Thursday, October 31, 2013

St Maura of Constantinople

Saint Maura pursued asceticism at Constantinople, where she founded a monastery, where she died in the fifth century.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Holy Martyrs Zenobius and His Sister Zenobia

October 30

These Saints were from Aegae in Cilicia, brought up in piety by their parents. Zenobius was a physician, and healed many freely by the power of God; because of his virtue he was consecrated Bishop of Aegae. With his sister he was taken by Lysias the Governor, and after many tortures they were beheaded, about the year 290, during the reign of Diocletian.

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 Plagal of the Fourth Tone
With songs inspired by God, let us now render honour, as is due unto Zenobius and wise Zenobia, the pair of siblings in the flesh, who proclaimed true religion; those two martyrs of truth, who, passing their lives as one, also received together through martyrdom crowns that shall not fade.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Holy Martyrs Terrence and Eunice

October 28

Both the country and the time of the martyrdom of these holy Martyrs are unknown. All were beheaded, after having endured many bitter torments.

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
The solemn memory of the Martyrs, wise Terrence and Eunice his spouse, is come today, gladdening all. Let us hasten with fervour, therefore, that we may obtain healing; for they received this grace from the Holy Spirit, to heal the infirmities and sicknesses of our souls.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Commemoration of the Great Earthquake at Constantinople

Commemorated on October 26

In 740, at the time of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian, there was a terrible earthquake at Constantinople. Seeing this as God’s just punishment for their sins, the people repented and prayed to the Most Holy Theotokos and to St Demetrius to help them. God had mercy on them, and the earthquake stopped. 


Christ our God, You shook the earth and it trembles; / deliver us from the terrible threat of earthquakes; / and through the prayers of the Theotokos, send down upon us / Your abundant mercy and save us.


Deliver us all from upheavals, and from terrible afflictions caused by our sins, O Lord, / and spare Your people whom You have purchased with Your blood, O Master. / Do not deliver Your city to destruction by terrible earthquakes, / for we know no other God than You; / and to those who cry out You respond: / “I am with you and no one will be against you.”


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Holy Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius the Notaries

October 25

These Martyrs were disciples of Saint Paul the Confessor (see Nov. 6). Martyrius was a subdeacon, Marcian a chanter and reader. They were beheaded by the Arians in the year 346. Miracles were wrought at their tomb, and demons were cast out; Saint John Chrysostom began the building of the church in their honour in Constantinople, and it was completed by patriarch Sisinius.

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 

Ye struggled well even from earliest childhood, O wise Martyrius and all-blessed Marcian, and kept unchanged the Faith held by the Orthodox; for ye cast down Arius, the blaspheming apostate, as ye followed after Paul, your divinely-wise teacher. Wherefore with him ye also have found life, as God the Trinity's excellent champions.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Martyr Syncletica and her Two Martyred Daughters

The Martyr Syncletica and her two daughters suffered under the Arabian king Dunaan. St Syncletica was a descendant of an illustrious family. Left widowed while still quite young, she devoted herself to the Christian upbringing of her daughters, and she herself led a life both chaste and virtuous.

Dunaan in the meantime had begun a persecution, intending to eliminate Christians from his realm. He summoned St Syncletica and her daughters before him, and in urging her to forsake her “folly,” he promised as reward to take her into the retinue of his wife.

“How can you not be afraid, O King, to speak evil of Him Who has given you both royal crown and life?” replied the holy martyr.

Dunaan gave orders to lead St Syncletica and her daughters through the city as though they were criminals. Women, looking on at the disgrace of the saint, started crying, but she told them that this “shame” for her was dearer than any earthly honor.

Again they brought the martyr before Dunaan, and he said, “If you wish to remain alive, you must renounce Christ.”

“If I do, then who will deliver me from eternal death?” the saint asked. In a rage, the tormentor ordered that St Syncletica’s daughters be killed first, and then for the mother to be beheaded with a sword.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apostle James, the Brother of the Lord

Commemorated on October 23

Holy Apostle James, the Brother of God (Adelphotheos) was the son of Righteous Joseph the Betrothed of the Most Holy Theotokos (December 26). From his early years James was a Nazarene, a man especially dedicated to God. The Nazarenes vowed to preserve their virginity, to abstain from wine, to refrain from eating meat, and not to cut their hair. The vow of the Nazarenes symbolized a life of holiness and purity, commanded formerly by the Lord for all Israel. When the Savior began to teach the nation about the Kingdom of God, St James believed in Christ and became His apostle. He was chosen as the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

St James presided over the Council of Jerusalem and his word was decisive (Acts 15). In his thirty years as bishop, St James converted many of the Jews to Christianity. Annoyed by this, the Pharisees and the Scribes plotted together to kill St James. They led the saint up on the pinnacle of the Jerusalem Temple and asked what he thought of Jesus. The holy Apostle began to bear witness that Christ is the Messiah, which was not the response the Pharisees were expecting. Greatly angered, the Jewish teachers threw him off the roof. The saint did not die immediately, but gathering his final strength, he prayed to the Lord for his enemies while they were stoning him. St James’ martyrdom occurred about 63 A.D.

