horde of old money. They t
ook Saint Iamblichus to the city administrator, who at this time happened to be
the bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop
perceived, that God was revealing through him some sort of mystery, and set out
himself with other people to the cave. At the entrance to the cave the bishop to
ok out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the tin sheaves the name
s of the seven youths and the details of the sealing-up of the cave on the order
s of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyo
ne rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, through their awakening from long sleep
, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead. Soon
the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and conversed with the youths in the cav
e. Then the holy youths in view of everyone lay down their heads upon the ground
and again fell asleep, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wa
nted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in
a dream, the holy youths said, that their bodies were to be left in the cave upo
n the ground. In the XII Century the Russian pilgrim the hegumen Daniel saw in t
he cave these holy remains of the seven youths.
A second commemoration of the seven youths is celebrated on 22 October.
(By one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue [of Saints Lives], th
e youths a second time fell asleep on this day; according to the notes of the Gr
eek Menaion of 1870, they fell asleep first on 4 August, and woke up on 22 Octob
er. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year -1 September).
The Holy Nun-Martyress Eudokia was an illustrious Roman, living in the I
V Century. The army of the Persian emperor Sapor took her into captivity amidst
9,000 Christians. Being in captivity, the saint preached among the Persian women
and converted many of them to Christianity. For this she was subjected to lengt
hy and fierce tortures and then beheaded (+ c. 362-264).
The Holy Martyr Eleutherius served as the cubicularius (bed-chamberlain)
at the court of the emperor Maximian Hercules (284-305). When he accepted Chris
tianity, he then settled on a country estate, and built a church at his home. On
e of the servants reported to the emperor, that Eleutherius had become a Christi
an. The emperor ordered the saint to offer pagan sacrifice. The saint refused an
d for this he was beheaded. The relics of Saint Eleutherius were situated at Con
stantinople, and afterwards transferred to Italy, in the city of Theato.
The Equal-to-the-Apostles Priest-Martyr Kosma, in the world Constantine
, was a native of Aetolia. He studied at first under the guidance of the archdea
con Ananios Dervitian, and afterwards continued his education on Holy Mount Atho
s, at the Batopedia school of such reknown for the time teachers as Nicholas Tsa
rtsulis (from Mezova) and Evgenii Bulgaris (afterwards in the years 1775-1779 th
e archbishop of Ekaterinoslav and the Chersonessus).
Remaining on Athos at the Philotheia monastery to persevere at spiritual
labours, he took vows there into the monastic order with the name Kosma, and la
ter was ordained priestmonk. The yearning to guide upon the way of salvation and
strengthen the faith of his brother-Christians impelled Saint Kosma to seek the
blessing of his spiritual fathers and go to Constantinople. There he mastered t

he art of eloquent-speaking and, having received the written permission of Patri

arch Seraphim II (and later from his successor Sophronias) to preach the Holy Go
spel, he began to proclaim it at first in the churches of Constantinople and the
surrounding villages, then in the Danubian principalities, in Thessalonika, in
Berrheia, in Macedonia, Chimara, Akarnania, Aetolia, on the islands of Saint Mau
ra, Kephalonia and other places. His preaching, filled with the grace of the Hol
y Spirit, -- plain, tranquil and gentle, brought Christians great spiritual bene
fit. Just as for His holy Apostles, the Lord Himself assisted him and affirmed h
is words with signs and miracles. Preaching in Albania, in those distant area of
it, where Christian piety was almost lost amidst the rough and coarse people en
trenched in sin, Saint Kosma led them with the Word of God to sincere repentance
and improvement.
Under his guidance church schools were opened in the villages. The rich
offered their means for the betterment of the churches, for the purchase of Holy
Books (which the saint distributed to the literate), veils (which he gave women
, admonishing them to come with veiled heads), rosaries and crosses (which he di
stributed to the common folk). Since the churches could not accommodate everyone
wanting to hear the wise preacher, Saint Kosma with an assemblage of priests ma
de the vigil in the fields, and in city-squares, where thousands of people praye
d for the living and for the dead and were edified by his preaching. And everywh
ere, where Saint Kosma halted and preached, the grateful listeners erected a lar
ge wooden cross, which remained thereafter in memory of this.
The apostolic service of Saint Kosma was brought to a close by a martyr'
s death in the year 1779. At 65 years of age, he was seized by the Turks and str
angled. His body was thrown into a river and after three days was found by a pri
est Mark and given burial near the village of Kalikontasa at the Ardebuzia monas
tery of the Entrance into the Temple of the MostHoly Mother of God. Afterwards p
art of his relics were transferred for blessing at various places.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Martyr Eusignios was born at Antioch in the mid III Century. Over th
e course of sixty years he served in the Roman armies of the emperors Diocletian
, Maximian Hercules, Constantius Chlorus, Constantine the Great and his sons. Sa
int Eusignios was a companion of Saint Basiliskos (Comm. 3 March and 22 May), an
d he provided an account of his deed of martyrdom (+ c. 308). At the beginning o
f the reign of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Eusignios was a witness to the
appearance in the sky of the starry Cross, a prediction of victory. Saint Eusig
nios retired in his old age from military service and returned to his own countr
y. There he spent his time in prayer, fasting, and attending the temple of God.
And thus he lived until the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363), who yearned
for a return to paganism. Through the denunciation of one of the Antioch citizen
s, Saint Eusignios stood trial as a Christian before the emperor Julian in the y
ear 362. He fearlessly accused the emperor of apostacy from Christ, and reproach
ed him with the example of his relative, Constantine the Great, and he described
in detail how he himself had been an eyewitness to the appearance in the sky of
the sign of the Cross. Julian did not spare the quite old Saint Eusignios, then
110 years old, but rather ordered him beheaded.
The Monk Job of Ushel'sk was a monk of the Solovetsk monastery (his fath
er was named Patrikii Mazovsky). On 10 November 1608 he was ordained to the dign
ity of priestmonk by the Novgorod metropolitan Isidor. In 1614 the Monk Job was

sent to the Mezensk frontier, where at the confluence into the River Mezen' of t
he Rivers Ezeg and Vazhka he set up a chapel in honour of the Nativity of Christ
. The first monks gathering to him lived at the homes of their own lay-kinsmen,
so poor was the monastery. After tsar Mikhail Feodorovich (1613-1645) conferred
lands with fishing rights, the monk built a church and monastic cells. On 5 Augu
st 1628, when all the brethren were off making hay, robbers attacked the monaste
ry. After terrible tortures in their demands for him to open the monastery treas
ury, the robbers beheaded the Monk Job. Finding nothing at all, they fled. The b
rethren upon returning buried the body of the monkmartyr with honour. Local reve
rence of the Monk Job as a saint of God began soon after his death, because of n
umerous miracles (in the XVII Century about 50 such were known of). The first ic
on was written in 1658, and his vita-life in the 1660's. And about this time a c
hapel was built over the relics of the monk, and rebuilt afterwards by blessing
of the Kholmogorsk archbishop Athanasii as a church in honour of the same-name s
aint Righteous Job the Much-Suffering (Comm. 6 May; and on this day the Church h
as established to also remember the Monk Job of Ushel'sk). On 3 November 1739 th
e relics of the Monk Job were witnessed to by archbishop Varsonophii, with in ev
idence the singing of a molieben to the saint. Thus there was made his glorifica
tion. The image of the Monk Job is written thus: "Similarly greyed, a beard like
Alexander of Svirsk, in the garb of the monastic schemamonk, and in his hands a
scroll upon which is written: "Fear not those murdering of the body, the soul t
hey cannot kill"".
The Martyr Pontius lived during the III Century, the son of a pagan Roma
n senator named Marcus and his wife Julia. While with child, Julia had gone with
her husband to the pagan temple of Jupiter. The devil, inhabiting the temple, s
houted from the lips of the pagan priest that the boy in Julia's womb would dest
roy Jupiter and his pagan temple. When the boy was born, his mother wanted to ki
ll him out of fear of the prediction, but his father opposed this and the child
was left to live. He was named Pontius, and he grew up sharp of mind and keen fo
r study. On his way to the pagan school Pontius happened to go past an house, wh
ere Christians were making the morning Divine-services. Hearing the words of the
psalm which the Christians were singing: "pagan idols be silver and gold, the w
orks of the hands of men..." (Ps. 113: 12 [115: 4]). Pontius became very interes
ted in this verse and he paused at the gate. Pope Pontian, who was making the se
rvice, invited Pontius and his companion Valerian to come in. After the service,
the pope talked for a long while with the youths, revealing to them the Gospel
teachings, and after a certain while he baptised them. Saint Pontius in turn lik
ewise converted his father to Christ, whom Pope Pontian also baptised, together
with his whole household. And after the death of his father, Saint Pontius, then
20 years old, was appointed by the emperor Alexander Severus (222-235) as a sen
ator, to take the place of his deceased father. In the Senate and the surroundin
gs of the emperor, Saint Pontius enjoyed universal esteem for his good nature, s
ound sense and fairness. Under the successor to the emperor Alexander Severus -Maximian (235-238), Pope Saint Pontian finished his life as a martyr (+ 235).
Pope Saint Antherus was elected Bishop of Rome in place of Pope Saint Po
ntian, and he too soon accepted suffering and death for Christ (+ 236). His succ
essor was Pope Saint Fabian (Fabius), who as a presbyter fearlessly gave burial
to the bodies of martyrs. Pope Saint Fabian loved Saint Pontius as though he wer
e his own flesh and blood son. Saint Pontius distributed with Saint Fabian all h
is substance on the needs of the poor. After the perishing of impious Maximian,
the new emperor Gordian (238-244) did not persecute Christians, and thereafter i
n turn the emperor Philip (244-249) together with his co-regent son Philip was p
ersuaded by the conversations and preaching of Saint Pontius to believe in Chris
t and to accept Baptism from holy Pope Fabian. With the permission of the empero
rs, Saints Pontius and Fabian threw down the statue of Jupiter at the pagan temp
le and on this place built a church. For 4 years the Church of Christ dwelt in p
eace and tranquility. But then Decius (249-251) ascended the throne, having orga
nised a rebellion and murdered the emperor Philip and his son. And during this t

ime Sainted Fabian, Pope of Rome (+ 250), accepted death for Christ. But Saint P
ontius left Rome for the city of Cimelum (on the border of Italy and Gaul-France
) and lived there like a stranger. During the time of the emperor Valerian (253259), cruel torturers were sent out with full authority to all ends to seek out
and kill all Christians. And thus Claudius and Anubius arrived in the city of Ci
melum for this purpose. Saint Pontius fearlessly confessed himself a Christian a
nd refused to offer sacrifice to idols. They shackled him in irons and threw him
in prison. From the very beginning of the torture the saint calmly admonished t
he torturers, that the Lord would bring to naught the torture and they would see
the power of God. And indeed, as soon as the servants attempted to tie Saint Po
ntius to the rack, it fell apart to pieces, and the torturers fell to the ground
as though dead.
"Be convinced, O man of little faith, in the power of my Lord", -- said
Saint Pontius to Claudius, but on the advice of Anubius he gave Saint Pontius ov
er to be devoured by two bears in the circus. The wild beasts, while not touchin
g the saint, fell instead upon their keepers and tore at them. The spectators be
gan to shout: "God only is the Christian God, in Whom believeth Pontius". By ord
er of the torturers a bon-fire was built, but it burnt out, and the saint remain
ed alive, and even his clothes did not burn. The crowd shouted all the more stro
ngly: "Great is the God of the Christians!" Saint Pontius then was sentenced to
beheading by the sword, and the execution was made out beyond the city in the ye
ar 257. The body of Saint Pontius was given burial at the place of execution by
his comrade and friend Valerian.
Saint Nonna, the mother of Sainted Gregory the Theologian (i.e. Gregory
of Nazianzus, + 25 January 389), was the daughter of Christians named Philotatos
and Gorgonia. Saint Nonna was also an aunt of Sainted Amphylokhios, Bishop of I
conium (Comm. 23 November). Her parents raised her in Christian piety. Saint No
nna entered into marriage with Gregory of Arianzus, the rich landowner of an est
ate in the Arianzus and Nazianzus districts. The marriage was advantageous by ea
rthly considerations, but grievous for the pious soul of Nonna. Her husband Greg
ory of Arianzus was a pagan, a follower of the sect of the Supremists (Hypsistar
ii), under which he venerated a supreme god and observed certain Jewish rituals,
while at the same time he worshipped fire. Pious Nonna prayed much, that her sp
ouse should turn to the holy truth. Saint Nonna's son, Saint Gregory the Theolog
ian, wrote thus about this: "This was something she could not calmly bear, that
the one half be conjoined with God, whilst the other part itself -- should remai
n apart from God. On the contrary, she wanted, that to the fleshly union there s
hould also apply a spiritual union. Wherefore both day and night she recoursed t
o God, with fasting and many a tear she besought Him to grant the salvation of h
er husband". Through the prayers of Saint Nonna, her husband Gregory had a dream
vision in his sleep. "It seemed to my father, -- writes Saint Gregory, -- as th
ough he (which never before had he done, though many a time his wife had sought
and asked it), it seemed as though he was singing the following verse of David:
I was glad when they said of me, let us go into the house of the Lord (Ps. 121 [
122]: 1). The singing itself was unprecedented, and moreover with the singing wa
s actually the desire to do so! When she heard about this, it was the fulfilling
of her wish, and profiting the moment, she explained the vision to good effect,
and in which was the complete truth". The elder Gregory went to the First OEcum
enical Council at Nicea, where he made known his conversion to Christ. And he wa
s ordained presbyter and then bishop of Nazianzus and devoted himself totally to
the Church. At the same time as his ordination to bishop, his spouse Saint Nonn
a was made a deaconness. With the same zeal with which she had raised her childr
en, she now occupied herself in performing works of charity.
"She knew, -- says Saint Gregory the Theologian, -- one thing to be trul
y noble -- to be pious and to know, from whence we have come and whither we go;
and that there is one innate and trusty wealth -- to use up one's substance on G
od and on the poor, especially the impoverished kindred.
If one woman be distinguished for frugality, and another for piety, it b
eing difficult to combine both qualities, then she however excelled all both in

the one and in the other, and in each she attained the height of perfection, and
she had both combined as one in her. In her, the one quality could not suffer i
mpairment without the other, but rather each the other sustained. What time and
place of prayer ever eluded her? On this daily was her very first thought. Bette
r it be said, who, in setting about praying, had such trust to receive the besou
ght? But even more amazing is this, that she, although she might be powerfully s
haken by sorrows, even those of strangers, yet never did she give herself over t
o hollow wailing to the extent, that the voice of sorrow should win out over tha
nksgiving, or that the tears should fall endlessly, secretly sealing their mark,
or with the onset of the bright feast to remain in garb of sorrow, though there
befell her repeatedly many a sorrow. Wherein for the soul, out of a characteris
tic love for God, everything human was made subject to the Divine. I refrain fro
m speaking about her deeds more secret, which God alone hath witnessed and about
which perhaps knew her faithful servants, being in this her confidants".
The final years brought Saint Nonna many a sorrow. In the year 368 died
her younger son Caesarius, a young man, of brilliant expectations; and in the fo
llowing year died her daughter. The brave old woman bore these losses with a sub
mission to the will of God.
In the year 370 bishop Gregory, then already an old man already up in ag
e, participated in the ordination of Saint Basil the Great as Bishop of Caesarea
. Saint Nonna, who was somewhat younger than her husband, was likewise readied t
o enter into the next life, but through the prayers of her beloved son was prolo
nged her time on earth. "My mother, -- wrote her son, -- always was strong and b
rave, all her life she never complained of infirmities; but sickness had befalle
n her. From many a suffering, not mincing words, the least oppressive -- was an
aversion to food, continuing for many days and untreatable by any of the doctors
. How then did God sustain her? He did not send down manna, as to Israel of old;
He did not split open a rock, for a spring of water to issue forth for the thir
sty people; not through rambling words, as with Elias, not through a prophetic e
cstasy, as once with Daniel, languishing with hunger in the pit. But then in wha
t form? It seemed to her that I, her especially beloved son (she presupposed me
in her sleep to be no one else), that I had appeared to her suddenly by night wi
th a basket of the whitest bread, and then having pronounced prayer over these l
oaves and blessing them with the Sign of the Cross, as is our custom, I gave her
to eat, and with this her strength returned and increased. And this night-time
vision was for her something that actually happened, since she became herself ag
ain and was no longer an hopeless case. And what happened with her became appare
nt in a clear and evident manner. With the break of day I had gone to her early
in the morning, and for the first time saw her in her former fine condition, and
so I chanced as usual to ask: how was her night and did she need anything? With
out a bit of hesitation quite fluently she said: "Thou thyself, beloved son, hat
h fed me and now thou dost ask about my health. O, how good and caring thou art!
" At this moment her attendants motioned to me by gestures, that I should not co
ntradict her, but I have taken her words at face value and so that the actual tr
uth should not distress her".
Early in the year 374 reposed the hundred year old elder bishop Gregory.
Saint Nonna, after this almost never emerging from the church, soon after his d
eath died at prayer in the temple on 5 August 374.
Sainted Theoktist, Bishop of Chernigov, prior to entering upon the cathe
dra-chair, pursued an ascetic life at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. He was among
the number of the great startsi-elders, healing by prayer the Monk Nikita, afte
rwards Sainted Bishop of Novgorod (Comm. 31 January). In the year 1103 Saint The
oktist was made hegumen of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. In the year 1108 he bui
lt on the means of pious prince Gleb Vseslavich a stone refectory. Saint Theokti
st particularly insisted, that the name of the Monk Theodosii (Feodosii, Comm. 3
May), be included in the synodikon of the saints of all Russia. In the year 111
0, on 11 February, there was an heavenly apparition at the Pechersk monastery: a
pillar of fire from the ground to the sky appeared and lightning lighted up all
the earth, and at the 1st hour of the night there was the crash of thunder; the

fiery pillar stood over the stone refectory so that its cross was not visible;
afterwards it proceeded to the church and settled over the grave of the Monk The
odosii, and then, turning to the East, it disappeared. "This was not a pillar of
fire, but rather an angelic face, -- wrote the Monk Nestor the Chronicler, -- b
ecause an angel appears thus, when there is a pillar of fire, a flaming, as says
the Prophet David: Who maketh His angels spirits and His servants flames of fir
e" (Ps. 103 [104]: 4). In the year 1113 Saint Theoktist was ordained Bishop of C
hernigov. The PriestMartyr Monk Kuksha (Comm. 27 August), enlightening at this t
ime the Vyatichi, belonging to the Chernigov diocese. On 2 May 1115 Saint Theok
tist participated in the transfer of the relics of holy Princes Boris and Gleb t
o Vyshgorod, and later in Chernigov near his cathedral he consecrated a church i
n the name of the holy Princes Boris and Gleb, erected in the year 1120 by princ
e David of Chernigov. And to the noble Prince Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb the
saint made a sermon on the day of their memory. On 6 august 1123, the feast of
the Transfiguration, Saint Theoktist died, and because of the feastday, his memo
ry is made on 5 August. On one of the lists of the Saints it is said, that he wa
s buried at the Pechersk monastery. For the memory of Saint Theoktist believers
resort also to 28 September, when he is remembered in the 9th ode of the Canon o
f the Sobor-Assemblage of the Monastic Fathers of the Nearer Caves.
2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

Discourse of Sainted Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonika.
For an explanation of the present feastday and discernment of its truth, it is n
ecessary for us to turn to the very start of the present-day reading from the Go
spel: "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and John his brother, and le
adeth them up onto an high mountain apart" (Mt. 17: 1). First of all we mustneed
s ask, from whence doth the Evangelist Matthew begin to reckon with six days? Fr
om what sort of day be it? What does the preceding turn of speech indicate, wher
ein the Saviour, in teaching His disciples, didst say to them: "for the Son of M
an shalt come to be in the glory of His Father", and added further: "amen I tell
ye, there indeed be some standing here, which shalt not taste of death, until t
hey see the Son of Man come into His Kingdom" (Mt. 16: 27-28); -- that is to say
, it is the Light of His forthcoming Transfiguration which He terms as the Glory
of His Father and as His Kingdom. [trans. note: the Synoptic Gospel Mt. 16: 27
-28 parallel in the Gospel of Mark is Mk. 9: 1, familiar as the concluding verse
in Gospel readings for feastdays of the Holy Cross; the Synoptic parallel in Lu
ke is Lk. 9: 26-27]. The Evangelist Luke points this out and more clearly revea
ls this, saying: "And it came to pass however after these words, about eight day
s thereafter, He taketh Peter and John and James, and ascendeth onto a mountain
to pray. And it came to pass, that as He did pray, His Countenance was altered,
and His garb gleamed whitely resplendid" (Lk. 9: 28-29). But how can the two be
reconciled, when one of them speaks definitively about the interval of time as b
eing eight days between the sayings and the manifestation, whereas the other (sa
ys): "after six days"? Listen and think it out.
On the Mount there were eight, but only six were visible: the three -- P
eter, James and John, had come up together with Jesus, and they beheld Moses and
Elias (Elijah) standing there and conversing with Him, such that in number alto
gether they comprised six; but together with the Lord, certainly, were both the
Father and the Holy Spirit: the Father -- with His Voice testifying that This be
His Beloved Son, and the Holy Spirit -- shining forth with Him in the radiant c
loud. In such manner, these six consist actually of eight and as regards the eig

ht it presents no sort of contradiction; in similar manner there is no contradic

tion with the Evangelists, when one says: "after six days", and the other: "and
it came to pass after these words eight days thereafter". But these twofold sayi
ngs as it were present us a certain format set in mystery, and together with it
that of those actually present upon the Mount. It stands to reason, and everyone
rationally studying in concordance with Scripture knows, that the Evangelists a
re in agreement one with another: Luke spoke about the eight days without contra
dicting Matthew, who declared "after six days". There is not another day added o
n representing the day on which these sayings were uttered, nor likewise was the
re added on the day upon which the Lord was transfigured (which the rational per
son might reasonably imagine to tack on to the days of Matthew). The Evangelist
Luke does not say "after eight days" (like the Evangelist Matthew in saying "aft
er six days"), but rather "it came to pass eight days thereafter". But in what t
he Evangelists seem to contradict, they actually one and the other point out to
us something great and mysteried. In actual fact, why did the one say "after six
days", but the other in ignoring the seventh day have in mind the eighth day? I
t is because the great vision of the Light of the Transfiguration of the Lord is
a mystery of the Eighth Day, i.e. of a future age, coming about to be revealed
after the passing-away of the world created over the course of the six days. Abo
ut the power of the Divine Spirit, through the dignity of Which is to be reveale
d the Kingdom of God, the Lord forespake: ""There indeed be some standing here,
which shalt not taste of death, until they see the Kingdom of God come in power"
(Mk. 9: 1). Everywhere and in every way the King wilt be present, and everywher
e wilt be His Kingdom, since the advent of His Kingdom does not signify the pass
ing over from one place to another, but rather the revelation of its power of th
e Divine Spirit, wherein is said: "come in power". And this power is not manifes
t to simply ordinary people, but to those standing with the Lord, that is to say
, those affirmed in their faith in Him and like to Peter, James and John, and th
ose foremost of all free of our natural abasement. Therefore, and precisely beca
use of this, God manifests Himself upon the Mount, on the one hand coming down f
rom His heights, and on the other -- raising us up from the depths of abasement,
since that the Transcendent One takes on mortal nature. And certainly, such a m
anifest appearance by far transcends the utmost limits of the mind's grasp, as e
ffectualised by the power of the Divine Spirit.
And thus, the Light of the Transfiguration of the Lord is not something
that is born and vanishes nor is it subject to the faculties of sensation, altho
ugh it was contemplated by corporeal eyes over the course of a short while and u
pon an inconsequential mountaintop. But the mystery-initiates (the disciples) of
the Lord at this time passed beyond mere flesh into spirit by means of a transf
ormation of their sense-faculties, effectualised within them by Spirit, and in s
uch manner they beheld what, and to which extent the Divine spirit had wrought b
lessedness in them to behold -- the Ineffable Light. Those not grasping this poi
nt have conjectured, that the chosen from among the Apostles beheld the Light of
the Transfiguration of the Lord by a sensual and creaturely power (faculty), -and through this they attempt to reduce to a creaturely-level [i.e. as somethi
ng "created"] not only this Light, the Kingdom and the Glory of God, but also t
he Power of the Divine Spirit, through which it be mete for Divine mysteries to
be revealed. In all likelihood, suchlike persons have not attended to the words
of the Apostle Paul: "of which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor ascended in
the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for those that love Him. To us
however God hath revealed through His Spirit: for all things be scrutinised of S
pirit, even at the very depths of God" (1 Cor. 2: 9-10).
And thus, with the onset of the Eighth Day, the Lord, taking Peter, Jame
s and John, went up on the Mount to pray: He always either prayed alone, withdra
wing from everyone, even from the Apostles themselves, as for example when with
five loaves and two fish He fed the five thousand men, besides women and childre
n (Mt. 14: 19-23). Or, taking with Him the several that excelled others, as at t
he approach of His Saving Passion, when He said to the other disciples: "Sit ye
here whilst I go and pray thither" (Mt. 26: 36), -- He then took with Him Peter,
James and John. But in our instance right here and now, having taken only these

same three, the Lord led them up onto an high mountain apart and wast transfigu
red before them, that is to say, before their very eyes.
"What does it mean to say: He was transfigured?" -- asks the Gold-Worded
Theologian (Chrysostomos), and he answers this by saying: "it revealed, that is
, something of His Divinity to them -- as much and insofar as they were able to
apprehend it, and it showed the indwelling of God within Him". The Evangelist Lu
ke says: "And it came to pass, that as He prayed, the appearance of His Face was
altered" (Lk. 9: 29); and from the Evangelist Matthew we read: "And His Face di
d shine, like the sun" (Mt. 17: 2). But the Evangelist said this, not in the con
text that this Light be thought of as subsistent for the senses (let us put asid
e the blindness of mind of those, who can conceive of nothing higher than that,
known through the senses). Rather, it is to show that Christ God -- for those li
ving and contemplating by spirit -- is the same as how the sun is for those livi
ng in the flesh and contemplating by the senses: therefore some other Light for
the knowing of Divinity be not necessary for those who be enriched by Divine gif
ts. That selfsame Inscrutable Light did shine and mysteriously become manifest t
o the Apostles and foremost of the Prophets at that moment, when (the Lord) was
praying. This shows, that what begat this blessed sight was prayer, and that the
radiance happened and was manifest by an uniting of the mind with God, and that
it be granted to all who, amidst constant exercise in efforts of virtue and pra
yer, strive with their mind towards God. True beauty essentially can be contempl
ated only with a purified mind; diligently to gaze upon its luminance assumes a
sort of participation with it, as though some bright ray doth etch itself upon t
he face. Whereof even the face of Moses was illumined by his association with Go
d. Do you not know, that Moses was transfigured, when he went up the mountain, a
nd there beheld the Glory of God? But he (Moses) did not effect this, but rather
he underwent a transfiguration; however, our Lord Jesus Christ of Himself posse
ssed that Light. In this regard, actually, He did not have need for prayer for H
is flesh to radiate with the Divine Light; it is but to show, from whence that L
ight doth descend upon the Saints of God, and how to contemplate it -- since it
be written, that even the Saints "will shine forth, like the sun" (Mt. 13: 43),
which is to say, entirely permeated by Divine Light as they gaze upon Christ, Di
vinely and inexpressibly shining forth of His Radiance, issuing forth of His Div
ine Nature, and on Mount Tabor manifest also in His Flesh, by reason of the Hypo
static Union [i.e. the union of the two perfect natures, Divine and Human, with
in the Divine Person (Hypostasis) of Christ, the Second Person of the MostHoly T
rinity. The Fourth OEcumenical Council at Chalcedon defined this Hypostatic unio
n of Christ's two natures, Divine and Human, as "without mingling, without chang
e, without division, without separation" ("asugkhutos, atreptos, adiairetos, akh
We believe, that He manifest within the Transfiguration not some other m
anner of light, but only that which was concealed beneathe his exterior of flesh
. This Light was the Light of the Divine Nature, and as such it was Uncreated an
d Divine. So also, in the teachings of the theologian-fathers, Jesus Christ was
transfigured on the Mount, not taking upon Himself something new nor being chang
ed into something new, nor something which formerly He did not possess. Rather,
it was to show His disciples that which He already was, opening their eyes and r
endering them from blindness into sight. For do ye not see, that eyes with sight
in accord with natural things, would be blind as regards this Light?
And thus, this Light is not a light of the senses, and those contemplati
ng it do not simply see with sensual eyes, but rather they are changed by the po
wer of the Divine Spirit. They were transformed and only in such manner did they
see the transformation, transpiring amidst the very assumption of our perishabi
lity, with in place of this the deification through union with the Word of God.
And thus also She that miraculously conceived and gave birth did recognise, that
He born of Her is the Incarnated God. Thus too it was for Simeon, who but only
received hold of this Infant into his arms, and the Aged Anna, coming out [from
the Jerusalem Temple] for the Meeting -- since it was that the Divine Power did
illumine, as through a glass windowpane, giving light for all those having pure
eyes of heart.

And why indeed did the Lord, before the beginning of the Transfiguration
, choose the foremost of the Apostles and lead them up onto the Mount with Him?
Certainly, it was to show them something great and mysteried. What in particular
great or mysteried would there be in showing a sensory light, which not merely
the chosen-foremost but all the other Apostles already abundantly possessed? Why
would they need a transforming of their eyes by the power of the Holy Spirit fo
r a contemplation of this Light, if it [the Light] were merely sensory and creat
ed? How could the Glory and the Kingdom of the Father and the Holy Spirit projec
t forth in some sort of sensory light? Indeed, in what sort of like Glory and Ki
ngdom would Christ the Lord come at the end of the ages, when there wouldst not
be necessary anything in the air, nor in expanse, nor anything similar, but when
, in the words of the Apostle, "so that God will be all in all" (1 Cor. 15: 28),
that is to say, will He alter everything for all? If indeed so, then it follows
therefore to include -- light. And hence it is clear, that the Light of Tabor w
as a Divine Light. And the Evangelist John, inspired by Divine Revelation, says
clearly, that the future eternal and enduring city will not "require sun or moon
to provide it light: for the Glory of God wilt light it, and its luminary will
be -- the Lamb" (Apoc. [Rev.] 21: 23). Is it not clear, that he points out here
that This [Lamb] is Jesus, -- Who now upon Tabor is Divinely transfigured, and t
he flesh of Whom doth shine, -- is the luminary manifesting the Glory of Godhood
for those ascending the mountain with Him? The Theologian John says likewise ab
out the inhabitants of this city: "they will require light neither from lamps, n
or from the light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light, and there wilt
not be night henceforth" (Apoc. [Rev.] 22: 5). But how, we might ask, is there
this other light, of which "it be without change and without threat of darkness"
(James 1: 17)? What light is there that is constant and unsetting, unless it be
the Light of God? Moreover, could Moses and Elias (and particularly the former,
who clearly was present only in spirit, and not in flesh [Elias having ascended
bodily to Heaven on the fiery chariot]) be shining amidst any sort of sensory l
ight, and be seen and known? Especially since it was written about them: "they a
ppeared in Glory, and they spoke about His demise, which would come about at Jer
usalem" Lk. 9: 30-31). And how otherwise could the Apostles recognise those whom
they had never seen before, unless through the mysteried power of the Divine Li
ght, opening their mental eyes?
But let us not fatigue out our attention with the furthermost interpreta
tions of the words of the Gospel. We shall believe thus, as those same ones have
taught us, who themselves were enlightened by the Lord Himself, insofar as they
alone know this well: the mysteries of God, in the words of a prophet, are know
n to God alone and His perpetual proximity. Let us, considering the mystery of t
he Transfiguration of the Lord in accord with their teaching, ourselves strive t
o be illumined by this Light and encourage in ourselves love and striving toward
s the Unfading Glory and Beauty, purifying the spiritual eyes of worldly thought
s and refraining from perishable and quickly-passing delights and beauty, which
darken the garb of the soul and lead to the fire of Gehenna and everlasting dark
ness, of which let us be freed by the illumination and knowledge of the Incorpor
eal and Perpetually-Extant Light of our Saviour transfigured on Tabor, in His Gl
ory, and of His Father from all-eternity, and Life-Creating Spirit, of Whom be O
ne Radiance, One Godhead, and Glory, and Kingdom, and Power now and ever and unt
o ages of ages. Amen.
[Trans. Note Concerning the word "Transfiguration": In the opinion of th
is translator, the Slavonic word for Transfiguration, "Preobrazhenie", is theolo
gically more accurate and profound a term than the original Greek word "Metamorp
hosis" (or Latin "Transfiguratio"), which in English useage has assumed a religi
ously neutral and scientific connotation; culturally even the lurid short story
"Metamorphosis" of F. Kafka stifflingly depicts God-bereft worldly efforts at me
tamorphosis, i.e. a negative metamorphosis. Our English word derives obviously f
rom the Latin. A further theological irony is a point strongly made above in the
tract by Saint Gregory Palamas: it is not the Lord that was metamorphosised int
o something other or new, but rather the Apostles. Words in Latin and Greek tend
to shift in their appropriated meaning over the course of millennia, and probab

ly here too. The Slavonic term "Pre-Obrazhenie" would linguistically seem to sug
gest rendering as the "Primordial-Eternal-Image" of Christ as expressed in His P
rayer to the Father: "And now, Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine Own Self with
the Glory which I had with Thee before the world ever existed" (Jn. 17: 5). Thus
at the Transfiguration the Lord was manifest in the fulness of His Divine Glory
, which He had together with the Father in eternity, before the very creation of
the world, (sic) His Eternal Image and Glory.
Saint Gregory Palamas in his tract repetitively, again and again, return
s to the point of stressing the uncreatedness of the Transfiguration's Divine Li
ght, to the exclusion of much else. Why? It seems likely to be from his well-hon
ed defense of the Hesychiast Fathers against the theology of the Calabrian Schol
astic monk Barlaam, for whom the Light of Tabor would seem to have been a "creat
ed energy" rather than of the Divine Essence of God.
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
MONK HORUS (+ C. 390).
The Monk Dometios lived during the IV Century, and he was by birth a Per
sian. In his youthful years he was converted to the faith by a Christian named U
aros. Forsaking Persia, he withdrew to the frontier-city of Niziba (in Mesopotam
ia), where he accepted Baptism in one of the monasteries and was tonsured into m
onasticism. But then fleeing the ill-will of the monastery inhabitants, the Monk
Dometios moved on to the monastery of Saints Sergios and Bacchus in the city of
Theodosiopolis. The monastery was under the guidance of an archimandrite named
Nurbelos -- a strict ascetic, about whom it was reported, that over the course o
f 60 years he did not taste of cooked food, nor did he lay down for sleep, but r
ather took his rest standing up, supporting himself upon his staff. In this mona
stery the Monk Dometios was ordained to the dignity of deacon, but when the arch
imandrite decided to have him made a presbyter, the saint in reckoning himself u
nworthy hid himself away on a desolate mountain in Syria, in the region of Cyr.
Reports about him constantly spread about among the surrounding inhabitants. The
y began to come to him for healing and for help. Many a pagan was brought to the
faith in Christ by Dometios. And one time, in the locality where Saint Dometios
asceticised with his disciples, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) arriv
ed, journeying along on his campaign against the Persians. By order of the emper
or, soldiers searched out Saint Dometios praying with his disciples in a cave, a
nd stoned them to death (+ 363).
The Uncovering of the Relics of Sainted Mitrophan, Bishop of Voronezh (1
832): The memory of the deep piety and pastoral virtues of Saint Mitrophan (as s
chemamonk named Makarii) was revered as sacred at Voronezh, back from the time o
f his death (+ 23 November 1703). His successors, the Voronezh hierarchs, consid
ered it their sacred duty to annually make remembrance of the first-hierarch of
their flock, together with his parents, the priest Vasilii and Maria. The people
of Voronezh and its surroundings came to the Annunciation cathedral, where at t
he place of his burial panikhida memorial services were made. Contributing to th
e intense remembrance of Saint Mitrophan was also his deathbed last-will bidding
-- to make prayers for him. For this the saint even during his lifetime had bui
lt at the cathedral a chapel in honour of the holy Archangel Michael (the heaven
ly patron-saint of the saint's baptismal name), and in it a special priest made

early votive liturgies. Although new generations afterwards did not know the sai
nt, they likewise reverently venerated his memory. The veracity of the sainthood
of the first hierarch of the Voronezh diocese was likewise confirmed by his inc
orrupt relics, witnessed during the repeated transfers of them from one temple t
o another. And thus in the year 1718, the Voronezh metropolitan Pakhomii, in set
ting about the construction of a new cathedral, gave orders to demolish the old
Annunciation cathedral, during which time the body of Saint Mitrophan was tempor
arily transferred into the church of the Unburnt Bush [as seen by Moses]. In 173
5 the body of Saint Mitrophan was transferred into the new cathedral, during whi
ch time the non-decay of his relics was again witnessed. At the place of the bur
ial of the saint, panikhidas were customarily made for him.
With the year 1820 it was noticed, that the number of those venerating S
aint Mitrophan and thronging to Voronezh, had extraordinarily increased. Graced
signs also increased. The Voronezh archbishop Antonii II made repeated reports t
o the Holy Synod about miracles, and he petitioned for a resolution on the glori
fication to sainthood of the saint. The Holy Synod them prescribed watching for
bestowals of grace, received at the grave of Saint Mitrophan. In the year 1831,
after witnessing to the incorrupt body of the saint, archbishop Antonii together
with commission members of the Holy Synod -- the Yaroslavl' archbishop Evgenii
and archimandrite Germogen of the Moscow Saviour-Androniev monastery, became con
vinced in the miraculous intercession of Saint Mitrophan before the Throne of Go
d. The Holy Synod then issued its resolution adding Sainted Mitrophan into the r
anks of the Saints. Since then the Russian Church celebrates the memory of the s
aint twice during the year: 23 November -- on the day of repose, and on 7 August
-- on the day of glorification.
Archbishop Antonii II (1827-1846) established in the Voronezh also the f
ollowing feastdays in honour of Sainted Mitrophan: 4 June, in memory of Sainted
Mitrophanes, Patriarch of Tsar'grad-Constantinople, as a day of "tezoimenie" or
name-in-common for Saint Mitrophan of Voronezh; 2 April -- the saint's day of o
rdination to bishop (in 1682); 11 December -- the day of confirmation of the rel
ics of Saint Mitrophan (in 1831).
Saint Mitrophan left behind a spiritual last-testament. Its original is
preserved in the State Historical Museum. Upon the testament is the unique handw
ritten authoritative undersigning by the saint: "This spiritual dictate is attes
ted to by me... Bishop Mitrophan of Voronezh".
On the lower cover (inside) is a gloss inscription from the XVIII Centur
y: "This is the book of testament or last-will of the Voronezh schema-monk Makar
ii, written in the God-saved city of Voronezh, in the house of His Grave the bis
hop and schema-monk Makarii, who reposed in the month of November on the 23rd da
y in the year 1703, and was buried on the 4th day of December".
On the day preceding the Uncovering of the Relics of Saint Mitrophan, th
e Voronezh archbishop Antonii set about going to church, so as to lay out the ne
w archbishop vestments prepared for the relics. Suddenly he felt in himself such
a weakness, that he was barely able to go about his cell. Troubled by this, he
sat and pondered and then he heard a quiet voice: "Transgress not my legacy".
This he did not understand right away, and instead thinking about his ow
n plans, he gathered up his strength and opened the closet wherein were the vest
ments, and there he caught sight of the schema-garb, brought shortly before this
by some unknown monk, who had entrusted it to him and said, that it soon would
be needed.
Seeing this schema-garb, the Vladyka then realised, that the words, "Tra
nsgress not my legacy", was actually the will of Saint Mitrophan, that they not
place upon his relics the archbishop vestiture, but rather leave them in schemagarb, -- indicating by this and by his extreme humility the deep spiritual conne
ction with his schema-monk patronal saint, the Monk Makarii of Unzhensk.
The Monk Pimen the Much-Sick (XI Century) attained the Kingdom of Heaven
by way of grievous illness. This Russian ascetic was both born and grew up sick
ly. For a long while he besought his parents to send him off to the Kievo-Pecher
sk monastery. And when they brought their son to the famed monastery, they then

