Thursday, June 30, 2016

Apostle Jude, the Brother of James

Commemorated on June 30

The Synaxis of the Glorious and All-Praiseworthy Twelve Apostles of Christ appears to be an ancient Feast. The Church honors each of the Twelve Apostles on separate dates during the year, and has established a general commemoration for all of them on the day after the commemoration of the Glorious and First-Ranked among the Apostles Peter and Paul.

The holy, glorious, all-laudable Apostle Jude is also commemorated on June 19. He is also known as Thaddeus (but should not be confused with St Thaddeus of the Seventy, who is commemorated on August 21), and was the brother of St James (October 23).

For lists of the Apostles’ names, see: Mt.10:2, Mark 3:14, Luke 6:12, Acts 1:13, 26.


First-enthroned of the apostles, / teachers of the universe: / Entreat the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy!


Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / The rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / Together with Paul and the company of the twelve, / Whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / Giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!


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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leader of the Apostles, Peter

Commemorated on June 29

The hymns for their Feast speak of Sts Peter and Paul as leaders (koryphaioi), and chiefs of the Apostles. They are, without a doubt, the foremost in the ranks of the Apostles.

The koryphaioi were leaders of the chorus in ancient Greek tragedy. They set the pattern for the singing, and also for the dance movements and gestures of the chorus. Before Sophocles, there were twelve members of the chorus, and Sts Peter and Paul were the leaders of the twelve Apostles.

Both St Peter and St Paul received new names, indicating a new relationship with God. Simon the fisherman became known as Cephas (John 1:42), or Peter after confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Mt.16:18).

St Peter, the brother of St Andrew, was a fisherman on the sea of Galilee. He was married, and Christ healed his mother-in-law of a fever (Mt.8:14). He, with James and John, witnessed the most important miracles of the Savior’s earthly life.

Despite his earlier recognition of Christ as the Son of God, he denied Him three times on the night before the Crucifixion. Therefore, after His Resurrection, the Lord asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Then He told Peter to feed His sheep (John 21:15-17).

After the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, St Peter addressed the crowd (Acts 2:14), and performed many miracles in Christ’s name. He baptized Cornelius, the first Gentile convert (Acts 10:48). He was cast into prison, but escaped with the help of an angel (Acts 5:19). St Peter also traveled to many places in order to proclaim the Gospel message. He wrote two Epistles, which are part of the New Testament.

St. Peter was put to death in Rome during the reign of Nero. According to Tradition, he asked to be crucified upside down, since he did not feel worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.


First-enthroned of the apostles, / teachers of the universe: / Entreat the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy!


O Lord, You have taken up to eternal rest / and to the enjoyment of Your blessings / the two divinely-inspired preachers, the leaders of the Apostles, / for You have accepted their labors and deaths as a sweet-smelling sacrifice, / for You alone know what lies in the hearts of men.


Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / The rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / Together with Paul and the company of the twelve, / Whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / Giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!


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

Monday, June 27, 2016

Venerable Martin of Turov

Saint Martin of Turov served as a cook under the Turov bishops Simeon, Ignatius, Joachim (1144-1146), and George. This last hierarch made St. Martin retire because of his age. But the old man did not want to leave the monastery (the bishops lived at the monastery of Sts Boris and Gleb), and so he accepted monasticism.

In his former work he had often overexerted himself and therefore often fell ill.

One time St. Martin lay motionless and in moaning with sickness. He fervently called on Sts Boris and Gleb for help, and on the third day the saints appeared to him, gave him a sip of water, and healed him of his illness. After this miraculous healing, St. Martin survived for another year.


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Sunday, June 26, 2016

St John the Bishop of the Goths in the Crimea

Saint John, Bishop of the Goths, lived during the eighth century. The future saint was born in answer to the fervent prayer of his parents. From an early age, he lived a life of asceticism.

The saint made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and spent three years visiting all the holy places. Then he returned to his native country. At that time the emperor Constantine Copronymos the Iconoclast (741-775) banished the Gothic bishop, and the Goths fervently entreated St John to become their bishop.

St John went to Georgia, which was isolated from the Iconoclast heresy. There he was ordained. Upon his return to the Goths he was soon compelled to depart from them. Hidden away from the pursuing Khazars, he settled at Amastridia, where he dwelt for four years.

Hearing about the death of the Khazar kagan (ruler), the saint said, “After forty days I shall go to be judged with him before Christ the Savior.” Indeed, the saint died forty days later. This took place when he returned to his people, in the year 790.

The saint’s body was conveyed to the Parthenit monastery in the Crimea, at the foot of Mount Ayu-Dag, where the saint once lived in the large church he built in honor of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
St John, Bishop of the Goths is also commemorated on May 19.


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Friday, June 24, 2016

St Athanasius Parios

Saint Athanasius Parios, the distinguished theologian and great teacher of the Greek nation, was born in the village of Kostos on the island of Paros around 1721—1722. His father, Apostolos Toulios, was from Siphnos, and his mother was a native of Paros.

The future saint was a leading member of the Kollyvades movement which began on Mount Athos in the middle of the eighteenth century. The movement derives its name from the koliva (boiled wheat) which is used during memorial services. Its proponents were Athonite monks who adhered strictly to holy Tradition, and were opposed to unwarranted innovations. They were in favor of the frequent reception of Holy Communion, and they practiced unceasing prayer of the heart. They insisted that memorial services should not be performed on Sundays, because that is the day of the Lord’s Resurrection. In the Orthodox Church Saturday is the usual day for the commemoration of the dead.

