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Saints and Feasts of September 17

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Monastery of Saint Herakleides in Cyprus

Saint Herakleides, commemorated on September 17th, was the son of a pagan priest and lived in the village Lambadistos, in Cyprus. His father, although a pagan, was hospitable and did not hesitate to accommodate the Apostle Paul together with Barnabas and Mark when they came to Cyprus. The Apostles however refused to dine with one who sacrificed to idols, but instead asked for a guide around the island. Herakleides' father gladly volunteered his son. The Apostles led Herakleides to the faith of Christ, since he was eager to learn, and he in turn, led his parents. It is said that his name was first Herakleon but changed by Saint Paul upon his baptism to Herakleides. Saint Barnabas on his second trip to Cyprus appointed him Bishop of Cyprus and placed him in Tamassos. He is said to have built churches, cured diseases, raised the dead, cast out demons, and worked innumerable wonders. Herakleides worked with great zeal along with his disciple Myron, his successor as Bishop of Tamassos, for the dissemination of Christianity with impressive results, and many pagans believed in Christ. His successes however agitated the unbelievers, who killed them by burning them alive.

A Unique Icon of Saint Sophia in Mantzavinata on the Island of Kefallonia

In the village of Mantzavinata on the island of Kefallonia is the Church of Hagia Sophia dated to 1693. Over the years the church has been destroyed by earthquakes and restored again, especially after the devastating earthquake that hit the island in 1953, after which it was built to be earthquake-proof.

Though the Church of Hagia Sophia was probably originally dedicated to the Wisdom of God, like Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and many others prior to modern times, today it is dedicated to Saint Sophia the Martyr and her Three Daughters named Faith, Hope and Love. These Saints suffered martyrdom during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138).

Synaxis of the Makariev Icon of the Mother of God

Synaxis of the Makariev Icon of the Mother of God
(Feast Day - September 17)

The Makariev Icon of the Mother of God, painted in the style of the Odegetria, appeared during the reign of Prince Basil the Dark (1425-1462) to Saint Macarius the Wonderworker, who labored in asceticism on the desolate shores of the River Unzha.

On September 17, 1442 at about the third hour of the morning, when Saint Macarius was finishing his usual morning Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos, his cell was illumined suddenly by an unknown light. The monk became confused in spirit and fervently began to pray.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Church of Saint Euphemia at the Hippodrome in Constantinople

The Church of Saint Euphemia in the Hippodrome (also known as lying in "ta Antiochou", i.e. "the quarters/palaces of Antiochos") was established in the hexagonal hall of the Palace of Antiochos next to the Hippodrome probably sometime in the early seventh century (615 or 626), when the original church at Chalcedon was destroyed during the Sassanid Persian invasions, and the relics moved for safety to Constantinople.

During Iconoclasm, the building was secularized and allegedly converted into a store of arms and manure, while the relics of the Saint were ordered thrown into the sea by Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (717–741) or by his son, Constantine V (741–775). They were however saved by two pious brothers and brought to the island of Lemnos, from where they were brought back in 796, after the end of the first Iconoclasm period, by Empress Irene (797–802).

Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (+ 258)

St. Cyprian of Carthage (Feast Day - September 16)

The Hieromartyr 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. Thascius Cyprianus was the son of a rich pagan senator, and received a fine secular education becoming a splendid orator, and a teacher of rhetoric and philosophy in the school of Carthage. He often appeared in the courts to defend his fellow citizens.

Cyprian afterwards recalled that for a long time “he remained in a deep dark mist.., far from the light of Truth.” His fortune, received from his parents and from his work, was spent on sumptuous banquets, but they were not able to quench in him the thirst for truth. He became acquainted with the writings of the Apologist Tertullian, and became convinced of the truth of Christianity. The holy bishop later wrote that he thought it was impossible for him to attain to the regeneration promised by the Savior, because of his habits.

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