began in prayer to beseech health for him. But the sufferer himself, conscious o
f the high value of suffering, instead besought of the Lord both the continuatio
n of sickness, and likewise his tonsuring into monasticism. And herewith Angels
in the guise of monks made over him the rite of tonsure. Several of the brethren
heard the sound of singing, and coming to the Monk Pimen, they found him attire
d in monastic garb. In his hand he held a blazing candle, and his tonsured hair
could be seen at the crypt of the Monk Theodosii (Feodosii). The Monk Pimen spen
t many a year in grievous illness, such that those attending to him were bothere
d by it and often they left him without bread and water, but he endured everythi
ng with joy. Compassionate towards the brethren, the Monk Pimen healed a certain
crippled brother, having taken his word to be of service to the point of death.
But after a while the brother grew lax in his service, and his former ailment o
vertook him. The Monk Pimen again healed him with the advice, that both the sick
and those attending the sick receive equal reward. The Monk Pimen spent twenty
years in grievous sufferings. But three days before his death, as also an Angel
had earlier predicted, he became healthy. In church the monk took leave of all t
he brethren and communed the Holy Mysteries. Then, having bowed down before the
grave of Abba Antonii, the Monk Pimen pointed out the place for his burial and h
e himself carried to it an earlier prepared coffin. He pointed out there to the
buried, one after the other of the monks, and he predicted, that the brethren wo
uld find buried one in schema-garb to be without it, since this monk had led a l
ife unworthy of it; this other monk, who had been buried without the schema, wou
ld however be attired in it after death, since he had much wished this during hi
s life and he was worthy. After the death of the Monk Pimen, the brethren became
persuaded of the perspicacity of his words. On the day of the repose of the Mon
k Pimen, three fiery columns appeared over the refectory, and moved atop the chu
rch. A similar event was described in the chronicles under 11 February 1110 (Vid
e the 5 August commemoration of Sainted Theoktist of Chernigov), wherefore also
the day of demise of the Monk Pimen is surmised as occurring on 11 February 1110
The relics of the Monk Pimen rest in the Antoniev Cave.
A second commemoration of the saint is made on 28 September, together wi
th the Sobor-Assemblage of the Monks of the Nearer Caves.
The Monk Pimen, Faster of Pechersk, asceticised in the Farther Caves. Hi
s abstinence was such, that he tasted of food only once a day and only in the mo
st necessary quantity. His outward fasting corresponded to an inward abstemiousn
ess from any actions, thoughts or feelings, unpleasing to God. The Monk Pimen wa
s hegumen of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery from 1132 to 1141. A second commemorat
ion to the saint occurs on 28 August.
The Monk Merkurii of Pechersk, Bishop of Smolensk, asceticised at the Ne
arer Caves. The account about him is located under 24 November.
The Martyr Asterias lived during the reign of the pagan emperors Valeria
n (253-259) and his son Gallienus (260-268). Being a Roman senator, Asterias non
etheless held firmly to the Christian faith, in spite of the persecutions occurr
ing during those times. One time, being in Palestine, he came to the city of Cae
sarea Philippi, where by custom a pagan feast was made with the offering of sacr
ifice to an idol. The demon residing in the idol made the sacrifice become invis
ible, and this was looked upon as a great wonder. Saint Asterias by prayer expel
led the demon. The sacrifice ceased to become invisible, and the pagans ceased t
o make this impious solemnity. Saint Asterias also happened to be present at the
sufferings of the Martyr Marin (Comm. 16 December). When the execution was over
, he took off his senatorial garb, spread it upon the ground and wrapped in it t
he head and body of the Martyr Marin. On his own shoulders he carried the remain
s of the martyr to the graveyard and reverently consigned them to earth. For doi
ng this he was himself sentenced to death and beheaded in the year 260.
The Monk Horus (IV Century) in his youthful years withdrew into the Theb

aid wilderness and asceticised in complete solitude for many years, leading the
life of a strict hermit. Having gotten up in years, the Monk Horus was granted t
o see an Angel, which announced, that the Lord had destined him for the salvatio
n of the many people, who would seek his guidance.
After this, the monk began to accept everyone who came to him for advice
and help. The Lord granted him a gift of reading the Holy Scripture, despite th
e fact that the saint since childhood had not been taught reading and writing. G
radually around the Monk Horus there formed a large monastery, in which the holy
elder was the spiritual guide. The monk never entered the refectory for the tas
ting of food, nor ate of it on the day of partaking the Holy Mysteries. He often
taught the brethren by means of stories about the temptations, which might bese
t a monk living in solitude. But he always told it such that everyone would know
literally that it was in regard to wilderness-dwellers known to him. The monk c
oncealed his own ascetic exploits. One time, back when the saint still lived wit
h only one disciple, that one brought to his attention the approach of Holy Pasc
ha. The Monk Horus immediately stood up at prayer, and raising his hands, he sto
od thus for 3 days under the open sky, in contemplation of God. He thereupon exp
lained to his disciple, that for the monk every feastday, and especially Pascha,
consists in this -- to remove oneself from everything mundane,, and to come nig
h in heart and thought to God.
All the thoughts and doings of his disciples was revealed to the Monk Ho
rus, and no one dared to lie to him. Having survived well into old age, the Monk
Horus founded several monasteries, comprising altogether as many as 1,000 monas
tics. He died at age 90 in about the year 390.
The Monastic Martyress Potamia the Wonderworker died under the sword. Bu
t sometimes the saint is incorrectly listed as the Monk Potamius the Wonderworke
The Monk Dometios was an Athonite elder. He pursued silence at the Philo
theos monastery together with the MonkMartyr Damian the Philotheite (Comm. 23 Fe
bruary), who suffered under cruel tortures by the Turks in the year 1568.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
Sainted Emelian, Bishop of Kyzika, lived during the reign of the Iconocl
ast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820). He was summoned together with other bish
ops to the court of the emperor, who insistently urged the bishops to refrain fr
om the veneration of holy icons. Saint Emelian was the first firmly to answer th
e emperor, that the question about the veneration of holy icons ought to be disc
ussed and decided only within the Church by spiritual personages, and not at the
imperial court. In the year 815 he was sent to prison for the Orthodox faith, w
here he died as a confessor.
The Monk Gregory, Iconographer of Pechersk, was a colleague of the Monk
Alypii of Pechersk (Comm. 17 August). In the "Accounts about the holy iconograph
ers" it says, that he wrote many a wonderworking icon located throughout the Rus
sian Land. In the 9th Ode of the Canon of the Service to the Sobor-Assemblage of
the Kievo-Pechersk Monastics, Reposed within the Nearer Caves (Comm. 28 Septemb
er) -- the Monk Gregory is termed a "byzantine". This signifies possibly that he

was among the number of iconographers who had come from Constantinople to Kiev
for the embellishing of the Great Church of the monastery, in honour of the Dorm
ition-Uspenie of the MostHoly Mother of God.
The Transfer of the Relics of the Monks Zosima and Savvatii of Solovetsk
occurred on 8 August 1566, on the third day of the altar-feast of the Solovetsk
monastery of the Transfiguration (Preobrazhenie, Metamorphosis) of the Lord. Th
e relics of the saints were transferred into a chapel of the Preobrazhensk cathe
dral, built in their honour.
The account about the Monk Zosima is located under 17 April; the account
about the Monk Savvatii -- 27 September.
Sainted Myron, Bishop of Crete, a wonderworker, in his youth was a famil
y man, and worked at farming. He was known for his goodness, and he assisted eve
ryone who turned to him for help. One time a thieves burst in upon his threshing
floor, and Saint Myron himself helped them raise up a sack of grain upon their
shoulders. By his generosity the saint so shamed the thieves, that in future the
y began to lead honourable lives. Out of profound respect for the saint, the Cre
tan people urged him to accept the dignity of presbyter in his native city of Ra
ucia, and afterwards they chose him bishop of Crete. Wisely ruling his flock, Sa
int Myron received from the Lord the gift of wonderworking. At the time of a flo
od on the River Triton, the saint stopped its flow and went upon it as upon dry
land, and then he sent a man back to the river with his staff with a command for
the river to resume its course. Saint Myron reposed to God at age 100 in about
the year 350.
The Martyrs Eleutherias and Leonides were cast into a fire at a youthful
age during one of the persecutions against Christians.
The Monk Gregory the Sinaite was born in about the year 1268 in the seac
oast village of Clazomeneia near the city of Smyrna (Asia Minor), of rich parent
s. In about the year 1290 he was taken into captivity by the Hagarites and sent
off to Laodicea. After gaining his freedom, the saint arrived on the island of C
yprus, where he was tonsured a monk. He set off afterwards to Mount Sinai and th
ere assumed the great schema. Having fulfilled his obediences of cook and baker,
and then as writer-copyist, surpassing all in reading and knowledge of Scriptur
al and patristic books. The strictness of his life (fasting, vigil, psalmody, st
anding at prayer) brought some to astonishment and others to envy. Departing the
monastery, the monk visited Jerusalem. For some time he lived on the island of
Crete, and afterwards he made the rounds on Athos with its monasteries and ascet
ics. By such manner he acquired the experience of the monastic life of many cent
uries from the ancient monasteries. Only after this did the Monk Gregory the Sin
aite settle himself in a solitary place for "hesychia" ["mystic quiet" doing the
Jesus Prayer] -- a cell for silence and unhindered pursuit of mental prayer, co
mbined with hard monastic work.
The precious legacy of the Monk Gregory is in his precepts about the inn
er life, 15 chapters about silence, and 142 chapters about the commandments, whe
re he says, that "one seeking to comprehend the commandments without fulfilling
them, and through study and reading to find that which is desired, is like a man
imagining a fantasy in place of truth". The monk is reknown also as a remarkabl
e writer of song, -- to him is ascribed the "Mete it is in truth" ("Dostoino est
vo istinu"), and a canon to the MostHoly Trinity read at Sunday vigil, and a ca
non to the holy Cross. In a canon-book (from the year 1407) of the Monk Kirill (
Cyril) of Belozersk (+ 9 June 1427) is found the "Canon of propitiation to the L
ord Jesus Christ, -- a work of Gregory the Sinaite". Through his concern for the
spreading of monastic deeds, the monk founded several cells on Athos, and also
four laura-monasteries in Thrace. The Monk Gregory the Sinaite died in the year
1310 (some historians suggest the year 1346) at his so-called "Concealed" ("Para
riseia") monastery, founded in the mountains of Macedonia for the strict followe
rs of his life.

The Martyr Triandaphilos, a native of Transmondane Thessalonika, was beh

eaded by the Turks at Constantinople in the year 1680 for his refusal to reject
Christ and accept Islam.
The Tolgsk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God appeared on 8 August 1314
to the Rostov Sainted-hierarch Prokhor (schema-name Tryphon). Going about his di
ocese, the saint visited the Belozersk environs and set off from there and set o
ff thither nigh along the banks of the Rivers Sheksna and Volga, to Yaroslavl'.
Having stopped with the approach of night 7 versts distant from Yaroslavl', at t
he right bank of the Volga River there flows opposite into it the River Tolga. A
t midnight, when everyone was asleep, the saint awoke and saw a bright light ill
uminating the surroundings. The light proceeded from a fiery column on the other
bank of the river, to which there stretched a bridge. Taking up his staff, the
saint went across to the other bank, and having approached the fiery column, he
beheld on it the icon of the MostHoly Mother of God, suspended in the air. Asto
nished at the miracle, the saint prayed for a long time, and when he returned ba
ck, he forgot to take his staff.
The next day, after making matins, when Saint Prokhor was preparing to c
ontinue his journey by boat, they began to search for his staff, but they were n
ot able to find it anywhere. The saint then remembered, that he had forgotten hi
s staff on the other bank of the river, whither he had gone across on the miracu
lous bridge. He then told about what had occurred, and sending servants across o
n a boat to the other shore, they came back and reported the news, that in the f
orest amidst the trees they had seen an icon of the Mother of God, next to his b
ishop's staff. The saint quickly crossed over with all his retinue to the opposi
te shore, and he recognised the icon that had appeared to him. Then after ferven
t prayer in front of the icon, they cleared the forest at that place, and put do
wn the foundations of a church. When the people of Yaroslavl' learned of this, t
hey came out to the indicated spot. By midday the church was already built, and
in the evening the saint consecrated it in honour of the Entrance ("Vvedenie") i
nto the Temple of the MostHoly Mother of God, and having installed the icon ther
e he established a feastday on the day of its appearance. Saint Prokhor later bu
ilt near this church the Tolgsk monastery. Sainted Prokhor died on 7 September 1
On this day also are commemorated 10 Egyptian Ascetics -- having died at
sea, and 2 Tyrian Martyrs -- dragged over the ground.
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
The Holy Apostle Matthias was born at Bethlehem, and was a descendent of
the Tribe of Judah. From his early childhood he studied the Law of God in accor
d with the Books of Scripture under the guidance of Saint Simeon the God-Receive
r. When the Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself to the world, Saint Matthias beli
eved in Him as the Messiah, followed constantly after Him and was numbered among
st the Seventy Disciples, whom the Lord "did send by twos before His face" (Lk.
10: 1). After the Ascension of the Saviour, Saint Matthias was chosen by lot to
replace amongst the 12 Apostles the fallen-away Judas Iscariot (Acts 1: 15-26).
After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Matthias preached the Gospel a
t Jerusalem and in Judea together with the other Apostles (Acts 6: 2, 8: 14). Fr

om Jerusalem he went with the Apostles Peter and Andrew to Syrian Antioch, and w
as in the Cappadocian city of Tianum and Sinope. Here the Apostle Matthias was l
ocked into prison, from which he was miraculously freed by the Apostle Andrew th
e First-Called. The Apostle Matthias journeyed after this to Amasia, a city on t
he shore of the sea. During a 3 year journey of the Apostle Andrew, Saint Matthi
as was with him at Edessa and Sebasteia. According to Church tradition, he was p
reaching at Pontine AEthiopia (presently Western Gruzia / Georgia) and Macedonia
. He was frequently subjected to deadly peril, but the Lord preserved him alive
to further preach the Gospel. One time pagans forced the apostle to drink a pois
on potion. The apostle drank it and not only did he himself remain unharmed, but
he also healed other prisoners which had been blinded by the potion. When Saint
Matthias left the prison, the pagans searched for him in vain -- since he had b
ecome invisible to them. Another time, when the pagans had become enraged intend
ing to kill the apostle, the earth opened up and engulfed them. The Apostle Matt
hias returned to Judea and did not cease with the enlightening of his countrymen
with the light of Christ's teachings. He worked great miracles in the Name of t
he Lord Jesus and he converted a great many to faith in Christ. The Jewish HighPriest Ananias hated Christ and earlier had commanded the Apostle James, Brother
of the Lord, to be flung down from the heights of the Temple, and now he ordere
d that the Apostle Matthias be arrested and brought for judgement before the San
hedrin at Jerusalem. The impious Ananias uttered a speech in which he blasphemou
sly slandered the Lord. By way of answer, the Apostle Matthias pointed out in th
e prophesies of the New Testament, that Jesus Christ -- is the True God, the Mes
siah promised Israel by God, the Son of God, Consubstantial and Co-Eternal with
God the Father. After these words the Apostle Matthias was sentenced to death by
the Sanhedrin and stoned. When Saint Matthias was already dead, the Jews, to hi
de their malefaction, cut off his head as being an enemy of Caesar. (According t
o several historians, the Apostle Matthias was crucified on a cross, and indicat
e that he instead died at Colchis). The Apostle Matthias received the martyr's c
rown of death for Christ in about the year 63.
The Martyr Anthony, a native of the city of Alexandria, was a Christian.
For his confession of faith they tied him to a tree and tore at his body with i
ron, and then sentenced him to burning. Standing already amidst the bon-fire, he
calmly exhorted those standing about to toil not for body for soul in aspiring
towards God. After the bon-fire flared up, the body of the saint remained unharm
ed. The time of his end is unknown.
The Monk Psoe was a disciple of the Monk Pakhomios the Great (Comm. 15 M
ay) and lived during the IV Century in the Egyptian wilderness.
The Martyrs Julian, Marcian, John, James, Alexis, Demetrios, Photios, Pe
ter, Leontios, Maria the Patrician, the Protospatharion ("Sword-Captain") Gregor
y and Others suffered for holy icons in the year 730 under the Iconoclast empero
r Leo the Isaurian (717-741). The emperor deposed the holy Patriarch Germanos (7
15-730) from the patriarchal throne and sent him off to prison, raising up onto
the patriarchal throne the iconoclast Athanasias (730-753). By decree of the emp
eror, all icons were to be confiscated from homes and churches and then destroye
d. At Constantinople from the time of the holy nobleborn emperor Constantine the
Great (324-337) there was over the so-called "Copper Gates" a wonderworking ico
n of the Saviour, wrought from copper. The emperor and heretic-patriarch Anastas
ias gave orders to seize this icon. The gathered crowd became outraged at this s
acrilege. And in the crowd was the Patrician Maria, a woman of illustrious famil
y, who with many others rushed to the ladder and pulled it from the wall to keep
the soldier from touching the icon. The ladder came down, and the soldier stand
ing on it fell to his death. This occurred on 19 January 730. The Protospatherio
n ("Sword-Captain") Gregorios and the Martyr-Nun Theodosia (Comm. 29 May) also t
ook part in the defense of the icon. Learning of this, the emperor gave over to
death a multitude of the faithful -- the names and number of which are known onl
y to the Lord. The Protospatherion Gregory also received a martyr's death. But t

here are known some of the Orthodox among those -- Julian, Marcian, John, James,
Alexis, Demetrios, Leontios, Photios and Peter -- who were locked up in prison
and kept there for about 8 months, each day being beaten with 500 blows; in thes
e torments they remained alive by the power of Christ and bravely endured their
sufferings. By order of the emperor were burnt with red-hot iron and their heads
cut off. Saint Maria the Patrician, who had not been locked up in prison, learn
ing about the approaching executions, voluntarily accepted a martyr's death. The
bodies of the martyrs were buried in a pelagic (seashore) area near the church
of the holy Mary Theodore and were uncovered unperished 139 years later.
The Monk Makarii of Oredezhsk was a student of the Monk Alexander of Svi
rsk (+ 30 August 1533). He pursued asceticism at the River Oredezha at Lake Lado
ga, where he founded a monastery. He died in the year 1532.
The Restoration of the Temple of the 40 Martyrs is celebrated on this da
y. At Tsar'grad two churches were built to them: one, by the emperor Anastasias
I (491-518), and the other, by the emperor Tiberius (578-582). For this feastday
is known a service in the Greek Meneion of the XIII Century.

1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


The Holy Apostle Matthias was born at Bethlehem, and was a descendent of
the Tribe of Judah. From his early childhood he studied the Law of God in accor
d with the Books of Scripture under the guidance of Saint Simeon the God-Receive
r. When the Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself to the world, Saint Matthias beli
eved in Him as the Messiah, followed constantly after Him and was numbered among
st the Seventy Disciples, whom the Lord "did send by twos before His face" (Lk.
10: 1). After the Ascension of the Saviour, Saint Matthias was chosen by lot to
replace amongst the 12 Apostles the fallen-away Judas Iscariot (Acts 1: 15-26).
After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Matthias preached the Gospel a
t Jerusalem and in Judea together with the other Apostles (Acts 6: 2, 8: 14). Fr
om Jerusalem he went with the Apostles Peter and Andrew to Syrian Antioch, and w
as in the Cappadocian city of Tianum and Sinope. Here the Apostle Matthias was l
ocked into prison, from which he was miraculously freed by the Apostle Andrew th
e First-Called. The Apostle Matthias journeyed after this to Amasia, a city on t
he shore of the sea. During a 3 year journey of the Apostle Andrew, Saint Matthi
as was with him at Edessa and Sebasteia. According to Church tradition, he was p
reaching at Pontine AEthiopia (presently Western Gruzia / Georgia) and Macedonia
. He was frequently subjected to deadly peril, but the Lord preserved him alive
to further preach the Gospel. One time pagans forced the apostle to drink a pois
on potion. The apostle drank it and not only did he himself remain unharmed, but
he also healed other prisoners which had been blinded by the potion. When Saint
Matthias left the prison, the pagans searched for him in vain -- since he had b
ecome invisible to them. Another time, when the pagans had become enraged intend
ing to kill the apostle, the earth opened up and engulfed them. The Apostle Matt
hias returned to Judea and did not cease with the enlightening of his countrymen
with the light of Christ's teachings. He worked great miracles in the Name of t

he Lord Jesus and he converted a great many to faith in Christ. The Jewish HighPriest Ananias hated Christ and earlier had commanded the Apostle James, Brother
of the Lord, to be flung down from the heights of the Temple, and now he ordere
d that the Apostle Matthias be arrested and brought for judgement before the San
hedrin at Jerusalem. The impious Ananias uttered a speech in which he blasphemou
sly slandered the Lord. By way of answer, the Apostle Matthias pointed out in th
e prophesies of the New Testament, that Jesus Christ -- is the True God, the Mes
siah promised Israel by God, the Son of God, Consubstantial and Co-Eternal with
God the Father. After these words the Apostle Matthias was sentenced to death by
the Sanhedrin and stoned. When Saint Matthias was already dead, the Jews, to hi
de their malefaction, cut off his head as being an enemy of Caesar. (According t
o several historians, the Apostle Matthias was crucified on a cross, and indicat
e that he instead died at Colchis). The Apostle Matthias received the martyr's c
rown of death for Christ in about the year 63.
The Martyr Anthony, a native of the city of Alexandria, was a Christian.
For his confession of faith they tied him to a tree and tore at his body with i
ron, and then sentenced him to burning. Standing already amidst the bon-fire, he
calmly exhorted those standing about to toil not for body for soul in aspiring
towards God. After the bon-fire flared up, the body of the saint remained unharm
ed. The time of his end is unknown.
The Monk Psoe was a disciple of the Monk Pakhomios the Great (Comm. 15 M
ay) and lived during the IV Century in the Egyptian wilderness.
The Martyrs Julian, Marcian, John, James, Alexis, Demetrios, Photios, Pe
ter, Leontios, Maria the Patrician, the Protospatharion ("Sword-Captain") Gregor
y and Others suffered for holy icons in the year 730 under the Iconoclast empero
r Leo the Isaurian (717-741). The emperor deposed the holy Patriarch Germanos (7
15-730) from the patriarchal throne and sent him off to prison, raising up onto
the patriarchal throne the iconoclast Athanasias (730-753). By decree of the emp
eror, all icons were to be confiscated from homes and churches and then destroye
d. At Constantinople from the time of the holy nobleborn emperor Constantine the
Great (324-337) there was over the so-called "Copper Gates" a wonderworking ico
n of the Saviour, wrought from copper. The emperor and heretic-patriarch Anastas
ias gave orders to seize this icon. The gathered crowd became outraged at this s
acrilege. And in the crowd was the Patrician Maria, a woman of illustrious famil
y, who with many others rushed to the ladder and pulled it from the wall to keep
the soldier from touching the icon. The ladder came down, and the soldier stand
ing on it fell to his death. This occurred on 19 January 730. The Protospatherio
n ("Sword-Captain") Gregorios and the Martyr-Nun Theodosia (Comm. 29 May) also t
ook part in the defense of the icon. Learning of this, the emperor gave over to
death a multitude of the faithful -- the names and number of which are known onl
y to the Lord. The Protospatherion Gregory also received a martyr's death. But t
here are known some of the Orthodox among those -- Julian, Marcian, John, James,
Alexis, Demetrios, Leontios, Photios and Peter -- who were locked up in prison
and kept there for about 8 months, each day being beaten with 500 blows; in thes
e torments they remained alive by the power of Christ and bravely endured their
sufferings. By order of the emperor were burnt with red-hot iron and their heads
cut off. Saint Maria the Patrician, who had not been locked up in prison, learn
ing about the approaching executions, voluntarily accepted a martyr's death. The
bodies of the martyrs were buried in a pelagic (seashore) area near the church
of the holy Mary Theodore and were uncovered unperished 139 years later.
The Monk Makarii of Oredezhsk was a student of the Monk Alexander of Svi
rsk (+ 30 August 1533). He pursued asceticism at the River Oredezha at Lake Lado
ga, where he founded a monastery. He died in the year 1532.
The Restoration of the Temple of the 40 Martyrs is celebrated on this da
y. At Tsar'grad two churches were built to them: one, by the emperor Anastasias

I (491-518), and the other, by the emperor Tiberius (578-582). For this feastday
is known a service in the Greek Meneion of the XIII Century.

ITUS, ROMANUS (+ 258).
The Martyrs ArchDeacon Lawrence, Pope Sixtus, Deacons Felicissimus and A
gapitus, the Soldier Romanus, -- Romans, suffered in the year 258 under the empe
ror Valerian. Holy Pope Sixtus, born at Athens, received a fine education, preac
hed in Spain and was made bishop in Rome following the martyr's death of Holy Po
pe Stephen (253-257, Comm. 2 August). these were times when a pope occupying the
Roman throne, was known to choose death for the faith. In a short while Saint S
ixtus also was arrested and put in prison together with his deacons Felicissimus
and Agapitus. When the holy archdeacon Lawrence visited Pope Sixtus, whom they
held in prison, he cried out with tears: "Whither art thou gone, father? Why has
t thou forsaken thine archdeacon, with whom always thou hast offered the Bloodle
ss Sacrifice? Take thy son with thee, that I may be thy companion in having bloo
d shed for Christ!" Saint Sixtus answered him: "I have not forsaken thee, my son
. I am old and go to an easy death, but yet greater sufferings await thee. Know,
that after three days upon our death thou shalt follow after me. And now go, ta
ke the church treasury and distribute it to the poor and needy Christians". Sain
t Lawrence zealously did the bidding of the sainted-hierarch.
Having heard, that Pope Sixtus had been taken to trial with the deacons,
Saint Lawrence went there so as to witness their deed, and he said to the saint
ed-bishop: "Father, I have already fulfilled thy command, and distributed by han
d thine treasury; forsake me not!" Hearing something about treasure, soldiers pu
t him under guard, and the other martyrs were beheaded (+ 6 August 258). The emp
eror locked up Saint Lawrence in prison and ordered the chief jailer Hyppolitus
to keep watch over him. In prison Saint Lawrence with prayer healed the sick gat
hered together with him and he baptised many. Astonished by this, Hyppolitus him
self believed and accepted Baptism from Saint Lawrence together with all his hou
sehold. Soon the archdeacon Lawrence was again brought to the emperor and comman
ded to produce the hidden treasure. Saint Lawrence answered: "Give me a period o
f three days, and I shalt show thee this treasure". During this time the saint g
athered up a crowd of the poor and the sick, who ate only because of the charity
of the Church, and bringing them he explained: "Here are the vessels in which i
s contained the treasure. And everyone, who puts their treasure in these vessels
, will receive them in abundance in the Heavenly Kingdom".
After this they gave Saint Lawrence over to fierce tortures, urging him
to worship idols. The martyr was scourged (with a fine iron flail with sharp nee
dles), they burned his wounds with fire, and struck at him with metal switches.
At the time of the martyr's suffering, the soldier Romanus suddenly cried out: "
Saint Lawrence, I behold a bright youth, who standeth about thee healing thy wou
nds. Beseech thy Lord Christ not to forsake me!" After this they stretched Saint
Lawrence on a rack and returned him to prison to Hyppolitus. Romanus brought th
ere a waterpot with water and besought the martyr to baptise him. And immediatel
y after the Baptism of the soldier, he was beheaded (+ 9 August). When they took
Saint Lawrence to his final torture, Saint Hyppolitus wanted to declare himself
a Christian and die together with him, but the confessor said: "Conceal for now
thy confession in thy heart. After some length of time I shall summon thee, and
thou shalt hear and come unto me. Weep not for me, but rather rejoice, for I go
to receive a glorious crown of martyrdom". They placed him in an iron cage, und
er which they set an intense fire, and the flames of the bon-fire flicked toward
s the body of the martyr. Saint Lawrence, glancing at the governor, said: "Here
now, ye do burn only but one side of my body, turn over the other and do my whol
e body". Dying, he uttered: "I thank Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, that Thou hast acc
ounted me worthy to enter into Thy gates", -- and with these words he gave up th

e spirit.
Saint Hyppolitus took the body of the martyr by night, he wrapped it in
a shroud with ointments and gave it over to the priest Justin. Over the relics o
f the martyr in the home of the widow Kyriakia they made an all-night vigil and
Divine Liturgy. All the Christians present partook of the Holy Mysteries and wit
h honour they buried the body of the holy martyr Archdeacon Lawrence in a cave o
n 10 August 258. Saint Hyppolitus and other Christians suffered three days after
the death of Saint Lawrence (13 August), as he had foretold them of this.
Blessed Lavrentii, Fool-for-Christ and Kaluzhsk Wonderworker, lived at t
he beginning of the XVI Century at the distance of an half-verst from old Kaluga
near a forest church in honour of the Nativity of Christ, set upon an high hill
There was a long underground entrance from his dwelling to the church, w
here he heard Divine-services. He lived also at the home of the Kaluzhsk prince
Simeon Ioannovich. It is conjectured, that Blessed Lavrentii was descended from
the noble Khitrov boyar lineage, since his name initiates their lineage memorial
at the Peremyshl'sk Liotykov monastery, situated in the Kaluzhsk diocese. Bless
ed Lavrentii went barefoot both winter and summer, in a shirt and sheepskin coat
. By the deeds of his own doing he so raised himself up, that while still alive
he was glorified by gifts of grace.
When the Crimean Tatars fell upon Kaluga in May 1512, Blessed Lavrentii,
then in the home of the prince, suddenly shouted out in a loud voice: "Give me
my sharp axe, for the curs fall upon prince Simeon and it is necessary to defend
him!" Saying this, he seized the axe and left. Suddenly having come on board sh
ip next the prince, Righteous Lavrentii inspired and encouraged the soldiers, an
d in that very hour they defeated the enemy. He is depicted in icons with an axe
in his right hand, set upon a long axe-handle. It is certain that prince Simeon
(+ 1518), owing him his safety, built in his memory a monastery on the place of
the saint's deeds.
Blessed Lavrentii died on 10 August 1515, evidently, on his nameday. It
is known, that the memory of the saint is honoured also on 8 July.
Blessed Lavrentii was glorified, it seems, in the second half of the XVI
Century. Thus, tsar Ivan the Terrible in a gramota of donation to the monastery
(1565) wrote: "Monastery of the Nativity of Christ, wherein lieth Lavrentii, Fo
ol-for-Christ". In the Life, the first posthumous miracle is recorded under the
year 1621 -- the healing of the paralysed boyar Kologrivov, who became well afte
r doing a molieben to the saint.
1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
AVES (+ 1098).
The Martyr Archdeacon Euplus suffered in the year 304 under the emperors
Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (284-305). He served in the Sicilian city of
Catania. Always carrying the Gospel with him, Saint Euplus preached constantly t
o the pagans about Christ. One time, while he read and explained the Gospel to t
he gathered crowd, they arrested him and took him to the governor of the city, C
alvisianus. Saint Euplus confessed himself a Christian and denounced the impiety
of idol-worship. For this they sentenced him to torture. They threw the injured

saint into prison, where he dwelt at prayer for 7 days. The Lord issued forth a
spring of water into the prison to the martyr for the quenching of his thirst.
Brought to trial a second time, strengthened and rejoicing, he again confessed h
is faith in Christ and denounced the torturer for spilling the blood of innocent
Christians. The judge commanded to tear off the ears and chop off the head of t
he saint. When they led the saint to execution, they hung the Gospel on his neck
. Having implored time for prayer, the archdeacon began again to read and explai
n the Gospel to the people. Many of the pagans believed in Christ. The soldiers
took hold of the archdeacon and beheaded him with a sword.
The MonkMartyrs Feodor (Theodore) and Vasilii (Basil) of Pechersk pursue
d asceticism in the XI Century in the Nearer Caves of Kiev. Saint Feodor distrib
uted his riches to the poor, set off to the monastery and settled into the Varan
gian Cave, adjoining the Caves of the Monk Feodosii (Theodosii). He dwelt here m
any years in strict temperance. When the enemy sowed sorrow in him about the giv
ing away of his possessions, Saint Vasilii comforted him: "I implore thee, broth
er Feodor, forget not the reward; if thou wish possessions, take everything that
is mine". The Monk Feodor repented himself and dearly loved as a friend the Mon
k Vasilii, with whom he lived in the cell. One time the Monk Vasilii during the
course of three months was on a monastic errand outside the monastery. The devil
, having assumed his form, appeared to the Monk Feodor and indicated that there
was a treasure, hidden somewhere in the cave by robbers. The monk wanted still t
o leave the monastery to buy possessions to live in the world. But when the Monk
Vasilii returned, the demonic illusion disappeared. From that time the Monk Feo
dor started to be more attentive to himself. In order not to be distracted by id
le thoughts during moments of inactivity, he set up for himself a millstone and
by night he ground grain. Thus by long and zealous ascetic action he freed himse
lf from the passion of avarice.
A report reached prince Mstislav Svyatopolkovich, that the Monk Feodor h
ad found much treasure in the cave. He summoned the monk to him and commanded hi
m to show the spot, where the valuables were hidden. Saint Feodor answered the p
rince, that indeed he had seen in the cave much gold and vessels, but from tempt
ation he together with the Monk Vasilii had buried them, and God took from him t
he memory, where it was hidden. Not believing the saint, the prince gave orders
to torture him to death. They beat Saint Feodor so much, that his hair-shirt was
wet with blood, and then they hung him head-downwards, having put beneathe him
a bon-fire. In a drunken condition the prince commanded to torture also Saint Va
silii, and then to kill him with an arrow. Dying, the MonkMartyr Vasilii threw t
he arrow at the feet of prince Mstislav and predicted that he himself would soon
be mortally wounded by it. The prophecy was fulfilled: on 15 July 1099 on the w
all of the Vladimir fortress prince Mstislav during the time of an internecine
war with David Igorevich was suddenly struck in the chest by an arrow through an
opening in the timbers, and on the following night he died. Recognising his own
arrow, the prince said: "I die because of the monkmartyrs Vasilii and Feodor".
The Monk Feodor (Theodore), Prince of Ostrozh, gained fame with the cons
truction of churches and by his defense of Orthodoxy in Volynia against the enro
achment of Papism. He was descended from the lineage of holy Equal-to-the-Apostl
es Vladimir (Comm. 15 July), through a great-grandson Svyatopolk-Michael, prince
of Turov (1080-1093) and later GreatPrince of Kiev (+ 1113). The first time the
name of the Monk-prince Feodor is mentioned is under the year 1386, when the Po
lish king Jagiello and the Lithuanian prince Vitovt affirmed for him hereditary
possession -- of the Ostrozh district and they augmented the Zaslavsk and Korets
k surroundings. In 1410 the Monk-prince Feodor participated in the defeat of the
Teutonic Knights of the Catholic Order at the Battle of Gruenwald. In 1422 the
holy prince, because of sympathy to the Orthodox in Bohemia, supported the Hussi
tes in their struggle with the German emperor Sigismund. (The holy prince introd
uced into Russian military arts a particular tactic -- the Hussite formation, i.
e. the Taborite, adopted by the Ukrainian Cossacks). In 1432, having gained a se
ries of victories over the Polish forces, Saint Feodor compelled prince Jagiello

to protect by law the freedom of Orthodoxy in Volynia. Prince Svidrigailo, havi

ng become apprehensive of the strengthening of his ally, locked the Monk Feodor
into prison, but the people loving the saint rose up in rebellion, and he was fr
eed. The Monk Feodor was reconciled with the offender and presented himself to h
im for help in the struggle with the Lithuanian-Polish parties. In 1438 the holy
prince participated in a battle with the Tatars. In 1440 with the entering upon
the Polish throne of Cazimir, -- youngest son of prince Jagiello, Saint Feodor
received the rights of administration of the city of Vladimir, Dubno, Ostrog, an
d became possessor of extended holdings of the best regions of Podolia and Volyn
ia. All this together with princely power and fame the Monk Feodor left behind,
having entered after 1441 the Kievo-Pechersk monastery where, -- having taken on
monasticism with the name Feodosii (Theodosii), he pursued asceticism for the s
alvation of his soul until the time of his repose to God. The year of repose of
the Monk Feodor is unknown, but it is without doubt, that he died in the second
half of the XV Century. In extreme old age (S. M. Solov'ev in his "History of Ru
ssia" reckons the year of his death as 1483). The monk was buried in the Farther
Caves of the Monk Feodosii (the Comm. of Sobor/Assemblage of the Monastic Fathe
rs of the Farther Caves is 28 August). The glorification, apparently, was at the
end of the XVI Century, since in the year 1638 the priestmonk Athanasii Kal'nop
hysky testified, that "the Monk Feodor rests in the Theodosiev Cave discovered w
hole in body".
The Holy Martyress Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavi
nius and a niece of the Holy Pope of Rome Caius (283-296). She was raised in str
ict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The fami
ly of the saint occupied a position of kinship with the emperor Diocletian (284305), to whom there reached reports about her virtue and beauty. Having decided
to give Saint Susanna in marriage to his co-ruling emperor Maximian Hercules (28
4-305), the emperor sent to presbyter Gavinius his own kinsman the dignitary Cla
udius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them together with the wife of
Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius -- after conversation wit
h the pious family accepted Baptism. Having learned of this, that the entire fam
ily of the imperial kinsfolk had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent
them into exile. Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and
threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, a
nd the empress was entrusted to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretl
y a Christian, supported the martyress in her intention to preserve her virginit
y for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the unwillingness
of the virgin to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission t
o his co-ruler to dishonour the holy virgin, but an Angel defended her. [here ap
parently is a lacuna] Macedonius began to urge the martyress to offer sacrifice
to the idols. "I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord", -- she answered. Then Ma
cedonius cut off the head of the martyress. The empress secretly buried the body
of the saint; the room, where the murder occurred, was consecrated into a churc
h by Holy Pope Caius. Soon the father of Saint Susanna -- Presbyter Gavinius -accepted a martyr's end, as also in the year 296 did Sainted Caius.
The Monk Passarion pursued asceticism in the first half of the V Century
. He founded a monastery in Jerusalem. He was "chor-episkop" (vicar-bishop) of P
alestine, and conversant with the Monk Euthymios the great (Comm. 20 January).
Saint Mary Sugkletika (i.e. of Senate Rank) was healed by the Image of t
he Saviour Not-Made-by-Hand, having appeared during the reign of the emperor Tib
erias (578-582).
Saint Nyphontes, Patriarch of Constantinople, was a native of Greece, an
d accepted monasticism at Epidaurion. After the death of his elder Anthony, he s
et off to Athos, where he occupied himself by the copying of books. The saint wa
s later chosen Metropolitan of Soluneia (Thessalonika), and still later occupied
the Patriarchal throne in Constantinople and was primate of Valakhia. Banished

under accusation, the saint set off to Athos at first to the Baptopedia monaster
y, and then to the monastery of Saint John the Fore-Runner (Dionyisate). He conc
ealed his dignity and held the lowest position. By a particular revelation his d
ignity was revealed to the brethren of the monastery. Once, when the saint was r
eturning from the forest, where he had gone for firewood, all the brethren went
out towards him on the way and solemnly greeted him as Patriarch. But even after
this the saint shared various tasks with the brethren. The monk died on 11 Augu
st 1460 at 90 years of age.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Martyrs Anicetas and Photios (his nephew) were natives of Nicomedia.
Anicetas, a military official, denounced the emperor Diocletian (284-305) for h
aving set up in the city square an implement of execution for frightening Christ
ians. The enraged emperor ordered Saint Anicetas to be tortured, and later conde
mned him to be devoured by wild beasts. But the lions they set loose became gent
le and fondled up to him. Suddenly there began a strong earthquake, resulting in
the collapse of the pagan temple of Hercules, and many pagans perished beneathe
the crumbled city walls. The executioner took up a sword to cut off the saint's
head, but he himself fell down insensible. They tried to break Saint Anicetas o
n the wheel and burn him with fire, but the wheel stopped and the fire went out.
They threw the martyr into a furnace with boiling tin, but the tin got cold. Th
us the Lord preserved His servant for the edification of many. The martyr's neph
ew, Saint Photios, saluted the sufferer and turn to the emperor, remarking: "O i
dol-worshipper, thine gods -- be nothing!" The sword, held over the new confesso
r, instead struck the executioner himself. Then the martyrs were thrown into pri
son. After three days Diocletian began to urge them: "Worship our gods, and I sh
alt give ye glory and riches". The martyrs answered: "Perish thou with thine hon
our and riches!" Then they tied them by the legs to wild horses, but the saints,
dragged along the ground, remained unharmed. They did not suffer either in the
heated up bath-house, which tumbled apart. Finally Diocletian ordered a great fu
rnace to be fired up, and many Christians, inspired by the deeds of Saints Anice
tas and Photios, went in themselves with the words: "We are Christians!" They al
l died with prayer on their lips. The bodies of Saints Anicetas and Photios were
not harmed by the fire, and even their hair remained whole. seeing this, many o
f the pagans came to believe in Christ. This event happened in the year 305.
Sainted Alexander, Bishop of Comana, lived during the III Century not fa
r from Neocaesarea. He studied the Holy Scripture and knew many a scientific dis
cipline. Taking upon himself the exploit of holy fool, the saint lived in povert
y, occupied with the selling of coal in the city square. Many, seeing his face a
lways black from the grime of the coal flames, sneered at him with contempt. Whe
n the bishop of Comana happened to die, then among the candidates put forth for
election as new bishop -- one was a man illustrious, others were learned or eloq
uent, while yet others -- were rich. Then Saint Gregory Thaumatourgos, Bishop of
Neocaesarea (Comm. 17 November), having been invited for the ordination of thei
r choice, pointed out, that a bishop ought to have not only outward worthiness a
nd distinction, but foremost of all, a pure heart and holy life. These words cau
sed some to laugh saying: "If outward appearance and nobility of origin be for n
aught, then even Alexander the collier might be made bishop". Saint Gregory perc
eived, that it was not without the Providence of God that this man came to be me
ntioned, and he asked that they call him. The appearance of the saint at the gat
hering evoked laughter. Having respectfully bowed to Saint Gregory, Saint Alexan
der stood there deeply absorbed in himself and ignoring the sneering: Saint Greg
ory put him to the test, and the collier was obliged to reveal, that he was form