St Athanasius went to Mount Athos in 1752. There he was ordained to the holy priesthood by St Macarius of Corinth (April 17), but was forced to leave the Holy Mountain when some of the monks rose in opposition to the Kollyvades. The righteous one was unjustly slandered for his views on frequent Communion and for his opposition to memorial services on Sundays.

As the result of personal attacks and intrigues against him, St Athanasius was suspended from exercising his priestly office from 1776—1781, and was even accused of being a heretic. When the charges against him were later proven to be absurd and unfounded, his suspension was lifted, and he was restored to his former rank.

St Athanasius knew and influenced many of his fellow Kollyvades, such as St Macarius of Corinth, St Nicephorus of Chios (May 1), St Arsenius of Paros (January 31), and St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (July 14). He taught St Nicephorus, and he encouraged St Nicodemus to publish a collection of the writings of St Gregory Palamas (November 14). Unfortunately, his manuscript was lost before it could be printed.

After teaching at the Athonias Academy and in Thessalonica, St Athanasius journeyed to the island of Chios in 1788, where he taught in the gymnasium for twenty-five years, and also served as Director of schools. He was a leading educator and distinguished theologian who revived the art of eloquent speech on Chios by teaching logic, rhetoric, metaphysics, and theology. His TREATISE ON RHETORIC, an analysis of some of the orations of Demosthenes, was a most influential work.

St Athanasius wrote many other useful books and treatises on various topics such as A HANDBOOK OF APOLOGETICS, “The Great Blessing of Water,” “On the Second Sunday of Great Lent,” “The Kneeling Prayers on Pentecost,” “On the Holy Icons,” “On Memorial Services,” “On the New Martyrs,” “On the Angels and Divine Beauty,” as well as numerous letters dealing with diverse subjects. His most important book was the EPITOME, which deals with Orthodox dogma.

St Athanasius was also a prolific writer of saints’ Lives and of liturgical services in their honor. He wrote the lives of St Mark the New (June 5) and St Macarius of Corinth, among others. He also wrote the Preface for the NEW LEIMONARION (New Spiritual Meadow), a collection of saints’ lives and services begun by St Macarius, with additional material contributed by St Nicephorus of Chios and by St Athanasius himself.

St Athanasius retired as Director of schools in 1812, and went to join St Nicephorus at the Hermitage of St George at Resta, Chios where he spent his final days. He departed to the Lord on June 24, 1813 at the age of ninety.

St Athanasius was very zealous for the teachings of Christ and His Church, and patiently endured persecution and suffering during his life because of his beliefs. Since he was opposed to the so-called Age of Enlightenment and fought against the “progressive” spirit of his time, he was censured by some of his contemporaries. Although his detractors enjoyed a certain fame during their lifetime, they are all but forgotten today. On the other hand, St Athanasius has been glorified by God and was officially recognized as a saint of the Orthodox Church in 1995.


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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

1st Thursday after Pentecost

Apolytikion of 1st Thurs. after Pentecost in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Blessed are You, O Christ our God, who made fishermen all-wise, sending upon them the Holy Spirit and, through them, netting the world. O Loving One, glory to You.


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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

St Gregory, Metropolitan of Wallachia

Saint Gregory (Dascalu) was Metropolitan of Wallachia.

St Gregory was glorified by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 2005, and is commemorated on June 22.


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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

1st Tuesday after Pentecost

Apolytikion of 1st Tues. after Pentecost in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Blessed are You, O Christ our God, who made fishermen all-wise, sending upon them the Holy Spirit and, through them, netting the world. O Loving One, glory to You.


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

Monday, June 20, 2016

Holy Martyrs Aristocles the Presbyter, Demetrian, and Athanasius

The Holy Martyrs Aristocles the Presbyter, Demetrian, and Athanasius suffered for the Christian Faith during the persecution under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311).

The presbyter Aristocles, a native of the Cypriot city of Tamasa, served in the cathedral church during the time of the persecution against Christians. He became terrified of the tortures, and he left the city and hid in a mountain cave. Once during prayer a light shone upon him, and he heard a command from the Lord to return to the island of Cyprus and suffer for Christ. St Aristocles obediently set out to return, and on the way he visited the church of the holy Apostle Barnabas (June 11), where he met Deacon Demetrian and Athanasius the Reader. He told them of his vision, and Sts Demetrian and Athanasius decided to endure martyrdom together with him.

Having arrived in the city of Salamis, all three began to preach to the people about the Lord Jesus Christ, and denounced the folly of idol-worship. The pagans arrested them, and the governor, seeing that they were steadfast in their faith in Christ, gave orders to behead St Aristocles, and to burn Sts Demetrian and Athanasius. But even in the fire, the martyrs remained unharmed. After this they were beheaded by the sword in the year 306.


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

Sunday, June 19, 2016

St John the Solitary of Jerusalem

Saint John the Hermit was an ascetic in Palestine. He passed his days in fasting and prayer in a cave near Jerusalem. The uncovetous ascetic had only an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, before which a lampada was always lit.

