Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Aitherios

St. Aitherios the Martyr (Feast Day - June 18)


You accepted many torments Aitherios,
For which you were widely rewarded in the ether.

He contested during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in the year 300. After being accused of being a Christian, he was brought before the ruler Eleusios. When he confessed Christ he was stretched out and burned with lit lamps. They burned his armpits, back and chest with iron and fiery thistles. After this, they put an iron hook in his nose, then they laid him over a fiery iron bed. The Saint was preserved unharmed from the above torments by a divine Angel. Finally they beheaded him, and the renowned one received the crown of martyrdom.

Venerable Erasmus

Venerable Erasmus (Feast Day - June 18)


Erasmus died, "I have pleasure" he said,
"My death is lovely."

Venerable Erasmus met his end in peace.

Holy Two Martyrs of Cyprus

Holy Two Martyrs of Cyprus (Feast Day - June 18)


Having endured for one hour the burning of their feet,
The two Martyrs rejoice for eternity.

The Holy Two Martyrs of Cyprus met their end by having their feet burned.

Venerable Leontios the Shepherd

St. Leontios the Shepherd (Feast Day - June 18)


You are a shepherd who now stands before the Shepherd,
The Arch-Shepherd O right-minded Leontios.

On this day we commemorate our Venerable Father Leontios the Shepherd, who reposes beyond the town.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Hypatios of Rufinianes


Hypatios was laid next to the sea,
And is obedient with the friends of God above.

This Saint lived during the reign of Honorius (395-423) and Arcadius (395-408), was born in Phrygia, and having been educated by his father he was also beaten by him. When he was eighteen years old, he left his parents and went to Thrace. There he went to a cenobium and became a monk, and his virtues rendered him venerable and revered by all, for he never drank wine.

And at one time he battled against the demon of fornication, for which he went eight days without eating or drinking at all. When the superior of the monastery learned of this, he gave him with his own hands a cup of wine and a bread, to eat and drink after compline, before all the brothers. Having eaten and drank, he was freed of the battle, for which he thanked God, as well as his teacher and abbot.

Pentecost: The Gospel of the Descent of the Holy Spirit

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

When seed is sown, the power of warmth and light must descend upon it to make it grow.

When a tree is planted, the power of the wind must come in order to make it strong.

When a householder builds his house, he has recourse to the power of prayer, in order to sanctify it.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has sown a most select seed in the field of this world. The power of the Holy Spirit had to descend in order to warm and sanctify that seed, so that it would grow and prosper.

God the Son planted the tree of life in the overgrown field of death. The mighty wind of God the Holy Spirit had to sweep through, in order to strengthen the tree of life.

Third Homily on Pentecost (St. Leo the Great)

Sermon 77
(On Pentecost, III)
31 May 442(?)

By St. Leo the Great

I. The Holy Spirit's work did not begin at Pentecost, but was continued because the Holy Trinity is One in action and in will

Today's festival, dearly-beloved, which is held in reverence by the whole world, has been hallowed by that advent of the Holy Spirit, which on the fiftieth day after the Lord's Resurrection, descended on the Apostles and the multitude of believers , even as it was hoped. And there was this hope, because the Lord Jesus had promised that He should come, not then first to be the Indweller of the saints, but to kindle to a greater heat, and to fill with larger abundance the hearts that were dedicated to Him, increasing, not commencing His gifts, not fresh in operation because richer in bounty. For the Majesty of the Holy Spirit is never separate from the Omnipotence of the Father and the Son, and whatever the Divine government accomplishes in the ordering of all things, proceeds from the Providence of the whole Trinity. Therein exists unity of mercy and loving-kindness, unity of judgment and justice: nor is there any division in action where there is no divergence of will. What, therefore, the Father enlightens, the Son enlightens, and the Holy Spirit enlightens: and while there is one Person of the Sent, another of the Sender, and another of the Promiser, both the Unity and the Trinity are at the same time revealed to us, so that the Essence which possesses equality and does not admit of solitariness is understood to belong to the same Substance but not the same Person.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

First Homily on Pentecost (St. Leo the Great)

