Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Righteous Joseph the Patriarch

Commemorated on March 31


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

Are There Virtuous Lay People in Contemporary World?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SOURCE:

What is the difference between Orthodox and heretic?

Protopresbyter John S. Romanides, University Professor 

What is the difference between Orthodox and heretic?

From the book "Patristic Theology"

I think we can comprehend the basic difference between them, if we take Medical Science as an example. There, we have doctors who belong to the Medical Association; if a doctor is not a member of the Medical Association, he cannot exercise the medical profession.  For a doctor to be legal, he must not only be a graduate of a recognized Medical School, but also a member of the Medical Association.  The same prerequisites apply to lawyers. These sciences undergo continuous monitoring, because, if one were to deviate from the proper exercising of his profession, he is tried by the pertinent authority of the professional Association he belongs to, and is expelled from the Body of that profession.

The same however occurs in the Church.  The respective procedure within the Body of the Church - that is, the excision of a member - is called "excommunication"; if it relates to a member of an ecclesiastic rank, then it is called "unfrocking". It is how heretics are excommunicated from the Body of the church.  Just as within the Medical realm a "quack" (fake doctor) cannot possibly be permitted to heal, thus also in the Church it is not possible for a heretic to heal the souls of people; because, being a heretic, he does not know how - nor is he able - to heal.  Therefore, in the same manner that a union between a "quack" Association and the Medical Association is never possible, it is likewise never possible for a union to take place between the Orthodox and heretics.  An actual doctor is not one who merely reads many medical books, but rather, the one who has graduated from the Medical School of a University, and at the same has apprenticed over a significant period of time near an experienced professor of proven ability to heal the sick.

Protopresbyter John S. Romanides, University Professor - from the book "Patristic Theology"


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Meeting of the Mother of God and Saint Elizabeth

Commemorated on March 30

The establishment of this Feast and the composition of the Service are the work of Archimandrite Antonin Kapustin (+ 1894), head of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Jerusalem.

The Gorneye Convent in Jerusalem, built on the site of the Meeting of the Theotokos and St Elizabeth, celebrates this Feast on March 30. If March 30 should fall between Lazarus Saturday and Pascha, however, the Feast is transferred to Bright Friday.


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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mark, Bishop of Arethusa

March 29

Saint Mark was Bishop of Arethusa in Syria. In the days of Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Mark, moved with divine zeal, destroyed a temple of the idols and raised up a church in its stead. When Julian the Apostate reigned, in 361, as the pagans were now able to avenge the destruction of their temple, Saint Mark, giving way to wrath, hid himself; but when he saw that others were being taken on his account, he gave himself up. Having no regard to his old age, they stripped him and beat his whole body, cast him into filthy sewers, and pulling him out, had children prick him with their iron writing-pens. Then they put him into a basket, smeared him with honey and a kind of relish of pickled fish, and hung him up under the burning sun to be devoured by bees and wasps. But because he bore this so nobly, his enemies repented, and unloosed him.

Apolytikion of Hierormartyr Mark of Arethusa in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Since they had slain through their abstinence and struggles the fiery ragings and fierce motions of the passions, the staunch Martyrs of Christ God laid hold on the graces to drive off the pains and illnesses of the sick and work wonders both while living and after death. Strange indeed is the miracle! That these bare bones should pour forth such overflowing streams of cures. Glory be to our only God.


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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Martyr Enravota - Boyan, the Prince of Bulgaria

The Holy Martyr Boyan, Prince of Bulgaria, suffered for Christ around the year 830. When his pagan brother Malomir [Vladimir] ascended the Bulgarian throne, Prince Boyan asked him to free the learned Christian Kinamon, who had been in prison for a long time for refusing to participate in pagan sacrifices under Prince Obrit (Krutogon), Prince Malomir’s predecessor.

Malomir consented and gave Kinamon to Prince Boyan as a slave. Boyan spoke to Kinamon about Christianity, telling him of the errors of paganism and that belief in Christ is necessary for salvation. At the end of their conversation he told the prince, “Without Jesus Christ there is no light for the mind, no life for the soul. He alone is the Teacher of mankind and our Savior. By His death, He has reconciled fallen mankind with God. If you do not wish to perish, believe in the Lord Jesus.” Prince Boyan recognized the truth of his words, and was inspired to ask for Baptism.

The newly-converted prince was filled with a love of prayer, fasting and contemplation of God. Malomir, learning about the conversion of his brother to Christianity, demanded that he renounce the Christian Faith and return to paganism. Instead, the holy Prince Boyan answered, “I despise the pagan idols and I revere Christ, the true God. No one shall separate me from the love of Christ.” Malomir, hearing his brother’s reply, sentenced him to death.

Before his martyric death, the holy martyr-prince declared: “The faith for which I now die will spread throughout the Bulgarian land. You vainly imagine that you will stop it by killing me. Temples to the true God will be built, and priests will offer Him true worship. The idols and their foul sacrifices, however, will vanish.” Then he said to his brother Malomir, “You will gain nothing from your cruelty, and death will soon overtake you.”

The holy martyr was killed by the sword, and his predictions to his brother were the first to be fulfilled. Malomir soon died, and since he had no heir, his elder brother Presian (836-852) succeeded to the throne. Prince Presian’s son, the holy Prince Boris, in holy Baptism Michael (May 2) later Christianized the Bulgarian nation. Thus the prophecy of the holy Martyr Prince Boyan was fulfilled.


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

Friday, March 27, 2015

Venerable John the Clairvoyant, Anchorite, of Egypt

Saint John the Clairvoyant of Egypt was born at the beginning of the fourth century. He lived in the city of Likopolis (Middle Egypt) and was a carpenter. At the age of twenty-five he went to a monastery, where he received monastic tonsure.

For five years St John lived in various monasteries, and then wanting complete solitude, he went to the Thebaid and lived on Mount Bolcha. St John then spent many years in solitude, never leaving the spot. He conversed with visitors through a small window, through which he also received food and other necessities.

After thirty years of seclusion,St John received the gift of clairvoyance from God. He predicted to the emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395) victory over his adversaries Maximus and Eugenius, and a military victory over the Gauls. He also foretold future events in the lives of his visitors, and gave them guidance. The ascetic gave holy oil to the sick who visited him, and anointed them with it, healing them of various maladies.

St John predicted that the historian Palladius, who wrote his Life, would become a bishop. The prediction of the seer was fulfilled, and Palladius was made Bishop of Bithynia (Asia Minor).

St John in his instructions commanded first of all to have humility: “Imitate the virtuous life of the holy Fathers according to the measure of your strength and if you fulfill everything, do not become overconfident or praise yourself. For there are many people who reached perfection in virtue and became puffed up with pride, plunging from the heights into the abyss.