The holy Apostle James composed a Divine Liturgy, which formed the basis of the Liturgies of Sts Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. The Church has preserved an Epistle of St James, one of the books of the New Testament.

In 1853, Patriarch Hierotheus of Alexandria sent to Moscow a portion of the relics of St James. The Church distinguishes between the holy Apostle James the Brother of God, and St James the son of Zebedee (April 30) and St James the son of Alphaeus (October 9).


As the Lord’s disciple you received the Gospel, O righteous James; / as a martyr you have unfailing courage; / as God’s brother, you have boldness; / as a hierarch, you have the power to intercede. / Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved.


When God the Word, the Only-begotten of the Father, / came to live among us in these last days, / He declared you, venerable James, to be the first shepherd and teacher of Jerusalem / and a faithful steward of the spiritual Mysteries. / Therefore, we all honor you, O Apostle.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

7 Holy Youths “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus: Maximilian, Iamblicus, Martinian, John, Dionysius, Exacustodianus (Constantine) and Antoninus

Commemorated on October 22

The Seven Youths of Ephesus: Maximilian, Iamblicus, Martinian, John, Dionysius, Exacustodianus (Constantine) and Antoninus, lived in the third century. St Maximilian was the son of the Ephesus city administrator, and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The youths were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited anyone who disobeyed. The seven youths were denounced by informants, and were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the young men confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius permitted them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The youths fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

The youngest of them, St Iamblicus, dressed as a beggar and went into the city to buy bread. On one of his excursions into the city, he heard that the emperor had returned and was looking for them. St Maximilian urged his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the youths into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meantime, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied that there would be a general resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had passed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, the youth was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained, as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the young man, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop found the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the saints alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was demonstrating to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the young men in the cave. Then the holy youths, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection.

The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but they appeared to him in a dream and said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian PROLOGUE (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep for the second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they first fell asleep on August 4, and woke up on October 22.

There is a prayer of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in the GREAT BOOK OF NEEDS (Trebnik) for those who are ill and cannot sleep. The Seven Sleepers are also mentioned in the service for the Church New Year, September 1.


 The Seven Holy Youths renounced the perishing comforts of this world, / preferring the eternal things of Heaven. / They were incorrupt after death and rose from the dead and buried the snares of the devils! / O Faithful, let us then honor them, singing a hymn of praise to Christ!


Your seven holy martyrs, O Lord, / through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. / For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through their intercessions, save our souls!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Monday, October 21, 2013

St John of Galesh

Commemorated on October 21

Saint John of Galesh was a priest who was consecrated bishop at Bucharest, since there was no bishop for Transylvania. He resisted the plans of the Hapsburg authorities to persuade Orthodox Christians to convert to Catholicism. He was arrested and thrown into prison at Sibiu in 1756, then Empress Maria Theresa ordered him confined in the prison of Deva Castle until he died.

St John was transferred to a prison in Graz, Austria at the end of 1757. Later, he was brought to the notorious Kufstein Prison, where many Orthodox from Transylvania ended their lives.
In 1780, Gennady Vassie, a Serb who was incarcerated there, was able to send a letter to Empress Catherine II of Russia asking her to intervene on behalf of the Orthodox prisoners. In his letter he mentioned a Romanian priest named John, who had been kept there for twenty-four years because of his Orthodox faith.
St John of Galesh died in prison, and was glorified as a martyr by the Orthodox Church of Romania in 1992.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Greatmartyr Artemius at Antioch

Commemorated on October 20

Holy Great Martyr Artemius of Antioch was a prominent military leader during the reigns of the emperor Constantine the Great (May 21), and his son and successor Constantius (337-361). Artemius received many awards for distinguished service and courage. He was appointed viceroy of Egypt. In this official position he did much for the spreading and strengthening of Christianity in Egypt.

St Artemius was sent by the emperor Constantius to bring the relics of the holy Apostle Andrew from Patras, and the relics of the holy Apostle Luke from Thebes of Boeotia, to Constantinople. The holy relics were placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles beneath the table of oblation. The emperor rewarded him by making him ruler of Egypt.

The emperor Constantius was succeeded on the throne by Julian the Apostate (361-363). Julian in his desire to restore paganism was extremely antagonistic towards Christians, sending hundreds to their death. At Antioch he ordered the torture of two bishops unwilling to forsake the Christian Faith.

