Saturday, January 31, 2015

St Arsenius of Paros

Saint Arsenius was born on January 31, 1800 in Ioannina, Epirus of pious Orthodox parents. In holy Baptism he was given the name Athanasius. His parents died when he was quite young. He was only nine years old when he made his way to Kydoniai, Asia Minor, where he was received by Hieromonk Gregory Saraphis and enrolled in his school. His humility and piety endeared him to Fr Gregory and also to the other teachers. The boy remained at the school for five years, surpassing the other students in learning and in virtue.

One day the renowned Spiritual Father Daniel of Zagora, Thessaly came to the school to hear confessions. Athanasius became Daniel’s disciple, remaining with him until the latter’s death.

Not long after this, Fr Daniel decided to go to the Holy Mountain for quiet and spiritual struggles. Athanasius begged his Elder not to leave him, but to take him with him. He expressed the desire to travel to Mt. Athos, the Garden of the All-Holy Virgin, and to become a monk.

Fr Daniel instructed Athanasius in the monastic life, which is called “the art of arts, and the science of sciences.” The holy Elder was a perfect teacher who was accomplished in the spiritual life, and Athanasius was an attentive student. After a time Fr Daniel tonsured his pupil, and told him he had to learn three important lessions. First, he must cut off his own will. Secondly, he must acquire humility. Finally, he must learn obedience. “If you cut off your will, if you become humble, and if you practice perfect obedience, you will also make progress in the other virtues, and God will glorify you.”

After a further period of testing, Fr Daniel tonsured Athanasius into the Great Schema and gave him the name Arsenius. The saint remained on Mt. Athos with his Elder for six years. Then they had to leave the Holy Mountain because of the agitation against the so-called “Kollyvades,” who called for a strict adherence to Holy Tradition. The name comes from the kollyva (boiled wheat) used in the memorial service. Part of the controversy involved the debate on whether it was proper to serve memorial services for the dead on Sunday. The Kollyvades believed that these services were inappropriate for the Day of Resurrection, but should be served on Saturday. The Kollyvades advocated frequent Communion, rather than the practice of receiving the Holy Mysteries only a few times during the year. When Fr Daniel and St Arsenius left Athos, it was probably due to the animosity of those who opposed the Kollyvades.

Early in 1821, before the Greek War of Independence, they went to the Monastery of Pendeli near Athens. Their stay was a brief one, for Fr Daniel forsaw the destruction of the monastery by the Turks.

The two made their way to the Cyclades Islands in the southern Aegean Sea. First they stopped at Paros, perhaps because some of the Kollyvades had settled there. Eventually, they decided to live on the island of Pholegandros. Since there were no teachers for the children, the inhabitants entreated Fr Daniel to allow St Arsenius to instruct their children. The Elder agreed, and had Arsenius ordained as a deacon. Then he was appointed to the teaching post by the government.

The saint remained there as a teacher from 1829-1840. He taught the required subjects in school, but he also helped his students to form a good character, and to live as pious Christians.

In 1840 St Arsenius entered the Monastery of St George on the island of Paros. Elder Daniel had passed away in 1837. Before his repose, he asked his disciple to take his remains to Mt. Athos after two years. St Arsenius left Plolegandros in obedience to Fr Daniel’s request, planning to stop on Paros then continue to the Holy Mountain. On Paros the abbot of St George’s Monastery, Fr Elias Georgiadis, told St Arsenius that it was God’s will for him to remain on Paros. This was providential, because Mt. Athos was undergoing great difficulty after the Greek War of Independence. 3,000 Turkish soldiers occupied Athos, resulting in the departure of 5,000 of the 6,000 monks.

St Arsenius joined the community at St George’s Monastery on the northern end of Paros. There he found spiritual strivers of true wisdom and excellent conduct, who were worthy models for him to follow.

When he was ordained to the holy priesthood at the age of forty-seven, St Arsenius intensified his spiritual efforts. Every day he studied the Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers, and became adept at the unceasing prayer of the heart. He also began to show forth the gift of tears. In this, he resembled his patron St Arsenius the Great (May 8), who continuously wept tears of contrition.

Gradually, the inhabitants of Paros came to recognize him as an outstanding Father Confessor and spiritual guide. Whenever he stood before the holy altar, he felt that he was standing before God. He served with great compunction, and his face often became radiant like the face of an angel.

As his virtues became known to people, they flocked to him from near and far. He received all with paternal affection, treating each one with the proper spiritual medicine which would restore their souls to health.
A certain girl from Syros came to the Convent of the Transfiguration to visit her sister, who was a nun. The nun had previously been informed that her sister had fallen into a serious sin. When she learned that the girl was outside the doors of the convent, the nun screamed at her, “Go far away from here. Since you are defiled, you will defile the convent and the nuns.” Instead of feeling pity for her sister, and trying to lead her to repentance, the nun and some of the other nuns struck the poor girl and told her to go away.

The wretched girl cried, “I have made a mistake. Forgive me!”

The nun shrieked, “Go away, or I will kill you to wash away the shame you have brought to our family.”

“Have you no pity, my sister, don’t you share my pain?”

“No,” the nun shouted, “you are not my sister, you are a foul harlot.”

“Where shall I go?” she sobbed.

“Go and drown yourself,” was the heartless reply.

The poor girl fled from the convent, bleeding and wounded, intending to kill herself. At that very moment, St Arsenius was on his way to visit the convent. Seeing the girl in such a state, he asked her what was wrong. She explained that she had been led astray by corrupt men and women. Realizing her sin, she went to the convent to ask her sister for help.

“See what they have done to me, Elder. What do you advise me to do? Shall I drown myself, or leap off a cliff?”

“I do not advise you to do either, my child. If you wish, I shall take you with me and heal the wounds of your soul and body,” he said gently.

“Where will you take me?” the miserable girl asked.

“To the convent, my child.”

“I beg you not to take me there, Elder. My sister and the other nuns said they would kill me if I came back.”

