Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saints Spyridon and Nicodemus, the Prosphora-bakers of the Kiev Caves

Commemorated on October 31

Saints Spyridon and Nicodemus, the Prosphora-bakers of the Kiev Caves, Near Caves fulfilled their obedience of baking prosphora for thirty years. St Spyridon came to the monastery in the time of Igumen Pimen (1132-1141), when he was no longer a young man. The ascetic combined his work with unceasing prayer and the singing of Psalms. Even during his life St Spyridon was glorified by miracles. He was illiterate, but knew the entire Psalter by heart.

Once, his mantle caught fire from the oven. The fire was put out, but the mantle remained whole. St Nicodemus labored with St Spyridon and led a very strict life. Their relics are in the Kiev Caves of St Anthony. The fingers of St 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.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Apostle Tertius of the Seventy

Commemorated on October 30

St Tertius was the second bishop (after St Sosipater) in Iconium, where he converted many pagans to Christ, and ended his life as a martyr. The Apostle Paul mentions him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:22).


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Righteous Anna of Constantinople

Commemorated on October 29

Saint Anna and her son Saint John lived in the ninth century. St Anna was the daughter of a deacon of the Blachernae church in Constantinople. After the death of her husband, she dressed in men's clothing and called herself Euthymianus. She and her son St John lived in asceticism in one of the Bythinian monasteries near Olympus.

St Anna died in Constantinople in 826. Her memory is also celebrated on October 29.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

St Demetrius (Dimitri), Metropolitan of Rostov

Commemorated on October 28

Saint Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov (in the world Daniel Savvich Tuptalo), was born in December 1651 in the locale of Makarovo, not far from Kiev. He was born into a pious family and grew up a deeply believing Christian. In 1662, soon after his parents resettled to Kiev, Daniel was sent to the Kiev-Mogilyansk college, where the gifts and remarkable abilities of the youth were first discovered. He successfully learned the Greek and Latin languages and the entire series of classical sciences. On July 9,1668 Daniel accepted monastic tonsure with the name Demetrius, in honor of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica. Prior to the spring of 1675 he progressed through the monastic obediences at Kiev's Kirillov monastery, where he began his literary and preaching activity.

The Archbishop of Chernigov Lazar (Baranovich) ordained Demetrius as hieromonk on May 23, 1675. For several years Hieromonk Demetrius lived as an ascetic and preached the Word of God at various monasteries and churches in the Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus. It was while he was Igumen of the Maximov monastery,and later the Baturinsk Nikol'sk monastery, in 1684 he was summoned to the Kiev Caves Lavra. The Superior of the Lavra, Archimandrite Barlaam (Yasinsky), knowing the high spiritual disposition of his former disciple, his education, his proclivity for scientific work, and also his undoubted literary talent, entrusted the hieromonk Demetrius with organizing the MENAION, the Lives of the Saints for the whole year.

From this time, all the rest of St Demetrius's life was devoted to the fulfilling of this ascetic work, grandiose in its scope. The work demanded an enormous exertion of strength, since it necessitated the gathering and analyzing of a multitude of various sources and to expound them in a fluent language, worthy of the lofty subject of exposition and at the same time accessible to all believers. Divine assistance did not abandon the saint for his twenty year labor.

According to the testimony of St Demetrius himself, his soul was filled with impressions of the saints, which strengthened him both in spirit and body, and they encouraged faith in the felicitous completion of his noble task. At this time, the venerable Demetrius was head of several monasteries (in succession).

The works of the ascetic brought him to the attention of Patriarch Adrian. In 1701, by decree of Tsar Peter I, Archimandrite Demetrius was summoned to Moscow, where on March 23 at the Dormition cathedral of the Kremlin he was consecrated as Metropolitan of the Siberian city of Tobolsk. But after a certain while, because of the importance of his scientific work and the frailty of his health, the saint received a new appointment to Rostov-Yaroslavl, and on March 1, 1702 assumed his duties as Metropolitan of Rostov.

Just as before, he continued to be concerned about the strengthening of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, weakened by the "Old Believers" schism.

From his inspired works and preachings many generations of Russian theologians drew spiritual strength for creativity and prayer. He remains an example of a saintly, ascetic, non-covetous life for all Orthodox Christians. Upon his death on October 28, 1709, it was discovered that he had few possessions, except for books and manuscripts.

The glorification of St Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov, took place on April 22, 1757. He is also remembered on September 21, the day of the uncovering of his holy relics.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baptismal reception into the Orthodox Church of Polish Academic Professor Paweł P. Wróblewski

From here.

Baptismal reception into the Orthodox Church
of Polish Academic Professor Paweł P. Wróblewski

Press announcement by the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator dated 13/9/2012

By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, « every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.» (Acts 10:34); it was by His condescension that He invited into the Ark of Salvation - the Orthodox Church - Mr. Paweł Wróblewski, the Polish (Adjunct) Professor of the Seat of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy of the School of Philosophy of Wroclaw (formerly "Breslau"), who was baptized in our Holy Monastery.