“Examine yourselves carefully to see if your conscience is pure, so that purity may not be driven from your mind. Do not allow your thoughts to wander during prayer. Do you, out of vanity, wish to gain a reputation for asceticism? Or do you wish to have only the appearance of asceticism? Take heed lest any passion overcome you. Take heed that thoughts of worldly things do not enter your mind during prayer, since there is nothing more foolish than to pray to God with your lips, while your thoughts are far from Him. This often happens with those who do not absolutely renounce the world, but rather seek approval from men. A man whose mind is given over to worldly and perishable things, cannot behold God with his spiritual eyes. It is fitting that one who seeks after God will remove his mind from every earthly thing, and direct the gaze of his understanding towards God. He who has attained a little knowledge of God (for no one can receive the whole of it), is able to acquire knowledge of many things, and will see the mysteries which the knowledge of God will show him. He sees future events before they happen, and like a saint he will receive glorious revelations. He will work miracles, and will receive everything that he asks from God.”

“Love silence, child, live always in divine contemplation and pray that God will grant you a pure mind, free from sinful thoughts. Worthy of praise is the ascetic who lives in the world, practices the virtues, renders kindness to strangers or distributes alms, or who helps others in their work, or lives without anger. Such a man is praiseworthy, since he dwells in virtue, fulfilling the commands of God, while not neglecting earthly affairs.”

“He who leaves the transitory things of this world to others is better and more worthy of praise, for he denies himself, takes up his cross, and cleaves to Christ. He constantly embraces the things of heaven, and escapes earthly things. He will not allow himself to be turned aside by any other cares. Such a man, through his good deeds and the praises which he offers to God, is free and unfettered by any ties whatsoever. He stands before God in security, and his mind is not distracted by any other cares. He who is in this condition continually converses with God.”

St John brought much spiritual benefit to people with these and similar salvific teachings, through his instructive discourses, and by his personal example in the angelic life.

St John of Egypt survived into old age and fell asleep in the Lord in 395, at the age of ninety.


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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Martyrs Bathusius, Bercus the Presbyter, Arpilus the Monk, as well as Abibus, Agnus, Reasus, Igathrax, Iscoius(Iskous), Silias, Signicus, Sonirilus, Suimbalus, Thermus, as well as Philus(Philgas) the Layman, as well as Anna, Alla, Monco(Manca), Uirko(Virko), Animais(Animaida), Larissa the Laywomen as well as Gaath the Queen and Dulcida the Princess in the Crimea

Commemorated on March 26

These twenty-six martyrs were killed by the Goths around the year 375 under Jungerich, a persecutor of Christians. Ancient synaxaria of the Gothic Church recount the martyrdom of twenty-six Christians in the time of the emperors Valentinian, Valens, and Gratian. The historian Sozomen says that King Athanaric was enraged to see his subjects embracing Christianity because of the preaching of the Arian bishop Ulfilas. So, he ordered many of them to be tortured and executed, often without a trial.

King Athanaric’s ministers placed a statue in a chariot and paraded it before the tents which Christians used for church services. Those who worshiped the idol and offered sacrifice were spared, the rest were burned alive in the tent. Jungerich gave orders to burn down a church during divine services. In the fiery inferno 308 people perished, of whom only twenty-one are known by name. There was also an anonymous man who came to the tent and confessed Christ. He was martyred with the others. Different manuscripts give variants of their names.

In the reign of Valentinian and Theodosius (383-392), the Gothic king’s widow Gaatha (who was an Orthodox Christian) and her daughter Duclida gathered up the relics of the holy martyrs and brought them to Syria with the help of some priests and a layman named Thyellas. Gaatha later returned to her native land, where she was stoned and died as a martyr, along with her son Agathon.

The relics of the holy martyrs were left to Duclida, who went to Cyzicus in Asia Minor and gave some of the relics for the founding of a church. St Duclida died in peace.

The holy martyrs were commemorated on October 23 on the Gothic calendars.


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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Commemorated on March 25

The Feast of the Annunciation is one of the earliest Christian feasts, and was already being celebrated in the fourth century. There is a painting of the Annunciation in the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome dating from the second century. The Council of Toledo in 656 mentions the Feast, and the Council in Trullo in 692 says that the Annunciation was celebrated during Great Lent.

The Greek and Slavonic names for the Feast may be translated as “good tidings.” This, of course, refers to the Incarnation of the Son of God and the salvation He brings. The background of the Annunciation is found in the Gospel of St Luke (1:26-38). The troparion describes this as the “beginning of our salvation, and the revelation of the eternal mystery,” for on this day the Son of God became the Son of Man.

There are two main components to the Annunciation: the message itself, and the response of the Virgin. The message fulfills God’s promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15): “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.” The Fathers of the Church understand “her seed” to refer to Christ. The prophets hinted at His coming, which they saw dimly, but the Archangel Gabriel now proclaims that the promise is about to be fulfilled.

We see this echoed in the Liturgy of St Basil, as well: “When man disobeyed Thee, the only true God who had created him, and was deceived by the guile of the serpent, becoming subject to death by his own transgressions, Thou, O God, in Thy righteous judgment, didst send him forth from Paradise into this world, returning him to the earth from which he was taken, yet providing for him the salvation of regeneration in Thy Christ Himself.”

The Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth in Galilee. There he spoke to the undefiled Virgin who was betrothed to St Joseph: “Hail, thou who art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

In contrast to Eve, who was readily deceived by the serpent, the Virgin did not immediately accept the Angel’s message. In her humility, she did not think she was deserving of such words, but was actually troubled by them. The fact that she asked for an explanation reveals her sobriety and prudence. She did not disbelieve the words of the angel, but could not understand how they would be fulfilled, for they spoke of something which was beyond nature.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34).

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: therefore also that which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1: 35-38).”

In his Sermon 23 on the day of the Annunciation, St Philaret of Moscow boldly stated that “the word of the creature brought the Creator down into the world.” He explains that salvation is not merely an act of God’s will, but also involves the Virgin’s free will. She could have refused, but she accepted God’s will and chose to cooperate without complaint or further questions.

The icon of the Feast shows the Archangel with a staff in his left hand, indicating his role as a messenger. Sometimes one wing is upraised, as if to show his swift descent from heaven. His right hand is stretched toward the holy Virgin as he delivers his message.

The Virgin is depicted either standing or sitting, usually holding yarn in her left hand. Sometimes she is shown holding a scroll. Her right hand may be raised to indicate her surprise at the message she is hearing. Her head is bowed, showing her consent and obedience. The descent of the Holy Spirit upon her is depicted by a ray of light issuing from a small sphere at the top of the icon, which symbolizes heaven. In a famous icon from Sinai, a white dove is shown in the ray of light.

