Monday, October 22, 2018

Will These Human Bones Come to Life? (A Sermon of St. John Maximovitch)

Will These Human Bones Come to Life?

A sermon delivered in Shanghai on 22 October 1948, when once again there seemed to be absolutely no hope for the deliverance of Russia from the Communist Yoke.

By St. John (Maximovich) of Shanghai and San Francisco

There was no limit to the grief and despondency of the ancient Jews when Jerusalem was destroyed and they themselves were led away into the Babylonian captivity. "Where are Thine ancient mercies, O Lord, which Thou swarest to David?" (Ps. 88:50), they cried out. "But now Thou, hast cast off and put us to shame... They that hated us spoiled for themselves and Thou scatterest us among the nations" (Ps. 43:10-12).

But when it seemed that there was no hope for deliverance, the Prophet Ezekiel, who was likewise in captivity, was made worthy of a wondrous vision. "And the hand of the Lord came upon me," he says of this. The invisible right hand of the Lord placed him in the midst of a field full of human bones. And the Lord asked him: "Son of man, will these bones live?" And the Prophet replied: "O Lord God, Thou knowest this." Then the voice of the Lord commanded the Prophet to say to the bones that the Lord will give to them the spirit of life, clothing them with sinews, flesh, and skin. The Prophet uttered the word of the Lord, a voice resounded, the earth shook, and the bones began to come together, bone to bone, each to its own joint; sinews appeared on them, the flesh grew and became covered with skin, so that the whole field became filled with the bodies of men; only there were no souls in them. And again the Prophet heard the Lord, and at His command he prophesied the word of the Lord, and from the four directions souls flew to them, the spirit of life entered into the bodies, they stood up, and the field was filled with an assembly of a multitude of people.

Saint Eulalios of Lambousa

St. Eulalios of Lambousa (Feast Day - October 22)

South of the Acheiropoiitos Monastery, near Lambousa, survives an undecorated chamber carved into a rock to which the locals have attributed the name "Saint Eulambios". This Saint found martyrdom in 296 AD at Nicodemea and is not connected with Cypriot tradition. However, a short distance east of the Acheiropoiitos Monastery survives a church built in the 16th century in the place of an older church and is dedicated to Saint Eulalios. According to Leontios Machairas, Saint Eulalios was the "most holy bishop Lapithos." Perhaps this was the hermitage of this Saint, and the name was changed by local tradition due to confusion with the name of the nearby city of Lambousa (Eulalios - Lambousa - Eulambios). Besides, even today the refugee inhabitants of Lambousa (ancient Lapithos) identify Saint Eulalios with Saint Eulambios.

Holy Martyr Zacharias

St. Zacharias the Martyr (Feast Day - October 22)


Zacharias was a divine plunger,
He was called to plunge into the sea.

The Holy Martyr Zacharias met his end in the sea.

On October 21st we commemorate another Zacharias who met his end at sea. It is not known if they are the same person, since the one we commemorate today is just known as a Martyr while the one we commemorate on October 21st is known as a Venerable Martyr. Both also have different iambic verses.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Holy Martyrs Anthony, Zebinas, Germanos, Nikephoros and Manatho the Virgin

Sts. Anthony, Zebinas, Germanos, Nikephoros and Manatho
(Feast Days - October 20 and November 12)


To Anthony, Zebinas, Germanos and Nikephoros.

The sword showed Zebinas, Germanos, Nikephoros,
With Anthony to be champions.

To Manatho (or Maratho).*

For October 20.

How will you be cleansed being cast into the fire,
Pure Manatho, virgin in spirit and body?

For November 12.

Maratho the virgin was cast into the fire,
Now she dances together with the sensible virgins.

Holy Martyrs Ebora and Enoa

Sts. Ebora and Enoa the Martyrs (Feast Day - October 20)


With stones Ebora and her fellow athlete Enoa were slain,
By the athlete-killing worshipers of stone.

The Holy Martyrs Ebora and Enoa met their end by stoning.

Some consider them to be the two male disciples of Saint Milo commemorated on November 10th, who there are known as Eboras the Presbyter and Senoas the Deacon, and are sometimes translated in English with the names Aborsam and Senoe.

