Monday, May 22, 2017

The Transfer of the Body of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari in Italy (A 13th cent. Anonymous Greek Account)

Translation of the Relic of St. Nicholas from Myra to Bari (Feast Day - Gr. May 20; Slav. May 9)

(1) When Alexios was Emperor (1081-1118; the transfer took place in 1081), and the foreign and infidel hordes that had migrated through the Roman Empire were being pacified and the bold Normans who had voyaged thither had been beaten and dispersed, certain citizens of the city of Bari, moved by a divine inspiration, purposed to sail in their merchant ships to Antioch, a city situated in Coele, in Syria. This they undertook not for selfish profit, but for a laudable and praiseworthy work - a work worthy of mention, O the marvel of it! For it delights my heart and what I have to say will soar aloft on lightsome wing. For they had the intention - and bless them for their prudence, bless them for their good choice! - instead of pursuing mercantile and selfish interests, to cast anchor at Myra and remove the manna-receiving and fragrant remains of our blessed, thrice-happy and inspired Father, and so, this accomplished, to possess and take pride in him as in a great fortune and inseparable treasure. Now, this was, as a matter of fact, the purpose of our Venetian brothers also, even though the deed had been accomplished by the men of Bari. For blessed is not he who begins a thing and does not finish it, but blessed is he who says and does and accomplishes good. In such wise it was, then, that they who heard of the plan of the Venetians were the first to attain the favor. For though the Venetians were bent on taking that goodly treasure and bringing it back to their homeland, the good God did not allow it so to be accomplished, but their plan and its fulfillment was given to the men of Bari, while the conception of the Venetians developed unaccomplished and unactuated.

Holy New Martyr Paul of Peloponnesos (+ 1818)

St. Paul of Peloponnesos (Feast Day - May 22)

Saint Paul was born in 1790 in the village of Sopoto, near Kalavryta of Peloponnesos, to poor and virtuous Christian parents. He was baptized with the name Panagiotis, and at a young age went to the city of Patras and worked as a sandalmaker. After fourteen years in Patras, Panagiotis returned to Kalavryta where he rented a workplace and made sandals.

One day he and his landlord got into a disagreement over the rent he was paying. It seems the landlord was seeking to increase his rent, contrary to their original agreement, and for not agreeing to pay he was imprisoned. While in prison Panagiotis said in anger: "I would sooner become a Turk than pay more." This phrase alone was seen to be sufficient for his Islamization. Eventually he payed the rent and was released from prison. Then he left Kalavryta and went to Tripoli with two friends, where he ate and drank with them and he called himself a Turk.

Holy Martyrs Castus and Aimilius of Carthage

Sts. Castus and Aimilius (Feast Day - May 22)

Saints Castus and Aimilius were praised by Saints Cyprian of Carthage and Augustine of Hippo. When they were imprisoned in Carthage in the year 250 during the persecution of Decius, Castus and Aimilius denied that they were Christians under torture and were released. When they were arrested a second time, they refused to abjure Christianity and were burned to death.

Commemoration of the Second Ecumenical Synod in 381

Holy Second Ecumenical Synod (Feast Day - May 22)


Daring to say the divine Spirit is not God,
Was the all-wicked spirit of Macedonius.

The First Ecumenical Synod of Nicaea in the year 325 was convened by Emperor Constantine the Great to bring unity to the Church and condemned the heresy of Arius, giving us the Symbol of Faith (Creed) to establish the belief in the divinity of Christ.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Orthodoxy and Blindness Resource Page

Sunday of the Blind Man Resource Page


The Wonderworking Sarcophagus of Saint Luke the Evangelist

Saint Paraskevi Resource Page

Saint Patapios of Thebes Resource Page

Saint Panteleimon Resource Page

Gospel Commentary for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)

Sixth Sunday of Pascha
Sunday of the Blind Man

John 9:1-38

From the Explanation of the Gospel of St. John

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

1–2. And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Saint Hospitius the Recluse (+ 581)

St. Hospitius the Recluse (Feast Day - May 21)

Our Venerable and God-bearing Father Saint Hospitius, known also as Saint Sospis, and in French Saint Hospice, was a French hermit who according to tradition had been a monk in his native Egypt towards the beginning of the sixthth century, before settling in Gaul, and later was honored by the Triune God with the gifts of prophecy and wonderworking abilities. The authority for his life is Gregory of Tours, who places him in the reign of Childebert (570-95), and only a little earlier than his own time.

