Wednesday, September 30, 2015

St Michael the first Metropolitan of Kiev

Commemorated on September 30

Saint Michael the first Metropolitan of Kiev, according to the Joakimov chronicle, was a Syrian by birth, but according to other chronicles, he was a Bulgarian or Serb. In the year 989, he arrived at Korsun with other clergy for holy Prince Vladimir (July 15), not long after Vladimir’s Baptism (988).

As first metropolitan of the Russian Church his service was difficult, but grace-filled. He zealously made the rounds of the newly-enlightened Russian Land, preaching the Holy Gospel, baptizing and teaching the newly-illumined people, founding the first churches and religious schools.

In Rostov he established the first wooden church in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos and installed Theodore the Greek there as bishop. St Michael was a wise and gentle, but also strict hierarch. The Russian Church has preserved the memory of the saint’s praiseworthy deeds. In the Synodikon of the Novgorod and Kiev Sophia cathedrals he is rightfully called the initiator.

St Michael died in the year 992 and was buried in the Desyatin-Tithe church of the Most Holy Theotokos in Kiev. In about the year 1103, under the Igumen St Theoctistus (afterwards Bishop of Chernigov, August 5), his relics were transferred to the Antoniev Cave, and on October 1, 1730 into the Great Church of the Caves. Thus his memory was celebrated on September 30, and also July 15, the day of his repose.

Formerly, his memory was celebrated on September 2, along with Sts Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves. There is a trace of this earlier celebration in the service to St Michael. In the second verse of the “Praises” we sing: “Having begun the new year, we offer you our first songs, O blessed one, for you were the beginning of the hierarchy in the Russian land.”


The prophecy of the first-called apostle has been fulfilled today: / Grace has illumined the hills of Kiev and the faith is increased. / Those who were not a people / Are now the people of God, a holy nation, / A flock of Christ of which you, O Michael, are first shepherd, / And you serve it by bringing baptism. / O Hierarch, standing before God pray that all may be saved!


You appeared as a second Moses, / Bringing the vine from Egyptian idolatry into the land of promise. / You said of it: Faith shall be established in this land, / And fruit to nourish the world shall flourish on the summits of Kiev, / More than on the heights of Lebanon. / Having this harvest we bless you, O Hierarch Michael!


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Martyrs Dadas, Gabeddas and Kazdoa of Persia

Commemorated on September 29

The Martyrs Dadas, Gabeddas and Kazdoa accepted death for Christ under the Persian emperor Sapor. Dadas was chief steward under Sapor, and Sts Gabeddas and Kazdoa were the cruel emperor's own children.

Not knowing that St Dadas was a Christian, the emperor appointed him as governor of one of the Persian districts. When it was discovered, he was stripped of all honors, sent to the court of the cruel torturer Andromelik and was condemned to be burned. Approaching the stake, St Dadas shielded himself with the Sign of the Cross, and the fire went out.

Seeing this miracle, the emperor's stunned son Gabeddas believed in Christ and in the hearing of all, confessed his faith. The judge reported this to the emperor, and he commanded St Gabeddas to be fiercely tortured. But in all the sufferings divine strength preserved the saint.

An angel of the Lord comforted him, and each time the Lord restored health and strength to him. Beholding the miraculous healing of the holy martyr, many prisoners in the prison with him became Christians, even the sorcerer Gargal, and thus accepted martyrdom. The emperor's daughter Kazdoa, sister of the Martyr Gabeddas, secretly visited him in prison and brought him water.

Another time Kazdoa saw her brother when the torturers tortured him anew. The holy martyr was hung on a cross, and a volley of arrows shot at him, but the arrows bounced off and struck the archers. Seeing his sister, he prevailed upon her to believe in Christ. St Kazdoa confessed herself a Christian, and by the command of her father the emperor Sapor, she was cruelly beaten and thrown into prison where her brother languished.

Suffering from her wounds, St Kazdoa asked her brother to pray for her. St Gabeddas, having said the prayer, assured his sister that she would suffer no more. On the following day during new tortures St Gabeddas, saw two presbyters Dadias and Abdi, asked them to bring oil and water, since he deeply wanted to receive holy Baptism.

At this moment a cloud overshadowed the martyr, from which poured out water and oil, and a voice was heard: "Servant of God, you have already received Baptism." The face of the martyr became radiant, and in the air was the fragrance of perfume. The torturer commanded the saint to be pierced with spears, and after several hours he died with prayer on his lips.

His body was cut into three parts, but the priests Dadias, Abdi and the deacon Armazates took the holy relics and buried them reverently. The body of the holy Martyr Dadas, whom they also tortured for a long time and cut in parts, was also secretly buried by Christians.

At midnight the Martyr Gabeddas appeared to the priest Dadias, gave him a vessel with oil and sent him to the martyr Kazdoa to anoint her with oil and give her the Holy Mysteries. The priest did this and, at the very last, said to the holy martyr: "Sleep, sister, until the coming of the Lord," and St Kazdoa departed to the Lord. The mother of the holy martyr prepared her for burial and with joy buried her with the Martyr Gabeddas.