Sermon 75
(On Pentecost, I)
23 May 443

By St. Leo the Great

I. The giving of the Law by Moses prepared the way for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit

The hearts of all Catholics, beloved, realize that today's solemnity is to be honored as one of the chief feasts, nor is there any doubt that great respect is due to this day, which the Holy Spirit has hallowed by the miracle of His most excellent gift. For from the day on which the Lord ascended up above all heavenly heights to sit down at God the Father's right hand, this is the tenth which has shone, and the fiftieth from His Resurrection, being the very day on which it began , and containing in itself great revelations of mysteries both new and old, by which it is most manifestly revealed that Grace was fore-announced through the Law and the Law fulfilled through Grace. For as of old, when the Hebrew nation were released from the Egyptians, on the fiftieth day after the sacrificing of the lamb the Law was given on Mount Sinai, so after the suffering of Christ, wherein the true Lamb of God was slain, on the fiftieth day from His Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles and the multitude of believers, so that the earnest Christian may easily perceive that the beginnings of the Old Testament were preparatory to the beginnings of the Gospel, and that the second covenant was founded by the same Spirit that had instituted the first.

Holy Forty Martyrs of Rome

Holy Forty Martyrs of Rome (Feast Day - June 16)


Five plus five, five plus five nobles in the fire,
And five plus five plus five, with five are burned.

The Holy Forty Martyrs of Rome met their end by fire.

Holy Five Martyrs of Nicomedia

Holy Five Martyrs of Nicomedia (Feast Day - June 16)


Five great pillars fall as fellow athletes,
The shaking drove to confusion the sword of the executioner.

The Holy Five Martyrs of Nicomedia met their end by the sword.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Doulas of Cilicia

St. Doulas of Cilicia (Feast Day - June 15)


Doulas did not give reverence as a servant to images,
As God's servant he endured the scraping of his flesh.

He was from Zephyrium, which is located in the province of Cilicia. Having confessed Christ as the true God, he was brought before the governor Maximus, and beaten harshly. The Saint narrated the Greek myth, of how Apollo fell in love with Daphne, chased after her, but did not achieve his desire. This moved the governor to greater anger. He had him beaten again on his stomach, having been placed on his back on a fiery gridiron. Then he was put on another gridiron, and wetting his hair with oil, they put him over burning coals. After this they cut into his back with iron, and the wounds from the cuts were rubbed with brick and vinegar. Then they struck his jaw and head.

Synaxis of the Theotokos at Maranakios

On this day, the 15th of June, we commemorate the Synaxis of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos at Maranakios. According to the Lavra Codex D 39, on June 16th we commemorate the Synaxis of the Theotokos at Dokianais or Ioukoundianai. There we are informed that the Synaxis at Maranakios and Dokianais are the same. Ioukoundianai was located in the Hebdomon district of Constantinople. According to the Patria ascribed to George Kodinos, the Church of the Theotokos at Maranakios, otherwise called Marnakios, was built between 610 and 638. It is said to have been built by Patriarch Sergios, who also built the Church of Saint George in Chalcedon, and it was here that his body rested.

Holy Martyr Nerse

St. Nerse the Martyr (Feast Day - June 15)


Nerse departed by means of martyrdom,
Where the chorus of athletes are in the heavens.

On this day we commemorate the Holy Martyr Nerse.

Holy Martyr Graeis

St. Graeis the Martyr (Feast Day - June 15)


Sacrifice to the gods Graeis, or stretch forth towards the sword?
I will gladly stretch forth, for I will not sacrifice to the gods.

The Holy Martyr Graeis met her end by the sword.

An Overview of the Book of the Prophet Amos

Friday, June 14, 2019

Saint Elisha of Suma (+ 15th cent.)

St. Elisha of Suma (Feast Day - June 14)

Venerable Elisha of Suma was a monk at the Solovetsky Monastery, and was occupied with the weaving of fishing nets. Though we do not know about his life, one event in his life does reveal his great piety.

One day he with three other monks (Daniel, Philaret and Sava) went to the Vyga River, which was 60 versts (about 40 miles) from the monastery, in order to fish. As they were all weaving fishing nets, Daniel suddenly said to Elisha: "In vain, brother, are you working to fix these nets; you will not catch fish with them: death has come and your fishing is over." Taking these words to be a divine revelation, it struck Elisha with fear and he began to mourn, not because he feared death but because he had not yet been tonsured into the Great Schema, and there was no priest there that could do it. In his despondency, he was comforted by his brethren.

