Friday, July 31, 2015

Martyr Julitta at Caesarea

The Holy Martyr Julitta lived at Caesarea in Cappadocia during the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). A certain pagan stole all her property, and when Julitta turned for relief to the courts, her antagonist reported to the judge that she was a Christian, which placed her outside the law’s protection.

The judge demanded that the saint renounce Christ, for which he promised to return her unlawfully taken property. St Julitta resolutely refused the deceitful conditions, and for this she was burned to death in the year 304 (or 305). St Basil the Great wrote an Encomium to St Julitta 70 years after her death as a martyr.


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hieromartyr Polychronius, Bishop of Babylon; the Presbyters Parmenius, Helimenas, and Chrysotelus; the Deacons Luke and Mocius; the Holy Persian Martyrs Abdon and Sennen; and the Holy Martyrs Olympius and Maximus in Babylon

The Hieromartyr Polychronius, Bishop of Babylon; the presbyters Parmenius, Helimenas, and Chrysotelus; the deacons Luke and Mocius; the holy Persian Martyrs Abdon and Sennen; and the holy martyrs Olympius and Maximus suffered during the third century under the emperor Decius (249-251).

When Decius conquered Babylon, he found many Christians there and he began a persecution against them. He arrested St Polychronius, Bishop of Babylon, the three priests Parmenius, Helimenas, Chrysotelus, and two deacons, Luke and Mocius. They were brought before the emperor, who commanded them to offer sacrifice to idols. St Polychronius boldly replied, “We offer ourselves in sacrifice to our Lord Jesus Christ, but we shall never worship idols made by human hands.”

The enraged Decius had the confessors thrown into prison. When they were brought out for a second interrogation, St Polychronius remained silent. Decius said, “Your leader is voiceless.” St Parmenius replied, “The holy bishop is not without a voice, but he does not wish to defile his pure lips and ‘cast pearls before swine’” (Mt. 7:6). In a rage Decius commanded that St Parmenius’ tongue be cut out. In spite of this, Parmenius spoke clearly to St Polychronius, saying, “Pray for me, Father, for I behold the Holy Spirit upon you.”
By order of Decius the holy Bishop Polychronius was struck in the mouth with stones, and he gave up his spirit. They left his body lying in front of the temple of Saturn. Two Persian princes, Abdon and Sennen, who were secret Christians, came at night and buried the body of the holy martyr by the city walls.

Decius left for the city of Kordula, and ordered that the three presbyters and two deacons be taken along. At Kordula he again demanded that the martyrs offer sacrifice to idols. St Parmenius, despite his missing tongue, loudly and firmly refused.

Believing that St Parmenius was able speak through some sort of magic power, Decius increased the tortures and ordered that the confessors be burned with fire. Then a Voice was heard from Heaven, “Come to Me, ye humble of heart.” Decius believed that this was also the work of magic, and he ordered the priests and deacons beheaded with an axe.

The Persian princes Abdon and Sennen took the bodies of the martyrs by night and buried them in their own village near Kordula.This was reported to Decius.The princes were arrested and brought before the emperor, who commanded that the holy princes be locked up in prison. The saints rejoiced and glorified God.

On the same day two other Persians, Olympius and Maximus, were brought before Decius and charged with being Christians. The holy martyrs were fiercely tortured and beheaded for their bold confession of faith in Christ. For five days their bodies lay unburied, but on the sixth day Christians secretly buried them at night.

Decius returned to Rome with Abdon and Sennen in chains. He told the saints to offer sacrifice to the gods, promising them freedom and honors. The holy martyrs answered, “We offer ourselves in sacrifice to our God Jesus Christ, therefore offer your sacrifice to your own gods.” Decius sentenced them to be eaten by wild beasts. They set two lions upon them, and later on four bears, which would not touch the holy martyrs, but instead lay at their feet. Then they ran Abdon and Sennen through with swords. Their bodies lay for three days before an idol to frighten Christians. By night a secret Christian named Cyrenius took the bodies of the martyrs and buried them in his own home.

The holy Martyrs Abdon and Sennen suffered in the year 251. Their relics are preserved in the church of St Mark at Rome.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Martyr Michael

The Hosiomartyr Michael, a disciple of St Theodore of Edessa (July 9), was beheaded during the ninth century for his confession of faith in Christ. His memory is celebrated also on May 23.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Martyr Acacius of Apamea

Commemorated on July 28

The Holy Martyr Acacius was brought to trial for his belief in Christ. Three governors attempted to compel the holy martyr to offer sacrifice to idols, having subjected him to fierce tortures. Governor Licinius gave orders to rend the body of St Acacius with instruments of torture. He then sent him to Governor Terence, who gave orders to throw Acacius into a cauldron filled with boiling tar and tallow, but the martyr remained unharmed. Terence went to the cities of Apamea and Apollonia and gave orders to bring the martyr after him. In one of these cities St Acacius was led into a pagan temple, but by his prayer all the idols there fell down.

They beat the saint viciously and gave him over to be eaten by wild beasts. When they saw that he remained unharmed, they threw him into a red-hot furnace. The martyr also remained unharmed there. The governor, wanting to check whether the furnace was sufficiently hot, went near it and was burned himself. They then took the holy Martyr Acacius for torture to a certain Posidonius, who put heavy fetters on the holy martyr and gave orders to take him to the city of Miletus. There also the saint, by his prayer, destroyed idols. Finally, the exhausted torturers beheaded St Acacius. A priest by the name of Leontius buried his body in the city of Synados (Asia Minor).


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Greatmartyr and Healer Panteleimon

Commemorated on July 27

The Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon was born in the city of Nicomedia into the family of the illustrious pagan Eustorgius, and he was named Pantoleon. His mother St Euboula (March 30) was a Christian. She wanted to raise her son in the Christian Faith, but she died when the future martyr was just a young child. His father sent Pantoleon to a pagan school, after which the young man studied medicine at Nicomedia under the renowned physician Euphrosynus. Pantoleon came to the attention of the emperor Maximian (284-305), who wished to appoint him as royal physician when he finished his schooling.