Saint Basil, Bishop of Trebizond

St. Basil, Bishop of Trebizond (Feast Day - October 20)

Saint Basil, Bishop of Trebizond, is absent in the Synaxaria, however he is a local saint of the Church in Trebizond, where his commemoration was kept yearly with a Service of Praise, which Athanasios Papadopoulos-Kerameus (+ 1912) found in a manuscript in Trebizond, as he records in his Byzantine Chronicles S.12, 143. He lived during the reign of Emperors Leo VI the Wise (886-912) and Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos (913-959). For the holiness of his life, he was numbered among the Saints of Trebizond.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Holy Hieromartyrs Felix the Presbyter and Eusebius the Deacon

Sts. Felix and Eusebius the Hieromartyrs (Feast Day - October 19)


The heads of Eusebius and Felix were decapitated,
Friends through piety, O how they loved each other!

The Holy Hieromartyrs Felix the Presbyter and Eusebius the Deacon met their end by the sword.

They are perhaps the same Holy Martyrs commemorated on October 7th, where Eusebius is said to have been a Presbyter and no clerical office is ascribed to Felix.

Saint Leontios the Philosopher

St. Leontios the Philosopher (Feast Day - October 19)


Your living thoughts strangled falsehood father,
And you are delivered from the art of determining syllogisms.

Saint Leontios the Philosopher met his end in peace.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Saint James the Deacon

St. James the Deacon (Feast Day - October 18)

Saint James lived in the seventh century, and assisted Saint Paulinus of York (Oct. 10) in evangelizing the north of England, known as Northumbria.

Following the death of Saint Edwin (Oct. 12) in 633, the northern kingdom experienced many trials, including military defeats, famine, and plague. The year 633-634 was so fraught with misfortune that it became known as “The Hateful Year.” Saint Paulinus accompanied Saint Ethelburga (Apr. 5) back to her native Kent after the death of her husband King Edwin, leaving Saint James behind to care for the new converts in northern England.

Holy Forty Child Martyrs

Holy Forty Child Martyrs (Feast Day - October 18)


Two times twenty children died by the sword,
Honoring Christ who is two according to essence.

The Holy Forty Child Martyrs met their end by the sword.

Saint Mnason, Bishop of Cyprus

St. Mnason, Bishop of Cyprus (Feast Day - October 18)


As a pillar Mnason gave his head over bent,
By the sword he lives on the earth before the fall.

Saint Mnason, Bishop of Cyprus, met his end by the sword.

It is most probable that this Saint Mnason is the same as Saint Mnason the Old Disciple commemorated on October 19th, both of whom are said to be Bishops of Cyprus, but the former alone is mentioned in the Synaxarion of Constantinople while the latter is commemorated as a local saint. This is despite the fact that the Saint Mnason of today is said to have been martyred by the sword, while the Saint Mnason of tomorrow is said to have reposed in peace.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Incorrupt Relic of Saint Savvas the Sanctified Placed in a New Reliquary (video and photos)

On Saturday night, September 30/October 13, 2018, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Holy Lavra of Saint Savvas the Sanctified according to the Typicon of the Lavra. The Liturgy was officiated by our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos with co-celebrants the His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki and the Most Reverend Archbishops, Aristarchos of Constantina, Philoumenos of Pella, and the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, Arab-speaking Priests, as well as visiting Priests from other Churches, Archdeacon Mark and Deacon Demetrios.

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Malos

St. Malos (Feast Day - October 16)


Malos for a short time departed his household on earth,
To dwell for a long time in the heavenly household.

Our Holy Father Malos, leaving behind the world, wealth and relatives, went to deserted and uninhabited places. There the renowned one occupied himself, rejoicing in fasting and vigils and other hardships. His face was joyful, and in the name of Christ he performed various miracles; cleansing lepers, banishing demons and giving sight to the blind. These things he did even when he was still alive. After departing to the Lord, he left behind his all-honorable body as a source of healing. He received the grace to have myrrh gush from it, for the averting of every form of suffering and the healing of unhealable illnesses. As the Lord said: "Those who glorify Me I will glorify" (1 Kings/Samuel 2:30).

Holy Martyrs Leontios, Dometios, Terence and Domninos


Having three fellow athletes with you Leontios,
Another was in the midst of the fire with Leontios.