Why the Prophet Elisha is Commemorated on June 14th

By John Sanidopoulos

Though there are no written sources to confirm my theory, as far as I know, I think it is quite obvious why the Prophet Elisha is commemorated by the Orthodox Church on June 14th. Let's break it down.

Orthodox Easter can fall any time between April 4th and May 8th (according to the Revised Julian Calendar; minus 13 days for the Julian Calendar currently, though less days centuries ago). The Ascension of Christ took place forty days after Easter, and Pentecost took place ten days after the Ascension. This means that the Ascension can fall any time between May 13th and June 16th, while Pentecost can fall any time between May 23rd and June 26th. Though these dates are based on the moveable calendar of the Church, the fixed immovable feast of the Prophet Elisha on June 14th falls comfortably within the period of the Ascension and Pentecost with the Revised Julian Calendar, while shortly after Pentecost with the Julian Calendar..

So what does the Prophet Elisha have to do with the Ascension and Pentecost? Well, some would say that the Prophet Elisha is the Prophet of Pentecost, mainly because of what we read in the second chapter of 2 Kings.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Archbishop Luke of Simferopol and Crimea Officially Canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Although Archbishop Luke of Simferopol and Crimea, popularly known as Saint Luke the Surgeon, was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church on May 25, 1996 following the exhumation of his sacred relics, he was not officially listed among the Saints by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, despite his popular veneration among the Greeks in Greece with churches and shrines dedicated to him there. This is a common custom, as each independent Church has its own list of saints and calendar for commemoration. Since canonizations only take place after a request has been made by a Bishop, Archbishop Luke of Simferopol and Crimea was officially canonized on June 13, 2019 after a request was made by the newly-enthroned Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kiev and All Ukraine. Therefore he is now officially listed among the Saints by decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Saint Andronicus, Disciple of Saint Sergius of Radonezh (+ 1395)

St. Andronikos of Moscow (Feast Day - June 13)

Venerable Andronicus (or Andronik) was born in Rostov, and being a disciple of Saint Sergius of Radonezh (Sept. 25), he received the monastic tonsure from him around 1353. Adorned with every virtue, Saint Andronicus lived at Holy Trinity Monastery for many years.

One day, Metropolitan Alexis of Moscow (Feb. 12) visited the monastery to speak with Saint Sergius about founding a monastery in Moscow in fulfillment of a vow he had made when he was saved from a shipwreck. Saint Alexis wished to establish a cenobitic monastery dedicated to the Icon of the Savior Not-Made-By Hands, and he wanted Saint Andronicus to become the abbot. Saint Sergius agreed to this proposal, and the monastery was completed between 1358-1361.

Holy Martyr Diodoros of Emesus

St. Diodoros of Emesus (Feast Day - June 13)


Diodoros went up the wood of the cross,
Honoring the wood of the Cross of the passion of Jesus.

The Holy Martyr Diodoros of Emesus met his end by being crucified.

Holy Myriad (or Ten Thousand) Martyrs

Holy Myriad Martyrs (Feast Day - June 13)


Victorious a myriad fell by the sword,
Fallen also were the victorious phalanx of God.

The Holy Myriad (or Ten Thousand) Martyrs met their end by the sword.

We do not know when or where their martyrdom took place or who they were, but we similarly commemorate 10,000 Martyrs two other times in the ecclesiastical calendar, on March 18th and July 10th.

Saint Eulogios, Patriarch of Antioch

St. Eulogios of Antioch (Feast Day - February 13)


The blessed lot of the kingdom,
Was found above by Father Eulogios.

Saint Eulogios, Patriarch of Antioch, met his end in peace.

It should be pointed out that the name Eulogios is absent from the Patriarchal Lists of the Church of Antioch. This may therefore refer to either Patriarch Eulogios of Alexandria, though he is already commemorated on February 13th, or perhaps even Patriarch Eulalios of Antioch (331–332). In any case, he is unknown to us for the time being.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Venerable Julian which is in Dagouta

Venerable Julian which is in Dagouta (Feast Day - June 12)


Julian, the great Father is buried,
Arriving in the grave at the threshold of his days.