From Egypt, he immigrated to Gaul and retired in the ruins of an old tower near Villefranche-sur-Mer, a few miles east of Nice in Provence, on the peninsula of Cap Ferrat. The peninsula is still called after him as Cap-Saint-Hospice or Cap-Saint-Sospis .

What the Healing of the Man Blind from Birth by Jesus Signifies (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

By St. Cyril of Alexandria

(Commentary on John, Bk. 6, Intro.)

While the Jews were raging against Him and now looking to wound Him with stones, forthwith He goes forth from the temple that is among them, and takes Himself away from the unholiness of His pursuers. And in "passing by," straightway He sees one "blind from his birth," and set him as a token and that most clear that He will remove Himself from the abominable behavior of the Jews, and will leave the multitude of the God-opposers, and will rather visit the Gentiles, and to them transfer the abundance of His mercy. And He likens them to the "blind from his birth" by reason of their having been made in error [cf. Gen. 27] and that they are from their first age as it were bereft of the true knowledge of God, and that they have not the light from God, i.e., the illumination through the Spirit.

Sunday of the Blind Man Resource Page

On this day, the sixth Sunday of Pascha, we commemorate the miracle wrought by our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ upon the man who was blind from his birth.


O Bestower of light, Who art Light coming forth from Light,
Thou givest eyes to the man blind from birth, O Word.

Synaxarion for the Sunday of the Blind Man

Sunday of the Blind Man

Gospel Commentary for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)

What the Healing of the Man Blind from Birth by Jesus Signifies (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saint Thalelaeos and his Veneration on the Island of Naxos

Icon of St. Thalelaeos from the Chapel of Saint Thalelaeos in the village of Agios Thalelaeos on the island of Naxos.

Saint Thalelaeos was born in Lebanon. His father was called Berukios and his mother was called Romylia. Thalelaeos was an eighteen-year old youth, handsome of countenance, physically tall and with reddish yellow hair. He was a physician by profession.

During the reign of Numerian (283-284), Thalelaeos bravely confessed his faith in Christ the Lord before his tormenting judge. In return the judge ordered the two executioners, Alexander and Asterios, to bore through his knees with a drill, to thread a rope through the perforated bones and to hang him from a tree. But God through an invisible power, took away the sight of the executioners. In place of Thalelaeos they bored through a board and hung it from a tree. When the judge found out, he thought that the executioners did this intentionally and ordered them both to be flogged. Then Alexander and Asterios, in the midst of their flogging, cried out: "The Lord is alive to us and, from now on, we are also becoming Christians. We believe in Christ and suffer for Him." Upon hearing this, the judge ordered that both be beheaded.

Saints Zabulon and Susanna, Parents of Saint Nina of Georgia

Sts. Zabulon and Susanna (Feast Day - May 20)

According to Holy Tradition, Saint Nina and Saint George the Great Martyr were blood relatives on her father's side, who was from Cappadocia. At the same time as Saint George’s martyrdom, the nobleman Zabulon, the future father of Saint Nina, arrived in Rome from Cappadocia. Zabulon began to serve in the emperor’s army, and before long he was widely recognized as a courageous cavalryman and a fine soldier.

During a battle with the Franks the Lord granted victory to Zabulon — he captured the Frankish king and his suite and delivered them to the Roman emperor. The emperor sentenced the captives to death, but before they were executed they confessed their desire to be baptized into the Christian Faith. Zabulon relayed this to the emperor, and Zabulon himself became their godfather. Then he pleaded with the emperor to have mercy on his godchildren, and the emperor set them free.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Pontian Genocide Resource Page

Pontian Genocide Remembrance Day - May 19

Panagia Soumela - Pontus and the Pontians

The Pontian Genocide 1916-1923

Pontian Greek Genocide Remembrance

Holy Martyr Theotimi


God bestowed honor on Theotimi,
By the sword O Martyr having an honorable burial.