There are several famous icons of the Annunciation. One is in the Moscow Kremlin in the church of the Annunciation. This icon appeared in connection with the rescue of a prisoner by the Mother of God during the reign of Ivan the Terrible. Another is to be found in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow (July 8). It was originally located in Ustiug, and was the icon before which St Procopius the fool (July 8) prayed to save the city from destruction in 1290. One of the most highly revered icons in Greece is the Tinos icon of the Annunciation (January 30).

The Annunciation falls during Lent, but it is always celebrated with great joy. The Liturgy of St Basil or St John Chrysostom is served, even on the weekdays of Lent. It is one of the two days of Great Lent on which the fast is relaxed and fish is permitted (Palm Sunday is the other).


Today is the beginning of our salvation, / The revelation of the eternal mystery! / The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin / As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace. / Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos: / Rejoice, O Full of Grace, / The Lord is with You!


O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts! / We, your servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos! / As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity / So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!


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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Venerable Zachariah the Recluse

Saint Zachariah the Recluse of Egypt because of his concern for the poor and homeless was called “to the outcast.” In the printed MENAION he is known as “our Monastic Father Zachariah,” and so he has been identified erroneously with St Zachariah the Monk.


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

Monday, March 23, 2015

Righteous Basil of Mangazea in Siberia

St Basil was born in the town of Yaroslavl around 1587. His father was a merchant, but the family was very poor. As a child, Basil spent much of his time in church, praying fervently and participating in the divine services.

When he was twelve, the boy set out to earn his living. After a difficult journey through wild forests, he came to the Russian village of Mangazea in Siberia on the River Taz. This was an area inhabited by Mongols and indigenous peoples of Siberia.

After stopping to pray in the village church, St Basil found a job with a local merchant. The merchant was a person of low moral character and did not believe in God, so while he appreciated Basil’s work, he did not care for the boy’s religious inclinations. Soon the cruel merchant came to hate his clerk and began to mistreat him.

During the Matins of Pascha, thieves robbed the merchant’s shop. The merchant discovered the theft and went to the governor, accusing Basil of being one of the thieves. So great was the merchant’s hatred of Basil that he falsely accused the young man. The governor did not even bother to investigate the charges, but had Basil arrested and tortured to make him admit his guilt. In spite of unbearable tortures, the saint kept saying, “I am innocent.”

Enraged by Basil’s endurance and meekness, the merchant struck him in the head with a ring of keys. St Basil fell to the floor and surrendered his soul to God. The governor ordered that the saint’s body be placed in a coffin and buried in a swamp.

After several years, the servants who disposed of the body began to speak about the child’s murder. Soon all the residents of Mangazea knew that the saint’s relics were in the swamp. Because of many signs that took place, people began to address prayers to St Basil. Forty-two years after the unjust murder of the saint, his coffin was removed from the swamp and his holy relics were found to be incorrupt. A chapel was built over his grave, and in 1670 the relics were placed in the church of Holy Trinity Monastery near Turakhanov.

In 1719 the holy Metropolitan Philotheus of Siberia (May 31) sent a carved reliquary to the monastery. Many miracles took place there, and St Basil helped Metropolitan Philotheus on many occasions.

A new stone church was built at Holy Trinity Monastery in 1787, and the relics were transferred there.

In iconography, St Basil is portrayed as a young man with light brown hair, bare-footed and wearing only a shirt. He is also depicted on the Abaletsk Icon “Of the Sign” (July 20, November 27).


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

Sunday, March 22, 2015

4th Sunday of Great Lent: St John Climacus (of the Ladder)

Commemorated on March 22

The Fourth Sunday of Lent is dedicated to St John of the Ladder (Climacus), the author of the work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. The abbot of St Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai (6th century) stands as a witness to the violent effort needed for entrance into God’s Kingdom (Mt.10: 12). The spiritual struggle of the Christian life is a real one, “not against flesh and blood, but against ... the rulers of the present darkness ... the hosts of wickedness in heavenly places ...” (Eph 6:12). Saint John encourages the faithful in their efforts for, according to the Lord, only “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Mt.24:13). 


Dweller of the desert and angel in the body, / you were shown to be a wonder-worker, our God-bearing Father John. / You received heavenly gifts through fasting, vigil, and prayer: / healing the sick and the souls of those drawn to you by faith. / Glory to Him who gave you strength! / Glory to Him who granted you a crown! / Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!


The Lord truly set you on the heights of abstinence, / to be a guiding star, showing the way to the universe, / O our Father and Teacher John.


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

Saturday, March 21, 2015

St Thomas the Patriarch of Constantinople

Commemorated on March 21

Saint Thomas, Patriarch of Constantinople, was at first a deacon, and later under the holy Patriarch John IV the Faster (582-595) he was made “sakellarios” [sacristan] in the Great Church (Hagia Sophia). After the death of holy Patriarch Cyriacus (595-606), St Thomas was elevated to the Patriarchal throne in 607. The saint concerned himself in every possible way about the spiritual needs of his flock.

During the patriarchate of St Thomas, an ominous portent appeared in the land of Galatia (Asia Minor). The heavy crosses which were carried during church processions began to shake and to strike against each other. The clairvoyant Elder, St Theodore Sykeotes (April 22), explained the meaning of this portent. He said that discords and disasters awaited the Church, and the state was in danger of barbarian invasion. Hearing this, the saint became terrified and asked St Theodore to pray that God would take his soul before these predictions were fulfilled.

After the death of the holy Patriarch Thomas in 610, disorders started in the Church. St Thomas’s successor, Patriarch Sergius (610-638), fell into the Monothelite heresy. Through God’s dispensation, war broke out with Persia, which proved grievous for Byzantium. The Greek regions of Asia Minor were completely devastated, Jerusalem fell, and the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord was captured and taken to Persia. Thus, all the misfortunes portended by the miracle during the church procession came to pass.


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

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Martyr Pancharius at Nicomedia

The Holy Martyr Pancharius was a friend of the emperor Diocletian. He abandoned Christianity and became a pagan. His mother and sister sent him a letter in which they urged the apostate to fear God and the dread Last Judgment. Having repented, St Pancharius openly confessed his faith before the emperor, for which he suffered torture at Rome. Then he was sent to Nicomedia and beheaded in 303.


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

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Repose of St Nicholas of Zhicha

Commemorated on March 18

Saint Nicholas of Zhicha, “the Serbian Chrysostom,” was born in Lelich in western Serbia on January 4, 1881 (December 23, 1880 O.S.). His parents were Dragomir and Katherine Velimirovich, who lived on a farm where they raised a large family. His pious mother was a major influence on his spiritual development, teaching him by word and especially by example. As a small child, Nicholas often walked three miles to the Chelije Monastery with his mother to attend services there.

Sickly as a child, Nicholas was not physically strong as an adult. He failed his physical requirements when he applied to the military academy, but his excellent academic qualifications allowed him to enter the St Sava Seminary in Belgrade, even before he finished preparatory school.