Professor Paweł P. Wróblewski, Dr.(Ph.D.) of the History of Philosophy, specialized in the delivery of the texts of Aristotelian works (Corpus Aristotelicum), is descended from a Polish family traditionally dedicated to Roman Catholicism. He came in contact with the Holy Fathers of the Church three years ago through their sacred and divinely-inspired texts and became aware of the unique Truth of Orthodoxy, as well as the need to become incorporated therein, through holy Baptism. His acquaintance with the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator at Melissochori in northern Greece reinforced his convictions, and he subsequently communicated with the Monastery, so that his already lengthy search might find an optimistic fulfilment, in accordance with the divinely-inspired Canons of the Ecumenical Councils.
In a recent letter that he had sent to the local High Priest and our Prelate, the Metropolitan of Langadas, Lete and Rendini, Fr.John, the Professor deposited the experiences that had led him to his incorporation into the Orthodox Church; among other things, he wrote the following:
«When I first attended the Greek-spoken Divine Liturgy of Saint John the Chrysostom, the heavens opened up before me during the prayers, and the Lord touched my soul from Above... From the moment that God revealed the truth of Orthodoxy to my inner world - whose influence is so strong that whoever finds it becomes certain that it is what he was always seeking - I knew I had found my spiritual Home.».
Professor Wróblewski then spoke of his desire to be incorporated in the Church in the manner defined by the sacred Canons - that is, the Apostolic ones, especially the 46th, also those of the Ecumenical Councils, as well as the canonical epistles of Saint Basil the Great. In Poland, on account of the prevalence of the ecclesiology of Ecumenism and the (altered, as he wrote) "baptismal theology", it was not possible for him to be accepted through baptism, inasmuch as the incorporation through Chrismation is becoming more and more scarce there, and incorporation into Orthodoxy is being replaced from the year 2000 onwards, by Confession and Holy Communion alone.
Professor Wróblewski's baptism took place in the morning of Thursday, the 13th of September, in the Catholicon (Main Church) of the Holy Monastery of the Pantocrator at Melissochori, by His Eminence the Metropolitan John, who, after the Baptismal rite, addressed the neophyte with words of praise for God's bounteous Providence and the Professor's reciprocation to it, and words of edification for Paul (Paweł), to whom His Eminence stressed the uniqueness of Orthodoxy and the deifying energy that acts within Her boundaries, as well as the need for our constant spiritual struggle, "lest we become disqualified" (1 Cor.9:27)
During the baptismal rite, where the "positive alteration" of the Professor was evident, all the Brothers of the Holy Monastery were present and prayerfully participating, along with Stephen, the godfather. His Eminence honoured with his presence the entire event of this blessing, and later continued his conversation with Professor Wróblewski during the ensuing customary offerings and the meal in the Dining Hall, urging him to also visit other places of spiritual blessing, as well as the natural beauty of our region.

The University of Wroclaw (Uniwersytet Wrocławski) is one of the oldest Universities of Eastern Europe and the largest in the area, founded by the Jesuits around three centuries ago, currently hosting 40.000 students and 1.900 candidate doctors. The last participation of the young and hope-bearing Professor was at the International Russo-Polish Scientific Conference, regarding «Problems of Culture in Russian and Polish Scientific Thought» (Saint Petersburg, 21-25 May 2012), where Professor Wróblewski expounded the topic of “The Cultural Creativity of the Christendom according to Georges Florovsky”). 
The photograph we have inserted here is from the Conference «Paradigms of Freedom in Philosophy and Theology» (Κonferencja “Paradygmaty Wolności w Filo”). The Professor has participated -parallel to his academic activity- in official missions of the Polish State abroad.
His ecclesiologically documented and conscious turn to Orthodoxy, from within the traditional and austere roman-catholic environment of Poland is proof that not only does the Lord work salvation for those who were "afar off and to those who were near" (Ephes.2:17), but also that once again, those who baptismally become joined to the Body of Christ - the Orthodox Church - act with a benevolent conscience and are internally "informed", by having as their uncontested and unerring criterion and starting point the truthful documentation of ecclesiastic history, dogmatic self-awareness and the worshipping and canonical praxis of the Catholic Orthodox Church throughout the centuries.

Holy, Glorious Demetrius the Myrrhgusher of Thessalonica

Commemorated on October 26

The Great Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher of Thessalonica was the son of a Roman proconsul in Thessalonica. Three centuries had elapsed and Roman paganism, spiritually shattered and defeated by the multitude of martyrs and confessors of the Savior, intensified its persecutions. The parents of St Demetrius were secretly Christians, and he was baptized and raised in the Christian Faith in a secret church in his father's home,

By the time Demetrius had reached maturity and his father had died, the emperor Galerius Maximian had ascended the throne (305). Maximian, confident in Demetrius' education as well as his administrative and military abilities, appointed him to his father's position as proconsul of the Thessalonica district. The main tasks of this young commander were to defend the city from barbarians and to eradicate Christianity. The emperor's policy regarding Christians was expressed simply, "Put to death anyone who calls on the name of Christ." The emperor did not suspect that by appointing Demetrius he had provided a way for him to lead many people to Christ.

Accepting the appointment, Demetrius returned to Thessalonica and immediately confessed and glorified our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of persecuting and executing Christians, he began to teach the Christian Faith openly to the inhabitants of the city and to overthrow pagan customs and idolatry. The compiler of his Life, St Simeon Metaphrastes (November 9), says that because of his teaching zeal he became "a second Apostle Paul" for Thessalonica, particularly since "the Apostle to the Gentiles" once founded at this city the first community of believers (1 Thess. and 2 Thess.).

The Lord also destined St Demetrius to follow the holy Apostle Paul as a martyr. When Maximian learned that the newly-appointed proconsul was a Christian, and that he had converted many Roman subjects to Christianity, the rage of the emperor know no bounds. Returning from a campaign in the Black Sea region, the emperor decided to lead his army through Thessalonica, determined to massacre the Christians.

Learning of this, St Demetrius ordered his faithful servant Lupus to distribute his wealth to the poor saying, "Distribute my earthly riches among them, for we shall seek heavenly riches for ourselves." He began to pray and fast, preparing himself for martyrdom.

When the emperor came into the city, he summoned Demetrius, who boldly confessed himself a Christian and denounced the falsehood and futility of Roman polytheism. Maximian gave orders to lock up the confessor in prison. An angel appeared to him, comforting and encouraging him.

Meanwhile the emperor amused himself by staging games in the circus. His champion was a German by the name of Lyaeos. He challenged Christians to wrestle with him on a platform built over the upturned spears of the victorious soldiers. A brave Christian named Nestor went to the prison to his advisor Demetrius and requested a blessing to fight the barbarian. With the blessing and prayers of Demetrius, Nestor prevailed over the fierce German and hurled him from the platform onto the spears of the soldiers, just as the murderous pagan would have done with the Christian. The enraged commander ordered the execution of the holy Martyr Nestor (October 27) and sent a guard to the prison to kill St Demetrius.

At dawn on October 26, 306 soldiers appeared in the saint's underground prison and ran him through with lances. His faithful servant, St Lupus, gathered up the blood-soaked garment of St Demetrius, and he took the imperial ring from his finger, a symbol of his high status, and dipped it in the blood. With the ring and other holy things sanctified by the blood of St Demetrius, St Lupus began to heal the infirm. The emperor issued orders to arrest and kill him.