The saint replied, “Do not be afraid. They will not kill you, because I shall entrust you to Christ, and no one will be able to harm you.”

“Very well,” she said, “If you entrust me to Christ I will not be afraid of them, for Christ is more powerful than they.”

St Arsenius led her to the convent, consoling her and encouraging her to repentance and confession. After hearing her confession, he made her a nun. Then he called all the nuns into the church and severely rebuked those who wounded the girl. He reminded them of the parable of the Prodigal Son, and of how Christ had come to save sinners. He often associated with sinners, showing them great love and mercy.

“You, however, have done the opposite. Though you knew that her soul had been wounded by the devil, you did not feel sorry for her. You did not embrace her and try to save her from further sin, but you attacked her and beat her. Then you urged her to kill herself. Now I, your Spiritual Father, tell you that you are not nuns, you are not Christians, you are not even human beings. You are devoid of compassion, affection, and sympathy. You are murderesses! Therefore, I forbid you to receive Holy Communion for three years, unless you recognize your sin. Repent and confess, weep and ask forgiveness from God and from me, your Spiritual Father, and from the other nuns who did not participate in your sinful behavior.”

The nuns began to weep bitterly and they repented. Thus, he lessened their penance and forgave them. He gave the girl’s sister the penance of not receiving Holy Communion for a whole year. Because the other nuns had shared in this sin, he would not permit them to receive Communion for six months.

St Arsenius foresaw his death a month before it occurred. At the Liturgy for the Feast of St Basil, he announced that he would soon depart from them. With great effort, he was able to serve for the Feast of the Theophany. After the service, he told some nuns that this had been his last Liturgy.

News of the saint’s illness and approaching death spread quickly to all the villages of Paros. People wept because they were about to lose their Spiritual Father, and they hastened to bid him farewell and to receive his blessing.

On the eve of his repose, he called the nuns of the convent to come to him. He told them that the next day he would leave this temporary life and enter into eternal life.

On January 31, 1877 St Arsenius received Holy Communion for the last time and fell asleep in the Lord. For three days, people came to kiss his body, then they followed the funeral procession to the burial site which he himself had selected.

St Arsenius of Paros was glorified by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1967. He is also commemorated on August 18 (the uncovering of his relics).


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

Friday, January 30, 2015

Venerable Zeno the Hermit of Antioch the Disciple of St Basil the Great

Saint Zeno, the disciple of Saint Basil the Great, was born in the city of Pontus into a rich family. He served at the court of the emperor Valens (364-378), among the soldiers who were sent out to deliver the imperial edicts.

After the death of Valens, St Zeno left the world and settled in a cave near the city of Antioch. For forty years he lived in this cave, and he lived an austere life in complete solitude, cleansing his soul, and meditating on God.

St Zeno went to church each Sunday and received the Holy Mysteries of Christ. In his cell he had neither bed, nor fireplace, nor lamp. The ascetic wore old rags, and ate only bread and water, for which he had to make a tedious journey into the city to the well.

St Zeno was particularly fond of holy books, which he borrowed from those who came to him for spiritual counsel. Through his deep humility the blessed ascetic, filled with the gifts of grace, considered himself poor in spirit. St Zeno died at the beginning of the fifth century.


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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

St Jonah the Bishop of Perm

After St Pitirim, St Jonah ascended the throne of Perm. He converted to Christianity the remaining part of Great Perm, i.e. the pagan tribes living along the Rivers Vishera, Kama, Chusova and others. By his efforts the idols were eradicated and in their place churches were built. Experienced pastors were sent to teach the new converts at the church-run schools of Us-Vym.

St Jonah reposed on June 6, 1470. His relics rest together with the relics of Sts Gerasimus and Pitirim in the Annunciation temple in Ust-Vym (in Vologda district).

The commemoration in common of these three saints acknowledges their apostolic activity in this Eastern expanse of Russia. St Jonah is also commemorated on June 6.


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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Venerable Theodosius the Abbot of Totma, Vologda

Commemorated on January 28

Saint Theodosius of Totma was born at Vologda about the year 1530. In his youth he was raised in a spirit of Christian piety and the fear of God. At the insistence of his parents he married, but family life did not turn him away from God. He went fervently to church and prayed at home, particularly at night. After the death of his parents and his wife, he withdrew to the Priluki monastery not far from Vologda.

At the monastery Theodosius passed through the various obediences: he carried water, chopped fire-wood, milled flour and baked bread. He went to Totma on the igumen’s orders to search for a salt-works for the monastery. He sought the permission of Tsar Ivan Vasilevich and the blessing of Archbishop Nicander to found a monastery at Totma. Theodosius was appointed head of this newly-formed Totma monastery, which in a grant of 1554 was declared free of taxation.

The saint founded the Totma Ephraimov wilderness monastery and brought brethren into it. Eventually becoming the head of two monasteries, Theodosius continued to lead an ascetic life. He wore down his body by wearing chains and a hairshirt, and beneath his monastic cowl he wore an iron cap. Fond of spiritual reading, he acquired many books for the monastery. St Theodosius reposed in the year 1568 and was buried in the monastery he founded, and miracles occurred at his grave.

On September 2, 1796 during the reconstruction of the Ascension church, his relics were found incorrupt, and their glorification took place on January 28, 1798, on the day of his repose.



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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Removal of the Relics of John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

January 27

This event took place on this day in the year 438, when Saint Theodosius the Younger had been Emperor for thirty years; he was the son of Arcadius and Eudoxia, who had exiled Saint John. The Archbishop of Constantinople at that time was Proclus, who had been the Saint's disciple (see Nov. 13 and Nov. 20).

Apolytikion of Relics of John Chrysostom in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The grace of your words illuminated the universe like a shining beacon. It amassed treasures of munificence in the world. It demonstrated the greatness of humility, teaching us by your own words; therefore, O Father John Chrysostom, intercede to Christ the Logos for the salvation of our souls.

