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October 1, 2018

Holy Venerable Martyr Michael, Abbot of Zobe Monastery, and the Thirty-Six Monks With Him (+ c. 790)

St. Michael and the 36 Monks with him (Feast Day - October 1)


To Michael and the Thirty Monks.
Michael was decapitated together with his three times ten disciples,
Joining together the chorus of the monastic-martyrs.

To the Six Monks.
The cloaks of the six monastics together,
Became red in the contest by the sword.

These Saints lived during the reign of Constantine and Irene (780-797), and dwelt in the Zobe Monastery, which was near Sebastopolis. Because the amir of the Hagarenes, who was called Aleim, went out to battle in that land, he apprehended these holy Fathers, and urged them to deny their faith in Christ.

The most-venerable Abbot Michael bravely rebuked and put to shame the irreverent one. At the same time he urged and strengthened the monks under him to bravely endure death for Christ. The renowned ones showed so much bravery, that they were first to bend their heads beneath the sword, and they were beheaded. Then the most-venerable Abbot Michael also was beheaded by the sword. In this way the blessed ones departed to their longed for Christ.*


* According to eye-witness testimony and reports of Russian travelers to Constantinople, a headless body of a Saint Michael was in the Pantocrator Monastery. Though he is not identified as Saint Michael the Abbot of Zobe Monastery, he seems to be the only Saint Michael with the appellations they ascribe to him - that he was a monk martyred by the Saracens. This with the fact that Saint Michael of Zobe Monastery was beheaded makes it most likely this was the headless Saint Michael they are talking about, though there are no historical records of his relic coming to Constantinople.