After graduating from the seminary in 1905, he earned doctoral degrees from the University of Berne in 1908, and from King’s College, Oxford in 1909. When he returned home, he fell ill with dysentery. Vowing to serve God for the rest of his life if he recovered, he was tonsured at the Rakovica Monastery on December 20, 1909 and was also ordained to the holy priesthood.

In 1910 he went to study in Russia to prepare himself for a teaching position at the seminary in Belgrade. At the Theological Academy in St Petersburg, the Provost asked him why he had come. He replied, “I wanted to be a shepherd. As a child, I tended my father’s sheep. Now that I am a man, I wish to tend the rational flock of my heavenly Father. I believe that is the way that has been shown to me.” The Provost smiled, pleased by this response, then showed the young man to his quarters.

After completing his studies, he returned to Belgrade and taught philosophy, logic, history, and foreign languages at the seminary. He spoke seven languages, and this ability proved very useful to him throughout his life.

St Nicholas was renowned for his sermons, which never lasted more than twenty minutes, and focused on just three main points. He taught people the theology of the Church in a language they could understand, and inspired them to repentance.

At the start of World War I, Archimandrite Nicholas was sent to England on a diplomatic mission to seek help in the struggle of the Serbs against Austria. His doctorate from Oxford gained him an invitation to speak at Westminster Abbey. He remained in England for three short months, but St Nicholas left a lasting impression on those who heard him. His writings “The Lord’s Commandments,” and “Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer” impressed many in the Church of England.

Archimandrite Nicholas left England and went to America, where he proved to be a good ambassador for his nation and his Church.

The future saint returned to Serbia in 1919, where he was consecrated as Bishop of Zhicha, and was later transferred to Ochrid. The new hierarch assisted those who were suffering from the ravages of war by establishing orphanages and helping the poor.

Bishop Nicholas took over as leader of Bogomljcki Pokret, a popular movement for spiritual revival which encouraged people to pray and read the Bible. Under the bishop’s direction, it also contributed to a renewal of monasticism. Monasteries were restored and reopened, and this in turn revitalized the spiritual life of the Serbian people.

In 1921, Bishop Nicholas was invited to visit America again and spent two years as a missionary bishop. He gave more than a hundred talks in less than six months, raising funds for his orphanages. Over the next twenty years, he lectured in various churches and universities.

When Germany invaded Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941, Bishop Nicholas, a fearless critic of the Nazis, was arrested and confined in Ljubostir Vojlovici Monastery. In 1944, he and Patriarch Gavrilo were sent to the death camp at Dachau. There he witnessed many atrocities and was tortured himself. When American troops liberated the prisoners in May 1945, the patriarch returned to Yugoslavia, but Bishop Nicholas went to England.

The Communist leader Tito was just coming to power in Yugoslavia, where he persecuted the Church and crushed those who opposed him. Therefore, Bishop Nicholas believed he could serve the Serbian people more effectively by remaining abroad. He went to America in 1946, following a hectic schedule in spite of his health problems which were exacerbated by his time in Dachau. He taught for three years at St Sava’s Seminary in Libertyville, IL before he settled at St Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, PA in 1951.

He taught at St Tikhon’s and also served as the seminary’s Dean and Rector. He was also a guest lecturer at St Vladimir’s Seminary in NY, and at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

On Saturday March 17, 1956 Bishop Nicholas served his last Liturgy. After the service he went to the trapeza and gave a short talk. As he was leaving, he bowed low and said, “Forgive me, brothers.” This was something unusual which he had not done before.

On March 18, 1956 St Nicholas fell asleep in the Lord Whom he had served throughout his life. He was found in his room kneeling in an attitude of prayer. Though he was buried at St Sava’s Monastery in Libertyville, IL, he had always expressed a desire to be buried in his homeland. In April of 1991 his relics were transferred to the Chetinje Monastery in Lelich. There he was buried next to his friend and disciple Fr Justin Popovich (+ 1979).

English readers are familiar with St Nicholas’s PROLOGUE FROM OCHRID, THE LIFE OF ST SAVA, A TREASURY OF SERBIAN SPIRITUALITY, and other writings which are of great benefit for the whole Church. He thought of his writings as silent sermons addressed to people who would never hear him preach. In his life and writings, the grace of the Holy Spirit shone forth for all to see, but in his humility he considered himself the least of men.

Though he was a native of Serbia, St Nicholas has a universal significance for Orthodox Christians in all countries. He was like a candle set upon a candlestick giving light to all (MT 5:15). A spiritual guide and teacher with a magnetic personality, he attracted many people to himself. He also loved them, seeing the image of God in each person he met. He had a special love for children, who hastened to receive his blessing whenever they saw him in the street.

He was a man of compunctionate prayer, and possessed the gift of tears which purify the soul (St John Climacus, LADDER, Step 7). He was a true pastor to his flock protecting them from spiritual wolves, and guiding them on the path to salvation. He has left behind many soul-profiting writings which proclaim the truth of Christ to modern man. In them he exhorts people to love God, and to live a life of virtue and holiness. May we also be found worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven through the prayers of St Nicholas, and by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever. Amen.


O golden-tongued preacher proclaiming the risen Christ, / Everlasting guide of the cross-bearing Serbian people, / Resounding harp of the Holy Spirit, and dear to monastics who rejoice in you, / Pride and boast of the priesthood, teacher of repentance, master for all nations, / Guide of those in the army of Christ as they pray to God, / Holy Nicholas teacher in America and pride of the Serbian people, / With all the saints, implore the only Lover of mankind / To grant us peace and joy in his heavenly kingdom!


In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, / an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; / your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. / Hierarch Father Nicholai, / entreat Christ our God / that our souls may be saved.


Born at Lelich in Serbia, / you served as archpastor at the church of Saint Nahum in Ochrid. / You presided on the throne of Saint Sava at Zhicha, / teaching the people of God and enlightening them with the Gospel, / bringing them to repentance and love for Christ. / And for His sake you endured suffering at Dachau. / Therefore, Nicholai, we glorify you as one newly well pleasing to God.


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

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland

March 17

Saint Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish, was seized from his native Britain by Irish marauders when he was sixteen years old. Though the son of a deacon and a grandson of a priest, it was not until his captivity that he sought out the Lord with his whole heart. In his Confession, the testament he wrote towards the end of his life, he says, "After I came to Ireland - every day I had to tend sheep, and many times a day I prayed - the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. And my spirit was so moved that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and almost as many at night, and this even when I was staying in the woods and on the mountain; and I would rise for prayer before daylight, through snow, through frost, through rain, and I felt no harm." After six years of slavery in Ireland, he was guided by God to make his escape, and afterwards struggled in the monastic life at Auxerre in Gaul, under the guidance of the holy Bishop Germanus. Many years later he was ordained bishop and sent to Ireland once again, about the year 432, to convert the Irish to Christ. His arduous labours bore so much fruit that within seven years, three bishops were sent from Gaul to help him shepherd his flock, "my brethren and sons whom I have baptized in the Lord - so many thousands of people," he says in his Confession. His apostolic work was not accomplished without much "weariness and painfulness," long journeys through difficult country, and many perils; he says his very life was in danger twelve times. When he came to Ireland as its enlightener, it was a pagan country; when he ended his earthly life some thirty years later, about 461, the Faith of Christ was established in every corner.