The body of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius was cast out for wild animals to devour, but the Christians took it and secretly buried it in the earth.

During the reign of St Constantine (306-337), a church was built over the grave of St Demetrius. A hundred years later, during the construction of a majestic new church on the old spot, the incorrupt relics of the holy martyr were uncovered. Since the seventh century a miraculous flow of fragrant myrrh has been found beneath the crypt of the Great Martyr Demetrius, so he is called "the Myrrh-gusher."

Several times, those venerating the holy wonderworker tried to bring his holy relics, or a part of them, to Constantinople. Invariably, St Demetrius made it clear that he would not permit anyone to remove even a portion of his relics.

It is interesting that among the barbarians threatening the Romans, Slavs occupied an important place, in particular those settling upon the Thessalonian peninsula. Some even believe that the parents of St Demetrius were of Slavic descent. While advancing towards the city, pagan Slavs were repeatedly turned away by the apparition of a threatening radiant youth, going around on the walls and inspiring terror in the enemy soldiers. Perhaps this is why the name of St Demetrius was particularly venerated among the Slavic nations after they were enlightened by the Gospel. On the other hand, the Greeks dismiss the notion of St Demetrius being a Slavic saint.

The very first pages of the Russian Primary Chronicle, as foreordained by God, is bound up with the name of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica. The Chronicle relates that when Oleg the Wise threatened the Greeks at Constantinople (907), the Greeks became terrified and said, "This is not Oleg, but rather St Demetrius sent upon us from God." Russian soldiers always believed that they were under the special protection of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius. Moreover, in the old Russian barracks the Great Martyr Demetrius was always depicted as Russian. Thus this image entered the soul of the Russian nation.

Church veneration of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius in Russia began shortly after the Baptism of Rus. Towards the beginning of the 1070s the Dimitriev monastery at Kiev, known afterwards as the Mikhailov-Zlatoverkh monastery, was founded, The monastery was built by the son of Yaroslav the Wise, Great Prince Izyaslav, Demetrius in Baptism (+ 1078). The mosaic icon of St Demetrius of Thessalonica from the cathedral of the Dimitriev monastery has been preserved up to the present day, and is in the Tretiakov gallery.

In the years 1194-1197 the Great Prince of Vladimir, Vsevolod III the Great-Nest (Demetrius in Baptism) "built at his court a beautiful church of the holy martyr Demetrius, and adorned it wondrously with icons and frescoes." The Dimitriev cathedral also reveals the embellishment of ancient Vladimir. The wonderworking icon of St Demetrius of Thessalonica from the cathedral iconostas is located even now in Moscow, at the Tretiakov gallery. It was painted on a piece of wood from the grave of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius, brought from Thessalonica to Vladimir in 1197.

One of the most precious depictions of the saint, a fresco on a column of the Vladimir Dormition cathedral, was painted by the holy Iconographer Andrew Rublev (July 4).

The family of St Alexander Nevsky (November 23 also venerated St Demetrius. St Alexander named his eldest son in honor of the holy Great Martyr. His younger son, Prince Daniel of Moscow (March 4), built a temple dedicated to the holy Great Martyr Demetrius in the 1280s. This was the first stone church in the Moscow Kremlin. Later in 1326, under Ivan Kalita, it was taken down and the Dormition cathedral was built in its place.

The memory of St Demetrius of Thessalonica is historically associated in Rus with the military, patriotism and the defense of the country. This is apparent by the saint's depiction on icons as a soldier in plumed armor, with a spear and sword in hand. There is a scroll (in later depictions) on which is written the prayer of St Demetrius for the salvation of the people of Thessalonica, "Lord, do not permit the city or the people perish. If You save the city and the people, I shall be saved with them. If they perish, I also perish with them."

In the particular spiritual experience of the Russian Church, veneration of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica is closely linked with the memory of the defense of the nation and Church by the Great Prince of Moscow, Demetrius of the Don (May 19) . "An Account of the Life and Repose of the Great Prince Demetrius of the Don, Tsar of Russia," written in the year 1393, already regards the Great Prince as a saint, as also do other old Russian histories. Great Prince Demetrius was a spiritual son and disciple of St Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow (February 12), and a disciple and associate of other great figures of prayer in the Russian Land: St Sergius of Radonezh (September 25), Demetrius of Priluki (February 11), St Theodore of Rostov (November 28). The Account states:

He [Great Prince Demetrius] worried much about the churches of God, and he held the territory of the Russian land by his bravery: he conquered many enemies who had risen against us, and he protected his glorious city Moscow with wondrous walls. ...The land of Russia prospered during the years of his reign.
From the time of the building of the white-walled Kremlin (1366) by Great Prince Demetrius, Moscow was called "White-Stoned."

By the prayers of his Heavenly patron, the holy warrior Demetrius of Thessalonica, Great Prince Demetrius, in addition to his brilliant military victories, also gained the further prominence of Russia. He repelled the onslaught of the Lithuanian armies of Olgerd (1368, 1373), he routed the Tatar army of Begich at the River Vozha (1378), and he smashed the military might of all the Golden Horde at the Battle of Kulikovo Field on September 8, 1380 (the Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos), set between the Rivers Don and Nepryadva. The Battle of Kulikovo, for which the nation calls him Demetrius of the Don, became the first Russian national deed, rallying the spiritual power of the Russian nation around Moscow. The "Zadonschina," an inspiring historic poem written by the priest Sophronius of Ryazem (1381) is devoted to this event.

Prince Demetrius of the Don was greatly devoted to the holy Great Martyr Demetrius. In 1380, on the eve of the Battle of Kulikovo, he solemnly transferred from Vladimir to Moscow the most holy object in the Vladimir Dimitriev cathedral: the icon of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica, painted on a board from the grave of the saint. A chapel dedicated to the Great Martyr Demetrius was built at Moscow's Dormition Cathedral.

The St Demetrius Memorial Saturday was established for churchwide remembrance of the soldiers who fell in the Battle of Kulidovo. This memorial service was held for the first time at the Trinity-St Sergius monastery on October 20, 1380 by St Sergius of Radonezh, in the presence of Great Prince Demetrius of the Don. It is an annual remembrance of the heroes of the Battle of Kulikovo, among whom are the schemamonks Alexander (Peresvet) and Andrew (Oslyab).