erly a philosopher, and had studied Holy Scripture, but that for the sake of God
he had assumed upon himself voluntary poverty and humility. Saint Gregory then
took the collier to his own lodging, where he washed off the grime, and gave him
clean clothes. Returning then to the assembled people, Saint Gregory in front o
f everyone began to put to him questions from Holy Scripture, to which Saint Ale
xander answered like a knowledgeable and wise pastor. Seeing this, all were asto
nished at his humility and with one accord they elected him their bishop. Saint
Gregory ordained him priest, and later bishop. After the imposition of hands the
new bishop spoke a sermon to the people, full of power and the grace of God. An
d everyone rejoiced, that the Lord had sent them such a wise pastor. Under the e
mperor Diocletian (284-305) the saint bravely confessed Christ, and refused to w
orship idols; after tortures they threw him into a fire, and there he reposed to
God. According to other sources, Saint Alexander suffered instead under the emp
eror Decius (249-251).
The Martyrs Pamphylos and Kapiton were beheaded by the sword in the loca
le of Oliurea near Constantinople.
2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
EL'NA") (1830), AND THE "PASSION" ("STRASTNA") (1641).
The Monk Maximos the Confessor -- the account about him is located under
the day of 21 January.
Blessed Maxim, Fool-for-Christ, of Moscow -- the account about him is lo
cated under 11 November.
Sainted Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh (in the world Timofei), wa
s born in the year 1724 in the village of Korotska in Novgorod diocese, into the
family of the cantor Savelii Kirillov. (A new family name -- Sokolov, was given
him afterwards by the head of the Novgorod seminary). After the death of his fa
ther in early childhood he lived in such poverty, that his mother was just barel
y able to make ends meet and she gave him over for raising to a neighbour, a coa
chman, since there was nothing wherewith to feed the family. Eating only black b
read and even that in great moderation, the boy worked for a rich gardener to di
g the vegetable beds. As a thirteen year old lad, he was sent to a clergy school
near the Novgorod archbishop's home, and in 1740 he was accepted under a state
grant set up for the Novgorod seminary. The youth excelled at his studies and up
on finishing seminary in 1754 he became a teacher at it, at first in Greek langu
age, and later in rhetoric and philosophy. In the year 1758 he accepted monastic
tonsure with the name Tikhon. And in that same year they appointed him to the p
osition of prefect of the seminary. In 1759 they transferred him to Tver', with
an elevation to the dignity of archimandrite of the Zheltikov monastery. Later t
hey appointed him rector of the Tver' seminary and at the same time head of the
Otrocha monastery. On 13 May 1761 he was ordained bishop of Keksgol'ma and Ladog
a (i.e. a vicar bishop of the Novgorod diocese). His ordination was providential
. They had proposed that the young archimandrite should transfer to the TrinitySergiev Lavra, but at Peterburg during the selection of a Novogorod vicar-bishop
, at Pascha, from 8 castings of lots his name came up thrice.
And on this same day the Tver' bishop, Athanasii, without realising it,
mentioned him at the Cherubimic hymn commemorations as bishop.
In 1763 Saint Tikhon was transferred to the Voronezh cathedra-seat. Over

the course of the four and an half years that he directed the Voronezh diocese,
Saint Tikhon provided it constant edification both by his life and by his numer
ous pastoral guidances and soul-saving books. He wrote down for pastors a whole
series of works: "About the Seven Holy Sacramental-Mysteries", "A Supplement to
the Priestly Office", "Concerning the Sacrament of Repentance", "An Instruction
Concerning the Making of Marriage". The saint considered it especially essential
, that each clergy-server have a New Testament, and that it should be read daily
. In his "Circular Letter" he called on pastors to make the sacraments with reve
rence, and with thought on God and love towards brother. (The "Guidances concern
ing the Proper Duties of Every Christian" was repeatedly republished in Moscow a
nd Peterburg already during the XVIII Century). At Voronezh the saint eradicated
an ancient pagan custom -- the celebration in honour of Yarilo [originally a so
lar springtime pagan god connected with the fertility of grain and cattle]. In t
he outlying districts where military units of the Don Cossacks were dispersed, h
e formed a missionary commission to restore sectarians to the Orthodox Church. I
n 1765, Saint Tikhon transformed the Voronezh Slavic-Latin school into a clergy
seminary, and having invited experienced instructors from Kiev and Khar'khov, he
worked out for it the teaching courses. He exerted much attention and effort to
build up both the churches and the school, and to guide and make pastors unders
tand and be persuaded of the need for education. In administering the vast dioce
se, the saint was unflagging in his efforts, and he often spent nights without s
leep. In 1767 he was compelled because of poor health to give up the running of
the diocese and withdraw for rest to the Tolshevsk monastery, at a distance 40 v
ersts from Voronezh. In 1769 the saint transferred over to the Bogoroditsk monas
tery in the city of Zadonsk. Having settled into this monastery, Saint Tikhon be
came a great teacher of the Christian life. With deep wisdom he set forth the id
eal of true monasticism -- in his "Rule of Monastic Living" and his "Guidances t
o Turn from the Vanity of the World", and in his own life he fulfilled this idea
l. He kept strictly to the directives of the Church, zealously (almost daily) he
visited the temple of God, often he himself sang and read in the choir, and wit
h time, out of humility he altogether left off participating and making services
and instead but merely stood in the altar, reverently making the sign of the cr
oss over himself. His beloved cell task was in reading the Lives of the Saints a
nd the works of the holy fathers. The Psalter he knew by heart and on journeys h
e usually read or sang psalms. The saint underwent much tribulation, being devas
tated over the need of leaving his flock. Having recovered his health, he gave t
hought to returning to the Novgorod diocese, whither metropolitan Gavriil had in
vited him to head the Iversk Vallaisk monastery. But when his cell-attendant men
tioned about this to the starets-elder Aaron, that one declared: "Art thou mad?
The Mother of God doth not direct him to move away from here". The cell-attendan
t conveyed this to His Grace. "If that be so, -- said the saint, -- I shall not
move away from here", -- and he tore up the invitation. Sometimes he journeyed o
ff to the village of Lipovka, where he himself made Divine-services at the Bekht
eev house. The saint journeyed also to the Tolshevsk monastery, which he loved f
or its solitude.
The fruition of all his spiritual life was the works, which the saint wr
ote while in retirement: "The Spiritual Treasury, Gathered from the World" (1770
), and likewise -- "About True Christianity" (1776).
The saint lived in very simple circumstances: he slept on straw, covered
by a sheepskin coat. His humility got to be so great, that to the mockery which
frequently came his way, the saint did not pay any attention, giving the appear
ance that he did not hear it, and he was wont to say afterwards: "It thus please
s God, that servants make mockery over me -- and this becometh me because of my
sins". He often said in like circumstances: "Forgiveness is better than revenge"
One time a fool named Kamenev struck the saint on the cheek with the wor
ds: "Be not so haughty", -- and the saint, having received this with gratitude,
daily fed the fool.
All his life the saint "in troubles, and sorrows, and insults hast thou
joyfully endured, mindful that there cannot be the crown without the victory, no

r victory without effort, nor effort without struggle, nor struggle without enem
ies" (Song 6 of the Canon).
Strict towards himself, the saint was indulgent towards others. One time
on the Friday before the feast of Palm Sunday he entered the cell of his friend
the schema-monk Mitrophan, and he saw him at table together with Kozma Ignat'ev
ich, of whom he was also fond. On the table was fish. His friends became upset.
But the blessed saint said: "Sit down, for I know ye, and love is higher than fa
sting". And to further quiet them, he closed his ears to the matter. He especial
ly loved the common folk, he consoled them in their grievous lot, interceding wi
th the landowners, and moving them to compassion. All his pension and gifts from
admirers he gave away to the poor.
By his deeds of self-denial and love of soul, the saint advanced in cont
emplation of Heaven and foresight of the future. In 1778, in a vivid dream he ha
d suchlike a vision: the Mother of God stood in the clouds and around Her were t
he Apostles Peter and Paul; the saint himself on bended knees besought the All-P
ure Virgin to continue showing mercy unto the world. The Apostle Paul loudly exc
laimed: "When speak they peace together in affirmation, then wilt befall them un
expected universal destruction". The saint fell asleep in trembling and in tears
. In the following year he again saw the Mother of God in the air and around Her
several personages; the saint fell down on his knees, and around him at his kne
es fell four vestments of white attire. The saint besought the All-Pure Virgin f
or someone in particular, that they not be taken away from him (who this person
was and for what the prayer, the saint told not his cell-attendant), and She ans
wered: "Sobeit at thine request". Saint Tikhon predicted much about the fate of
Russia, and in particular he spoke about the victory of Russia in the Fatherland
War of 1812. More than once did they see the saint in spiritual rapture, with a
transformed and luminous face, but he forbade them to speak about this. For thr
ee years before his end he each day prayed: "Tell me, O Lord, of my end". And a
quiet voice in the morning dawn exclaimed: "On a Sunday". In that same year he s
aw in a dream a beautiful ray of light and upon it wondrous palaces and he wante
d to go inside the doors, but they said to him: "Three years hence thou canst en
ter herein, but now work on". After this the saint secluded himself in his cell
and admitted only but a few friends. For his death the saint readied both clothi
ng and grave: he often came to weep over his grave, standing hidden from people
in a closet. A year and three months before his death in a vivid dream it occurr
ed to the saint, that he was standing in the monastery chapel-church and a pries
t acquaintance was carrying from the altar to the royal doors an image of the Di
vine Infant beneathe a veil. The saint approached and gave kiss to the Infant at
the right cheek, and he felt himself stricken on the left. Awakening, the saint
sensed a numbness in his left cheek, his left leg, and a trembling in his left
hand. He accepted this illness with joy. Shortly before his death, the saint saw
in a dream an high and twisting ladder and he heard a command to climb up upon
it. "I, -- as he related to his close friend Kozma, -- at first was afraid becau
se of weakness. But when I started to go up, the people standing around the ladd
er, it seemed, helped me to go higher and higher to the very clouds". "The ladde
r, -- he explained to Kozma, -- is the pathway to the Heavenly Kingdom; helpful
to thee -- are those things which be useful guidances to thee and of remembrance
to thee". The saint said with tears: "I myself do think this: the feeling that
the end is nigh". During the time of his illness he frequently communed the Holy
Saint Tikhon died, as revealed to him, on Sunday 13 August 1783, at 59 y
ears of age. The glorification of the saint likewise was done on a Sunday -- 13
August 1861.
The Martyr Hyppolitus was a chief prison guard at Rome under the emperor
s Decius and Valerian (249-259). He was converted to Christ by the Martyr Lawren
ce (Comm. 10 August), and he gave burial to the martyr's body.
They reported about this to the emperor, who had Saint Hyppolitus arrest
ed and, in mockery, asked: "Art thou then into sorcery, to have stolen away the
body of Lawrence?" The saint confessed himself a Christian. They began to beat a

t him fiercely with canes. In answer they heard only the repeated words: "I am a
Christian". The emperor gave orders to clothe Saint Hyppolitus in his soldier's
attire and said: "Be mindful of thy calling and be our friend, offer sacrifice
to the gods together with us, just as before". But the martyr answered: "I am a
soldier of Christ, my Saviour, and I do desire to die for Him". They then confis
cated all his property, and whipped his foster-mother, the Martyress Concordia,
with olive switches, and they beheaded all his household before the very eyes of
Saint Hyppolitus. The saint himself they tied to wild horses, which dragged him
over the stones to his death. This occurred on 13 August 258, the third day aft
er the martyr's death of Archdeacon Lawrence, just as he had predicted it to Sai
nt Hyppolitus.
By night presbyter Justin gave burial to all the martyrs at the place of
execution. But the body of Saint Concordia had been thrown into an unclean plac
e at Rome. After a certain while two Christians, the Martyrs Ireneius and Avundi
us, learned from a certain soldier where the body of the martyress had been thro
wn, and they buried it alongside Saint Hyppolitus. For this, on 26 August they w
ere drowned, just as had been the martyress. Christians by night took up the bod
ies of the martyrs and buried them by the relics of the holy Archdeacon Lawrence
The Minsk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God was brought by holy Equal-t
o-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir from Korsun and installed within the Kiev Desytin
-Tithe church (the commemoration of the consecration of the church in the year 9
96 -- is under 12 May). In the year 1500, during the time of the taking of Kiev
by khan Mengli-Gyr, a certain Tatar stripped from the icon its cover and adornme
nts, and threw it into the Dneipr River. After a certain while it was found floa
ting in the River Svislocha. Brought to shore and surrounded with an extraordina
ry light, the icon was solemnly taken to the church in honour of the Nativity of
the MostHoly Mother of God, situated in the holdings of the Minsk appanage prin
ces. This occurred on 13 August 1500.
The "Passion" ("Strastna") Icon of the Mother of God received its name f
rom this, that around the face of the Mother of God are depicted two Angels with
the implements of the suffering of the Lord. About the icon's glorification the
following is known: a certain pious woman, Ekaterina, after entering into marri
age began being subjected to seizures and madness: having lost her senses she ra
n off into the forest and more than once attempted suicide. In a moment of clari
ty she prayed to the Mother of God and gave a vow, that in case of healing she w
ould enter a monastery. And after recovering her health she remembered about the
vow only after a long time; afraid and mentally afflicted she took to her bed.
Three times the MostHoly Mother of God appeared to her, commanding the sick woma
n to go to Nizhni-Novgorod and to buy from the iconographer Grigorii Her icon fo
r prayer. Having done this, Ekaterina received healing, and from that time onwar
ds miracles have occurred from this icon. The celebration of this icon is made o
n 13 August, on the occasion of its transfer in 1641 from the village of Palitsa
to Moscow; at the place of its meeting at the Tver' gates there was built a chu
rch, and later in 1654, the Strastna monastery. A second celebration of the icon
is on the 6th Sunday after Pascha, on the Sunday of the Blind Man, in memory of
miracles which occurred on this day. Glorified also have been the Strastna-Pass
ion icons of the Mother of God in the Moscow church of the Conception of Saint A
nna, and also in the village of Enkaeva in Tambov diocese.
Upon the "Seven-Arrow" ("Semistrel'na") Icon of the Mother of God is dep
icted a piercing by seven arrows. For a long time the icon was situated at the b
ell-tower stairway entrance of a church in honour of the Apostle John the Theolo
gian (near Vologda). Turned face downwards, they mistook the icon for an ordinar
y board along which they walked, until a cripple in the city of Kadnikova had a
vision; that he would receive healing after a prayer before this icon. They serv
ed a molieben before the discovered icon, after which the sick one became well.
The icon was especially glorified in 1830 during the time of a cholera epidemic

at Vologda.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
EL'NA") (1830), AND THE "PASSION" ("STRASTNA") (1641).
The Monk Maximos the Confessor -- the account about him is located under
the day of 21 January.
Blessed Maxim, Fool-for-Christ, of Moscow -- the account about him is lo
cated under 11 November.
Sainted Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh (in the world Timofei), wa
s born in the year 1724 in the village of Korotska in Novgorod diocese, into the
family of the cantor Savelii Kirillov. (A new family name -- Sokolov, was given
him afterwards by the head of the Novgorod seminary). After the death of his fa
ther in early childhood he lived in such poverty, that his mother was just barel
y able to make ends meet and she gave him over for raising to a neighbour, a coa
chman, since there was nothing wherewith to feed the family. Eating only black b
read and even that in great moderation, the boy worked for a rich gardener to di
g the vegetable beds. As a thirteen year old lad, he was sent to a clergy school
near the Novgorod archbishop's home, and in 1740 he was accepted under a state
grant set up for the Novgorod seminary. The youth excelled at his studies and up
on finishing seminary in 1754 he became a teacher at it, at first in Greek langu
age, and later in rhetoric and philosophy. In the year 1758 he accepted monastic
tonsure with the name Tikhon. And in that same year they appointed him to the p
osition of prefect of the seminary. In 1759 they transferred him to Tver', with
an elevation to the dignity of archimandrite of the Zheltikov monastery. Later t
hey appointed him rector of the Tver' seminary and at the same time head of the
Otrocha monastery. On 13 May 1761 he was ordained bishop of Keksgol'ma and Ladog
a (i.e. a vicar bishop of the Novgorod diocese). His ordination was providential
. They had proposed that the young archimandrite should transfer to the TrinitySergiev Lavra, but at Peterburg during the selection of a Novogorod vicar-bishop
, at Pascha, from 8 castings of lots his name came up thrice.
And on this same day the Tver' bishop, Athanasii, without realising it,
mentioned him at the Cherubimic hymn commemorations as bishop.
In 1763 Saint Tikhon was transferred to the Voronezh cathedra-seat. Over
the course of the four and an half years that he directed the Voronezh diocese,
Saint Tikhon provided it constant edification both by his life and by his numer
ous pastoral guidances and soul-saving books. He wrote down for pastors a whole
series of works: "About the Seven Holy Sacramental-Mysteries", "A Supplement to
the Priestly Office", "Concerning the Sacrament of Repentance", "An Instruction
Concerning the Making of Marriage". The saint considered it especially essential
, that each clergy-server have a New Testament, and that it should be read daily
. In his "Circular Letter" he called on pastors to make the sacraments with reve
rence, and with thought on God and love towards brother. (The "Guidances concern
ing the Proper Duties of Every Christian" was repeatedly republished in Moscow a
nd Peterburg already during the XVIII Century). At Voronezh the saint eradicated
an ancient pagan custom -- the celebration in honour of Yarilo [originally a so
lar springtime pagan god connected with the fertility of grain and cattle]. In t
he outlying districts where military units of the Don Cossacks were dispersed, h
e formed a missionary commission to restore sectarians to the Orthodox Church. I
n 1765, Saint Tikhon transformed the Voronezh Slavic-Latin school into a clergy

seminary, and having invited experienced instructors from Kiev and Khar'khov, he
worked out for it the teaching courses. He exerted much attention and effort to
build up both the churches and the school, and to guide and make pastors unders
tand and be persuaded of the need for education. In administering the vast dioce
se, the saint was unflagging in his efforts, and he often spent nights without s
leep. In 1767 he was compelled because of poor health to give up the running of
the diocese and withdraw for rest to the Tolshevsk monastery, at a distance 40 v
ersts from Voronezh. In 1769 the saint transferred over to the Bogoroditsk monas
tery in the city of Zadonsk. Having settled into this monastery, Saint Tikhon be
came a great teacher of the Christian life. With deep wisdom he set forth the id
eal of true monasticism -- in his "Rule of Monastic Living" and his "Guidances t
o Turn from the Vanity of the World", and in his own life he fulfilled this idea
l. He kept strictly to the directives of the Church, zealously (almost daily) he
visited the temple of God, often he himself sang and read in the choir, and wit
h time, out of humility he altogether left off participating and making services
and instead but merely stood in the altar, reverently making the sign of the cr
oss over himself. His beloved cell task was in reading the Lives of the Saints a
nd the works of the holy fathers. The Psalter he knew by heart and on journeys h
e usually read or sang psalms. The saint underwent much tribulation, being devas
tated over the need of leaving his flock. Having recovered his health, he gave t
hought to returning to the Novgorod diocese, whither metropolitan Gavriil had in
vited him to head the Iversk Vallaisk monastery. But when his cell-attendant men
tioned about this to the starets-elder Aaron, that one declared: "Art thou mad?
The Mother of God doth not direct him to move away from here". The cell-attendan
t conveyed this to His Grace. "If that be so, -- said the saint, -- I shall not
move away from here", -- and he tore up the invitation. Sometimes he journeyed o
ff to the village of Lipovka, where he himself made Divine-services at the Bekht
eev house. The saint journeyed also to the Tolshevsk monastery, which he loved f
or its solitude.
The fruition of all his spiritual life was the works, which the saint wr
ote while in retirement: "The Spiritual Treasury, Gathered from the World" (1770
), and likewise -- "About True Christianity" (1776).
The saint lived in very simple circumstances: he slept on straw, covered
by a sheepskin coat. His humility got to be so great, that to the mockery which
frequently came his way, the saint did not pay any attention, giving the appear
ance that he did not hear it, and he was wont to say afterwards: "It thus please
s God, that servants make mockery over me -- and this becometh me because of my
sins". He often said in like circumstances: "Forgiveness is better than revenge"
One time a fool named Kamenev struck the saint on the cheek with the wor
ds: "Be not so haughty", -- and the saint, having received this with gratitude,
daily fed the fool.
All his life the saint "in troubles, and sorrows, and insults hast thou
joyfully endured, mindful that there cannot be the crown without the victory, no
r victory without effort, nor effort without struggle, nor struggle without enem
ies" (Song 6 of the Canon).
Strict towards himself, the saint was indulgent towards others. One time
on the Friday before the feast of Palm Sunday he entered the cell of his friend
the schema-monk Mitrophan, and he saw him at table together with Kozma Ignat'ev
ich, of whom he was also fond. On the table was fish. His friends became upset.
But the blessed saint said: "Sit down, for I know ye, and love is higher than fa
sting". And to further quiet them, he closed his ears to the matter. He especial
ly loved the common folk, he consoled them in their grievous lot, interceding wi
th the landowners, and moving them to compassion. All his pension and gifts from
admirers he gave away to the poor.
By his deeds of self-denial and love of soul, the saint advanced in cont
emplation of Heaven and foresight of the future. In 1778, in a vivid dream he ha
d suchlike a vision: the Mother of God stood in the clouds and around Her were t
he Apostles Peter and Paul; the saint himself on bended knees besought the All-P
ure Virgin to continue showing mercy unto the world. The Apostle Paul loudly exc

laimed: "When speak they peace together in affirmation, then wilt befall them un
expected universal destruction". The saint fell asleep in trembling and in tears
. In the following year he again saw the Mother of God in the air and around Her
several personages; the saint fell down on his knees, and around him at his kne
es fell four vestments of white attire. The saint besought the All-Pure Virgin f
or someone in particular, that they not be taken away from him (who this person
was and for what the prayer, the saint told not his cell-attendant), and She ans
wered: "Sobeit at thine request". Saint Tikhon predicted much about the fate of
Russia, and in particular he spoke about the victory of Russia in the Fatherland
War of 1812. More than once did they see the saint in spiritual rapture, with a
transformed and luminous face, but he forbade them to speak about this. For thr
ee years before his end he each day prayed: "Tell me, O Lord, of my end". And a
quiet voice in the morning dawn exclaimed: "On a Sunday". In that same year he s
aw in a dream a beautiful ray of light and upon it wondrous palaces and he wante
d to go inside the doors, but they said to him: "Three years hence thou canst en
ter herein, but now work on". After this the saint secluded himself in his cell
and admitted only but a few friends. For his death the saint readied both clothi
ng and grave: he often came to weep over his grave, standing hidden from people
in a closet. A year and three months before his death in a vivid dream it occurr
ed to the saint, that he was standing in the monastery chapel-church and a pries
t acquaintance was carrying from the altar to the royal doors an image of the Di
vine Infant beneathe a veil. The saint approached and gave kiss to the Infant at
the right cheek, and he felt himself stricken on the left. Awakening, the saint
sensed a numbness in his left cheek, his left leg, and a trembling in his left
hand. He accepted this illness with joy. Shortly before his death, the saint saw
in a dream an high and twisting ladder and he heard a command to climb up upon
it. "I, -- as he related to his close friend Kozma, -- at first was afraid becau
se of weakness. But when I started to go up, the people standing around the ladd
er, it seemed, helped me to go higher and higher to the very clouds". "The ladde
r, -- he explained to Kozma, -- is the pathway to the Heavenly Kingdom; helpful
to thee -- are those things which be useful guidances to thee and of remembrance
to thee". The saint said with tears: "I myself do think this: the feeling that
the end is nigh". During the time of his illness he frequently communed the Holy
Saint Tikhon died, as revealed to him, on Sunday 13 August 1783, at 59 y
ears of age. The glorification of the saint likewise was done on a Sunday -- 13
August 1861.
The Martyr Hyppolitus was a chief prison guard at Rome under the emperor
s Decius and Valerian (249-259). He was converted to Christ by the Martyr Lawren
ce (Comm. 10 August), and he gave burial to the martyr's body.
They reported about this to the emperor, who had Saint Hyppolitus arrest
ed and, in mockery, asked: "Art thou then into sorcery, to have stolen away the
body of Lawrence?" The saint confessed himself a Christian. They began to beat a
t him fiercely with canes. In answer they heard only the repeated words: "I am a
Christian". The emperor gave orders to clothe Saint Hyppolitus in his soldier's
attire and said: "Be mindful of thy calling and be our friend, offer sacrifice
to the gods together with us, just as before". But the martyr answered: "I am a
soldier of Christ, my Saviour, and I do desire to die for Him". They then confis
cated all his property, and whipped his foster-mother, the Martyress Concordia,
with olive switches, and they beheaded all his household before the very eyes of
Saint Hyppolitus. The saint himself they tied to wild horses, which dragged him
over the stones to his death. This occurred on 13 August 258, the third day aft
er the martyr's death of Archdeacon Lawrence, just as he had predicted it to Sai
nt Hyppolitus.
By night presbyter Justin gave burial to all the martyrs at the place of
execution. But the body of Saint Concordia had been thrown into an unclean plac
e at Rome. After a certain while two Christians, the Martyrs Ireneius and Avundi
us, learned from a certain soldier where the body of the martyress had been thro
wn, and they buried it alongside Saint Hyppolitus. For this, on 26 August they w

ere drowned, just as had been the martyress. Christians by night took up the bod
ies of the martyrs and buried them by the relics of the holy Archdeacon Lawrence
The Minsk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God was brought by holy Equal-t
o-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir from Korsun and installed within the Kiev Desytin
-Tithe church (the commemoration of the consecration of the church in the year 9
96 -- is under 12 May). In the year 1500, during the time of the taking of Kiev
by khan Mengli-Gyr, a certain Tatar stripped from the icon its cover and adornme
nts, and threw it into the Dneipr River. After a certain while it was found floa
ting in the River Svislocha. Brought to shore and surrounded with an extraordina
ry light, the icon was solemnly taken to the church in honour of the Nativity of
the MostHoly Mother of God, situated in the holdings of the Minsk appanage prin
ces. This occurred on 13 August 1500.
The "Passion" ("Strastna") Icon of the Mother of God received its name f
rom this, that around the face of the Mother of God are depicted two Angels with
the implements of the suffering of the Lord. About the icon's glorification the
following is known: a certain pious woman, Ekaterina, after entering into marri
age began being subjected to seizures and madness: having lost her senses she ra
n off into the forest and more than once attempted suicide. In a moment of clari
ty she prayed to the Mother of God and gave a vow, that in case of healing she w
ould enter a monastery. And after recovering her health she remembered about the
vow only after a long time; afraid and mentally afflicted she took to her bed.
Three times the MostHoly Mother of God appeared to her, commanding the sick woma
n to go to Nizhni-Novgorod and to buy from the iconographer Grigorii Her icon fo
r prayer. Having done this, Ekaterina received healing, and from that time onwar
ds miracles have occurred from this icon. The celebration of this icon is made o
n 13 August, on the occasion of its transfer in 1641 from the village of Palitsa
to Moscow; at the place of its meeting at the Tver' gates there was built a chu
rch, and later in 1654, the Strastna monastery. A second celebration of the icon
is on the 6th Sunday after Pascha, on the Sunday of the Blind Man, in memory of
miracles which occurred on this day. Glorified also have been the Strastna-Pass
ion icons of the Mother of God in the Moscow church of the Conception of Saint A
nna, and also in the village of Enkaeva in Tambov diocese.
Upon the "Seven-Arrow" ("Semistrel'na") Icon of the Mother of God is dep
icted a piercing by seven arrows. For a long time the icon was situated at the b
ell-tower stairway entrance of a church in honour of the Apostle John the Theolo
gian (near Vologda). Turned face downwards, they mistook the icon for an ordinar
y board along which they walked, until a cripple in the city of Kadnikova had a
vision; that he would receive healing after a prayer before this icon. They serv
ed a molieben before the discovered icon, after which the sick one became well.
The icon was especially glorified in 1830 during the time of a cholera epidemic
at Vologda.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
GOD AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY, by Sainted Gregory Palamas, ArchBishop of Thessalonika
The "Falling-Asleep" or "Repose" ("Dormition", "Uspenie", "Koimesis") of
our MostHoly Lady Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary: After the Ascension of th
e Lord, the Mother of God remained in the care of the Apostle John the Theologia
n, and during his journeyings She lived at the home of his parents, near Mount E

leon (the Mount of Olives, or Mount Olivet). She was a source of consolation and
edification for both the Apostles and for all the believers. Conversing with th
em, She told them about miraculous happenings: the Annuniciation (Blagoveschenie
), the Conception (Zachatie) without seed and without defilement of Christ born
of Her, about His early childhood, and about all His earthly life. And just like
the Apostles, She helped plant and strengthen the Christian Church by Her prese
nce, Her discourse and Her prayers. The reverence of the Apostles for the MostHo
ly Virgin was extraordinary. After the receiving of the Holy Spirit on the remar
kable day of Pentecost, the Apostles remained basically at Jerusalem for about 1
0 years attending to the salvation of the Jews, and wanting moreover to see the
Mother of God and hear Her holy discourse. Many of the newly-enlightened in the
faith even came from faraway lands to Jerusalem, to see and to hear the All-Pure
Mother of God.
During the time of the persecution, initiated by king Herod against the
young Church of Christ (Acts 12: 1-3), the MostHoly Virgin together with the Apo
stle John the Theologian withdrew in the year 43 to Ephesus. The preaching of th
e Gospel there had fallen by lot to the Apostle John the Theologian. The Mother
of God was likewise on Cyprus with Saint Lazarus the Four-Days-Entombed, where h
e was bishop. She was also on Holy Mount Athos, about which, as says Saint Steph
en Svyatogorets (i.e. Saint Stephen of the "Holy Mount"), the Mother of God prop
hetically spoke: "This place shalt be allotted Me, given unto Me by My Son and M
y God. I wilt be the Patroness for this place and Intercessor to God for it".
The respect of ancient Christians for the Mother of God was so great, th
at they preserved what they could about Her life, what they could take note of c
oncerning Her sayings and deeds, and they even passed down to us the regards of
Her outward appearance.
According to tradition, based on the words of the PriestMartyrs Dionysio
s the Areopagite (+ 3 October 96), Ignatios the God-Bearer (+ 20 December 107),
-- Sainted Ambrose of Mediolanum-Milan (Comm. 7 December) had occasion to write
in his work "On Virgins" concerning the Mother of God: "She was the Virgin not o
nly of body, but also of soul, humble of heart, circumspect in word, wise in min
d, not overly given to speaking, a lover of reading and of work, and prudent in
speech. Her rule of life was -- offend no one, intend well for everyone, respect
the aged, be not envious of others, avoid bragging, be healthy of mind, and lov
e virtue. When did She ever in the least hurl an insult in the face of Her paren
ts, when was She at discord with Her kin? When did She ever puff up haughtily be
fore a modest person, or laugh at the weak, or shun the destitute? With Her ther
e was nothing of glaring eyes, nothing of unseemly words, nor of improper conduc
t: She was modest of body-movement, Her step was quiet, and Her voice straightfo
rward; -- such that Her bodily visage was an expression of soul, and personifica
tion of purity. All Her days She was concerned with fasting: She slept only when
necessary, and even then, when Her body was at rest, She was still alert in spi
rit, repeating in Her dreams what She had read, or the pondered implementation o
f proposed intentions, or those planned yet anew. She was out of Her house only
for church, and then only in the company of kin. Otherwise, She but little appea
red outside Her house in the company of others, and She was Her own best oversee
r; others could protect Her only in body, but She Herself guarded Her character"
. [trans. note: In context, we must realise that Saint Ambrose wrote this discou
rse in exhortation to young women to conduct themselves maturely and with concer
n for the reputation of their good-name, an exhortation equally incumbent upon y
oung men].
According to tradition, that from the compiler of Church history Nicepho
ros Kallistos (XIV Century), the Mother of God "was of average stature, or as ot
hers suggest, slightly more than average; Her hair golden in appearance; Her eye
s bright with pupils like shiny olives; Her eyebrows strong in character and mod
erately dark, Her nose pronounced and Her mouth vibrant bespeaking sweet speech;
Her face was neither round nor angular, but somewhat oblong; the palm of Her Ha
nds and fingers were longish... In conversation with others She preserved decoru
m, neither becoming silly nor agitated, and indeed especially never angry; witho
ut artifice, and direct, She was not overly concerned about Herself, and far fro

m any pampering of Herself, She was distinctly full of humility. Regarding the c
lothing which She wore, She was satisfied to have natural colours, which even no
w is evidenced by Her holy head-covering. Suffice it to say, an especial grace a
ttended all Her actions". (Nicephoros Kallistos borrowed his description from Sa
inted Epiphanios of Cyprus, + 12 May 403, from the "Letter to Theophilos concern
ing icons".
The circumstances of the Falling-Asleep or Dormition of the Mother of Go
d were known in the Orthodox Church from times apostolic. Already in the I Centu
ry, the PriestMartyr Dionysios the Areopagite wrote about Her "Falling-Asleep".
In the II Century, the account about the bodily Assumption of the MostHoly Virgi
n Mary to Heaven is found in the works of Meliton, Bishop of Sardis. In the IV C
entury, Saint Epiphanios of Cyprus refers to the tradition about the "Falling-As
leep" of the Mother of God. In the V Century Sainted Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerus
alem, told the holy Byzantine empress Pulcheria: "Although in Holy Scripture the
re be no account about the circumstances of Her end, we know about them otherwis
e from the most ancient and credible tradition". This tradition in detail was ga
thered and expounded in the Church history of Nicephoros Kallistos during the XI
V Century.
At the time of Her blessed "Falling-Asleep", the MostHoly Virgin Mary wa
s again at Jerusalem. Her fame as the Mother of God had already spread throughou
t the land and had aroused against Her many of the envious and the spiteful, who
wanted to make attempts on Her life; but God preserved Her from enemies.
Day and night She spent at prayer. The MostHoly Mother of God went often
to the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord, and here She offered up incense and the bend
ing of knees. More than once enemies of the Saviour sought to hinder Her from vi
siting her holy place, and they besought of the high-priest a guard to watch ove
r the Grave of the Lord. But the Holy Virgin Mary, unseen by anyone, continued t
o pray in front of them. In one suchlike visit to Golgotha, the Archangel Gabrie
l appeared before Her and announced Her approaching transfer from this life into
the Heavenly life of eternal beatitude. In pledge of this, the Archangel entrus
ted Her a palm branch. With these Heavenly tidings the Mother of God returned to
Bethlehem with the three girls attending Her (Sepphora, Evigea and Zoila). She
thereupon summoned Righteous Joseph of Aramathea and other disciples of the Lord
, and told them of Her impending Repose (Uspenie). The MostHoly Virgin prayed al
so, that the Lord would have the Apostle John come to Her. And the Holy Spirit t
ransported him from Ephesus, setting him alongside that very place, where lay th
e Mother of God. After the prayer, the MostHoly Virgin offered up incense, and J
ohn heard a voice from Heaven, closing Her prayer with the word "Amen". The Moth
er of God took notice, that this voice meant the speedy arrival of the Apostles
and the Disciples and the holy Bodiless Powers. The Disciples, whose number then
it was impossible to count, flocked together, -- says Saint John Damascene, -like clouds and eagles, to hearken to the Mother of God. Seeing one another, the
Disciples rejoiced, but in their confusion they asked each other, why had the L
ord gathered them together in one place? Saint John the Theologian, greeting the
m with tears of joy, said that for the Mother of God had begun the time of repos
e unto the Lord. Going in to the Mother of God, they beheld Her augustly lying u
pon the cot, and filled with spiritual happiness. The Disciples gave greeting to
Her, and then they told about their being miraculously transported from their p
laces of preaching. The MostHoly Virgin Mary glorified God, in that He had heark
ened to Her prayer and fulfilled Her heart's desire, and She began speaking abou
t Her immanent end. During the time of this conversation the Apostle Paul likewi
se appeared in miraculous manner together with his disciples: Dionysios the Areo
pagite, wondrous Hierotheos, and Timothy and others from amongst the Seventy Dis
ciples. The Holy Spirit had gathered them all together, so that they might be vo
uchsafed the blessing of the All-Pure Virgin Mary, and all the more fittingly to
see to the burial of the Mother of the Lord. Each of them She called to Herself
by name, She blessed them and extolled them in their faith and hardships in the
preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and to each She wished eternal bliss and pra
yed with them for the peace and welfare of all the world.
There ensued the third hour, when the Uspenie-Repose of the Mother of Go

d was to occur. A multitude of candles blazed. The holy Disciples with song enci
rcled the felicitously adorned sick-bed, upon which lay the All-Pure Virgin Moth
er of God. She prayed in anticipation of Her demise and of the arrival of Her lo
nged-for Son and Lord. Suddenly the inexpressible Light of Divine Glory shone fo
rth, before which the blazing candles paled in comparison. All that saw took fri
ght. Sitting atop as though immersed in the rays of the indescribable Light, was
Christ the King of Glory Himself come down, surrounded by hosts of Angels and A
rchangels and other Heavenly Powers, together with the souls of the fore-fathers
and the prophets, formerly having foretold of the MostHoly Virgin Mary. Seeing
Her Son, the Mother of God exclaimed: "My soul doth magnify My Lord, and My spir
it rejoiceth in God My Saviour, for He hath regarded the lowliness of His Handma
iden" -- and, getting up from Her bed to meet the Lord, She bowed down to Him. A
nd the Lord bid Her come enter the habitations of Life Eternal. Without any bodi
ly suffering, as though in an happy sleep, the MostHoly Virgin Mary gave up Her
soul into the hands of Her Son and God.
Then began joyous Angelic song. Accompanying the pure soul of the God-be
trothed and with reverent awe for the Queen of Heaven, the Angels exclaimed: "Ha
il Thou, Full-of-Grace, the Lord is with Thee, blessed art Thou amongst women! F
or lo, it be the Queen, God's Maiden doth come, take up the gates, and with the
Ever-Existent take ye up the Mother of Light; for of Her is salvation come to al
l the human race. Upon Her tis impossible to gaze and to Her tis impossible to r
ender due honour" (Stikherion verse on "Lord, I have cried"). The Heavenly gates
were raised, and meeting the soul of the MostHoly Mother of God, the Cherubim a
nd the Seraphim with joy glorified Her. The graced face of the Mother of God was
radiant with the glory of Divine virginity, and of Her body there exuded fragra
Miraculous was the life of the All-Pure Virgin, and wondrous was Her Rep
ose, as Holy Church doth sing: "In Thee, O Queen, the God of all hath wrought a
miracle, that transcendeth the laws of nature. Just as in the Birth-Giving He di
d preserve Thine virginity, so also in the grave He did preserve Thy body from d
ecay" (Kanon 1, Ode 6, Tropar 1). Giving kiss to the all-pure body with reverenc
e and in awe, the Disciples in turn were blessed by it and filled with grace and
spiritual joy. Through the great glorification of the MostHoly Mother of God, t
he almighty power of God healed the sick, who with faith and love gave touch to
the holy cot. Bewailing their separation on earth from the Mother of God, the Ap
ostles set about the burying of Her all-pure body. The holy Apostles Peter, Paul
, James and others of the 12 Apostles carried the funeral bier upon their should
ers, and upon it lay the body of the ever-Virgin Mary. Saint John the Theologian
went at the head with the resplendent palm-branch from Paradise, and the other
saints and a multitude of the faithful accompanied the funeral bier with candles
and censers, singing sacred song. This solemn procession went from the Sion-qua
rter through all Jerusalem to the Garden of Gethsemane.
With the start of the procession there suddenly appeared over the all-pu
re body of the Mother of God and all those accompanying Her a vast and resplende
nt circular cloud, like a crown, and to the choir of the Apostles was conjoined
the choir of the Angels. There was heard the singing of the Heavenly Powers, glo
rifying the Mother of God, which echoed that of the worldly voices. This circle
of Heavenly singers and radiance moved through the air and accompanied the proce
ssion to the very place of burial. Unbelieving inhabitants of Jerusalem, taken a
back by the extraordinarily grand funeral procession and vexed at the honours ac
corded the Mother of Jesus, denounced this to the high-priests and scribes. Burn
ing with envy and vengefulness towards everything that reminded them of Christ,
they sent out their own servants to disrupt the procession and to set afire the
body of the Mother of God. An angry crowd and soldiers set off against the Chris
tians, but the aethereal crown, accompanying the procession in the air, lowered
itself to the ground and like a wall fenced it off. The pursuers heard the foots
teps and the singing, but could not see any of those accompanying the procession
. And indeed many of them were struck blind. The Jewish priest Aphthoniah out of
spite and hatred for the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth wanted to topple the funer
al bier, on which lay the body of the MostHoly Virgin Mary, but an Angel of God