Apolytikion of Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland in the Third Tone
O Holy Hierarch, equal of the Apostles, Saint Patrick, wonderworker and enlightener of Ireland: Intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion of Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland in the Fourth Tone
The Master revealed thee as a skillful fisher of men; and casting forth nets of Gospel preaching, thou drewest up the heathen to piety. Those who were the children of idolatrous darkness thou didst render sons of day through holy Baptism. O Patrick, intercede for us who honour thy memory.



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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy the Bishop of Britain

Commemorated on March 16

The Holy Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy was born on Cyprus. He and his brother, the holy Apostle Barnabas of the Seventy, accompanied the holy Apostle Paul on his journeys. St Aristobulus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:10).

St Paul made Aristobulus a bishop and sent him to preach the Gospel in Britain, where he converted many to Christ. He endured the torments and malice of the pagans, and eventually baptized them.

St Aristobulus died in Britain among the people he had evangelized. His memory is celebrated on October 31 and also on the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles January 4.


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

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Holy Martyrs Agapius, Publius, Timolaus, Romulus, Alexander, Alexander, Dionysius and Dionysius

March 15

The holy Martyrs contested for piety's sake during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), when Urban was Governor of Caesarea of Palestine. When Urban had commanded that together with a heathen festival, certain condemned Christians be publicly cast to wild beasts, Timolaus, a native of Pontus, Dionysius of Tripolis in Phoenicia, Romulus of Diospolis, Plesius (or Paisius) and Alexander from Egypt, and another Alexander from Gaza, tied their own hands and presented themselves to Urban when the exhibition was about to begin, professing their faith in Christ; they were immediately cast into prison. A few days later Agapios and Dionysius also presented themselves. All were beheaded together at Caesarea. Their martyrdom is recorded by Eusebius (Eccl. Hist.,Book VIII, ch.3, called The Martyrs of Palestine).

Apolytikion of Martyr Agapius & Companions in the Fourth Tone
Let all of us entreat Christ the Lord's holy Martyrs, for they make supplication for our souls' salvation; with faith and with longing, therefore, let us draw nigh unto them, for they overflow with the divine grace of healings, and they drive away the ranks of demons in terror, as guardians of the Faith.


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

Saturday, March 14, 2015

3rd Saturday of Great Lent: Memorial Saturday

Commemorated on March 14

Saturday is the day which the Church has set aside for the commemoration of faithful Orthodox Christians departed this life in the hope of resurrection to eternal life. Since the Divine Liturgy cannot be served on weekdays during Great Lent, the second, third, and fourth Saturdays of the Fast are appointed as Soul Saturdays when the departed are remembered at Liturgy.

In addition to the Liturgy, kollyva (wheat or rice cooked with honey and mixed with raisins, figs, nuts, sesame, etc.) is blessed in church on these Saturdays. The kollyva reminds us of the Lord’s words, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).The kollyva symbolizes the future resurrection of all the dead. As St Simeon of Thessalonica (September 15) says, man is also a seed which is planted in the ground after death, and will be raised up again by God’s power. St Paul also speaks of this (I Cor. 15:35-49).

It is customary to give alms in memory of the dead in addition to the prayers we offer for their souls. The angel who spoke to Cornelius testifies to the efficacy of almsgiving, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4).

Memorial services for the dead may be traced back to ancient times. Chapter 8 of the Apostolic Constitutions recommends memorial services with Psalms for the dead. It also contains a beautiful prayer for the departed, asking that their voluntary and involuntary sins be pardoned, that they be given rest with the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles in a place where sorrow, suffering, and sighing have fled away (Isaiah 35:10). St John Chrysostom mentions the service for the dead in one of his homilies on Philippians, and says that it was established by the Apostles. St Cyprian of Carthage (Letter 37) also speaks of our duty to remember the martyrs.

The holy Fathers also testify to the benefit of offering prayers, memorial services, Liturgies, and alms for the dead (St John Chrysostom, St Cyril of Jerusalem, St John of Damascus, etc.). Although both the righteous and those who have not repented and corrected themselves may receive benefit and consolation from the Church’s prayer, it has not been revealed to what extent the unrighteous can receive this solace. It is not possible, however, for the Church’s prayer to transfer a soul from a state of evil and condemnation to a state of holiness and blessedness. St Basil the Great points out that the time for repentance and forgiveness of sins is during the present life, while the future life is a time for righteous judgment and retribution (Moralia 1). St John Chrysostom, St Gregory the Theologian, and other patristic writers concur with St Basil’s statement.
By praying for others, we bring benefit to them, and also to ourselves, because “God is not so unjust as to forget your work and the love which you showed for His sake in serving the saints...” (Heb. 6:10).


Only Creator, with wisdom profound, You mercifully order all things, / and give that which is needed to all men: / Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Your servants who have fallen asleep, / for they have placed their trust in You, our Maker and Fashioner, and our God.


With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Your servants, / where there is neither sickness nor sorrow, and no more sighing, / but life everlasting.



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

Friday, March 13, 2015

Martyr Christina of Persia

The Holy Martyr Christina of Persia was scourged to death for confessing her faith in Christ, during the fourth century.


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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hieromartyr Kirion II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia

Commemorated on March 12

The holy Hieromartyr Kirion II (known in the world as George Sadzaglishvili) was born in 1855 in the village of Nikozi in the Gori district. His father was a priest.

He enrolled at the parochial school in Ananuri, then at the theological school in Gori, and finally at Tbilisi Seminary.

In 1880 he graduated from the Kiev Theological Academy and was appointed assistant dean of the Odessa Theological Seminary. From 1883 to 1886 St. Kirion was active in the educational life of Gori, Telavi, Kutaisi, and Tbilisi. In 1886 he was appointed supervisor of the Georgian monasteries and dean of the schools of the Society for the Renewal of Christianity in the Caucasus. He directed the parochial schools, established libraries and rare book collections within them, and published articles on the history of the Georgian Church, folklore and literature under the pseudonyms Iverieli, Sadzagelov, and Liakhveli (the Liakhvi River flows through his native region of Shida [Inner] Kartli, the central part of eastern Georgia).

In 1886 God’s chosen, George, was tonsured a monk with the name Kirion, and he was enthroned as abbot of Kvabtakhevi Monastery. Kirion continued his scholarly pursuits and intensified his spiritual labors. He collected folklore and ethnographic materials and studied artifacts from ancient Georgian churches. He generously donated the reliquaries and rare manuscripts he found to the antiquities collections at the Church Museum of Tbilisi and the Society for the Propagation of Literacy among the Georgians.