The Holy Martyrs Leontios, Dometios, Terence and Domninos met their end by fire.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Church of Saint Nikephoros the Leper Consecrated in the Town of His Birth

On 2 October 2018 the consecration of the Church of Saint Nikephoros the Leper took place in his hometown of Sirikari, a small mountain village located in western Crete, in the regional unit of Chania, Greece. It is part of the municipality of Kissamos. The consecration was officiated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, Archbishop Irenaeos of Crete, as well as representative Bishops and Clerics from throughout the world. The church is located a short distance from the house the Saint grew up in, which was recently restored and has become a place of pilgrimage.

Saint Barsos the Confessor, Bishop of Edessa

St. Barsos of Edessa (Feast Day - October 15)


Do not overlook the bed of Barsos,
Which gushes forth healing grace.

By Theodoret
(Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 4, Ch. 14)

Barsos, whose fame is now great not only in his own city of Edessa, and in neighboring towns, but in Phoenicia, in Egypt, and in the Thebaid, throughout which regions he had traveled with a high reputation won by his great virtue, had been relegated by Valens to the island of Aradus, but when the emperor learned that innumerable multitudes streamed there, because Barsos was full of apostolic grace, and drove out sicknesses with a word, he sent him to Oxyrhynchus in Egypt; but there too his fame drew all men to him, and the old man, worthy of heaven, was led off to a remote castle near the country of the barbarians of that district, by name Pheno. It is said that in Aradus his bed has been preserved to this day, where it is held in very great honor, for many sick persons lie down upon it and by means of their faith recover.

Saint John, Bishop of Suzdal (+ 1373)

St. John of Suzdal (Feast Day - October 15)

Saint John entered one of the monasteries of Suzdal while a youth. For his virtuous and humble life, he was consecrated the first Bishop of Suzdal and Nizhegorod in 1350 by the Patriarch of Constantinople. At the time of his first Divine Liturgy, a great light shone around him.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Gospel Commentary for the Sunday of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)

Sunday of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod 
(Sunday Between October 11 and 17)

The Parable of the Sower

Luke 8:5-15

From The Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke

By Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria

4-10. And when many people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the way; and it was trodden down, and the winged creatures of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold." And when He had said these things, He cried, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." And His disciples asked Him, saying, "What might this parable be?" And He said, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand."

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rare Photos and Video of the Return of the Relics of Saint Savvas the Sanctified

Rare Photos and Video of the Return of the Relics of Saint Savvas the Sanctified

13/26 October 1965

The translation of the Holy Relics of Venerable Savvas the Sanctified from the Church of Sant'Antonin, Venice, back to the Holy Lavra of Saint Savvas the Sanctified, was preceded by consultations between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Benedict I of Jerusalem. Saint Savvas' relics had been stolen by the Crusaders of the First Crusade (1096-1099), along with many other relics, and were brought to Venice and placed in the Church of Sant'Antonin. The delegation from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1965 included Archbishop Vasilios of Jordan (later the Metropolitan of Caesarea); Archimandrite Theodosios - Abbot of Bethany; Archimandrite Seraphim Savvaitis - Abbot of the Holy Lavra of Saint Savvas the Sanctified; and Hierodeacon Kyriakos (later the Metropolitan of Nazareth). It is believed the sacred relic was returned due to the mutual lifting of the anathemas on the Mount of Olives in January of 164, but Elder Seraphim Savvaitis († 2003) had written in his memoirs that:

Saints and Feasts of the Saturday Of or After October 11

Synaxis of the Saints of Barking

Synaxis of the Saints of Barking

Synaxis of the Saints of Barking

The Monastery at Barking was founded in 666 AD and dedicated to the Mother of God. From the late tenth century the abbey followed the Rule of Saint Benedict. The abbey had a large endowment and sizeable income but suffered severely after 1377, when the River Thames flooded around 720 acres (290 ha) of the abbey's land, which was unable to be reclaimed. Despite this, at the time of the dissolution it was still the third wealthiest nunnery in England. In 870 Barking was sacked by the Danes. Possibly the Holy Monastery was then deserted. In 970 it was re-founded as the Monastery of the Mother of God and Saint Ethelburga.