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Monday, September 28, 2015

St Agapitus the Doctor of the Kiev Near Caves

Commemorated on September 28

This Unmercenary Physician was born at Kiev. He was a novice and disciple of St Anthony of the Caves, and lived during the eleventh century. If any of the monastic brethren fell ill, St Agapitus came to him and selflessly attended to the sick one. He fed his patient boiled herbs which he himself prepared, and the person recovered through the prayers of the saint. Many laymen also turned to the monastic physician with the gift of healing.

In Kiev at this time was an experienced Armenian physician, who was able to diagnose the nature of the illness and even accurately determine the day of death just by looking at a patient. When one of these doomed patients turned to St Agapitus, the grace-bearing healer gave him some food from the monastery trapeza (dining area), and the patient became well. Enflamed with envy, the physician wanted to poison St Agapitus, but the Lord preserved him, and the poison had no effect.

St Agapitus healed Prince Vladimir Monomakh of Chernigov, the future Great Prince of Kiev (1114-1125), by sending him boiled herbs. The grateful prince went to the monastery and wanted to see his healer, but the humble ascetic hid himself and would not accept gifts.

When the holy healer himself became sick, that same Armenian physician came to him and after examining him, he said that he would die in three days. He swore to became an Orthodox monk if his prediction were not fulfilled. The saint said that the Lord had revealed to him that He would summon him only after three months.

St Agapitus died after three months (on June 1, not later than 1095), and the Armenian went to the igumen of the Caves monastery and received monastic tonsure. “It is certain that Agapitus was a saint of God,” he said. “I well knew, that it was impossible for him to last three days in his sickness, but the Lord gave him three months.” Thus did the monk heal sickness of the soul and guide to the way of salvation.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Apostle Zenas of the Seventy

The Holy Apostle Zenas of the Seventy, a disciple and co-worker with the first-ranked Apostle Paul, was called a lawyer, since he was a learned man and led juridical matters in church courts. He is mentioned in the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to Titus (Titus 3:13): “Help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing.” Afterwards, St Zenas became bishop of the city of Diospolis (or Lydda) in Palestine.


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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Falling Asleep of St. John the Evangelist and Theologian

September 26

This Apostle was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James the elder. First a fisherman by trade, he became an Apostle and the beloved Disciple of Christ. Only he of all the Disciples followed Him even to the Cross, and was entrusted with the care of our Saviour's Mother, as it were another son to her, and a brother of Christ the Teacher. After this, he preached throughout Asia Minor, especially in Ephesus. When the second persecution against the Christians began in the year 96 during the reign of Domitian, he was taken in bonds to Rome, and there was cast into a vat filled to the brim with boiling oil. Coming forth therefrom unharmed, he was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Returning again to Ephesus after the death of the tyrant, he wrote his Gospel (after the other Evangelists had already written theirs) and his three Catholic Epistles. In all, he lived ninety-five years and fell asleep in the Lord during the reign of Trajan in the year 100. He was called Theologian because he loftily expounded in his Gospel the theology of the inexpressible and eternal birth of the Son and Word of God the Father. It is for this cause that an eagle-a symbol of the Holy Spirit, as Saint Irenaeus says-is depicted in his icon, for this was one of the four symbolic living creatures that the Prophet Ezekiel saw (Ezek. 1:10).

Apolytikion of TRANSLATION OF JOHN THE THEOLOGIAN in the Second Tone
Beloved Apostle of Christ our God, hasten to deliver a people without defense. He who permitted you to recline upon His bosom, accepts you on bended knee before Him. Beseech Him, O Theologian, to dispel the persistent cloud of nations, asking for us peace and great mercy.

Kontakion of TRANSLATION OF JOHN THE THEOLOGIAN in the Second Tone
Who can tell thy mighty works, O virgin Saint? For thou pourest forth miracles, and art a source of healings, and thou dost intercede for our souls, as the Theologian and the friend of Christ.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Friday, September 25, 2015

Repose of the Venerable Sergius, Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh

Commemorated on September 25

Saint Sergius of Radonezh was born in the village of Varnitsa, near Rostov, on May 3, 1314. His parents were the pious and illustrious nobles Cyril and Maria (September 28). The Lord chose him while still in his mother's womb. In the Life of St Sergius it is reported that even before the birth of her son, St Maria and those praying heard the thrice-repeated cry of the infant at the Divine Liturgy: before the reading of the Holy Gospel, during the Cherubic hymn, and when the priest pronounced: "Holy Things are for the Holy."

God gave Cyril and Maria a son whom they named Bartholomew. From his very first days of life the infant amazed everyone by his fasting. On Wednesdays and Fridays he would not accept milk from his mother, and on other days, if Maria used oil in the food, the infant also refused the milk of his mother. Noticing this, Maria refrained altogether from food with oil.

At the age of seven, Bartholomew was sent to study together with his two brothers: his older brother Stephen, and his younger brother Peter. His brothers learned successfully, but Bartholomew fell behind in his studies, even though the teacher gave him much special attention. The parents scolded the child, the teacher chastised him, and his classmates made fun of his lack of comprehension. Finally, Bartholomew besought the Lord with tears to grant him the ability to read.

Once, his father sent Bartholomew out after the horses in the field. Along the way he met an angel sent by God under the appearance of a monk. The Elder stood at prayer beneath an oak in a field. Bartholomew approached him, and bowing, waited for the Elder to finish praying. The monk blessed him, gave him a kiss and asked what he wanted.