Venerable Julian met his end in peace.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Synaxarion of the Miracle of the Archangel Gabriel at Adein and the Revelation of Axion Estin

Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel at Adein

 June 11


Beforehand Gabriel sang Rejoice to the Maiden,
Now in Adein, he sings the hymn Axion Esti.

By Fr. Seraphim Thipolos,
Protos of Mount Athos
(Account Written in 1548)

This Synaxis and Feast of the Archangel Gabriel is followed on the Holy Mountain of Athos, in a cell of the Monastery of Pantocrator, called "Axion Estin," in a place called Adein. It is followed because of the following miracle. At the Skete of Protaton, which is found in Karyes, next to the location of the Sacred Monastery of Pantocrator, there is a large gorge with various cells. In one of these cells, which is dedicated to honoring the name of the Dormition of the Lady Theotokos, there was an elder and virtuous Hieromonk, together with one of his submissives. As it was customary every Sunday at the Skete of Protaton for a vigil to take place, on one Saturday evening, when the elder wanted to go to the vigil, he said to his disciple: "Child, I am going to listen to the vigil, as is customary. You however, remain at the cell, and as you are able read your Service." With this he departed. When the evening had passed, behold there was a knock on the door of the cell. The brother rushed to open it, and he saw a stranger Monk, unknown to him, enter inside and he remained in the cell that night. When the time for Matins came they rose up, and both of them chanted the Service,. When they came to the "More Honorable" (Tιμιωτέραν), the resident Monk chanted only "More Honorable than the Cherubim" (Tην τιμιωτέραν των Xερουβίμ) and so on till the end, which is the customary ancient hymn of Saint Kosmas the Poet. The stranger Monk however began the hymn differently, chanting: "Truly it is meet to bless the Theotokos, the ever-blessed and all-pure, and the Mother of our God" (Άξιόν εστιν ως αληθώς μακαρίζειν σε την Θεοτόκον, την αειμακάριστον και παναμώμητον, και Mητέρα του Θεού ημών.). Then he attached to it the "More Honorable" until the end.

Historical Facts About the Revelation of the "Axion Estin" by the Archangel Gabriel


The miracle was originally written down by Seraphim Thipolos who was Protos on Mount Athos in 1550. The authentic document of the hieromonk Seraphim was at first published with minor additions by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite in 1799 in his book called New Martyrology. It begins by saying: “On Mount Athos, at the Skete of Protaton, which is at Karyes, near a big pit called Adein, Adein means 'hymn,' there is a cell. In that cell a hieromonk lived…”

Concerning the time of reporting the miracle, St. Nikodemos says the following: “Fr. Seraphim, a priest monk, lived in 7056 since the creation of the world; now we are in 7306, therefore 250 years have gone by since the miracle was recorded…” Consequently, the original text was written around 1548, two years before Fr. Seraphim became Protos of Mount Athos. This blessed man was the spiritual father of St. Dionysios of Olympus too, and had a close spiritual bond with St. Theophilos the Myrrhgusher when Fr. Seraphim was staying at the cell of St. Basil the Great in the nearby Kapsala. That cell is near the cell of the Dormition of the Mother of God and as he used to come often to the place where the angelical hymnody glorified in a wondrous way the Mother of God, he decided to write down this miracle for all generations. He, too, built the narthex of the Protaton, the most ancient and historical church of Karyes, which takes pride having the venerable icon of Axion Estin.

The Incorrupt Heart of Saint Luke the Surgeon

Portions of the Incorrupt Heart, Lung and Hand of St. Luke

On March 17th 1996, St. Luke the Surgeon's remains were disinterred, with an estimated 40,000 people taking part. It is said that an indescribable fragrance arose from his relics, while his heart was discovered incorrupt (including his lungs and hand), a testament to the great love he bore towards Christ and his fellow men. Three days later on March 20th 1996, his relics were transferred to the Church of the Holy Trinity in Simferopol.

Orthodoxy in China and the Chinese Martyrs of 1900

Chinese Martyrs

By George Emmanuel Piperakis
Assistant Professor of University of Athens


Religious History of China

From the depths of history the Chinese people have displayed deep religious feelings and intense metaphysical questions which distinguish them from amongst all the other people of the East.