Saint Niketas the Confessor and Patrician (+ 836)

St. Niketas the Confessor and Patrician (Feast Day - October 13)


Submitting to afflictions for the sake of the divine icons,
Niketas rejoices with the joy of the intelligences.

Saint Niketas was born in Paphlagonia in 761/62, and his parents were probably named Gregory and Anna. He was a relative of Empress Theodora, the wife of Theophilos (r. 829–842). He was castrated by his parents at a young age, received a good education and was sent to Constantinople at age 17 (c. 778), where he entered the service of the imperial court. Niketas distinguished himself among the court eunuchs and came to the attention of Empress Irene, who handled the Empire's affairs as regent after 780. Irene promoted him because of his ability and because of their ties of kinship. In 787, Niketas is even said to have represented the Empress at the Second Synod of Nicaea.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Dioskoros

St. Dioskoros (Dioscorus) the Martyr (Feast Day - October 13)


Dioskoros is decapitated and dishonors Zeus,
He does not lose his soul for his insolence.

He was martyred during the reign of Diocletian in the year 288. By race, he was from the so-called Skenopolites,* while by office he was a councillor. Having considered all the things of this world as dung, in order to gain Christ, he presented himself before the prefect Lucian. He astonished him like thunder with his words of reproval, or rather we should say he derided him. Neither did he even consider his threats and flatteries, for he showed the Saint fire and instruments of torture like the rack. He even came up with many kinds of tortures, but all this was to no avail, for they seemed to be as nothing before the courage and magnanimity of the Martyr. For this reason after all these things, he had his holy head cut off with a sword. In this way the renowned one received the crown of martyrdom.

Holy Martyr Antigonos

St. Antigonos the Martyr (Feast Day - October 13)


I will die for You my Christ,
Thus Antigonos chose to be burnt.

The Holy Martyr Antigonos met his end by fire.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Holy Martyrs Juventinus and Maximinus (+ 363)


Juventinus and Maximinus together were decapitated,
Together with Maximinus he joined the chorus of Martyrs.

Saints Juventius and Maximinus were imperial shield-bearers in the army of Julian the Apostate (361-363), from Antioch in Syria, who were martyred because they were overheard during a military drinking party decrying the emperor's edicts in restoring pagan sacrifices during a campaign against the Persians. Called before Julian, they were stripped of their estates, scourged, and beheaded when they refused to recant and sacrifice to the gods. At risk to their own lives, other Christians stole away the bodies of the martyrs and, after Julian's death in Persia the following June, erected a magnificent tomb for the relics.

Holy Martyr Edwin, King of Northumbria (+ 633)

St. Edwin of Northunbria (Feast Day - October 12)

Saint Edwin (Eadwine) was the son of Alla, King of Deira, and was born around 584. When his father died, Edwin was cheated out of his kingdom by King Ethelred of Bernicia, who united Bernicia and Deira into a single kingdom of Northumbria.

Edwin fled to East Anglia and took refuge with King Redwald. Redwald, because of the threats and promises he had received, was persuaded to give Edwin up to his enemies. Edwin was warned by a friend of the danger he faced. That night, a stranger promised that his kingdom would be restored to him if Edwin would do as he taught him. Edwin agreed, and the stranger laid his hand on Edwin’s head, telling him to remember the gesture.

Holy Martyrs Andromachos and Diodoros

Sts. Andromachos and Diodoros the Martyr (Feast Day - October 12)


Fighting for the Lord against enemies Andromachos,
He died in the fire together with Diodoros.

The Holy Martyrs Andromachos and Diodoros met their end in fire.

Saint Jason, Bishop of Damascus

St. Jason, Bishop of Damascus (Feast Day - October 12)


Subdued by the weight of the passions Jason,
You raised up towers of virtues before your end.

Saint Jason, Bishop of Damascus, met his end in peace.

Holy Martyr Anthia

St. Anthia the Martyr (Feast Day - October 12)


Cast into the fiery bull you bloomed,
In the brightness of heaven Anthia you blossomed.

The Holy Martyr Anthia met her end by being cast into a fiery brazen bull.

Holy Martyr Malphetha

St. Malphetha the Martyr (Feast Day - October 12)


Malphetha was not seen to be faint-hearted,
When the well-strung bow was strained against him.