invisibly cut off his hands, which had touched the bier. Seeing such a wonder, A
phthoniah repented and with faith confessed the majesty of the Mother of God. He
received healing and joined in with the crowd accompanying the body of the Moth
er of God, and he became a zealous follower of Christ. When the procession reach
ed the Garden of Gethsemane, then amidst the weeping and the wailing began the l
ast kiss to the all-pure body. Only towards evening time were the Apostles able
to place it in the tomb and seal the entrance to the cave with a large stone. Fo
r three days they did not depart the place of burial, during this time making un
ceasing prayer and psalmody. Through the wise providence of God, the Apostle Tho
mas had been destined not to be present at the burial of the Mother of God. Arri
ving late on the third day at Gethsemane, he lay down at the sepulchral cave and
with bitter tears bespeaking loudly his desire, that he might be vouchsafed a f
inal blessing of the Mother of God and have final farewell with Her. The Apostle
s out of heartfelt pity for him decided to open the grave and permit him the com
fort of venerating the holy remains of the Ever-Virgin Mary. But having opened t
he grave, they found in it only the grave wrappings and were thus convinced of t
he bodily ascent or assumption of the MostHoly Virgin Mary to Heaven.
On the evening of the same day, when the Apostles had gathered at an hou
se to strengthen themselves with food, the Mother of God Herself appeared to the
m and said: "Rejoice! I am with ye -- throughout all the length of days". This s
o gladdened the Apostles and everyone with them, that they took a portion of the
bread, set aside at the meal in memory of the Saviour ("the Portion of the Lord
"), and they exclaimed also: "MostHoly Mother of God, help us". (This marks the
beginning of the rite of offering up a "Panagia" ("All-Blessed") -- the custom o
f offering up at meals a portion of bread in honour of the Mother of God, which
even at present is done at monasteries).
The sash of the Mother of God, and Her holy garb, -- preserved with reve
rence and distributed over the face of the earth in pieces -- both in past and i
n present has worked miracles. Her numerous icons everywhere issue forth with ou
tpourings of signs and healings, and Her holy body -- taken up to Heaven, witnes
ses to our own future mode of life therein. Her body was not left to the chance
vicissitudes of the transitory world, but was all the more incomparably exalted
by its glorious ascent to Heaven.
The feast of the Repose-Uspenie of the MostHoly Mother of God is celebra
ted with especial solemnity at Gethsemane, at the place of Her burial. Nowhere e
lse is there such sorrow of heart at the separation from the Mother of God and n
owhere else such uplift, persuaded of Her intercession for the world.
The holy city of Jerusalem is separated from the Mount of Olives (Olivet
) by the valley of Kedron on Josaphat. At the foot of the Mount of Olives is sit
uated the Garden of Gethsemane, where olive trees bear fruit even now.
The holy Ancestor-of-God Joakim had himself reposed at 80 years of age,
-- some several years after the Entry ("Vvedenie vo Khram") of the MostHoly Virg
in Mary into the Jerusalem Temple (Comm. 21 November). Saint Anna, having been l
eft a widow, resettled from Nazareth to Jerusalem, and lived near the Temple. At
Jerusalem she bought two pieces of property: the first at the gates of Gethsema
ne, and the second -- in the valley of Josaphat. At the second locale she built
a crypt for the repose of members of her family, and where also she herself was
buried with Joakim. And it was there in the Garden of Gethsemane that the Saviou
r often prayed with His disciples.
The most-pure body of the Mother of God was buried in the family cemeter
y-plot. With Her burial Christians also reverently honoured the sepulchre of the
Mother of God, and they built on this spot a church. Within the church was pres
erved the precious funeral cloth, which wrapped Her all-pure and fragrant body.
The holy Jerusalem Patriarch Juvenal (420-458) attested before the emper
or Marcian (450-457) as to the authenticity of the tradition about the miraculou
s assumption of the Mother of God to Heaven, and he likewise sent to the empress
, Saint Pulcheria (+ 453, Comm. 10 September), the grave wrappings of the Mother
of God, which he had taken from Her grave. Saint Pulcheria then placed these gr
ave-wrappings within the Blakhernae church.
Accounts have been preserved, that at the end of the VII Century an over

head church had been situated atop the underground church of the Dormition-Repos
e of the MostHoly Mother of God, and that from its high bell-tower could be seen
the dome of the Church of the Resurrection of the Lord. Traces of this church a
re no longer to be seen. And in the IX Century near the subterranean Gethsemane
church was built a monastery, at which more than 30 monks asceticised.
Great destruction was done the Church in the year 1009 by the despoiler
of the holy places, Hakim. Radical changes, the traces of which remain at presen
t, also transpired under the crusaders in the year 1130. During the XI-XII Centu
ries there disappeared from Jerusalem the piece of excavated stone, at which the
Saviour had prayed on the night of His betrayal. This piece of stone from the V
I Century had been situated within the Gethsemane basilica.
But in spite of the destruction and the changes, the overall original cr
uciform (cross-shaped) plan of the church has been preserved. At the entrance to
the church along the sides of the iron gates stand four marble columns. To ente
r the church, it is necessary to go down a stairway of 48 steps. At the 23rd ste
p on the right side is a chapel in honour of the holy Ancestors-of-God Joakim an
d Anna together with their graves, and on the left side opposite -- the chapel o
f Righteous Joseph the Betrothed with his grave. The rightside chapel belongs to
the Orthodox Church, and the leftside -- to the Armenian-Gregorian Church (sinc
e 1814).
The church of the Repose of the Mother of God has the following dimensio
ns: in length it is 48 arshin, and in breadth 8 arshin [1 arshin = 28 inches]. A
t an earlier time the church had also windows beside the doors. The whole temple
was adorned with a multitude of lampadas and offerings. Two small entrances lea
d into the burial-chamber of the Mother of God: entrance is made through the wes
tern doors, and exit at the northern doors. The burial-chamber of the All-Pure V
irgin Mary is veiled with precious curtains. The burial laying-place was hewn ou
t of stone in the manner of the ancient Jewish grave and is very similar to the
Sepulchre of the Lord. Beyond the burial-chamber is situated the altar of the ch
urch, in which daily is celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Greek language.
The olive woods on the eastern and northern sides of the temple was acqu
ired from the Turks by the Orthodox during the VII-VIII Centuries. The Catholics
acquired the olive woods on the east and south sides in 1803, and the ArmenianGregorians on the west side in 1821.
On 12 August, at Little Gethsemane, at the 2nd hour of the night, the cl
ergy-head of the Gethsemane church celebrates Divine Liturgy. With the close of
Liturgy, at the 4th hour of the morning, the clergy-head in full vesture makes a
short molieben before the resplendent plaschenitsa, lifts it in his hands and s
olemnly carries it beyond the church to Gethsemane proper where the holy sepulch
re of the Mother of God is situated. All the members of the Russian Spiritual Mi
ssion in Jerusalem, with the head of the Mission leading, participate each year
in the procession with the holy plaschanitsa [of the Mother of God], called the
The rite of the Burial of the Mother of God at Gethsemane begins customa
rily on the morning of 14 August. A multitude of people with hierarchs and clerg
y at the head set off from the Jerusalem Patriarchate (nearby the Church of the
Resurrection of Christ) in sorrowful procession. Along the narrow alley-ways of
the Holy City the funeral procession makes its way to Gethsemane. Towards the fr
ont of the procession is carried an icon of the Dormition-Uspenie of the MostHol
y Mother of God. Along the way pilgrims meet the icon, kissing the image of the
All-Pure Virgin Mary and lift children of various ages to the icon. After the cl
ergy, in two rows walk the black-robed -- monks and nuns of the Holy City: Greek
s, Roumanians, Arabs, Russians. The procession, going along for about two hours,
concludes with a lamentations at the Gethsemane church. In front the altar-tabl
e, beyond the burial chamber of the Mother of God, is set a raised-up spot, upon
which amidst fragrant flowers and myrtle and with precious coverings rests the
plaschanitsa of the MostHoly Mother of God.
"O marvelous wonder! The Fount of Life is placed in the grave, and the g
rave doth become the ladder to Heaven...", -- here at the grave of the All-Pure
Virgin, these words strike deep with their original sense and grief is dispelled

by joy: "Hail, Full-of-Grace, the Lord is with Thee, granting the world through
Thee great mercy!"
Numerous pilgrims, having kissed the icon of the Dormition-Uspenie of th
e MostHoly Mother of God, -- following an ancient custom, then stoop down and go
beneathe it.
On the day of the Leave-taking of the feast (23 August), solemn processi
on is again made. On the return path, the holy plaschanitsa is carried by clergy
headed by the Gethsemane archimandrite.
About the rite of the litany and feast of the Uspenie-Dormition of the M
other of God in the Holy Land, there is an article in the "Journal of the Moscow
Patriarchate", 1979, No. 3.
by Sainted Gregory Palamas, ArchBishop of Thessalonika
My present talk for your appreciation is occasioned both by love, and by
necessity. I speak not only by reason of my love for you, and whereof I desire
that the word of salvation should gain way to your God-loving hearing, and in su
ch manner, be imbibed of by your souls; but also, wherein it be very needful for
me, in conjunction with the churchly laudations, to expound on the majesty of t
he ever-Virgin Mother of God. And howso this wish, being twofold against the cus
tomary wont, doth impel and incline, and thus also inevitably need compel; thoug
h word canst not comprehend, that which is higher than any word, like as the sig
ht canst not fix its gaze upon the sun. And insofar as it be not proper to speak
about that which is beyond all words, therein ought primarily the love for the
Mother of God to be consecrated in psalmody. If "venerable in the eyes of the Lo
rd be the death of His holy ones" (Ps. 115 [116]: 15), and "the memory of the ri
ghteous one is with praises" (Prob. 10:7), then how much moreso -- is the memory
of the Holiest of the holy ones, through Whom -- hath become all sanctification
for the holy ones, -- is the memory of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God, She Whose
memory it now becometh us to celebrate with most exalted praises? We now make c
elebration of the holy Dormition, or Repose, through which was She brought low b
efore the Angels, and yet did She excel beyond compare the Angels and the Archan
gels, and being over them by the consequent Power of Her closeness to God and by
the fore-ordained over the ages wondrous deeds wrought over Her. It was on Her
account that the God-inspired prophets did prophesy, and the miracles that befor
ehand did point out this great and universal wonder -- the ever-Virgin Mother of
God; manifest of the Spirit; in various ways being the foretype of the future a
ctuality; manifesting the promise to beget without seed He born of God the Fathe
r in eternity... The King of all greatly desired the mysteried beauty of the eve
r-Virgin, and within Her did transpire the incarnating of the Power of the MostH
igh, not through darkness and fire as it was for the God-inspired Moses, and not
through means of storm and clouds as was manifest His Presence to the Prophet E
lias (Elijah), nor by means of some pretext did the Power from on High overshado
w the all-pure and virginal womb. What inexpressibly transpired within Her and o
f Her was that the Word of God came forth incarnated in the flesh, "to appear up
on earth and live amongst mankind" (Baruch 3: 38), deifying our nature and grant
ing us, according to the Divine Apostle, that "which the Angels have desire to l
ook forward to" (1 Pet. 1: 12) -- and in this is the wondrous glorification and
the all-pure glory of the ever-Virgin Mary.
And what words are there, appropriate to explain what transpired after t
he inexplicable birth? Whereof, the Word of God issuing from on high and begotte
n through Her in Her co-operating and co-willing, She also is glorified together
with Him in the dignity with which He is exalted, conjoined in His great and wo
ndrous majesty. But with the going up to Heaven of He Incarnate of Her, She in t
urn through what came to Her of Him, -- the excelling majesty of mind and word,
as it were emulating Him with manifold deeds and prayers, and likewise solicitud

e for all the world, and the inspiring of preachers to all the ends of the earth
. And all and everywhere She was the sole support and consoler, and in every way
co-operating in the proclamation of the Gospel good-news, and clearly proving H
erself in it with a life filled with struggle and mastery over mind and word. Wh
ereof, certainly, Her life and death hath carried over into Heavenly and immorta
l life; and the remembrance of it is a joyous feast and universal solemnity. Int
o the hands of Her Son was taken the God-bearing spirit of the Ever-Virgin Mary;
and indeed a short while afterwards, Her kindred body was translated by Him int
o the eternal Heavenly habitations. And all this was fully just and proper. In a
ctual fact, many were vouchsafed over the ages the Divine condescension, glory a
nd might, as David likewise sayeth: "For me exceedingly be esteemed Thine compan
y, O God, and exceedingly assured be their dominion. I do look over them, and mo
re than the sands be they numbered" (Ps. 138 [139]: 17-18). "Many a daughter, -according to Solomon, -- hath acquired riches, and many have wrought power" (Pr
ov. 31: 29-30). And here is She -- the All-Pure Virgin Mary, and She is most exc
eedingly exalted over all and for all: She alone hath come betwixt God and the h
uman race, She hath wrought God the Son of Man, and humankind She hath co-made t
he sons of God; She hath co-made Heaven of earth and wrought of God the race of
man; She alone of all surpassing all nature is manifest the Mother of God by nat
ure, and through the mysteried Birth-giving She hath become the Queen of everyth
ing both in the world and of transcendent creation. And in such manner being exa
lted over all subject to Her through Her Herself, and having Herself been made p
articipant of utmost choosing through the Divine Spirit, She is become the highe
st of any of the most exalted and most-blest Queen of blessed lineage.
And now indeed She hath celestial proper habitation, as it were a palace
most becoming Her, into which today She be translated from earth, to stand at t
he right side of the Almighty "adorned in golden robes, aglitter" (Ps. 44 [45]:
9-10), as expressed of Her by the psalmodist prophet. Beneathe the gilded garb H
er God-worthy body is aglitter with manifold virtues -- wherefore She alone with
the Son in God-glorified body hath celestial habitation: for the earth, the gra
ve and death have not power to hold on ultimately to the life-originative and Go
d-receiving body more radiant than the heavens and of heaven the habitation of t
he heavens. And actually, if a soul having habitation (within it) of the grace o
f God, forsaking the mundane, it is borne up to heaven, as becometh clear from m
any an example, and we do believe this: therefore, how could there not be carrie
d up from earth to heaven that body, not only having accepted within itself the
Only-Begotten and Praeternal Son of God, the inexhaustible well-spring of grace,
but moreover having begotten and manifest Him? How didst Thou, though dust subj
ect to decay, Who being yet three years of age, and not yet having in Thyself th
e Prae-Celestial Indwelling, not yet having begotten the Incarnated One, -- how
didst Thou come to take up habitation in the Holy of Holies? [Vide 21 November a
ccount of feast of Entry of the Virgin into the Temple.] Wherefore, it is in tha
t the body, having by nature begotten, is co-glorified with the God-becoming glo
ry (together) with He-Begotten, and it is co-resuscitated, as expressed in proph
etic song, together with the three-day first-resurrected Christ, in being His "A
rk of Holiness" (Ps. 131 [132]: 8). There was, moreover, the evidence of Her res
urrection from the dead for the Apostles -- the plaschanitsa and burial cloths,
which alone remained in the grave and which alone were found in it by those havi
ng come to look things over: just precisely the way formerly it had transpired w
ith Her Son and Lord. But here it was unnecessary that She should tarry a certai
n while upon the earth, as formerly had Her Son and God; and therefore, She was
straightaway taken up from the grave into celestial habitation, from whence to s
hine with a resplendid radiance, illumining from thence all the earthly realm. A
nd for all the faithful this is something worthy of veneration, worthy of praise
and of song. Moreover, with what was said at the start, -- that She was diminis
hed for a short time before the Angels (in the sense of tasting of death), -- th
is also should serve to the increase in everything in the majesty of the Mother
of God. Wherefore also it be entirely proper that everything be united together
and considered for the presentday solemnity.
And thus it is proper, that She containing the Fulfillment of all and th

e Existant before all should Herself achieve all and become foremost of all by H
er virtues and utmost worthiness. And thus it is, that over all the ages it help
ed matters that all that all the best individual figures were the best, but that
they possessed only the beneficences of God (each individually) whether angelic
or human, -- but all this She doth combine within Herself, and She alone inexpr
essibly and supra-abundantly: finding immortality through mortality, and in the
flesh finding heaven together with Her Son and God, and from that time thereof t
here is the abundant outpouring of supra-abundant grace for all those honouring
Her. She moreover doth bestow the boldness to hasten unto Her, the vessel of so
many a beneficence: generously doth She distribute blessings and for us doth nev
er cease this useful bestowing and gracious help.
Seeing in Her the source and treasury of every blessing, whosoever decla
res, that the Virgin is made perfect by virtue and by living virtuously, is as o
ne for whom there is the sensory light for the creatures living beneathe it -- w
hich is the sun. But if he transfer his mental gaze to the Sun, eternally shinin
g forth to mankind from This Virgin, -- if gazing towards this Sun, Which by nat
ure and supra-abundance hath everything, which be granted Her by grace, then the
Virgin therewith doth stand forth amidst the heavens. And this be so because of
the deigning of God through all blessedness, that She hath attained to an inher
itance, by far the most precious, moreso than any beneficence beneathe or beyond
the skies, -- just as the sky is more vast than the sun, but the sun doth shine
brighter than the sky.
What word is there to describe Thine God-seemly beauty, O Virgin Mother?
It is impossible indeed to explain all about Thee in reasonings and words: so m
uch doth it exceed both mind and word. But I mustneed sing Thine praises, if Tho
u permit out of love for mankind. For in as Thou -- art the fount of all graciou
s gifts and the fullness of all righteousness, the chosen and inspired image of
every blessing and every good, as only alone worthy of the gifts of the Spirit,
and particularly alone as having held in Thine womb He its treasure, and having
co-wrought miraculous habitation for Him; and wherefore now, having passed throu
gh mortality into immortality, and rightly gone forth from earth to Heaven, into
the Praeternal habitation, Thou art become co-residing in eternal time, and the
re (dwellest Thou), not forsaking care for Thine inheritance, but with incessant
supplications to Him moving Him to mercy for all. How much closer to God of all
those closest to God is the Mother of God, and how much the greatest hath She b
een vouchsafed, in comparison with all (meaning not only the earth-born, but all
even of the Angelic holy ranks).
It was about the angelic chief-ranks that Isaiah earlier once wrote: "an
d the Seraphim do stand round about Him" (Is. 6: 2). But concerning Her [the Mot
her of God] on the other hand is David: "the Queen stood at Thy right side" (Ps.
44 [45]: 9-10). Do you not see the variance of standing? And from this variance
it is possible to discern also the variance of rank according to worthiness: si
nce the Seraphim -- are but around God, while next right beside Him -- the One-O
nly Queen, Which be praised of and glorified by God Himself, announcing as it we
re concerning Her to His (Angelic) Powers that are round about and saying, as wa
s said in the Song of Songs: "Thou art fair, My Dear" (Song 6: 4), a light most
sparkling, a Divine paradise most sweet and of all the world both visible and in
visible the most beautiful. And She in all due justice doth stand not only nearb
y, but at the right side: since that, where Christ is enthroned in the Heavens,
She also there now doth stand, having gone up from earth to Heaven, -- not only
that She did desire this, nor mutually most of all it was wanted thus in accord
with some most essential laws, but rather, it was because She is His true Throne
. This Throne saw also Isaiah amidst the choir of the Seraphim and he called it
high and exalted (Is. 6: 1), thus indicating (by this) the exalting of the Mothe
r of God over the Heavenly Powers. Wherefore the prophet also did present these
angels as glorifying God of Her and proclaiming: the blessing of the Glory of th
e Lord from His place (Ezek. 3: 12). The Patriarch Jacob, contemplatively surmis
ing this, cried out: "for awesome be this place: this be naught other than the h
ouse of God, and this the Heavenly gate" (Gen. 28: 17). And David again, in gath
ering together with the multitude of the saved, as though it were to avail himse

lf of certain tonal strings or the consonant varied notes about Her the Ever-Vir
gin into one harmony from over the various generations, expresses it in psalmody
concerning Her, saying: "I wilt remember Thy name from every generation unto ge
neration: whereof people shalt confess Thee unto ages of ages forever" (Ps. 44 [
45]: 17-18).
Do ye not see, that the whole of creation doth glorify This the Virgin M
other, and not only over the course of some prescribed interval, but rather unto
ages of ages forever? It is possible hence to deduce, moreover, that She ceaset
h not through all the ages to be of benefit to all creatures. I speak not only a
bout us as creatures, but also about the utmost incorporeal and supernatural hie
rarchies, since they together with us through Her alone become conjoined and con
tingent to God, the Intangible Existant. Isaiah pointed this out clearly: he saw
, that the Seraphim did not directly take hold the offertory coal, but took hold
of it by means of a tong, by which he touched it to the mouth of the prophet, b
estowing cleansing (Is. 6: 6). This vision of the tongs was identical with that
great sight which Moses did contemplate -- the bush amidst the flame not consume
d (Ex. 3: 2). Who knows, is not this bush and these tongs the Virgin Mother, wit
hout burn receiving the Fire of Divinity, , such that there was the Archangel pr
esent at the Conception [during the Annunciation], by which through Her was adjo
ined to the human race the Burier of the sin of the world cleansing us through t
his inexplicable conjoining? And whereof She is the one only Mediatrix betwixt t
he created and uncreated nature; and no one can come to God save that they be li
ghted forth through Her as through a truly Godly-mete luminant, since that "God
is amidst Her, and wilt not be stirred therefrom" (Ps. 45 [46]: 5-6).
If recompense be in measure of love towards God, and the loving Son be b
eloved of by His Father, and there be manifest the abode of Both, mysteriedly ab
iding and dwelling in such as conform to the promise of the Lord (Jn. 14: 21), - then who would love Him more than His Mother, for Whom be He the Only-Begotten
, but also begotten virginally, so that for Her there be a twofold cause of love
of Him co-united and conjoined (with Her)? And who more than His Mother would b
e beloved by the Only-Begotten, -- and moreover Begotten of Her inexplicably in
the fullness of time while yet having been Begotten of the One Only Father in et
ernity, -- how could there not be increase in conformity in mete propriety and h
onour befitting Her under the law, from Him Who was come to fulfill the law?
And thus, since through Her alone was come unto us He that did "appear u
pon earth and live amongst mankind" (Baruch 3: 38), and before Her being unseen,
such that in the time following He manifest Himself to all as the fount of Divi
ne illumination, and the fulfilled revelation of the Divine mysteries, and the f
ull embodiment of spiritual gifts, being moreover uncontained of all, save Her.
She Herself, foremost amongst all the repository of the most exceedingly excelle
nt plenitude of He That filleth all in all, Herself doth furnish to all of Him T
hat containeth all, bestowing to each as is possible in accord and in proportion
to the purity of each, since that She is both the repository and the Mediatrix
of the riches of God.
If such be the eternal law in the heavens, that through the less there e
nter into communion those having great power amidst the great, then certainly th
e Virgin Mother doth possess farmost exceedingly incomparable influence. It is t
hrough Her that there be conjoined to God all, who otherwise would not be conjoi
ned. And Her they do recognise as the repository of He That containeth all, whic
h but know God, and would praise Her together with God all who but praise God. S
he Herself is the pardoner of all that went before Her, and intercessor of all t
hat came after Her, and Mediatrix of eternal blessings. She -- is the reason of
the prophesies of the prophets, the principal of the Apostles, the affirmation o
f the martyrs, the foundation of the teachers. She -- is the glory of the earthborn, the joy of the Heavens, and the praise of all creatures. She -- is the sou
rce, the fount and tap-root of inexpressible blessings; She -- is the supreme pe
rfecting of all the holy.
O Virgin Divine and now Heavenly! How can I relate everything about Thee
? How might I glorify Thee, Thou the Treasury of Glory? Through Thee is illumine
d the gaze of reason, through Thee is enlightened the spirit discerned of the Ho

ly Spirit, in as Thou art rendered repository and vessel of Its gifts; yet not s
uch which Thou wouldst affirm unto Thyself, but such as Thou wouldst fulfill all
with the gifts of grace. For the Master of inexhaustible treasures foreordainet
h them unto Thee for the bestowing; else why would He have wrought the blessings
, and otherwise remain hidden and unbegotten? Wherefore, O Lady, grant abundantl
y to all Thy people and this Thine inheritance both Thy mercy and Thine gifts. G
rant deliverance from the misfortunes afflicting us; behold, how much and how gr
eatly we are oppressed from both without and within. By Thy might transform all
for the best; bestow for our sufferings Thine help and healing, granting unto ou
r souls and our bodies abundant grace for every need. And if we be not, make us
worthy receptacles and as such vouchsafe that we, saved and strengthened by Thy
grace, might glorify Him Incarnated of Thee for our sakes -- the Praeternal Word
, together with His Father Without-Beginning and Life-Creating Spirit, both now
and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
The Transfer from Edessa to Constantinople of the Not-Made-by-Hand Image
of our Lord Jesus Christ occurred in the year 944. Tradition relates, that duri
ng the time of the preaching of the Saviour, Abgar rules in Edessa. He was stric
ken all over his body with leprosy. Reports about the great miracles, worked by
the Lord, spread throughout Syria (Mt. 4: 24)and reached even Abgar. Without hav
ing seen the Saviour, Abgar believed in Him as the Son of God and wrote a letter
with a request to come and heal him. He sent with this letter to Palestine his
own portrait-painter Ananias, having commissioned him to make a depiction of the
Divine Teacher. Ananias arrived in Jerusalem and caught glimpse of the Lord, su
rrounded by people. He was not able to get close to Him because of the large thr
ong of people, listening to the preaching of the Saviour. Then he stood on an hi
gh-up rock and attempted from afar to render the image of the Lord Jesus Christ,
but this for him turned out in no wise successful. The Saviour Himself caught s
ight of him, called to him by name and gave over to him for Abgar a short letter
in which, having praised the faith of this ruler, He promised to send His disci
ple for both healing from leprosy and guidance for salvation. Then the Lord aske
d that there be brought Him water and a cloth (linen, or washcloth). He washed H
is Face, drying it with the cloth, and upon it was imprinted His Divine Countena
nce. Ananias took the cloth and the letter of the Saviour to Edessa. With revere
nce Abgar took the holy thing and he received healing; only a small part of trac
es of the terrible affliction remained upon his face until the arrival of the di
sciple promised by the Lord. He was the Disciple from the Seventy Saint Thaddeus
(Comm. 21 August), who preached the Gospel and baptised the believer Abgar and
all the people of Edessa. Having inscribed upon the Image Not-Made-by-Hand the w
ords "O Christ God, let no one hoping on Thee be ashamed thereof", Abgar adorned
it and placed it in a niche over the city gates.
For many years the inhabitants kept a pious custom to bow down before th
e Image Not-Made-by-Hand, when they went forth from the gates. But one of the gr
eat-grandsons of Abgar, later ruling Edessa, fell into idolatry. He decided to t
ake down the Image from the city wall. In a vision the Lord ordered the Edessa b
ishop to hide His image. The bishop, coming by night with his clergy, lit a lamp
ada before it and walled it over with a pottery-board and bricks. Many years pas
sed, and the people forgot about it. But in the year 545, when the Persian emper

or Chosroes I besieged Edessa and the position of the city seemed hopeless, the
MostHoly Mother of God appeared to Eulabios and ordered him to secure the Image
from the walled-in niche, and it would save the city from the enemy. Having open
ed the niche, the bishop found the Not-Made-by-Hand Image: in front of it was bu
rning the lampada, and upon the pottery-board, closing in the niche, was the ima
ged likeness. After the making of church procession with the Image Not-Made-by-H
and along the city walls, the Persian army withdrew.
In the year 630 Arabs seized hold of Edessa, but they did not hinder the
reverencing of the Image Not-Made-by-Hand, the fame of which had spread through
out all the East. In the year 944 the emperor Constantine Porphyrigenitos (912-9
59) wanted to transfer the Image to the then capital of Orthodoxy and he paid a
ransom for it to the emir-ruler of the city. With great reverence the Not-Made-b
y-Hand Image of the Saviour and that letter, which He had written to Abgar, were
transported by clergy to Constantinople. On 16 August the Image of the Saviour
was placed in the Tharossa church of the MostHoly Mother of God. About what happ
ened later with the Not-Made-by-Hand Image there exist several traditions. Accor
ding to one, -- crusaders ran off with it during the time of their rule at Const
antinople (1204-1261), but the ship, on which the sacred thing was taken, perish
ed in the waters of the Sea of Marmora. According to another tradition, the Imag
e Not-Made-by-Hand was transported around 1362 to Genoa, where it is preserved i
n a monastery in honour of the Apostle Bartholomew. It is known, that the Image
Not-Made-by-Hand repeatedly gave from itself exact imprints. One of these, named
"On Ceramic", was imprinted when Ananias hid the image in a wall on his way to
Edessa; another, imprinted on a cloak, wound up in Gruzia (Georgia). Possibly, t
he variance of traditions about the original Image Not-Made-by-Hand derives from
the existence of several exact imprints.
During the time of the Iconoclast heresy the defenders of Icon-Veneratio
n (Ikonodoules), having their blood spilt for holy icons, sang the tropar to the
Not-Made-by-Hand Image. In proof of the veracity of Icon-Veneration, Pope Grego
ry II (715-731) dispatched a letter to the Eastern emperor, in which he pointed
out the healing of king Abgar and the sojourn of the Not-Made-by-Hand Image at E
dessa as a commonly known fact. The Image Not-Made-by-Hand was put on the standa
rds of the Russian army, defending them from the enemy. In the Russian Orthodox
Church it is a pious custom for a believer, before entering the temple, to read
together with other prayers the tropar of the Not-Made-by-Hand Image of the Savi
According to the Prologue there are known 4 Not-Made-by-Hand Images of t
he Saviour: 1) at Edessa, of king Abgar -- 16 August; 2) the Kamulian, -- Sain
ted Gregory of Nyssa (Comm. 10 January) wrote about its discovery, while accordi
ng to the Monk Nikodemos of the Holy Mount (+ 1809, Comm. 1 July), the Kamulian
image appeared in the year 392, but it had in appearance an image of the Mother
of God -- 9 August; 3) in the time of emperor Tiberius (578-582), Saint Mary Sy
ncletika (Comm. 11 August) received healing from this; 4) on ceramic tiles -- 1
6 August.
The feast in honour of the Transfer of the Image Not-Made-by-Hand, made
together with the After-Feast of the Dormition, they call the third-above Saviou
r Image, the "Saviour on Linen Cloth". The particular reverence of this feast in
the Russian Orthodox Church is also expressed in iconography -- the icon of the
Not-Made-by-Hand Image was one of the most widely distributed.
The Martyr Diomedes was born in Cilician Tarsus, and by profession he wa
s a physician, but by belief a Christian, and he treated not only ills not only
of body but also of soul. He enlightened many pagans with belief in Christ, and
baptised them. The Church venerates him as an healer and summons his name during
the making of the Sacrament of Oil-Anointing the Sick.
Saint Diomedes traveled much, converting people to the true faith. When
he arrived in the city of Nicea, the emperor Diocletian (284-305) sent soldiers
to arrest him. Along the way from Nicea to Nicomedia, he got down from the cart
so as to pray, and he died. As proof of carrying out their orders, the soldiers
cut off his head, but became blinded. Diocletian gave orders to take away the he

ad back to the body. When the soldiers fulfilled the order, their sight was rest
ored and they believed in Christ.
The Monk Cherimon asceticised in Egypt in the Skete wilderness-monastery
, either at the end of the IV Century or the beginning years of the V Century. H
is name is remembered in the "Lausiaca" of Palladios and in the alphabetic Pater
ikon. His cave stood at a distance of 40 stadia from church and 12 stadia from a
spring of water. The saint died at handicraft at more than 100 years of age. Th
e Monk Cherimon is remembered likewise by the Monk Theodore the Studite (+ 11 No
vember 826) within the Lenten Triodion -- in the Service for Cheesefare Saturday
, in the 6th Ode of the Matins canon.
The MonkMartyr Nikodemos of Meteoreia asceticised in Thessaly, and suffe
red in the year 1551.
The Martyr Stamatios was a native of the city of Boleia (Thessaly). They
slandered him as having accepted Islam, but he bravely confessed himself a Chri
stian and was beheaded by the sword at Constantinople in 1680.
The Monk Joakim of Osogovsk was one of four great hermits of Bulgaria, h
aving inspired by his ascetic efforts hundreds and thousands of people to Christ
ian asceticism. He lived in the XI Century, unknown by anyone, in a cave on the
Osogovsk heights. Just before his death he chanced to encounter two hunters, who
m he blessed for a successful hunt. The demise of the monk followed, as he revea
led in a posthumous vision, "during a great darkness (i.e. an eclipse) eight yea
rs previous", i.e. approximately in the year 1115. A monastery was afterwards bu
ilt on the place of his ascetic deeds.
The Theodorovsk (Feodorovsk) Kostroma Icon of the Mother of God -- the a
ccount about it is located under 14 March.
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
MARTYR PATROCLES (+ C. 270-275).
The Holy Martyr Myron was a presbyter in Achaeia (Greece), and lived dur
ing the III Century. He suffered in the year 250 under the emperor Decius (249-2
51). The presbyter was gentle and kind to people, but he was also courageous in
the defense of his spiritual children. One time, on the feast of the Nativity of
Christ, he was celebrating Divine-services. The local governor Antipater came i
nto the church with soldiers so as to arrest those praying there and to subject
them to torture. Seeing this, Saint Myron began heatedly to plead for his flock,
denouncing the governor for his cruelty. The saint was delivered over to tortur
e, -- they took him and struck at his body with iron rods. They then threw the p
resbyter into a red-hot oven, but the Lord preserved the martyr -- at the very m
oment when about 150 men at a nearby pagan temple were scorched by the oven fire
. The governor then began to demand the martyr to worship idols. Having received
from Saint Myron a firm refusal, Antipater ordered the leather thongs to be cut
from his skin. Saint Myron took one of the leather thongs and threw it in the f
ace of his tormentor. Falling into a rage, Antipater gave orders to strike Saint

Myron all over his stripped

easts for devouring. But the
ated, Antipater in his blind
to the city of Kizika, where

body, and then to deliver the martyr over to wild b

beasts would not touch him. Perceiving himself defe
rage committed suicide. They then took Saint Myron
he was beheaded by the sword (+ 250).

The Monk Alypii of Pechersk, one of the first and finest of Russian icon
ographers, was a monastic novice of the Monk Nikon (Comm. 23 March), and from hi
s youthful years pursued asceticism at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. He studied
the iconography of the Greek masters, and from the year 1083 beautifying the Pec
hersk church of the Uspenie (Dormition) of the MostHoly Mother of God. The Monk
Alypii wrote icons gratis. If he learned that in some church the icons had becom
e worn, he took them with him and unmercenarily restored them. If it so happened
that they paid him for his work, the monk disbursed one part for the obtaining
of iconographic materials, the second part he distributed to the poor, and only
the third did he keep for himself. The Monk Alypii was never famous, and he did
the iconography only so as to serve God. He was raised to the dignity of priestm
onk and was known for a gift of wonderworking while still alive: the Monk Alypii
healed a Kievan man suffering from leprosy and decay of the body by anointing t
he wounds of the sick man with paints, prepared for the writing of icons. Many i
cons done by the monk were glorified by wonderworking. A particular instance is
known, when Angels of God helped him in the holy task of writing icons. A certai
n Kievan man, having built a church, entrusted two Pechersk monks to commission
the icons for it. The monks concealed the money and said nothing to the Monk Aly
pii. Having waited a long time for the carrying out of the commission, the Kieva
n man turned to the hegumen with a complaint against the monk, and here only did
they discover that he had not heard of the commission. When they brought the bo
ards given by the customer, it turned out that on them already were done beautif
ul images. And when the church built for the icons was consumed by fire, all of
the icons remained unharmed. One of these icons ( the Uspenie of the MostHoly Mo
ther of God) -- having received the title Vladimir-Rostovsk (celebrated 15 Augus
t), was taken by GreatPrince Vladimir Monomakh (1113-1125) to a Rostov church bu
ilt by him.
Another time, an Angel wrote an icon in honour of the Uspenie (Dormition
) of the MostHoly Mother of God, when the Monk Alypii lay in a pre-death illness
. And in this the Angel accepted the soul of the Monk Alypii (he died on 17 Augu
st not earlier than the year 1114). He was buried in the Nearer Caves (Comm. Sob
or 28 September). Of the right hand of the Monk Alypii the first three fingers w
ere folded perfectly alike, and the last two were bent to the palm -- in such pr
ayerful manner of signing himself with the sign of the cross did the monk die. O
ne of the icons of the Monk Alypii -- the MostHoly Mother of God with the Infant
-Saviour, surviving from the time of the Monks Antonii and Feodosii of Pechersk
is now preserved in the State Tretyakov Gallery (named the Svensk, and celebrate
d 3 May and 17 August).
The Martyrs Paul and Juliania suffered in about the year 273. The accoun
t about them is located under 4 March.
The Martyrs Therses, Leucius, Coronatus and their Companions suffered in
Bythnian Caesarea and Apollonia under the emperor Decius (249-251). (It is poss
ible that Coronatus is the same person as Cornutus, whose commemoration is on 12
The Martyr Patrocles lived during the III Century under the emperor Aure
lian (270-275). It is known, that he was a native of the city of Tricassinum (no
w the city of Troyes in France) and led a pious Christian life: he loved to pray
, to read the Holy Scriptures, to fast and to be charitable to the poor. For thi
s the Lord sent down upon him the gift of wonderworking. The emperor Aurelian su
mmoned Saint Patrocles to himself and commanded him to worship idols, promising
for this great honours and riches. The saint disdained idol-worship saying that
the emperor himself was a beggar. "How canst thou term me, the emperor, a beggar

?" -- questioned Aurelian. The saint answered: "Thou dost possess many earthly t
reasures, but thou hast not Heavenly treasures, because thou believest not in Ch
rist and in the future life thou shalt not receive paradisical blessedness -- th
erefore thou art poor". Aurelian in answer sentenced him to beheading by the swo
rd. Soldiers led him to the banks of the River Sequanum (now the Seine), but sud
denly their eyes were beclouded, and Saint Patrocles at this time went across th
e river on the water and began to pray on an hill on the other river-bank. Comin
g to themselves, some of the soldiers were astounded at the disappearance of the
martyr and they glorified God, but others attributed the miracle to magic. A pa
gan woman pointed out to the soldiers that Saint Patrocles was situated on the o
ther bank of the river. Crossing over there, the soldiers killed the martyr (+ c
. 275). His body was buried by night by the priest Eusebius and deacon Liberius.
The Martyrs Straton, Philip, Eutykhian and Kyprian suffered at Nikomedia
. Visiting the circus, they taught people to cease with idol-worship and they co
nverted many pagans to Christ. The governor, observing that the people were leav
ing the circus, summoned to himself the martyrs, who firmly confessed their fait
h in Christ and for this they were given over to wild beasts for devouring. The
beasts did not touch them, and the martyrs were then subjected to torture and th
rown into a fire (+ c. 303).
The Monk Levkii of Volokolamsk was the founder of the Uspenie (Dormition
) monastery on the Ruza River (the monastery was located 32 versts from the city
of Volokolamsk and 2 versts from the village of Seredo-Stratilatsk). The Monk L
evkii was a disciple of the Monk Paphnutii of Borovsk (+ 1 May 1477) and associa
te of the Monk Joseph of Volotsk (+ 9 September 1515). The time of the founding
of the monastery by the Monk Levkii might perhaps be determined from the remnant
s of the Life of the Monk Daniel of Pereyaslavl' (+ 7 April 1540). The monk Dani
el upon his arrival at the Borovsk monastery in the year 1466 was entrusted by t
he Monk Paphnutii to the Starets (elder) Levkii as an experienced ascetic in the
spiritual life. After 10 years, i.e. in 1476, the starets and his student settl
ed in the Volokolamsk region, where they dwelt together for another 2 years in f
ounding the monastery. After this the Monk Daniel went to Pereyaslavl'. It is co
njectured that the Monk Levkii was 62 years of age at the founding of the monast
ery. Having raised up a monastery, he became known throughout the surrounding re
gion for his ascetic life. The Monk Levkii died in extreme old age (according to
tradition -- 17 July) at the end of the XV Century. He was buried in the monast
ery founded by him.
In the Iconographic original of the image of the monk is inscribed under
27 July: "He was greyed, and a beard like Sergei, his hair uncovered, a schemahabit on his shoulders, in his hands a staff, and monastic garb".
The commemoration of the Monk Levkii is observed both on 14 December and
on 17 August -- on the Day of the Holy Martyr Leucius.
The Monk Philip of Sukhonsk was an hermit on Yankovsk hill, on the left
bank of the Sukhona River -- two versts from the city of Ustiug. The Ustiug inha
bitants built up a monastery at the place of his ascetic deeds, so as to learn m
onastic life under his guidance, and in the year 1654 they built a church in hon
our of the Znamenie (Sign) Mother of God with a chapel in the name of the then-g
lorified Metropolitan of Moscow, Sainted Philip. Brethren soon gathered. The Mon
k Philip, refusing no one his guidance, in his humility would not accept the dig
nity of hegumen and he died at the monastery as a simple monk on 17 August 1662.
The Svensk-Pechersk Icon of the Mother of God has two festal celebration
s: on 3 May -- on the day of death of the Monk Feodosii of Pechersk (Vide concer
ning him under that day), and on 17 August -- on the day of the death of the Mon
k Alypii of Pechersk, who wrote the icon. The 17 August day of celebration was e
stablished in the year 1815 in thanksgiving for the deliverance of the city of B
ryansk (around which the icon appeared in 1288) from its invasion during the 181
2 Napoleonic War.