The religious history of China can be divided into three main periods. From the 13th century B.C. Confucianism, prevailed over the vast Chinese expanses. It held conceptions of a certain Sovereign Supreme God with variations during different periods of time.

The second religious movement which prevailed towards the end of the third century B.C. is Taoism founded by Lao-Tze who lived during the 6th - 5th century B.C. Taoism started to decline with the appearance of Buddhism the third great religious movement, Buddhism or Fu-Tzaou which was introduced to China under the Emperor Ming in the first century A.D., after a vision. It was advanced by the missionaries Kasyapa Matoga and Gobharana. The great peak of Buddhism was noted in the tenth and twelfth centuries, with the conversion of educated Chinese as well as the folk masses. A branch of Buddhism is Amidism which, with its practices (player and theory), displays essential elements which draw closer to Christianity. These three fundamental Chinese religions do not, it seems, divide the Chinese people amongst themselves as happens with followers of other religions. In China two or even three of the above mentioned religions may be professed at the same time. However, Islam also appeared in China after the twelfth century while the presence of Jews has been confirmed after 1000 A.D.

Holy Martyr Theopemptos and the Four Martyrs With Him

St. Theopemptos the Martyr and the Four with him (Feast Day - June 11)


By the sword Theopemptos found,
Four fellow athletes finding himself to be the fifth.

The Holy Martyr Theopemptos and the Four Martyrs with him met their end by the sword.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Synaxarion of the Holy Hieromartyr Timothy, Bishop of Prousis

St. Timothy of Prousis (Feast Day - June 10)


Willingly Timothy was slain by the sword,
Willingly did he in no way honor the dishonorable gods.

He contested during the reign of Julian the Apostate, in the year 361, and governed well his own church, shepherding its people in the pasture of salvation. The Saint had power and grace from God, with which he worked various miracles. Among these was killing a great dragon. This dragon lived in a cave along the public road, among the thermal waters of the city of Prousis (Prusa or Bursa), where there was a very graceful and beautiful cypress tree. This dragon, having within it the invisible wickedness of the man-killing dragon the Devil, would go out of its cave and kill with its breath alone, not only people that passed by that place, but also beasts and animals. For this reason the road was made untrodden, which lies between Prousis and the thermal waters, and no one dared pass by there.

Saint Landry, Bishop of Paris (+ 661)

Saint Landry (Landericus) was chief clerk of the Royal Chancery. In 650, he succeeded Audobertus as Bishop of Paris. During the famine of 650-51, Bishop Landry sold all of his personal possessions, as well as some of the furniture and sacred vessels of the church, to feed the poor.

He is credited with building the first major hospital in the city, dedicating it to Saint Christopher (now the Hôtel-Dieu). It is located next to Notre Dame Cathedral.

In 653, Landry, with 23 other bishops, subscribed to the charter Clovis II gave to Saint-Denis Abbey, exempting it from episcopal jurisdiction. It is believed that he built the original Church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, which became the parish church of the kings of France.

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Neaniskos the Most-Wise

St. Neaniskos the Most-Wise (Feast Day - June 10)


By returning good for evil O crown-bearer,
You showed yourself to be most-wise in your actions.

When Maximus was governor of Alexandria, and he banished and tyrannized the Christians, he was informed of Neaniskos, the most-wise and beautiful athlete of Christ, who was betrayed by a servant girl. The governor contrived many forms of tyranny against him over the course of seven days, seeking to force him to deny Christ. When he saw that he could not persuade him, he sentenced him to be killed. For this the Martyr of Christ thanked the Lord, and went along rejoicing that he was about to complete his longed for road towards martyrdom.

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Kanides of Cappadocia

St. Kanides of Cappadocia (Feast Day - June 10)


Leaving the earth and earthly things Kanides,
You found an incorrupt recompense above.

He lived during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395), was the son of pious and God-loving parents, Theodotos and Theophanou, and he lived in the land of Cappadocia, which in Turkish is called Karamania. The mother of the Saint did not eat foods with fat for the nine months she carried him in her belly.