The hieromartyrs Hermolaus, Hermippus and Hermocrates, survivors of the massacre of 20,000 Christians in 303 (December 28), were living secretly in Nicomedia at that time. St Hermolaus saw Pantoleon time and again when he came to the house where they were hiding. Once, the priest invited the youth to the house and spoke about the Christian Faith. After this Pantoleon visited St Hermolaus every day.

One day the saint found a dead child on the street. He had been bitten by a great snake, which was still beside the child’s body. Pantoleon began to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ to revive the dead child and to destroy the venomous reptile. He firmly resolved that if his prayer were fulfilled, he would become a follower of Christ and receive Baptism. The child rose up alive, and the snake died before Pantoleon’s eyes.

After this miracle, Pantoleon was baptized by St Hermolaus with the name Panteleimon (meaning “all-merciful”). Speaking with Eustorgius, St Panteleimon prepared him to accept Christianity. When the father saw how his son healed a blind man by invoking Jesus Christ, he then believed in Christ and was baptized by St Hermolaus together with the man whose sight was restored.

After the death of his father, St Panteleimon dedicated his life to the suffering, the sick, the unfortunate and the needy. He treated all those who turned to him without charge, healing them in the name of Jesus Christ. He visited those held captive in prison. These were usually Christians, and he healed them of their wounds. In a short time, reports of the charitable physician spread throughout the city. Forsaking the other doctors, the inhabitants began to turn only to St Panteleimon.

The envious doctors told the emperor that St Panteleimon was healing Christian prisoners. Maximian urged the saint to refute the charge by offering sacrifice to idols. St Panteleimon confessed himself a Christian, and suggested that a sick person, for whom the doctors held out no hope, should be brought before the emperor. Then the doctors could invoke their gods, and Panteleimon would pray to his God to heal the man. A man paralyzed for many years was brought in, and pagan priests who knew the art of medicine invoked their gods without success. Then, before the very eyes of the emperor, the saint healed the paralytic by calling on the name of Jesus Christ. The ferocious Maximian executed the healed man, and gave St Panteleimon over to fierce torture.

The Lord appeared to the saint and strengthened him before his sufferings. They suspended the Great Martyr Panteleimon from a tree and scraped him with iron hooks, burned him with fire and then stretched him on the rack, threw him into a cauldron of boiling tar, and cast him into the sea with a stone around his neck. Throughout these tortures the martyr remained unhurt, and denounced the emperor.

At this time the priests Hermolaus, Hermippus and Hermocrates were brought before the court of the pagans. All three confessed their faith in the Savior and were beheaded (July 26).

By order of the emperor they brought the Great Martyr Panteleimon to the circus to be devoured by wild beasts. The animals, however, came up to him and licked his feet. The spectators began to shout, “Great is the God of the Christians!” The enraged Maximian ordered the soldiers to stab with the sword anyone who glorified Christ, and to cut off the head of the Great Martyr Panteleimon.

They led the saint to the place of execution and tied him to an olive tree. While the martyr prayed, one of the soldiers struck him with a sword, but the sword became soft like wax and inflicted no wound. The saint completed his prayer, and a Voice was heard from Heaven, calling the passion-bearer by his new name and summoning him to the heavenly Kingdom.

Hearing the Voice, the soldiers fell down on their knees before the holy martyr and begged forgiveness. They refused to continue with the execution, but St Panteleimon told them to fulfill the emperor’s command, because otherwise they would have no share with him in the future life. The soldiers tearfully took their leave of the saint with a kiss.

When the saint was beheaded, the olive tree to which the saint was tied became covered with fruit. Many who were present at the execution believed in Christ. The saint’s body was thrown into a fire, but remained unharmed, and was buried by Christians . St Panteleimon’s servants Laurence, Bassos and Probus witnessed his execution and heard the Voice from Heaven. They recorded the life, the sufferings and death of the saint.

Portions of the holy relics of the Great Martyr Panteleimon were distributed throughout all the Christian world. His venerable head is now located at the Russian monastery of St Panteleimon on Mt. Athos.

The veneration of the holy martyr in the Russian Orthodox Church was already known in the twelfth century. Prince Izyaslav (in Baptism, Panteleimon), the son of St Mstislav the Great, had an image of St Panteleimon on his helmet. Through the intercession of the saint he remained alive during a battle in the year 1151. On the Feast of the Great Martyr Panteleimon, Russian forces won two naval victories over the Swedes (in 1714 near Hanhauze and in 1720 near Grenham).

St Panteleimon is venerated in the Orthodox Church as a mighty saint, and the protector of soldiers. This aspect of his veneration is derived from his first name Pantoleon, which means “a lion in everything”. His second name, Panteleimon, given him at Baptism, which means “all-merciful”, is manifest in the veneration of the martyr as a healer. The connection between these two aspects of the saint is readily apparent in that soldiers, receiving wounds more frequently than others, are more in need of a physician-healer. Christians waging spiritual warfare also have recourse to this saint, asking him to heal their spiritual wounds.

The holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon is invoked in the Mystery of Anointing the Sick, at the Blessing of Water, and in the Prayers for the Sick.

The Feast of the holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon is the patronal Feast of the Russian monastery on Athos. The forefeast starts eight days before the Feast. Each day after Vespers, Moliebens are sung with Canons in each of the eight tones. Thus, each day has its own particular Canon. The second day of the Feast is the monastery feastday. On this day a general Panikhida is served after Vespers in memory of the founders and benefactors of the monastery, and kollyva (kutia: wheat or rice boiled with honey) is blessed and distributed.

The verses of the Ninth Ode of the Canon of the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon from the manuscript of the Athonite service are reprinted in the “Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate” insert into lives values (0, 1975, No.3, pp. 45-47).


Holy Passion-bearer and healer Panteleimon, / entreat the merciful God, / to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.


You emulated the Merciful One, / and received from Him the grace of healing, / Passion-bearer and healer Panteleimon; / by your prayers, heal our spiritual diseases / and continually drive away the temptations of the enemy / from those who cry out in faith “Save us, O Lord.”