The Armatian Icon of the Mother of God was situated in Constantinople at

the Armatian monastery. The place, where the monastery was located, was called
"Armation" or "of the Armatians" and received suchlike a name from the military
magister Armatias, nephew of the tyrant Basiliskos and a contemporary of the emp
eror Zenon (474-491). The celebration of the wonderworking icon was established
to commemorate deliverance from the Iconoclast heresy. The VII OEcumenical Counc
il in the year 787 drew up dogmatic determinations about icon-veneration based o
n the foundations of Holy Scripture and Church Tradition.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
C. 300).
The Martyrs Florus and Laurus were brothers by birth not only in flesh b
ut in spirit. They lived in the II Century at Byzantium, and afterwards they set
tled in Illyria (now Yugoslavia). By occupation they were stone-masons (their te
achers in this craft were the christians Proclus and Maximus, from whom also the
brothers learned about life pleasing to God). The governor of Illyria Likaion d
ispatched the brothers to a nearby district for work on the construction of a pa
gan temple. The saints toiled at the structure, distributing to the poor the mon
ey they earned, while themselves keeping strict fast and praying unceasingly. On
e time the son of the local pagan-priest Mamertin carelessly approached the stru
cture, and a chip of stone hit him in the eye, severely injuring him. Saints Flo
rus and Laurus assured the upset father, that his son would be healed. They brou
ght the youth to consciousness and told him to have faith in Christ. After this,
as the youth confessed Jesus Christ as the True God, the brothers prayed for hi
m, and the eye was healed. In view of such a miracle even the father of the yout
h believed in Christ. When the construction of the temple was completed, the bro
thers gathered together the Christians, and having gone through the temple, they
smashed the idols and in the eastern part of the temple they set up the holy cr
oss. They spent all night in prayer, illumined with heavenly light. Having learn
ed of this, the head of the district condemned to burning the former pagan-pries
t Mamertin and his son and 300 Christians. The martyrs Florus and Laurus, having
been sent back to the governor Likaion, were thrown down an empty well and cove
red over with ground. After many years the relics of the holy martyrs were uncov
ered undecayed, and transferred to Constantinople. In the year 1200 the Novgorod
pilgrim Antonii saw them; in about the year 1350, Stefan of Novgorod saw the he
ads of the martyrs in the Almighty monastery.
The Martyrs Hermas, Serapion and Polienus were Romans, and they suffered
for Christ in the II Century. They were thrown into prison, and when under inte
rrogation they firmly confessed their faith in Christ and refused to offer sacri
fice to idols, the martyrs were dragged through crowds and impassable places. St
ruck by stones and other material, they died, taking up their heavenly crowns.
The PriestMartyrs Emilian the Bishop, and with him Ilarion, Dionysius an
d Hermippus were born and lived in Armenia. After the death of their parents, th
e PriestMartyrs Emilian, Dionysios and Hermippos (they were brothers), and Ilari
on (their teacher) left their native land and arrived in Italy, in the city of S

poleto. Saint Emilian began there to preach the Gospel to the pagans. He won the
deep respect of the Christian community for his strict and virtuous life, and h
e was chosen bishop in the city of Trebium (he received hierarchical ordination
from the Pope of Rome Marcellinus). Having moved to Trebium, Saint Emilian conve
rted many pagans to Christ, for which he was brought to trial before the emperor
Mamimian (284-305). The saint suggested to the emperor to see for himself the p
ower of prayer to Christ. A man was brought, crippled for a long time. However m
uch the pagan-priests tried to heal him by appealing to the idols, they accompli
shed nothing. Then Saint Emilian, praying to the Lord, in the Name of Jesus Chri
st commanded the crippled man to rise up, and that one, getting himself up healt
hy and rejoicing, went his way home. This miracle was so convincing, that the em
peror became inclined to an admission of the truth in Christ, but the pagan-prie
sts suggested to him, that the saint had worked magic. He was subjected to fierc
e tortures, in which the Lord encouraged him, saying: "Fear not, Emilian, I Myse
lf am with thee". They tied him to a wheel, flung him on hot tin, dunked him in
a river, put him in a circus for devouring by wild beasts, but he remained unhar
med. In view of all these miracles the people began to shout: "Great is the Chri
stian God! Free His servant!" On this day 1,000 men believed in Christ, and all
accepted the crown of martyrdom. In a rage the governor gave orders even to kill
the beasts for not tearing apart the saint, who was giving thanks to the Lord,
-- so that even the wild beasts accepted death for Christ. They locked up Saint
Emilian in prison together with his brothers and teacher, and after fierce tortu
res the Priestmartyrs Ilarion, Dionysius and Hermippus were beheaded with the sw
ord. They executed Saint Emilian outside the city. When the executioner struck t
he martyr on the neck with a sword, it became soft like wax, and in no way wound
ed the saint. Soldiers fell on their knees to him, asking forgiveness and confes
sing Christ as the True God. Upright on his knees, the saint prayed for them and
besought the Lord to grant him a martyr's death. His prayer was heard: another
executioner cut off the head of the saint. Seeing a milkiness flowing from his w
ounds, many of the pagans believed in Christ and with honour they buried the bod
y of the martyr (+ c. 300).
Sainted John V was Patriarch of Constantinople from 669-674, and Sainted
George I -- from 678-683. They were both during the reign of the emperor Consta
ntine Pogonatos (668-685).
The Monk Makarios was hegumen of the Pelikites monastery. During the tim
e of the Iconoclast heresy he underwent torture and imprisonment for icon venera
tion. He died about the year 830.
His memory a second time is 1 April.
The Monk John of Ryl'sk -- a great spiritual ascetic of the Bulgarian Or
thodox Church and Heavenly Protector of the Bulgarian nation, was born in the ye
ar 876 in the village of Skrino in the Sredetsk district (ancient Sredets -- is
now Sofia). Early on having been left orphaned, the boy became a cowherd in the
avoidance of people. One time the rich man beat him for losing a cow with its ca
lf. The boy cried long and he prayed, that God would help him. When he found the
cow with the calf, the water at that time flowed high and strong in the River S
truma. The young cowherd prayed, he placed on the water his own tattered shirt,
made the sign of the cross over it, took up in his arms the calf and went with i
t, as though on dry land, -- to the other bank of the river where the cow was si
tuated. The rich man, hidden in the forest, was frightened seeing this miracle a
nd, generously having rewarded the youth, sent him away from his home. Having gi
ven away his things, the boy left from his native village. Where and when the sa
int took monastic vows remains unknown. At the very first he pursued asceticism
on an high and barren hill, eating but wild plants. His hut was of brushwood. Af
ter a short while robbers fell upon him by night and, having beaten him, drove h
im off from there. Then he found a deep cave and settled in it. There his nephew
Saint Luke also soon settled. The place was quite unpopulated, so that the Monk
John at first considered the appearance of Luke a devilish trick, but learning

that the youth sought after salvation of soul, he lovingly accepted him. Not for
long, however, did they happen to live together: the brother of the Monk John f
ound the ascetics and by force took away his son. Along the way home the youth d
ied from the bite of a snake. Having repented, the brother asked forgiveness of
the monk. The wanderer went then frequently to the grave of the righteous youth;
his beloved place of rest was there. Twelve years the monk spent in the desolat
e cave, and then he went into the Ryl'sk wilderness and settled into the hollow
of a tree. He fasted and prayed much, incessantly wept, and ate only grass. Seei
ng such endurance, God had beans grow up, which he ate for a long time. This sor
t of beans and his exploits made him known to people. One time a flock of sheep
from sudden fright ran along the hilly steep paths, and did not stop until the p
lace where the monk lived. The shepherds, following after the flock, with astoni
shment saw the hermit, who amicably greeted them: "Ye arrive here hungry -- pluc
k yourself my beans and eat". All ate and were satisfied. One gathered many bean
s in reserve. Along the way home he offered them to his comrades, but in the pil
fered pods there remained no beans. The shepherds turned back penitent, and the
starets (elder) stood there, saying with a smile: "See, children, these fruits a
re appointed by God for subsistence in the wilderness". From that time they bega
n to bring to the monk the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, which
he healed by prayer. Fleeing celebrity, the monk went from his beloved tree-holl
ow and settled on an high and difficult of access rock crag, where he dwelt for
7 years under the open sky. Reports about the great ascetic reached even the Bul
garian king Peter (927-969), who wanted to meet with him; but the Monk John, hav
ing written a letter, rejected such meeting through humility. Later on the Monk
John accepted under him the nourishing of monks, who built a monastery with a ch
urch in the cave, where the Monk John formerly lived. He wisely tended his flock
and died on 18 August 946 at 70 years of life. 5 years before his end he wrote
by his own hand "A Testament to Disciples", one of the finest creation of Old-Bu
lgarian literature. The holy life of the ascetic and the remarkable mercies of G
od through his prayers were very fine a preaching of the Christian faith in the
newly-baptised Bulgarian land. In the uneasy time of struggle of Bulgaria with B
yzantium, under the west-Bulgarian king Samuel (976-1014), the Monk John appeare
d to his disciples, commanding them to transfer his relics to Sredets (Sofia), w
here the Bulgarian Patriarch Damian (927-972) was concealed. It is presumed, tha
t the transfer of relics was in the year 980. Somewhat later the right hand of t
he Monk John of Ryl'sk was transferred to Russia (presumably to the city of Ryl'
sk, at which was constructed a church in the name of the Monk John of Ryl'sk wit
h a chapel dedicated to the martyrs Florus and Laurus, on the day of their memor
y -- 18 August -- on which he died). The name of the Monk John from deep antiqui
ty was known and loved by the Russian people. Particularly in Russian sources (t
he Menaion for August in the XII Century, in the Mazurinsk Chronicle) is preserv
ed data about the death of the monk. In the year 1183 the Hungarian king Bela II
(1174-1196), during the time of a campaign against the Greeks seized with other
booty in Sredets the chest with the relics of the Monk John and took it to the
city of Esztergom. In the year 1187, having embellished the reliquary, he sent b
ack the holy relics with great honour. On 19 October 1238 the relics of the Monk
John were solemnly transferred to the new capital -- Tirnovo, and put in a chur
ch in the name of the saint. On 1 July 1469 the holy relics of the Monk John of
Ryl'sk were returned to the Ryl'sk monastery, where they repose to the present d
ay, granting graced help to all the believing.
The Monk Barnabas and his nephew Sophronios were Athenians, saved upon M
ount Mela near Trapezund in Asia Minor. They died in the year 412.
The Monk Christopher was born in the locale of Gazara, near Trapezund. H
e was the head of a monastery on Mount Mela in the second half of the VII Centur
y (641-668).
The Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God, situated in the Mela monastery
near Trapezund was written, by tradition, by the Evangelist Luke.

On this day is the memory of 4 Ascetics in the wilderness whose names ar

e unknown. Also Many Saints (300) burnt in a fire for destroying idols.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Martyr Andrew (Andreios) Stratelates was a military commander in the
Roman armies during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305). They loved him
in the Roman armies because of his bravery, invincibility and sense of fairness
. When a large Persian army invaded the Syrian territories, the governor Antioch
us entrusted Saint Andrew with the command of the Roman army, giving him the tit
le of "Stratelates" ("Commander-General"). Saint Andrew chose for himself a not
large detachment of brave soldiers and proceeded against the adversary. His sold
iers were pagans. Saint Andrew himself had still not accepted Baptism, but he be
lieved in Jesus Christ. Before the conflict he persuaded the soldiers, that the
pagan gods -- were demons and unable to render help in battle. He proclaimed to
them Jesus Christ, the omnipotent God of Heaven and earth, giving help to all be
lieving in Him. The soldiers went into battle, calling on the help of the Saviou
r. The not large detachment set to flight the numerous host of the Persians. Sai
nt Andrew returned from the campaign in glory, having gained a total victory. Bu
t the jealous reported on him to the governor Antiochus, that he -- was a Christ
ian, converting to his faith the soldiers under his command. Saint Andrew was su
mmoned to trial, and there he declared his faith in Christ. For this they subjec
ted him to torture. He reclined himself upon a bed of white-hot copper, but as s
oon as he recoursed to help from the Lord, the bed became cool. They crucified h
is soldiers on trees, but not one of them renounced Christ. Having locked the sa
ints away in prison, Antiochus dispatched the report of charges on to the empero
r, being undecided on whether to impose the death sentence upon the acclaimed vi
ctor. The emperor knew, how the army loved Saint Andrew, and fearing a mutiny, h
e gave orders to free the martyrs, and secretly he ordered that each under some
pretext be executed separately.
Having been set free, Saint Andrew together with his fellow soldiers wen
t on to the city of Tarsus. There the local bishop Peter and bishop Nonos of Ber
oeia baptised them. Then the soldiers proceeded on to the vicinity of Taxanata.
Antiochus wrote a letter to the governor of the Cilicia region Seleukos, that un
der the excuse of deserting their military standards he should overtake the comp
any of Saint Andrew and kill them. Seleukos came upon the martyrs in the passes
of Mount Tauros, where they were evidently soon to suffer. Saint Andrew, calling
the soldiers his brothers and children, urged them not to fear death. He prayed
for all who would honour their memory, and besought the Lord to send a curative
spring on the place where their blood would be shed. At the time of this prayer
the steadfast martyrs were beheaded with swords (+ c. 302). During this time a
spring of water issued forth from the ground. Bishops Peter and Nonos, with thei
r clergy secretly following the company of Saint Andrew, buried their bodies. On
e of the clergy, suffering for a long time from an evil spirit, drank from the s
pring of water and at once he was healed. Reports about this spread amongst the
local people and they started to come to the spring, and through the prayers of
Saint Andrew and the 2593 Martyrs suffering with him, they received gracious hel
p from God.
Sainted Pitirim, Bishop of Velikoperm (GreatPerm), was chosen and consec
rated to the Perm cathedra-seat after the suffering and death of Sainted Gerasim

of Perm (+ post 1441, Comm. 24 January). Before becoming bishop, Saint Pitirim
in the dignity of archimandrite was head of the Chudov monastery. He later becam
e known as compiler of the Canon to Sainted Alexei, Metropolitan of Moscow (Comm
. 12 February), and he gathered the account of his vita-life. As bishop, Saint P
itirim first of all occupied himself with establishing friendly relations betwee
n the Zyryani and Voguli peoples. He circulated admonitory letters and messages,
seeking to defend the Zyryani from pillage. The Voguli leader Asyka however, ta
king advantage of princely dissentions and the remoteness of the bishop from the
capital, plundered Christian settlements and killed defenseless people. Novgoro
d landowners held lands at the Rivers Vyg and Dvina, suffering death with the co
nstant pillaging, and in the year 1445 they marched out against the Voguli and t
ook Asyka captive. The crafty pagan swore friendship in relation to Perm and vow
ed to harass Christians no longer. Set free, Asyka waited for a convenient momen
t to attack Ust'-Vym with the aim of killing Saint Pitirim, to whom he attribute
d his defeat by the Novgorodians. During this time Saint Pitirim was twice in Mo
scow: in 1447 for the compiling of a circular missive to prince Dimitrii Shemyak
a, having broken a treaty oath (they presuppose, that the compiler of the grammo
ta was Saint Pitirim), and again in the year 1448 for the consecration of Saint
Jona, Metropolitan of Moscow (Comm. 31 March). Taking advantage of Saint Pitirim
's absence, Asyka again made an attack on a Zyryani settlement near the Pechora,
robbing and killing the inhabitants. Not only the Zyryani, but also the Voguli
living their nomadic life near the Pechora tributary, had become convinced of th
e truth of the preachings of Saint Pitirim, and they had begun to accept Baptism
. Embittered by this, Asyka committed a new crime. On 19 August 1456 he murdered
Saint Pitirim, when he was out blessing the waters at the point of land formed
by the confluence of the Rivers Vaga and Vychegda. The body of the saint remaine
d for 40 days in a grave at the place of death (since they awaited an answer to
the sad news of his death), and in spite of it being an hot period, decay did no
t touch him. The saint was buried in the Ust'-Vym cathedral church of the Annunc
iation next to his predecessor Saint Gerasim. The memory of his repose was enter
ed into an ustav already in the year 1522. And in the year 1607 there was establ
ished the memory in common (29 January) of the three GreatPerm Sainted-Hierarchs
: Gerasim, Pitirim and Jona, having succeeded one another at the Ust'-Vym cathed
The Martyrs Timothy, Agapios and Thekla suffered martyrdom in the year 3
04. The Martyr Timothy was a native of the city of Caesarea Palestine. He studie
d the Holy Scripture, and having received a special gift of eloquence, he became
a teacher of the Christian faith. During the time of persecution against Christ
ians under the co-emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (284-305), the mart
yr was brought to trial by the governor Urban. Saint Timothy fearlessly declared
himself a Christian and uttered an account about the love of the Lord Jesus Chr
ist for mankind and about His coming into the world for their salvation. The mar
tyr was subjected to cruel torture, and when they saw that he remained down, the
y killed him.
And in this same town and year suffered the Martyrs Agapios and Thekla - they were thrown to wild beasts for devouring and in such suffering they recei
ved their heavenly crowns.
The Monk Theophanes the New, a native of the city of Ianina, lived durin
g the XV Century. He accepted monastic tonsure in early youth on Holy Mount Atho
s at the Dokhiar monastery. He was afterwards chosen hegumen of this monastery b
ecause of his lofty virtuousness. In saving his own nephew from the Turks, who b
y force had taken Constantinople and there established the Moslem religion, Sain
t Theophanes with the help of God set free the youth, hid him in his own monaste
ry and gave him blessing for monastic tonsure. The brethren, fearing revenge on
the part of the Turks, began grumbling against the saint, and he, not wanting to
be the cause of discord and dissensions, he humbly withdrew with his nephew fro
m the Dokhiar monastery, quit the Holy Mountain and went off to Beroeia. There,
in the skete monastery of Saint John the Forerunner, Saint Theophanes built a ch

urch in honour of the MostHoly Mother of God. And as monks began to gather, he g
ave them a common-life monastic rule. When the monastery flourished, the saint w
ithdrew to a new place at Nausa, where he made a church in honour of the holy Ar
changels and founded there also a monastery. To the very end of his days Saint T
heophanes did not forsake guiding the monks of both monasteries, both regarding
him as their father in common. In a revelation foreseeing his own end and giving
his flock a final farewell, the saint died in extreme old age at the Beroeia mo
nastery. Even during life the Lord had glorified his humble saint: saving people
from destruction, he quelled a tempest by prayer, and converted sea water into
drinking water. And the saint even after death never has forsaken people with hi
s graced help.
The Donskoi Icon of the Mother of God was written by Theophan the Greek.
On the day of the Kulikovo Battle (8 September 1380, the Feast of the Birth of
the MostHoly Mother of God), the Icon was amidst the Russian army, giving it hel
p, but after the victory it was passed on by the Don Cossacks as a gift to their
commander, Greatprince Dimitrii Donskoy (1363-1389), who then transferred it to
Moscow. The Icon at first came to be at the Kremlin Uspensky Sobor (Dormition C
athedral), and later at the Blagoveschenie-Annuniciation Cathedral (the Icon is
now in the Tretyakov State Gallery). In commemoration of the victory on the bank
s of the River Don it was given the name of the Donskoi Icon.
In the year 1591 the Crimean khan Nuradin and his brother Murat-Girei in
vaded Russia with a numerous army, and advancing on Moscow, they positioned them
selves on the Vorob'ev hills. For the guarding from enemies, around Moscow there
was made a church procession with the Donskoi Icon of the MostHoly Mother of Go
d. On the day of battle it was situated in the military chapel amidst the soldie
rs ranks and set the Tatars to flight. In thanksgiving to the MostHoly Mother of
God for Her mercy, manifest through the Donskoi Icon, in 1592 at the very place
where it stood amidst the soldiers was founded the Donskoi monastery, into whic
h was put the wonderworking icon and feastday established under 19 August. By es
tablished custom, in the small cathedral in honour of the Donskoi Icon of the Mo
ther of God, once every four years His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All
Russia performs the rite of the boiling of holy chrism.
2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Prophet Samuel was the 15th and last of the Judges of Israel, living
more than 1146 years before the Birth of Christ. He was descended from the Trib
e of Levi, and was the son of Elkanah from Ramathaim-Zophima of Mount Ephraim. H
e was born, having been besought of the Lord through the prayers of his mother A
nna (wherefore he received the name Samuel, which means "besought"), and even be
fore birth he was dedicated to God. When the boy reached age 3, his mother went
with him to Shiloh and in accord with her vow gave him over to the tabernacle in
care of the high-priest Eli, who at this time was a judge over the Israelite na
tion. The prophet grew in the fear of God, and already at 12 years of age he had
the revelation, that God would punish all the house of the high-priest Eli, bec
ause he did not restrain the impiety of his sons.
The prophecy was fulfilled when the Philistines, having slain in battle
30,000 Israelites (among them were also the sons of the high-priest, Hophni and
Phinees), gaining victory and capturing the Ark of the Covenant with God. Hearin
g of this, the high-priest Eli fell from his seat backwards at the gate, and bre
aking his back, he died. The wife of Phinees, upon hearing what had happened in
this very hour, gave birth to a son (Ichabod) and died with the words: "The glor
y is gone out from Israel, for the Ark of God is taken away" (1 Sam. [1 Kings] 4

: 22).
Upon the death of Eli, Samuel became the judge of the nation of Israel.
The Ark of God was returned by the Philistines on their own initiative, and afte
r their returning to God, the Israelites returned to all the cities, which the P
hilistines had taken. Having gotten up in years, the Prophet Samuel made his son
s -- Joel and Abiah -- judges over Israel, but they followed not in the integrit
y and righteous judgement of their father, since they were motivated by greed. T
hen the elders of Israel, wanting that the nation of God should be "like other n
ations" (1 Sam. [1 Kings] 8: 20), demanded of the Prophet Samuel that a king be
established for them. The Prophet Samuel saw in this a deep downfall of the peop
le, which until this time God Himself had governed, announcing His will through
His chosen saints. Resigning the position of judge, the Prophet Samuel asked the
people, whether they consent in his continued governance, but no one stepped fo
rward for him. After denunciation of the first king, Saul, for his disobedience
to God, the Prophet Samuel anointed as king Saint David, to whom he had offered
asylum, saving him from the pursuit of king Saul. The Prophet Samuel died in ext
reme old age. His life is recorded in the Bible (1 Sam. [1 Kings]; Sirach 46: 13
-20). In the year 406 A.D. the relics of the Prophet Samuel were transferred fro
m Judea to Constantinople.
The Martyrs Sevirus, Memnon and 37 Martyrs suffered in Thracian Philippo
polis under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). For his steadfast and fearless con
fession of faith, they tore at Saint Sevirus with iron hooks. Then they put redhot rings on the fingers of his hand and girded him with a red-hot iron belt. Af
ter these tortures they blinded the martyr. When the governor learned, that the
Martyr Sevirus had converted to Christ the centurion Memnon, he gave orders to s
ubject Memnon to tortures. They tore and cut from the back of the Martyr Memnon
three strips of skin. Together with him there suffered another 37 martyrs. For a
ll of them, they cut off their hands and feet and threw them into a fiery oven (
The Martyr Lucius, a senator, for confessing faith in Christ was beheade
d by the sword on the island of Crete in the year 310.
The Martyrs Iliodoros and Dosos (or Dos) suffered for Christ in Persia u
nder the emperor Sapor II, in the year 380.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


The Disciple from the Seventy Thaddeus was by descent an Hebrew, and he
was born in the Syrian city of Edessa. (The holy Disciple from the Seventy Thadd
eus mustneeds be distinguished from the Apostle from the Twelve, Jude, also call
ed Thaddeus or Levi, Comm. 19 June). Having come to Jerusalem for a feastday, he
heard the preaching of John the Forerunner and, having received from him baptis
m in Jordan, he remained in Palestine. In beholding the Saviour, he became His f
ollower, and was chosen by the Lord amidst the number of the Seventy Disciples,
which He sent by twos for preaching to the cities and locales, which He intended
to visit (Lk. 10: 1). After the Ascension of the Saviour to Heaven, the Discipl
e Thaddeus preached the good-news in Syria and Mesopotamia. He came preaching th
e Gospel to Edessa and he converted to Christ king Abgar, the people and the pag
an-priests. He backed up his preaching with many miracles (about which Abgar wro

te to the Assyrian emperor Nerses); he established there priests and built up th

e Edessa Church. Prince Abgar wanted to reward the Disciple Thaddeus with rich g
ifts, but he refused and went preaching to other cities, converting many pagans
to the Christian faith. Having arrived preaching in the city of Berit (Beirut),
he founded there the Church, and it was in this city that he peacefully died in
the year 44. (This place for his death is indicated in the Slavonic Meneion, but
according to other sources he died in Edessa. According to an ancient Armenian
tradition, the Disciple Thaddeus after various tortures was beheaded by the swor
d on 21 December in the Artaz region in the year 50).
The Martyress Bassa with her sons Theognios, Agapios and Pistos, lived i
n the city of Macedonian Edessa and she was married to a pagan-priest. From chil
dhood she had been raised in the Christian faith, which she passed on to her son
s. During the time of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), the husband repor
ted to the governor on his wife and children. All of them, in spite of threats,
refused to offer sacrifice to idols. They took the eldest son, Theognios, and to
re at him with iron claws. They flayed the skin of the lad Agapios from head to
chest, but the martyr did not utter a sound. Finally, they began to torture also
the youngest son Pistos. The mother did not hesitate to encourage them to endur
e the suffering for Christ. Then they beheaded the lads. (By one account, the th
ree martyred brothers suffered at Edessa in Macedonia; by another account -- at
Larissa in Thessaly their homeland). They locked up Saint Bassa in prison and ex
hausted her with hunger, but an Angel strengthened her with heavenly food. Under
successive tortures she remained unharmed from fire, water and beasts. When the
y brought her to a pagan temple, she shattered the statue of Zeus. Then they thr
ew the martyress into a whirlpool in the sea. But to everyone's surprise a ship
sailed up, and three radiant men pulled her up (the Monk Nikodemos of the Holy M
ountain suggested, that these were her children, martyred earlier). After 8 days
Saint Bassa came by ship to the governor of the island of Alona, not far from K
yzika, in the Prepontid or Marmora Sea. After a beating with canes they beheaded
It is known, that around the year 450 there already existed at Chalcedon
a church in honour of the holy Martyress Bassa.
The Monk Avraamii (Abraham) of Smolensk, a preacher of repentance and th
e impending Dread Last Judgement, was born in the mid-XII Century at Smolensk of
rich parents, who before him had 12 daughters, and they besought God for a son.
From childhood he grew up in the fear of God, he was often in church and had th
e opportunity to read books. The parents hoped that their only son would enter i
nto marriage and continue their illustrious lineage, but he sought after a diffe
rent life. After the death of his parents, having given away all his wealth to m
onasteries, to churches and to the destitute, the saint walked through the city
in rags, beseeching God to show him the way to salvation.
He accepted tonsure in a monastery of the MostHoly Mother of God, five v
ersts from Smolensk, at the locale of Selischa. Having passed through various ob
ediences there, the monk fervently occupied himself with the copying of books, c
ulling spiritual riches from them. The Smolensk prince Roman Rostislavich (+ 117
0) started a school in the city, in which they taught not only in Slavonic, but
also out of Greek and Latin books. The prince himself had a large collection of
books, which the Monk Avraamii made use of. He had asceticised for more than 30
years at the monastery, when in the year 1198 the hegumen persuaded him to accep
t the dignity of presbyter. Every day he made Divine Liturgy and fulfilled the o
bedience of clergy not only for the brethren, but also for the laypeople.
Soon the monk became widely known. This aroused the envy of the brethren
, and then of the hegumen also, and 5 years later the monk was compelled to tran
sfer to the Cross-Exaltation monastery in Smolensk itself. From the offerings by
the devout he embellished the cathedral church of the poor monastery with icons
, and with curtains and candle-stands. He himself inscribed two icons on themes,
which most of all concerned him: on the one he depicted the Dread Last Judgemen
t, and on the other -- the suffering of the trials of life. Lean and pale from e

xtreme toil, the ascetic in priestly garb resembled in appearance Saint Basil th
e Great. The saint was strict both towards himself, and towards his spiritual ch
ildren. He preached constantly in church and to those coming to him in his cell,
conversing with rich and poor alike.
The city notables and the clergy demanded of Bishop Ignatii to bring the
monk to trial, accusing him in the seduction of women and the tempting of his s
piritual children. But even more terrible were the accusations against him, of
heresy and the reading of forbidden books. For this they proposed to drown or bu
rn the ascetic. At the trial by the prince and the bishop, the monk answered all
the false accusations, but despite this, they forbade him to serve as a priest
and returned him to his former monastery in honour of the MostHoly Mother of God
. A terrible drought occurred in consequence of God's wrath over the unjust sent
ence, and only when Sainted Ignatii put forth a pardon of the Monk Avraamii perm
itting him to serve and preach, did the rain again fall on the Smolensk lands.
The bishop Saint Ignatii built a new monastery, in honour of the Placing
of the Robe of the MostHoly Mother of God, and he entrusted the guidance of it
to the Monk Avraamii, and he himself settled into it, having retired because of
age from the diocese. Many were desirous to enter under the guidance of the Monk
Avraamii, but he examined them very intensely and only after great investigatio
n, so that at his monastery there were but 17 brethren. The Monk Avraamii, after
the death of Saint Ignatii, having become his spiritual friend, -- even moreso
than before urged the brethren to reminisce about death and to pray day and nigh
t, that they be not condemned in the Judgement by God.
The Monk Avraamii died after the year 1224, having spent 50 years in mon
asticism. Already at the end of the XIII Century there had been compiled a serv
ice to him, conjointly with his student the Monk Ephrem. The terrible Mongol-Tat
ar invasion, seen as the wrath of God for sin, not only did not stifle the memor
y of the Monk Avraamii of Smolensk, but rather was a reminder to people of his c
alling to repentance and recollection of the dread Last Judgement.
The Monk Kornilii of Paleostrovsk died about the year 1420. The account
about him is located under 19 May.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
AN, ZINON AND OTHERS (+ C. 305-311).
The Martyrs Agathonikes, Zotikos, Theoprepios (in Slavonic: Bogolep), Ak
yndinos, Severian, Zinon and others accepted death for Christ during the reign o
f the emperor Maximian (284-305). The Martyr Agathonikes was descended from the
illustrious lineage of the Hypasians, and he lived at Nicomedia. Having become w
ell versed in Holy Scripture, he converted many pagans to Christ, in which numbe
r was also the most eminent member of the Senate (its "princeps" or leader). Com
itus Evtolmius was sent to the Pontine (lower Black Sea) region, where he crucif
ied the followers of the Christian Zotikos, all who had refused to offer sacrifi
ce to idols, but Zotikos himself he took with him. In Nicomedia Evtolmius arrest
ed the Martyr Agathonikes (together with the princeps), and also Theoprepios, Ak
yndinos and Severian. After tortures, Evtolmius ordered that the martyrs be take
n to Thrace for trial by the emperor. But along the way, in the vicinity of Pota
ma, he put to death the Martyrs Zotikos, Theoprepios and Akyndinos -- who were u
nable to proceed further behind the chariot of the governor because of wounds re
ceived during the time of torture. The Martyr Severian was put to death at Chalc
edon, and the Martyr Agathonikes together with others was beheaded with the swor
d by order of the emperor, in Selymbria.

The relics of the Martyr Agathonikes within a church named for him was s
een at Constantinople in the year 1200 by the Russian pilgrim Antonii. And in th
e XIV Century Philotheos, the archbishop of Selymbria, devoted a discourse of la
udation to the Martyr Agathonikes.
The PriestMartyr Athanasias, bishop of the Cilician city of Tarsus, who
baptised the Nun Anthysa, was beheaded by the sword under the emperor Aurelian (
270-275). The Nun Anthysa, a native of the city of Seleucia (in Syria), was the
daughter of illustrious pagans. Learning of the teachings of Christ, she under p
retense of visiting her benefactress instead journeyed off to Tarsus to Saint At
hanasias and received Baptism from him. Her parents were enraged at their daught
er for becoming a Christian. But she then -- having received monastic tonsure fr
om Saint Athanasias -- settled in the wilderness, where she spent 23 years at as
cetic deeds and died at the end of the III Century. The Martyrs Charisimos and N
eophytes, who had been baptised together with the Nun Anthysa, were her servants
and they too accepted death for Christ.
The Martyress Eulalia lived in Spain, near the city of Barcionum (at pre
sent now -- Barcelona), and she was raised by her parents in piety and the Chris
tian faith. Already at 14 years of age the maiden spent a solitary life in the p
arental home, occupied with several of her own age in prayer, the reading of Hol
y Scripture, and handicrafts. During the time of a persecution against Christian
s, -- that under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (284-305), there
arrived in the city of Barcionum the governor Dacian to rid it of Christians. H
earing about this, the maiden by night secretly left her home and by morning had
made her way into the city. Pushing her way through the throng of people, the g
irl made a bold denunciation of the judge, for forcing people to renounce the Tr
ue God to instead offer sacrifice to devils. Dacian gave orders to viciously bea
t the girl with canes, but she steadfastly endured the torment and told the judg
e, that the Lord would deliver her from the feelings of pain. They suspended the
martyress from a tree and tore at her skin with iron claws, and they then burnt
at her wounds with torches. During the time of torment Dacian asked the saint:
"Where then is thy God, Whom thou hast called upon?" She answered, that the Lord
was alongside her, but that Dacian in his impurity would not be able to see Him
. During the time of the saint's prayer: "Behold, God wilt help me, and the Lord
be defender of my soul" (Ps. 53 [54]: 4) -- the flames of the torches turned ba
ck upon the torturers, who fell to the ground. The Martyress Eulalia began to pr
ay, that the Lord would take her to Heaven to Himself, and with this prayer she
died. People beheld a white dove, flying up from her mouth to Heaven. The body o
f the saint was buried by night by Christians. The parents of the martyress, hav
ing come upon her during her sufferings, wept but were also gladdened, that thei
r daughter would be numbered amidst the ranks of the saints. When they took Sain
t Eulalia from the tree, one of the Christians, by the name of Felix, said with
tears of joy: "Lady Eulalia, thou art the first of us to win the martyr's crown!
" The Martyr Felix himself soon accepted death for Christ (his memory is also on
this day, 22 August).
The Monk Bogolep was a disciple of the Monk Paisii of Uglich (+ 1504, Co
mm. 6 June). In the world Saint Bogolep was a baker of bread, and then too in th
e monastery he bore this as his obedience. A wonderworking icon of the Protectio
n ("Pokrov") of the MostHoly Mother of God appeared to him, when the monk went e
arly in the morning for water to the Volga. He beheld the icon -- from whence it
came unknown -- which stood at the riverbank and gleamed with an Heavenly Light
. Forgetting about the water, the Monk Bogolep quickly ran back to the monastery
and told everything to the Monk Paisii. The Monks Adrian, Vassian, Bogolep and
Paisii in company with all the monastery brethren carried the icon to the monast
ery. The Monk Bogolep had the dignity of priest-monk. Before death he became a s
chema-monk. His memory is made on 22 August, the day of memory of the same-named
Martyr Theoprepios (which in Russian translation is "Bogolep" meaning "God-wort

The Gruzinian (Georgian) Icon of the mother of God: In 1622 the Persian
shah Abbas conquered Gruzia. Many Christian holy things were plundered and many
such were sold to the Russian merchants that were in Persia. Thus, the Gruzinian
Icon of the Mother of God came the way of a certain merchant named Stefan, who
piously kept it. During this time in Yaroslavl' the merchant Georgii Lytkin -- o
n whose trade-business Stefan was in Persia -- received in a dream a revelation
about the holy article found by Stefan, and he was commanded to send it off to t
he Chernogorsk monastery in the Arkhangelsk diocese, founded in 1603. When Stefa
n returned home in 1629 and showed the icon to Georgii Lytkin, who remembered ab
out his vision and he set off to the Dvina outskirts to the Chernogorsk monaster
y (called such since it was built on an hilly and somber place, and from of old
had been named "Black Mount" ("Chernaya Gora"), but afterwards the monastery was
changed in name to "Pretty Hill" ("Krasnaya Gora"). The icon was glorified ther
e by miracles. In 1654 during the time of a pestilential plague the icon was tra
nsferred to Moscow, and those praying before it escaped the deadly plague. The m
any copies of the icon testifies to its deep veneration. In 1658, with the bless
ing of Patriarch Nikon, there was established an annual feastday of the Gruzinia
n Icon of the Mother of God. The service was compiled in 1698 under the supervis
ion of Feodor Polikarpov of the Moscow printing-office.