Kontakion of Relics of John Chrysostom in the First Tone
The holy and august Church is mystically gladdened today on the translation of thy holy relics. And though she had kept them hid in concealment like precious gold, by thine intercessions she unceasingly granteth, unto them that praise thee, the divine grace of healing, O Father John Chrysostom.


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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Presbyter Ananias, Martyr Peter and the 7 Martyred Soldiers in Phoenicia

The Holy Martyrs Ananias the Presbyter, Peter the prison guard, and seven soldiers suffered in Phoenicia in the year 295. During a persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), St Ananias was brought before Maximus the governor of Phoenicia. He had been arrested for confessing Christ and refusal to worship idols.

He was beaten with hammers, burnt with fire, and salt was sprinkled on his scorched body. After his terrible sufferings, a temple and the idols standing in it were destroyed through the prayers of St Ananias.


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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Icon of the Mother of God “the Unexpected Joy”

Commemorated on January 25

The “Unexpected Joy” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is painted in this way:

In a room is an icon of the Mother of God, and beneath it a youth is kneeling at prayer. The tradition about the healing of some youth from a bodily affliction through this holy icon is recorded in the book of St Demetrius of Rostov, The Fleece of Prayer [See Judges 6: 36-40].

The sinful youth, who was nevertheless devoted to the Theotokos, was praying one day before the icon of the All-Pure Virgin before going out to commit a sin. Suddenly, he saw that wounds appeared on the Lord’s hands, feet, and side, and blood flowed from them. In horror he exclaimed, “O Lady, who has done this?” The Mother of God replied, “You and other sinners, because of your sins, crucify My Son anew.” Only then did he realize how great was the depth of his sinfulness. For a long time he prayed with tears to the All-Pure Mother of God and the Savior for mercy. Finally, he received the unexpected joy of the forgiveness of his sins.

The “Unexpected Joy” icon is also commemorated on January 25 and May 1.


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

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hieromartyr Clement the Bishop of Ancyra and Martyr Agathangelus

Commemorated on January 23

The Hieromartyr Clement was born in the Galatian city of Ancyra in the year 258, of a pagan father and a Christian mother. He lost his father when he was an infant, and his mother when he was twelve. She predicted a martyr’s death for him because of his belief in Christ.

A woman named Sophia adopted him and raised him in the fear of God. During a terrible famine in Galatia several pagans turned out their own children, not having the means to feed them. Sophia took in these unfortunates, and fed and clothed them. St Clement assisted her in this. He taught the children and prepared them for Baptism. Many of them died as martyrs for Christ.

St Clement was made a reader, and later a deacon. When he was eighteen he was ordained to the holy priesthood, and at age twenty he was consecrated Bishop of Ancyra. Soon afterwards the persecution against Christians under Diocletian (284-305) broke out.

Bishop Clement was denounced as a Christian and arrested. Dometian, the governor of Galatia, tried to make the saint worship the pagan gods, but St Clement firmly confessed his faith and valiantly withstood all the tortures.

They suspended him on a tree, and raked his body with sharp iron instruments so that his entrails could be seen. They smashed his mouth with stones, and they turned him on a wheel and burned him over a low fire. The Lord preserved His sufferer and healed his lacerated body.

Then Dometian sent the saint to Rome to the emperor Diocletian himself, with a report that Bishop Clement had been fiercely tortured, but had proven unyielding. Diocletian, seeing the martyr completely healthy, did not believe the report and subjected him to even crueler tortures, and then had him locked up in prison.

Many of the pagans, seeing the bravery of the saint and the miraculous healing of his wounds, believed in Christ. People flocked to St Clement in prison for guidance, healing and Baptism, so that the prison was literally transformed into a church. When word of this reached the emperor, many of these new Christians were executed.

Diocletian, struck by the amazing endurance of St Clement, sent him to Nicomedia to his co-emperor Maximian. On the ship, the saint was joined by his disciple Agathangelus, who had avoided being executed with the other confessors, and who now wanted to suffer and die for Christ with Bishop Clement.

The emperor Maximian in turn sent Sts Clement and Agathangelus to the governor Agrippina, who subjected them to such inhuman torments, that even the pagan on-lookers felt pity for the martyrs and they began to pelt the torturers with stones.

Having been set free, the saints healed an inhabitant of the city through the laying on of hands and they baptized and instructed people, thronging to them in multitudes. Arrested again on orders of Maximian, they were sent home to Ancyra, where the ruler Cyrenius had them tortured. Then they were sent to the city of Amasea to the proconsul Dometius, known for his great cruelty.

In Amasea, the martyrs were thrown into hot lime. They spent a whole day in it and remained unharmed. They flayed them, beat them with iron rods, set them on red-hot beds, and poured sulfur on their bodies. All this failed to harm the saints, and they were sent to Tarsus for new tortures. In the wilderness along the way St Clement had a revelation that he would suffer a total of twenty-eight years for Christ. Then having endured a multitude of tortures, the saints were locked up in prison.

St Agathangelus was beheaded with the sword on November 5. The Christians of Ancyra freed St Clement from prison and took him to a cave church. There, after celebrating Liturgy, the saint announced to the faithful the impending end of the persecution and his own martyrdom. On January 23, the holy hierarch was killed by soldiers from the city, who stormed the church. The saint was beheaded as he stood before the altar and offered the Bloodless Sacrifice. Two deacons, Christopher and Chariton, were beheaded with him, but no one else was harmed.


You sprang up, most holy one, / as a branch and stem of holiness, / a most sacred flower of the contest of martyrdom / and as a most sweet fruit given by God to the faithful. / But as one who shared the struggle of the martyrs / and the throne of hierarchs, / intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.


You have become an honored branch of the vine of Christ, / revealed as one of many many struggles, / all-praised Clement, / with your fellow champion you cried out: / “Christ is the shining joy of martyrs.”