During this time, St Artemius arrived in Antioch and publicly denounced Julian for his impiety. The enraged Julian subjected the saint to terrible tortures and threw the Great Martyr Artemius into prison. While Artemius was praying, Christ, surrounded by angels, appeared to him and said, “Take courage, Artemius! I am with you and will preserve you from every hurt which is inflicted upon you, and I already have prepared your crown of glory. Since you have confessed Me before the people on earth, so shall I confess you before My Heavenly Father. Therefore, take courage and rejoice, you shall be with Me in My Kingdom.” Hearing this, Artemius rejoiced and offered up glory and thanksgiving to Him.

On the following day, Julian demanded that St Artemius honor the pagan gods. Meeting with steadfast refusal, the emperor resorted to further tortures. The saint endured all without a single moan. The saint told Julian that he would be justly recompensed for his persecution of Christians. Julian became furious and resorted to even more savage tortures, but they did not break the will of the saint. Finally the Great Martyr Artemius was beheaded.

His relics were buried by Christians. After the death of St Artemius, his prophecy about Julian the Apostate’s impending death came true.

Julian left Antioch for a war with the Persians. Near the Persian city of Ctesiphon, Julian came upon an elderly Persian, who agreed to betray his countrymen and guide Julian’s army. The old man deceived Julian and led his army into the Karmanite wilderness, where there was neither food nor water. Tired from hunger and thirst, Julian’s army battled against fresh Persian forces.

Divine retribution caught up with Julian the Apostate. During the battle he was mortally wounded by an unseen hand and an unseen weapon. Julian groaned deeply said, “You have conquered, Galilean!” After the death of the apostate emperor, the relics of the Great Martyr Artemius were transferred with honor from Antioch to Constantinople.

St Artemius is invoked by those suffering from hernias.


Your holy martyr Artemios, O Lord, / Through his sufferings has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. / For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries, / And shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through his intercessions, save our souls!


Let us gather to sing worthy hymns in honor of Artemios, / The pious and victorious martyr who defeated his enemies: / He is great among martyrs and generous in performing miracles, / And he intercedes with the Lord on behalf of us all!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blessed Cleopatra with her son Blessed John in Egypt

Saint Cleopatra and her son John came from the village of Edra near Mount Tabor in Palestine. She was a contemporary of the holy Martyr Varus and witnessed his voluntary suffering. After the execution, St Cleopatra brought the body of the holy martyr to her own country and buried him with reverence. Cleopatra had one beloved son, John, who had attained the honorable rank of officer. To the great sorrow of his mother, John suddenly died. Cleopatra with tears of grief turned to the relics of the holy Martyr Varus, begging him for the return of her son.

Varus and her son appeared to Cleopatra in a dream, radiant in bright attire with crowns upon their heads. She realized that the Lord had received her son into the heavenly Kingdom, and was comforted. After this vision blessed Cleopatra started to live by a church she built over the relics of the holy martyr Varus and her son John, and performed many good deeds. She distributed her property to the poor and spent her time in prayer and fasting. After seven years she fell asleep in the Lord.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Friday, October 18, 2013

St James the Deacon

Saint James lived in the seventh century, and assisted St Paulinus of York (October 10) in evangelizing the north of England.

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

St James has been described as “faithful and undismayed,” even though the secular power which supported the Church had been overthrown. Even so, he would not abandon the people in his care, nor would he cease his missionary labors.

This faithful servant of the Lord established himself near the village of Catterick in Yorkshire, teaching, comforting, and encouraging his flock. Even in such difficult times, St James was able to win many converts to Christ. He had a talent for music, and was skilled in the Roman chants composed by St Gregory Dialogus (March 12) which were being used in Kent. James taught these chants to the Christians of the north. When peace returned and the churches reopened, their services were beautified with the chants which St James had given them.

We do not know exactly when St James died, but it is believed that he survived for at least thirty years after “The Hateful Year,” and participated in the Synod of Whitby in 664.

St James does not appear to have been ordained to the holy priesthood, but through his tireless labors he built up the Church in the north. St Bede (May 27) calls him “a man of great energy and repute in Christ’s Church” HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH AND PEOPLE, Book II, chapter 16).


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Andrew the Righteous Monk-martyr of Crete

October 17

Saint Andrew was from the island of Crete, where he lived the monastic life. During the reign of Constantine Copronymus, he came to Constantinople and suffered many things in defence of the veneration of the holy icons. Finally, he was dragged through the market, bound by the feet, one of which was severed by a fishmonger wielding a cleaver, and thus the Saint surrendered his spirit unto God in the year 761. His sacred relics were buried at a certain place called "The Judgment."