The Martyr Luppos lived at the end of the III Century - beginning II Cen
tury, and was a faithful servant of the holy GreatMartyr Demetrios of Soluneia (
Thessalonika, Comm. 26 October). Being present at the death of his master, he so
aked his own clothing with his blood and took a ring from his hand. With this cl
othing, and likewise with the ring and the name of the GreatMartyr Demetrios, Sa
int Luppos worked at Soluneia many miracles. He destroyed pagan idols, for which
he was subjected to persecution by the pagans, but by the power of God he was p
reserved unharmed. Saint Luppos voluntarily delivered himself over into the hand
s of the torturers and by order of the emperor Maximian Galerius he was beheaded
by the sword (+ post 306).
The PriestMartyr Ireneius (Ireneios), Bishop of Lyons, was born in the y
ear 130 in the city of Smyrna (Asia Minor). He received there the finest of educ
ations, studying poetics, philosophy, rhetoric, and all the rest of the classica
l sciences, considered necessary for a young man of the world. His guide in the
truths of the Christian faith was a disciple of the Apostle John the Theologian
-- Sainted Polycarp of Smyrna (Comm. 23 February). Saint Polycarp baptised the y
outh, and afterwards ordained him presbyter and sent him off to a city in Gaul t
hen named Lugdunum (the presentday city of Lyons in France) to the dying bishop
Pothinus. A commission was soon entrusted Saint Ireneius: to deliver a letter of
Christ-confessors to the holy Pope of Rome Eleutherius (177-190). During the ti
me of his absence all the known Christians were thrown into prison. After the ma
rtyr's death of Bishop Pothinus, Saint Ireneius was chosen a year later in 178 a
s bishop of the city of Lugdunum. "During which time, -- Sainted Gregory of Tyre
writes concerning him, -- by his preaching he transformed all Lugdunum into a C
hristian city!"
When the persecution against Christians quieted down, th
e saint expounded upon the Orthodox teachings of faith in one of his fundamental
works under the title: "Detection and Refutation of Pretensively Called GnosisKnowledge", or in short form "Five Books against Heresy" ("Adversus Haereses").
During these times there had appeared a series of religious-philosophical Gnosti
c teachings. The Gnostics (from the Greek word "gnosis" meaning "knowledge") tau
ght, that God is not able to be incarnated [i.e. born in human flesh], since mat

ter is imperfect and manifests itself as the bearer of evil. They taught also th
at the Son of God -- is only an outflowing ("emanation") of Divinity. Together w
ith Him from the Divinity issues forth an hierarchical series of powers ("aeons"
), the unity of which comprise the "Pleroma", i.e. "Fullness". The world is not
made by God Himself, but by the aeons or the "Demiourgos" ("Demiurge"), which is
beneathe the "Pleroma". [trans. note: this Gnostic terminology reflects various
attempts at a synthesis of the Neo-Platonic thought of the time with Christiani
ty. But lest the reader be confused and consider all "gnosis" to be heretically
Gnostic, there is indeed an Orthodox "Gnosis" theologically deriving from Christ
as the "Logos" or "Word" -- "through Whom all things were made" (Jn. 1: 3) unde
rlying the Creation, without which all theology itself would be impossible. Also
, our account neglects to point out that the "Adversus Haeresus" was a compendiu
m of the teachings of all the known heresies of the time, publishing "for free"
the esoteric salvation "secret teachings" of the Gnostics, who made a business c
harging money to be "initiated" into the upper level of "knowers" ("illuminati"
or "electi"); in doing so he helped put them out of business].
In the refutation of the heresy of Valentinus, Saint Ireneius presents t
he Orthodox teaching about salvation. "The Word of God, Jesus Christ, through Hi
s inexplicable blessedness caused it to be, that we also, should be made that wh
ich He is..., -- taught Saint Ireneius, -- Jesus Christ the Son of God through e
xceedingly great love for His creation condescended to be born of a Virgin, thro
ugh His own Self having united mankind with God". Through the Incarnation of God
creation becomes co-imaged and co-bodied to the Son of God. Salvation consists
in the "Filiation" ("Sonship") and "Theosis" ("Divinisation") of mankind.
In the refutation of another heretic, Marcian, who denied the Divine-ori
gin of the Old Testament [trans. note: based on the problem of suffering and evi
l, i.e. Theodicy, with Marcian giving insufficient consideration to the issue of
freedom], the saint presents the teaching about the Same Origin of the Old and
the New Testaments: "It is one and the same the Spirit of God, Which through the
prophets proclaimed, in what manner precisely would be the coming of the Lord,
-- wrote the saint, -- He through the apostles preached, that the fullness of ti
me of the filiation had arrived, and that the Kingdom of Heaven was come nigh".
The truthful veracity of Church teachings was grounded by Sainted Irenei
us in the succession of the episcopacy, since the Church is more anciently prima
ry than all the later heretics. "Anyone, that desireth to know the truth, ought
to turn to the Church, since through Her alone did the apostles propound the Div
ine Truth. She is the door to life".
Saint Ireneius exerted also a beneficial influence in a dispute about th
e celebration of Pascha. In the Church of Asia Minor was preserved an old tradit
ion to celebrate Holy Pascha on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, irregardless
of what day of the week this occurred. Holy Pope Victor (190-202) forcefully de
manded uniformity, and his harsh demands fomented a schism. In the name of the C
hristians of Gaul, Saint Ireneius wrote to the Pope, that while it be impossible
to allow a schism on account of traditions, yet foremost of all it is necessary
to esteem churchly peace.
During the reign of the emperor Severus (193-211), Sainted Ireneius was
beheaded by the sword for his confession of faith, in the year 202.
The Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, Sainted Polycarp of Smyr
na, and Sainted Ireneius of Lyons -- here are three links in an unbroken chain o
f the grace of succession, which connects back to the Original Pastor, our Lord
Jesus Christ Himself. In extreme old age, Saint Ireneius wrote to his old friend
Florinus: "I was a lad when I saw thee (Florinus) with Polycarp. I remember wha
t then happened better than what now happens. And I can now describe for thee th
e place, where blessed Polycarp usually sat and conversed. I can describe his ma
nnerisms of life, the appearance of his body and his instructions which he spoke
to people. The intimate conversations which, as he said, he had with John and o
thers who had seen the Lord, and everything that he remembered from their words,
that he heard from them about the Lord... I heard this then, by the mercy of Go
d, with fervour and did write it down, not upon paper, but upon the heart".

The Monks Eutychius and Florentius were monks pursuing asceticism in the
region of Nursa in Italy during the VI Century. Saint Eutychius by his teaching
converted many to God. When the hegumen of a nearby monastery died, they appeal
ed to him to become its head. He consented, but continued to be concerned with t
he former place of his ascetic activity, where his companion Florentius remained
. The Monk Florentius worked many miracles during his lifetime. For example, he
tamed a bear, which served him, and it shepherded sheep. carried water and obeye
d other commands of the elder. Jealous of the fame of Saint Florentius, four mon
ks killed the bear. The saint predicted the wrath of God upon the murderers. And
thus it happened according to his words -- the monks were stricken with illness
. But seeing the wrath of God having befallen the monks, the Monk Florentius was
grievously saddened and distressed at the occurrence, considering himself the m
urderer of those monks. Saint Eutychius did not work miracles during his lifetim
e, but after death his remaining clothing began to produce healings. During a ti
me of drought they went with his clothing along the fields, and God sent rain (t
his was in the year 1492). The Monk Eutychius died on 23 May 540, and the Monk F
lorentius, on 1 June 547.
Sainted Kallinikos, Patriarch of Constantinople (693-705), was at first
presbyter in the temple of the MostHoly Mother of God at Blakhernae, but in 693
with the death of Patriarch Paul (686-693), he was elevated to the Constantinopl
e throne. During this time reigned the cruel Justinian II (685-695), who underto
ok the construction of a palace very near the church of the MostHoly Mother of G
od and decided to demolish it. The emperor ordered Patriarch Kallinikos to give
his blessing for tearing it down. The patriarch answered, that he had prayers on
ly for the building of churches, not their destruction. When the church was demo
lished, with tears he cried out: "Glory to Thee, O Lord, in enduring all things"
Soon the wrath of God befell Justinian. He was toppled from the throne a
nd sent for imprisonment to Chersonessus, where they cut off his nose (from whic
h he received the nickname "Short-nose"). Leontius (695-698) came upon the thron
e. After 10 years Justinian fled from his imprisonment, gathered an army and adv
anced on Constantinople. He promised the Patriarch and the emperor that, in ente
ring the city, he would harm no one, and gave his oath on this before the Cross,
the Gospel and the Holy Mysteries. But having entered into Constantinople, he i
mmediately broke his oath and began to destroy the citizens and people of import
ance, and beheaded the emperor. He ordered the holy Patriarch Kallinikos seized,
his eyes plucked out, his tongue and nose cut off, and be shut in alive into a
stone wall at Rome. After 40 days the walling collapsed and Saint Kallinikos was
found alive, although from weakness he hardly breathed and after 4 days he died
(+ 705). The Apostles Peter and Paul appeared to the Roman Pope John VI (701-70
5) in a vivid dream and commanded that Saint Kallinikos be buried in the church
of the Apostles at Rome.

1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


The PriestMartyr Eutykhios, a disciple of the holy Apostles John the The
ologian and Paul, lived from the I Century into the beginning II Century, and wa

s from the city of Palestinian Sebasteia. Although Saint Eutykhios is not reckon
ed among the number of the 70 Disciples, he received the title Disciple for his
labours together with the older Apostles, by whom he was made bishop. Having hea
rd the preaching about Christ the Saviour, Saint Eutykhios at first became a stu
dent of the Apostle John the Theologian, and then having met the Apostle Paul, h
e preached together with him on the early journeys. Saint Eutykhios underwent ma
ny sufferings: they starved him with hunger, struck at his body with iron, they
flung him in the fire and then for devouring by wild beasts. One time there was
let loose upon the saint a lion, which brought fright to everyone in that it ren
dered praise to the Creator -- having been given human voice. The Priestmartyr E
utykhios finished with his works in his native city, where he was beheaded with
a sword at the beginning of the II Century.
Sainted Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow, died on 21 December 1326. (The ac
count about him is located under 21 December). The first transfer of his relics
was on 1 July 1472 -- a feastday then established. The second transfer of the re
lics of Sainted Peter was after the consecration of the Uspensk (Dormition) Cath
edral -- constructed anew -- on 24 August 1479, and the feastday of 1 July was r
eplaced. A feastday of appearing-forth of the relics of Sainted Peter (4 August)
is also known of -- upon the occasion of an appearance to the spouse of Ivan th
e Terrible (1533-1584), -- the tsaritsa Anastasia (1547-1560). Sainted Peter app
eared to tsaritsa Anastasia and allowed no one to open up his grave. He commande
d the grave to be sealed and a feastday established.
From Sainted Peter are preserved three epistles. The first was to priest
s with an exhortation to worthily pursue their pastoral service, and to tend zea
lously their spiritual children. It concluded with an account of Church law conc
erning widowed priests: with the aim of protecting them from reproach and tempta
tion he advised them to settle in a monastery, and their children to be enrolled
for upbringing and instruction in a monastery school. In the second missive, th
e saint urged priests to be true pastors and not hirelings, and to be concerned
about the strengthening of oneself with Christian and pastoral virtues. In the t
hird missive, Saint Peter again gives an exhortation to priests concerning their
pastoral obligations, and he urges laypeople to fulfill the commandments of Chr
Prominent in church-state affairs, Sainted Peter even for his contempora
ries gave good cause to compare him with Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the The
ologian and John Chrysostom. The principal effort of Saint Peter was in the stru
ggle for an unified Russian state and the blessing of Moscow as the unifier of t
he Russian land.
The monk Arsenii of Komel'sk was born in Moscow, and was descended from
a family of nobility, the Sakharusov. In his youth he took monastic vows at the
Trinity-Sergiev monastery, and he occupied himself there with the copying of boo
ks: a Gospel is known of copied by him in the year 1506. In the years 1525-1527
the monk was hegumen at the Trinity-Sergiev monastery. He often withdrew to the
solitary Makrisch monastery. GreatPrince Vasilii IV (1505-1533) -- making a visi
t at the monastery at that time, was surprised to behold the hegumen of a prospe
rous monastery in old clothes covered with patches. The brethren explained that
the Monk Arsenii wished to travel in the wilderness.
Setting out together with his own cell elder to the Komel'sk forest -- l
ocated 50 versts from Vologda, the Monk Arsenii made a large wooden cross and wi
th this cross on his shoulders he set out through the forest to pick out a spot
for a future wilderness monastery. Coming to a marshy place through a swamp, the
monk stumbled under the heavy cross and fell. An heavenly beam of light flashed
upon the ascetic at this very moment and convinced him to establish it on this
site. He set up the cross and built the first cell.
The local inhabitants, going therabouts to hunt wild animals, killed the
cell-mate of the Monk Arsenii, and he himself was forced to withdraw into the S
hilegonsk forest. There soon gathered at his new monastery several monks, and af
terwards there settled at it fugitives from a Tatar incursion upon the surroundi

ng populace. The Monk Arsenii, seeking after silence, desired to live in a more
quiet spot. In the year 1530 GreatPrince Vasilii gave him a gramota (deed) for l
and in the Komel'sk forest at the Kokhtisha River. The monk began here to clear
the forest together with his student Gerasim. By prayer the saint tamed the wild
beasts. When several monks had gathered about him, he built a church in honour
of the Placing of the Veil of the MostHoly Mother of God. Visiting the Shilegons
k monastery, the monk instructed the peasants, who had settled in the area of th
e monastery. He bid them reverently to observe feastdays and Sundays. One time w
hen a peasant had heard him and started to work on a feastday, a wind suddenly a
rose scattering all his sheaves.
Having spent his life in fasting, prayer and constant work, the monk die
d on 24 August 1550. His Life was written soon after his death, but burned durin
g the time of a conflagration in the Komel'sk monastery in 1596. In shortened fo
rm it was restored from the surviving manuscripts and added to with posthumous m
iracles by a monk of the monastery, John. An hundred years later after the death
of the monk, the hegumen Joasaph built at the monastery a stone church in honou
r of the Placing of the Veil of the MostHoly Mother of God. Two chapels of this
church show the spiritual bond of teacher and student. The left chapel was dedic
ated to the Monk Sergei of Radonezh, and the right -- to the Monk Arsenii of Kom
Sainted Martyrii, ArchBishop of Novgorod, was born in Stara Rus'. On the
northeast side of the city, near the right bank of the Polista River he founded
in the year 1192 the Preobrazhenie (Transfiguration) men's monastery. At the No
vgorod cathedral, Saint Martyrii was chosen by lot after the death of Sainted Gr
egory (+ 1193, Comm. 24 May). On 10 December 1193 in Kiev, he was elevated to th
e dignity of archbishop. Sainted Martyrii became famous as an indefatigable buil
der of churches. In May 1195 he contracted for a church in the name of the Mothe
r of God at the city gates, on 13 September 1196 he consecrated a church in hono
ur of the Resurrection (Voskresenie) of Christ in a new women's monastery at Lak
e Myachina. In January 1197 the saint consecrated a church in the name of Sainte
d Cyril of Alexandria at the same-named men's monastery 3 versts from Novgorod.
In the year 1197 he contracted in the carpenter's quarter of Novgorod for a wome
n's monastery in the name of the holy GreatMartyress Euthymia -- built by pious
young women of the city. In January 1197 Sainted Martyrii consecrated at the Pre
obrazhenie monastery in Stara Rus' a temple in the name of Sainted Nicephoros, P
atriarch of Tsargrad. In May 1198 he began to build a stone church in honour of
the Transfiguration of the Lord, and on 15 August of the same year he consecrate
d it. And in that same year princess Elena, spouse of prince Yaroslav Vladimirov
ich, built on the merchants' side at Molotkova a church in honour of the Nativit
y of the MostHoly Mother of God at the monastery, founded by Saint Martyrii. The
church was built in memory of the following miracle. A certain devout Novgorod
person went to church each day. One time he returned home, and becoming tired, h
e fell asleep and dropped a prosphora imprinted with the Mother of God. The dogs
, smelling bread, ran up to the prosphora but jumped away, driven off by an invi
sible power.
GreatPrince Vsevolod became disaffected with the Novgorod people, and in
1199 Saint Martyrii together with representatives of the townspeople set off to
Vladimir. Along the way -- on the shore of Lake Seliger, he died on 24 August 1
199. His body was taken to Novgorod in the Martyriev Portico of the Sophia Cathe
dral -- receiving this designation because it was built by Saint Martyrii. His i
mage is known of in the altar of the Novgorod Sophia Cathedral.
The Martyr Tation lived in Bythnia and suffered under the emperor Diocle
tian (284-305). When the persecutors of Christians learned that he believed in C
hrist, they arrested him and took him to the city of Claudiopolis to the governo
r, Urban. Many times they urged the saint to recant from Christ, and they locked
him in prison and gave him over to various tortures. They beat him with sticks
and dragged him beyond the city for execution. The holy martyr, having made the
sign of the cross, died along the way (+ 305).

The Martyress Sira lived during the VI Century in Persia and was the dau
ghter of an illustrious pagan-priest of the fire-worshippers (i.e. Zoroastrians)
from Karkh-Seleucia in Elimiade (Abizarde). Sira's father, fearing the influenc
e of Christianity on his daughter, sent her after the death of her mother to the
city of Tharsis for education as a pagan-priestess, which taught her the paganpriestly craft. Sira became a priestess at the heathen-temple of fire, and occup
ied herself with honourable activity. But once, having conversed with some Chris
tian beggars, Sira believed in Christ the Saviour and began to live as a Christi
an: she began to learn prayers and psalms, to fast and to read Christian books.
One time Sira fell ill. She was not able to discover a remedy for her si
ckness, and she went to the Christian church and asked the presbyter only but to
give her some of the ashes from the church, hoping to receive healing from it.
The presbyter, knowing Sira to be a servitor of idols, refused her request. Sira
was not angered, knowing about her own unworthiness, but she with faith touched
the robe of the priest, as once formerly the woman with the issue of blood did
touch the robe of the Saviour (Mt. 9: 20-22). She immediately received healing a
nd she returned home healthy. Sira's family began to suspect that she wanted to
accept Christianity, and they asked Sira's step-mother to persuade her to abando
n her intention. The step-mother, making a pretense, as though she herself were
a secret christian, with sweetness talked with Sira to keep her faith in secret,
and outwardly to continue to serve the fire, so as not to fall away from Christ
altogether by being subjected to torture. Sira began to hesitate about acceptin
g Baptism, but having received a vision in her sleep about the desolate fate whi
ch befell her mother after death, and about the luminous abodes foreordained for
Christians, she made up her mind and went to the bishop, asking him to baptise
her. The bishop declined fulfilling her request, fearing to give the pagan-pries
ts occasion for persecuting Christians. Besides this, he thought that Sira, fear
ing her father's wrath, would recant from Christ. The bishop advised her first t
o openly confess her faith in the Saviour in front of her kinsfolk.
One time during the making of the morning sacrifice, Saint Sira was stok
ing the priestly fire -- worshipped by the Persians as their god, and overturnin
g the sacrifice she proclaimed loudly: "I am a Christian and reject false gods a
nd I believe in the True God!" The father beat his daughter until he became exha
usted, and then threw her in prison. With tears and entreaties he urged her to r
eturn to her former faith, but Sira was unyielding. The father then made denunci
ation against her to the pagan high-priest, and afterwards to the governor and t
o the emperor Khozroes the Elder. They tortured the holy maiden for a long time
in prison, but the Lord strengthened her, and she stood firmly on her faith in C
hrist. One time, having bribed the prison guard, Saint Sira went to the bishop a
nd received Baptism. The Lord vouchsafed Saint Sira the gift of wonderworking. W
hen the Persians gave the martyress over for the leering of impious men, they be
gan to jeer at the saint, saying: "What's the fable told about thee, that the ch
ains themselves fall from thee, from thy neck, hands and legs? Let us see now, h
ow the chains fall off!" Against such words Saint Sira prayed in the depths of h
er heart to the Saviour, and immediately the chains fell from her. And this was
not the only time. Succumbing to her tortures, Saint Sira fell deathly ill. She
began to entreat the Lord that He not allow her to die from the illness, but rat
her vouchsafe her a martyr's crown. The Lord heard her and granted healing. Seei
ng the martyress healthy, the prison guard and jail warden went to dishonour the
holy maiden, but the Lord struck one with illness and the other one was struck
dead. The martyress was condemned to strangling.
They conducted the execution with refined cruelty: after a while they le
ft go of the rope, asking the saint whether she wanted to change her mind and re
main among the living. But the martyress, barely alive, answered a refusal and r
equested the execution be done quickly. The body of the saint was thrown to dogs
for devouring, but they would not touch it. Christians buried the body of Saint
Sira (+ 558).
The Monk George Limniotes lived during the VIII Century and was a monk o

f the Olympia monastery near Constantinople. He suffered for venerating icons un

der the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-741). They burned his head and
cut off his nose. The Monk George died in about the year 716.
The Petrovsk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God was termed such because
it was done by Sainted Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow (+ 21 December 1326)in his
sojourn as hegumen of the Ratsk monastery near Volynia. During the time of a vis
it to the Ratsk monastery by Sainted Maksim, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia
(+ 6 December 1306), Saint Peter gave him this icon as a gift. The metropolitan
took it to Vladimir at Klyazma -- where his cathedral was then located. Upon th
e death of Sainted Maksim, the hegumen Gerontii -- having decided to occupy the
metropolitan throne, went with this icon to the Constantinople Patriarch Athanas
ias (1303-1311). During the time of sailing, hegumen Gerontii was beset by a ter
rible storm. By night the MostHoly Mother of God appeared to him and said: "Not
for thee is allotted the dignity of bishop, but rather for that one who did writ
e My Image". When he came before Patriarch Athanasias, Saint Peter was already i
n Constantinople. The Patriarch gave over the icon to Sainted Peter with the wor
ds: "Take the holy image of the Mother of God, which thou didst inscribe with th
ine own hands, wherefore because of this is granted thee the gift of the Ever-Vi
rgin Herself, as She foretold of thee". Sainted Peter took the icon to Vladimir,
and in the year 1325 upon the transfer of the metropolitan cathedral to Moscow
they placed the icon as being of great sanctity in the Moscow Uspenie (Dormition
) Cathedral.
The Appearance of the MostHoly Mother of God to the Monk Sergei of Radon
ezh: One time, in the deep of night, the Monk Sergei (1314-1392) was reading an
a akathist to the Mother of God. Having finished his habitual rule, he sat down
to rest a bit, but suddenly he said to his cell-mate, the Monk Mikhei (+ 6 May 1
385): "Take courage, child, we shall have a wondrous visit". Scarcely had he utt
ered these words when a voice was heard: "the All-Pure Virgin doth approach!" Th
e Monk Sergei rushed from the cell to the entrance, and suddenly it was illumine
d by a bright light, brighter than that of the sun. He beheld nearby in imperish
able glory the Mother of God, accompanied by the Apostles Peter and John. Unable
to bear the miraculous radiance, the Monk Sergei reverently prostrated himself
before the Mother of God, and She said to him: "Fear not, My chosen one! I am co
me to visit thee. Sorrow thee no more about thy students and thy place. Thy pray
er is heard. Henceforth all thine habitation shalt prosper, not only in thy life
time, but also after thy departure to God shall it persist for thy monastery, gr
anting abundantly its petitions and preserving it in all needs". Having said thi
s, the Mother of God became invisible. For a long time the Monk Sergei was in an
inexpressible rapture, and having come to himself, he raised up the Monk Mikhei
. "Tell me, father, -- asked the cell-mate, --what is the meaning for this mirac
ulous vision? From terror my soul nearly departed the body!" But the Monk Sergei
was silent; only his luminous face spoke of the spiritual joy which he experien
ced. "Wait a bit, -- he said finally to his disciple, -- until my soul doth calm
down from this wondrous vision". After a certain while the Monk Sergei summoned
two of his disciples, the Monks Isaac and Simon, and communicated to them the c
ommon joy and hope. All of them together celebrated a molieben prayer to the Mot
her of God. The Monk Sergei spent the remaining part of the night without sleep,
calling to mind the Divine vision. The appearance of the Mother of God at the c
ell of the Monk Sergei, at the present place of the Serapionov chamber, was on o
ne of the Fridays of the Nativity fast in the year 1385. The commemoration of th
e visit of the Mother of God to the Troitsky (Trinity) monastery and of Her prom
ise was reverently kept by the disciples of the Monk Sergei. On 5 July 1422 was
the uncovering of his holy relics, and soon after on the grave of the Monk Serge
i was placed an icon of the Appearance of the Mother of God. The icon was honour
ed with great reverence. In the year 1446 GreatPrince Vasilii Vasil'evich (14251462) was besieged at the Troitsky monastery by the armies of princes Dimitrii S
hemyaka and Ioann of Mozhaisk. He barricaded himself into the Trinity cathedral,
and when he heard that he was sought, he took the icon of the Appearance of the

Mother of God and with it met prince Ioann at the southern church doors, saying
: "Brother, we kissed the LifeCreating Cross and this icon in this church of the
LifeBeginning Trinity at this grave of the Wonderworker Sergei, that we would n
either intend nor wish any evil to any of our brethren amongst ourselves; and he
re now I know not, what will happen with me".
The Trinity monk Amvrosii (mid-XV Century) reproduced the icon of the Ap
pearance of the Mother of God to the Monk Sergei, carved in wood.
Tsar Ivan the Terrible took along the icon of the Appearance of the Moth
er of God on his Kazan campaign (1552). The most famous icon, inscribed in the y
ear 1588, was by the steward of the Trinity-Sergiev Lavra, Evstaphii Golovkin (1
571-1581; 1583-1593) on a board from the wooden reliquary of the Monk Sergei, wh
ich was taken apart in the year 1585 in connection with the placing of the relic
s of the Monk Sergei in a silver reliquary (14 August). Through this icon the Mo
ther of God repeatedly protected the Russian army. Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich (16
45-1676) took it on the Polish campaign in 1657. In the year 1703 the icon took
part in all the military campaigns against the Swedish king Charles XII, and in
1812 Metropolitan Platon sent it to the Moscow military levy. The icon took part
in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 and during the time of World War I it was at
the quarters of the supreme commander-in-chief in 1914.
Over the grave of the monk Mikhei was built a church and named through i
ts consecration on 10 December 1734 in honour of the Appearance of the MostHoly
Mother of God together with the holy Apostles to the Monastic Father Sergei of R
adonezh. On 27 September 1841 the church was restored and consecrated by the Met
ropolitan of Moscow Philaret, who said: "By the grace of the All-Holy and All-Sa
cred Spirit is now accomplished the restoration of this temple, fashioned before
us in honour and memory of the Appearance of our Lady the MostHoly Mother of Go
d to the Monk our God-bearing father Sergei, to which also by his account the Mo
nk Mikhei was an eye-witness, in sweet reverence here honoured". Rightly was the
commemoration of this grace-bearing event honoured by the consecration of a chu
rch, although however, all this monastery is a memorial of that miraculous visit
. Wherefore its purpose in the continuing centuries was the fulfilling of the pr
omise of the heavenly Visitor: "This place shalt persist". In memory of the visi
t of the Mother of God at Trinity cathedral of the Trinity-Sergiev monastery is
read on Fridays an akathist to the MostHoly Mother of God, and a special service
in honour of the appearance of the mother of God is done at the monastery on 24
august, on the second day of the leave-taking of the feast of Uspenie (Dormitio
n) of the MostHoly Mother of God.
1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Transfer of the Relics of the Apostle Bartholomew Was at the end of
the VI Century. His apostolic activity and martyr's end are remembered by the Ch
urch on 11 June. The Apostle Bartholomew suffered for Christ in Armenian Albano
(now Baku) in the year 71, where also his holy relics were situated. From the re
lics of the holy apostles occurred numerous miracles, and many of the unbelievin
g were converted to Christ. Under the emperor Anastasios (491-518) the relics of
the Apostle Bartholomew were transferred into the newly constructed city of Ana
stasiopolis (or Dareia) and remained there until the end of the VI Century.
When the city of Anastasiopolis was captured by the Persian emperor Khoz
roes, Christians took up the chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew an
d fled with it to the shores of the Black Sea. Having overtaken them, pagan-prie

sts threw the chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew into the sea. Tog
ether with it, 4 other chests were thrown into the sea containing the relics of
the holy Martyrs Papian, Lucian, Gregory and Akakios. By the power of God the ch
ests did not sink into the depths of the sea, but rather accomplished a miraculo
us floating upon the waves and reached Italy. The chest with the relics of the A
postle Bartholomew came to land at the island of Lipari, and the remaining chest
s continued their journey and came to land at various places in Italy. The chest
with the relics of the Martyr Papian halted at Sicily, the Martyr Lucian -- at
Messina, the Martyr Gregory -- at Calabria, and the Martyr Akakios -- at Asculus
a. The arrival of the relics of the holy Apostle Bartholomew was revealed to the
bishop of the island of Lipari -- Agathon, who went with clergy to the shores o
f the sea, took up the chest from the waters and solemnly transferred it to chur
ch. From the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew there flowed out myrh, giving hea
ling for various illness. The holy relics remained in the church of the island o
f Lipari until the middle of the IX Century, when the island was captured by pag
ans. Christian merchants took up the holy relics of the Apostle Bartholomew and
transferred them to the city of Beneventum, where they were received with great
veneration and placed in the main church of the city.
The Disciple from the Seventy Titus was a native of the island of Crete,
the son of an illustrious pagan. In his youthful years he studied attentively a
t Hellenistic philosophy and the ancient poets. Preoccupied by the sciences, Tit
us led a virtuous life, not devoting himself to the vices and passions character
istic of the majority of pagans. He preserved his virginity, as the Priest-marty
r Ignatios the God-bearer (comm. 20 December) testified about him. For such a ma
nner of life the Lord did not leave him without His help. At age twenty in a dre
am Saint Titus heard a voice, suggesting to him to abandon the Hellenistic wisdo
m, not providing salvation for his soul, but rather to seek out that which would
save him. After this dream Saint Titus waited still another year, since it was
not actually like a command, but it guided him to familiarise himself with the t
eachings of the prophets of God. The first that he happened to read was the Book
of the Prophet Isaiah. Having opened it to the 47th Chapter, he was struck by t
he words, speaking as it were about his own spiritual condition.
When news reached Crete about the appearance in Palestine of a Great Pro
phet, and about the great miracles worked by Him, the governor of the island of
Crete, an uncle of Titus by birth, sent him there. This Prophet was the Lord Jes
us Christ Himself, incarnated of the MostHoly Virgin Mary and having come into t
he world for the redemption of the race of mankind from its oppression of the or
iginal sin. At Jerusalem Saint Titus beheld the Lord; he heard His preaching and
believed in Him. He was a witness of the suffering on the Cross and death of th
e Saviour, His glorious Resurrection and Ascent to Heaven. On the day of Penteco
st the future disciple heard, standing in the crowd, how the 12 Apostles, -- aft
er the descent upon them of the Holy Spirit, spoke in various languages among wh
ich was the Cretan language (Acts 2: 11). Saint Titus accepted Baptism from the
Apostle Paul and became his closest disciple. He accompanied the Apostle Paul on
his missionary journeys, time and again he fulfilled entrusted tasks, was invol
ved in the establishing of new churches, and was with him in Jerusalem. Saint Ti
tus was numbered among the 70 Disciples and was ordained by the Apostle Paul as
bishop of Crete. Around the year 65, not long before the second imprisonment, th
e Apostle Paul dispatched a pastoral epistle to his selected one (Tit. 1-3). Whe
n the Apostle Paul was taken like a criminal to Rome to stand trial before Caesa
r, Saint Titus for a time left his flock in Crete and went to Rome to be of serv
ice to his spiritual father. After the death by martyrdom of the Apostle Paul, t
he Disciple Titus returned to the chief city of Crete -- Gortyn.
The Disciple Titus peacefully guided his flock and toiled at enlightenin
g the pagans with the light of faith in Christ. He was granted by the Lord the g
ift of wonderworking. During a time of one of the pagan feasts in honour of the
goddess Diana, Titus preached to a gathered crowd of pagans. When he saw, that t
hey would not listen to him, he prayed to the Lord, so that the Lord Himself wou
ld show to the mistaken people the non-entity of idols. By the prayer of the Dis

ciple Titus, the idol of Diana fell down and shattered before the eyes of all. A
nother time the Disciple Titus prayed, that the Lord would not permit the comple
tion of a temple under construction raised up to Zeus, and it collapsed. By such
miracles the Disciple Titus brought many to faith in Christ. Having enlightened
with the light of faith the surrounding regions, the Disciple Titus died peacef
ully in the extreme old age of 97. At death his face shone like the sun.
Sainted Barsis and Eulogios, Bishops of Edessa, and Protogenos the Confe
ssor, Bishop of Caria, suffered from the Arians in the second half of the IV Cen
tury. The emperor Valentius (364-378), wishing to propagate the Arian heresy, un
dertook a fierce persecution against the Orthodox. In the city of Edessa he bani
shed from the bishop's throne Saint Barsis, a champion for Orthodoxy, sending hi
m for confinement to the island of Arad. The Orthodox population there received
the exiled saint with great honour. They banished him farther, to the Egyptian c
ity of Oxyrinth, but there also was repeated the warm welcome. Then Saint Barsis
was banished to the very frontier of the imperial realm, to the faraway city of
Thenon where, exhausted by his exiles, he died (+ 378). At Edessa the emperor V
alentius raised up upon the bishop's cathedra an Arian false-bishop by the name
of Lupus, which means wolf, and who both by name and by deed showed himself to b
e like a wolf, in scattering the flock of the sheep of Christ. The Orthodox popu
lation of Edessa, both clergy and laypeople, ceased to attend their church, whic
h had been seized by the Arians. They gathered together outside the city and cel
ebrated the Divine-services in an open area.
Having learned of this, the emperor ordered the eparch Modestus to kill
all the Orthodox, appearing for Divine-services outside the city. The eparch pit
ied the city and he informed the Orthodox, that they should not go to Divine-ser
vices. But the believers did contrary: fervent with the desire to receive a mart
yr's crown for Christ, they all as one went to the place where they usually gath
ered for prayer. Eparch Modestus, obeying his orders, embarked their with his ar
med soldiers. Along the way he saw a woman, who hastened to Divine-services with
her small child, so as not to deprive him of the martyr's crown. Shaken, eparch
Modestus turned around back with his soldiers. Appearing before the emperor Val
entius, he urged him to cancel the decree about killing all the Orthodox and to
extend it only upon the clergy. They led to the emperor persons of spiritual ran
k, and in the lead the eldest presbyter Eulogios. The emperor urged them to go i
nto church-communion with the pseudo-bishop Lupus, but none of them agreed. Afte
r this in chains they sent 80 men of clergy rank for confinement in Thrace. Orth
odox met them along the way with great reverence as being confessors, and furnis
hed them all the necessities. Having learned of this, the emperor gave orders to
divide up the martyrs in pairs, and to spread them out to remote places.
The holy presbyters Eulogios and Protogenos were sent to the Thivean cit
y of Antinea. There by their preaching they converted many idol-worshippers to C
hrist and baptised them. When the emperor Valentius perished and upon the throne
entered the holy nobleborn emperor Theodosius (379-395), the Orthodox confessor
s remaining alive after the persecution were returned from exile. The holy presb
yters Eulogios and Protogenos returned to Edessa. On the place of the dead and b
anished bishop of Edessa, Saint Barsis, presbyter Eulogios was elevated to bisho
p, and the holy presbyter Protogenos was made bishop in the Mesopotamian city of
Caria. Both saints guided their flocks until their death, which occurred at the
end of the IV Century.
Sainted Minos, Patriarch of Constantinople (536-552), was at first a pre
sbyter at Constantinople and supervisor there for the homeless-shelter home of t
he holy Monk Sampson the Hospitable-to-Strangers during the reign of Saint Justi
nian I (527-565). After the removal of the heretic Anthymos (535-536), the holy
presbyter Minos was elevated upon the Constantinople patriarchal throne as one w
orthy to be bishop for his profound virtue and firm confession of Orthodoxy. His
ordination was done by the Pope of Rome Agapitus (535-536) who then at the time
was in Constantinople. During the time of the patriarchate of Saint Minos there
occurred a miracle in Constantinople, widely known to all the city.