The Holy Martyr Theotimi, whose name means "honored by God", was beheaded by the sword for her love of Christ.

Holy New Martyr John the Dragatis, nicknamed "Arnaoutoyiannis" (+ 1845)

St. John the Dragatis (Feast Day - May 19)

John was an Albanian soldier, and was nicknamed "Arnaoutoyiannis".* He was given the name John when he was baptized a Christian after converting from Islam. Arnaoutoyiannis resided in the village of Agios Ioannis in the municipality of Faistou on the island of Crete. There he lived a life of piety and devotion, exercising the profession of dragatis, or field guard, in order to secure a livelihood.

Certain rebels killed two Turkish beggars. The Ottomans who hated John due to his renunciation of their religious beliefs, found an opportunity to avenge him. They delivered him to the secular power of the region, accusing him of the murder of the two Turks, explaining that after his conversion to Christianity he sought to destroy Muslims.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Holy Martyr Theodotos and the Holy Seven Virgin Martyrs of Ancyra With Him

St. Theodotos and the Seven Virgins With Him (Feast Day - May 18)

On this day we commemorate the Holy Seven Virgins of Ancyra (Tekousa, Alexandria, Claudia, Phaine, Euphrasia, Matrona, Julia, Theodoti) and Theodotos the Martyr.


To the Seven.
The seven women are thrown into the lake,
Thrown into a life streaming with joy.

To Euphrasia.
Euphrasia fell into the depths of a whirlpool,
Glad to stand next to the throne of your Savior.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Saints Nektarios and Theophanes, Founders of Barlaam Monastery at Meteora

Sts. Nektarios and Theophanes of Barlaam (Feast Day - May 17)

The Holy Hieromonks Nektarios and Theophanes were brothers, who were born to the eminent family known as the Apsarades of Ioannina in the late fifteenth century. Their parents and three sisters took on the monastic schema and went to dwell in a cell in a village of the island of Ioannina. The two brothers received a remarkable education at the famous Monastery of Philanthropinon which was under the abbot Makarios. But at a young age they were filled with divine love, therefore they decided to follow the monastic path. In the Hermitage of the Honorable Forerunner on the island of Ioannina they found an elder named Savvas (Feb. 3), and received from him the monastic schema in 1495. They remained with him for ten years until his repose on 9 April 1505, thus gathering the fruits of the hesychastic life.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Solochon, Pamphamir and Pamphylon

Sts. Solochon, Pamphamir and Pamphylon (Feast Day - May 17)


To Solochon.
Solochon escaped the ambush of Satan,
Unwounded he approaches the Logos on high.

To Pamphamir and Pamphylon.
Although smitten be of good courage ye two Martyrs,
God softens the blows by placing on you crowns.

These Saints lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305). They were from Egypt and soldiers by profession under the tribune Campanus, with a thousand other soldiers. Leaving Egypt with Campanus they came to Chalcedon. Because the emperor ordered every commander to force their soldiers to sacrifice to idols, for this reason Campanus forced his soldiers to perform the imperial order. When all the soldiers were compelled to do so, only three soldiers resisted, Solochon (Solon), Pamphamir and Pamphylon, proclaiming themselves Christians, and saying with certainty, that no matter what torment they underwent, they would not renounce Christ, but they would endure death for their faith.

Holy Apostles Andronikos and Junia of the Seventy

Sts. Andronikos and Junia the Apostles (Feast Day - May 17)


To Andronikos.
Having taught countless among the nations Andronikos,
Inviting the nations to the light, they came to Christ.

To Junia.
Junia was killed in the month of May,
Being the first to enter June.

On the seventeenth Junia and Andronikos died.

The Holy Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 16:7, "Greet Andronikos and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me." According to this verse, Andronikos and Junia were kinsman (or relatives, compatriots) of Paul and fellow prisoners at some time, particularly well-known among the apostles, and had become followers of Jesus Christ before Paul's Damascus road conversion. It is generally assumed that Junia was his wife, but they could have been brother and sister, or father and daughter, or Junia was his assistant as tradition records, or no close relation to each other, except to Paul as kinsmen. Since they are mentioned by Paul in his epistles, they are numbered among the Seventy Apostles.

Commemoration of the Capture of Jerusalem by the Persians in 614 A.D.

