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Saints and Feasts of July 8

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Synaxis of All Military Saints

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced in 2019 for July 8th to annually commemorate the Synaxis of All Military Saints. The announcement in detail is below:

Under the presidency of His Most Divine All-Holiness, the Holy and Sacred Synod assembled to hold its regular session on Thursday 14 February 2019, in order to examine the written addresses of those who have been invited to the daily meeting.

At this time, the Holy and Sacred Synod unanimously accepted the proposal of His Eminence the Metropolitan of Rhodes Kyrillos, appointing since it is missing from the Festal Calendar of the Orthodox Church, the sacred commemoration of all the Military Saints, which will be celebrated on the 8th of July every year.

At the end of this last session, there was an exchange with His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Vryoula, on behalf of the outgoing members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, and His Most Divine All-Holiness addressed and objected to the expiration of the present synodal period.

From the Patriarchate, on the 15th of February 2019.

By the Chief Secretery
of the Holy and Sacred Synod

Most of the Military Saints of the Orthodox Church gave their lives for their faith in Christ, displaying the same courage and bravery in the midst of persecution just as they would any enemy, but even further displaying this bravery and courage through the grace of the Holy Spirit. When crowds of people saw them enduring the tortures for their faith in Christ in the spiritual arena, they also came to believe in Christ as the one true God, smashing within their hearts the idols of stone they once worshiped.

In his study The Holy Soldiers: Icons and Lives (Οι Άγιοι στρατιώτες: Εικόνες και βίοι), John Souliotis uncovered 416 Saints we know by name who were in the military as well as 6,000 whose names are not known to us.

On Mount Athos the Synaxis of All Military Saints was celebrated on May 24th, and there is a Divine Office composed for this feast, where the following iambic verses are written:


With your spilled blood you signed your faith,
As soldiers of Christ, you were crowned with glory.

Holy Royal Martyr Mirdat, King of Kartli (+ 410)

St. Mirdat of Kartli (Feast Day - July 8)

King Mirdat (408-410), the son of Varaz-Bakur, was the first martyred king of Georgia. He was raised by his maternal grandfather, King Trdat.

The faithful grandfather taught the future king to love God and his nation, and the young prince mindfully preserved his grandfather’s wisdom throughout his life. Mirdat was endowed with the greatest of a nobleman’s virtues: wisdom, discretion, physical prowess, fearlessness, valor, and courage. He liberated Klarjeti from the Romans, abolished the tribute system (by which Georgia was required to pay taxes to Persia), and prepared for war against the Persians.

Synaxis of the Tambov Icon of the Mother of God

Synaxis of the Icon of the Mother of God of Tambov
(Feast Day - July 8)

The Annals of Tambov state that the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was in the Transfiguration Cathedral of Tambov from the first years of the city’s existence (it had been founded in 1636), and it was the main shrine in the region of Tambov. According to the Annals, “on December 6, 1695, during the All Night Vigil in the wooden cathedral church, tears flowed from the eyes of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.” These tears were so abundant that they moistened the cloth beneath the Icon and the analogion, as well. This was the Icon’s first miracle. Hieromonk Gabriel, the Treasurer of the bishop’s household, recorded this event.

Synaxis of the Kazan-Yaroslavl Icon of the Mother of God

Synaxis of the Kazan-Yaroslavl Icon of the Mother of God
(Feast Day - July 8)

The Kazan-Yaroslavl Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was found in the year 1588 by a pious man named Gerasimos. The Mother of God appeared in a dream of his and said to him: “Gerasimos, in Kazan, in a trading yard, one young man on the left side has my icon in his shop. Take it from the young man, and by the grace of my Son and God it will become a source of miracles. Go with the icon to the city of Romanov and tell the inhabitants that they would return the temple in the name of my Nativity, which they moved to the mountain, down to the mountain and name it in the name of the icon you brought. Remain yourself in the city of Romanov until your death.”

Synaxis of the Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God in Novgorod

Synaxis of the Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God in Novgorod
(Feast Day - July 8)

On July 8, 1337 a caretaker in Holy Trinity Church in Novgorod heard a noise inside the church and went to investigate. He was astonished to see that the icon of the Mother of God from the second tier of icons above the northern door of the iconostasis had left its place and was floating in the air, and tears were flowing from the eyes of the Virgin.

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