A certain Hebrew lad went with other children to church and he communed
the Holy Mysteries of Christ. At home he told his father about this. In a terrib
le rage he seized the child and threw him into a red-hot oven (this Hebrew was a
glass-blower). He said nothing to his wife. The mother for three days in tears
searched for her son, -- loudly did she call for him, and finally on the third d
ay he emerged to her from the red-hot oven. With difficulty she pulled out the c
hild, who was unharmed. The boy told, that a MostRadiant Lady had there come to
him, and She cooled down the fire and brought water and food. This incident beca
me known to Saint Minos and the emperor Justinian I. The boy and his mother rece
ived baptism, but the father of the child became obdurate and did not wish to re
pent, in spite of the great miracle to which he was a witness. Then the emperor
handed over for trial as a child-killer and sentenced him to death by execution.
The holy Patriarch Minos ruled the Constantinople Church for 16 years. During t
he time of his patriarchate at Constantinople, the famous temple in honour of Sa
int Sophia the Wisdom of God was consecrated. The saint died peacefully in the y
ear 552.
Sainted John the Cappadocian, Patriarch of Constantinople, occupied the
patriarchal throne from 518-520. The holy Patriarch Photios (857-867) termed him
"an habitation of virtues".
Sainted Epiphanios, Patriarch of Constantinople, occupied the cathedra f
rom 520 to 535. He died peacefully in the year 535.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was written by the Evangelist Luk
e on a board from the table, at which the Saviour ate together with His All-Pure
Mother and Righteous Joseph. The Mother of God, in seeing this image, exclaimed
: "Henceforth shalt all generations call Me blessed. Let the grace of both My So
n and Me shalt be with this icon".
In the year 1131 the icon was sent from Constantinople to Rus' to holy P
rince Mstislav (+ 1132, Comm. 15 April) and was installed in the Deviche monaste
ry in Vyshgorod -- the ancient appanage city of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Princ
ess Olga.
The son of Yurii Dolgoruky, Saint Andrei Bogoliubsky, in 1155 brought th
e icon to the city of Vladimir and installed it in the reknown Uspenie-Dormition
cathedral built by him. And at this time the icon received its name of "the Vla
dimir Icon". And in the year 1395 the icon was first brought to Moscow. Thus the
blessing of the Mother of God tied the spiritual bonds of Byzantium and Rus' -via Kiev, Vladimir and Moscow.
The festal celebration of the Vladimir Icon of the MostHoly Mother of Go
d occurs several times during the year (21 May, 23 June, 26 August). The most so
lemn celebration occurs on 26 August, -- the feast established in honour the Mee
ting of the Vladimir Icon upon its Transfer from Vladimir to Moscow. In the year
1395 the fearsome conqueror khan Tamerlane (Temir-Aksak) reached the Ryazan fro
ntier, took the city of Elets and advancing towards Moscow he came nigh the bank
s of the River Don. Greatprince Vasilii Dimitrievich went with an army to Kolomn
a and halted at the banks of the River Oka. He prayed to the Sainted-Hierarchs o
f Moscow and the Monk Sergei for the deliverance of the Fatherland, and he wrote
to the Metropolitan of Moscow Saint Kiprian (Comm. 16 September), that the pend

ing Uspenie-Dormition Fast should be devoted to zealous prayers for mercy and re
pentance. Clergy were sent to Vladimir, where the famed wonderworking Vladimir I
con was situated. After Divine Liturgy and a molieben on the feast of the Uspeni
e-Dormition, they clergy took the icon and in a church procession conveyed it to
Moscow. Along the way, on both sides of the road and innumerable number of peop
le prayed kneeling: "O Mother of God, save the land of Russia!" And in that self
same hour, when the people of Moscow were meeting the Vladimir Icon on Kuchkov F
ield, Tamerlane was slumbering in his tent. Suddenly he saw in a dream a great m
ountain, at the summit of which coming towards him were the sainted-hierarchs wi
th golden staffs, and over them in a brilliant radiance shone a Majestic Woman.
She commanded him to leave the domains of Russia. Awakening in fright, Tamerlane
asked the meaning of the apparition. The experts answered that the Radiant Lady
was the Mother of God, the great Protectress of Christians. Tamerlane then gave
the order for his troops to turn around. In memory of this miraculous deliveran
ce of the Russian Land from Tamerlane on Kuchkov Field, where the Meeting of the
Vladimir Icon took place, they built the Sretensk-Meeting monastery. And on 26
August there was then established the all-Russian celebration in honour of the M
eeting of the Vladimir Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God.
Very important events in Russian Church history have occurred in front o
f the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God: the election and elevation of Sainted
Jona -- Advocate of Autocephalous Russian Church (1448), and of Sainted Job -- f
irst Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (1589), and of His Holiness Patriarch Sa
int Tikhon (1917). And the enthronement of His Holiness Pimen, Patriarch of Mosc
ow and All Russia, occurred on a day of celebration in honour of the Vladimir Ic
on of the Mother of God -- on 21 May (NS 3 June) 1971.
The historical days of 21 May, 23 June and 26 August, connected with thi
s holy icon, have become memorable days for the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Martyrs Adrian and Natalia were married in their youth for one year
prior to their martyrdom. They lived in Bithynian Nicomedia during the time of t
he emperor Maximian (305-311). Having started his persecution, the emperor promi
sed a reward to whomever would inform on Christians to bring them to trial. Ther
e began the denunciations, and through one of these there were seized 23 Christi
ans, hiding in a cave near Nicomedia. They were tortured, urged to worship idols
, and then taken to the judgement palace, in order to record their names and res
ponses. Adrian, the head of the judgement palace, looking on as they brought in
the people suffering with such courage for their faith, and how firmly and fearl
essly they confessed Christ, asked: "What rewards do ye expect from your God for
suffering?" The martyrs replied: "Such rewards, as we are not able to describe,
nor thy mind comprehend". Inspired, Saint Adrian told the scribes: "Write me do
wn also, that I be a Christian and with joy I do die for Christ God". The scribe
s reported about this to the emperor, who summoned Saint Adrian and asked: "Real
ly, hast thou gone mad, that thou dost want to die? Come, cross out thine name f
rom the lists and offer sacrifice to the gods, asking their forgiveness". Saint
Adrian answered: "I am not mad, but the rather have been converted to health of
mind". Maximian then ordered Adrian to be thrown into prison. His wife, Saint Na
talia, knowing that her husband was suffering for Christ, rejoiced, since she he
rself was secretly a Christian. She hastened to the prison and encouraged her hu
sband saying: "Blest be thou, mine lord, in that thou hast believed on Christ, w
herein thou hast obtained a great treasure. Regret not anything of earth, neithe
r beauty, nor youth (Adrian was then 28 years of age), nor riches. Everything wo
rldly -- is dust and ashes. Only faith and good deeds be pleasing to God". On th
e pledge of the other martyrs, they released Saint Adrian from prison to relate
to his wife about the day of execution. Saint Natalia at first thought, that he
had renounced Christ and thus had been set free, and she did not want to let him
into the house. The saint persuaded his wife, that he had not fled martyrdom, b
ut rather had come to give her the news of the day of his execution.
They tortured Saint Adrian cruelly. The emperor advised the saint to hav
e pity on himself and call on the gods, but the martyr answered: "Let thine gods
say, what blessings they promise me, and then I shalt worship them, but if they

cannot speak thus, then why should I worship them?" Saint Natalia did not cease
to encourage her husband. She asked him also to convey for her a foremost praye
r to God, that they would not compel her into a marriage with a pagan after his
death. The executioner ordered the hands and the legs of the saints to be broken
on the anvil. Saint Natalia, fearing that her husband would hesitate in seeing
the sufferings of the other martyrs, besought the executioner to begin the execu
tion with him and let her herself put his hands and legs on the anvil. They want
ed to burn the bodies of the saints, but a strong storm arose and the fire went
out. Many of the executioners even were struck by lightning. Saint Natalia took
the hand of her spouse and kept it at home. Soon an army commander asked the emp
eror's approval to wed Saint Natalia, who was both young and rich. But she hid h
erself away in Byzantium. Here Saint Adrian appeared to her in a dream and said,
that she would soon be at rest in the Lord. The anemic martyress, worn down by
her former sufferings, in fact soon expired to God.
The Monk Adrian of Ondrusovsk (in the world the nobleman Andrei Zavalush
in), was the owner of a rich estate (Andreevschina), 9 versts from the monastery
of the Monk Alexander of Svirsk (+ 30 August 1533). He accidentally encountered
the Monk Alexander of Svirsk at the time of a stag hunt in 1493, and after this
he went often to him for guidance, and supplied bread for the ascetics. Forsaki
ng his estate, he took monastic tonsure at the Valaamo monastery with the name A
drian. Several years later, with the blessing of the Monk Alexander of Svirsk, t
he Monk Adrian settled in a solitary place on the peninsula of Lake Ladoga. Ther
e he built a church in honour of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Opposite the s
ettlement of monks in the deep forest was an island, Sala (the Thicket), on whic
h hid out a gang of robbers, under the leadership of Ondrusa as their ataman. En
countering the monks, the ataman demanded that they get off his land. Saint Adri
an, knowing that he did not have money to offer to buy the place, promised the a
taman to intercede for him before God. The robber laughed at the monk, but that
one entreated him so long and so humbly, that the ataman softened and said: "Liv
This ataman was soon taken captive by another gang, hidden not far from
the stoney Cape of Storozhev. The hapless fellow knew, that after suffering tort
ure death awaited him, and he bitterly repented of his former life. Suddenly he
saw before him the Monk Adrian, who said: "Through the mercy of the Lord, for Wh
om wast besought of thee mercy for the wilderness brethren, thou art freed" -- a
nd he vanished. The ataman saw himself without fetters at the shore and with no
one around. Astonished, he rushed to the monastery of Saint Adrian and found all
the ascetics at psalms. And it seemed that the monk had not left the monastery.
The robber fell at the knees of the saint and besought to be accepted amidst th
e brethren. He finished his life in repentance at the monastery. The robber of a
nother gang likewise repented. Through the prayers of Saint Adrian he took monas
tic tonsure with the name Kiprian. And afterwards at the place of a tributary he
built a monastery and was glorified by miracles.
The monastery of the Monk Adrian received an endowment from tsar Ivan th
e Terrible (1533-1584). In August 1549 the Monk Adrian was god-father for Anna,
daughter of tsar Ivan the Terrible. When the saint was returning from Moscow to
the monastery, robbers killed him near the village of Obzha, hoping to find mone
y. The brethren waited for a long time for their head, and 2 years afterwards he
appeared in a vision by night to a few elders and told them about his end. On a
nother day, 17 May, the brethren found his undecayed body in a swamp and committ
ed it to burial in the wall of his church in honour of Saint Nicholas. The memor
y of the Monk Adrian, having received the martyr's crown, has come to be celebra
ted twice: on the day of the finding and transfer of his relics -- 17 May, and o
n the day of repose and name-in-common (tezoimenitstvo) with the Martyr Adrian.
The Monk Adrian of Uglich was one of the first ten students of the Monk
Paisii of Uglich (+ 1504, Comm. 6 June), for whom he was the closest cell-attend
ant, student and co-ascetic. Together with the Monk Paisii, the Monk Adrian was
vouchsafed worthy of the Heavenly appearance of the MostHoly Mother of God in 14

72. The Monk Paisii was in one of the cells together with the Monk Kassian of Ug
lich (the account about him is under 2 October), and the Monks Gerasim and Adria
n. They were singing an akathist to the MostHoly Mother of God. Suddenly through
out all the monastery there shone an extraordinary light, and the monks heard a
voice, calling them to come out from the cell. The ascetics came out in fear and
in confusion, and an Angel pointed out to them the appearance of the Mother of
God, sitting on an airy throne and holding on Her arms the Divine Infant. The as
cetics fell frightened to the ground, but the Angel raised them up and related t
o the Monk Paisii the command of the Mother of God to build on this place a chur
ch in honour of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God. The vision
ended, and the monks spent the whole night in vigil and laudation.
In 1482 the Monk Adrian participated in the building of the stone church
in honour of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God on the place i
ndicated by the Angel. And afterwards there was witnessed the finding of an icon
of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God. In 1489 the Monk Adrian
assisted the Monk Paisii in the building of a monastery in the name of Saint Ni
cholas, near the Grekhova stream, on the right bank of the Volga. As an experien
ced and virtuous starets-elder, the Monk Adrian was put there as its head and pr
iestmonk. He was at the funeral of the Monk Paisii on 6 June 1504 and later, acc
ording to his last wishes, he was himself buried near the grave. The memory of t
he Monk Adrian is made on 26 August (on account of the tezoimenitstvo name-in-co
mmon with the Martyr Adrian), and also on Cheesefare Saturday.
The Pskovo-Pechersk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God, named the "Umile
nie" or "Tenderness" (1542), is famous particularly for the defense of Pskov and
the Pskovo-Pechersk monastery from the army of Stefan Bathory in 1581. Its cele
bration is made likewise on 21 May, 23 June and 7 October.
2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
(+ POST 1114).
The Monk Pimen the Great was born in about the year 340 in Egypt. With h
is two brothers, Anubias and Paisias, he went into one of the Egyptian monasteri
es, and all three accepted monastic tonsure. The brothers were such strict ascet
ics, that when their mother came to the monastery to see her children, they did
not come out to her from their cells. The mother stood there for a long time and
wept. Then the Monk Pimen said to her through the closed door of the cell: "If
thou bearest with the temporal parting from us now, then in the future life wilt
thou see us, since we do hope upon God the Lover-of-Mankind!". The mother was h
umbled and returned home.
Fame about the deeds and virtues of the Monk Pimen spread throughout all
the land. One time the governor of the district wanted to see him. The Monk Pim
en, shunning fame, reasoned thus: "If dignitaries begin coming to me with respec
t, then also many of the people will start coming to me and disturb my quiet, an
d I shalt be deprived of the grace of humility, which I have found only with the
help of God". And so he relayed a refusal to the messenger. For many of the mon
ks, the Monk Pimen was a spiritual guide and instructor. And they wrote down his
answers to serve to the edification of others besides themselves. A certain mon
k asked: "Ought one to veil over with silence the sin of a transgressing brother
, if perchance one see him?" The elder answered: "If we reproach the sins of bro
thers, then God will reproach our sins, and if thou seest a brother sinning, bel
ieve not thine eyes and know, that thine own sin is like a wood-beam, but the si
n of thy brother is like a wood-splinter, and then thou wilt not come into distr

ess and temptation". Another monk turned to the saint, saying: "I have grievousl
y sinned and I want to spend three years at repentance. Is such a length of time
sufficient?" The elder answered: "That is a long time". The monk continued to a
sk, how long a period of repentance did the saint reckon necessary for him -- a
year or forty days? The elder answered: "I think, that if a man repenteth from t
he depths of his heart and posits a firm intent to return no more to the sin, th
en God would accept also a three-day repentance". To the question, as to how to
be rid of persistent evil thoughts, the saint answered: "If a man has on one sid
e of him fire, and on the other side a vessel with water, then if he starts burn
ing from the fire, he takes water from the vessel and extinguishes the fire. Lik
e to this are the evil thoughts, suggested by the enemy of our salvation, which
like a spark can enkindle sinful desires within man. It is necessary to put out
these sparks with the water, which is prayer and the yearning of the soul for Go
The Monk Pimen was strict at fasting and did not partake of food for the
space of a week or more. But others he advised to eat every day, only but witho
ut eating one's fill. For a certain monk, permitting himself to partake of food
only on the seventh day but being angry with a brother, the saint said: "Thou wo
uldst learn to fast over six days, yet cannot abstain from anger for even a sing
le day". To the question, which is better -- to speak or be silent, the elder sa
id: "Whoso doth speak on account of God, doeth well, and whoso is silent on acco
unt of God -- that one doth act well". And moreover: "It may be, that a man seem
s to be silent, but if his heart doth judge others, then always is he speaking.
But there are also those, who all the day long speak with their tongue, but with
in themself they do keep silence, since they judge no one".
The saint said: "For a man it is necessary to observe three primary rule
s: to fear God, to pray often and to do good for people". "Malice in turn never
wipes out malice. If someone doeth thee bad, do them good, and thine good will c
onquer their bad". One time, when the monk with his students arrived at an Egypt
ian wilderness-monastery (since he had the habit to go about from place to place
, so as to shun glory from men), it became known to him, that the elder living t
here was annoyed at his arrival and also was jealous of him. In order to overcom
e the malice of the hermit, the saint set off to him with his brethren, taking a
long with them food as a present. The elder refused to come out to them. Thereup
on the Monk Pimen said: "We shall not depart from here, until we are granted to
see and pay respect to the holy elder", -- and he remained standing in the brigh
t heat at the door of the cell. Seeing such perseverance and lack of malice on t
he part of the Monk Pimen, the elder received him graciously and said: "It is ri
ght what I have heard about you, but I see in you the good deeds and an hundred
times even moreso". Thus did the Monk Pimen know how to extinguish malice and pr
ovide good example to others. He possessed such great humility, that often with
a sigh he said: "I shalt be cast down to that place, whither was cast down Satan
One time there came to the saint a monk from afar, to get his guidance.
He began to speak about sublime matters difficult to grasp. The saint turned awa
y from him and was silent. To the bewildered monk they explained, that the saint
did not like to speak about lofty matters. Then the monk began to ask him about
the struggle with passions of soul. The saint turned to him with a joyful face:
"Here now thou well hath spoken, and I mustneeds answer", -- and for a long whi
le he provided instruction, as to how one ought to struggle with the passions an
d conquer them.
The Monk Pimen died at age 110, in about the year 450. Soon after his de
ath he was acknowledged as a saint pleasing to God and received the title "the G
reat" -- as a sign of his great humility, modesty, uprightness and self-denying
service to God.
The PriestMartyr Kuksha and the Monk Pimen the Faster died after the yea
r 1114. Sainted Simon, Bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal' (XII Century, Comm. 10 May
), in a missive to the Monk Polykarp, Archimandrite of Pechersk (+ 1182, Comm. 2
4 July), wrote thus about the Monk Kuksha: "How can I worthily proclaim the glor

y of those saintly men, dwelling in the holy Pechersk monastery, in which pagans
were baptised and became monks, and Jews accepted the holy faith? But I cannot
keep silent about the Blessed PriestMartyr and Black-Robed Kuksha of this monast
ery, about whom everyone doth know, that he cast out devils, baptised the Vyatic
hi, caused it to rain, dried up a lake, did many other miracles, and after many
torments was killed together with his disciple Nikon". The death of the PriestMa
rtyr Kuksha was discerned by the Monk Pimen the Faster. Standing amidst the Pech
ersk Great church, he loudly exclaimed: "Our brother Kuksha was killed at dawn".
The Vyatichi, among whom the PriestMartyr Monk Kuksha preached and died,
lived along the River Oka, and they occupied the locale of the Orlov and Kaluzh
districts. They were pagans. The Monk Nestor the Chronicler (Comm. 27 October),
writing about the Vyatichi, was shocked by their brutal customs and he added, t
hat they thus live "furthermore only for the present day", remaining unacquainte
d with the Law of God and instead making their own law. The PriestMartyr Monk Ku
ksha preached to the Vyatichi during the era of Sainted Theoktist, Bishop of Che
rnigov (1113-1123, Comm. 5 August). He was buried thus, as was the Monk Pimen th
e Faster, in the Nearer Caves (Comm. of Monks of the Nearer Caves is 28 Septembe
Sainted Hosia the Confessor was bishop for more than 60 years in the cit
y of Cordova (Spain) during the IV Century. The holy emperor Saint Constantine t
he Great (306-337) deeply revered him and made him a privy counsellor. The saint
advised that Saint Constantine should convene the First OEcumenical Council at
Nicea in the year 325, and he was the first to undersign the deliberations of th
is Council. After the death of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Hosia firmly d
efended Sainted Athanasias of Alexandria (326-373, Comm. 2 May) against the empe
ror Constantius (337-361), an advocate of the Arian heresy. For this they sent h
im to prison in Sirmium. Upon his return to Cordova, Saint Hosia died in the yea
r 359.
Sainted Liberius the Confessor, Pope of Rome, entered upon the papal thr
one in the year 352, after the death of Pope Julius. Saint Liberius was a ferven
t proponent of Orthodoxy against the Arian heresy and a defender of Saint Athana
sias of Alexandria (Comm. 2 May). The emperor Constantius (337-361), inclining t
o side with the Arians, was not able to compel Saint Liberius to make a judgemen
t against Saint Athanasias nor therefore against Orthodoxy. For such intransigen
ce he was sent off to prison in Beroeia (Thrace), but was soon returned back on
the insistent demands of the Roman people. Before his return, they summoned Sain
t Liberius to the Third Sirmian Semi-Arian Council, where they forced him to und
ersign the deliberations of the Council. Holy Pope Liberius afterwards deeply re
pented of this, and toiled much at Rome for the affirmation of Orthodoxy. He die
d peacefully in the year 366.
The Monk Pimen of Palestine lived during the VI Century in a cave in the
Ruv wilderness. The holy fathers Sophronios and John speak about him in Chapter
167 of the book, "The Spiritual Meadow" ("Limonarion"). One time during winter
the monk Agathonikes came to the Monk Pimen for guidance and remained to spend t
he night in an adjoining cave. In the morning he mentioned, that he had suffered
much from the cold. The Monk Pimen answered, that he himself had been uncovered
, but he did not feel the cold because a lion came to him and lay alongside him,
warming him. "But I know, -- added the ascetic, -- that I shall be devoured by
wild beasts, since when I lived in the world and shepherded sheep, a man came by
my flock whom my dogs attacked and tore apart. I could have saved him, but I di
d not. It was later revealed to me, that I myself would die a similar death". An
d so it occurred: three years later it became known, that the holy Hermit Pimen
of Palestine was torn apart by wild beasts. This happened at the end of the VI C
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


The Monk Moses Murin the Black lived during the IV Century in Egypt. He
was an Ethiopian, and he was black of skin and therefore called "Murin" (meaning
"like an Ethiopian"). In his youth he was the slave of an important man, but af
ter he committed a murder, his master banished him, and he joined in with a band
of robbers. Because of his mean streak and great physical strength they chose h
im as their leader. Moses with his band of brigands did many an evil deed -- bot
h murders and robberies, so much so that people were afraid even at the mere men
tion of his name. Moses the brigand spent several years leading suchlike a sinfu
l life, but through the great mercy of God he repented, leaving his band of robb
ers and going off to one of the wilderness monasteries. And here for a long time
he wept, beseeching that they admit him amidst the number of the brethren. The
monks were not convinced of the sincerity of his repentance; but the former robb
er was not to be driven away nor silenced, in demanding that they should accept
him. In the monastery the Monk Moses was completely obedient to the hegumen and
the brethren, and he poured forth many a tear, bewailing his sinful life. After
a certain while the Monk Moses withdrew to a solitary cell, where he spent the t
ime in prayer and the strictest of fasting in a very austere lifestyle. One time
4 of the robbers of his former band descended upon the cell of the Monk Moses a
nd he, not having lost his great physical strength, he tied them all up and taki
ng them over his shoulder, he brought them to the monastery, where he asked of t
he elders what to do with them. The elders ordered that they be set free. The ro
bbers, learning that they had chanced upon their former ringleader, and that he
had dealt kindly with them, -- they themselves followed his example: they repent
ed and became monks. And later, when the rest of the band of robbers heard about
the repentance of the Monk Moses, then they too gave up their brigandage and be
came fervent monks.
The Monk Moses did not quickly become free from the passions. He went of
ten to the monastery hegumen, Abba Isidor, seeking advice on how to be delivered
from the passions of profligacy. Being experienced in the spiritual struggle, t
he elder taught him never to overeat of food, to be partly hungry whilst observi
ng the strictest moderation. But the passions would not cease for the Monk Moses
in his dreams. Then Abba Isidor taught him the all-night vigil. The monk stood
the whole night at prayer, not being on bended knees so as not to drop off to sl
eep. From his prolonged struggles the Monk Moses fell into despondency, and when
there arose thoughts about leaving his solitary cell, Abba Isidor instead stren
gthened the resolve of his student. In a vision he showed him many a demon in th
e west, prepared for battle, and in the East a still greater quantity of holy An
gels, likewise readied for fighting. Abba Isidor explained to the Monk Moses, th
at the power of the Angels would prevail over the power of the demons, and in th
e long struggle with the passions it was necessary for him to become completely
cleansed of his former sins.
The Monk Moses undertook a new effort. Making the rounds by night of the
wilderness cells, he carried water from the well to each brother. He did this e
specially for the elders, who lived far off from the well and who were not easil
y able to carry their own water. One time, kneeling over the well, the Monk Mose
s felt a powerful blow upon his back and he fell down at the well like one dead,
laying there in that position until dawn. Thus did the devils take revenge upon
the monk for his victory over them. In the morning the brethren carried him to
his cell, and he lay there a whole year crippled up. Having recovered, the monk
with firm resolve confessed to the hegumen, that he would continue to asceticise
. But the Lord Himself put limits to this struggle of many years: Abba Isidor bl

essed his student and said to him, that the profligate passions had already gone
from him. The elder commanded him to commune the Holy Mysteries and in peace to
go to his own cell. And from that time the Monk Moses received from the Lord th
e power over demons.
Accounts about his exploits spread amongst the monks and even beyond the
bounds of the wilderness. The governor of the land wanted to see the saint. Hav
ing learned about this, the Monk Moses decided to hide away from any visitors an
d he departed his own cell. Along the way he met up with servants of the governo
r, who asked him, how to get to the cell of the wilderness-dweller Moses. The mo
nk answered them: "Go on no further to this false and unworthy monk". The servan
ts returned to the monastery, where the governor was waiting, and they conveyed
to him the words of the elder they had chanced upon. The brethren, hearing a des
cription of the elder's appearance, all as one acknowledged that they had come u
pon the Monk Moses himself.
Having spent many a year at monastic exploits, the Monk Moses was ordain
ed deacon. The bishop attired him in white vesture and said: "Abba Moses is now
entirely white". The saint answered: "Vladyka, what makes it purely white -- the
outer or the inner?" Through humility the saint reckoned himself unworthy to ac
cept the dignity of deacon. One time the bishop decided to test him and he bid t
he clergy to drive him out of the altar, whilst reviling him for being an unwort
hy black-Ethiopian. With full humility the monk accepted the abuse. Having put h
im to the test, the bishop then ordained the monk to be presbyter. And in this d
ignity the Monk Moses asceticised for 15 years and gathered round himself 75 dis
When the monk reached age 75, he forewarned his monks, that soon brigand
s would descend upon the skete and murder all that were there. The saint blessed
his monks to leave in good time, so as to avoid the violent death, His disciple
s began to beseech the monk to leave together with them, but he replied: "I many
a year already have awaited the time, when upon me there should be fulfilled th
e words which my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, did speak: "All, who take up the
sword, shalt perish by the sword" (Mt. 26: 52). After this seven of the brethre
n remained with the monk, and one of these hid not far off during the coming of
the robbers, The robbers killed the Monk Moses and the six monks that remained w
ith him. Their death occurred in about the year 400.
The Monk Savva of Krypetsk was tonsured at Athos, and from there he came
to Pskov. He began to asceticise on Mount Snetna at the Mother of God monastery
, near Pskov, and thereafter he went off to a more remote spot along the River T
olva, at the monastery of the Monk Evphrosyn (Comm. 15 May). Finally, he withdre
w for complete solitude to the Krypetsk wilderness, 15 versts from the Tolva, an
d he settled alone in a small cave in the impenetrable forest. For food the herm
it had bread and water, and on Wednesdays and Fridays he ate nothing. Living the
life of an hermit he was much assailed by unclean spirits, but always he prevai
led over them through prayer. And after several years in the solitary life, thos
e zealous for wilderness life began to gather round the Monk Savva. They besough
t him to form a monastery and build a church, in honour of the Apostle John the
Theologian. The monk refused to be hegumen of the monastery and entrusted its gu
idance to the monk Kassian. Many came out from Pskov to the austere starets-elde
r, and he healed and admonished them, but never did he accept gifts from them.
One time the Pskov prince Yaroslav Vasil'evich Obolensky, who frequently
visited at the monastery, made journey with his sick wife to the saint. The Mon
k Savva sent off to him a message saying: "The starets, the sinner Savva, tellet
h thee, prince, enter not into the monastery with the princess; such is our rule
here -- women are not to enter the monastery; if thou transgress this fatherly
command, thy princess wilt not receive healing". The prince asked forgiveness, s
ince it was through ignorance that he was on the point of transgressing the rule
. The Monk Savva came out through the monastery gates together with the brethren
and there served a molieben. The princess was healed. Through the mediation of
the prince, in 1487 Pskov received a grammota-deed to the lands for the monaster

The monk taught layfolk to watch over their purity, reminding them about
the injunction of the Apostle against the defilers of the body. He told the ric
h and the judges, not to make their living at the expense of the poor and to pre
serve rightful truth. He frequently reminded everyone to avoid quarrels and enmi
ty, to preserve love and peace and to overlook the faults of others by courtesy,
even as they in turn have forgiven us. At the monastery from the very beginning
there had been introduced a strict life-in-common. And then, when sufficient br
ethren and means had been gathered, there was nothing in the cell of the monk sa
ve for two icons, his monk's garb and the cot, upon which he lay down to take hi
s rest. By suchlike poverty he taught the brethren. The monk commanded them to w
ork the land with their own hands. He said: "For how can we call the ancient asc
etics our fathers, when we live not by their manner of life, how then can we be
accounted their children? They were homeless and poor, they spent their time in
caves and in the wilderness and for the Lord with all their strength they subjec
ted their flesh to spirit. And they knew respite neither by day, nor by night. W
e should love the good Lord, children, not by sounds only nor by our manner of a
ttire for showing off our love for Him, but by deeds: by love one for another, b
y tears, by fasting, by every manner of temperance, just as the ancient fathers
did this".
The grateful prince built through the fens and the swamps a bridge to th
e monastery 1400 sazhen [1 sazhen = 7 feet] in length. After his death (+ 28 Aug
ust 1495), the Monk Savva did not forsake the monastery, and many a time came to
its defense. At night one time robbers approached the monastery, but they then
caught sight of an august elder, who held in hand a staff and threateningly orde
red them to repent. In the morning they learned that there was no suchlike elder
at the monastery, and they realised, that this had been the Monk Savva himself.
The leader of the robbers made his repentance to the hegumen and remained to li
ve at the monastery.
The Monk Savva was tall of stature, with a beard grey as snow, roundish
and thick and not very long. In suchlike visage he appeared in the mid-XVI Centu
ry to the monk Isaiah, in showing him where to find his undecayed relics. Therea
fter, in the year 1555, at the request of the Krypetsk brethren, the Pskov pries
t Vasilii compiled the life of the Monk Savva, and the feastday to him was estab
The Monk Job of Pochaev died on 28 October 1651. On 28 August 1833 the r
elics of the Monk Job were solemnly opened for general veneration. In the year 1
902 the Holy Synod decreed on this day to carry the holy relics of the Monk Job
round the Uspensk cathedral of the Pochaev Lavra-monastery after the Divine Litu
Righteous Anna the Prophetess was descended from the tribe of Aser, and
was the daughter of Phanuel. Having married, she lived with her husband for 7 ye
ars until his death. After his death, Righteous Anna led a strict and pious life
, "not leaving the Temple, and serving God both day and night in fasting and pra
yer" (Lk. 2: 37). When Righteous Anna was 84 years old, she was vouchsafed to se
e at the Jerusalem Temple the Infant Jesus Christ, brought for dedication to God
as a firstborn under the Mosaic law. Righteous Anna heard the prophetic words o
f Saint Simeon the God-Receiver, spoken to the MostHoly Mother of God. The Proph
etess Anna together with Saint Simeon glorified God, and told everyone, that the
Messiah was come into the world (Lk. 2: 38).
The memory of Righteous Anna occurs also on 3 February, when she is reme
mbered together with Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver, on the Afterfeast of the
Sretenie-Meeting of the Lord.
The GreatMartyress Shushanika, Princess of Rana (+ 475), was the daughte
r of the reknown Armenian military-commander Vardanes. Her actual name -- was Va
rdandukht, but the name she was fond of using -- was Shushanika. From her childh
ood years Saint Shushanika distinguished herself by her fear of God and her piet

She entered into marriage with the pitiakhshah (governor of outlying dis
tricts of Gruzia) named Varxenes, who renounced Christ and became an apostate to
the faith. In the eighth year of the rule of the shah Peroz, Varxenes set off t
o Kteziphon, whereat was the residence of the Persian shah, and he became a Mazd
aeite (fire-worshipper), so as to please the shah. Having learned about this upo
n the return of her husband, Saint Shushanika did not want to continue married l
ife with an apostate from God. She left the palace and began to live in a small
cell, not far off from the palace church. The priest of the empress, named Yakov
-James Tsurtaveli (afterwards the author of her vita), relates that the holy emp
ress, learning of her husband's intent to resort to force, was filled with deter
mination to stand firmly in the faith, despite any sort of entreaties, threats o
r tortures. Rejecting the offers of Varxenes, on 8 January 469 she was subjected
to a beating by him and thrown into chains, and on 14 April 469 she was locked
up in a prison fortress, where she remained for six and an half years. "Six year
s she spent imprisoned and yet adorned with virtues: by fasting, by vigilance, s
tanding on her feet, with unflagging prostrations and the incessant reading of b
ooks. She was wrought into a spiritual flute, sanctified and embellished by pris
on". To the prison came many of the afflicted, "and each, through the prayers of
Blessed Shushanika, received from God the Lover-of-Mankind that in which they w
ere in need of: the childless -- children, the sick -- health, the blind -- sigh
t". By this time Varxenes had converted to fire-worship the children of Saint Sh
ushanika, and they ceased to visit their imprisoned mother. In the seventh year
of the imprisonment of Saint Shushanika sores began to appear on her legs and bo
dy. Jodjik, the brother of the pitiakhshah Varxenes, having learned that Blessed
Shushanika was close to death, managed to get into the prison with his wife and
children and he besought of Saint Shushanika: "Forgive us our guilt and bless u
s". Saint Shushanika forgave them and blessed them, saying: "All the present lif
e is transient and inconstant, like a flower of the fields; one plants it, and a
nother is pleased, one squanders it on trivia while another doth gather, one use
s it for oneself, but another doth find...".
On the eve of the blessed death of the holy martyress, she was visited i
n prison by the Gruzia Katholikos-Archbishop Samuel I (474-502), by Bishop John
and by the priest of the martyress Yakov-James Tsurtaveli (over the course of al
l six years he had constantly visited and consoled her). The court bishop Athots
(Photios) communed Saint Shushanika. Her last words were: "Blest be the Lord my
God, wherefore with peace I do repose and sleep". The end of the blessed martyr
ess ensued on 17 October, on the feastday of the Unmercenary Martyrs Cosmas and
Damian, and it was particularly on this day that the ancient Church celebrated h
er memory.
The relics of the holy Martyress Shushanika rested at first in a church
in the city of Tsortag. The Tsortag church after a certain while fell under the
lead of an Armenian bishop -- a Monophysite, and the Katholikos-Archbishop of Gr
uzia Samuel IV (582-591) transferred the holy relics of Saint Shushanika to the
city of Tbilisi, where in the year 586 they were put into a chapel of the Metekh
church, on the south side of the altar. And indeed, it is in connection with th
is event that the memory of Saint Shushanika was transferred from 17 October to
28 August.
Righteous Hezekiah (721-691 B.C.) was the son of the impious king Ahaz.
The life of Righteous Hezekiah is described in the Bible (4 [2] Kings 18-20).
At age 25 he became king of Judah and he reigned at Jerusalem for 29 yea
rs. A zealous worshipper of the True God, Righteous Hezekiah reopened for Divine
-services the Solomon Temple. During the time of the celebration of the Passover
, to which he summoned all the subjects of the kingdom of Israel, Righteous Heze
kiah gave orders to destroy the idols throughout all his kingdom, while remindin
g the people about the chastisements which befell their ancestors for forsaking
the True God. After this, idol-worship ceased not only in the kingdom of Judah,
but also in many places in the kingdom of Israel. For this, God delivered him fr
om his enemies and fulfilled his petitions. Thus, in the 14th year of the reign
of Hezekiah, the Assyrian king Sennacherib son of Salmanassar, having conquered

Israel, gathered his forces to make war upon Hezekiah. The Assyrian king took th
e fortress of Lachis and sent an army towards Jerusalem, demanding that the Jewi
sh king surrender. Righteous Hezekiah turned in prayer to God, and an Angel of t
he Lord struck down 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp. Soon after the withdr
awal of Sennacherib, Righteous Hezekiah fell ill. The Prophet Isaiah came to him
through the will of God and bid him make a deathbed testament. But the power of
the prayer of Righteous Hezekiah was so great that God prolonged his life for a
nother 15 years. His prayer was fervent, when he besought God to help him. But e
ven more blazing was his prayer of thanks. Righteous Hezekiah died at age 54 and
was buried with great reverence at Jerusalem. The memory of Righteous Hezekiah
is likewise celebrated on Cheesefare Saturday.
2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Beheading of the Prophet, ForeRunner of the Lord, John the Baptist:
The Evangelists Matthew (Mt. 14: 1-12) and Mark (Mk. 6: 14-29) provide accounts
about the Martyr's end of John the Baptist in the year 32 after the Birth of Chr
Following the Baptism of the Lord, Saint John the Baptist was locked up
in prison by Herod Antipas, holding one-fourth the rule of the Holy Land as gove
rnor of Galilee. (After the death of king Herod the Great, the Romans divided th
e territory of Palestine into four parts, and into each part put a governor. Her
od Antipas received from the emperor Augustus the rule of Galilee). The prophet
of God John openly denounced Herod for having left his lawful wife -- the daught
er of the Arabian king Aretas, and then instead co-habiting with Herodias, -- th
e wife of his brother Philip (Lk. 3: 19-20). On his birthday, Herod made a feast
for dignitaries, the elders and a thousand chief citizens. The daughter of Hero
d, Salome, danced before the guests and charmed Herod. In gratitude to the girl
he swore to give her anything, whatsoever she would ask, anything up to half his
kingdom. The vile girl on the advice of her wicked mother Herodias asked, that
she be given at once the head of John the Baptist on a plate. Herod became appre
hensive, for he feared the wrath of God for the murder of a prophet, whom earlie
r he had heeded. He feared also the people, who loved the holy ForeRunner. But b
ecause of the guests and his careless oath, he gave orders to cut off the head o
f Saint John and to give it to Salome. By tradition, the mouth of the dead head
of the preacher of repentance once more opened and proclaimed: "Herod, thou ough
t not to have the wife of Philip thy brother". Salome took the plate with the he
ad of Saint John and gave it to her mother. The frenzied Herodias repeatedly sta
bbed the tongue of the prophet with a needle and buried his holy head in a uncle
an place. But the pious Joanna, wife of Herod's steward Chuza, buried the head o
f John the Baptist in an earthen vessel on the Mount of Olives, where Herod was
possessor of a parcel of land (the Uncovering of the Venerable Head is celebrate
d 24 February). The holy body of John the Baptist was taken that night by his di
sciples and buried at Sebasteia, there where the wicked deed had been done. Afte
r the murder of Saint John the Baptist, Herod continued to govern for a certain
while. Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, later sent to him the bound Jesus Chri
st, over Whom he made mockery (Lk. 23: 7-12).
The judgement of God came upon Herod, Herodias and Salome, even during t
heir earthly life. Salome, crossing the River Sikoris in winter, fell through th
e ice. The ice gave way for her such that her body was in the water, but her hea
d trapped beneathe the ice. It was similar to how she once had danced with her f
eet upon the ground, but now flailing helplessly in the icy water. Thus she was
trapped until that time when the sharp ice cut through her neck. The corpse was
not found, but they brought the head to Herod and Herodias, as once they had bro
ught them the head of Saint John the Baptist. The Arab king Aretas in revenge fo
r the disrespect shown his daughter made war against Herod. Having suffered defe

at, Herod suffered the wrath of the Roman emperor Caius Caligua (37-41) and was
exiled with Herodias first to Gaul, and then to Spain. And there they were from
In memory of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, the feastday estab
lished by the Church is also a strict day of fast, -- as an expression of the gr
ief of Christians at the violent death of the saint. On this day the Church make
s remembrance of soldiers, killed on the field of battle, as established in 1769
at the time of a war of Russia with the Turks and the Poles.
The Martyr Anastasii, a Bulgarian, was born in 1774 in the Strumnitsk di
ocese, in the village of Radovicha. His parents gave him over to military studie
s. When the youth was 20 years old, he happened to be with his teacher in Solune
ia (Thessalonika). The master wanted to sell some Turkish clothes without paying
the customary dutyy-tax. He told his student to dress himself as a Turk and go
into the city. The collectors of the duty-tax (haraje) stopped him and demanded
the written receipt (teskere) of duty-tax payment. The youth answered that he wa
s a Turk. Thereupon the collectors demanded him to recite the salutation with th
e Mahometan prayer. The youth became confused and quiet. They ordered him off to
the commander, who in interrogating the martyr offered him to become Turkish. T
he youth refused, and they led him away to the chief tax-collector. The official
tried at first to flatter, then to threaten the martyr, who owned up to his civ
il guilt, but would not agree to betray his holy faith. The tax-collector made t
his known to the mufti, who in turn answered: "Thou hast in one hand the sword,
in the other the law; use what thou wishest". He knew, that by law the tax-colle
ctor ought to take the duty-tax from the youth, but then by judgement of the muf
ti he would not be a follower of Mahomet, armed with a sword. And having receive
d such an answer, the commander of the haraje sent the youth to the local mullah
together with five Turks, who were obliged to testify that the Christian had bl
asphemed the Mahometan faith. To the accusations of blasphemy against Mahomet by
these witnesses, the youth honestly answered that he did not blaspheme him, but
he would allow having shown disrespect to Mahometan customs. They subjected him
to torture and condemned him to hanging. Along the way they continued to urge t
he martyr to renounce his faith, but bleeding and exhausted, he fell upon the wa
yside and died on 29 August 1794.
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
1999 by translator Fr S Janos.
SAVVA II (+ 1269), EVSTAPHII (+ C. 1285), JAKOV (+ 1292), NIKODIM (+ 1325), DANI
EL (+ 1338); -- PATRIARCHS: JOANNIKII (+ 1354), EPHREM II (+ AFTER 1395), SPIRID
ON (+ 1388), MAKARII (+ 1574), GAVRIEL (GABRIEL) I (+ 1659), AND GREGORY THE BIS
Saints Alexander, John and Paul, Constantinople Patriarchs, lived at dif
ferent times, but each of them happened to clash with the activities of heretics
who sought to distort the teachings of the Church. Saint Alexander (325-340) wa
s a "chor-bishop" (vicar bishop) during the period of the first patriarch of Con
stantinople, Sainted Mitrophanes (315-325), and because of the patriarch's extre

me age substituted for him at the First OEcumenical Council at Nicea against the
Arians (325). Upon his death, Saint Mitrophanes had instructed in his will to e
lect his vicar to the Constantinople throne. During these times His Holiness Pat
riarch Alexander had to contend with the Arians and with pagans. Once in a dispu
te with a pagan philosopher the saint said to him: "In the Name of our Lord Jesu
s Christ I command thee to be quiet!", and the pagan suddenly became voiceless.
When he gestured with signs of acknowledgement of his errors and affirmation of
the correctness of the Christian teaching, then his speech returned to him and h
e believed in Christ together with many other pagan-philosophers.
The heretic Arius was punished through the prayer of Saint Alexander. Th
e heretic deceitfully agreed to enter into communion with the Orthodox, and the
emperor Saint Constantine set a day for receiving Arius. All night long Saint Al
exander prayed, imploring the Lord not to permit the heretic to be received into
communion with the Church. In the morning, when Arius triumphantly went to the
church, surrounded by imperial counselors and soldiers, he was stricken with ill
ness on the Constantine Square, -- his belly exploded and the innards fell out.
His Holiness Patriarch Alexander, having toiled much, died in the year 3
40 at the age of 98. Sainted Gregory the Theologian (or Nazianzen, Comm. 25 Janu
ary) made mention about him afterwards in words of praise to the people of Const
Sainted John the Faster (582-595) is in particular remembered by the Chu
rch on 2 September (the account about him is located under this heading).
Sainted Paul, by birth a Cypriot, became Patriarch of Constantinople (78
0-784) during the reign of the Iconoclast-emperor Leo IV the Khazar (775-780), a
nd was a virtuous and pious but timid man. Viewing the martyrdom, which the Orth
odox endured for holy icons, the saint concealed his Orthodoxy and associated wi
th the iconoclasts. After the death of the emperor Leo, he wanted to restore ico
n-veneration but was not able to accomplish since, since the iconoclasts were st
ill quite powerful. The saint realised, that it was not in his powers to guide t
he flock, and so he left the patriarchal throne and went secretly to the monaste
ry of Saint Florus, where he took the schema. He repented his silence and associ
ation with the iconoclasts and talked of the necessity for convening the Eighth
OEcumenical Council to condemn the Iconoclast heresy. Upon his advice, there was
chosen to the patriarchal throne Saint Tarasios (784-806), at that time a promi
nent imperial counselor. The saint died a schema-monk in the year 804.
The Monk Alexander of Svirsk was born on 15 July 1448, on the day of mem
ory of the Prophet Amos, and at Baptism was named in honour of him. Dwelling all
his life far off from historical events, the Monk Alexander -- a beacon light o
f monasticism in the deep forests of the Russian North -- worked a different and
spiritual history and was bestown extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.
His parents, Stefan and Vassa (Vasilisa) were peasants of the nigh-close
to Lake Ladoga village of Mandera, at the bank of the River Oyata, a tributary
of the River Svira. They had two children, who were already grown and lived away
from their parents. But Stefan and Vassa wanted still to have another son. They
prayed fervently and heard a voice from above: "Rejoice, good wedded, ye shall
bear a son, in whose birth God wilt give comfort to His Church".
Amos grew up a special lad. He was always obedient and gentle, he shunne
d games, jokes and foul-talk, he wore poor clothes and so weakened himself with
fasting, that it caused his mother anxiety. Upon coming of age he once met Valaa
msk monks who had come to the Oyata for the purchase of necessities and concerni
ng other economic needs. Valaam at this time had already the reputation as a mon
astery of deep piety and strict ascetic life. Having spoken with them, the youth
became interested by their account about the skete (with two or three together)
and about the monastic hermit life. Knowing that his parents wanted to marry hi
m off, the youth at age 19 went secretly to Valaam. Under the guise of being a c
ompanion, an Angel of God appeared to him, showing the way to the island.
Amos lived for seven years at the monastery as a novice, leading an aust
ere life. He spent his days at work, and his nights -- in vigilance and prayer.
Sometimes bare of chest, all covered by mosquitoes and gnats, he prayed in the f

orest to the morning song of the birds.