St Demetrius is regarded as a protector of the young, and is also invoked by those struggling with lustful temptations.


The world has found you to be a great defense against tribulation
and a vanquisher of heathens, O Passion-bearer.
As you bolstered the courage of Nestor,
who then humbled the arrogance of Lyaios in battle,
Holy Demetrius, entreat Christ God to grant us great mercy.


God, who has given you invincible might,
has tinged the Church with streams of your blood, Demetrius!
He pre-serves your city from harm,
for you are its foundation!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Martyr Anastasius the Fuller at Salona in Dalmatia

Commemorated on October 25

The Martyr Anastasius the Fuller lived at Salona in Dalmatia during the third century. He was arrested and brought to trial because of his missionary activity in Salona. St Anastasius, boldly and with out fear, confessed Christ as the true God and Creator of all. He even painted a cross on his door during the persecution of Diocletian (284-311).

St Anastasius was sentenced to death by the decision of the court, and the pagans tied a stone around his neck and threw his body into the sea. A righteous Christian, the rich matron Ascalopia, found the body of St Anastasius and reverently buried him in her estate church. The relics of the holy martyr were glorified by many miracles.

St Anastasius the Fuller is also commemorated on December 5.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blessed Elesbaan the King of Ethiopia

Commemorated on October 24

Saint Elesbaan, King of Ethiopia lived when Arabia was ruled by Dunaan, the oppressor of Christians. The pious Elesbaan was unable to look on indifferently as believers in Christ were being massacred. He declared war on Dunaan, but his military campaign was unsuccessful.

Wishing to learn the reason for his defeat, Elesbaan, with prompting from above, turned to a certain hermit. He revealed to the emperor that he had proceeded unrighteously in deciding to take revenge against Dunaan, since the Lord had said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay!" (Heb 10:30).

The hermit counseled St Elesbaan make a vow to devote his final days of life to God, to escape the wrath of God for his self-willed revenge, and then to defeat Dunaan. St Elesbaan made a vow to the Lord, and marching off with his army against the enemy, he defeated, captured and executed him. After the victory the saint resigned as emperor, secluded himself within a monastery and for fifteen years he dwelt in strict fasting and asceticism.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Venerable Elisha of Lavreshev

Commemorated on October 23

Saint Elisha was the Igumen of Lareshev in Belorus in the thirteenth century.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Seven Holy Martyred Youths of Ephesus

October 22

The Seven Youths hid themselves in a certain cave near Ephesus in the year 250, to escape the persecution of Decius. By divine grace, a sleep came upon them and they slept for 184 years, until the reign of Saint Theodosius the Younger, when the doctrine of the resurrection was being assailed by heretics. They then awoke, that is, were resurrected, confirming in the sight of all the bodily resurrection; and again after a short time, by divine command, they reposed in the Lord in the year 434.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

 Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

They that scorned all things in the world as corrupted and found the gifts that nothing ever corrupteth, behold, they died, and yet corruption touched them not. Wherefore, after many years once again they all rose up, burying all unbelief of malicious revilers. Ye faithful, let us laud the seven youths with hymns of praise on this day, while extolling Christ.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

St Moses (Macinic), Martyr and Confessor

Commemorated on October 21

Saint Moses Macinic was ordained to the holy priesthood in Bucharest around 1746, and worked to oppose the Unia. Because of his activities he was arrested and jailed in Sibiu for seventeen months. Ultimately, he was released with the understanding that he would cease to function as a priest, and live as an ordinary peasant.

In 1752 he was chosen to go to Vienna with St Oprea Nicholas of Salistie to deliver a petition to Empress Maria Theresa. The petition asked her to recognize the rights of the Orthodox Church in Transylvania. She received them, but she had them thrown into the Kufstein Prison in the Tyrolean Mountains.

Although representatives from Transylvania repeatedly asked the Hapsburg rulers to free the two saints, they denied all knowledge of them.

St Moses Macinic was glorified as a martyr by the Orthodox Church of Romania in 1992.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gerasimus of Cephalonia

October 20

Saint Gerasimus was from the Peloponnesus, the son of Demetrius and Kale, of the family of Notaras. He was reared in piety by them and studied the Sacred writings. He left his country and went throughout various lands, and finally came to Cephalonia, where he restored a certain old church and built a convent around it, where it stands to this day at the place called Omala. He finished the course of his life there in asceticism in the year 1570. His sacred relics, which remain incorrupt, are kept there for the sanctification of the faithful.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Let us the faithful praise the divine Gerasimus, who hath been newly revealed to us as a protector of the Orthodox, an angel in the flesh, and a God-bearing wonderworker. For he worthily received from God the unfailing gift of healing; he restoreth the ailing and healeth demoniacs. Wherefore, he poureth forth healings upon them that honour him.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Now doth Cephalonia, with sacred songs of thanksgiving, call upon the multitudes of all the Orthodox Christians to extol the boast and glory of Orthodoxy, the divine and great Gerasimus, who is truly her deliverer and champion, who doth preserve her from all the harm of her foes.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Martyr Nicholas Dvali

Commemorated on October 19

Saint Prokhore the Georgian, a descendant of the noble Shavteli family, was born at the end of the 10th century and grew up in a monastery. When he reached manhood he was ordained a hieromonk and labored for one year at the Lavra of St. Sabbas in Jerusalem. Then, with the blessing of his spiritual father Ekvtime Grdzeli, he began the reconstruction of the Holy Cross Georgian Monastery near Jerusalem.

According to tradition, at this spot Abraham’s nephew Lot planted three trees—a cypress, a pine, and a cedar. Eventually these three trees miraculously grew into one large tree. When the Temple of Solomon was being built, this tree was cut down but left unused. It is said that the Cross on which Christ our Savior was crucified was constructed from the wood of this tree.

In the 4th century, the land on which the miraculous tree had grown was presented to Holy King Mirian, the first Christian king of Georgia. Then in the 5th century, during the reign of Holy King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Holy Cross Monastery was founded on that land. The monastery was destroyed several times between the 7th and 9th centuries.