Mosaic of the Holy City of Jerusalem

On the 17th of May the Church of Jerusalem commemorated as a liturgical Synaxis in the Church of the Anastasis, or Holy Sepulchre, the terrible catastrophe which befell the Holy City of Jerusalem at the hands of the Persians in the year 614, namely its fall and burning. On this feast a special Service was chanted, of which Stichera and a Canon up until the 7th Ode have survived. Details concerning the capture of Jerusalem by the Persians was recorded in the eye-witness account of the monk named Eustratios, otherwise known as Antiochos Strategos, a monk of Saint Savvas Monastery who survived the massacre there that took place on May 16, 614 by having fled to Jerusalem. Though he wrote in Greek, only Arabic and Georgian translations survive.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Saint Makarios Notaras, the Wonderworker of Myloi in Samos

Processional Icon of St. Makarios Notaras without silver covering at Myloi, Samos.

Saint Makarios Notaras, Archbishop of Corinth (1731–1805), is celebrated by the Church on April 17th. However, the village of Myloi on the island of Samos celebrates him on May 16th, since the Saint enriched it with his ascetic example and rich wonderworking grace.

This small village of Myloi was established in the 16th century with residents that had come from the island of Patmos, and for a long time it was the capital of the island. It became associated with Saint Makarios when he visited Samos after leaving Mount Athos and becoming associated with the Kollyvades Fathers. It was one of the islands, together with Patmos and Chios, that he sought for a place of quietude to pray and practice asceticism. This he found next to the village of Myloi.

Holy Fathers Slain at the Monastery of Saint Savvas in 614 A.D.

Holy Fathers Slain at the Monastery of Saint Savvas in 614 (Feast Day - May 16)


Your lambs O Savior are led to the swords,
Wolves having entered the fold killed them.

The martyrdom of forty-four monks at the Lavra of Saint Savvas in Palestine by the Saracens, or Blemmyes, in 614 was related to us in the letter of Antiochos, a monk of the monastery. This letter was sent in c. 620 to Eustathios of Ancyra in Galatia. This Eustathios had been forced to flee from his city with many monks and wander from place to place because of the advance of the Persians in Asia Minor. Under these conditions it was difficult to move around with heavy books, and Eustathios therefore requested in a letter to his friend Antiochos that he send him a small volume about holy scripture to take with him. In his letter Eustathios also referred to rumors that had reached him about the massacre of the monks of Saint Savvas Monastery and asked for more details. Antiochos sent the requested book, together with a letter relating what had happened at Saint Savvas Monastery during the Persian invasion.

Saint Brendan the Anchorite, also known as the Navigator or Voyager (+ c. 577)

St. Brendan the Voyager (Feast Day - May 16)

“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.” - Psalm 107:23, 24

Our holy father among the saints Brendan was born about 484 AD to an Irish family near the present city of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. He was baptized at Tubrid, near Ardfert by Saint Erc, and was originally to be called "Mobhí" but signs and portents attending his birth and baptism led to him being called 'Broen-finn' or 'fair-drop'. At a very young age he began his education in the priesthood and studied under Saint Ita at Killeedy. Later he completed his studies under Saint Erc, who ordained him in 512 AD.

Saint Theodore the Sanctified

St. Theodore the Sanctified (Feast Day - May 16)


You are shown to be a divine gift Theodore,
Among the Saints O sanctified Saint.
On the sixteenth Theodore flew away from the earth.

Saint Theodore was called “Sanctified” because he had purified his heart of its passions and made his body a worthy temple of the Holy Spirit, so that he was the first in his monastery to be ordained to the priesthood.*

Monday, May 15, 2017

Holy Tsarevich Demetrius of Moscow (+ 1591)

St. Demetrius of Moscow (Feast Days - October 19, May 15, June 3)

Demetrius, born 19 October 1582, was the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible and Ivan's only child born to Maria Nagaya. After the death of Ivan IV, Demetrius's older brother, Feodor I, ascended to power. However, the actual ruler of the Russian state was Feodor's brother-in-law, a boyar, Boris Godunov, who had a claim on the Russian throne. Godunov wanted to get rid of Demetrius, who could have succeeded the throne in light of Feodor's childlessness. In 1584, Godunov sent Demetrius, his mother and her brothers into exile to the Tsarevich's appanage city of Uglich. On 15 May 1591, at the age of eight, Demetrius died from a stab wound, under mysterious circumstances.