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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Monkmartyr Anastasius the Persian

Commemorated on January 22

The Monk Martyr Anastasius the Persian was the son of a Persian sorcerer named Bavi. As a pagan, he had the name Magundates and served in the armies of the Persian emperor Chozroes II, who in 614 ravaged the city of Jerusalem and carried away the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord to Persia.

Great miracles occurred from the Cross of the Lord, and the Persians were astonished. The heart of young Magundates was inflamed with the desire to learn more about this sacred object. Asking everyone about the Holy Cross, the youth learned that upon it the Lord Himself was crucified for the salvation of mankind. He became acquainted with the truths of the Christian Faith in the city of Chalcedon, where the army of Chozroes was for a certain while. He was baptized with the name Anastasius, and then became a monk and spent seven years in one of the Jerusalem monasteries, living an ascetical life.

Reading the Lives of the holy martyrs, St Anastasius was inspired with the desire to imitate them. A mysterious dream, which he had on Great and Holy Saturday, the day before the Resurrection of Christ, urged him to do this.

Having fallen asleep after his daily tasks, he beheld a radiant man giving him a golden chalice filled with wine, who said to him, “Take this and drink.” Draining the chalice, he felt an ineffable delight. St Anastasius then realized that this vision was his call to martyrdom.

He went secretly from the monastery to Palestinian Caesarea. There he was arrested for being a Christian, and was brought to trial. The governor tried in every way to force St Anastasius to renounce Christ, threatening him with tortures and death, and promising him earthly honors and blessings. The saint, however, remained unyielding. Then they subjected him to torture: they beat him with rods, they lacerated his knees, they hung him up by the hands and tied a heavy stone to his feet, they exhausted him with confinement, and then wore him down with heavy work in the stone quarry with other prisoners.

Finally, the governor summoned St Anastasius and promised him his freedom if he would only say, “I am not a Christian.” The holy martyr replied, “I will never deny my Lord before you or anyone else, neither openly nor even while asleep. No one can compel me to do this while I am in my right mind.” Then by order of the emperor Chozroes, St Anastasius was strangled, then beheaded. After the death of Chozroes, the relics of the Monk Martyr Anastasius were transferred to Palestine, to the Anastasius monastery.


Your holy martyr Anastasius, O Lord, / through his suffering 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!


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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Icon of the Mother of God “Comfort” or “Consolation”

Commemorated on January 21

The Vatopedi “Comfort” or “Consolation” Icon of the Mother of God is in the old Vatopedi monastery on Athos, in the church of the Annunciation. It was called “Vatopedi” because near this monastery Arcadius, the son of Empreor Theodosius the Great, fell off a ship into the sea, and by the miraculous intercession of the Mother of God he was carried to shore safe and unharmed. He was found sleeping by a bush, not far from the monastery. From this event the name “Vatopedi” (“batos paidion,” the bush of the child”) is derived. The holy Emperor Theodosius the Great (January 17), in gratitude for the miraculous deliverance of his son, embellished and generously endowed the Vatopedi monastery.

On the Vatopedi Icon, the Mother of God is depicted with Her face turned towards Her right shoulder. This is because on January 21, 807 She turned Her face towards the igumen of the monastery, who was standing near the holy icon, about to hand the keys of the monastery to the porter. A voice came from the icon and warned him not to open the monastery gates, because pirates intended to pillage the monastery. Then the Holy Child placed His hand over His Mother’s lips, saying, “Do not watch over this sinful flock, Mother, but let them fall under the sword of the pirates.” The Holy Virgin took the hand of Her Son and said again, “Do not open the gates today, but go to the walls and drive off the pirates.” The igumen took precautionary measures, and the monastery was saved.

In memory of this miraculous event a perpetual lamp burns in front of the wonderworking icon. Every day a Canon of Supplication is chanted in honor of the icon, and on Fridays the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. On Mt. Athos this icon is called “Paramythia,” “Consolation” (“Otrada”), or “Comfort” (“Uteshenie”).


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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

St Euthymius the Confessor

Commemorated on January 20

Abbot Euthymius Kereselidze was born in 1865 in the village of Sadmeli (Racha region) to the pious Solomon and Marta Kereselidze. At birth he was given the name Evstate. After completing his studies at the local parish school, fifteen-year-old Evstate traveled first to Kutaisi, then Tbilisi, in search of work. With the help of other pious young men Evstate founded a kind of theological “book club” in Tbilisi. The objectives of the organization were to strengthen the Orthodox Faith among the Georgian people, to better understand the ancient school of Georgian chant, and to spread knowledge of this venerable musical tradition among the general public.

In the 1890s the organization purchased a print shop with the help of St. Ilia the Righteous. In the twenty-five years that followed, these young men zealously published theological texts and distributed them to the public free of charge. After some time Evstate resolved to take upon himself the heavy yoke of monasticism, for which he had been preparing from an early age. His spiritual father, the venerable St. Alexi (Shushania), supported his decision. In 1912, with the blessing of Bishop Giorgi (Aladashvili) of Imereti, Evstate began to labor as a novice at Gelati Monastery. On December 23, 1912, he was tonsured a monk by a certain Antimos, the abbot of the monastery. He was given the name Ekvtime in honor of St. Ekvtime of Mt. Athos. In May of 1913 he was ordained a hierodeacon.

In 1917 Fr. Ekvtime was ordained to the priesthood by the same Bishop Giorgi. In the terrible year of 1921, immediately after the Communists seized power in Kutaisi, the authorities deemed Fr. Ekvtime untrustworthy and arrested him. But, according to God’s will, he was released due to the lack of evidence against him. In this ungodly era, the clergy and monks of Gelati Monastery came to expect abuses and persecutions each day. But the faithful hieromonk Ekvtime persevered in his work, gathering hundreds of ancient Georgian hymns for eventual publication according to Western notation.