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Trained on the mountain in ascetical labours, with the whole armour of the Cross thou didst vanquish the spiritual arrays of unseen enemies; and when thou hadst stripped thyself with great courage for contest, thou didst slay Copronymus with the sword of the true Faith. For both these things hast thou been crowned by God, O righteous Martyr, blest Andrew of great renown.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
On this day the Church of Christ with great rejoicing observeth the resplendent festival of thine illustrious mem'ry summoning all of the faithful to come together. She is glad, for she possesseth the precious treasure of thy much-afflicted body, O Martyr Andrew, light of the Orthodox Faith.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Martyr Longinus the Centurion, who stood at the Cross of the Lord

Commemorated on October 16

The Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion, a Roman soldier, served in Judea under the command of the Governor, Pontius Pilate. When our Savior Jesus Christ was crucified, it was the detachment of soldiers under the command of Longinus which stood watch on Golgotha, at the very foot of the holy Cross. Longinus and his soldiers were eyewitnesses of the final moments of the earthly life of the Lord, and of the great and awesome portents that appeared at His death. These events shook the centurion's soul. Longinus believed in Christ and confessed before everyone, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Mt. 27:54).

According to Church Tradition, Longinus was the soldier who pierced the side of the Crucified Savior with a spear, and received healing from an eye affliction when blood and water poured forth from the wound.

After the Crucifixion and Burial of the Savior, Longinus stood watch with his company at the Sepulchre of the Lord. These soldiers were present at the All-Radiant Resurrection of Christ. The Jews bribed them to lie and say that His disciples had stolen away the Body of Christ, but Longinus and two of his comrades refused to be seduced by the Jewish gold. They also refused to remain silent about the miracle of the Resurrection.

Having come to believe in the Savior, the soldiers received Baptism from the apostles and decided to leave military service. St Longinus left Judea to preach about Jesus Christ the Son of God in his native land (Cappadocia), and his two comrades followed him.

The fiery words of those who had actually participated in the great events in Judea swayed the hearts and minds of the Cappadocians; Christianity began quickly to spread throughout the city and the surrounding villages. When they learned of this, the Jewish elders persuaded Pilate to send a company of soldiers to Cappadocia to kill Longinus and his comrades. When the soldiers arrived at Longinus's village, the former centurion himself came out to meet the soldiers and took them to his home. After a meal, the soldiers revealed the purpose of their visit, not knowing that the master of the house was the very man whom they were seeking. Then Longinus and his friends identified themselves and told the startled soldiers to carry out their duty.

The soldiers wanted to let the saints go and advised them to flee, but they refused to do this, showing their firm intention to suffer for Christ. The holy martyrs were beheaded, and their bodies were buried at the place where the saints were martyred. The head of St Longinus, however, was sent to Pilate.

Pilate gave orders to cast the martyr's head on a trash-heap outside the city walls. After a while a certain blind widow from Cappadocia arrived in Jerusalem with her son to pray at the holy places, and to ask that her sight be restored. After becoming blind, she had sought the help of physicians to cure her, but all their efforts were in vain.

The woman's son became ill shortly after reaching Jerusalem, and he died a few days later. The widow grieved for the loss of her son, who had served as her guide.

St Longinus appeared to her in a dream and comforted her. He told her that she would see her son in heavenly glory, and also receive her sight. He told her to go outside the city walls and there she would find his head in a great pile of refuse. Guides led the blind woman to the rubbish heap, and she began to dig with her hands. As soon as she touched the martyr's head, the woman received her sight, and she glorified God and St Longinus.

Taking up the head, she brought it to the place she was staying and washed it. The next night, St Longinus appeared to her again, this time with her son. They were surrounded by a bright light, and St Longinus said, Woman, behold the son for whom you grieve. See what glory and honor are his now, and be consoled. God has numbered him with those in His heavenly Kingdom. Now take my head and your son's body, and bury them in the same casket. Do not weep for your son, for he will rejoice forever in great glory and happiness."

The woman carried out the saint's instructions and returned to her home in Cappadocia. There she buried her son and the head of St Longinus. Once she had been overcome by grief for her son, but her weeping was transformed into joy when she saw him with St Longinus. She had sought healing for her eyes, and also received healing of her soul.

Troparion - Tone 1

Longinus, you beheld the King of Glory who was nailed to the Cross, yet shone on those in darkness.You were enlightened by His rays and became a martyr and save those who cry:  Glory to Him who gave you strength!  Glory to Him who granted you a crown!  Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!

Kontakion - Tone 4

The Church rejoices in gladness on the day of the commemoration of the ever-memorable athlete Longinus!  She cries out: "You are my strength and support, O Christ!"