The holy Elder often visited the holy places of Jerusalem, and Mount Sinai, and he went to pray at the graves of the holy martyrs and ascetics. Whenever he went out, the saint left the lampada burning before the icon of the Queen of Heaven and he asked Her blessing for the journey. When he returned after a month, or even after six months, the Elder found the lampada burning and filled with oil.

Once, he happened to go on a narrow trail, with two sides so overgrown with bushes, that it was impossible for two people on foot to pass each other. Suddenly, the saint saw a lion coming toward him. The beast stood up on its hind legs and cleared the way for the saint.

Once, a monk came to the cave to visit St John. Since he did not notice even the bare necessities, he asked Abba John why he lived in such poverty. The holy Elder said that his cave contained spiritual riches greater than any earthly treasures.

St John the Hermit reposed in the sixth century in extreme old age, and was numbered with the saints.


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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Memorial Saturday

Today we remember all pious and Orthodox Christians who have fallen asleep in the Lord, and also recall the dread Day of Judgment. May Christ our God be merciful to them, and to us.

Two Epistles (Acts 28:1-31, I Thess. 4:13-17) and two Gospels (JN 21:14-25, JN 5:24-30) are appointed to be read at Liturgy. The readings from Acts and the Gospel of St John, which began on Pascha, now come to an end. The book of Acts does not end, as might be expected, with the death of Sts Peter and Paul, but remains open-ended.

In his article “With all the Saints,” Fr Justin Popovich says that the Lives of the Saints are nothing less than a “continuation of the Acts of the Apostles.” Just as the book of Acts describes the works of Christ which the Apostles accomplished through Christ, Who was dwelling in them and working through them, the saints also preach the same Gospel, live the same life, manifest the same righteousness, love, and power from on High. As we prepare for the Sunday of All Saints, we are reminded that each of us is called to a life of holiness.

On this seventh Saturday of Pascha, St John Chrysostom’s “Homily on Patience and Gratitude” is appointed to be read in church. It is also prescribed to be read at the funeral service of an Orthodox Christian.


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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Righteous Father Botolph, Abbot of the Monastery of Ikanhoe

June 17

Saint Botolph was born in Britain about the year 610 and in his youth became a monk in Gaul. The sisters of Ethelmund, King of East Anglia, who were also sent to Gaul to learn the monastic discipline, met Saint Botolph, and learning of his intention to return to Britain, bade their brother the King grant him land on which to found the monastery. Hearing the King's offer, Saint Botolph asked for land not already in any man's possession, not wishing that his gain should come through another's loss, and chose a certain desolate place called Ikanhoe. At his coming, the demons' inhabiting Ikanhoe rose up against him with tumult, threats, and horrible apparitions, but the Saint drove them away with the sign of the Cross and his prayer. Through his monastery he established in England the rule of monastic life that he had learned in Gaul. He worked signs and wonders, had the gift of prophecy, and "was distinguished for his sweetness of disposition and affability." In the last years of his life he bore a certain painful sickness with great patience, giving thanks like Job and continuing to instruct his spiritual children in the rules of the monastic life. He fell asleep in peace about the year 680. His relics were later found incorrupt, and giving off a sweet fragrance. The place where he founded his monastery came to be called "Botolphston" (from either "Botolph's stone" or "Botolph's town") which was later contracted to "Boston."

Apolytikion of Father Botolph, Abt. of the Mon. of Ikanhoe in the Plagal of the First Tone
Neither the desolation of the fens, nor the depth of thy humility could hide the light of thy virtues, whereby thou becamest a lamp unto the faithful, O Botolph our righteous Father. Wherefore, we entreat thee: do thou also enlighten us who venerate thy blessed memory.

Kontakion of Father Botolph, Abt. of the Mon. of Ikanhoe in the First Tone
The glory of the just, the protector of Boston, the man of mighty prayer, our belov'd Father Botolph, entreateth the Saviour that He show mercy to all of us. Let us honour him with thankful praise, O ye faithful; let us imitate his conversation and virtues, that God hear his prayers for us.


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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

St Jerome (Hieronymus) of Stridonium

Commemorated on June 15

Saint Jerome of Stridon was born into a Christian family in the city of Stridon located on the border between Dalmatia and Pannonia. His full name is Eusebius Hieronymos Sophronius. His parents sent him to Rome, where he studied the secular sciences. At the beginning of his life in the capital, the youth was captivated by worldly vanities and fell into temptation. At the end of his time in Rome, Jerome resolved to change his life and to live in goodness and purity. When the youth was about 20 years old, he accepted holy Baptism. After this he visited in Gaul (France). Then St Jerome decided to dedicate himself totally to God, and to become a monk.

In about the year 372 St Jerome returned to his native city, but his parents had already departed this life. On him fell the responsibility of raising his younger sisters and his brother Paulinian. These cares forced him to
put aside his plans to enter a monastery, at least for a time.

Having made arrangements for the care of his siblings, he journeyed to the East with several of his friends. In 374, he decided to dwell in the desert of Chalcis southeast of Antioch. There he remained for about 5 years, combining work on the Holy Scriptures with austere ascetic deeds. Besides this, St Jerome mastered the Hebrew and Chaldean languages. During this period he began his correspondence with numerous persons upon a variety of questions. About 120 letters, considered as authentically written by St Jerome, have been preserved.