Finally, in the 11th century, King Bagrat Kuropalates offered much of his wealth to Fr. Prokhore for the restoration of the monastery. St. Prokhore beautified the monastery, then gathered eighty monks and established the typicon (the monastic rule) for the community in accordance with that of the St. Sabbas Lavra.

When St. Prokhore had labored long and lived to an advanced age, he chose his disciple Giorgi to be the monastery’s next abbot.

Then he departed for the wilderness with two of his disciples, and after some time the righteous monk yielded up his spirit to God.

Beyond this, little is known about the life of St. Prokhore. According to Georgian researchers and scholars, he was probably born sometime between 985 and 990. He spent the years 1010 to 1015 in Jerusalem, and labored at the Lavra of St. Sabbas until 1025. He reposed in the year 1066, between the ages of 76 and 81.

The holy martyr Luka of Jerusalem lived in the 13th century. He was born to an honorable, pious Georgian family by the name of Mukhaisdze. After the repose of Luka’s father, his mother left her children and went to labor at a monastery in Jerusalem.

When Luka reached the age of twenty, he traveled to Jerusalem to visit his mother and venerate the holy places. After spending some time there he decided to remain and be tonsured a monk. He was later ordained a deacon and became fluent in Arabic. Soon the brothers of the monastery recognized his wisdom and asked him to guide them as abbot. For three years Luka directed the monastery in an exemplary manner.

But the devil was envious of the holy father and provoked a certain Shekh-Khidar, an influential Persian at the court of Sultan Penducht, (Probably Sultan Zakhir-Rukedin-Baibars-Bundukdar of Egypt (1260–1277)) to take up arms against St. Luka. Sultan Penducht then transferred possession of the Holy Cross Monastery to Shekh-Khidar, who “treated the Georgian monks in a beastly manner and finally ousted them from the monastery altogether.” Fulfilling his God-given duty, the blessed Luka insisted on personally confronting Shekh-Khidar in defense of his brotherhood.

Luka’s Christian brothers and sisters warned him, saying, “Shekh-Khidar is threatening you.… Flee and hide from him!” But Luka paid no heed to their admonitions, certain that it was more fitting to die for Christ than to live for the world. As he had insisted, he himself approached Shekh-Khidar and asked for the release of the imprisoned fathers.

Luka told him that he was prepared to accept any demands. The wicked Persian leader demanded nothing from Luka except that he convert to Islam, promising to make him emir if he consented. When he refused, the furious Shekh-Khidar ordered St. Luka’s beheading.

After the terrible deed had been performed, St. Luka’s severed head turned toward the east and gave thanks to God with an expression of pure peace. Soon after, his precious body was set on fire at the command of the bewildered Shekh-Khidar. This occurred in 1277. St. Nikoloz Dvali the Martyr was born at the end of the 13th century to a God-fearing couple who directed his path toward the spiritual life.

At the age of twelve Nikoloz traveled to the Klarjeti Wilderness and was tonsured a monk. From there he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and remained in the holy city, settling at the Holy Cross Monastery. Burning with desire for the apostolic life, Monk Nikoloz was determined to die a martyr’s death.

In Jerusalem a group of godless men arrested and tormented St. Nikoloz for publicly confessing the Christian Faith, but a group of Christians succeeded in rescuing him from prison. Then, in accordance with his abbot’s counsel, St. Nikoloz relocated to a Georgian monastery on Cyprus. There the pious monk beseeched the Lord to make him worthy of the crown of martyrdom. One day, while he was praying before the icon of St. John the Baptist, he heard a voice saying, “Nikoloz! Arise and go to Jerusalem. There you will find a Georgian monk who will teach you the way of righteousness and encourage you on the path of martyrdom. He has been appointed to guide you.”

Accordingly, St. Nikoloz returned to Jerusalem, met the monk whom God had appointed, and informed him of what had been revealed. The Most Holy Theotokos and St. John the Baptist appeared to St. Nikoloz’s spiritual father, who had been praying intensely for guidance, and told him that it was the Lord’s will for Nikoloz to journey to Damascus.

While in Damascus, the holy father entered a mosque and openly confessed Christ to be the Savior, reproving those present for their folly. The angry Muslims seized St. Nikoloz, beat him, and cast him into prison. After a great struggle, the metropolitan and local Christians succeeded in recovering him from captivity, but he immediately returned to the Muslims and began again to denounce their ungodly ways. Again they beat him mercilessly, lashed him five hundred times, and cast him in prison for a second time. But the holy martyr’s wounds were healed through the miraculous intercession of St. John the Baptist, and after two months he was released from prison.

By chance the emir of the city caught a glimpse of St. Nikoloz as he was preparing to return to Jerusalem. The emir recognized him and sent him to Dengiz, the emir of emirs. Dengiz flattered him and offered to convert him to Islam, but St. Nikoloz bravely defended his faith in Christ. In response, Dengiz ordered his execution.

At the hour appointed by Dengiz, the blessed martyr turned to the east, joyfully bowed his neck to the sword, and prayed, “Glory to Thee, O Christ God, Who hast accounted me worthy to die for Thy name’s sake.” The sword pierced his neck, but the severed head glorified God seven times, crying out, “Glory to Thee, O Christ our God!”

The Persians burned the saint’s body, and for three days a pillar of light shone at the place where it lay.

When St.Nikoloz’s spiritual father heard about his martyrdom, he prayed to God to reveal to him whether Nikoloz would be numbered among the saints. Then one day while he was reading, he saw a vision of a host of saints standing atop a mountain, illumined and surrounded by a cloud of incense. Among them the Great-martyr George shone especially brightly, and he called St. Nikoloz, saying, “Nikoloz! Come and see the monk, your spiritual father. He has shed many tears for you.”

Nikoloz greeted his spiritual father, saying, “Behold me and the place where I am, and from this day cease your sorrowing for me.”

St. Nikoloz Dvali was tortured to death on Tuesday, October 19, in the year 1314. The Georgian Church continues to commemorate him on that date.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Venerable Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia

Commemorated on October 18

Saint Julian the Hermit of Mesopotamia lived an ascetic life of fasting and prayer near the River Euphrates.

