July 8, 2020

Synaxis of All Military Saints

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced in 2019 for the annual commemoration of the Synaxis of All Military Saints on July 8th. The announcement in detail is below:

Under the presidency of His Most Divine All-Holiness, the Holy and Sacred Synod assembled to hold its regular session on Thursday 14 February 2019, in order to examine the written addresses of those who have been invited to the daily meeting.

At this time, the Holy and Sacred Synod unanimously accepted the proposal of His Eminence the Metropolitan of Rhodes Kyrillos, appointing since it is missing from the Festal Calendar of the Orthodox Church, the sacred commemoration of all the Military Saints, which will be celebrated on the 8th of July every year.

At the end of this last session, there was an exchange with His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Vryoula, on behalf of the outgoing members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, and His Most Divine All-Holiness addressed and objected to the expiration of the present synodal period.

From the Patriarchate, on the 15th of February 2019.

By the Chief Secretery
of the Holy and Sacred Synod

Most of the Military Saints of the Orthodox Church gave their lives for their faith in Christ, displaying the same heroic courage and prudent bravery in the midst of persecution just as they would any enemy, but even further displaying this bravery and courage through the grace of the Holy Spirit. When crowds of people saw them enduring the tortures for their faith in Christ in the spiritual and physical arena, they also came to believe in Christ as the one true God, smashing within their hearts the idols of stone they once worshiped.

In his study The Holy Soldiers: Icons and Lives (Οι Άγιοι στρατιώτες: Εικόνες και βίοι), John Souliotis uncovered 416 Saints we know by name who were in the military as well as 6,000 whose names are not known to us.

On Mount Athos the Synaxis of All Military Saints was celebrated on May 24th, and there is a Divine Office composed for this feast, where the following iambic verses are written:


With your spilled blood you signed your faith,
As soldiers of Christ, you were crowned with glory.