Bartholomew answered, "With all my soul I want to learn reading and writing. Holy Father, pray for me to God, that He may help me to become literate." The monk fulfilled Bartholomew's request, offering up his prayer to God. In blessing the child he said to him: "Henceforth, my child, God gives you to understand reading and writing, and in this you will surpass your brothers and peers" (See the famous M. Nesterov painting "Vision of Bartholomew").

Then the Elder took a vessel and gave Bartholomew a piece of prosphora."Take, child, and eat," said he."This is given to you as a sign of the grace of God, and for the understanding of Holy Scripture." The Elder wanted to leave, but Bartholomew asked him to visit at the home of his parents. His parents received their guest with joy and offered him their hospitality.

The Elder replied that it was proper to partake of spiritual nourishment first, and he bade their son to read the Psalter. Bartholomew began to read, and his parents were amazed at the change that had occurred with their son. In parting, the Elder prophetically said of St Sergius, "Your son shall be great before God and the people. He shall become a chosen habitation of the Holy Spirit."

After this the holy child read without difficulty and understood the contents of books. He became immersed in prayer with a special fervor, not missing a single church service. Already in childhood he imposed upon himself a strict fast. He ate nothing on Wednesdays and Fridays, and on the other days he sustained himself on bread and water.

About the year 1328, the parents of St Sergius moved from Rostov to Radonezh. When their older sons married, Cyril and Maria received the monastic schema shortly before their death at the Khot'kov monastery of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, not far from Radonezh.

Later on, the older brother Stephen was widowed and became a monk at this monastery. Having buried his parents, Bartholomew and his brother Stephen withdrew into the forest (12 versts from Radonezh) to live in the wilderness. At first they made cells, and then a small church, and with the blessing of Metropolitan Theognostus, it was consecrated in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. But soon, unable to bear the difficulties of life in the wilderness, Stephen left his brother and went on to the Moscow Theophany monastery, where he became close to St Alexis, afterwards Metropolitan of Moscow. (February 12).

On October 7,1337 Bartholomew was tonsured by Igumen Metrophanes, taking the name of the holy Martyr Sergius (October 7), and he started to build a new habitation to the glory of the Life-Creating Trinity. Suffering temptations and demonic apparitions, St Sergius advanced from strength to strength. Gradually he became known to other monks seeking his guidance. St Sergius accepted all with love, and soon a brotherhood of twelve monks were gathered in the small monastery.

Their experienced spiritual guide distinguished himself by an extraordinary love for work. With his own hands he built several cells, he carried water, he chopped wood, baked bread, sewed clothing, prepared food for the brethren and humbly took on other tasks. St Sergius combined the heavy work with prayer, vigil and fasting.

The brethren were amazed that with such severe exertion the health of their guide did not deteriorate, but rather became all the more hearty. It was not without difficulty that they implored St Sergius to accept the position of igumen of the monastery.

In 1354 Bishop Athanasius of Volyn ordained the saint a hieromonk and elevated him to the rank of igumen. Just as before, monastic obediences were strictly fulfilled at the monastery. With the expansion of the monastery, its needs also grew. Often the monks had only scant food, but through the prayers of St Sergius unknown people provided the necessities.

Reports of the exploits of St Sergius became known even at Constantinople, and Patriarch Philotheus sent to the monk a cross, a "paraman" (monastic clothing, a four-cornered cloth tied with cords to the chest and worn beneath other garb, and adorned with symbols of the Lord's Passion) and schema-robe in blessing for new deeds, and a grammota of blessing, in which the Patriarch counseled the chosen of God to organize a cenobitic monastery. The monk set off with the patriarchal missive to St Alexis, and received from him the counsel to introduce a strict manner of cenobitic life. The monks began to grumble at the strictness of the monastic Rule, and St Sergius was compelled to forsake the monastery. At the River Kirzhach he founded a monastery in honor of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos. Matters at the former monastery went quickly into disarray, and the remaining monks recoursed to St Alexis that he should get the saint to return.

St Sergius unquestioningly obeyed the holy hierarch, and left in place of himself at the Kirzhachsk monastery his disciple, St Roman.

Already during his lifetime St Sergius had been vouchsafed the gift of wonderworking. He raised a lad, at a point when the despairing father had given up on his only son as lost. Reports about the miracles worked by St Sergius began quickly to spread about, and the sick began to come to him, both from the surrounding villages and also from remote places. And no one left from St Sergius  without receiving healing of infirmities and edifying counsel. Everyone gave glory for St Sergius, and reverenced him on an equal footing with the ancient holy Fathers. But human glory did not hold allure for the great ascetic, and as before he remained the example of monastic humility.

One time St Stephen, Bishop of Perm (April 27), who deeply revered St Sergius, was on journey from his diocese to Moscow. The roadway passed eight versts distant from the Sergiev monastery. Intending to visit the monastery on his return trip, the saint stopped, and having recited a prayer, he bowed to St Sergius with the words: "Peace be to thee, spiritual brother." At this instant St Sergius was sitting in the trapeza for a meal with the brethren. In reply to the blessing of the holy hierarch, St Sergius rose up, recited a prayer, and made a return blessing to St Stephen. Certain of the disciples, astonished at the extraordinary action of St Sergius, hastened off to the indicated place, and became convinced of the veracity of the vision.