In 1898 Kirion published a description of the historical monuments of Liakhvi Gorge. His publication is an important resource for scholars and historians, since most of the monuments he describes were toppled by Georgia’s ideological and national enemies in subsequent years. (Kirion would later join the Moscow Archaeological Society.)

In August of 1898 Archimandrite Kirion was consecrated bishop of Alaverdi.

St. Kirion began at once to rebuild Alaverdi Church, and he offered his own resources for this momentous task. At the same time, he began to study the ancient artifacts of Kakheti and Hereti in eastern Georgia.

Among the manuscripts he turned over to the Church Museum of Tbilisi was a Holy Gospel from the year 1098, unknown to scholars until that time.

Bishop Kirion was a tireless researcher, with a broad range of scholarly interests. To his pen belong more than forty monographs on various themes relating to the history of the Georgian Church and Christian culture in Georgia. He compiled a short terminological dictionary of the ancient Georgian language and, with the linguist Grigol Qipshidze, a History of Georgian Philology.

Kirion fought the appropriation of Georgian churches by the Armenian Monophysites. He sent a detailed memorandum to the Russian exarch in Georgia demanding that the confiscated Orthodox churches be returned.

In 1901 Kirion was installed as bishop of Gori. By that time it had become clear to the Georgian exarchate that the educated and progressive clergymen were endorsing the holy hierarch Kirion and contesting the abolition of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church. But the government found a way out of this “dangerous situation” by frequently reassigning St. Kirion to serve in different parts of the Russian Empire: in 1903 he was reassigned to Cherson, in 1904 to Orel, and in 1906 to Sokhumi. In Sokhumi St. Kirion exerted every effort to restore and revive the historical Georgian churches and monasteries, though he would soon be reassigned to the Kovno diocese.

In 1905, at the demand of Georgia’s intelligentsia (under the leadership of St. Ilia the Righteous), the regime formed an extraordinary commission to formally consider the question of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church. St. Kirion delivered two lectures to the commission: one on the reasons behind Georgia’s struggle for the restoration of an autocephalous Church, and the other on the role of nationality in the life of the Church. The commission rejected the Georgian claims to autocephaly and subjected the leaders of the movement to harsh repression.

In 1907 St. Ilia the Righteous was killed, and the government forbade St. Kirion to travel to Georgia to pay his last respects. St. Kirion managed only to send a letter of condolence to St. Ilia’s loved ones. In the months that followed, the regime tightened down even more severely on St. Kirion. In 1908 he was accused of conspiring in the murder of Exarch Nikon, deprived of the rank of bishop, and arrested. This treacherous deed roused the indignation not only of the Georgian people but of the faithful of Russia as well. Even the democratic forces in Europe founded a society for the protection of the rights of Bishop Kirion and gathered signatures to demand his release from prison. The bishop himself humbly carried the cross of his persecution and consoled his sympathizers with the words of the great Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli: “‘Not a single rose is plucked from this world without thorns.’ We must bear our suffering with love, since suffering is the fruit of love and in suffering we will find our strength!”

By the year 1915 the regime had ceased to persecute St. Kirion. They restored him to the bishopric and elevated him as archbishop of Polotsk and Vitebsk in western Russia. He was not, however, permitted to return to his motherland.

In March of 1917 the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church declared its autocephaly restored. At the incessant demands of the Georgian people, St. Kirion finally returned to his motherland. One hundred and twenty cavalrymen met him in Aragvi Gorge (along the Georgian Military Highway) and reverently escorted him to the capital. In Tbilisi St. Kirion was met with great honor.

In September of 1917 the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church enthroned Bishop Kirion as Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. During the enthronement ceremony at Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, St. Kirion addressed the faithful: “My beloved motherland, the nation protected by the Most Holy Theotokos, purified in the furnace by tribulations and suffering, washed in its own tears: I turn to you, having been separated from you, having sought after you, having grieved over you, having sought for you and now having returned not as a prodigal son, but as your confidant and the conscience of your Church.

“I know that in your minds you are all inquiring, ‘What has he brought back with him? With what ointment will he heal his wounds? How will he comfort himself in his sadness?’ Consider my words: He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). I, likewise, have come not as a hired servant, but as a faithful and obedient son!”

Soon after he was enthroned, St. Kirion sent an appeal to all the Orthodox patriarchs of the world in which he described in detail the history of the Georgian Church and requested an official recognition of her autocephaly.

On May 26, 1918, Georgia declared its independence. The next day Catholicos-Patriarch Kirion II presided during a service of thanksgiving. The chief shepherd and his flock rejoiced at the restoration of the autocephaly of the Georgian Church and the independence of the Georgian state, though from the beginning they perceived the imminence of the Bolshevik danger. The socialist revolution, now showing its true face, posed an enormous threat to the young republic and her Church.

On June 27, 1918, Catholicos-Patriarch Kirion II was found murdered in the patriarchal residence at Martqopi Monastery. The investigation was a mere formality and the guilty were never found.

Rumors were even spread that St. Kirion had shot himself. When the Holy Synod of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church convened on October 17, 2002, it canonized Holy Hieromartyr Kirion and numbered him among the saints.


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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem

March 11

This Saint was born in Damascus. As a young man he became a monk at the Monastery of Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch in Palestine, where he met John Moschus and became his close friend. Having a common desire to search out ascetics from whom they could receive further spiritual instruction, they journeyed together through Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt, where they met the Patriarch of Alexandria, Saint John the Almsgiver, with whom they remained until 614, when Persians captured Jerusalem (see also Saint Anastasius the Persian, Jan. 22). Saint Sophronius and John Moschus departed Alexandria for Rome, where they remained until 619, the year of John Moschus' death. Saint Sophronius returned to the Monastery of Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch, and there buried the body of his friend. He laboured much in defence of the Holy Fourth Council of Chalcedon, and traveled to Constantinople to remonstrate with Patriarch Sergius and the Emperor Heraclius for changing the Orthodox Faith with their Monothelite teachings. After the death of Patriarch Modestus in December of 634, Sophronius was elected Patriarch of Jerusalem. Although no longer in the hands of the Persians, the Holy Land was now besieged by the armies of the newly-appeared religion of Mohammed, which had already taken Bethlehem; in the Saint's sermon for the Nativity of our Lord in 634, he laments that he could not celebrate the feast in Bethlehem. In 637, for the sins of the people, to the uttermost grief of Saint Sophronius, the Caliph Omar captured Jerusalem. Having tended the flock of his Master for three years and three months, Saint Sophronius departed in peace unto Him Whom he loved on March 11, 638.