In 1924 the Communists destroyed the Cathedral of King Davit the Restorer in Kutaisi. Later that year they shot and killed Metropolitan Nazar of Kutaisi-Gaenati and the clergy who served under him. The hysteria had reached its peak. Fr. Ekvtime planned to leave Gelati Monastery and to move the ancient manuscripts with which he had been working to a more secure location. At that time thousands of travelers were killed on the road between Kutaisi and Tbilisi, but Fr. Ekvtime safely transported himself and his cartload of manuscripts from Kutaisi to Mtskheta, a short distance from Tbilisi.

Fr. Ekvtime brought the manuscripts to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral for safekeeping, and he was soon appointed dean of this parish. Even in 1925, when Catholicos-Patriarch Ambrosi was imprisoned at Metekhi and threats to the Georgian clergy increased significantly, Fr. Ekvtime continued to guard the ancient manuscripts faithfully. He transcribed the music from the medieval neume system of notation to the European-style staff system. At the same time, Fr. Ekvtime served as spiritual father to the nuns of Samtavro Convent, located a short distance from Svetitskhoveli.

In 1929 Fr. Ekvtime was relocated to Zedazeni Monastery outside of Mtskheta. He brought the ancient music manuscripts with him to his new home, concealed them in metal vessels, and buried them beneath the earth. Six years later, in November of 1935, he turned over thirty-four volumes of music containing 5,532 chants and several theological manuscripts to the State Museum of Georgia.

During World War II conditions in the Georgian monasteries grew ever more bleak. The abbot of Zedazeni Monastery, Archimandrite Mikael (Mandaria), was taking food to the monks of Saguramo when the Communists shot and killed him for violating the curfew they had imposed.

The young monk Parten (Aptsiauri) was falsely accused and arrested. After the repose of the elder Saba (Pulariani), Fr. Ekvtime was the only monk remaining at Zedazeni. Fr. Ekvtime’s spiritual children, the nuns of Samtavro Convent, cared for him as he grew older. In the winter of 1944 the nun Zoile (Dvalishvili) and several others went to visit him at Zedazeni and found him lying enfeebled in bed.

After a short time Fr. Ekvtime peacefully gave up his soul to the Lord. Fr. Ekvtime was buried in the yard of Zedazeni Monastery, near the church sanctuary.

Part of his rich library was moved to Samtavro. To this day several of the original manuscripts of hymns he transcribed to European-style notation are preserved there.

The ancient school of Georgian chant is preserved up to this day primarily as a result of Abbot Ekvtime’s fearless labors. St. Ekvtime (Kereselidze), like St. Ekvtime of Mt. Athos for whom he was named, dedicated his life to the enrichment of his mother Church. Like St. Ekvtime Taqaishvili, the “Man of God”, he gave his talents and energies to the preservation of Georgia’s unique spiritual heritage. He was a monk-ascetic and a scholar who prayed fervently. (Several of his theological treatises are preserved at Samtavro.) From his youth St. Ekvtime was for others an example of virginity, humility and patience.

On September 18, 2003, the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church declared Ekvtime (Kereselidze) worthy of being numbered among the saints. The Synod called him “Ekvtime the Confessor,” thereby recognizing his confession of the Faith and his vital role in the preservation of the rich tradition of national liturgical song.


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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Virginmartyr Euphrasia of Nicomedia

Commemorated on January 19

The Holy Virgin Martyr Euphrasia was born at Nicomedia into an illustrious family. She was a Christian, and was noted for her beauty. During the persecution of Christians by Maximian, the pagans tried to compel Euphrasia to offer sacrifice to idols. When she refused, she was beaten, and then given to a certain barbarian to be violated.

The saint prayed tearfully to the Lord that He would preserve her virginity, and God heard her prayer. St Euphrasia suggested to the barbarian that if he would not defile her, she would give him a special herb which would protect him from enemy weapons and death. But this herb, she explained, held its power only when received from a virgin and not from a woman.

The soldier believed St Euphrasia and went with her into the garden. The holy virgin picked the herb, then offered to demonstrate its power. She placed the herb on her neck and told the man to strike her with his sword. With a mighty blow, he cut off her head. Thus her prayer was answered, and the wise virgin offered her soul to God in 303, safeguarding her bodily purity.


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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

St Anthony of Krasny Kholm

Saint Anthony of Krasny Kholm was initially a wilderness-dweller in the vicinity of White Lake. The hieromonk arrived in the region of Tver and settled near “Pretty Hillock” [“Krasny kholm”], at the bank of the River Mologa, building a chapel and cell there. After the discovery of an icon of St Nicholas, a stone church was built and a monastery founded, headed by the saint, who taught the brethren both by word and by example throughout his life. St Anthony died in 1481.


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

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hieromartyr Damascene of Hilandar of Mt Athos

The Hieromartyr Damascene the New was born in the village of Gabrovo of the Trnovo diocese in Bulgaria. As an adult, he left his home and went to the Hilandar monastery on Mt. Athos, where he later became igumen. St Damascene often journeyed to various places on monastery business. He once went to Bulgaria to ask a certain Moslem for payment of a debt owed to the monastery. To avoid paying the debt, the man placed a Moslem woman in the room where the saint was staying. He was wrongly charged with having sexual relations with the woman, a crime which carried the death penalty if he were convicted.

Despite the doubts of the kadi (judge), the Moslems in court gave false testimony against Father Damascene, so the kadi had to find him guilty. Before taking him to be executed, they gave him the choice of saving his life by converting to Islam, or death.

Seeing that nothing would induce the saint to deny Christ and accept their religion, the Moslems hanged him at Svishtov on January 16, 1771. The wrath of God was not slow in overtaking the evil-doers, however. They got into a boat to cross the Danube River, and the boat capsized in a storm, drowning them.


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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Venerable Pansophius of Alexandria, the Martyr

The Monk Martyr Pansophius, was a son of the Alexandrian proconsul Nilus. After the death of his father, he distributed his inheritance to the poor and settled in the desert, where he lived in asceticism for twenty-seven years.