The Holy Martyr Malphetha met his end by being shot with arrows.

Saint Theodotos, Bishop of Ephesus

St. Theodotos, Bishop of Ephesus (Feast Day - October 12)


Theodotos is absent from his earthly throne,
Having found the bright throne of glory above.

Saint Theodotos, Bishop of Ephesus, met his end in peace.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Three Holy Unmercenary Female Physicians

Next to the entrance of the Monastery of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos in Mega Dendron of the town of Thermo in the Trichonida Province, Abbess Euthymia not long ago built a chapel dedicated to the Three Holy Unmercenary Female Physicians Zenaida, Philonella and Hermione. These three female martyrs are noted for their healing abilities in their lifetimes. Zenaida and Philonella were sisters and are commemorated together on October 11th, while Hermione was the daughter of the Apostle Philip and commemorated on September 4th. The memory of these three Female Unmercenary Saints is celebrated in their chapel on October 11th.

Saint Germanos Maroulis the Hagiorite (+ 1336)

St. Germanos Maroulis the Hagiorite (Feast Day - October 11)


Germanos, horn of extraordinary obedience,
You sanctified Athos with the streams of your sweat.

Venerable Germanos was born in Thessaloniki in 1252 to pious Christian parents, was the third of eight children, and baptized with the name George. From a young age he loved to pray, fast, keep vigil and help the unfortunate. Even as a child he would tell the workers in his household to rest from their labors, which his parents saw as a fruit of his love for his neighbor.

Saints Nektarios (397), Arsakios (405) and Sisinios (427), Patriarchs of Constantinople

Holy Patriarchs Nektarios, Arsakios and Sisinios of Constantinople (Feast Day - October 11)


To Nektarios.
Not the Nektarios of mythology O Word,
But the true one, drinks of Your sumptuous nectar.

Born at Tarsus in Cilicia of a noble family, he was widely known for his admirable character. When Gregory the Theologian resigned as Archbishop of Constantinople, Nektarios was praetor of Constantinople. Preparing for a journey to Tarsus, he called on the Bishop of Tarsus, Diodore, who was attending the First Synod of Constantinople (Second Ecumenical Synod of 381), to ask if he could take letters for him; his appearance and manners struck Diodorus so forcibly that he at once determined that he should be advanced as a candidate for Bishop; making an excuse of attending to some other business, he took Nektarios to see Meletios.

Synaxis of the Venerable Elders of Optina

The commemoration of the Synaxis of the Venerable Elders of Optina was instituted by the Patriarchate of Moscow in July 1996 to be celebrated on October 11th. The fourteen Holy Elders celebrated are: Saint Leonid (October 11), Saint Macarius (September 7), Saint Moses (June 16), Saint Anthony (August 7), Saint Hilarion (September 18), Saint Ambrose (June 27 and October 10), Saint Anatole the Elder (January 25), Saint Isaac I (August 22), Saint Joseph (May 9), Saint Barsanuphius (April 1), Saint Anatole the Younger (July 30), Saint Nectarius (April 29), Saint Nikon (June 25), and Saint Isaac II (December 26).

Saint Ethelburga of Barking (+ 686)

St. Ethelburga of Barking (Feast Day - October 11)

Saint Ethelburga (Aethelburh) was born into the royal family of East Anglia in the seventh century. She was the sister of Saint Erconwald (May 13), who was the Bishop of London and founded the monastery of Barking (Berecingum) in Essex. Saint Ethelburga became the first abbess of this monastery. Saint Bede says of her (History of the English Church and People, Book IV, Chapters 6-9): "Being put into the government of that monastery, she behaved herself in all respects as became the sister of such a brother, living herself regularly, and piously, and orderly, providing for those under her, as was also manifested by heavenly miracles." And indeed many miracles took place at the monastery in Barking, including those which took place at the death of Saint Ethelburga, thus manifesting her sanctity. Bede writes:

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Holy New Hieromartyr Peter Polyansky, Metropolitan of Moscow and Krutitsy (+ 1937)

St. Peter Polyansky of Krutitsy (Feast Day - October 10)