Gradually the monks began to witness also other similar actions. Once, during Liturgy, an angel of the Lord served with the saint, but St Sergius in his humility forbade anyone to tell about this until after his death.

St Sergius was connected with St Alexis by close bonds of spiritual friendship and brotherly love. St Alexis in his declining years summoned St Sergius to him and besought him to accept to be Russian Metropolitan, but St Sergius humbly declined to be primate.

The Russian Land at this time suffered under the Mongol-Tatar Yoke. Having gathered an army, Great-prince Demetrius Ioannovich of the Don went to monastery of St Sergius to ask a blessing in the pending struggle. St Sergius gave blessing to two monks of his monastery to render help to the great-prince: the Schemamonk Andrei [Oslyaba] and the Schemamonk Alexander [Peresvet], and he predicted the victory for prince Demetrius. The prophecy of St Sergius was fulfilled: on September 8, 1380, on the feastday of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, Russian soldiers gained a total victory over the Tatar hordes at Kulikovo Pole (Kulikovo Field), and set in place the beginning of the liberation of the Russian Land from the Mongol Yoke. During the fighting St Sergius and the brethren stood at prayer and besought God to grant victory to the Russian forces.

For his angelic manner of life St Sergius was granted an heavenly vision by God. One time by night Abba Sergius was reading the rule of prayer beneath an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Having completed the reading of the canon to the Mother of God, he sat down to rest, but suddenly he said to his disciple, St Mikhei (May 6), that there awaited them a wondrous visitation. After a moment the Mother of God appeared accompanied by the holy Apostles Peter and John the Theologian. Due to the extraordinary bright light St Sergius fell down, but the Most Holy Theotokos touched Her hands to him, and in blessing him promised always to be Protectress of his holy monastery.

Having reached old age, and foreseeing his own end six months beforehand, St Sergius summoned the brethren to him and designated his disciple St Nikon (November 17), who was experienced in the spiritual life and obedience, to be igumen. In tranquil solitude St Sergius fell asleep in the Lord on September 25, 1392. On the night before, the great saint of God summoned the brethren a final time to give them his final instruction: "Brethren, be attentive to yourselves. Have first the fear of God, purity of soul and unhypocritical love...."

Troparion - Tone 4
A zealot of good deeds and a true warrior of Christ warrior of Christ our God,you struggled greatly against the passions in this passing life;in songs and vigils and fasting you were an image and example to your disciples,thus the most Holy Spirit lived within you,and you were made beautiful by His working.Since you have great boldness before the Holy Trinity,remember the flock which you have wisely gathered,and do not forget to visit your children as you promised, venerable Sergius our father!

Kontakion - Tone 8
Bound by the love of Christ, O venerable one, and following Him with unwavering desire,you despised all carnal pleasures and you shone like the sun in your land.Therefore, Christ has enriched you with the gift of miracles.Remember us who venerate your most holy memory,and who call out to you: "Rejoice, Sergius, made wise by God!"


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Venerable Abramius the Abbot of Mirozh, Pskov

Commemorated on September 24

Saint Abramius (Abraham) of Mirozh was the builder and first igumen of the Pskov Savior-Transfiguration monastery on the banks of the River Velika, where it meets the River Mirozha. The Mirozh monastery was founded in about the year 1156, in the time of Svyatopolk Mstislavich, by both St Abramius and by St Niphon, Bishop of Novgorod (April 8), a brother of the holy Prince Vsevolod-Gabriel (February 11).

This monastery, the most ancient in Pskov, was the first seed of monasticism transported to the Pskov soil from Kiev. On a chalice of St Niphon is inscribed: "Holy Bishop Niphon ... enthroned, he built many holy monasteries and churches with the approval of Prince Vsevolod of Pskov, and upon the death of Prince Vsevolod he came ... to Pskov and constructed ... the church of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and a monastery of fame and beauty, and gathered brethren and appointed an igumen."

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, when the Transfiguration cathedral was remodeled, beautiful frescoes of the twelfth century were discovered, and which now receive universal acclaim. St Niphon also built a similar church at Ladoga, dedicated to St Clement of Rome, but only the foundations have been preserved.

There is little information about the life of St Abramius, because the monastery was inside the city walls and it was often laid waste, and served as quarters for enemy soldiers.

Saint Abramius reposed on September 24, 1158. His relics lie beneath a crypt of the cathedral church, dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Lord, in the monastery he built.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Virginmartyr Irais (Rhais) of Alexandria

Commemorated on September 23

The Holy Martyr Iraida lived at Alexandria. Once, she went to a well to draw water and saw a ship at the shore. On board were a large number of men, women, clergy and monks, all fettered in chains for their confession of the Christian Faith.

Casting aside her water pitcher, the saint voluntarily joined the prisoners for Christ, and fetters were placed on her, too. When the ship arrived in the Egyptian city of Antipolis, St Iraida was the first to undergo fierce torments and was beheaded with the sword. After her, the other martyrs sealed their confession of faith in Christ with their blood.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Venerable Jonah the Abbot of Yashezersk

Saint Jonah of Yash Lake was born in the village of Shoksha, sixteen versts from the monastery later established by him. The foundation of the monastery took place in 1580, when a wooden church was built in honor of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, and eight monks joined together with the monk to labor in asceticism.