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

St Sabinus the Bishop of Catania

Saint Sabinus, Bishop of Catania in Sicily, fervently desiring to serve the Lord, withdrew into the wilderness. Here he led a strict ascetic life and received from the Lord gifts of wonderworking and discernment.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Icon of the Mother of God of Yakhrom

Commemorated on October 14

The Yakhrom Icon of the Mother of God appeared to the holy youth Cosmas (February 18), while he was accompanying his master, a sick landowner. Cosmas had stopped at the bank of the Yakhrom River, not far from Vladimir, and the sick man fell asleep. Cosmas suddenly saw a bright light coming from a nearby tree, and heard a voice, “Attend and understand the words of life. Live a God-pleasing life and seek the joy of the righteous, and then you will delight in eternal blessings.” The light had come from an icon of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

St Cosmas (February 18) took the icon and placed it on his master, who was immediately healed. After this, Cosmas’s term of servitude expired, so he went to the Kiev Caves monastery. After he was tonsured, he amazed even the experienced monks by his own spiritual efforts.

Years later, St Cosmas was told by an angel to return to the place where he had found the icon. He took the wonderworking icon with him to the bank of the Yakhrom River where he had found the icon. At once, the place was again filled with light. St Cosmas built a monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Mother of God, and placed the Yakhrom Icon within it.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

St Martin the Merciful the Bishop of Tours

Commemorated on October 12

Saint Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours, was born at Sabaria in Pannonia (modern Hungary) in 316. Since his father was a Roman officer, he also was obliged to serve in the army. Martin did so unwillingly, for he considered himself a soldier of Christ, though he was still a catechumen.

At the gates of Amiens, he saw a beggar shivering in the severe winter cold, so he cut his cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the saint wearing Martin’s cloak. He heard the Savior say to the angels surrounding Him, “Martin is only a catechumen, but he has clothed Me with this garment.” The saint was baptized soon after this, and reluctantly remained in the army.

Two years later, the barbarians invaded Gaul and Martin asked permission to resign his commission for religious reasons. The commander charged him with cowardice. St Martin demonstrated his courage by offering to stand unarmed in the front line of battle, trusting in the power of the Cross to protect him. The next day, the barbarians surrendered without a fight, and Martin was allowed to leave the army.

He traveled to various places during the next few years, spending some time as a hermit on an island off Italy. He became friendly with St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (January 14), who made Matrin an exorcist. After several years of the ascetic life, St Martin was chosen to be Bishop of Tours in 371. As bishop, St Martin did not give up his monastic life, and the place where he settled outside Tours became a monastery. In fact, he is regarded as the founder of monasticism in France. He conversed with angels, and had visions of Sts Peter and Paul (June 29) and of other saints. He is called the Merciful because of his generosity and care for the poor, and he received the grace to work miracles.

After a life of devoted service to Christ and His Church, the saint fell ill at Candes, a village in his diocese, where he died on November 8, 397. He was buried three days later (his present Feast) at Tours. During the Middle Ages, many Western churches were dedicated to St Martin, including St Martin’s in Canterbury, and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

In 1008, a cathedral was built at Tours over the relics of St Martin. This cathedral was destroyed in 1793 during the French Revolution, together with the relics of St Martin and St Gregory of Tours (November 17). A new cathedral was built on the site many years later. Some fragments of the relics of St Martin were recovered and placed in the cathedral, but nothing remains of St Gregory’s relics.

St Martin’s name appears on many Greek and Russian calendars. His commemoration on October 12 in the Russian calendar appears to be an error, since ancient sources give the November date.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Apostle Philip of the Seventy, One of the Seven Deacons

Commemorated on October 11

Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the 7 Deacons is not to be confused with St Philip one of the Twelve Apostles (November 14). This Philip was born in Palestine, was married and had children.

After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Twelve Apostles made Philip a deacon in the Church of Jerusalem. Along with the other six deacons, they appointed him to deal with the offerings of the faithful and attend to the concerns of the widowed, the orphaned and the needy. The eldest among the seven deacons was the holy Archdeacon Stephen. When the persecution of Christians began, the Jews stoned the Protomartyr Stephen. The Apostle Philip left Jerusalem and settled in Samaria. There he successfully preached Christianity. Among the disciple’s converts was the noted magician Simon, who “after being baptized, continued with Philip.” (Acts 8:9-13)

At the command of an angel of the Lord, St Philip set out upon the road connecting Jerusalem with Gaza. There he met an official of the empress of Ethiopia, whom also he converted to Christianity (Acts 8:26-39). The holy disciple Philip tirelessly preached the Word of God in many of the lands of the Near East adjoining Palestine. At Jerusalem the Apostles made him a bishop and sent him to Tralles in Asia Minor, where he also baptized many. St Philip died in old age.