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

St Sava III of Serbia

Saint Sava III was Archbishop of Serbia from 1305 -1316. He is also commemorated on August 30.


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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Commemoration of the Holy 165 Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Council

Commemorated on July 25

The Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople II) was held at Constantinople, under the holy Emperor St Justinian I (527-565) in the year 553, to determine the Orthodoxy of three dead bishops: Theodore of Mopsuetia, Theodoret of Cyrrhus and Ibas of Edessa, who had expressed Nestorian opinions in their writings in the time of the Third Ecumenical Council (September 9).

These three bishops had not been condemned at the Fourth Ecumenical Council (July 16), which condemned the Monophysites, and in turn had been accused by the Monophysites of Nestorianism. Therefore, to deprive the Monophysites of the possibility of accusing the Orthodox of sympathy for Nestorianism, and also to dispose the heretical party towards unity with the followers of the Council of Chalcedon, the emperor St Justinian issued an edict. In it “the Three Chapters” (the three deceased bishops) were condemned. But since the edict was issued on the emperor’s initiative, and since it was not acknowledged by representatives of all the Church (particularly in the West, and in Africa), a dispute arose about the “Three Chapters.” The Fifth Ecumenical Council was convened to resolve this dispute.

165 bishops attended this Council. Pope Vigilius, though present in Constantinople, refused to participate in the Council, although he was asked three times to do so by official deputies in the name of the gathered bishops and the Emperor himself. The Council opened with St Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople (552-565, 577-582), presiding. In accordance with the imperial edict, the matter of the “Three Chapters” was carefully examined in eight prolonged sessions from May 4 to June 2, 553.

Anathema was pronounced against the person and teachings of Theodore of Mopsuetia. In the case of Theodore and Ibas, the condemnations were confined only to certain of their writings, while they personally had been cleared by the Council of Chalcedon, because of their repentance. Thus, they were spared from the anathema.

This measure was necessary because certain of the proscribed works contained expressions used by the Nestorians to interpret the definitions of the Council of Chalcedon for their own ends. But the leniency of the Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Council, in a spirit of moderate economy regarding the persons of Bishops Theodore and Ibas, instead embittered the Monophysites against the decisions of the Council. Besides which, the emperor had given the orders to promulgate the Conciliar decisions together with a decree of excommunication against Pope Vigilius, for being like-minded with the heretics. The Pope afterwards concurred with the mind of the Fathers, and signed the Conciliar definition. The bishops of Istria and all the region of the Aquilea metropolia, however, remained in schism for more than a century.

At the Council the Fathers likewise examined the errors of presbyter Origen, a renowned Church teacher of the third century. His teaching about the pre-existence of the human soul was condemned. Other heretics, who did not admit the universal resurrection of the dead, were also condemned.

It pleased the Lord that the Holy Spirit should inspire the Fathers of the Council in a further definition of Orthodoxy that preserves the integrity and dignity both of God and of mankind, without the distortion of either that occurs within the Nestorian or Monophysite heresies.


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Friday, July 24, 2015

St Hilarion of Tvali

Commemorated on July 24

Saint Hilarion of Tvali (Tulashvili) served as abbot of Khakhuli Monastery in southwestern Georgia at the beginning of the 11th century.

In his work The Life of George of the Holy Mountain, George the Lesser writes that Venerable Hilarion was outstanding in virtue and celebrated for his sermons and ascetic labors.

St. Hilarion raised the young George of the Holy Mountain to be a brilliant writer, translator, theologian and patriot. From him George also received a blessing to enter the monastic life.

According to the chronicle Life of Kartli, St. Hilarion was a famous translator and writer and an eminent theologian.

Eventually St. Hilarion moved from Khakhuli to Tvali Monastery, not far from Antioch, where he remained for the rest of his life. According to the 19th-century historian-iconographer Michael Sabinin, St. Hilarion reposed in the year 1041.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Translation of the relics of the Hieromartyr Phocas the Bishop of Sinope

Commemorated on July 22

The Transfer of the Relics of the Hieromartyr Phocas from Sinope to Constantinople occurred on July 22 in either the year 403 or 404. His life is found under September 22.


By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, / you became a successor to their throne. / Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation, / O inspired one of God; / by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith, / even to the shedding of your blood. / Hieromartyr Phocas entreat Christ God to save our souls.


The Master established you as a brilliant sun / shining on all the faithful, glorious hieromartyr Phocas. / He has accepted your life, faith and contest as myrrh, / for He is rich in mercy.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Symeon and John, Fools for Christ

July 21

These Saints were from the city of Edessa in Mesopotamia and flourished during the reign of Justin the Younger (565-578). After a pilgrimage to Jerusalem they were moved with a desire to forsake the world; they were tonsured monks by the Abbot Nicon, and soon after left the monastery to struggle together in the wilderness near the Dead Sea. When they had passed a little more than thirty years together in silence and prayer, Symeon, having reached the heights of dispassion, departed for Emesa in Syria, where he passed the rest of his life playing the fool, saving many souls from sin while hiding his sanctity with seemingly senseless behavior. He reposed in 570; by the providence of God, John, who had remained in the wilderness, departed soon after.

Apolytikion of John & Simeon in the Fourth Tone
O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Kontakion of John & Simeon in the First Tone
With faith and love let us acclaim angelic and God-bearing Symeon who, though in the flesh, appeared as one without flesh and shone supernaturally with virtues; and with him let us praise renowned John, for they intercede with the Lord unceasingly for us all.



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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dius, Abbot of Antioch

July 19

Saint Dius, who was from Antioch in Syria, later came to Constantinople and established a monastery there, and wrought many wonders. He flourished in the time of Saint Theodosius the Great (379-395).

Apolytikion of Dius, Abbot of Antioch in the First Tone
Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Dius, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer thou didst obtain heavenly gifts, and thou healest the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him that hath given thee strength. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.

Kontakion of Dius, Abbot of Antioch in the Second Tone
In God, thou wast armed with purity of heart and soul; and taking in hand unceasing prayer as though a spear, Father Dius, thou didst mightily cut down all the demonic hordes, thou who workest wonders and signs and prayest unceasingly for all of us.