Synaxarion of Holy Abba Pachomios the Great

St. Pachomios the Great (Feast Day - May 15)


Pachomios made thin the stoutness of his flesh,
Gathering strength in his soul before his departure.
On the fifteenth Pachomios was carried off to the other side.

Our Holy Father Pachomios was from Egypt in the Lower Thebaid, and lived during the reign of Constantine the Great (306-337). He was the son of impious parents who venerated idols. Once the Saint went with them to a temple of idols, and he heard the caretaker of the temple say to his parents, as they were offering a sacrifice to the idols: "Lift up the enemy of the idols and be gone from here," which he spoke concerning Pachomios. It appears the demon that dwelt in the temple was frightened of the future virtues of the Saint. For when the Saint drank from the wine offered to the demon, he immediately regurgitated it.

When Abba Pachomios Received the Gift of Tongues

By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

(Rule of Pachomios, Ch. 15)

And it came to pass that, when the blessed Pachomios was visiting the brethren in their cells, and was correcting the thoughts of each of them, he was obliged to visit a certain Roman, who was a nobleman of high rank, and who knew the Greek language very well. Now therefore, having come to this great man, so that he might exhort him with words which would be beneficial to him, and might learn the motions of his heart, the blessed man spake unto him in the Egyptian tongue, but the brother did not know what the blessed man said. And because the blessed man did not know how to speak Greek, Abba was obliged to call some brother who would be able to interpret to each of them the things which were said by the other.

Saint Pachomios the Great Resource Page

St. Pachomios the Great (Feast Day - May 15)


Pachomios made thin the stoutness of his flesh,
Gathering strength in his soul before his departure.
On the fifteenth Pachomios was carried off to the other side.

Synaxarion of Holy Abba Pachomios the Great

Saint Pachomios the Great, Founder of Cenobitic Monasticism

The Angelic Revelation of the Cenobitic Rule to St. Pachomios the Great

The Angelic Revelation of the Cenobitic Rule to St. Pachomios the Great

By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

(Lausiac History, Ch. 33)

In the land of Thebes, and in the district thereof which is called Tabenna,* there was a certain blessed man whose name was Pachomios, and this man led a beautiful life of ascetic excellence, and he was crowned with the love of God and of man. Now therefore as this man was sitting in his cell, there appeared unto him an angel who said unto him, “Since you have completed your discipleship it is unnecessary for you to dwell here; but come, and go and gather together unto yourself those who are wandering, and dwell with them, and lay down for them such laws as I shall tell unto you;" and the angel gave him a book (or tablet) wherein was written the following:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Holy Monastery of Jacob's Well in Samaria

Jacob's Well, also commonly known as Jacob's Fountain and Well of Sychar (Arabic: بئر يعقوب, (Bir Ya'qub or Bir Ya'kub); Greek: Φρέαρ του Ιακώβ) is a deep well hewn of solid rock that has been associated in religious tradition with Jacob for roughly two millennia. It is situated a short distance from the archaeological site of Tell Balata, which is thought to be the site of biblical Shechem. The well currently lies within the complex of the Greek Orthodox monastery of the same name, in the city of Nablus in the West Bank.

Gospel Commentary for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)

Fifth Sunday of Pascha:
The Samaritan Woman

John 4:5-42

From The Explanation of The Gospel of St. John

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

1-4. When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John, (though Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples,) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And it was necessary that He go through Samaria.

Hymns on the Samaritan Woman (St. Ephraim the Syrian)

By St. Ephraim the Syrian

Blessed are you, O woman,
drawer of ordinary water,
who turned out to be a drawer of living water.
You found the treasure,
the Source from whom a flood of mercies flows.

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman Resource Page

On this day, the fifth Sunday of Pascha, we commemorate the conversation of the Lord with the Samaritan woman.


When thou camest to obtain perishable water, O woman, thou didst
Draw forth living water, whereby thou didst wash away the stains of thy soul.