Filled with divine grace, / you served God the Word as a deacon of the Church, O Apostle Philip. / By the working of miracles and by signs from God / you enlightened the multitudes of Samaria. / O blessed one, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.


Podoben: “Today You have shown forth...” / Inspired by the All-Holy Spirit, / you enlightened the entire world by your teachings and resplendent miracles, / Apostle Philip, sacred initiate.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

St Theophilus the Confessor of Bulgaria

Commemorated on October 10

Saint Theophilus the Confessor of Bulgaria came from the area surrounding Tiberiada. When he was thirteen, the saint secretly left his home to go off to the monastery on Mount Selenteia. There he matured spiritually under the guidance of the Elder, St Stephen. After three years St Theophilus was tonsured into monasticism. When the parents of the saint learned where their son was, they went to the monastery and asked the igumen to send Theophilus and several of the brethren to establish a new monastery closer to the their home. The igumen bade all the monks to fast and to pray, so that a sign might be received. On the third day a voice was heard in the church giving the blessing for Theophilus to start a new monastery, since he would become renowned for his many spiritual exploits.

During the period of the iconoclast controversy culminating in the reign of the iniquitous iconoclast emperor, Leo the Isaurian (717-741), St Theophilus openly revolted against the iconoclast folly. In accord with the emperor’s orders, the saint was subjected to beatings and led through the city tied up like a criminal. The emperor then gave Theophilus over into the charge of the official, Hypatius who tried repeatedly to compel the confessor to renounce holy icons. Theophilus remained steadfast. Instead, he succeeded in converting Hypatius.

As proof of the validity of icons, Theophilus cited the brass serpent set up by Moses (Num 21:9), the corroboration of the Cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant, and finally how the Savior Himself had given to Abgar, the Prince of Edessa, His Icon Not Made by Hands (August 16). Persuaded by this evidence, Hypatius gained the emperor’s permission to set the saint free. The confessor returned to his monastery. He lived only a short time longer, and in the year 716 St Theophilus fell asleep peacefully in the Lord.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Icon of the Mother of God “Assuage My Sorrows”

Commemorated on October 9

Today we commemorate a copy of the “Assuage My Sorrows” Icon (January 25) which is treasured in the St Nicholas Odrino Monastery in the Orel Diocese, Karachev district.

Until 1784, this icon belonged to Count Nicholas Borisovitch Samoilov, who regarded it as a holy icon. At first, it was at the Count’s home in Moscow, where it was renowned for many miraculous healings. Later, N.B. Samoilov moved it to his estate adjoining the St Nicholas Odrino Monastery. He constructed, at his own expense, a heated chapel in honor of the “Assuage My Sorrows” Icon as part of the St Nicholas katholikon (main church).The Count later donated the icon to the monastery.

This wonderworking icon is celebrated locally twice a year: on January 25, and on October 9. Many people visit the St Nicholas Odrino Monastery on both days.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

New Martyr Ignatius the Monk of Bulgaria

The holy New Martyr Ignatius was born in the village of Eski Zagora in the Trnovo region of Bulgaria, and was named John in Baptism. While he was still a young child, his parents George and Maria moved to the city of Philippopolis and enrolled him in a school there.

Although he did well at school, he had a strong desire for the monastic life. Upon reaching adulthood, he entered the Rila monastery in western Bulgaria. There he was assigned to an Elder, with whom he lived in obedience for six years. When the Elder’s strictness became unbearable, John returned home.

About that time the Serbs rose in revolt against the Moslem government. John’s father was asked to take command of an Ottoman brigade, but he refused to fight against other Orthodox Christians.

The Moslems attacked George with furious anger. He was stabbed and then beheaded. John’s mother and sisters were also taken by the Hagarenes, and they ultimately agreed to convert to Islam.

John fled and hid in the home of an elderly Orthodox woman. His mother and sisters learned where he was hiding, and they told the Moslems. Those sent to capture him did not know what he looked like, so the old woman told them she did not know him. The woman helped him escape to Bucharest, Romania, where he became acquainted with St Euthymius, who would also endure martyrdom.

John did not wish to stay in Bucharest, however, and so he left for Mt. Athos. On the way he visited the village of Soumla, where he ran into his friend Fr Euthymius again. Learning that Euthymius had denied Christ and beome a Moslem, John became very sad and left the village.

He had not gotten very far when Turkish soldiers stopped him and took all his possessions. They demanded that he convert to Islam, and in his fright he told them that he would do so. Satisfied with this reply, they let him go.