Once, as he was praying, he heard a voice saying that the emperor Julian the Apostate would soon perish. Soon the prophecy was fulfilled. Through the efforts of St Julian, a church was built on Mount Sinai in memory of the obtaining of the tablets of the Law by the holy Prophet Moses on the spot where Moses was standing when he received the tablets.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Martyr Kozman

Commemorated on October 17

The Life of St. Kozman has not been preserved. In the commemorations for this day it is mentioned only that he died a martyr’s death in the region of Kartli.

Here it is fitting to note that, due to its geopolitical circumstances, Georgia has throughout history been a constant victim of foreign aggression. To give one’s life for his motherland and Faith became so customary for the Georgian people that the Georgian Church is unable to commemorate all of its martyrs by name. Unfortunately, errors of faith and time have erased from the pages of history the lives and virtues of many of the elect. Today, the Church calendar and the prayers with which the faithful honor the martyrs remain the sole means for the Church to acknowledge the lives of these holy men and women.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Longinus the Centurion

October 16

This Martyr was in the service of Pontius Pilate at the time of Christ our Saviour's Passion. While standing guard at the Cross and beholding the earthquake and all that came to pass, he cried out with fear, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Matt. 27:54). After the Resurrection, he forsook the military and departed for Cappadocia, his homeland, where he preached Christ. By the agency of Pontius Pilate, Tiberius Caesar had him arrested and beheaded.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
With great joy the Church of Christ today rejoiceth on the festive memory of blest Longinus, the all-famed and godly prizewinner. And she doth cry out: O Christ, my foundation and might art Thou.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Holy Martyrs Sarbelus and Bebaia of Edessa

Commemorated on October 15

The Holy Martyrs Sarbelus and Bebaia of Edessa were brother and sister, suffering in the second century under the emperor Trajan for confessing Christianity. St Sarbelus was a priest of the idols at Edessa, but was converted to Christ by a certain bishop, then he and his sister were baptized. Pagans tortured the saints for a long while, and then beheaded them.

These saints are also commemorated on January 29. St Sarbelus may be the same one who is commemorated on September 5.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Venerable Nicholas Sviatosha Prince of Chernigov, and Wonderworker of the Kiev Near Caves

Commemorated on October 14

Saint Nicholas Sviatosha, Prince of Chernigov, and Wonderworker of the Kiev Caves, Near Caves, was a great-grandson of Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise and son of Prince David Svyatoslavich of Chernigov (+ 1123). Nicholas was the Prince of Lutsk, and he had a wife and children (his daughter was later married to the Novgorod prince St Vsevolod-Gabriel (February 11).

On February 17, 1106 the holy prince, left his family and was tonsured at the Kiev Caves monastery. Nicholas Sviatosha carried out his obediences with great humility. For three years he worked in the kitchen, for which he chopped wood and carried water. For the next three years, he was gatekeeper at the monastery. The saint had a garden around his cell. Out of his own means he built at the monastery the temple of the Holy Trinity and the infirmary church in the name of St Nicholas, his patron saint.

St Nicholas was the first of the Russian princes to accept monasticism, patiently enduring the reproaches of his brothers for his decision to lead a life of humble obedience. The saint's doctor, Peter, pointed out to the royal ascetic, that such exploits of obedience had injured his health. But suddenly the doctor himself fell sick, and was healed only by the prayer of St Nicholas. Then Peter himself was tonsured.

After he had progressed through various obediences, St Nicholas took upon himself the vow of silence. When the saint received money, he used it to beautify the church, and to procure books (because he loved reading), or he distributed it to the poor. St Nicholas was a zealous peacemaker, in 1142 he reconciled the Prince of Chernigov with the Great Prince Vsevolod.

Soon after the death of the saint, his brother Prince Izyaslav fell grievously ill. The igumen of the monastery sent the sick man the saint's hairshirt. Izyaslav put it on and was healed.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Venerable Benjamin of the Kiev Caves

Commemorated on October 13

Saint Benjamin of the Kiev Caves, Far Caves lived during the fourteenth century and before accepting monasticism was "an important merchant." Once at the time of divine services St Benjamin felt deeply in his heart the words of the Savior: a rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of God (Mt. 19:23). After distributing his wealth to the needy, St Benjamin became a monk, "pleasing the Lord by fasting and prayers even unto death." He was buried in the Caves of St Theodosius. His memory is also celebrated on August 28 and the second Sunday of Great Lent.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Venerable Amphilochius the Abbot of Glushetsa

Commemorated on October 12

Saint Amphilochius, Abbot of Glushetsa, already a monk of priestly rank, came from Ustiug to St Dionysius of Glushetsa (July 1) in the year 1417. St Dionysius, learning of the wish of Amphilochius to become an ascetic, told him of the severity and harshness of life in his monastery, but this did not deter the newcomer. Then St Dionysius said, "If you wish to dwell here, then we shall make an accord not to be distinct one from another while we dwell upon the earth." Amphilochius joyfully agreed and vowed to fulfill the rule of the monastery.

The venerable Amphilochius spent twenty years in deeds of fasting, prayer and obedience under the guidance of St Dionysius, striving to imitate him in all things and assisting in the work of building up the monastery.

After the death of St Dionysius, St Amphilochius was the abbot of the Glushetsa monastery for fifteen years. He died peacefully in the year 1452, and was buried alongside his mentor.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hieromartyr Macarius the Archimandrite of Kanev

Commemorated on October 10

Saint Macarius the Archimandrite of Kanev is also commemorated on September 7 (martyrdom) and May 13 (translation of his relics).


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Icon of the Mother of God of Korsun

Commemorated on October 9

The Korsun Icon of the Mother of God is believed to be one of those painted by the holy Evangelist Luke, and it had been preserved in Ephesus. On October 9, 988, a copy of this icon was transferred from Korsun to Kiev by the holy Great Prince Vladimir (July 15), and it came to be called the Korsun Icon. Later this icon was transferred to Novgorod, and from there to Moscow to the Dormition cathedral in the Kremlin. Another copy of the Korsun Icon of the Mother of God was brought from Greece to Russia by St Euphrosyne of Polotsk (May 23) in 1162.

St Euphrosyne founded the Savior monastery at Polotsk. When she learned that there was an icon painted by St Luke at Menignus in Greece, she sent rich presents to the Byzantine Emperor and the Patriarch Chrysovergos asking them to send her this icon.

