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October 31, 2017

Saints Spyridon and Nikodemos the Prosphora-Bakers of the Kiev Caves

Sts. Spyridon and Nikodemos of the Kiev Caves (Feast Day - October 31)

Saints Spyridon and Nikodemos the Prosphora-Bakers of the Kiev Caves fulfilled their obedience of baking prosphora for thirty years.

Saint Spyridon was a pious and simple man and charitable in his deeds when he came to the monastery in the time of Abbot Pimen (1132-1141), no longer a young man. The ascetic combined his hard work with unceasing prayer and the singing of Psalms. Even during his life Saint Spyridon was glorified by miracles. He was illiterate, but knew the entire Psalter by heart, and would sing the entire Psalter on a daily basis, whether he was chopping wood for the fire, kneading the dough, walking or resting.

Once, while baking prosphora, the fire from the furnace caused a fire in the kitchen. Spyridon quickly went out to gather water in his hair shirt, and returned calling for the brothers to come help him extinguish the fire. While trying to extinguish the fire, his mantle caught fire from the oven. The fire was put out with the water, Spyridon's mantle remained whole and the water did not flow out of the hair shirt.

Saint Spyridon reposed in 1148. Saint Nikodemos labored with Saint Spyridon in the kitchen for thirty years and led a very strict and prayerful life. Their relics are in the Near Kiev Caves of Saint Anthony. The fingers of Saint Spyridon’s right hand are positioned to make the Sign of the Cross with three fingers. They are also commemorated on September 28 and the Second Sunday of Great Lent.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
While ye made loaves for the Eucharist with your own hands, with your mouths ye offered unceasing psalmody to the Lord as a sacrifice of praise, O blessed Spyridon and honored Nikodemos. Entreat Christ God together in behalf of our souls.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
That thou mightest reveal thy burning love for the Lord, O wondrous Spyridon, with thy mantle thou didst stop up the mouth of the furnace which was burning mightily; and that thou mightest show forth the well-spring of the waters of the gifts of the Spirit which dwelt within thee, bearing water in thy robe thou didst extinguish the flame of the fire. Wherefore, as thou hast boldness before the Lord, ever pray with the blessed Nikodemos in behalf of us who hymn thee.