John reached the village of Eski Zagora, where he met an Athonite monk from the monastery of Grigoriou. They journeyed to the Holy Mountain together, and John settled in the Skete of St Anna. There he met Fr Basil.

One day John and Fr Basil traveled to Thessalonica on monastery business. While they were there the monks David and Euthymius of Demetsana suffered martyrdom because they were Christians. John was inflamed with the desire for martyrdom. Fr Basil, however, urged him to postpone his intention, and so they returned to the Holy Mountain. A short time after this, Fr Basil died.

When a monk from the Skete of St Anna told him of the martyrdom of the New Martyr Euthymius (March 22), John was once more filled with zeal for martyrdom. He was placed under the spiritual direction of the Elder Acacius, who prescribed for him prayer, prostrations, and reading the Gospel.

In time, John was found worthy of monastic tonsure, and was given the new name Ignatius. The Elder Acacius blessed him to travel to Constantinople with the monk Gregory in order to bear witness to Christ. After receiving the Holy Mysteries in Constantinople, Ignatius felt he was ready for his ordeal.

Dressed in Moslem garb, Ignatius went before the kadi and proclaimed his faith in Christ. He told him how he had promised to become a Moslem when he was younger, but now he threw his turban at the kadi’s feet and said that he would never deny Christ.

Thinking that Ignatius was insane, the kadi warned him that if he did not come to his senses he would endure horrible torments before being put to death. On the other hand, if he embraced Islam, he would receive rich gifts and great honor from them.

The courageous martyr told the kadi to keep his gifts, for they were merely temporal gifts. “Your threats of torture and death are nothing new,” he said, “and I knew of them before I came here. In fact, I came here because of them, so that I might die for my Christ.”

St Ignatius went on to call Mohammed “a false prophet, a teacher of perdition, and a friend of the devil.” Then he invited the Moslems to believe in Christ, the only true God.

The kadi then became so angry he could not speak, so he motioned for a servant to lead St Ignatius out of the room. Ignatius turned and struck the servant, then knelt before the kadi and bent his neck, as if inviting him to behead him then and there. Other servants entered the room, however, and dragged him off to prison.

Later, Ignatius was brought before the kadi for questioning. When asked who had brought him to Constantinople, he replied, “My Lord Jesus Christ brought me here.”

Again the kadi urged him to reconsider, for he was about to experience unimaginable tortures. “Do not expect to be beheaded so that the Christians can collect your blood as a blessing,” he said, “for I intend to hang you.”

Ignatius replied, “You will be doing me a great service whether you hang me or put me to the sword. I accept everything for the love of Christ.”

Seeing that he could not turn Ignatius from his Christian Faith, the kadi ordered him to be hanged. He was taken to a place called Daktyloporta, where the sentence was carried out. The martyr’s body remained hanging there for three days, then some pious Christians paid a ransom for it and took it to the island of Prote for burial.

St Ignatius gave his life for Christ on October 8, 1814. He is also commemorated on May 1 with Sts Acacius and Euthymius.

The head of St Ignatius is in the Monastery of St Panteleimon on Mt Athos.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas

October 6

The name Thomas means, "twin." He was one of the Twelve, a Galilean by birth. Sophroneus (not the famous Patriarch of Jerusalem [7th Century, celebrated March 11], but a friend of Jerome's), quoted also by Jerome, says that Saint Thomas preached to the Parthians, Pesians, Medes, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and neighbouring nations. According to Heracleon, the Apostle died a natural death; according to other accounts, he was martyred at Meliapur His tomb was known by Saint John Chrysostom to be at Edessa in Syria, to which city his holy relics may have been translated from India in the fourth century.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Thomas, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Christ's Apostle, who was filled with God's divine grace, he who was His genuine and faithful servant in all truth, all-lauded Thomas exclaimed aloud in deep repentance: Thou art both my God and Lord.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Peter, Alexis, Jonah, Hermogenes & Tikhon, Metropolitans of Moscow

October 5

The feast of the Hierarchs of Moscow was established during the reign of Tsar Theodore Ioannovich and Patriarch Job in the year 1596. Their individual feasts are: Saint Peter (+1326), December 21, and August 24, translation of holy relics; Saint Alexis (+14th cent.), February 12, and May 20, recovery of holy relics; Saint Jonah (+1461), March 31 and June 15, with the recovery of his holy relics celebrated on May 27. In 1875, at the proposal of Metropolitan Innocent of Moscow, to this feast was joined the commemoration of Saint Philip of Moscow (+1569), whose feast is kept on January 9, and the recovery of his holy relics on July 3. In more recent times, the holy Patriarchs Hermogenes (+1612) and Tikhon (+1925) have been added to the Synaxis. Saint Hermogenes, who was starved to death by the Poles, is also celebrated on February 17 and May 12, and Saint Tikhon, a confessor under the atheist yoke, on March 25. the Menaion service itself makes reference only to Saints Peter, Alexis, Jonah, and Philip.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Prelates of Russia, true keepers of the apostolic traditions, unshakable pillars, teachers of Orthodoxy, O Peter, Alexis, Jonah, Philip, Hermogenes, and Tikhon, pray to the Lord of all to grant peace to the world and to our souls great mercy.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Ye lived piously among bishops; ye led the peoples to the knowledge of God, and ye pleased God well. Wherefore, ye were glorified by Him with incorruption and miracles, as disciples of the grace of God.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Friday, October 04, 2013