St Jonah toiled with great concern over the building up of the monastery. Thus, for example, in order to ease the catching of fish, he himself dug a channel from Yash Lake to the nearby Lake Senno. He often rode horseback along the solitary paths of the forest in search of necessities for the monastery.

The ascetic made vessels from wood to be used for the divine services. In time the monk became known for his holy life far beyond the bounds of the monastery. Many pilgrims brought gifts, among which also were Church service books. The boundaries of the monastery expanded, and the number of churches increased. Profound love and reverence for the ascetic were demonstrated by Metropolitan Isidore of Novgorod, by Igumen James of the Solovki monastery, by St Irenarchus (July 17), and also by many other contemporaries.
St Jonah died at the end of the sixteenth century and was buried in the Annunciation monastery founded by him.


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Monday, September 21, 2015

Venerable Daniel the Abbot of Shuzhgorsk, Novgorod

Saint Daniel of Shugh Hill was born in the Moscow dominion in the sixteenth century. He performed his ascetic labors in northern Rus, where he became a monk at the Komel monastery, founded by St Cornelius of Komel in 1498.

St Daniel left the monastery and continued a solitary ascetic life in the unpopulated and forested White Lake hinterland, on a mountain named Shugh Hill. Here the holy ascetic founded his monastery in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord. St Daniel was buried at a temple in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord at the monastery that he founded. In 1764, the monastery was turned into a parish.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Trophimus, Sabbatius, & Dorymedon the Martyrs

September 19

In 278, during the reign of Probus, Saints Trophimus and Sabbatius came to Antioch, and seeing the city celebrating the festival of Apollo at Daphne lamented the blindness of the people, and presented themselves as Christians to Atticus the Governor. Saint Trophimus was stripped of his clothing, and was stretched out and beaten until the earth was red with his blood. Then he was hung up, scraped on his sides, and imprisoned in torments. Saint Sabbatius was tortured so savagely that he gave up his spirit in his sufferings. Trophimus was sent to Synnada, wearing iron shoes fitted with sharp iron nails within; he was further tormented without mercy, then cast into prison. Dorymedon, a counsellor, and a pagan, came to the prison and cared for Trophimus. When a certain feast came, Dorymedon was asked why he did not sacrifice to the idols; he proclaimed himself a Christian, for which he was imprisoned, pierced with heated spits, frightfully punished, and finally beheaded with Saint Trophimus.

Apolytikion of Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, & Dorymedon 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 of Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, & Dorymedon in the Fourth Tone
As a mighty river full of the divine gifts of the Holy Spirit's grace, O valiant athletes of the Lord, ye richly water all of the world with the beneficent floods of your miracles.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2014(with 2013's link here also and further:, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008  and even 2007!):

Friday, September 18, 2015

Icon of the Mother of God “the Healer”

Commemorated on September 18

The original icon known as “Tselitel’nitsa,” or “The Healer” was from the Tsilkan church in Kartali, Georgia. It was painted at the time of St Nino (January 14).

There is another icon with the same name in the Alexeev women’s monastery in Moscow, and many miracles took place before it at the end of the eightheenth century. St Demetrius of Rostov (September 21 and October 28) relates a story about this icon in his book THE BEDEWED FLEECE.

A cleric of the Navarninsky church, Vincent Bulvinensky, was in the habit of venerating the icon of the Mother of God whenever he entered the church. He would also recite the following prayer before the icon: “Hail, Virgin Theotokos full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed is the womb which bore Christ, and the breasts which nourished the Lord God, our Savior.”

In time, he found himself suffering from a dreadful affliction. His tongue began to putrefy, and he passed out from the pain. When he came to himself, he prayed his usual prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos.

As soon as he had finished his prayer, he saw a handsome young man at the head of his bed. The sufferer realized at once that this was his guardian angel. The angel looked at him with pity, calling on the Mother of God to heal him. Suddenly, the Theotokos appeared and healed the sick man who was so devoted to Her. He got out of bed and went to church, taking his place on the cliros for the service. Those present were astonished to see his recovery.

This miracle inspired the painting of “The Healer” icon depicting the Mother of God standing at the bed of the sick man.


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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Martyr Theodota at Nicea

The Holy Martyr Theodota, a native of Cappadocia, suffered in the city of Nicea during the reign of the emperor Alexander Severus (222-235). At this time the governor of Cappadocia was a certain Symblicius. They told him that a rich woman named Theodota was confessing Christ. The governor summoned Theodota and for a long time urged her to turn from the true Faith.

Seeing the futility of his attempts, he gave Theodota over to torture. They suspended her and began to rake her with iron hooks, but she did not feel any pain. Then they put her in chains and led her away to a prison cell.

After eight days, when they led the saint out for new tortures, only faint traces of the tortures already endured remained on her body. The governor was amazed and asked, “Who are you?” The saint answered: “Your mind is darkened, but if you were sober, then you would have realized that I am Theodota.”