Saint Sophronius has left to the Church many writings, including the life of Saint Mary of Egypt. The hymn "O Joyous Light," which is wrongly ascribed to him, is more ancient than Saint Basil the Great, as the Saint himself confirms in his work "On the Holy Spirit" (ch. 29). However, it seems that this hymn, which was chanted at the lighting of the lamps and was formerly called "The Triadic Hymn," was later supplemented somewhat by Saint Sophronius, bringing it into the form in which we now have it. Hence, some have ascribed it to him.

Apolytikion of Sophronius, Pat. Of Jerusalem 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. Sophronios, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may 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!):

Monday, March 09, 2015

Martyr Candidus of the Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste

Commemorated on March 9

Saint Candidus was one of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste who refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, and suffered for Christ around 320. Licinius, the co-ruler of St Constantine the Great, was a pagan, and he decided to stamp out Christianity in his part of the Empire. As Licinius prepared his army to fight against Constantine, he feared mutiny and so he decided to remove all Christians from his army.

A company of forty Cappadocians, brave soldiers who had distinguished themselves in many battles, was stationed in the Armenian city of Sebaste under the command of the pagan Agricola. When these soldiers refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, Agricola locked them up in prison.

It was winter, and there was a severe frost. The holy soldiers were lined up and thrown into a lake near the city, and a guard was stationed on the shore to prevent them from coming out of the water. In order to break the will of the martyrs, a warm bath house was set up on the shore. One of the soldiers came out of the water to offer sacrifice, and the guard Aglaius took his place.

In the morning, the torturers were surprised to see that the martyrs were still alive, and their guard Aglaius was glorifying Christ together with them. They led the soldiers out of the water and broke their legs. During this horrible execution the mother of the youngest of the soldiers, Meliton, pleaded with her son not to persevere until death.

They put the bodies of the martyrs on a cart and committed them to fire. Young Meliton was still breathing, and they left him to lay on the ground. His mother then picked up her son, and on her own shoulders she carried him behind the cart. When Meliton drew his last breath, his mother put him on the cart with the bodies of his fellow sufferers. The bodies of the saints were tossed in the fire, and their charred bones were thrown into the water, so that Christians would not gather them up.

Three days later the martyrs appeared in a dream to St Peter, Bishop of Sebaste, and commanded him to bury their remains. The bishop together with several clergy gathered up the relics of the glorious martyrs by night and buried them with honor.

There is a pious custom of baking “skylarks” (pastries shaped like skylarks) on this day, because people believed that birds sing at this time to announce the arrival of spring. Forty “skylarks” are prepared in honor of the Forty Martyrs.


Together let us honor the holy company united by faith, / Those noble warriors of the Master of all. / They were divinely enlisted for Christ, / And passed through fire and water. / Then they entered into refreshment praying for those who cry: / Glory to him who has strengthened you! / Glory to him who has crowned you! / Glory to him who has made you wonderful, O holy Forty Martyrs!


You abandoned all earthly armies, / cleaving to the heavenly Master, O Forty Martyrs of the Lord. / Having passed through fire and water, O Blessed Ones, / you have fittingly received heavenly glory and many crowns.


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

Sunday, March 08, 2015

St Felix of Burgundy the Bishop of Dunwich and Enlightener of East Anglia

Commemorated on March 8

Saint Felix, the Apostle of East Anglia, was born in the Burgundy region of what is now France. He was a bishop who was sent to England by St Honorius of Canterbury (September 30) to evangelize East Anglia.

St Felix established his See in Dunwich on the Suffolk coast in 631, and labored there successfully for seventeen years. He founded a school for boys with the help of King Siegbert, and brought in teachers from Canterbury.

St Felix died in 648 and was buried at Dunwich, but his relics were transferred to Ramsey abbey in Huntingdonshire in 971.

St Felix has given his name to Felixstowe in Suffolk, and to Felixkirk in Yorkshire. He is mentioned by St Bede (HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH CHURCH AND PEOPLE, Book 3, ch. 18 and 20).


Felix of Burgundy, hierarch and teacher, preaching the Word of life, / You did gather a rich harvest of believers; / Together with Furzey of Ireland, pilgrim for the love of the Lord, / Outstanding in virtue, renowned in word and deed; / Enlighteners of East Anglia, we rightly praise you, holy and God-bearing fathers.


Having come to the land of Sigerberht, the righteous king, / You preached the kingdom of Christ our God, / And as a first-fruit the king himself received the tonsure, / Seeking an everlasting kingdom; / And mindful of his monastic vow, / He lay down his life, unarmed in the midst of battle; / Wherefore, O Felix and Furzey, we venerate your memory crying out: / Glory to Christ our King the Redeemer of the World.


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

Saturday, March 07, 2015

St Paul the Confessor the Bishop of Plusias in Bithynia

Saint Paul the Confessor was bishop of the city of Prusa (in the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor) at a time when the iconoclasts raged against the Church of Christ. His zealous defense of the holy icons was based on Holy Scripture. St Paul was subjected to harassment and persecution together with St Theophylactus (March 8). The holy confessor was sent into exile and reposed around the year 850.


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

Friday, March 06, 2015

Uncovering of the Precious Cross and the Precious Nails by the Empress St Helen in Jerusalem

Commemorated on March 6

The Holy Empress Helen uncovered the Precious Cross and Nails of the Lord at Jerusalem in 326.

At the beginning of the reign of St Constantine the Great (306-337), the first Roman emperor to recognize Christianity, he and his pious mother St Helen decided to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. They also planned to build a church on the site of the Lord's suffering and Resurrection, in order to reconsecrate and purify the places connected with the Savior's death and Resurrection from the foul taint of paganism.

The empress Helen journeyed to Jerusalem with a large quantity of gold. St Constantine wrote a letter to Patriarch Macarius I (313-323), requesting him to assist her in every possible way with her task of the restoring the Christian holy places.

After her arrival in Jerusalem, the holy empress Helen began to destroy all the pagan temples and reconsecrate the places which had been defiled by the pagans.

In her quest for the Life-Creating Cross, she questioned several Christians and Jews, but for a long time her search remained unsuccessful. Finally, an elderly Hebrew named Jude told her that the Cross was buried beneath the temple of Venus. St Helen ordered that the pagan temple be demolished, and for the site to be excavated. Soon they found Golgotha and the Lord's Sepulchre. Not far from the spot were three crosses, a board with the inscription written by Pilate (John 19:19), and four nails which had pierced the Lord's Body.

Now the task was to determine on which of the three crosses the Savior had been crucified. Patriarch Macarius saw a dead person being carried to his grave, then he ordered that the dead man be placed upon each cross in turn. When the corpse was placed on the Cross of Christ, he was immediately restored to life. After seeing the raising of the dead man, everyone was convinced that the Life-Creating Cross had been found. With great joy the empress Helen and Patriarch Macarius lifted the Life-Creating Cross and displayed it to all the people standing about.