Hieromartyr Hierotheus the Bishop of Athens

Commemorated on October 4

The Hieromartyr Hierotheus, the first Bishop of Athens, was a member of the Athenian Areopagos and was converted to Christ by the Apostle Paul together with St Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3).

The saint was consecrated by the Apostle Paul to the rank of bishop. According to Tradition, Bishop Hierotheus was present with St Dionysius at the funeral of the Most Holy Theotokos.

St Hierotheus died a martyr’s death in the first century.


We the faithful all praise Hierótheus, the disciple of Paul, / Hierarch of Athens, / the world’s teacher and a preacher of the Faith, / who revealed to us Christ’s Mysteries / and poured forth streams of godly doctrine. / His life was well-pleasing to God, who is greatly greatly merciful.


Hierarch of Athens, we praise you for you have instructed us in awesome and ineffable things, / and you were revealed to be a divinely-inspired writer of hymns. / Pray that we be delivered from every kind of sin, so that we may cry to you: / “Rejoice, divinely-wise Father Hierótheus.”


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

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 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Righteous Admiral Theodore Ushakov of the Russian Naval Fleet

Commemorated on October 2

St Theodore, one of Russia’s greatest naval heroes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was born in 1745.

The unvanquished Admiral was the terror of his country’s enemies, and the deliverer of those whom the barbarians had taken captive. He served during the Russo-Turkish War (1787—1791), and also fought against the French. Although he fought many naval battles in the Black Sea and in the Mediterranean, he never lost a single one, and he was never wounded.

St Theodore once visited the Greek island of Kerkyra (Corfu), where he venerated the relics of St Spyridon of Tremithus (December 12), and gave support and encouragement to the Orthodox Christians in that place.

Since his naval reforms were unpopular with his superiors, St Theodore was forced to retire in 1807 by Tsar Alexander I. Having neither wife nor children, the admiral settled in the town of Alekseevo near the Sanaxar Monastery, where he regularly attended services on Sundays and Feast Days. During Great Lent he would stay in the monastery, fasting with the monks and attending the services.

Igumen Nathaniel of Sanaxar regarded St Theodore as “a neighbor and a significant patron” of the monastery. In addition to his generous gifts to the monastery, the admiral frequently gave alms to the poor and needy. He never sought earthly glory or riches, but spent his life in serving God and his neighbor.

St Theodore died in 1817 at the age of seventy-two. After navigating the sea of life with all its storms and struggles, he entered the calm harbor of eternal rest. He was buried at Sanaxar Monastery beside the church. The monastery was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1991, and St Theodore’s grave was found in 1994.

St Theodore was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Russia in 2004, and a reliquary in the shape of a naval vessel was made to enshrine his holy relics.

The holy Admiral Theodore should not be confused with his relative St Theodore (Ushakov) of Sanaxar Monastery (February 19 and April 21), a monastic saint who lived from 1719 to 1791.

St Theodore is honored as a great military leader who defended Russia just as St Alexander Nevsky (November 23) and St Demetrius of the Don (May 19) did before him. One of the Russian Navy’s atomic cruisers has been named for him, and a movie has been made about his life and career. The composer Khachaturian has also written a musical piece called “Admiral Ushakov.”


You were an invincible supreme commander of the Russian realm, / Destroying and setting at nought the malice of the Moslems / And seeking neither worldly glory or riches, you served God and your neighbor. / Pray, O holy Theodore, that victory over the enemy be granted our army, / That our homeland may abide in unshakeable piety / And that the children of Russia may be saved.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Ananias, Apostle of the 70

October 1

Saint Ananias, whose name means "God is gracious," was from Damascus, where by divine revelation he was commanded to baptize the Apostle Paul (Acts 9: 10-17). He completed the course of martyrdom when he was stoned to death during the proconsulate of Lucian.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Ananias, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Our most fervent advocate in intercession who dost hearken most quickly to them that pray to thee, receive our supplication, O Ananias, and implore Christ, Who alone is glorified in the Saints, to have mercy on us.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2012(with 2011's link here also and further, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!)