At the beginning of the 360s there arose a controversy between the proponents of bishops Meletius, Paulinos and Vitalis. The controversy also reached the monastery where St Jerome toiled. In consequence, the disputes caused him to leave the monastery and go to Antioch. Here Bishop Paulinos ordained him to the priesthood. Afterwards, St Jerome visited Constantinople and conversed with the holy hierarchs Gregory the Theologian and Gregory of Nyssa.  In the year 381 he set off for Rome. At Rome he continued his studies. The holy Pope Damasus I (366-384), who also devoted much of his time to the study of Holy Scripture, made Jerome his secretary.

But because the saint denounced the morals of the contemporary Christian society, a whole party of those bearing malice towards the saint came forward to spread slanders about him. After a three year stay at Rome, St Jerome felt compelled to abandon this city for good. Together with his brother Paulinian and friends, St Jerome visited the Holy Land, and also the monks of the Nitria wilderness monastery. In the year 386 he settled into a cave at Bethlehem near the cave where Christ was born, and there he began a life of austere asceticism.

This was the period of blossoming of his creative activity. Attending to the studies of his time, St Jerome left to the Church a rich written legacy: collections of dogmatic-polemic works, moral-ascetic works, commentaries on Scripture, and historical works. But the most important of his works was a new translation the books of the Old and New Testaments into the Latin language. This Latin translation is called the “Vulgate,” and it passed into general use throughout the Western Church.

St Jerome lived through the fall of his beloved city Rome, which was sacked by the Goths in the year 410. In the year 411 a new ordeal beset the saint, Bethlehem was invaded by wild Bedouin Arabs. Only through the mercy of God was the community of the aged ascetic saved from complete destruction. He finished his life at the cave in Bethlehem. St Jerome is believed to have reposed in 420. His relics were transferred from Bethlehem to Rome in 642, but their present location is unknown. His hand is enshrined in a church near Rome’s Piazza Farnese.


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

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

St Methodius the Abbot of Peshnosha

Saint Methodius, Igumen of Peshnosha was the founder of the Peshnosha monastery. In his youth he went to St Sergius of Radonezh and spent several years under his guidance. Later on, with the blessing of St Sergius, he withdrew to a solitary place and built himself a cell in the forest beyond the River Yakhroma. Soon several disciples came to him in this marshy place, wishing to imitate his life. St Sergius visited him and advised him to build a monastery and church. St Methodius himself toiled at the construction of the church and the cells, “on foot carrying” wood along the river, and from that time the monastery began to be called “the Peshnosha.”

In 1391 St Methodius became igumen of this monastery. At times he withdrew two versts from the monastery and struggled in prayer. Here also St Sergius came to him for spiritual conversation, therefore this spot became known as “Beseda” (“Conversation-place”).

St Methodius died in 1392 and was buried at the monastery he founded. A church dedicated to Sts Sergius of Radonezh and Methodius of Peshnosha was built over his relics in 1732. The beginning of his local veneration dates from the late seventeenth—early eighteenth centuries.

St Macarius is also commemorated on June 4.


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

Monday, June 13, 2016

St Anthimus, Bishop of Georgia

Commemorated on June 13

Saint Anthimus of Iberia was one of the most highly educated people of his time. He was fluent in many languages, including Greek, Romanian, Old Slavonic, Arabic, and Turkish and well-versed in theology, literature, and the natural sciences. He was unusually gifted in the fine arts—in painting, engraving, and sculpture in particular. He was famed for his beautiful calligraphy. Finally, St. Anthimus was a great writer, a renowned orator, and a reformer of the written Romanian language.

Little is known about the youth of St. Anthimus. He was a native of the Samtskhe region in southern Georgia. His parents, John and Mariam, gave him the name Andria at Baptism. He accompanied King Archil to Russia and helped him to found a Georgian print shop there, but after he returned he was captured by Dagestani robbers and sold into slavery. Through the efforts of Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem, Anthimus was finally set free, but he remained in the patriarch’s service in order to further his spiritual education.

Already famed for his paintings, engravings, and calligraphy, Anthimus was asked by Prince Constantine Brincoveanu (1688-1714) of Wallachia (present-day Romania) to travel to his kingdom around the year 1691. After he had arrived inWallachia, he began to manage a local print shop. The printing industry in that country advanced tremendously at that time, and the chief inspiration and driving force behind the great advances was the Georgian master Anthimus. He succeeded in making Wallachia a center of Christianity and a major publisher of books for all the East.

In 1694 Anthimus was enthroned as abbot of Snagov Monastery (in present-day Romania), where he soon founded a print shop. In the same year his new print shop published Guidelines for the Divine Services on May 21, All Saints’ Day. The book was signed by Subdeacon Michael Ishtvanovich, future founder of the first Georgian print shop.

In 1705 Anthimus, “the chosen among chosen abbots of Wallachia,” was consecrated bishop of Rimnicu Vilcea, and in 1708 he was appointed metropolitan of Hungro-Wallachia. The whole country celebrated his elevation. As one abbot proclaimed: “The divine Anthimus, a great man and son of the wise Iberian nation, has come to Wallachia and enlightened our land. God has granted him an inexhaustible source of wisdom, entrusted him to accomplish great endeavors, and helped to advance our nation by establishing for us a great printing industry.”