During the persecution by Decius (249-251) St Pansophius was brought to trial before the prefect of Alexandria. The monk boldly confessed his faith in Christ and denounced pagan errors, for which he was fiercely beaten with rods. He died from these beatings, thereby receiving a martyr’s crown (249-251).


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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

St Joseph Analytinus of Raithu

Saint Joseph Analytinus of Raithu was a strict ascetic He attained such a high degree of perfection in the spiritual life that a light shone upon him while he prayed. He foretold the time of his death to his disciple Gelasius, and died in peace, before the slaughter of the Sinai Fathers.


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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hilary of Poitiers

January 13

The holy Hierarch Hilary was born of pagan parents in Gaul, and was trained in philosophy and rhetoric. At a time when paganism was still strong in Gaul, Saint Hilary understood the falsehood of polytheism, and became a Christian, and a great defender of his new Faith. About the year 350 he was ordained Bishop of Poitiers, when Arles and Milan were in the hands of the Arians and the Arian Constantius was sole Emperor. Like his contemporary Saint Athanasius, Saint Hilary's episcopate was one long struggle against the Arians. As bishop of Poitiers, Saint Hilary foresaw the future greatness of Martin (see Nov. 12), and attached him to himself. In 355, when required to agree to the condemnation of Saint Athanasius passed by the Council of Milan, Hilary wrote an epistle to Constantius convicting the wrongs done by the Arians and requesting, among other things, the restoration of the Orthodox bishops, including Athanasius. For this, Hilary was banished to Asia Minor, where he wrote his greatest work, On the Trinity. Saint Hilary returned to his see in 360, where Saint Martin sought him out again. It was this time that Saint Hilary blessed Martin to found a monastery near Poitiers, where Martin remained until being consecrated Bishop of Tours in 371. In his last years, Saint Hilary, strove for the deposition of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, but by affecting an Orthodox confession Auxentius retained his see. Saint Hilary reposed in peace about the year 368. Auxentius died in 374 and was succeeded by Saint Ambrose, who continued Saint Hilary's battle against Arianism.

Apolytikion of Hilary of Poitiers in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Guide of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and holiness, luminary of the world, God-inspired adornment of hierarchs, O wise Hilary, by thy teachings thou hast enlightened all, O harp of the Spirit. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion of Hilary of Poitiers in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Enduring exile for the Faith delivered to the Church of Christ, * thou didst withstand the deceit of the Arians, O holy Hierarch Hilary. * By thy prayers and thy teachings, * O defender of Orthodoxy and right belief, * convert the Western lands and entreat Christ for us, who honour thee.


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

Monday, January 12, 2015

Martyr Mertius of Mauretania

Commemorated on January 12

The Holy Martyr Mertius was a soldier. He suffered for Christ in Africa during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). The emperor demanded that he offer sacrifice to idols, and when he refused, gave him over to torture. The saint suffered fierce torments, not making a sound. He was thrown into prison, where he died from hunger and his wounds. 


Your holy martyr Mertius, 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!


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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Venerable Theodosius the Metropolitan of Trebizond

Saint Theodosius, Metropolitan of Trebizond, was born in the village of Koritsa, near the Kastorian hills. At eighteen years of age he became a monk at Constantinople and went to the Philotheou monastery on Mt. Athos, where he led a strict ascetic life.

He was chosen igumen of the monastery in 1375, and afterwards was made Metropolitan of Trebizond because of the holiness of his life. He persuaded John Alexius Komnenos to build the monastery of Dionysiou on Mt. Athos. After a God-pleasing life, he died in Trebizond in 1392.


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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

St Marcian the Presbyter in Constantinople

Saint Marcian, Presbyter of the Great Church, was born at Rome and in his youth he received a first-rate education in Constantinople. After the death of his parents, St Marcian used his inheritance on the building, renovation and embellishment of churches. Thus, he built a church dedicated to the holy Martyr Anastasia (December 22), richly adorned it, and had the holy relics of the saint transferred to it. He also built a church of the Great Martyr Irene (May 5), and the church of St Isidore.

His moral purity and strict asceticism were resented by those who were slothful and avaricious, for they regarded his life as an unspoken criticism of their own lack of virtue. However, his meekness and silence overcame their slanders and brought him to the attention of the Patriarch, who ordained St Marcian a presbyter and appointed him treasurer of the Church of Constantinople.

From his wealth St Marcian distributed generous alms, and distinguished himself by non-covetousness, denying himself in everything. In accord with the command of the Savior, he did not even have an extra set of clothes, which he might need should he be caught in inclement weather. Having received a gift of wonderworking, St Marcian healed the sick and cast out devils. St Marcian died between 472-474 and was buried at the monastery of St John the Forerunner at Constantinople.


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

Friday, January 09, 2015

St Eustratius the Wonderworker

Saint Eustratius came from the city of Tarsus. At twenty years of age he secretly left his parents’ home and settled in the Abgar monastery (on Olympos in Asia Minor). There he lived a strict ascetic life, eating only bread and water, and spending his nights at prayer. After a certain while he was chosen as igumen of the monastery.

During the reign of the Iconoclast Leo the Armenian (813-820), St Eustratius hid from pursuit by roaming the hills and the wilds. After the death of the emperor he returned to the monastery. Prayer was always on his lips, and he constantly repeated the words: “Lord, have mercy!”

Before his death he gave instructions to the monks not to be attracted towards earthly blessings, and constantly to think about the future life. Signing himself with the Sign of the Cross, he said, “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit” and he died in peace at age 95.


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

Thursday, January 08, 2015

St Paisius of Uglich

Commemorated on January 8

Saint Paisius of Uglich was igumen of the Protection monastery, near Uglich. He was born in the Tver district near the city of Kashin, and he was a nephew of St Macarius of Kalyazin (March 17).

St Paisius entered his uncle’s monastery after the death of his parents, when he was just an eleven-year-old child. Under his uncle’s guidance, St Paisius led a monastic life of obedience, fasting and prayer, and he was put to work copying soul-saving books.