The icon was sent to Rus from Ephesus, and passed through Korsun. At the request of the inhabitants of that city it remained there about a year, thus it became known as the Korsun Icon.

In 1239, Alexandra, the daughter of Prince Bryachislav of Polotsk, brought this icon to the city of Toropets on her way to be married to the holy Great Prince Alexander Nevsky (November 23).

The Korsun Icon is also mentioned in the Life of St Dorothy of Kashin (September 24).


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Monday, October 08, 2012

Virginmartyr Pelagia of Antioch

Commemorated on October 8

The holy Virgin Martyr Pelagia was a fifteen-year-old girl when she suffered martyrdom in Antioch during the Diocletian persecution.

When soldiers came to her home to seize her, St Pelagia jumped out the window in order to avoid defilement.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Martyr Pelagia of Tarsus

Commemorated on October 7

Saint Pelagia of Tarsus in Cilicia (southeastern Asia Minor) lived in the third century, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), and was the daughter of illustrious pagans. When she heard about Jesus Christ from her Christian friends, she believed in Him and desired to preserve her virginity, dedicating her whole life to the Lord.

Emperor Diocletian's heir (a boy he adopted), saw the maiden Pelagia, was captivated by her beauty and wanted her to be his wife. The holy virgin told the youth that she was betrothed to Christ the Immortal Bridegroom, and had renounced earthly marriage.

Pelagia's reply greatly angered the young man, but he decided to leave her in peace for awhile, hoping that she would change her mind. At the same time, Pelagia convinced her mother to let her visit the nurse who had raised her in childhood. She secretly hoped to find Bishop Linus of Tarsus, who had fled to a mountain during a persecution against Christians, and to be baptized by him. She had seen the face of Bishop Linus in a dream, which made a profound impression upon her. The holy bishop told her to be baptized. St Pelagia traveled in a chariot to visit her nurse, dressed in rich clothes and accompanied by a whole retinue of servants, as her mother wished.

Along the way St Pelagia, by the grace of God, met Bishop Linus. Pelagia immediately recognized the bishop who had appeared to her in the dream. She fell at his feet, requesting Baptism. At the bishop's prayer a spring of water flowed from the ground.

Bishop Linus made the Sign of the Cross over St Pelagia, and during the Mystery of Baptism, angels appeared and covered the chosen one of God with a bright mantle. After giving the pious virgin Holy Communion, Bishop Linus offered a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord with her, and then sent her to continue her journey. She then exchanged her expensive clothing for a simple white garment, and distributed her possessions to the poor. Returning to her servants, St Pelagia told them about Christ, and many of them were converted and believed.

She tried to convert her own mother to Christ, but the obdurate woman sent a message to Diocletian's son that Pelagia was a Christian and did not wish to be his wife. The youth realized that Pelagia was lost to him, and he fell upon his sword in his despair. Pelagia's mother feared the emperor's wrath, so she tied her daughter up and led her to Diocletian's court as a Christian who was also responsible for the death of the heir to the throne. The emperor was captivated by the unusual beauty of the virgin and tried to turn her from her faith in Christ, promising her every earthly blessing if she would become his wife.

The holy virgin refused the emperor's offer with contempt and said, "You are insane, Emperor, saying such things to me. I will not do your bidding, and I loathe your vile marriage, since I have Christ, the King of Heaven, as my Bridegroom. I do not desire your worldly crowns which last only a short while. The Lord in His heavenly Kingdom has prepared three imperishable crowns for me. The first is for faith, since I have believed in the true God with all my heart; the second is for purity, because I have dedicated my virginity to Him; the third is for martyrdom, since I want to accept every suffering for Him and offer up my soul because of my love for Him."

Diocletian sentenced Pelagia to be burned in a red-hot bronze bull. Not permitting the executioners to touch her body, the holy martyr signed herself with the Sign of the Cross, and went into the brazen bull and her flesh melted like myrrh, filling the whole city with fragrance. St Pelagia's bones remained unharmed and were removed by the pagans to a place outside the city. Four lions then came out of the wilderness and sat around the bones letting neither bird nor wild beast get at them. The lions protected the relics of the saint until Bishop Linus came to that place. He gathered them up and buried them with honor. Later, a church was built over her holy relics.

The Service to the holy Virgin Martyr Pelagia of Tarsus says that she was "deemed worthy of most strange and divine visions." She is also commemorated on May 4.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

St. Nikolai Velimirovic - How God can be inside man

From here.

St. Nikolai Velimirovic
Letter # - How God can be inside man
To a soldier of a student's brigade who asks how God can be inside man

You asked somebody, "where is God?" And you got an answer that God is inside you. And you marvel at this answer. How can that be?

Kind of like light in a room, or like fire in a stove. When you are able to feel God within you, you will feel and know that He is inside you, but you will not be able to explain it to someone else. But you will look for images in nature and then you will speak to the other person as I speak to you: God is within me like light in a room, or a like fire in a stove, or like air in the lungs, or like life in every creature, or like force and love and thought inside of man. Of course, these are just images and likenesses, and they cannot express what a man feels when God dwells within him in His fullness. God's apostle, our spiritual father Paul, wishes for the faithful to be filled with all fullness in God (Eph. 3, 19). God works from within a man in two ways -- by helping and by governing.

When helping, God works within a man of medium or weak faith, who only occasionally remembers God and only keeps His Commandments partially. God does not abandon him because he also does not completely abandon God. However, God acts through governing in a man of great faith, who has opened wide the doors of his soul to his Creator. And it is written, "He who opens the door I will enter to him" (Rev. 3, 20). Such a man does not rely on himself at all but only on the Almighty. He feels the presence and the working of the Spirit of God within himself and has great love toward his Lord. And Christ has promised to the one who loves God that God will come and dwell within him. "He who loves me will keep my word and my Father will love him. And we will come to him and will make our abode within him." You will not be able to understand this. If you forget that God is a Spirit, who can enter everything and be everywhere, according to his power, and will. He is high above all matter, like the Sun is high above the earth but its light can enter every open thing. As the apostle says: "One God and the Father of all who is above all and through all, and in us all" (Eph. 4, 6). He writes this about the holy and the faithful.