Under the direct leadership of St. Anthimus, more than twenty churches and monasteries were erected in Wallachia. Of particular significance is All Saints’ Monastery, located in the center of Bucharest. The main gates of this monastery were made of oak and carved with traditional Georgian motifs by St. Anthimus himself. The metropolitan also established rules for the monastery and declared its independence from the Church of Constantinople.

From the day of his consecration, Metropolitan Anthimus fought tirelessly for the liberation of Wallachia from foreign oppressors. On the day he was ordained he addressed his flock: “You have defended the Christian Faith in purity and without fault. Nevertheless, you are surrounded and tightly bound by the violence of other nations. You endure countless deprivations and tribulations from those who dominate this world.... Though I am unworthy and am indeed younger than many of you—like David, I am the youngest among my brothers— the Lord God has anointed me to be your shepherd. Thus I will share in your future trials and griefs and partake in the lot that God has appointed for you.”

His words were prophetic: In 1714 the Turks executed the Wallachian prince Constantine Brincoveanu, and in 1716 they executed Stefan Cantacuzino (1714-1716), the last prince of Wallachia.

In his place they appointed the Phanariote (a member of one of the principal Greek families of the Phanar, the Greek quarter of Constantinople, who, as administrators in the civil bureaucracy, exercised great influence in the Ottoman Empire after the Turkish conquest.) Nicholas Mavrokordatos, who concerned himself only with the interests of the Ottoman Empire.

During this difficult time, Anthimus of Iberia gathered around him a group of loyal boyar patriots determined to liberate their country from Turkish and Phanariote domination. But Nicholas Mavrokordatos became suspicious, and he ordered Anthimus to resign as metropolitan. When Anthimus failed to do so, he filed a complaint with Patriarch Jeremiah of Constantinople.
Then a council of bishops, which did not include a single Romanian clergyman, condemned the “conspirator and instigator of revolutionary activity” to anathema and excommunication and declared him unworthy to be called a monk. But Nicholas Mavrokordatos was still unsatisfied and claimed that to deny Anthimus the title of Metropolitan of Hungro-Wallachia was insufficient punishment. He ordered Anthimus to be exiled far from Wallachia, to St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai. Metropolitan Anthimus, beloved of the Romanian people, was escorted out of the city at night since the conspirators feared the reaction of the people.

But Metropolitan Anthimus never reached Mt. Sinai. On September 14, 1716, a band of Turkish soldiers stabbed St. Anthimus to death on the bank of the Tundzha (Tunca) River where it flows through Adrianople, not far from Gallipoli, and cast his butchered remains into the river.

Thus ended the earthly life of one more Georgian saint—a man who had dedicated all of his strength, talent, and knowledge to the revival of Christian culture and the strengthening of the Wallachian people in the Orthodox Faith.

In 1992 the Romanian Church canonized Anthimus of Iberia and proclaimed his commemoration day to be September 14, the day of his repose. The Georgian Church commemorates him on June 13.


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

Sunday, June 12, 2016

St (John) Tornike of Mt Athos

Commemorated on June 12

Tornike Eristavi (a Georgian title, meaning literally “head of the army.” An eristavi was the ruler or governor of his province and a pillar of the Georgian monarchy. During certain periods of Georgian history the title was hereditary. The title is equivalent to a European duke.) (later John of Mt. Athos) was a Georgian army commander famed for his victories in war and a favorite of King David Kuropalates. Eventually he abandoned his worldly glory and set off in search of his spiritual father, St. John, on Mt. Olympus. There he learned that St. John had moved to Mt. Athos, so he journeyed there and settled with him in a monastery headed by St. Athanasius the Athonite. He was tonsured a monk and given the new name John.

Soon many Georgians became thirsty for the ascetic life and arrived to labor on the Holy Mountain. To serve the young community, St. John built a church in honor of St. John the Theologian and constructed cells nearby. In such a way, the first Georgian community on Mt. Athos was established.

At that time, Bardas Sclerus, commander of the army of Asia Minor, led a revolt against Basil and Constantine, the young Byzantine emperors. The dowager empress Theophania, hoping to receive assistance from Georgia, requested that John-Tornike travel to his homeland, inform the king about the difficult situation in Byzantium, and rally the Georgian armies for support. At first John-Tornike refused, doubting his preparedness to return to life in the world. But after the other brothers pleaded with him and he received St. Athanasius’ blessing, he returned to Georgia and delivered Theophania’s letter to King David Kuropalates. The king was overjoyed at the sight of his favorite military leader, and he consented to the empress’ request, provided John-Tornike would command the army. The king was resolute and John-Tornike was compelled to honor his will. With God’s help and under the wise leadership of John-Tornike, twelve thousand Georgian soldiers defeated the army of the godless Bardas Sclerus, banishing the conspirator from Byzantium (ca. 979).

After this great victory John-Tornike returned immediately to Mt. Athos. The brothers met him with great joy and gave thanks to God for returning him safely to the monastery.

St. John-Tornike was a perfect example of humility. He renounced his own will completely and would do nothing without a blessing from his spiritual father. “I entrust myself and my will to you. Save me according to your will!” he would tell St. John.