“A man wondrous of spirit, famed teacher of holiness and most astounding wonderworker, he founded (in 1464) the cenobitic Protection monastery three versts from Uglich at the wish of Prince Andrew, and he was chosen igumen.” St Paisius was also “founder and organizer of the holy Nikolsky Grekhozaruchnya monastery in 1489.

Struggling at the Protection monastery, St Paisius lived into old age and died on June 6, 1504. His relics, glorified by miracles, rest beneath a crypt in the Protection monastery.


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

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Synaxis of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

Commemorated on January 7

In the Orthodox Church it is customary, on the day following the Great Feasts of the Lord and the Mother of God, to remember those saints who participated directly in the sacred event. So, on the day following the Theophany of the Lord, the Church honors the one who participated directly in the Baptism of Christ, placing his own hand upon the head of the Savior.

St John, the holy Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, whom the Lord called the greatest of the prophets, concludes the history of the Old Testament and opens the era of the New Testament. The holy Prophet John bore witness to the Only-Begotten Son of God, incarnate in the flesh. St John was accounted worthy to baptize Him in the waters of the Jordan, and he was a witness of the Theophany of the Most Holy Trinity on the day of the Savior’s Baptism.

The holy Prophet John was related to the Lord on His mother’s side, the son of the Priest Zachariah and Righteous Elizabeth. The holy Forerunner, John, was born six months before Christ. The Archangel Gabriel announced his birth in the Temple at Jerusalem, revealing to Zachariah that a son was to be born to him.
Through the prayers offered beforehand, the child was filled with the Holy Spirit. St John prepared himself in the wilds of the desert for his great service by a strict life, by fasting, prayer and sympathy for the fate of God’s people.

At the age of thirty, he came forth preaching repentance. He appeared on the banks of the Jordan, to prepare the people by his preaching to accept the Savior of the world. In church hymnology, St John is called a “bright morning star,” whose gleaming outshone the brilliance of all the other stars, announcing the coming dawn of the day of grace, illumined with the light of the spiritual Sun, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Having baptized the sinless Lamb of God, St John soon died a martyr’s death, beheaded by the sword on orders of King Herod at the request of his daughter Salome. (On St John the Baptist, see Mt.3:1-16, 11:1-19, 14:1-12; Mark 1:2-8, 6:14-29; Luke 1:5-25, 39-80, 3:1-20, 7:18-35, 9:7-9; John 1:19-34, 3:22-26). The Transfer of the Right Hand of the holy Forerunner from Antioch to Constantinople (956) and the Miracle of Saint John the Forerunner against the Hagarenes (Moslems) at Chios:

The body of Saint John the Baptist was buried in the Samaritan city of Sebaste. The holy Evangelist Luke,who went preaching Christ in various cities and towns, came to Sebaste, where they gave him the right hand of the holy Prophet John, the very hand with which he had baptized the Savior. The Evangelist Luke took it with him to his native city of Antioch.

When the Moslems seized Antioch centuries later, a deacon named Job brought the holy hand of the Forerunner from Antioch to Chalcedon. From there, on the eve of the Theophany of the Lord, it was transferred to Constantinople (956) and kept thereafter.

In the year 1200, the Russian pilgrim Dobrynya, who later became St Anthony, Archbishop of Novgorod (February 10), saw the right hand of the Forerunner in the imperial palace. From the Lives of the Saints we learn that in the year 1263, during the capture of Constantinople by the Crusaders, the emperor Baldwin gave one bone from the wrist of St John the Baptist to Ottonus de Cichon, who then gave it to a Cistercian abbey in France.

The right hand continued to be kept in Constantinople. And at the end of the fourteenth to the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, the holy relic was seen at Constantinople in the Peribleptos monastery by the Russian pilgrims Stephen of Novgorod, the deacon Ignatius, the cantor Alexander and the deacon Zosimus. When Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, sacred objects were gathered up at the the conqueror’s orders and kept under lock in the imperial treasury.

In the Lives of the Saints is clear testimony that in the year 1484 the right hand of the holy Forerunner was given away by the son of the Moslem sultan Bayazet to the knights of Rhodes to gain their good will, since a dangerous rival for Bayazet, his own brother, had allied himself with them. A contemporary participant, the vice-chancellor of Rhodes, Wilhelm Gaorsan Gallo, also speaks of this event. The knights of Rhodes, having established their base on the island of Malta (in the Mediterranean Sea), then transferred the sacred relic they had received to Malta.

When the Russian Tsar Paul I (1796-1801) became Grand Master of the Maltese Order in honor of the holy Prophet John, the right hand of the Baptist, part of the Life-Creating Cross and the Philermos Icon (October 12) of the Mother of God (from Mt Philermos on the island of Rhodes) were transferred in 1799 from the island of Malta to Russia [because of the Napoleonic threat], to the chapel at Gatchina (October 12). In the same year these sacred items were transferred into the church dedicated to the Icon of the Savior Not Made by Hands at the Winter Palace. A special service was composed for this Feast.

Besides the Synaxis of the honorable, glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates his memory on the following days: September 23, his Conception; June 24, his Nativity; August 29, his Beheading; February 24, the First and Second Finding of his Head; May 25, the Third Finding of his Head; October 12, the Transfer of his Right Hand from Malta to Gatchina (1799).


The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise, / but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for you, O Forerunner. / You were shown in truth to be the most honorable of the prophets, / for you were deemed worthy to baptize in the streams of the Jordan Him whom they foretold. / Therefore, having suffered for the truth with joy, / you proclaimed to those in hell God who appeared in the flesh, / who takes away the sin of the world, and grants us great mercy.


The river Jordan trembled and was driven back filled with fear at Your coming in the flesh, / while John drew back in awe as he fulfilled the ministry of a prophet. / The ranks of angels stood amazed, / when they beheld You in the flesh being baptized in the streams. / And we, who were in darkness, are filled with light as we praise You, / who have appeared to enlighten all.