Saint Peter was born in the Voronezh region, and studied at the Moscow Theological Academy, graduating in 1892, where he then continued as inspector. After a short stay at the seminary of Zhirovits in Belarus as inspector, he was appointed secretary of the Synodal Education Committee becoming de facto inspector of all the theological schools of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Saint Andrew of Totma the Fool for Christ (+ 1673)

St. Andrew of Totma (Feast Day - October 10)

Blessed Andrew of Totma, the Fool for Christ, was born in the year 1638 in the village of Ust-Totma and chose to leave the world while still a child after being left an orphan at the age of ten. Discerning the spiritual gifts of young Andrew, Stephen, abbot of the Resurrection Monastery in Galich, encouraged Andrew to take upon himself the arduous calling of foolishness for Christ. Andrew obediently left the monastery to lead a wayfaring life, but often returned to confess to his elder. After the death of his elder, he lived at the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in the city of Totma on the banks of the River Sukhona.

Saint Paulinus, Bishop of York (+ 644)

St. Paulinus of York (Feast Day - October 10)

In the middle 400's the pagan Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain, driving the Christian Britons north and west into Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. In 597 a band of monks headed by Saint Augustine of Canterbury, with the aide and blessing of Pope Gregory the Dialogist, arrived in southeastern England, in the kingdom of Kent, and began to evangelize the people there, with considerable success.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Holy New Martyr John at Prousa

St. John the New Martyr at Prousa (Feast Day - October 9)

Saint John was a native of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire that were already under Turkish occupation in his lifetime, sometime between the twelfth and fourteenth century. He took refuge at Prousa (Bursa) in Bithynia where he became a deacon and was promoted to a high administrative office. On the death of his wife, he married again and resigned his diaconate as the holy Canons require (17th Apostolic Canon). But he led a chaste and godly life, helping the poor and the victims of Turkish tyranny, and was zealous in attending the services of the Church.

Saint Stephen the Blind, Prince of Serbia (+ 1476)

St. Stephen the Blind (Feast Day - October 9)

Saint Stephen Brancovich (Branković) was the son of the Despot Durad Brancovich and Queen Irene Kantakouzene, a granddaughter of Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos, and lived in the fifteenth century. He and his sister Mara lived in the court of Sultan Murat II. Saint Stephen and his brother Gregory were blinded at Jedrene in 1441 by the Turkish Sultan for some perceived offense. Since he was innocent, he bore his affliction with courage.

Synaxarion of Saint Peter the Soldier

St. Peter the Soldier (Feast Day - October 9)


You rose to the heights of virtue divine Peter,
Stripping yourself of the earth you arrived to the heights of heaven.

Blessed Peter lived during the reign of Emperor Theophilos (829-842), and was from the eparchy of Galatia. The son of Theophilos and Eudokia, he was originally named Leo. Because he was naturally adorned with physical beauty, height and strength, he was made count by the emperor. Having been brave in battle for many years, afterwards he renounced all things and became a monk, being tonsured in a monastery known as Daphnon, changing his name from Leo to Peter.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Venerable Martyr Ignatios of Kios

St. Ignatios of Kios (Feast Day - October 8)

The Venerable Martyr Ignatios was born in Kios of Bithynia to pious and virtuous parents, by whom he was taught sacred letters. After his parents died, he desired to enter the monastic life. Therefore he distributed all he had to the poor and left for Mount Olympus in Bithynia.

There Saint Ignatios went to the Monastery of Saint Auxentios, where the abbot immediately tonsured him, recognizing him to be a treasury of virtue and the Holy Spirit. He therefore lived a life of strict asceticism for the love of Christ, and in time longed to be martyred for His name. Soon after Emperor Leo III the Isaurian issued an edict declaring Iconoclasm.

Saint Tryphon, Archimandrite of Vyatka (+ 1612)

St. Tryphon of Vyatka (Feast Day - October 8)

Saint Tryphon, Archimandrite of Vyatka, was born to pious parents who lived in the Archangelsk diocese, and baptized with the name Trophim. His parents intended to marry Trophim off, but from his youth he desired the monastic life, after his parish priest taught: "Keep the purity of body and spirit. For whoever will preserve purity and take upon himself the angelic, monastic schema, the Lord God will adjoin him to His elect." Hearing this he secretly left his home for the city of Ustiug, where he took up residence with a parish priest who dwelt in strict fasting and prayer. He then lived in the town of Orlov along the Kama River on the church porch, enduring hunger and cold.