Synaxarion for the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

Synaxarion of Saint Photini the Samaritan Woman and Those Martyred With Her

Gospel Commentary for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)

Hymns on the Samaritan Woman (St. Ephraim the Syrian)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saint Euthymios the New, Founder of Iveron Monastery (+ 1028)

St. Euthemios the Iberian (Feast Day - May 13)


Euthymios offered a pure sacrifice,
Having shined as the sun on Athos.

Our holy Father Euthymios was from the town of Tao in Georgia . He was the son of pious, noble and wealthy parents. When his father renounced the temporal and perishable splendor and glory of this world, preferring poverty in Christ which leads to heavenly riches, he donned the angelic schema of a monk, changed his name to John, and moved to Constantinople. Euthymios, who was still quite small, stayed with his grandfather (though some sources say that Euthymios was left with John’s brother-in-law) a man renowned in glory and in virtue, who raised the child in the instruction and admonition of the Lord. After a little time had passed, he took Euthymios with him, and they went to Constantinople looking for John. When he found him, he urged him with many words and tears to come back to his country. Not only was John not persuaded by this, he tried in every way to keep his son with him, thereby causing the boy’s grandfather great sadness.

Synaxarion of Saint Pausikakos the Bishop of Synnada

St. Pausikakos of Synnada (Feast Day - May 13)


To the relics of Pausikakos flee,
Those who suffer distress finding an unusual cessation.

Blessed Pausikakos lived during the reign of Emperor Maurice (582-602), and his homeland was Apamea off the coast of the Black Sea. His parents were noble and well-known, and they were students of the true faith of the Christians. While he was still young, he subjected himself to extreme fasting and prayer, and every other hard work and asceticism, so that he later became a monk. From that time he only nourished himself with a little bread and water, and occupied himself with the art of medicine, healing both bodies and souls. He banished demons from the possessed, healed children either maimed or marked, corrected those who had humps on their bodies, and other such miracles did he perform.

Holy Martyrs of Iveron Monastery Massacred by the Latins

Holy Venerable Martyrs Massacred By Latins at Iveron Monastery (Feast Day - May 13)


On behalf of the dogmas of the fathers you are drowned,
And you are brought to safety in the calm harbor.

Georgian monks began to settle on Mount Athos in the middle of the 10th century, and a Georgian monastery, Iveron, was founded there not long after.

Saint Glykeria of Novgorod (+ 1522)

St. Glykaria of Novgorod (Feast Day - May 13)

Saint Glykeria was from Novgorod, the daughter of Panteleimon, a public official of Legoscha Street in Novgorod. The only thing we know about her is that she died in the year 1522.

However, according to the second Novgorod Chronicle, fifty years after her death, on the 14th of July in 1572, after a woman recalled to Archbishop Leonid of Novgorod that fifty years prior she had received healing when Glykeria was buried, the coffin of Glykeria was found behind the Church of the Holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus, and her relic was incorrupt.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Saint Theodore Who Lived in Asceticism in Kythera (+ 922)

St. Theodore who Lived in Asceticism in Kythera (Feast Day - May 12)


You bore the name of the gift of Christ,
From your dead body there ever gushes forth healings O Father.
On the twelfth Theodore flew off from earth to heaven.

Saint Theodore was born in Koroni in southern Messenia of the Peloponnese, sometime between the years 870 and 890. His mother had previously been barren and when God granted her a child she gave him the name Theodore. Before he was orphaned at a young age he received an education under the Bishop of Koroni, who ordained him a Reader. After the death of his parents he went to Nauplion where he was reared by a family friend who also was a Priest.

Synaxarion of Saint Germanos the Patriarch of Constantinople

St. Germanos of Constantinople (Feast Day - May 12)


Germanos rejoiced to leave the earth and his earthly throne,
The earth as the throne of the Creator sees and rejoices.