Symblicius commanded the martyr to be cast into a red-hot furnace. Flames shot out from the furnace and scorched those standing nearby, while those remaining unharmed shut the furnace and scattered in fright. After a certain while, pagan priests came and opened the furnace to scatter the ashes of the martyr, but they too were burned by the flames. Those remaining unhurt saw St Theodota unharmed. She stood in the midst of the flames between two youths in white raiment, and was glorifying the Lord. This apparition so terrified the pagans that they fell down as if dead. Later, they returned the saint to prison.

The invincibility of the martyr gave Symblicius no peace. He made a journey to Byzantium, on the return trip he stopped over at Ancyra and tried to get the better of Theodota. He gave orders to throw her all at once onto red-hot iron, but again the martyr remained unharmed.

Then Symblicius gave orders that the saint be taken to Nicea. There, in a pagan temple he wanted to compel her to offer sacrifice to the idols, but through the prayer of the saint, the idols fell and were shattered. The outraged governor gave orders to stretch the martyr out and saw through her body, but here also the power of God preserved the saint. The saw caused Theodota no harm, and the servants became exhausted. Finally, they beheaded the saint. Bishop Sophronius of Nicea buried her body.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Martyrs Isaac and Joseph of Georgia

Commemorated on September 16

The holy martyrs Isaac and Joseph the Georgians were born into a Muslim family, but their Georgian mother, a Christian, secretly raised them according to the Christian tradition.

The brothers were so firmly dedicated to the Faith that they journeyed to Byzantium to request that Emperor Nicephorus I Phocas (802-811) permit them to settle in his capital. The pious ruler extended a warm welcome to the brothers, who were already well known and respected by the nobility of Theodosiopolis (Karnu).

Learning of the brothers’ intention, the emir of Theodosiopolis demanded to know the reason for their journey to Constantinople. The brothers answered him openly, citing their Christian Faith as the reason for their journey. Hearing this, the emir was infuriated, but he did not want to kill the brothers, since they were deeply respected by the people of his city. Instead he resolved to convert them from the Christian Faith.

Isaac and Joseph’s elderly father tearfully pleaded with them to deny Christ, while the emir promised them every honor and reward for betraying Him, and terrible suffering and death in the case of their refusal. But the holy brothers answered the emir, saying, “Remember that the flesh is like grass and every glory of this earth is like a flower that grows in the grass. When the grass withers, the flower also dies (c.f. Isaiah 40:6-7). Your threats of torture and death are for us rather absurd, for neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-9).”

The young men’s boldness enraged the emir, and he ordered his servants to execute them.

Before the holy brothers gave up their souls, they knelt to the ground and prayed: “O Holy King and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look down upon Thy servants with mercy and receive us as a holy sacrifice. Number us among Thy martyrs and make us worthy of the crown of righteousness, for every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from Thee, the Father of lights (c.f. James 1:17)!”
Then they bowed their necks beneath the sword.

The executioners chopped off their heads, leaving their bodies untouched. That night their holy remains shone with a radiant light.

This miracle frightened the godless persecutors, and they ordered the local Christians to bury the holy martyrs’ remains. The local bishop and clergy committed their bodies to the earth with great reverence.

A church was later erected over the place where Sts. Isaac and Joseph were laid to rest.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

St Philotheus the Presbyter in Asia Minor

Commemorated on September 15

The Holy Presbyter and Wonderworker Philotheus lived in the tenth century in the village of Mravin (or Myrmix) located in Bythnia in Asia Minor. He was a married priest, and had children. He devoted himself to deeds of prayer and fasting, and works of charity. Because of his holy life, St Philotheus received from God the gift of working miracles. The ascetic continually fed the hungry and helped the needy. St Philotheus died in peace. Myrrh flowed from his relics. 


O pure and holy Philotheus, you were a lover of God, / And now glorified by the Holy Spirit, / You work miracles to save from harm all who cry to you: / Glory to him who has glorified you; / Glory to him who has made you wonderful; / Glory to him who through you works healings for all!


You ended your life in righteousness / And were a lover of God. / O holy Philotheus, having received power to work wonders, / Pray unceasingly for us all!


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Monday, September 14, 2015

The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross

September 14

Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered. The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole. Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, "Lord have mercy." It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place.

Rest from labour. A Fast is observed today, whatever day of the week it may be.

Apolytikion of Elevation of the Holy Cross in the First Tone
Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, granting our rulers to prevail over adversaries, and protecting Your commonwealth by Your Cross.

Kontakion of Elevation of the Holy Cross in the Fourth Tone
Lifted up on the Cross by Your free will, Christ God, grant mercies to the new commonwealth that bears Your name. Gladden our faithful rulers by Your power, giving them victories over their adversaries. May Your alliance be for them a weapon for peace, an invincible standard.


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Sunday, September 13, 2015

St Peter of Atroe

Saint Peter from Atroe was dedicated to God from childhood, and spent his whole life in exploits of fasting and unceasing prayer. He pursued asceticism in the city of Atroe, near Asian Olympos. A distinctive feature of the holy ascetic was his extreme temperance. During his lifetime, the saint worked many miracles and peacefully reposed in the time of Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople (784-806).


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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Martyr Theodore of Alexandria

This St Theodore of Alexandria is not the same person as St Theodore the Bishop of Alexandria (December 3).

Today’s saint was a simple Christian who was thrown into prison for confessing Christ. Later, he was tortured and thrown into the sea, but remained unharmed.