Once in winter, the blessed one walked along the high, steep bank of the Kama River, passing the Stroganovs. Seeing the poor wanderer, they grabbed him and threw him down from the height to the river, and below there were deep snow drifts. When the blessed one fell into the snow, a snowdrift broke from the top of a mountain, so that he was not visible for a long time. But the jokers repented and felt sorry for the blessed one. They went down, carried the Saint from there, and took off their boots to shake off the accumulated snow. At the same time, they themselves suffered greatly from the bitter cold and marveled at the fact that the monk was cheerful in his face, and seemed to spread warmth around him. They asked for forgiveness from the monk and immediately received it.

Saint Dositheus of Verkneostrov, Pskov (+ 1482)

St. Dositheus of Verkneostrov (Feast Day - October 8)

Saint Dositheus, Abbot of Verkhneostrov and Pskov was a disciple of Saint Euphrosynus of Spasoeleazarov and Pskov (May 15). In 1470, he founded the Peter and Paul Verkneostrov Monastery at Lake Pskova, where he was abbot. He reposed in peace in 1482.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Saint Sergius of Nurma (+ 1412)

St. Sergius of Nurma (Feast Day - October 7)

Saint Sergius was a Greek who began his monastic life on Mount Athos. Later, he came to Russia and settled in the Monastery of the Life-Giving Trinity under the guidance of Saint Sergius of Radonezh. After several years, with the blessing of the abbot, Saint Sergius went into the Vologda forests and settled at the bank of the River Nurma. There he set up a cross and built a chapel with a cell, in which he lived an ascetical life in deep silence, “going forth in angelic life,” and patiently enduring temptations from demons and malevolent people.

Saint Joseph the Elder and Wonderworker of Khevi in Georgia (+ 1763)

St. Joseph of Khevi (Feast Day - October 7)

Little is known about the life of Saint Joseph of Khevi. The Church is certain only that he was a native of Khevi (in northern Georgia) and served as a priest in that village. In addition to being great warriors, the people of Khevi have throughout history been remarkably steadfast in the Christian Faith. The churches and monasteries in Khevi are extraordinary in both beauty and inaccessibility. They were deliberately built in mountainous places, as if reaching them should demand the greatest of zeal.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Holy Hieromartyr Hermogenes the Wonderworker, Bishop of Samos

St. Hermogenes the Wonderworker (Feast Day - October 5)

Saint Hermogenes was born in Foinikounta of the region of Attalia in Asia Minor some time in the fourth century. When his parents died, leaving him an orphan, he gave away his whole fortune to the poor and went off to Egypt to become a monk. He afterwards lived in Athens and Constantinople, where he was ordained priest. He was eventually consecrated Bishop of Samos, where he shepherded the flock of Christ with zeal and love, and converted many pagans to the faith of Christ.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Mamelchtha of Persia

St. Mamelchtha of Persia (Feast Day - October 5)


"Do now receive me washed O Christ,"
Mamelchtha declared, and she was struck with stones.

She was a Persian priestess of the Temple of Artemis, who had a sister that was a Christian. After seeing an Angel of God in a dream, who showed and taught her the Christian mysteries, she awoke frightened, and narrated what happened to her sister. Her sister brought her to the Bishop, who in turn baptized her.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Saint Stephen Stiljanovich of Serbia (+ 1543)

Sts. Stephen and Elizabeth Stiljanovich (Feast Day - October 4)

Stefan Štiljanović was born in Paštrovići (modern Montenegro). Paštrovići was mentioned in 1377 as one of the Serbian opština, and in 1423 they became subjects of the Republic of Venice after signing a treaty amid the Ottoman expansion. He was elected the knez of Paštrovići in the Rezevici monastery, and would be the last and most celebrated one. Štiljanović had seven mills in his possession. He left his possessions to his people for Syrmia (modern Serbia) after a feud with the Republic of Venice, in 1498. The same year he had the town of Morović built, where he would have his residence. In 1507 he gained the town of Siklós in Baranya by Louis II of Hungary.

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