The brothers of the monastery often asked John-Tornike to recount his military glories, and he was obliged to recall his past. Once St. John requested that he share his memories with a certain Elder Gabriel, a man who spoke not a single vain word. John-Tornike agreed, and after he had narrated his glorious past to the elder, he ceased speaking entirely. He spent the rest of his life in silence, hoping in God, and reposed peacefully.


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

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Venerable Barnabas the Abbot of Vetluga

Saint Barnabas of Vetluga was born in Great Ustiug. Before going off into the wilderness he was a priest in one of the city churches. In 1417 the monk settled at one of the banks of the River Vetluga at Red Hill, where he labored in solitude for 28 years, “toiling for God in psalmody and prayer, he subsisted on grass and acorns.” In the words of the author of his Life, there came also to St Barnabas “wild animals, and many bears lived near his cell. He, however, walked among them, as though among cattle, watching after them and delighting with them; rejoicing in the great God that these beasts had become tame for him.”

There was not a single human habitation in the area of Red Hill as far off as 50 versts. Occasionally wilderness people would visit “for a blessing,” and he would predict to them that after his repose on the banks of the River Vetluga “God would multiply the human habitation, and upon the place of his dwelling monks would live.”

According to Tradition, in 1439, before he settled at the River Unzha, St Macarius (July 25) came there for instruction and guidance. St Barnabas died in old age on June 11, 1445. After the death of the ascetic, at the place of his efforts many monks came to dwell “from various lands” and “after them farmers” and “many people did spread all along this river all the way to the great River Volga.” At Red Hill the monks built two churches, one in honor of the Most Holy Trinity, and the other, over the grave of the monk, dedicated to St Nicholas the Wonderworker. They founded a cenobitic monastery, which received as its name “the Varnavinsk wilderness-monastery.” The Life of Saint Barnabas was written in 1639 by a monk of the Varnavinsk monastery, “the most venerable hieromonk Joseph (Dyadkin), who later, in the imperial city of Moscow, was in charge of the directory of book printing.” For the authentication and verification of the miracles, which occurred at the grave of the monk, in that same year of 1639 there was an uncovering of the holy relics under the direction of Patriarch Joasaph.

With the passing of time at the place of the Varnavinsk monastery there arose the district town Varnavin, and the chief church of the monastery became the cathedral church dedicated to the Holy Apostle Barnabas.


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

Thursday, June 09, 2016

St John of Shavta -Gelati

The great Georgian hymnographer, philosopher, and orator St. John of Shavta labored in the 12th and 13th centuries, during the reign of the holy queen Tamar. Few details of his life have been preserved, but we know that he received his education at Gelati Academy, where he studied theology, ancient and Arabic history, philosophy, and literature. He was later tonsured a monk and labored at Vardzia Monastery.

When the Georgian army under the command of Queen Tamar’s husband, Davit Soslan, entered into battle [The Battle of Basiani (ca. 1203)] with the sultan Rukn al-Din, Queen Tamar journeyed to Odzrkhe Monastery to pray for help. Catholicos Tevdore of Kartli and many hierarchs and monastics accompanied her there. Among them, St. John of Shavta stood out as a wise theologian and philosopher and a brilliant hymnographer.

During the Liturgy at Odzrkhe Monastery a miracle occurred: endowed by God with the gift of prophecy, St. Eulogius the Fool for-Christ fell to his knees, lifted his hands to the heavens and cried out: “Glory to God! Almighty Christ!...Do not fear the Persians, but rather depart in peace, for the mercy of God has descended upon the house of Tamar!”

Eulogius’s words were clearly a divine revelation. St. John of Shavta turned to Queen Tamar, rejoicing, “Your Highness! The Almighty has made known to us our victory in the war from the lips of a fool-for-Christ!” Eulogius confided his secret to St. John: disguised as a fool, he had been concealing his God-given gift. But now it seemed that the gift would become apparent to all, so Eulogius quickly disappeared out of sight to escape the people’s attention.

St. John of Shavta composed his “Hymns to the Theotokos of Vardzia” in thanksgiving for Georgia’s victory in the Battle of Basiani. He is also recognized as the composer of “Abdul-Messiah,” (Abdul-Messiah: servant of Christ.) a famous ode to the holy queen Tamar.

Our Holy Father John of Shavta lived to an advanced age and was canonized soon after his repose.


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

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Icon of the Mother of God of White Lake

Commemorated on June 8

This holy icon belonged to St Cyril of White Lake (June 9), and he kept it in his cell.

St Cyril was living at the Simonov Monastery, but his soul yearned for solitude, and he asked the Mother of God to show him a place conducive for salvation. One night he was reading an Akathist in his cell before the Hodigitria icon of the Mother of God, and had just reached the eighth Kontakion, “Seeing the strange Nativity, let us become strangers to the world and transport our minds to heaven.” Then he heard a voice say, “Go to White Lake (Belozersk), where I have prepared a place for you.”

He left the Simonov Monastery and at the desolate and sparsely populated White Lake, he found the place which he had seen in the vision. St Cyril and his companion St Therapon of White Lake and Mozhaisk (May 27), set up a cross and dug a cell in the ground near Mount Myaura at Siversk Lake.

The White Lake Icon is also commemorated on July 28.


