Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Commemoration of the Holy Martyrs Killed by the Bulgarians During the Reign of Nikephoros the Emperor

Holy Martyrs Killed by the Bulgarians (Feast Day - July 23);
Khan Krum feasts while a servant brings the skull of Nikephoros I
fashioned into a drinking cup.


Righteous men were tortured in various ways,
Men who were killed in various ways.

Emperor Nikephoros, who is called the Patrician and in general Logothetis, in the ninth year of his reign, which was the year 811 after Christ, left Constantinople to do battle against the Bulgarians, with his entire army, having with him his son Staurakios, and his son-in-law Michael. Gathering in a battle with the Bulgarians, they defeated them as a nation, and raised up a notable banner. Proud of this victory, as one who is thoughtless, he sat in luxury, abiding among food and drink, careless of imperial things; such carelessness caused the Bulgarians to gain courage.

Holy Martyr Vitale of Ravenna

St. Vitale of Ravenna (Feast Day - July 23)


Apollinaris was cut down,
Vitale hastened at once to arrive.

Saint Vitale (Vitalius, Vitalis) was born in Milan, where he was a soldier and wealthy citizen. He was married to a woman named Valeria, and was the father of Milan’s patron saints, Gervasius and Protasius.

Holy Hieromartyr Apollonios, Bishop of Rome

St. Apollonios of Rome (Feast Day - July 23)


Apollonios wrestled with a double hardship,
Exerting himself towards the fire and the bow and arrow.

The Holy Hieromartyr Apollonios, Bishop of Rome, met his end by the bow and arrow and by fire.

It should be noted, that we do not have a record of a Bishop of Rome that went by the name of Apollonios. It is possible this could be an unknown Martyr of the Early Church, or even someone like Saint Apollonios the Apologist or Apollonios the Bishop of Ephesus.

Holy Seven Martyrs of Carthage


Seven athletes were put to death by the sword,
They stand before Christ as Holy Ones of the Holy One.

The Holy Seven Martyrs of Carthage met their end by a sword.

We do not know exactly who these Seven Holy Martyrs were or when they lived, but some sources say they were from Carthage while others say Chaldia.

Synaxis of the Holy Prophet and Baptist John in Olympou Next to Saint Thomas

On July 23rd we celebrate the Synaxis of the Holy Prophet and Baptist John in Olympou next to Saint Thomas. We do not know which church this refers to or the location, as there were four or five churches dedicated to Saint Thomas in the area of Constantinople that we know of, and about twenty churches dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.

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