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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Nun-martyr Barbara

Commemorated on July 18

St Barbara died with St Elizabeth on July 5, 1918, the day after the murder of Tsar Nicholas and his family. The two nuns were thrown into a mineshaft, and grenades were tossed in after them. St Elizabeth remained alive for several hours, and could be heard singing hymns.

The bodies of St Barbara and St Elizabeth were taken to Jerusalem in 1920, and buried in the church of St Mary Magdalene.


Emulating the Lord’s self-abasement on the earth, / You gave up royal mansions to serve the poor and disdained, / Overflowing with compassion for the suffering. / And taking up a martyr’s cross, / In your meekness / You perfected the Saviour’s image within yourself, / Therefore, with Barbara, entreat / Him to save us all, O wise Elizabeth.


In the midst of worldliness, / thy mournful heart dwelt in Heaven; / in barbaric godlessness, / Your valiant soul was not troubled; / You longed to meet your Bridegroom / as a confessor, / and He found you worthy of your martyric purpose. / O Elizabeth, with Barbara, / Your brave companion, / Pray to your Bridegroom for us.


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Friday, July 17, 2015

Passion-bearer Tsarevich Alexis

Commemorated on July 17

Saint Alexis, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsaritsa Alexandra, was born in 1904.
St Alexis was shot by Bolshevik executioners on July 4, 1918 along with his parents and sisters.


Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns; / Wise Nicholas and blest Alexandra, we praise you, / Acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith, and humility, / Whereby you attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God, / With your five renowned and godly children of blessed fame. / O passion-bearers decked in purple, intercede for us.


Royalty and martyrdom were joined together, O blessed ones, / In your death for righteousness and right belief, O wise Sovereigns, / Nicholas and Alexandra, with your five children. / Hence, Christ our God counted you worthy of thrones in Heaven; / And with twofold crowns of glory, / You reign forever, adorned with grace divine.


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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Athenogenes the Holy Martyr of Heracleopolis

July 16

This Saint was from Sebastia of Cappadocia and , according to the Synaxaristes, became Bishop of Pidachthoa. He and ten of his disciples were tortured and beheaded by the Governor of Philomarchus in the times of Diocletian. There is a second Martyr Athenogenes commemorated today, mentioned by Saint Basil in Chapter 29 of his treatise "On the Holy Spirit"; it is said that as this Athenogenes approached the fire, wherein he was to die a martyric death, he chanted the hymn O Joyous Light in praise of the Holy Trinity (see also Mar. 11).

Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Athenogenes in the Fourth Tone
As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Athenogenes. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion of Hieromartyr Athenogenes in the Fourth Tone
Having followed the Lord's teaching, as an eminent shepherd thou didst lay down thy life for Christ's sheep, O Hieromartyr Athenogenes. Wherefore, we praise thee and thy ten disciples who suffered with thee, guided by the fear of God and thy teaching; for the Lord hath crowned you as Saints with His life-giving right hand. Pray, then, to Him in behalf of us all.



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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, in Holy Baptism Basil, the Enlightener of the Russian Land

Commemorated on July 15

Few names in the annals of history can compare in significance with the name of St Vladimir, the Baptizer of Rus, who stands at the beginning of the spiritual destiny of the Russian Church and the Russian Orthodox people. Vladimir was the grandson of St Olga, and he was the son of Svyatoslav (+ 972). His mother, Malusha (+ 1001) was the daughter of Malk Liubechanin, whom historians identify with Mal, prince of the Drevlyani. Having subdued an uprising of the Drevlyani and conquered their cities, Princess Olga gave orders to execute Prince Mal for his attempt to marry her after he murdered her husband Igor, and she took to herself Mal's children, Dobrynya and Malusha. Dobrynya grew up to be a valiant brave warrior, endowed with a mind for state affairs, and he was later on an excellent help to his nephew Vladimir in matters of military and state administration.

The "capable girl" Malusha became a Christian (together with Great Princess Olga at Constantinople), but she preserved in herself a bit of the mysterious darkness of the pagan Drevlyani forests. Thus she fell in love with the austere warrior Svyatoslav, who against the will of his mother Olga made her his wife. The enraged Olga, regarding as unseemly the marriage of her "housekeeper" and captive servant to her son Svyatoslav, heir to the Great Kiev principality, sent Malusha away to her own native region not far from Vybut. And there in about the year 960 was born the boy with the Russian pagan name Volodimir, meaning peaceful ruler, ruling with a special talent for peace.

In the year 970 Svyatoslav set out on a campaign from which he was fated not to return. He had divided the Russian Land among his three sons. At Kiev Yaropolk was prince; at Ovrucha, the center of the Drevlyani lands, was Oleg; at Novgorod was Vladimir. In his first years as prince, we see Vladimir as a fierce pagan. He headed a campaign, in which the whole of pagan Rus is sympathetic to him, against Yaropolk the Christian, or in any case, according to the chronicles, "having given great freedom to the Christians", on July 11, 978 he entered into Kiev, having become the "sole ruler" of the Kiev realm, "having subdued the surrounding lands, some by peaceful means, and the unsubmissive ones by the sword."

Though Vladimir indulged himself in a wild, sensuous life, he was far from the libertine that they sometimes portray him as being. He "shepherded his land with truth, valor and reason", as a good and diligent master, of necessity he extended and defended its boundaries by force of arms, and in returning from military campaigns, he made for his companions and for all Kiev liberal and merry feasts.

But the Lord prepared him for another task. Where sin increases, there, in the words of the Apostle, grace abounds (Rom. 5: 20). "And upon him came visitation of the Most High, and the All-Merciful eye of the Good God gazed upon him, and shone forth the thought in his heart, of understanding the vanity of idolous delusion, and of appealing to the One God, Creator of all things both visible and invisible." The matter of accepting Baptism was facilitated through external circumstances. The Byzantine Empire was in upheaval under the blows of the mutinous regiments of Bardas Skliros and Bardas Phocas, each of whom sought to gain the imperial throne. In these difficult circumstances the emperors, the coregent brothers Basil the Bulgar-Slayer and Constantine, turned for help to Vladimir.