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

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Hieromartyrs Sisinius, Cyriacus the deacons; also Smaragdus, Largus, Apronian, Saturninus, Crescentian, Papias and Maurus and the holy women martyrs Priscilla, Lucy and the Emperor’s daughter Artemia the Deacon of Rome

St Sisinius the deacon suffered at Rome along with the hieromartyr Marcellinus, Bishop of Rome, the holy deacon Cyriacus; also Smaragdus, Largus, Apronian, Saturninus, Crescentian, Papias and Maurus and the holy women martyrs Priscilla, Lucy and the Emperor’s daughter Artemia during the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian (284-305) and their successors, Galerius (305-311) and Maxentius (305-312).

The emperor Maximian, ruler of the Western Roman Empire, deprived all Christians of military rank and sent them into penal servitude.

A certain rich Christian, Thrason, sent food and clothing to the prisoners through the Christians Sisinius, Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largus. Marcellus thanked Thrason for his generosity, and ordained Sisinius and Cyriacus as deacons.

While rendering aid to the captives, Sisinius and Cyriacus also were arrested and condemned to harsh labor. They fulfilled not only their own work quota, but worked also for the dying captive Saturninus. Therefore, Maximian sent Sisinius to Laodicius, the governor of the district.

They locked the saint in prison. The head of the prison, Apronian, summoned Sisinius for interrogation but, seeing his face shine with a heavenly light, he believed in Christ and was baptized. Later, he went with Sisinius to Marcellus and received Chrismation. Marcellus served the Liturgy, and they partook of the Holy Mysteries.

On June 7, Sts Sisinius and Saturninus were brought before Laodicius in the company of Apronian. Apronian confessed that he was a Christian, and was beheaded. Sts Sisinius and Saturninus were thrown into prison. Then Laodicius gave orders to bring them to a pagan temple to offer sacrifice. Saturninus said, “If only the Lord would turn the pagan idols into dust!”

At that very moment the tripods, on which incense burned before the idols, melted. Seeing this miracle, the soldiers Papias and Maurus confessed Christ. After prolonged tortures Sisinius and Saturninus were beheaded, and Papias and Maurus were locked up in prison, where they prayed to receive illumination by holy Baptism. The Lord fulfilled their desire. Leaving the prison without being noticed, they received Baptism from Marcellus and returned to the prison.

At the trial they again confessed themselves Christians and died under terrible tortures. Their holy bodies were buried by the priest John and Thrason.

Sts Cyriacus, Smaragdus, Largus and other Christian prisoners continued to languish at hard labor.

Diocletian’s daughter Artemia suffered from demonic oppression. Having learned that the prisoner Cyriacus could heal infirmities and cast out devils, the emperor summoned him to the sick girl. In gratitude for the healing of his daughter, the emperor freed Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largus. Soon the emperor sent Cyriacus to Persia to heal the daughter of the Persian emperor.

Upon his return to Rome, Cyriacus was arrested on orders of the emperor Galerius, the son-in-law of Diocletian, who had abdicated and retired as emperor. Galerius was very annoyed at his predecessor because his daughter Artemia had converted to Christianity. He gave orders to drag Cyriacus behind his chariot stripped, bloodied, and in chains, to be shamed and ridiculed by the crowds.

Marcellus denounced the emperor openly before everyone for his cruelty toward innocent Christians. The emperor ordered the holy bishop to be beaten with rods, and dealt severely with him. Sts Cyriacus, Smaragdus, Largus, and another prisoner, Crescentian, died under torture. And at this time the emperor’s daughter Artemia and another twenty-one prisoners were also executed with Cyriacus.

Marcellus was secretly freed by Roman clergy. Exhuming the bodies of the holy martyrs Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largus, they reburied them on the estates of two Christian women, Priscilla and Lucy, on the outskirts of Rome, after they had transformed Lucy’s house into a church.

Ascending the throne, Maxentius gave orders to destroy the church and turn it into a stockyard, and he sentenced the holy bishop to herd the cattle. Exhausted by hunger and cold, and wearied by the tortures of the soldiers, Marcellus became ill and died in the year 310.


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

Monday, June 06, 2016

Holy Virgin Martyrs Archelais, Thekla and Susanna at Salerno

The Holy Virgin Martyrs Archelais, Thekla and Susanna sought salvation in a small monastery near Rome. During the persecution by Diocletian (284-305), the holy virgins dressed themselves in men’s clothing, cut their hair and went to the Italian province of Campagna. Settling in a remote area, they continued to pursue an ascetical life of fasting and prayer. They received the gift of healing from God, and treated the local inhabitants, converting many pagans to Christ.

When the governor of the district heard about them, he had them brought to Salerno. He threatened St Archelais with torture and death if she did not offer sacrifice to idols. With firm hope in the Lord, the saint refused to submit to the command, and she denounced the folly of worshipping soulless statues. Then the governor ordered the saint to be torn apart by hungry lions, but the beasts meekly lay at her feet. In a rage the governor ordered the lions to be killed, and locked the holy virgins in prison.

In the morning, having suspended St Archelais, the torturers began to rake her with iron utensils and pour hot tar on the wounds. The saint prayed even more loudly, and suddenly a light shone over her and a voice was heard, “Fear not, for I am with you.”

The saint was defended by the power of God. When they wanted to crush her with an immense stone, an angel pushed it to the other side, and it crushed the torturers instead. A judge ordered soldiers to behead the holy virgins, but the soldiers did not dare to put their hands upon the saints. Then Sts Archelais, Thekla and Susanna said to the soldiers, “If you do not fulfill the command, you shall have no respect from us.” The holy martyrs were beheaded in 293.