Our Holy Father Germanos lived during the reign of Emperor Anastasios II (713-715) and flourished also under Leo the Isaurian (717-741) and iconoclast. He was the son of Justinian the Patrician, a famous and much talked about man due to his virtues, for during the reign of Emperor Heraclius (641), he gave much of his property to the public. Therefore he astonished the imperial leaders by his piety and virtue. The nephew of Heraclius, Constantine the Bearded, had him executed and killed, saying that he tried to rise up against his rule. Thus Saint Germanos, his son, was made a eunuch and numbered among the clergy of the most-holy Church. The Saint dealt with the fact that he was made a eunuch by considering it something profitable for himself, therefore he gave himself over to the study and contemplation of the divine Scriptures. Thus the renowned one arrived at a great height of divine knowledge due to his sharp nature and his constant labor and pursuit.

Synaxarion of Saint Epiphanios the Bishop of Cyprus

St. Epiphanios, Bishop of Constantia (Feast Day - May 12)


You appeared Epiphanios as great in Cyprus,
Your fame there and death being great.
On the twelfth Epiphanios was seized by death.

The great and wonderworking Epiphanios lived during the reign of Emperors Arcadius (383-408) and Honorius (393-423). He was from the land of Phoenicia, near Eleutheropolis, the son of parents who occupied themselves with their own hands, working as farmers. Having been raised in a small home, which belonged to his poor and farming parents, he by his own labors shined in the world. For by his virtue according to God, the renowned one was raised to the extreme heights of piety and divinely-pleasing conduct.

Saint Epiphanios of Salamis Resource Page

St. Epiphanios, Bishop of Cyprus (Feast Day - May 12)


You appeared Epiphanios as great in Cyprus,
Your fame there and death being great.
On the twelfth Epiphanios was seized by death.


Synaxarion of Saint Epiphanios the Bishop of Cyprus

Saint Epiphanios of Cyprus as a Model for our Lives

The Rocky Relationship Between John Chrysostom and Epiphanios of Salamis

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Veneration of Saints Cyril and Methodios in Greece

By John Sanidopoulos

Both Saints Cyril and Methodios were born in Thessaloniki, Greece in the early 9th century. Their missionary activity in the Slavic lands, which was done on behalf of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and their death took place later that same century, with Cyril reposing in Rome in 869 and Methodios in Great Moravia in 885. Their disciples immediately recognized them as Saints, and soon after their repose so did all those lands in which they reposed and had successful missions, especially in Bulgaria, Moravia and Rome. However, despite the fact that much was written about them in Greek over the centuries, they were not recognized as Saints for many centuries in Greece and by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This is probably due to the fact that, according to the custom of the Orthodox Church, Saints are usually initially recognized at the local level, where they flourished and where their holiness especially shined. And as the veneration of these Saints grows locally, it becomes officially recognized and their veneration spreads outside of their local area.

Synaxarion of the Holy Hieromartyr Mokios

St. Mokios the Martyr (Feast Day - May 11)


Bellowing to you their superstitious delusion,
The impious beheaded you Mokios with a sword.
On the eleventh the head of gentle-minded Mokios was cut off.

This Saint lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305), and his noble and wealthy parents who were from Old Rome were named Euphratios and Eustathia. He was ordained Priest of the Church of Amphipolis, which was between Orphani and Pravi, and beforehand had been called Ennea-Hodoi (Novem-Vie), Myrica and other names. Later it was called Christopolis and had a Metropolitan throne, but today it is empty. Being a Priest, it followed that he took care to always teach, preaching Christ and exhorting the people to forsake the delusion of idolatry.

Synaxarion for the Dedication of Constantinople

On this day it has been ordained to remember the birthday, namely the Dedication of the God-protected and God-magnified Constantinople, which especially ascribes her protection to our All-Immaculate Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, having been been preserved by her.


Your birthday is tied to an honorable day,
In you O City I happened to have been born.

Holy New Martyr Argyrios of Epanomi (+ 1806)

St. Argyrios of Epanomi (Feast Day - May 11)


Having a soul of silver which name you bear,
You contested Argyrios with a pious mind.
On the eleventh Argyrios underwent the noose with a firm soul.

The Holy New Martyr Argyrios was born in the village of Epanomi, near Thessaloniki, in 1788. While still a teenager, he moved to Thessaloniki to find work and became an apprentice to a tailor. At that time, a fellow Orthodox Christian was imprisoned by the local Pasha for some offense and did not have the funds to free himself. In order to be released from prison he made the choice between hanging or denying his Christianity and accepting Islam. He chose the latter.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostle Simon the Zealot

St. Simon the Zealot (Feast Day - May 10)


Fittingly O Christ the following was spoken by Simon,
I persevere in suffering with zeal Your passion on the Cross.
On the tenth great-hearted Simon was stretched out on the wood.