Events unfolded quickly. In August 987 Bardas Phocas proclaimed himself Emperor and moved against Constantinople, and in autumn of that same year the emissaries of Emperor Basil were at Kiev. "And having exhausted his (Basil's) wealth, it compelled him to enter into an alliance with the Emperor of the Russians. They were his enemies, but he besought their help," writes one of the Arab chronicles of events in the 980s. "And the Emperor of the Russians consented to this, and made common cause with him."

As a reward for his military help, Vladimir asked for the hand of the emperors' sister Anna, which for the Byzantines was an unheard of audacity. Princesses of the imperial lineage did not marry "barbarian" rulers, even if they were Christians. At the same time the emperor Otto the Great was seeking the hand of Anna for his son, and he was refused. However, in Vladimir's case Constantinople was obliged to consent.

An agreement was concluded, according to which Vladimir had to send the emperors six thousand Varangians, and to accept holy Baptism. Under these conditions he would receive the hand of the imperial daughter Anna. Thus in the strife of human events the will of God directed the entering of Rus into the grace-filled bosom of the Ecumenical Church. Great Prince Vladimir accepted Baptism and sent the military assistance to Byzantium. With the aid of the Russians, the mutineers were destroyed and Bardas Phocas killed. But the Greeks, gladdened by their unexpected deliverance, were in no hurry to fulfill their part of the bargain.

Vexed at the Greek duplicity, Prince Vladimir "hastened to collect his forces" and he moved "against Korsun, the Greek city," the ancient Chersonessos. The "impenetrable" rampart of the Byzantine realm on the Black Sea fell. It was one of the vitally important hubs of the economic and mercantile links of the empire. This blow was so much felt, that its echo resounded throughout all the regions of Byzantium.

Vladimir again had the upper hand. His emissaries, the commanders Oleg and Sjbern soon arrived in Constantinople for the imperial daughter. Eight days passed in Anna's preparation, during which time her brothers consoled her, stressing the significance of the opportunity before her: to enable the enlightening of the Russian realm and its lands, and to make them forever friends of the Byzantine realm. At Taurida St Vladimir awaited her, and to his titles there was added a new one: Caesar (Tsar). The haughty rulers of Constantinople had to accede also in this, to bestow upon their new brother-in-law the imperial insignia. In certain of the Greek historians, St Vladimir is termed from these times as a "mighty basileios-king", he coins money in the Byzantine style and is depicted on it with the symbols of imperial might: in imperial attire, and on his head the imperial crown, and in his right hand the sceptre with cross.

Together with the empress Anna, there arrived for the Russian See Metropolitan Michael ordained by holy Patriarch Nicholas II Chrysoberges. He came with his retinue and clergy, and many holy relics and other holy things. In ancient Chersonessos, where each stone brings to mind St Andrew the First-Called, there took place the marriage-crowning of St Vladimir and Blessed Anna, both reminiscent and likewise affirming the oneness of the Gospel of Christ in Rus and in Byzantium. Korsun, the "empress's dowry", was returned to Byzantium. In the spring of 988 the Great Prince and his wife set out through the Crimea, Taman and the Azov lands, which had come into the complexion of his vast realm on the return trip to Kiev. Leading the princely cortege with frequent Services of Thanksgiving and incessant priestly singing they carried crosses, icons and holy relics. It seemed, that the Ecumenical Holy Church was moving into the spacious Russian land, and renewed in the font of Baptism, Holy Rus came forth to meet Christ and His Church.

Then followed an unforgettable and quite singular event in Russian history: the morning of the Baptism of the Kievans in the waters of the River Dneipr. On the evening before, St Vladimir declared throughout the city: "If anyone does not go into the river tomorrow, be they rich or poor, beggar or slave, that one shall be my enemy." The sacred wish of the holy Prince was fulfilled without a murmur: "all our land glorified Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit at the same time."

It is difficult to overestimate the deep spiritual transformation of the Russian people effected by the prayers of St Vladimir, in every aspect of its life and world-view. In the pure Kievan waters, as in a "bath of regeneration", there was realized a sacramental transfiguration of the Russian spiritual element, the spiritual birth of the nation, called by God to unforeseen deeds of Christian service to mankind.

"Then did the darkness of the idols begin to lift from us, and the dawn of Orthodoxy appear, and the Sun of the Gospel illumined our land." In memory of this sacred event, the regeneration of Rus by water and the Spirit, the Russian Church established the custom of an annual church procession "to the water" on August 1. Later, the Feast of the Procession of the Honorable Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, which Russia celebrated with the Greek Church, was combined with the Feast of the All-Merciful Savior and the Most Holy Theotokos (established by St Andrew Bogoliubsky in the year 1164). In this combination of feasts there is found a precise expression of the Russian theological consciousness, for which both Baptism and the Cross are inseparable.

Everywhere throughout Holy Rus, from the ancient cities to the far outposts, St Vladimir gave orders to destroy the pagan sanctuaries, to flog the idols, and in their place to clear land in the hilly woods for churches, in which altars would be consecrated for the Bloodless Sacrifice. Churches of God grew up along the face of the earth, at high elevated places, and at the bends of the rivers, along the ancient trail "from the Variangians to the Greeks" figuratively as road signs and lamps of national holiness. Concerning the famed church-building activity of St Vladimir, the Metropolitan of Kiev St Hilarion (author of the "Word on Law and Grace") exclaimed: "They demolished the pagan temples, and built up churches, they destroyed the idols and produced holy icons, the demons have fled, and the Cross has sanctified the cities."