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

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Righteous Father Mark of Athens

March 5

Of our righteous Fathers commemorated today, Saint Mark of Athens lived in the fourth century. Born in Athens of pagan parents, he believed in Christ, was baptized, and forsook the world, living the eremitical life in extreme privation in the deep wilderness beyond Egypt. His life is recounted by the monk Serapion, who found Mark in deep old age and about to depart this lfe, not having seen a man for ninety-five years. Serapion gave him burial after his blessed repose, even as Paphnutius had done for Saint Onuphrius (see June 12).


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

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Venerable Joasaph of Snetogorsk, Pskov

The Holy Hieromartyrs Joasaph of Snetnogorsk and Basil of Mirozh suffered under the Germans at two of the most ancient of the Pskov monasteries during the thirteenth century. St Basil directed the Savior-Transfiguration Mirozh monastery, founded in the year 1156 by St Niphon, Bishop of Novgorod (April 8), and by St Abraham of Mirozh (September 24).

St Joasaph was igumen (and according also to some Pskov Saints’ Lives, the founder) of the monastery of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos on Mount Snatna. The ascetics devoted much labor and concern to both the outer and inner welfare of the monasteries. In accord with the strict rule of cenobitic monastic life, introduced into his monastery by St Joasaph, the life of the monks was filled with prayer, abstinence and work. (Almost ninety years after the death of St Joasaph, his monastic Rule was reintroduced in the new monastic Rule of the Snetnogorsk monastery by Archbishop Dionysius of Suzdal). The Snetnogorsk monastery traced its origins from the efforts of St Euphrosynus of Pskov (May 15) and St Sava of Krypetsk (August 28).

Both these monasteries were outside the city walls and did not have any defenses. On March 4, 1299, the Germans fell upon Pskov and burned the Mirozh and Snetnogorsk monasteries. During the burning of the churches, Sts Basil and Joasaph and the other monks endured an agonizing death. There was at that time much suffering in the city, and for the monks of other monasteries, and also for the women and children, but “through the prayers of the holy monk martyrs, the Lord preserved the fighting men.” Under the lead of the Pskov prince, St Dovmont-Timothy (May 20), they came out against the enemy and near the church of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, they defeated the invaders at the banks of the Pskova River.

Sts Basil and Joasaph were buried with their fellow ascetics beneath crypts at the churches of their monasteries. The venerable head and part of the relics of St Joasaph were preserved in the open in a special reliquary in the church of the Snetnogorsk monastery. Holy Prince Dovmont “out of his rightful inheritance” built a stone church at the Snetnogorsk monastery in place of the one that had burned, and he facilitated the restoration of monastic life at the ruined monasteries.

Soon after the martyric death of Sts Basil and Joasaph their churchly glorification took place at Pskov. On the manuscript Pskov Prologue of the fourteenth-fifteenth centuries, they are listed on March 5. But in the Pskov Chronicle and old Pskov Synodikons (Saint lists), the day of the blessed death of the holy monk martyrs is given as March 4, and at present, this is the day of their commemoration. The Chronicle mentions the presbyter Joseph, and the Prologue mentions the presbyter Constantine as their fellow sufferers.


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

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Virginmartyr Piama

The Virgin Piama lived in asceticism not far from Alexandria. The saint lived in the home of her mother, as in a hermitage. She partook of food at the end of the day, and after prayer she spun flax.

St Piama was granted the gift of discernment. The people of a more populous village, blinded with greed, planned to destroy the small village of the holy maiden in order to divert water to their own fields when the Nile overflowed its banks. St Piama saw their wicked intent and reported it to the village elders. The startled elders fell on their knees before the saint, imploring her to go to the neighboring people and dissuade them from their evil purpose.

The nun Piama did not go to meet them, since for a long time she shunned contact with people. The saint spent all night at prayer, and in the morning the people of the neighboring village armed themselves and set off for the village of the holy maiden. Suddenly, they froze in their tracks and were not able to proceed farther. The Lord revealed to the impious people that the prayer of St Piama held them back. The people came to their senses and repented of their wicked intent. They sent messengers to the village with a request for peace and said, “Thanks be to God, Who through the prayers of the maiden Piama has delivered us.”

The saint peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in the year 337.


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

Monday, March 02, 2015

Icon of the Mother of God “Enthroned”

Commemorated on March 2

The “Enthroned” (or “Reigning”) Icon of the Mother of God appeared on March 2, 1917, the day of Tsar Nicholas’s abdication, in the village of Kolomskoye near Moscow.

In February 1917, an elderly woman named Eudokia saw the Mother of God in a dream telling her to go to Kolomskoye to find a large blackened icon in a church. After the vision was repeated three times, she went to Kolomskoye to search for the icon with the priest Nicholas.

In the basement of the church they found the icon and started wiping off the accumulated dust. Then they were able to see the Most Holy Theotokos wearing a crown and sitting on a throne. Immediately, Father Nicholas celebrated a service of Thanksgiving and an Akathist.

News of the icon’s discovery spread throughout Russia, and there were several miracles of healing from physical and mental infirmities. As time went by, the icon renewed itself and became brighter and brighter. Particularly striking was the blood-red robe of the Virgin.

Since the icon was revealed just as the Tsar abdicated, many people believed that the Queen of Heaven had assumed royal authority over the Russian land, and so the icon became known as the “Enthroned” (or Reigning) icon. It was discovered that the icon had come from the Ascension convent in Moscow. In 1812, before Napoleon’s invasion, this icon and others were sent to Kolomskoye’s Ascension church for safekeeping. Apparently forgotten, the icons were never returned to Moscow.

A Service and Akathist to the “Enthroned” Icon were composed with the assistance of His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon (+ 1925). Many copies of the icon were venerated throughout Russia, but these were confiscated by the Soviets. The Service and Akathist to the icon were also forbidden to be served.

The original icon is said to be in the Novodevichy Museum in Moscow, and there is a copy in the Church of the Kazan Mother of God in Kolomskoye.

The “Enthroned” or “Reigning” Icon, which belongs to the Panachranta type, shows the Theotokos seated on a throne with Her Son.


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

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Holy Martyrs Nestor and Tribiminus

The Holy Martyrs Nestor and Tribiminus were natives of the Asia Minor district of Pamphylia. They fearlessly preached Christ during a persecution in the reign of the impious emperor Decius (249-251).

When the saints were brought before the pagan court, the governor ordered that all sorts of instruments of torture be placed before them in order to frighten them and force them to renounce the Christian Faith. The saints replied that no one could separate them from Christ.

The angry judge then gave orders to torture them. They scourged the holy martyrs with dried ox thongs, suspended them from a tree and flayed their bodies, but Sts Nestor and Tribiminus did not cease to glorify the Lord. When they were beheaded, they inherited the Heavenly Kingdom.


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