Saint Apollo the Bishop

St. Apollo the Bishop (Feast Day - June 10)


Goodness is your yoke my Christ,
Said Apollo while alive as he entered death.

Saint Apollo the Bishop met his end in peace.

Saint Alexios, Bishop of Bithynia

St. Alexios of Bithynia (Feast Day - June 10)


Alexios having labored as a protector,
Found his end and now delights in the heavens.

Saint Alexios, Bishop of Bithynia, met his end in peace.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

"That They May Be One, Even As We Are" (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

By St. Cyril of Alexandria

From his Commentary on the Gospel of John (Bk. 11, Ch. 9)

"Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are" (Jn. 17:11)

He saith, then: "Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me; that they may be one, even as We are." He desires His disciples to be kept by the power and might of the Ineffable Divine Nature, well and suitably attributing the power of saving whomsoever He will, yea, and with ease, to the true and living God; and thereby, again, He glorifies no other nature than His own, as in the Person of the Father, from Whom He proceeded as God. Therefore He saith, "Father, keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me;" that is, the Name of God. He says again, that the Name of God was not given unto Him as though He had not been God by Nature, and were now called from without to the dignity of Godhead. For then would He be created, and possess a spurious and elective glory and an adulterate nature, which it were impious for us to imagine. For thereby He would be mulcted of His inherent character of Sonship. But since, as the inspired writings prophesy, "the Word became flesh," that is, man, He says that He received Divine attributes by gift; for clearly the title and actuality of Divine glory could not naturally attach to man. But consider, and attentively reflect, how He showed Himself the living and inherent Power of God the Father, whereby He doeth all things. For when, addressing His Father, He says, "Keep them," He did not indeed suffice for them alone, but suitably brought in Himself as working for their preservation and being for that purpose also the power and instrument of His Father; for He says: "Keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me." Note how guarded the saying is. For allotting and attributing as suitable only to the Nature of God providential care over us, He declares at once that to Himself has been given the glory of Godhead, because of the form of manhood, saying that what was His by natural right was given to Him; that is, the Name which is above every name. Therefore also we say that this Name belongs to the Son by nature, as proceeding from the Father; but, so far as He is Man, those things are His by gift which He receives as Man, using herein the form of speech applicable to ourselves; for man is not God by nature, but Christ is God by nature, even though He be conceived of as Human because He was amongst us.

The Message of the Gospel for the Seventh Sunday of Pascha (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are" (Jn. 17:11).

Christ's prayer is not only for the apostles - although it is firstly for them - but is also for all those who have and will come to faith in Christ through their word. This prayer, then, was also for the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Synod, that we commemorate today. "Keep them!" - the Lord prayed to His Father. And the Father kept them from the errors of Arius, and inspired, illumined and strengthened them by the Holy Spirit to defend and confirm the Orthodox faith. This prayer is for all of us who are baptized in the apostolic Church and who have from the apostles and their successors, come to know the saving name of Christ the Savior.

Holy Three Virgin Martyrs of Chios

Holy Three Virgin Martyrs of Chios (Feast Day - June 9)


Painted were their bodies with blood,
The three brides of God, having undergone the sword.

The Holy Three Virgin Martyrs from Chios met their end by the sword.

Holy Martyr Ananias

The Ananias the Martyr (Feast Day - June 9)


He had his tongue as a sword against error,
Ananias the Martyr, who was decapitated by the sword.

The Holy Martyr Ananias met his end by the sword.

Holy Hieromartyr Alexander, Bishop of Prousis

St. Alexander of Prousis (Feast Day - June 9)


You were all-comely in your priestly order,
Alexander as you radiantly contested by the sword.

The Holy Hieromartyr Alexander, Bishop of Prousis (Prusa or Bursa), met his end by the sword.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Saint Naukratios the Studite (+ 847)

St. Naukratios the Studite (Feast Day - April 18 or June 8)


Naukratios is permitted to pass beyond the earth,
Having the Word as the steersman of the ship of his soul.

Venerable Naukratios lived in the ninth century, and was a disciple of Saint Theodore the Studite at the Stoudios Monastery in Constantinople. Like his spiritual father, he fervently upheld the veneration of sacred icons during the time of Iconoclasm, which is why he endured persecution and exile during the reign of Emperor Leo V (813-820). During this time, around 818, he endured flogging and imprisonment.

Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos and the Archangel Michael at the Sosthenion

On the 8th of June we commemorate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos and the Archangel Michael in the Sosthenion district of Constantinople.

The Michaelion was one of the earliest and most famous sanctuaries dedicated to the Archangel Michael in the Roman Empire. According to tradition, it was built in the fourth century by Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) over an ancient pagan temple called the Leosthenion or Sosthenion, erected by the Argonauts and dedicated to Zeus Sosthenios or a winged deity. According to tradition, Constantine interpreted the winged statue of the temple as a Christian angel. After sleeping the night in the temple, Constantine reported a vision that the angel was the Archangel Michael, and converted the building into a church to honor him. In the early fifth century the historian Sozomen recorded the devotions by the crowds at the Michaelion and wrote of first-hand reports of healings at the Michaelion, stating that he had himself received a healing. The pagan temple which had existed there had been previously associated with healing and medicine, and the Christians continued to associate the location and the Michaelion with its healing waters.

Holy Martyr Mark

St. Mark the Martyr (Feast Day - June 8)


Mark was decapitated and as smoke to the Lord,
He sent forth his blood as boiling steam.

The Holy Martyr Mark met his end by the sword.

Holy Martyr Nikandros

St. Nikandros the Martyr (Feast Day - June 8)


Nikandros being a brave man,
Received the crown of victory by the sword.

The Holy Martyr Nikandros met his end by the sword.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Holy Martyr Zenaidos the Wonderworker

St. Zenaidos the Wonderworker (Feast Day - June 7)


Zenais is alive even after death,
Gushing forth miracles; O great value!

On this day we commemorate the Holy Martyr Zenaidos (Zenais) the Wonderworker.

Holy Martyrs Aisia and Susanna

Sts Aisia and Susanna (Feast Day - June 7)


As the rising flame of the parthenon,
Both virgin daughters entered.

The Holy Martyrs Aisia and Susanna were disciples of Saint Pankratios, Bishop of Taormina (July 9). Their Synaxis was celebrated on this day in their most-holy church in the Palace, which was next to Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

Holy Martyrs Tarasios and John

Sts. Tarasios and John the Martyrs (Feast Day - June 7)


John was decapitated together with Tarasios,
Not shaken as they went towards decapitation by the sword.

The Holy Martyr Tarasios and John met their end by the sword.

Venerable Anthimos the Presbyter

St. Anthimos the Presbyter (Feast Day - June 7)


Anthimos blossomed forth an auspicious life,
Before his end he produced the fruits of virtue.

Venerable Anthimos the Presbyter met his end in peace.

Venerable Stephen the Presbyter

St. Stephen the Presbyter (Feast Day - June 7)


Though bearing the name Stephen he does not wear a crown,
It is being fashioned by hand fitting for his virtues.

Venerable Stephen the Presbyter met his end in peace.

Venerable Sebastiane the Wonderworker

St. Sebastiane the Wonderworker (Feast Day - June 7)


Just as Sebastiane was the remainder of her life,
So was the end of her life fully august.

Venerable Sebastiane the Wonderworker met her end in peace.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Sermon on the Feast of the Ascension (St. Sebastian Dabovich)

Sermon on the Feast of the Ascension

By St. Sebastian Dabovich

"And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?" (Acts 1:10, 11)

The "two men in white apparel," who immediately after the ascension of the Lord appeared to the Apostles and asked them why they stood gazing up into heaven, were without doubt themselves inhabitants of heaven; therefore it is not to be supposed that this was displeasing to them, or that they desired to direct the gaze of those men of Galilee elsewhere. No. They desired only to put an end to the inert amazement of the Apostles when saying: "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?" Having aroused them from their amazement, they draw them into meditation, and teach them and us with what thoughts we should gaze into heaven, following our Lord Jesus who hath ascended thither. "This same Jesus," they added, "which is taken up from you into heaven, shall come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."

Hymn for the Ascension of our Lord (Venerable Bede)

By Venerable Bede

A hymn of glory let us sing:
New songs throughout the world shall ring:
Christ, by a road before untrod,
Ascendeth to the throne of God.

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