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October 1, 2015

Holy Apostle Ananias of Damascus

St. Ananias (Feast Day - October 1)


Stones are distributed to those who chose not to revere,
Whence the irreverent throw the stones at Ananias.
On the first day of October Ananias was stoned.

The Holy Apostle Ananias was a disciple of Christ, numbered by some among the Seventy Apostles, who was living in Damascus three years after the Ascension of Christ. When Saul, later known as the Apostle Paul, was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians there, he encountered Christ along the road and was overwhelmed by the brilliance of the divine light. Blinded, Saul was instructed to go to Damascus to the house of Ananias. Ananias restored Saul's sight by laying hands on him and baptizing him (Acts 9:10-17). Later Ananias was consecrated Bishop of Damascus by the Apostles.

Saint Ananias wrought many miracles in Damascus and Eleutheropolis, by which a great number of pagans came to faith in Christ. The authorities however regarded him as a dangerous man. Lucian the Governor had him beaten with sinews of oxen, then had his sides lacerated and his flesh burnt with flaming torches. Then, taking him outside the city walls, they stoned him. Thus he ended his life in martyrdom, and entered the heavenly chambers.

His relics were brought from Eleutheropolis to Damascus, and later to Constantinople. Portions of the sacred relics of Saint Ananias are in Ypsilos Monastery in Lesvos and Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus, as well as the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Filled with grace through the Threefold Sun, thou didst illumine Christ's chosen vessel. When thou hadst preached the faith, thou wast strengthened in grace by thy contests, O Apostle Ananias. Grant the prayers of those who hymn thee.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
O most fervent intercessor and swift hearer of those who pray to thee, O Ananias, receive our prayer and implore Christ, the only friend of mankind, to save those who venerate thee.

House of Ananias in Damascus

Relic of St. Ananias in Rome (center)