But when someone rejects God, starts thinking ugly thoughts and speaking against God, God also leads him. It is the same as if somebody would close off the windows of a room and prevent the light from coming in and illuminating everything. For God's prophet Samuel said to the self-willed King Saul, "You have rejected the word of the Lord and for this the Lord has rejected you... and the spirit of the Lord abandoned Saul." But even once God abandons the soul of a stubborn man, He does not stop working on him from without, the way he works on water and stone and wood. But if a man remains stubborn and resists God until the end and refuses to repent, then God allows an evil spirit to enter in. Like it is written about Saul when the Spirit of the Lord abandoned him, "and an evil spirit disturbed him from the Lord". Or as it is written, even worse, about Judas the betrayer, "Satan entered into him".

Such people, who rise against God, of course, can never feel God within themselves or say, "God is inside of us." And those who love God, and desire Him, and see Him, and entreat Him to come they feel God within themselves and they can say, "God is within us by His Holy Spirit." Blessed are such bright souls, for they will always reign in the kingdom of Christ. As the Lord has promised to those who love Him saying, "I will take you to myself so that you may be where I am."

Holy, Glorious Apostle Thomas

Commemorated on October 6

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas was born in the Galileian city of Pansada and was a fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after Him. The Apostle Thomas is included in the number of the holy Twelve Apostles of the Savior.

According to Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe" (John 20:25).

On the eighth day after the Resurrection, the Lord appeared to the Apostle Thomas and showed him His wounds. "My Lord and my God," the Apostle cried out (John 20:28). "Thomas, being once weaker in faith than the other apostles," says St John Chrysostom, "toiled through the grace of God more bravely, more zealously and tirelessly than them all, so that he went preaching over nearly all the earth, not fearing to proclaim the Word of God to savage nations."

Some icons depicting this event are inscribed "The Doubting Thomas." This is incorrect. In Greek, the inscription reads, "The Touching of Thomas." In Slavonic, it says, "The Belief of Thomas." When St Thomas touched the Life-giving side of the Lord, he no longer had any doubts.

According to Church Tradition, the holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Preaching the Gospel earned him a martyr's death. For having converted the wife and son of the prefect of the Indian city of Meliapur [Melipur], the holy apostle was locked up in prison, suffered torture, and finally, pierced with five spears, he departed to the Lord. Part of the relics of the holy Apostle Thomas are in India, in Hungary and on Mt. Athos. The name of the Apostle Thomas is associated with the Arabian (or Arapet) Icon of the Mother of God (September 6).


You were a disciple of Christ,
and a member of the divine college of Apostles.
Having been weak in faith you doubted the Resurrection of Christ,
but by feeling the wounds you believed in His all-pure Passion:
pray now to Him, O all-praised Thomas, to grant us peace and great mercy.


Thomas, the faithful servant and disciple of Christ,
filled with divine grace, cried out from the depth of his love:
"You are my Lord and my God!"


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Friday, October 05, 2012

Martyr Charitina of Amisus

Commemorated on October 5

The Martyr Charitina of Rome was orphaned in childhood and raised like a daughter by the pious Christian Claudius. The young woman was very pretty, very sensible, kind and fervent in faith. She imparted to other people her love for Christ, and she converted many to the way of salvation.

During a time of persecution under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), St Charitina was subjected to horrible torments for her strong confession of the Lord Jesus Christ, and she died in the year 304.


Your lamb Charitina,
calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice:
"I love You, my Bridegroom,
and in seeking You, I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You,
and I died so that I might live with You.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
for I have offered myself in love."
Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.


Having fortified your soul with faith and strengthened by understanding
you openly put the enemy to shame, O Charitina;
you stood before Christ wearing a robe empurpled by your blood, All-Blessed One,
and now you rejoice with the angels, praying for us, O passion-bearer.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Right-believing Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich the Prince of Novgorod

Commemorated on October 4

The holy right-believing Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Novgorod, the Wonderworker, was the eldest son of Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise, and was born in the year 1020. At age fourteen, his father made him administrator of Novgorod. The military commander Vyshata and the holy Bishop MenignusZhidyata (February 10) assisted in guiding the prince.

When he matured, the prince became a brave defender of the land and a pious Christian. St Vladimir built the Sophia cathedral at Novgorod, which was begun in the year 1045 and consecrated on September 14, 1052 by Bishop Luke. The holy prince was not only concerned about the strengthening of the princedom (by his decree a stone fortress was built at Novgorod) but he also zealously instructed himself in the law of the Lord. In 1047 the prophetic books with commentaries were copied out for him.

The holy prince died at age thirty-two on October 4, 1052, twenty days after the consecration of the Sophia cathedral, and his relics were placed in the church he built. His wife, Princess Alexandra, is mentioned in the Novgorod Synodikon. Commemoration of the holy prince Vladimir was established in the year 1439 by St Euthymius, Archbishop of Novgorod (March 11).


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Dionysios the Areopagite

October 3

This Saint was from Athens, a learned man, and a member of the famous judicial court of Mars Hill (in Greek Aeros Pagos, hence the name Areopagite (see Acts 17:19-34). When Saint Paul preached in Athens, he was one of the first there to believe in Christ, and, according to some, became the first bishop of that city. Others say -- and this may be more probable--that he was the second Bishop of Athens, after Saint Hierotheus, whom Dionysios calls his friend and teacher "after Paul" (On the Divine Names, 3:2). With Saint Hierotheus he was also present at the Dormition of the most holy Theotokos; the Doxasticon of the Aposticha for the service of the Dormition is partly taken from a passage in Chapter III of On the Divine Names. According to ancient tradition, he received a martyr's end (according to some, in Athens itself) about the year 96.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Since thou hadst been instructed in uprightness thoroughly and wast vigilant in all things, thou wast clothed with a good conscience as befitteth one holy. Thou didst draw from the Chosen Vessel ineffable mysteries; and having kept the Faith, thou didst finish a like course, O Hieromartyr Dionysios. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
In spirit, thou dist pass through Heaven's gates, instructed by the great Apostle who attained to the third Heaven's heights, and wast made rich in all knowledge of things beyond speech; and then thou, O Dionysios, didst illuminate them that slumbered in the darkness of their ignorance. Hence we all cry out: Rejoice, O universal Father.



SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2011(with 2010's link here also and further, 2009, 2008's, even 2007!)