From the early centuries of Christianity it was the custom to raise up churches upon the ruins of pagan sanctuaries or upon the blood of the holy martyrs. Following this practice, St Vladimir built the church of St Basil the Great upon a hill, where a sanctuary of Perun had been located, and he built the stone church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos (Desyatinnaya) on the place of the martyrdom of the holy Varangian Martyrs (July 12). The magnificent temple was intended to become the cathedral for the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus, and thus the primal altar of the Russian Church. It was built in five years, and was richly adorned with frescoes, crosses, icons and sacred vessels, brought from Korsun. The day of the consecration of the church of the Most Holy Theotokos, May 12 (in some manuscripts May 11), was ordered by St Vladimir to be inserted into the Church calendar as an annual celebration. This event was linked with other events celebrated on May 11, and it provided the new Church a twofold sense of continuity. Under this day in the calendar is noted the churchly Founding of Constantinople "dedicated by the holy emperor St Constantine as the new capital of the Roman Empire, the city of Constantine is dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos (330). On this same day of May 11, the church of Sophia, the Wisdom of God was consecrated at Kiev (in the year 960 under St Olga). St Vladimir, having had the cathedral church consecrated to the Most Holy Theotokos, followed the example of St Constantine in dedicating the capital city of the Russian Land (Kiev) to the Queen of Heaven.

Then a tithe or tenth was bestown on the Church; and since this church had become the center of the All-Russian collection of churchly tithes, they called it the Tithe church. The most ancient text of the grant, or church rule by holy Prince Vladimir spoke thus: "For I do bestow on this church of the Holy Mother of God a tenth of all my principality, and also throughout all the Russian Land from all the princely jurisdiction a tithe of squirrel-pelts, and from the merchant, a tithe of the week, and from households each year, a tenth of every herd and every livelihood, to the wondrous Mother of God and the wondrous Savior." The grant also specified "church people" as being free from the jurisdictional power of the prince and his "tiuni" (officials) and placed them under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan.

The chronicle has preserved a prayer of St Vladimir, with which he turned to the Almighty at the consecration of the Dormition Tithe church: "O Lord God, look down from Heaven and behold, and visit Your vineyard, which Your right hand has planted. And make this new people, whom You have converted in heart and mind to know You, the True God. And look down upon this Your church, which Your unworthy servant has built in the name of the Mother Who gave birth to Thee, the Ever-Virgin Theotokos. And whoever prays in this church, let his prayer be heard, through the prayers of the All-Pure Mother of God."

With the Tithe church and Bishop Anastasius, certain historians have made a connection with the beginnings of Russian chronicle writing. At it were compiled the Life of St Olga and the account of the Varangian Martyrs in their original form, and likewise the "Account, How in the Taking of Korsun, Vladimir came to be Baptized." Here also originated the early Greek redaction of the Lives of the Holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb.

During the time of St Vladimir, the Kiev Metropolitan See was occupied successively by the Metropolitan St Michael (September 30), Metropolitan Theophylactus, who transferred to Kiev from the See of Armenian Sebaste (991-997), Metropolitan Leontius (997-1008), and Metropolitan John I (1008-1037). Through their efforts the first dioceses of the Russian Church were opened: at Novgorod (its first representative was St Joachim of Korsun (+ 1030), compiler of the Joachimov Chronicle), Vladimir-Volyn (opened May 11, 992), Chernigov, Pereslavl, Belgorod, and Rostov. "And thus throughout all the cities and villages there were set up churches and monasteries, and the clergy increased, and the Orthodox Faith blossomed forth and shone like the sun."

To advance the Faith among the newly enlightened people, learned people and schools were needed to help prepare them. Therefore, St Vladimir and the holy Metropolitan Michael "commanded fathers and mothers to take their young children and send them to schools to learn reading and writing." St Joachim of Korsun set up such a school at Novgorod, and they did the same in other cities. "And there were a multitude of schools of scholars, and of these were there a multitude of philosophers."

With a firm hand St Vladimir held in check enemies at the frontiers, and he built fortified cities. He was the first in Russian history to set up a "notched boundary," a line of defensive points against nomadic peoples. "Volodimir began to set up cities along the Desna, along the Vystra, along the Trubezha, along the Sula and along the Stugna. And he settled them with the Novgorodians, the Smolyani, the Chuds and the Vyatichi. He made war against the Pechenegs and defeated them." But the real reason for his success was the peaceful Christian preaching among the pagans of the steppes.

In the Nikol'sk Chronicles under the year 990 was written: "And in that same year there came to Volodimir at Kiev four princes from the Bulgars and they were illumined with Divine Baptism." In the following year "the Pecheneg prince Kuchug came and accepted the Greek faith, and he was baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and served Vladimir with a pure heart." Under the influence of the holy prince several apparent foreigners were also baptized. For example, the Norwegian "koenig" (king) Olaf Trueggvason (+ 1000) who lived several years at Kiev, and also the renowned Torvald the Wanderer, founder of a monastery of St John the Forerunner along the Dneipr near Polotsk, among others. In faraway Iceland the poet-skalds called God the "Protector of the Greeks and Russians."

In addition to the Christian preaching, there were the renowned feasts of St Vladimir. After Liturgy on Sundays and Church Feasts there were put out abundant feasting tables for the Kievans, they rang the bells, choirs sang praise, the "transported infirm" sang bylini-ballads and spiritual verses. On May 12, 996, for example, on the occasion of the consecration of the Tithe church, the prince "made a bright feast." He distributed goods "to many of the poor, and destitute and wanderers, and through the churches and the monasteries. To the sick and the needy he delivered through the streets casks and barrels of mead, and bread, and meat, and fish, and cheese, desiring that all might come and eat, glorifying God". Feasts were likewise celebrated in honor of the victories of Kievan warriors, and the regiments of Vladimir's retinue: of Dobrynya, Alexander Popovich, Rogda the Bold.

In the year 1007 St Vladimir transferred the relics of St Olga to the Tithe church. Four years later, in 1011, his spouse and companion in many of his undertakings, the Blessed Empress Anna, was also buried there. After her death the prince entered into a new marriage with the young daughter of the German Graf Kuno von Enningen, granddaughter of the emperor Otto the Great.