In the nineteenth century, St Susanna appeared to a disciple of Elder Boniface saying, “We must pray to God with the soul, the mind, and the heart.” She is described as a maiden of untold beauty, with a soft, pleasant voice.


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

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Blessed Constantine the Metropolitan of Kiev

In 1147 St Igor Ol’govich (September 19, June 5) was defeated and captured by Izyaslav Mstislavich, the grandson of St Vladimir (July 15). Izyaslav then replaced St Igor as Great Prince.

The See of Kiev had been left vacant after the death of Metropolitan Michael in 1145, and Izyaslav chose the learned Schemamonk Clement of Smolensk to succeed him. He wanted the candidate to be consecrated by bishops in Russia, instead of sending him to Constantinople for consecration. Because of the great distance between Kiev and Constantinople Izyaslav called a council of Russian bishops, and ordered them to consecrate Clement as Metropolitan of Kiev.

Not all of the bishops were in agreement with this plan, notably the holy Archbishop Niphon of Novgorod (April 8). Other hierarchs also refused to participate in the consecration without the blessing of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Nevertheless, Clement’s consecration took place in spite of the objections that had been raised.

After Izyaslav’s reign, he was succeeded by Yuri (George) Dolgoruky. This Great Prince regarded the consecration as illegal and uncanonical, and so he sent St Constantine(Smolyatich) to Constantinople to be consecrated as Metropolitan of Kiev by the Patriarch. Upon his return to Kiev, St Constantine, by the authority of the Patriarch, deposed Clement from his rank, and also deposed those who had been ordained by him.

When the Great Prince Yuri completed the course of his life disputes arose over who should succeed him as Great Prince. There was also disagreement about who was the rightful Metropolitan of Kiev, and Izyaslav’s son Mstislav supported Clement. Therefore, the Russian princes decided that both Clement and Constantine should be deposed, and requested the Patriarch of Constantinople to send them a new Metropolitan for Kiev.

Hoping to put an end to the disputes among the princes, the Patriarch sent Theodore to Kiev as the new Metropolitan. St Constantine, wishing to avoid further tumult in the Church, stepped down as Metropolitan and went to Chernigov, where he became gravely ill.

Feeling that he was approaching the end of his life, St Constantine composed a Testament, which he entrusted to Bishop Anthony of Chernigov. He also made Bishop Anthony promise that he would fulfill all the directives contained in the Testament after Constantine’s death.

When St Constantine reposed in 1159, Bishop Anthony took the Testament to Prince Svyatoslav of Chernigov, broke the seal, and read the document aloud. One of the provisions of the Testament was that St Constantine’s body should not be buried, but dragged out of the city to be left as food for dogs. This was because he felt responsible for the discord in the Church.

Everyone who heard the reading of the Testament was filled with horror. Prince Svyatoslav told the bishop to do as he saw fit. Since he had given his promise to St Constantine to abide by the terms of the Testament, he did not dare to go back on his word. So the saint’s body was taken from the city and left in a field.

On that very day the sky grew dark over Kiev, and strong winds, earthquakes, thunder and lightning broke out. It is said that eight people were hit by lightning at the same time.

Prince Rostislav of Kiev was in Povari at Vyshgorod at the time. He had received news of the death of Metropolitan Constantine, so he sent messages to the Church of the Holy Wisdom and to other churches, asking for all-night vigils to be conducted throughout the city. He believed that the citizens of Kiev were being punished by the Lord for their sins.

While all of these things were taking place in Kiev, the sun shone brightly in Chernigov. However, three pillars of fire appeared at night over the body of St Constantine. Seeing this marvel, many were filled with fear. On the third day that the body lay in the field, Prince Svyatoslav ordered that the body of the Metropolitan be buried with all the honor befitting his rank.

The body of the saint was carried into the city and buried in the church of the Savior, where St Igor, who was killed by the inhabitants of Kiev, had also been interred. After the burial of St Constantine, peace returned to Kiev, and all the people glorified God.


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

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Holy Martyrs Frontasius, Severinus, Severianus, and Silanus of Gaul

The Holy Martyrs Frontasius, Severinus, Severianus, and Silanus suffered for Christ under the emperor Claudius (41-54). They had been sent to preach the Word of God in southern Gaul (now France) by Bishop Frontonus of Petragorium. The governor, a pagan named Squiridonus, arrested them and demanded that they renounce Christ. But the martyrs firmly confessed their faith, saying they had but one desire, to either live or die for Christ. The enraged Squiridonus ordered that the saints be taken out before the city, tied to pillars, and have nails thrust into their heads like a crown of thorns. After this they were beheaded.

Tradition says that the holy martyrs continued to live by the power of God. They picked up their heads and went to the church of the Mother of God, where the holy bishop Frontonus, who had sent them preaching, was at prayer. Placing their heads at the feet of the bishop, they crossed themselves and died.


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

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

5th Wednesday after Pascha

June 01

Apolytikion of 5th Wed. after Pascha in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Mid-way in the feast, refresh my thirsty soul with the flowing waters of piety. For You cried out to all, O Savior, "Let him who thirsts come to me and drink." You, O Christ our God, are the Fountain of Life, glory to You.


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