St Theodore was beheaded and buried in Alexandria.


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Friday, September 11, 2015

Holy Martyrs Demetrius, his wife Euanthea, and their son Demetrian, at Skepsis on the Hellespont

St Demetrius was a prince and prefect of the city of Skepsis in the Hellespont. St Cornelius the Centurion (September 13), the first Gentile converted to Christ by the Apostle Paul, came into his city preaching the Gospel.

St Cornelius sowed the seeds of Christianity among many of the inhabitants of Skepsis, and so the pagans arrested him and brought him to trial before the prefect Demetrius. In vain he demanded that the saint renounce Christ, and finally handed him over for torture.

St Cornelius bravely endured the torture, while in turn urging the prefect to forsake his pagan errors and turn to the true faith in Christ. Led into a temple of idols, St Cornelius destroyed the pagan temple and the idols standing in it by his prayer.

Persuaded of the truth of Christianity by the saint’s preaching and by his miracles, the prefect Demetrius himself came to believe in Christ and was baptized with all his family. Because the saints now believed in Christ, the pagans threw the newly-converted family into prison where they were starved to death.



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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Right-Believing Pulcheria, Byzantine Empress

The Holy Right-Believing Empress Pulcheria, daughter of the Byzantine emperor Arcadius (395-408), was coregent and adviser of her brother Theodosius the Younger (408-450). She received a broad and well-rounded education, and distinguished herself by her wisdom and piety, firmly adhering to Orthodox teaching. Through her efforts the church of the Most Holy Theotokos was built at Blachernae, and also other churches and monasteries.

Through the intrigues of enemies and of Eudokia, the wife of the emperor Theodosius the Younger, St Pulcheria was removed from power. She withdrew into seclusion, and lived a pious life. Without her benificent influence, conditions in the capital deteriorated. She returned after a while, following the urgent request of her brother. Then the unrest provoked by emerging heresies was quelled.

After the death of Theodosius the Younger, Marcian (450-457) was chosen emperor. St Pulcheria again wanted to withdraw into her seclusion, but both the emperor and officials entreated her not to refuse the throne, but to marry the emperor Marcian. For the common good she consented to become Marcian’s wife if she were allowed to preserve her virginity within the marriage. They were married, but lived in purity as brother and sister.

Through the efforts of St Pulcheria, the Third Ecumenical Council was held at Ephesus in 431 to address the heresy of Nestorius; and also the Fourth Ecumenical Council which was convened at Chalcedon in the year 451, to deal with the heresies of Dioscorus and Eutychius.

St Pulcheria built the church of the Mother of God at Blachernae at Constantinople, and also found the relics of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (March 9).

Throughout her life St Pulcheria defended the Orthodox Faith against various heresies. After giving away her wealth to the poor and to the Church, she died peacefully at the age of fifty-four in the year 453.


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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council

Commemorated on September 9

The Third Ecumenical Council was convened in the year 431 in the city of Ephesus (Asia Minor) during the reign of the emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450). The Council was convened to investigate without further delay, the false teachings of Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople (428-431).

Contrary to the dogmas of the Ecumenical Church, Nestorius dared to assert that the Son of God Jesus Christ is not one Person (Hypostasis), as the Holy Church teaches, but is rather two distinct persons, one Divine, and the other human.

Regarding the Most Holy Theotokos, he impiously asserted that She should not be called the Mother of God, but rather only the mother of the man Christ. The heresy of Nestorius is opposed to one of the basic dogmas of the Christian Faith: our Lord Jesus Christ’s divine and human natures.

According to the false teaching of Nestorius, Jesus Christ was born as an ordinary man, and afterwards because of His sanctity of life, He was somehow joined to the Godhead. With this blasphemous teaching of Nestorius the Enemy of the race of man, the devil, attempted to undermine the Christian Faith on these points: that the Pre-eternal God the Word, the Son of God, actually was incarnate in the flesh of the All-Pure Theotokos. Having become Man, He thereby redeemed the human race from slavery to sin and death by His own suffering and death, and by His glorious Resurrection He trampled down Hades and death and opened the path to the Kingdom of Heaven to those who believed in Him, and to those striving to live according to His commandments.

A long while before the convening of the Ecumenical Council, St Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, repeatedly tried to reason with the heretic Nestorius. St Cyril in his letters explained the mistakes of judgment by Nestorius, but Nestorius stubbornly continued with his teachings.

St Cyril wrote about the danger of the rising heresy to Celestine, the Pope of Rome, and to other Orthodox bishops, who also attempted to reason with Nestorius. When it became clear that Nestorius would continue with his teachings and that they were becoming widespread, the Orthodox bishops appealed to the emperor Theodosius the Younger for permission to convene an Ecumenical Council. The Council was convened on the day of the Most Holy Trinity, June 7, 431.

Two hundred bishops attended the Council. Nestorius also arrived in Ephesus, but he did not appear at the Council even though the Fathers suggested three times that he attend the sessions. Then the Fathers began to discuss the heresy in the absence of the heretic.

The sessions of the Council continued from June 22 to August 31. At the Council of Ephesus were present such famous Fathers of the Church as St Cyril of Alexandria, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Memnon of Ephesus (St Celestine, Pope of Rome, was unable to attend because of illness, but he sent papal legates).