The era of St Vladimir was a crucial period for the formation of Orthodox Rus. The unification of the Slavic lands and the formation of state boundaries under the domain of the Rurikovichi resulted from a strenuous spiritual and political struggle with neighboring tribes and states. The Baptism of Rus by Orthodox Byzantium was a most important step in its self-definition as a state. The chief enemy of Vladimir became Boleslav the Brave, whose plans included the extensive unification of the West Slavic and East Slavic tribes under the aegis of Catholic Poland. This rivalry arose back when Vladimir was still a pagan: "In the year 6489 (981). Volodimir went against the Lakhs and took their cities, Peremyshl, Cherven, and other cities, which be under Rus." The final years of the tenth century are likewise filled with the wars of Vladimir and Boleslav.

After a brief lull (the first decade of the eleventh century), the "great stand-off" entered into a new phase: in the year 1013 a conspiracy against St Vladimir was discovered at Kiev. Svyatopolk the Accursed, who was married to a daughter of Boleslav, yearned for power. The instigator of the conspiracy was Boleslav's cleric, the Kolobzheg Catholic bishop Reibern.

The conspiracy of Svyatopolk and Reibern was an all-out threat to the historical existence of the Russian state and the Russian Church. St Vladimir took decisive measures. All the three involved were arrested, and Reibern soon died in prison.

St Vladimir did not take revenge on those that "opposed and hated" him. Under the pretense of feigned repentance, Svyatopolk was set free.

A new misfortune erupted in the North, at Novgorod. Yaroslav, not yet "the Wise," as he was later to be known, in the year 1010 having become ruler of Novgorod, decided to defect from his father the Great Prince of Kiev. He formed his own separate army, moving on Kiev to demand the customary tribute and tithe. The unity of the Russian land, for which St Vladimir had struggled all his life, was threatened with ruin. In both anger and in sorrow St Vladimir gave orders to "secure the dams and set the bridges," and to prepare for a campaign against Novgorod. His powers were on the decline. In the preparations for his final campaign, happily not undertaken, the Baptizer of Rus fell grievously ill and surrendered his soul to the Lord in the village of Spas-Berestov on July 15, 1015. He had ruled the Russian realm for thirty-seven years (978-1015), twenty-eight of these years after his Baptism.

Preparing for a new struggle for power and hoping for Polish assistance, and to play for time, Svyatopolk attempted to conceal the death of his father. But patriotically inclined Kievan nobles, by night, secretly removed the body of the deceased sovereign from the Berestov court, where Svyatopolk's people were guarding it, and they conveyed the body to Kiev. At the Tithe church the coffin with the relics of St Vladimir was met by Kievan clergy with Metropolitan John at the head of the procession. The holy relics were placed in a marble crypt, set within the St Clement chapel of the Dormition church beside the marble crypt of Empress Anna.

The name and deeds of the holy Equal of the Apostles St Vladimir, whom the people called the Splendid Sun, is interwoven with all the successive history of the Russian Church. "Through him we too have come to worship and to know Christ, the True Life," testified St Hilarion. His deeds were continued by his sons, and grandsons and descendants, rulers of the Russian land for almost six centuries, from Yaroslav the Wise, who took the first steps towards the independent existence of the Russian Church, down to the last of the Rurikovichi, Tsar Theodore Ioannovich, under whom (in 1589) the Russian Orthodox Church became the fifth independent Patriarchate in the dyptichs of Orthodox Autocephalous Churches.

The festal celebration of the holy Equal of the Apostles Vladimir was established under St Alexander Nevsky, in memory of the intercession of St Vladimir on May 15, 1240, for his help in gaining the renowned victory by Nevsky over Swedish crusaders.

But the first veneration of the holy prince began in Rus rather earlier. The Metropolitan of Kiev St Hilarion (+ 1053), in his "Word on Law and Grace," spoken on the day of memory of St Vladimir at the saint's crypt in the Tithe church, calls him "an apostolic sovereign", like St Constantine, and he compares his apostolic evangelisation of the Russian Land to the evangelisation by the holy Apostles.

Troparion - Tone 4

Holy Prince Vladimir,you were like a merchant in search of fine pearls.By sending servants to Constantinople for the Orthodox Faith, you found Christ, the priceless pearl. He appointed you to be another Paul,washing away in baptism your physical and spiritual blindness.We celebrate your memory,asking you to pray for all Orthodox Christians and for us, your spiritual children.

Kontakion - Tone 8

Most glorious Vladimir, in your old age you imitated the great apostle Paul:he abandoned childish things, while you forsook the idolatry of your youth.Together with him you reached the fullness of divine wisdom:You were adorned with the purity of holy baptism.Now as you stand before Christ our Savior, pray that all Orthodox Christians may be saved.


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

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Aquila the Apostle among the 70

July 14

Saint Aquila, who was from Pontus of Asia Minor, was a Jew by race and a tent-maker by trade. In the year 52 he and his wife Priscilla were in Corinth when Saint Paul first came there. They gave him hospitality, and the Apostle remained with them for many days, himself working at the same trade as they (Acts 18:2-3). And having believed in Christ through Paul, they followed him from that time on, working together with him and suffering perils with him for the sake of the preaching of the Gospel, as he himself testifies concerning them in his Epistle to the Romans, saying: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the nations" (Rom. 16:3-4). When and where they reposed is unknown.

Apolytikion of Aquila of the 70 in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Aquila, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion of Aquila of the 70 in the Fourth Tone
Ranked with the Apostles' choir as their companion, O Apostle wise in Christ, thou madest all the world to shine with thy bright doctrines and miracles, O famed Aquila, while gaining a glorious crown.


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

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Venerable Michael of Maleinus

Commemorated on July 12

Saint Michael Maleinus was born about the year 894 in the Charsian region (Cappadocia) and at Baptism he received the name Manuel. He was related to the Byzantine emperor Leo VI the Wise (886-911). At age 18 Manuel went off to Bithynia, to the Kyminas monastery under the guidance of the Elder, John Heladites, who tonsured him into monasticism with the name Michael. Fulfilling a very difficult obedience in spite of his illustrious lineage, he demonstrated an example of great humility.

After the passage of a certain time, he was found worthy of the grace of the priesthood. Constantly studying the Holy Scripture, St Michael showed how the priesthood ought to be properly conjoined with monasticism, he attained to a high degree of dispassion and acquired the gift of perspicacity. He was very compassionate and kindly towards people; he could not let remain without help and consolation those who were in need and in sorrow, and by his ardent prayer he accomplished many miracles.