The Holy Apostle Simon was the same man known as Nathaniel,* from Cana of Galilee, and he was the groom at the wedding of Cana. The Lord was invited to this wedding with His disciples, and there He changed water into wine. When Simon saw this miracle, he left his bride and wedding and household, and followed Christ, the friend and wonderworker and bride-leader and bridegroom of pure souls.

Saint Lawrence of Great Lavra, Founder of Saint Lawrence Monastery in Pelion

St. Lawrence of Great Lavra (Feast Day - May 10)


Lawrence had intercourse with God,
With labors he received Eden which is far from toils.

Saint Lawrence lived in the fourteenth century, and was tonsured a monk at Great Lavra Monastery on Mount Athos. Because of the spread of the heresy of Barlaam and Akyndinos during the Hesychast controversy throughout the Holy Mountain, particularly at Great Lavra, Lawrence left and went to Volos, to the village now known as Agios Lavrentios in Pelion, where he built a monastery over the ruins of another older Benedictine monastery. Emperor Alexios Komnenos sent the Saint a chrysobull, gold and sacred treasures for the building of the monastery. The church was built in 1378, and the skete he founded was dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Savior and the Prophet Elias (some sources say it was originally dedicated to the Holy Archdeacon Lawrence the Martyr of Rome). It gained great fame quickly and attracted many young monks to reside there. Saint Lawrence reposed in peace in deep old age, after living a life of prayer and fasting, and guiding his spiritual children faithfully and with love.

Mid-Pentecost as a Great Feast of the Church

By John Fountoulis,
Professor of Liturgics

Most of the faithful don’t know about this feast. Apart from priests and a few other Christians who are more closely involved with the Church, most don’t even know of its existence. Few go to church on this day and most of them don’t even suspect that the Wednesday after the Sunday of the Paralytic is celebrated by the Church as a Great Feast of the Lord, the Feast of Mid-Pentecost. And yet this feast was once a major feast of the Great Church of Constantinople and crowds of people attended it.

You only have to open On the Administration of the Empire by Constantine Porphyrogennetos to see the official rite for the celebration of the feast, as it was observed on Mid-Pentecost in 903 A.D. in the Church of Saint Mokios, in Constantinople, that is until the day when an attempt was made on the life of the emperor, Leo the Wise (on 11 May, 903). It takes up page upon page and, in the familiar, tortuous Byzantine terminology, declaring that, on the morning of the feast, the emperor in his official royal robes and with his entourage, was to leave the palace to head for the Church of Saint Mokios, where the Divine Liturgy would be celebrated.

Mid-Pentecost Resource Page

On the Wednesday of Mid-Pentecost, we commemorate the words of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning the provenance of His teaching and His Divine origin, whereby He proved that He was the Messiah, and the Mediator and Reconciler of us and the eternal Father.


Standing in the midst of the teachers,
Christ the Messiah teacheth at Mid-feast.

Synaxarion for the Wednesday of Mid-Pentecost

The Feast of Mid-Pentecost and the Pentecostarion

Mid-Pentecost as a Great Feast of the Church

Synaxarion of the Holy Prophet Isaiah

Holy Prophet Isaiah (Feast Day - May 9)


As begotten without impregnation he saw the Son of the Mother,
He who was sawn asunder saw as without beginning the Son of the Father.
On the ninth Isaiah for his visions of the future was handed to the saw.

The Holy Prophet Isaiah, the loud-voiced, was from Jerusalem, during the reign of King Manasseh, the son of King Hezekiah, by whom he was sawn in half, thus having a martyric end to his life. He was buried beneath the place called Rogel, near the passage of water, where King Hezekiah overwhelmed and destroyed [his enemies].

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Saint Nicholas of Vounenis Resource Page

St. Nicholas the New of Vounenis (Feast Day - May 9)


O Nicholas you received a double crown,
As a Venerable and Athlete of the Lord.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Nicholas of Vounenis

Saint Nicholas the New of Vounenis

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