The Third Ecumenical Council condemned the heresy of Nestorius and confirmed the Orthodox teaching on these matters: that it is necessary to confess the Lord Jesus Christ as One Person (Hypostasis) in two natures, the Divine and the Human, and that the All-Pure Mother of the Lord be acclaimed as Ever-Virgin and truly the Theotokos. In the guidance of the Church the holy Fathers issued eight Canons, and the “Twelve Anathemas against Nestorius” by St Cyril of Alexandria.


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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Icon of the Mother of God of Glinsk

The Glinsk Icon of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos appeared in the seventeenth century in the Glinsk wilderness of the Kursk region. A monastery was established in 1648 and received its name from the noble Glinsky family.


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Monday, September 07, 2015

Venerable Serapion of Spaso-Eleazar Monastery, Pskov

Saint Serapion of Pskov was born at Yuriev (now Tartu), which then was under the rule of Germans, who sought to stamp out Orthodoxy. His parents were parishioners of a Russian church in the name of St Nicholas.

St Serapion was well versed in the Holy Scripture, and more than once he entered into the defense of Orthodoxy. When they wanted to convert him by force to the foreign faith, he departed to the Tolvsk wilderness, not far from Pskov, where the Pskov ascetic monk Euphrosynus (May 15) began his prayerful work.

Under his nurturing, St Serapion began to acquire the wisdom of wilderness life. But soon he happened to undergo temptations. Without a blessing, he wanted to leave his guide and to live an ascetic life in complete solitude. But the Lord brought the inexperienced novice to his senses: after he seriously hurt his leg, he repented of his self-will and disobedience and returned to the Elder.

After he received the Great Schema, he dwelt constantly with St Euphrosynus for 55 years, strictly keeping the vow of silence. Brethren began gradually to gather around St Euphrosynus, for which the Elder built a temple in the name of the Three Hierarchs and gave a skete rule.

St Serapion zealously fulfilled everything commanded of him and was a role model for the monks. The monk so strictly fulfilled the monastic vow of uncovetousness, that a copyist of his life called him “an unburied corpse.” He bore every insult with extraordinary humility, always blaming himself alone, and he himself asked forgiveness of his insulter. The monk deeply sensed the power of communal prayers and he said that “the order of the twelve Psalms” sung alone in the cell cannot equal one “Lord, have mercy” sung in church.

St Serapion died on September 8, 1480, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. Since the day of repose of St Serapion coincides with one of the twelve Great Feasts, his commemoration is on September 7. A Troparion and Kontakion were composed for the saint.

St Euphrosynus himself committed the body of his disciple to the earth. By his fervent deeds he had transformed himself into mere “bones, covered by skin.” St Serapion was not separated from his spiritual Father even after death: their holy relics were placed beside each other. A common service was composed to Sts Euphrosynus and Serapion (15 May), wherein St Serapion is glorified as the first co-ascetic, “companion and friend” of St Euphrosynus.


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Sunday, September 06, 2015

14th Sunday of Matthew

September 06

Tone of the week: Plagal of the First Tone

Third Eothinon

Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone
Let us worship the Word, O ye faithful, praising Him that with the Father and the Spirit is co-beginningless God, Who was born of a pure Virgin that we all be saved; for He was pleased to mount the Cross in the flesh that He assumed, accepting thus to endure death. And by His glorious rising, He also willed to resurrect the dead.

Seasonal Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
In your holy birth, Immaculate One, Joachim and Anna were rid of the shame of childlessness; Adam and Eve of the corruption of death. And so your people, free of the guilt of their sins, celebrate crying: "The barren one gives birth to the Theotokos, who nourishes our life."


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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Martyr Sarbelus of Edessa

The Holy Martyr Sarbelus was a pagan priest who lived during the reign of the emperor Trajan (98-117) He and his sister Bebaia were converted by St Barsimaius, the Bishop of Edessa (January 29). They both received the crown of martyrdom.

This St Sarbelus appears to be the same one who is commemorated on January 29 and October 15.


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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

John the Abstainer, Patriarch of Constantinople

September 2

Saint John became Patriarch during the reign of Tiberius, in the year 582, governed the Church for thirteen years and five months, and reposed in peace in 595. It was during this Patriarch's reign, in the year 586, that the title "Ecumenical Patriarch," not used before this, came to be instituted.

Apolytikion of John, Abp. Of Constantinople in the Fourth Tone
A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. John, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.


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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Venerable Martha the Mother of St Simeon Stylites

Commemorated on September 1

Saint Martha lived in Cilicia of Asia Minor during the fourth and fifth centuries, and came from a poor family. She and her husband Sisotion were the parents of St Simeon the Stylite.

At the age of eighteen, Simeon received the monastic tonsure without his parents’ knowledge. Many years later, Martha came to the saint’s pillar in order to see him. Simeon sent word to her not to come, for if they were worthy, they would see each other in the life to come. Martha insisted on seeing him, and he had someone tell her to wait for a while in silence. St Martha agreed to this, and waited at the foot of the hill where her son’s pillar stood. There she departed to the Lord.

When he heard that his mother had died, St Simeon ordered that her body be brought to the foot of his pillar. He prayed over his mother’s body for some time shedding many tears, and witnesses said that a smile appeared on St Martha’s face.


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