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

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Venerable Macarius of Mt. Athos

Saint Macarius was born in Thessalonica during the reign of Emperor Manuel II Paleologos, and went to Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos when he was young. Later, he went to Constantinople and became igumen of the Monastery of the Pantokrator, and chaplain to the Emperor.

He died in 1431 during an epidemic in Chalke.


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

Monday, January 05, 2015

Venerable Phosterius the Hermit

Saint Phosterius the Hermit led an ascetical life on a lofty mountain, where he was fed by an angel. He brought many back to the Church from the heresy of Iconoclasm by his miracles and saintly life.


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

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy

Commemorated on January 4

Saint Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy, was by descent a Hebrew, and he was born in the Syrian city of Edessa. The holy Apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy must be distinguished from St Jude, also called Thaddeus or Levi (June 19), who was one of the Twelve Apostles.

When he came to Jerusalem for a feastday, he heard the preaching of John the Forerunner. After being baptized by him in the Jordan, he remained in Palestine. He saw the Savior, and became His follower. He was chosen by the Lord to be one of the Seventy Disciples, whom He sent by twos to preach in the cities and places where He intended to visit (Luke. 10: 1).

After the Ascension of the Savior to Heaven, St Thaddeus preached the good news in Syria and Mesopotamia. He came preaching the Gospel to Edessa and he converted King Abgar, the people and the pagan priests to Christ. He backed up his preaching with many miracles (about which Abgar wrote to the Assyrian emperor Nerses). He established priests there and built up the Edessa Church.

Prince Abgar wanted to reward St Thaddeus with rich gifts, but he refused and went preaching to other cities, converting many pagans to the Christian Faith. He went to the city of Beirut to preach, and he founded a church there. It was in this city that he peacefully died in the year 44. (The place of his death is indicated as Beirut in the Slavonic MENAION, but according to other sources he died in Edessa. According to an ancient Armenian tradition, St Thaddeus, after various tortures, was beheaded by the sword on December 21 in the Artaz region in the year 50).


Holy apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy; / entreat the merciful; / to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.


The Church ever sees you as a shining star, O apostle Thaddeus, / Your miracles have manifested great enlightenment. / Therefore we cry out to Christ: / “Save those who with faith honor Your apostle, O Most Merciful One.”


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

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Malachi the Prophet

January 3

The Prophet Malachi ("messenger of God") is the last of the twelve minor Prophets, and also of all the Prophets of the Old Testament. He prophesied in the days of Nehemias, a wise man among the Jews, who also held a high and powerful position in the court of Artaxerxes the Long-armed, King of the Persians, who reigned from 465 to 424 B.C. Malachis' book of prophecy is divided into four chapters; he foretold the coming of Christ as the Sun of Righteousness (4:2)

Apolytikion of Prophet Malachi in the Second Tone
As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Malachi, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.

Kontakion of Prophet Malachi in the Fourth Tone
Since the gift of prophecy dwelt in thee richly, thou, O Prophet, clearly didst foretell the coming of Christ God and the salvation of all the world, which is enlightened through grace by His shining forth.



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

Friday, January 02, 2015

New Martyr George of Iberia

Commemorated on January 2

St George (Zorzes) was from Georgia, and was sold into slavery when he was young. His master, a Muslim from the Greek island of Mytilene, forced him to embrace Islam and renamed him Sali. After his master died, George remained on the island and opened a small shop.

In 1770, when he was seventy years old, he appeared before the authorities and announced that he was an Orthodox Christian. The kadi thought that George had lost his mind, since his declaration would lead to his death.

The next day George was questioned again, and then he was beaten. He endured his torments with silence, but would not be turned from his confession of faith. After more torture, the holy martyr was hanged on January 2, 1770, receiving a crown of glory from the Savior Christ.


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

Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Circumcision of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Commemorated on January 1

On the eighth day after His Nativity, our Lord Jesus Christ was circumcised in accordance with the Old Testament Law. All male infants underwent circumcision as a sign of God’s Covenant with the holy Forefather Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 17:10-14, Lev. 12:3).

After this ritual the Divine Infant was given the name Jesus, as the Archangel Gabriel declared on the day of the Annunciation to the Most Holy Theotokos (Luke 1:31-33, 2:21). The Fathers of the Church explain that the Lord, the Creator of the Law, underwent circumcision in order to give people an example of how faithfully the divine ordinances ought to be fulfilled. The Lord was circumcised so that later no one would doubt that He had truly assumed human flesh, and that His Incarnation was not merely an illusion, as certain heretics (Docetists) taught.

In the New Testament, the ritual of circumcision gave way to the Mystery of Baptism, which it prefigured (Col. 2:11-12). Accounts of the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord continue in the Eastern Church right up through the fourth century. The Canon of the Feast was written by St Stephen of the St Sava Monastery (October 28 and July 13).

In addition to circumcision, which the Lord accepted as a sign of God’s Covenant with mankind, He also received the Name Jesus (Savior) on the eighth day after His Nativity as an indication of His service, the work of the salvation of the world (Mt.1:21; Mark 9:38-39, 16:17; Luke 10:17; Acts 3:6, 16; Phil 2:9-10). These two events, the Lord’s Circumcision and Naming, remind Christians that they have entered into a New Covenant with God and “are circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Col. 2:11). The very name “Christian” is a sign of mankind’s entrance into a New Covenant with God.


 Enthroned on high with the Eternal Father and Your divine Spirit, / O Jesus, You willed to be born on earth of the unwedded handmaid, your Mother. / Therefore You were circumcised as an eight-day old Child. / Glory to Your most gracious counsel; / glory to Your dispensation; / glory to Your condescension, O only Lover of mankind.


The Lord of all accepts to be circumcised, / thus, as He is good, excises the sins of mortal men. / Today He grants the world salvation, / while light-bearing Basil, high priest of our Creator, / rejoices in heaven as a divine initiate of Christ.


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