In the year 1474 Amos took monastic vows with the name Alexander. After
some several years his parents eventually learned from Karelians arriving in Man
dera, whither their son had disappeared. Through the example of their son, even
the parents soon went to the monastery and took vows with the names Sergei and V
arvara (Barbara). After their death the Monk Alexander, with the blessing of the
hegumen of the monastery, settled on a solitary monastery island, where in the
crevice of a cliff he built a cell and continued his spiritual exploits.
The fame of his exploits spread far. Then in 1485 the Monk Alexander dep
arted from Valaam and, upon a command from above, chose a place in the forest on
the shore of a beautiful lake, which afterwards was named Holy (Svyata). Here t
he monk built himself an hut and in solitude he dwelt for seven years, eating on
ly that which he gathered in the forest (Afterwards at this place, -- Lake Svyat
a, 36 versts from the future city of Olonets and 6 versts from the River Svira,
the Monk Alexander founded the monastery of the Life-Originating Trinity, and 13
0 sazhen (i.e. 910 feet) off from it, at Lake Roschina, he built himself a "with
drawing place", -- on the spot where the Alexandro-Svirsk monastery later emerge
d). During this time the saint experienced fierce sufferings from hunger, frost,
sickness and demonic temptations. But the Lord continually sustained the spirit
ual and bodily strength of the righteous one. Once when suffering with terrible
infirmities, the monk not only was not able to get up from the ground, but also
even was unable to lift his head, he just lay there and sang psalms. And hereupo
n there appeared to him a glorious man. Placing his hand on the pained spot, he
signed the saint with the sign of the cross and healed him.
In 1493 while hunting for deer, the adjoining land-owner Andrei Zavalish
in happened to come upon the hut of the monk. Andrei spoke to him about a light,
seen earlier at this place, and he entreated the monk to tell him about his lif
e. From that point Andrei started often to visit with the Monk Alexander, and fi
nally through the monk's guidance, he himself departed for Valaam, where he took
vows with the name Adrian, founding later on the Ondrusovsk monastery, and glor
ifying himself with a saintly life (Comm. 26 August and 17 May, + 1549).
Andrei Zavalishin was not able to keep quiet about the ascetic, in spite
of the promise given to him. News about the righteous one began to spread widel
y, and monks started to gather about him. The monk thereupon withdrew himself fr
om all the brethren and built himself a "withdrawing spot" a distance of 130 saz
hen from the common dwelling. The he encountered a multitude of temptations. The
demons took on beastly shapes, they hissed like snakes, urging the monk to flee
. But the prayer of the saint, as it were a fiery flame, scorched and dispersed
the devils.
In 1508, the 23th year of the monk's dwelling at this secluded spot, the
re appeared to him the Life-Originating Trinity. The monk was praying at night a
t his "withdrawing spot". Suddenly an intense light shone, and the monk beheld a
pproaching him Three Men, robed in radiant white garb. Hallowed by Heavenly Glor
y, They did shine in a pure brightness greater than the sun. Each of Them held i
n Their hand a staff. The monk fell down in terror, and having come to his sense
s, prostrated himself on the ground. Taking him up by the hand, the Men said: "T
rust thou, blessed one, and fear not". The monk received orders to construct a c
hurch and to build up a monastery. He again fell to his knees, crying out about
his own unworthiness, but the Lord raised him up and ordered him to fulfill the
commands. The monk asked, in whose name the church ought to be. The Lord thereup
on said: "Beloved, as thou beholdest Those speaking with thee in Three Persons,
so also construct thou the church in the Name of the Father and the Son and the
Holy Spirit, the Trinity One-in-Essence. I leave thee peace and My peace I give
thee". And immediately the Monk Alexander beheld the Lord with out-stretched win
gs, going as though along the ground, and He became invisible. In the history of
the Russian Orthodox Church this Divine Descent is acknowledged as unique. Afte
r this vision the monk began to think, where to build the church. Once during a
time of prayer to God, he heard a voice from above. Having gazed up to the heigh
ts, he saw an Angel of God in mantle and klobuk, such as the Monk Pakhomios had
seen. The Angel, standing in the air with out-stretched wings and up-raised hand

s, proclaimed: "One is Holy, One is the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Glory of God t
he Father, Amen". And then he turned to the monk: Alexander, upon this spot cons
truct the church in the Name of the Lord Who hath appeared to thee in Three Pers
ons, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity Undivided". And having thrice m
ade the cross over the place, the Angel became invisible.
In that same year was built a wooden church of the Life-Originating Trin
ity (in 1526 was built here a stone church). And at the same time as the buildin
g of the church, the brethren began to urge the monk to accept the priesthood. F
or a long time he refused, considering himself unworthy. Then the brethren began
to implore Saint Serapion, Archbishop of Novgorod (+ 1516, Comm. 16 March), tha
t he convince the monk to accept the dignity. And so in that very year the monk
journeyed to Novgorod and received ordination from the holy archbishop. Soon aft
erwards the brethren also besought the monk to accept being hegumen.
Having become hegumen, the monk became even more humble than before. His
clothes were all in tatters, and he slept on the bare ground. He himself prepar
ed food, kneaded dough and baked bread. One time there was not sufficient firewo
od and the steward asked the hegumen to dispatch after firewood any of the monks
that were idle. "I am idle", -- said the monk, and he began to chop firewood. A
nother time likewise he began to carry water. And by night when all were asleep,
the monk was often grinding away with hand-stones for making more bread. By nig
ht the monk made the round of the cells and if he heard anywhere vain conversati
ons, he lightly tapped on the door and departed, but in the morning he admonishe
d the brother, imposing a penance on the culprit.
Towards the end of his life the Monk Alexander decided to build a stone
church of the Pokrov (Protection) of the MostHoly Mother of God. One time in the
evening, after doing an akathist to the MostHoly Mother of God, the monk settle
d down to rest in the cell and suddenly said to the cell-attendant Afanasii: "Ch
ild, be sober and alert, because in this hour will be a wondrous and astounding
visit". There followed a voice, like thunder: "Behold cometh the Lord and His Bi
rth-Giver". The monk hastened to the entrance to the cell, and a great light ill
umined it, spreading over all the monastery brighter than the rays of the sun. G
azing, the monk beheld over the foundation of the Pokrov church sitting at the a
ltar place, as it were an empress upon a throne, the All-Pure Mother of God. She
held the Infant-Christ in Her arms, and a multitude of the angelic rank, shinin
g with an indescribable brightness, stood before Her. The monk fell down, unable
to bear the great light. The Mother of God said: "Rise up, thou chosen one of M
y Son and God. For I have come here to visit thee, My dear one, and to look upon
the foundation of My church. And for this, I have made entreaty for thy discipl
es and monastery, from hence all wilt be abundant; not only during thine life, b
ut also upon thy departure persistently from thy monastery will be a granting of
all necessities in abundance. Behold and watch carefully, how many monks are ga
thered into thy flock, which by thee mustneeds be guided on the way of salvation
in the Name of the Holy Trinity". The monk rose up and beheld a multitude of mo
nks. Again said the Mother of God: "My dear one, if someone doth bear one brick
for the building of My church, in the Name of Jesus Christ, My Son and God, his
treasure perisheth not". And She became invisible.
Before his death the monk displayed wondrous humility. He summoned the b
rethren and bid them: "Bind my sinful body by the legs and drag it to a swampy t
hicket and, having enclosed it in skins, submerse it by the legs". The brethren
answered: "No, father, it is not possible to do this". Then the monk bid that hi
s body not be kept at the monastery, but at a place of withdrawal, the church of
the Transfiguration of the Lord. Having lived 85 years, the monk expired to the
Lord on 30 August 1533.
The Monk Alexander of Svirsk was glorified by wondrous miracles during h
is life and upon his death. In 1545 his disciple and successor, Hegumen Irodion,
compiled his life. In 1547 was begun the local celebration of the monk and a se
rvice compiled to him. In the year 1641, on 17 April, during the rebuilding of t
he Transfiguration church, the incorrupt relics of the Monk Alexander of Svirsk
were uncovered and the universal Church celebration to him was established on tw
o dates: the day of repose -- 30 August, and the day of glorification (Uncoverin

g of Relics) -- 17 April.
The Monk Alexander of Svirsk instructed and raised up a whole multitude
of disciples, as the Mother of God had bequeathed him. These are the Sainted-Mon
ks: Ignatii of Ostrovsk (XVI), Leonid of Ostrovsk (XVI), Kornilii of Ostrovsk (X
VI), Dionysii of Ostrovsk (XVI), Athanasii (Afanasii) of Ostrovsk (XVI), Theodor
e (Feodor) of Ostrovsk (XVI), Ferapont of Ostrovsk (XVI). Besides these saints,
there are known disciples and those conversing with the Monk Alexander of Svirsk
, which have separate days of memory: the Monk Athansii (Afanasii) of Syandemsk
(XVI, Comm. 18 January), the Monk Gennadii of Vasheozersk (+ 8 January 1516, Com
m. 9 February), the Monk Makarii of Orodezhsk (+ 1532, Comm. 9 August), the Monk
Adrian of Ondrosovsk (+ 26 August 1549, Comm. 17 May), the Monk Nikifor of Vash
eozersk (+ 1557, Comm. 9 February), the Monk Gennadii of Kostroma and Liubimogra
d (+ 1565, Comm. 23 January). All these saints (except the Monk Gennadii of Kost
roma) are imaged on the Icon of the Monastic Fathers, illumined in the Karelia l
and (icon from the church at the Spiritual Seminary in the city of Kuopio, Finla
nd). The festal celebration of the Sobor-Assemblage of the Saints Illumined in t
he Karelian Land is done by the Finnish Orthodox Church on the Saturday falling
between 31 October and 6 November.
The Holy NobleBorn Prince Alexander Nevsky (in monastic-schema Alexei) d
ied on the return journey from the Horde at Gorodtsa on the Volga, on 14 Novembe
r 1263, and on 23 November (under this day is located the account about him) in
1263 he was buried in the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Monastery in the city
of Vladimir (there is set up there now a memorial to the holy prince; yet anoth
er memorial is set up in the city of Pereslavl'-Zalessk). Veneration of the nobl
eborn prince started right at his burial, whereof was a remarkable miracle: the
saint himself extended his hand for the absolving prayer. Great Prince Ioann Ioa
nnovich (1353-1359) in his spiritual testament written in the year 1356, left to
his son Dimitrii (1363-1389), the future victor of the Battle of Kulikovo, "an
icon of Saint Alexander". The undecayed relics of the nobleborn prince were open
ed, on account of a vision, before the Kulikovo Battle -- in the year 1380, and
then were set forth for local feast-celebration. For the prayers of the holy pri
nce, glorified by defense of the Fatherland, Russian commanders resorted to in a
ll the following times. On 30 August 1721 Peter I, after a lengthy and exhaustin
g war with the Swedes, concluded the Nishtad Peace. This day was decided upon to
hallow by the transfer of the relics of the NobleBorn Prince Alexander Nevsky f
rom Vladimir to the new northern capital, Peterburg, arranged on the banks of th
e Neva. Withdrawn from Vladimir on 11 August 1723, the holy relics were greeted
at Shlissel'burg on 20 September of that year and remained there until 1724, whe
n on 30 August they were placed in the Trinity Cathedral of the Alexander Nevsky
Lavra (Monastery), where now also they rest. By an edict/ukaz on 2 September 1
724 there was established a feastday on 30 August (in 1727 the feast was discont
inued by reason of non-church matters, and involved clique-struggles at the impe
rial court. In 1730 the feast was again re-established).
Archimandrite Gavriel Buzhinsky (later Bishop of Riazan, + 27 April 1731
) compiled a special service in remembrance of the Nishtad Peace, combining with
it a service to Saint Alexander Nevsky.
The name of the Defender of the borders of Russia and the Patron of Sold
iers is famous far from the regions of our Native Land. The testimony to this: t
he numerous temples dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky. The most famous of them
: the Patriarchal Cathedral at Sofia, the Cathedral church in Talinin, and a chu
rch in Tbilisi. These churches are a pledge of friendship of the Russian Nationa
l-Liberator with brother nations.
NobleBorn Prince Daniel of Moscow, son of the holy nobleborn prince Alex
ander Nevsky, died on 4 March 1303. On 30 August 1652 his relics were uncovered
incorrupt. The account about him is located under 4 March.
The Monk Christopher, a Roman, lived during the VI Century. He was tonsu
red into monasticism at the monastery of the Monk Theodosios (Comm. 11 January)

in Palestine, Near Jerusalem. The accounts of Abba Theodulos about the Monk Chri
stopher are contained in the book "Spiritual Meadows" ("Leimon" or "Limonar'") b
y John Moskhos and Sophronios.
One time the Monk Christopher went to Jerusalem, to worship at the Holy
Sepulchre of the Lord and at the Life-Creating Cross. At the gateway of the chur
ch he beheld a monk not moving from the spot. Two ravens flew before his face. T
he Monk Christopher discerned that these were demons, which held the monk back f
rom entering the church. He asked the brother: "Why standest thou at the gate an
d enter not in?". -- The brother answered: "Pardon me, father, but within me str
uggle two thoughts: one says: go and venerate the Venerable Cross, but the other
says: go not in, rather first finish thou thine affairs, and another time come
and venerate". Then Saint Christopher took the brother by the hand and led him i
nto the church. The ravens immediately disappeared, and the brother made his ven
eration. The Monk Christopher recounted this in instructing those who were very
little diligent in prayer, and who forgot, that first one ought to fulfill spiri
tual service, and then afterwards the necessary work.
By day the Monk Christopher fulfilled his monastic obedience, and by nig
ht he retired to a cave, where at an earlier time had prayed the Monk Theodosios
and other fathers. At each of the 18 steps, leading into the cave, he made abou
t 100 poklons and the greater part of the night he spent in prayer, before the p
ealing calling to morning song. At this exploit he spent 11 years. One time, des
cending into the cave, he beheld in it a multitude of lamps. Two radiant youths
were lighting them. "Why have ye put the lampadi here, such that I be not able t
o enter in and pray", -- said the monk. "These are the lampadi of the fathers, s
erving God", -- answered the youths. "Tell me, -- asked the saint, -- does my la
mpada burn or not?" They answered: "Work, pray, and we shall light it". Then the
saint said to himself: "Oi, Christopher, thou oughtest to assume yet greater a
burden, that thy lamp might be lighted!" He went from the monastery to Mount Sin
ai, taking nothing with him. The monk toiled there for 50 years at great exploit
s. And finally, he heard a voice saying: "Christopher! Go to thine monastery whe
re thou didst asceticise earlier, so that thou mightest repose there with thine
The Monk Fantinus the Wonderworker was born in Calabria (Italy) of paren
ts George and Vriena. He was given over to a monastery and from childhood he was
accustomed to ascetic deeds. In youth he wandered into the wilderness, remainin
g often without food for 20 days and lacking garb. In suchlike exploits the monk
spent 60 years. Before the end of his life, fleeing before pursuing Saracens, h
e set off with his disciples Vitalius and Nicephorus to the Peleponnesus (Greece
). Preaching the way of salvation, the monk visited Corinth, Athens, Larissa and
Soluneia (Thessalonika), where he venerated the relics of the GreatMartyr Demet
rios (Comm. 26 October). He died peacefully in extreme old age at the end of the
IX - beginning X Century.
The Sobor-Assemblage of Serbian Sainted-Hierarchs celebrates arch-pastor
s of the Serbian Church of the XIII-XIV Centuries. The majority of them, in addi
tion to this general commemoration, have individual days of celebration: Sainted
Archbishop Savva I -- 12 January; Sainted Archbishop Arsenii I -- 28 October; S
ainted Archbishop Savva II -- 8 February; Sainted Archbishop Evstaphii I -- 4 Ja
nuary; Sainted Archbishop Nikodom -- 11 May; Sainted Archbishop Daniel -- 20 Dec
ember; Sainted Patriarch Joannikii II -- 3 September; Sainted Patriarch Ephrem I
I -- 15 June.
Sainted Spiridon, Patriarch of Serbia (1382-1388), was much concerned ab
out the monastic communities during difficult years of civil and ecclesial unres
t. He was consecrated by Sainted Ephrem II, Patriarch of Serbia (1367-1382; + 13
88), who then withdrew to the Archangel'sk monastery of the Dushan church. Saint
Spiridon termed Church singing "a spiritual flute" -- and evidently he wrote ch
urch-song for the Serbian Church. The saint died at almost the same time as Bles
sed Prince Lazar (+ 1389, Comm. 15 June), who was killed in the battle with the

Turks at Kosovo Pole. After the death of Saint Spiridon the guidance of the Serb
ian Church was again placed upon Saint Ephrem II.
Sainted Makarii, Patriarch of Serbia (1557-1574), toiled in particular f
or the spread of education in Serbia. Many a church book was printed in his time
. The brother of the saint was vizier under the sultan and assisted in the resto
ration of monasteries and churches -- despoiled by Mohametan fanaticism, and als
o with the restoration of the patriarch's monastery.
Sainted Gavriel (Gabriel) I, Patriarch of Serbia (by familial lineage Ra
icha), occupied the cathedra-seat in the mid-XVII Century, a time when the Mosle
m fanaticism had become intense. In the urgent need for both cathedral and count
ry the saint set off for collecting alms to Walachia, and from there to Moscow.
And in Moscow in 1655 he was present together with the Patriarch of Anti
och at a Church Sobor (Council), which sought to correct various aspects of chur
ch books in accord with the Greek and Old Slavonic texts. The saint brought as g
ift to the Russian Church several manuscripts and three liturgies printed in the
South. With generous alms for his Church and country the saint returned to Serb
ia. His cathedra-seat had been given over to another occupant, and moreover, Aus
trian Jesuits had slandered him with treason before the vizier. The total innoce
nce of the saint was already evidenced from this, that the vizier made pretense
to spare his life and bestow a great official position, if the saint would betra
y his faith in the Saviour. "I am completely innocent of state crimes, -- said S
aint Gavriel, -- this you yourself avow. To save my life by betrayal of Christia
n faith I shall never agree to, while remaining of sound mind. Keep your riches
and honours, for me they are unneeded". After torture Saint Gavriel was hanged i
n October 1659.
In the general service of the Serblyak (collective services to Serbian s
aints) on 30 August are also remembered: Sainted Archbishop of Serbia Jakov (+ 3
February 1292), Sainted Bishop Gregory (a descendant of the reknown Neemanicha
lineage), and also the saints: Archbishop Savva III (1305-1316), and the Patriar
chs Kirill, Nikon, John, Maksim.
1998 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
The Placing of the Venerable Belt of the MostHoly Mother of God in the C
onstantinople Blakhernae Church was during the reign of the emperor Arcadius (39
5-408). Before this the holy relict, entrusted to the Apostle Thomas by the Moth
er of God Herself, was after Her Dormition thereafter kept at Jerusalem by pious
Christians. After many years, during the reign of emperor Leo the Wise (886-911
), from the Belt of the Mother of God was accomplished a miraculous healing of h
is spouse Zoa, suffering from an unclean spirit.
The empress had a vision, that she would be healed of her infirmity when
the Belt of the Mother of God would be placed upon her. The emperor turned with
his petition to the Patriarch. The Patriarch removed the seal and opened the ve
ssel in which the relict was kept: the Belt of the Mother of God appeared comple
tely whole and undamaged by time. The Patriarch placed the Belt on the sick empr
ess, and she immediately was freed from her infirmity. They served a solemn than
ksgiving molieben to the MostHoly Mother of God, and the venerable Belt they pla
ced back into the vessel and resealed the seal.
In commemoration of the miraculous occurrence and the twofold Placing of
the venerable Belt, the feast of the Placing of the Venerable Belt of the MostH
oly Mother of God was established. Parts of the holy Belt are in the Athos Batop
edia monastery, in Trier monastery and in Gruzia (Georgia).

The PriestMartyr Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, was born in about the year
200 in the city of Carthage (Northern Africa), where all his life and work took
place. Thasius Cyprianus was the son of a rich pagan senator, and received a fi
ne secular education becoming a splendid orator, teacher of rhetoric and philoso
phy in the school of Carthage. He often appeared in the courts to plea and defen
d the deeds of his townsmen. Cyprian afterwards recollected, that for a long whi
le "he remained in a deep dark myst..., far from the light of Truth". His fortun
e -- received from his parents and from his vocational activity, he expended on
sumptuous banquets, but they were not able to quench in him the thirst for truth
. Having become curious about Christianity, he became acquainted with the writin
gs of the Apologist presbyter Tertullian (born about the year 160). The saintedbishop later wrote, that it then seemed impossible for him because of his habits
to attain to the regeneration promised by the Saviour.
From such a burdened and undecided state of mind he was helped out by hi
s friend and guide -- the presbyter Cecilius. At 46 years of age the studious pa
gan was received into the Christian community as a catechumen. And before accept
ing Baptism, he distributed his property to the poor and moved into the house of
the presbyter Cecilius. Strengthened by the power of the regenerative grace of
God -- received by him in Baptism, Sainted Cyprian wrote in a letter to his frie
nd Donatus: "When the surge of regeneration cleansed the impurity of my former l
ife, a light -- steady and bright, shone down from Heaven into my heart. When th
e second birth by the Heavenly Spirit transformed me into a new man, then in a m
iraculous manner I was strengthened against doubt, mysteries were revealed, and
darkness was made light... and I learned, that my having lived in the flesh for
sin belonged to the earthly, but now was begun a Divine living by the Holy Spiri
t. In God and from God is all our strength; from Him is our might. Through Him w
e, living upon the earth, have the hint of a condition of future bliss". Exempla
rily a year after his Baptism the saint was ordained to the priesthood, and when
bishop Donatus of Carthage died, all unanimously chose Saint Cyprian as bishop.
He gave his consent, having complied with his guide's request, and was ordained
bishop of Carthage in about the year 248.
The saint first of all concerned himself about the welfare of the Church
and the eradication of vices amidst the clergy and flock. The saintly life of t
he archpastor evoked in everyone a desire to imitate his piety, humility and wis
dom. The fruitful activity of Saint Cyprian became reknown beyond the bounds of
his diocese. Bishops from other sees often turned to him for advice, as how to d
eal with this or that other matter. A persecution by the emperor Decius (249-251
) -- revealed to the saint in a dream vision, forced him to go into hiding. His
life was necessary to his flock for the strengthening of faith and courage among
the persecuted. Before his departure from his diocese, the saint distributed th
e church treasury among all the clergy for the rendering of help to the needy, a
nd in addition he dispatched further funds.
He kept in constant touch with the Carthaginian Christians through his e
pistles, and he wrote letters to presbyters, confessors and martyrs. Some Christ
ians, broken by torture, offered sacrifice to the pagan gods. These lapsed Chris
tians appealed to the confessors, asking to give them what is called a letter of
reconciliation, i.e. an interceding certificate about accepting them back into
the Church. Sainted Cyprian wrote to all the Carthaginian Christians a general m
issive, in which he indicated that those lapsed during a time of persecution mig
ht be admitted into the Church, but this needed to be preceded by an investigati
on of the circumstances under which the falling-away came about. An examination
was necessary of the sincerity of contrition of the lapsed. To admit them was po
ssible only after a Church penance and with the permission of the bishop. Some o
f the lapsed insistently demanded their immediate re-admittance into the Church
and by this caused unrest in the whole community. Saint Cyprian wrote the bishop
s of other dioceses asking their opinion, and from all he received full approval
of his directives.
During the time of his absence the saint authorised four clergy to exami
ne the lives of persons preparing for ordination to the priesthood and the deaco
nate. This met resistance from the layman Felicissimus and the presbyter Novatus

, roused to indignation against their bishop. Saint Cyprian excommunicated Felic

issimus and six of his accomplices. In his letter to the flock, the saint touchi
ngly admonished all not to separate themselves from the unity of the Church, to
be subject to the lawful commands of the bishop and to await his return. This le
tter held the majority of Carthaginian Christians in fidelity to the Church.
In a short while Saint Cyprian returned to his flock. The insubordinatio
n of Felicissimus was put to an end at a Local Council in the year 251. This Cou
ncil rendered a judgement about the possibility of receiving the lapsed back int
o the Church after a church penance and it affirmed the excommunication of Felic
During this time there occurred a new schism, put forward by the Roman p
resbyter Novatian, and joined by the Carthaginian presbyter Novatus -- a former
adherent of Felicissimus. Novatian asserted that the lapsed during time of perse
cution could not be admitted back, even if they repented of their sin. Besides t
his, Novatian with the help of Novatus convinced three Italian bishops during th
e lifetime of the lawful Roman bishop Celerinus to place another bishop on the R
oman cathedra. Against such iniquity, Saint Cyprian wrote a series of circular m
issives to the African bishops, and afterwards a whole book, "On the Unity of th
e Church".
When the discord in the Carthage church began to quiet down, a new calam
ity began -- a pestilential plague flared up. Hundreds of people fled from the c
ity -- leaving the sick without help, and the dead without burial. Saint Cyprian
, providing an example by his firmness and his courage, himself tended the sick
and buried the dead, not only Christians but pagans also. The pestilential plagu
e was accompanied by drought and famine. An horde of barbarian Numidians, taking
advantage of the misfortune, fell upon the inhabitants taking many into captivi
ty. Saint Cyprian moved many rich Carthaginians to offer up means for feeding th
e starving and ransoming captives.
When a new persecution against Christians spread under the emperor Valer
ian (253-259), the Carthaginian proconsul Paternus ordered the saint to offer sa
crifice to idols. He steadfastly refused both to do this and to name names and a
bodes of the presbyters of the Carthage Church. The sent off the saint to the lo
cale of Corubisum. Deacon Pontus voluntarily followed his bishop into exile. On
the day when the saint arrived at the place of exile he had a dream vision, pred
icting for him a quick martyr's end. Situated in exile, Saint Cyprian wrote many
letters and books. Wanting to suffer at Carthage, he himself returned there. Ta
ken before the court, he was set at liberty until the following year. Nearly all
the Christians of Carthage came to take their leave of their bishop and receive
his blessing. At the trial Saint Cyprian calmly and firmly refused to offer sac
rifice to idols and was sentenced to beheading with a sword. Hearing the sentenc
e, Saint Cyprian said: "Thanks be to God!" and all the people with one voice cri
ed out: "And we want to die with him!" Coming to the place of execution, the sai
nt again gave his blessing to all and arranged to give 25 gold coins to the exec
utioner. He himself then covered over his eyes, and gave his hands to be bound t
o the presbyter and archdeacon standing near him and lowered his head. Christian
s with lamentation put their shawls and veils by him so as to gather up the prie
stly blood. The martyr's death occurred in the year 258. The body of the saint w
as taken by night and given burial in a private crypt of the procurator Macroviu
s Candidianus.
Afterwards, during the time of king Charles the Great (i.e. Charlemagne,
771-814), his holy relics were transferred to France.
Sainted Cyprian of Carthage left the Church a precious legacy: his writi
ngs and 80 letters. The works of Saint Cyprian were accepted by the Church as a
model of Orthodox confession and read at OEcumenical Councils (III Ephesus and I
V Chalcedon). In the writings of Saint Cyprian is stated the Orthodox teaching a
bout the Church -- having its foundation upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and proclai
med and built by the Apostles. The inner unity is expressed in an unity of faith
and love, and the outer unity is actualised by the hierarchy and sacraments of
the Church. In the Church Christ comprises all the fulness of life and salvation
. Those having separated themselves from the unity of the Church do not have in

themself true life. Christian love is shewn as the bond holding together the Chu
rch. "Love, -- is the foundation of all the virtues, and it continues with us et
ernally in the Heavenly Kingdom".
Sainted Gennadios, Patriarch of Tsargrad, was placed on the throne of th
e Constantinople Church in the year 458, during the reign of the holy nobleborn
emperor Leo the Great (457-474). His life is known about from the book "Spiritua
l Meadows" in which were inscribed tales of the monks of Salamis monastery (near
Alexandria), -- the Monks Sophronios and John. These monks were clergy of the C
onstantinople Church under Patriarch Gennadios. Sainted Gennadios was distinguis
hed for his mildness, tolerance, purity and abstinence. About his power of praye
r one might judge from the following instance: in the church of the holy Martyr
Eleutherios at Constantinople was a disreputable clergyman Charisimos, spending
his life in idleness, impurity and even occupying himself with theft and sorcery
. For a long time Saint Gennadios admonished him with gentleness and patience, b
ut Charisimos did not change his conduct. The patriarch resorted to strictness a
nd gave orders to give the disreputable cleric several blows for comprehension.
But even after the punishment he did not straighten out. Patriarch Gennadios the
n entrusted his emissary in his name to turn to the holy Martyr Eleutherios (Com
m. 4 August) in whose church Charisimos served. Entering the temple, the emissar
y of the patriarch came before the altar, stretched out his hand to the grave of
the martyr and said: "Holy Martyr Eleutherios! Patriarch Gennadios announces to
thee through me a sinner, that the cleric Charisimos, serving in thy temple, do
th do much iniquity and create great scandal; wherefore do thou either improve h
im or cut him off from the Church". On the following morning Charisimos was foun
d dead. Another instance, displaying the great strength of prayer of Saint Genna
dios, occurred with one of the portrait painters who dared to paint an image of
Christ, giving the Saviour the features of the pagan god Zeus. The hand of the p
ainter, having done such blasphemy, immediately withered. The repentant painter
was brought in the church and confessed all his sins to the patriarch. Saint Gen
nadios prayed over the sinner, and the hand of the painter was healed.
To settle iniquitous actions and false teachings arising in the Church,
Saint Gennadios summoned a Local Council at which were condemned the Eutykhian h
eresy and which interdicted simony (the buying of the dignity of ordination). Th
e saint concerned himself that a person wishing to accept the priestly dignity w
ould be quite knowledgeable in Holy Scripture and know the Psalter by heart.
During the time of the patriarchate of Saint Gennadios, there was built
a temple in honour of Saint John the Precursor. Then a certain senator Studius h
aving come from Rome founded a monastery, which afterwards became known as the "
Studite". The church steward under the holy Patriarch Gennadios was the Monk Mar
cian (Comm. 10 January). The patriarch also ordained to the priesthood the Monk
Daniel the Stylite (Comm. 11 December). Saint Gennadios was the author of dialog
ues and commentaries on the Prophet Daniel (the works have not survived). There
is known also his Circular Missive against Simony", affirmed by a Council of the
year 459. Sainted Gennadios governed the Constantinople Church for 13 years. He
died peacefully in the year 471.
Once during the time of night prayer it was made known to the saint that
a powerful enemy would fall upon his flock. He incessantly offered up prayer fo
r the peace of the Church, that the Lord would preserve it invincible against th
e gates of Hades.
1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.


The Monk Simeon the Stylite was born in the Cappadocian village of Sisan
in the Christian family of Susotian and Martha. At 13 years of age he began to
tend his father's flock of sheep. To this his first obedience he concerned himse
lf attentively and with love. One time, having heard in church the Gospel comman
ds of the Beatitudes, he was struck by their profundity. Not trusting to his own
immature judgement, he turned therefore with his questions to an experienced el
der. The elder readily explained to the lad the meaning of what he had heard and
it strengthened in him finally the resolve to follow the Gospel path. Instead o
f heading homewards, Simeon set off to the nearest monastery and, after tears of
entreaty, he was accepted after a week into the number of the brethren. When Si
meon became age 18, he took monastic vows and devoted himself to feats of the st
rictest abstinence and of unceasing prayer. His zealousness -- beyond strength f
or the other monastic brethren -- so alarmed the hegumen (abbot) that he suggest
ed to the monk that he either moderate his ascetic deeds or leave the monastery.
The Monk Simeon thereupon withdrew from the monastery and settled himself by da
y upon a very high column, where he was able to carry out his austere vows unhin
dered. After some time, Angels appeared in a dream vision to the hegumen, which
commanded him to bring back Simeon to the monastery. The monk however did not lo
ng remain at the monastery. After a short while he settled into a stony cave, si
tuated not far from the village of Galanissa, and he dwelt there for three years
, all the while perfecting himself in monastic feats. One time, he decided to sp
ent the entire Forty-day Great Lent without food and drink. With the help of God
, the monk endured this strict fast. From that time he always completely refrain
ed during the entire period of the Great Lent even from bread and water -- twent
y days he prayed while standing, and twenty days while sitting -- so as not to p
ermit the corporeal powers to relax. A whole crowd of people began to throng to
the place of his efforts, wanting to receive healing from sickness and to hear a
word of Christian edification. Shunning worldly glory and striving again to fin
d his lost solitude, the monk chose a yet unknown mode of asceticism. He went up
a pillar 4 meters in height and settled upon it in a little cell, devoting hims
elf to intense prayer and fasting. Reports about the Monk Simeon reached the hig
hest church hierarchy and the imperial court. The Antioch Patriarch Domninos II
((441-448) visited the monk, made Divine Liturgy on the pillar and communed the
ascetic with the Holy Mysteries. Fathers pursuing asceticism in the wilderness a
ll heard about the Monk Simeon, who had chosen such a difficult form of ascetic
striving. Wanting to test the new ascetic and determine whether his extreme asce
tic feats were pleasing to God, they dispatched messengers to him, who in the na
me of these desert fathers were to bid the Monk Simeon to come down from the pil
lar. In the case of disobedience they were to forcibly drag him to the ground. B
ut if he offered obedience, they were entrusted in the name of the desert father
s to bless his continued ascetic deeds. The monk displayed complete obedience an
d deep Christian humility.
The Monk Simeon was brought to endure many temptations, and he invariabl
y gained the victory over them -- relying not on his own weak powers, but on the
Lord Himself, Who always came to him in help. The monk gradually increased the
height of the pillar on which he stood. His final pillar was 40 cubits in height
. Around him was raised a double wall, which hindered the unruly crowd of people
from coming too close and disturbing his prayerful concentration. Women in gene
ral were not permitted beyond the fence. In this the monk did not make an except
ion even for his own mother, who after long and unsuccessful searchings finally
succeeded in finding her lost son. Not having gained a farewell, she thus died,
nestled up to the fence encircling the pillar. The monk thereupon asked that her
coffin be brought to him; he reverently bid farewell to his dead mother -- and
her dead face then brightened up with a blissful smile.
The Monk Simeon spent 80 years in arduous monastic feats -- 47 years of

which he stood upon the pillar. God granted him to accomplish in such unusual co
nditions an indeed apostolic service -- many pagans accepted Baptism, struck by
the moral staunchness and bodily toughness which the Lord bestowed upon His serv
The first one to learn of the end of the monk was his close pupil Anthon
y. Concerned that his teacher had not appeared to the people over the course of
3 days, he went up upon the pillar and found the dead body stooped over at praye
r (+ 459). The Antioch Patriarch Martyrios performed the funeral of the monk bef
ore an huge throng of clergy and people. They buried him not far from the pillar
. At the place of his ascetic deeds, Anthony established a monastery, upon which
rested a special blessing of the Monk Simeon.
The Holy Martyr Haifal the Deacon by order of the Persian emperor Sapor
II was killed by stoning in the year 380, for confessing the Name of Christ.
The 40 Holy Virgins and Saint Ammunos the Deacon, who enlightened them w
ith the light of the Christian faith, died as martyrs for Christ under the Roman
emperor Licinius at the beginning of the IV Century in the Macedonian city of A
drianopolis. The governor Babdos subjected the holy martyrs to many torments, so
as to force them to renounce Christ and worship idols. After cruel tortures the
y were all sent off to Herakleia to another torturer, before whom also they firm
ly confessed their faith in Christ and refused to worship idols. By order of the
torturer, Saint Ammunos and 8 virgins with him were beheaded, 10 virgins were b
urnt, six of them died after red-hot iron was put into their mouths, six were st
abbed with knives, and the rest were killed with swords.
The Holy Martyrs Callista and her brothers Euodos and Hermogenes, Christ
ians of Nikomedia, were brought to trial before the pagan governor for confessin
g their faith in Christ. Having refused to offer sacrifice to idols, they were c
ut down by the sword (+ 309).
Saint Jesus Son of Navin (Joshua) after the death of the Prophet Moses w
as leader of the Israelite People. He conquered the Promised Land and brought up
on it the Hebrew nation. The Lord worked a great miracle through Jesus Navinus.
The Jews went across the River Jordan as though on dry land, the Archistratigos
[Leader of the Heavenly Hosts] Michael appeared to Jesus Navinus, and the walls
of the city Jericho -- besieged by the Israelites -- fell down by themselves aft
er the Ark of the Covenant was carried around the city during the course of seve
n days. Finally at the time of the battle with the enemy, Jesus Navinus, by the
will of God, halted the motion of the sun and prolonged the day until that momen
t when victory was won. After the end of the war, Jesus Navinus divided the Prom
ised Land among the 12 Tribes of Israel. He died at 110 years of age (XVI Centur
y B.C.), in his last will commanding the nation to preserve the Law of Moses. Al
l these events are recounted in the Book of Jesus Navinus (Joshua) (Chapters 3,
5, 6, 10), which is included within the Holy Bible.
The Chernigov-Gethsemane Icon of the Mother of God is a copy from the fa
med Chernigov-Il'insk Icon of the Mother of God, which was to be found at the Tr
inity Il'insk monastery near Chernigov on Mount Boldina, and where in the XI Cen
tury for a certain while the Monk Antonii of Pechersk pursued asceticism. To the
description of the miracles from this icon, beginning with 16-24 April 1662, Sa
inted Dimitrii of Rostov in his book "The Bedewed Fleece" (Oroshennoe Runo) wrot
e in conclusion: "The end of the booklet, but not of the miracles of the MostHol
y Mother of God, since who is it that can count them". The grace-bearing power o
f this icon is manifest also in its copies.
The Chernigov-Gethsemane Icon of the Mother of God was written in the mi
d XVIII Century and passed on in 1852 to the Trinity Sergiev Lavra by Alexandra
Grigor'evna Philippova, piously having had it for a quarter century. (This icon
was passed on to her by the priest Ioann Alekseev, to whom in turn it came from
one of the monks of the Trinity Sergiev Lavra.) On the advice of the head of the

Lavra, Archimandrite Antonii (+ 1 May 1877), the icon was placed in the newly-c
onsecrated cave church named for the Holy Archistratigos [Leader of the Heavenly
Hosts] Michael, which was consecrated on 27 October 1851 by the Metropolitan of
Moscow Philaret (+ 19 November 1867), who assumed an active role in the buildin
g of the Gethsemane skete-monastery. In such manner, the icon took in the curren
ts of grace of all the history of the Russian Church, -- it acquired the blessin
g of the Monk Antonii of Pechersk, of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh and of his par
ents the schema-monastics Kirill and Maria (+ 1337, a votive liturgy for them wi