After much monastic effort under the guidance of the Elder John, St Michael asked his blessing to live in a cave as a hermit, Five days of the week he spent at prayerful concentration, and only on Saturday and Sunday did he come to the monastery for participation in the divine services and to partake of the Holy Mysteries.

By his example of sublime spiritual life the holy hermit attracted many seeking salvation. In a desolate place called Dry Lake, the venerable Michael founded a monastery for the brethren gathering around him, and gave it a strict monastic rule. When the monastery was secure, St Michael went to a still more remote place and built there a new monastery. By the efforts of the holy abba, the whole mountain of Kyminas was covered with monastic communities, where constantly prayers were raised up for all the world to the Throne of the Most-High.

About the year 953, the youth Abraham entered the brotherhood, flourishing under the guidance of St Michael, who gave him the name Athanasius. Later, St Athanasius (July 5) founded the renowned Great Lavra, the first cenobitic monastery on Mount Athos. In the building of the Lavra great help was given to St Athanasius by St Michael’s nephew, the future Byzantine emperor Nicephoros Phocas (963-969), who met Athanasius while visiting his uncle. After fifty years of ceaseless monastic struggle, St Michael Maleinos went peacefully to the Lord in the year 962.


The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Father, / for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. / By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away, / but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. / Therefore your spirit, O holy Father Michael, rejoices with the angels.


By your deeds you withered the arrogance of the flesh; / through enlightenment you gave wings to your agility of spirit. / You were revealed as a dwelling place of the Trinity, / Whom you now clearly behold. / Blessed Michael, unceasingly pray for us all.


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

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Venerable Arcadius of Novotorsk

Commemorated on July 11

Saint Arcadius of Vyazma and Novy Torg was from the city of Vyazma of pious parents, who from childhood taught him prayer and obedience. The gentle, perceptive, prudent and good youth chose for his ascetic feat of being a fool-for-Christ. He lived by alms, and slept wherever he found himself, whether in the forest, or on the church portico.

His blessed serenity and closeness to nature imparted to the figure of young Arcadius a peculiar spiritual aspect and aloofness from worldly vanity. In church, when absorbed in prayer, St Arcadius often wept tears of tenderness and spiritual joy. Though he seldom spoke, his advice was always good, and his predictions were fulfilled.

An experienced guide, St Ephraim the Wonderworker of Novy Torg (January 28), helped the young ascetic to avoid spiritual dangers while passing through the difficult and unusual exploit of foolishness. After this the people of Vyazma witnessed several miracles, worked through the prayers of Blessed Arcadius, but the saint fled human fame and traveled along the upper Tvertsa River. Here St Arcadius shared the work with his spiritual guide St Ephraim, and with him founded a church and monastery in honor of the holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb (May 2).

Entering into the newly-built monastery, St Arcadius became a monk and took upon himself the exploit of full obedience to his spiritual Father, St Ephraim. St Arcadius never missed Liturgy and he was always the first to appear for Matins together with his spiritual guide. After St Ephraim’s repose (January 28, 1053), St Arcadius continued to pursue asceticism in accord with the last wishes of his Elder, dwelling in prayer, fasting and silence. After several years, he also fell asleep in the Lord (December 13, 1077).

In 1594, a chapel dedicated to St Arcadius was built in one of the churches of Vyazma. A combined celebration of Sts Arcadius and Ephraim was established by Metropolitan Dionysius in the years 1584-1587. The relics of St Arcadius, glorified by miracles of healing, were uncovered on June 11, 1572, and on July 11, 1677, they were placed in a stone crypt of Sts Boris and Gleb cathedral in the city of Novy Torg (New Market). In 1841, the left side chapel of Sts Boris and Gleb cathedral church was dedicated in honor of St Arcadius. The solemn celebration of the 300th anniversary of the uncovering of the holy relics of St Arcadius took place in the city of Novy Torg in July of 1977. He is also commemorated on August 14 and June 11 (Transfer of his relics).


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

Friday, July 10, 2015

Venerable Silvanus the Schemamonk of the Kiev Far Caves

The Holy Schemamonk Silvanus (Silouan) of the Kiev Caves, zealously preserved the purity of both soul and body, he subdued his flesh with fasting and vigils, and he cleansed his soul with prayer and meditation on God. The Lord granted him an abundance of spiritual gifts: a prayerful boldness towards God, constant joy in the Lord, clairvoyance and wonderworking. The monk lived at the end of the thirteenth and beginning of the fourteenth centuries. His relics rest in the Caves


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

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Righteous Procopius the Fool-For-Christ and Wonderworker of Ustiug, Vologda

Commemorated on July 8

The incorrupt relics of St Procopius were uncovered during the eighteenth century near the Entry of the Theotokos parish church in Ustya (Vologda diocese) and placed in the church, where for two hundred years they remained in open view, a source of numerous healings. No account of the origin and life of the holy saint of God has been preserved. His name became known when he himself revealed it in a vision to a pious local inhabitant named Savela.

In connection with an increase in the number of miraculous healings, the relics of St Procopius were examined in 1696 (or 1645) and in 1739. After this a chapel in honor of the saint was consecrated in the church where his relics rest. His icon was painted, and a Service to him was composed.

In 1818 the universal celebration of the saint was established.

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

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Thomas the Righteous of Malea

July 7

Saint Thomas, though wealthy in material goods, though illustrious for the military trophies he had won in wars against the barbarians, forsook all that he had that he might gain Christ, and was led by a pillar of fire to Mount Maleon. By divine grace he wrought wonders, cast out demons, gave sight to the blind, caused springs of water to gush forth, healed many, and while in prayer appeared as a pillar of fire. The century in which he lived is not known.

Apolytikion of Thomas of Malea in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Thomas, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion of Thomas of Malea in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Leaving the army that is earthly and corruptible, thou didst ascend into the mountain of unceasing prayer, joining battle with the spirits of nether darkness. And since thou didst overcome thy fleshless enemies, thou was brought to thine eternal King in victory; hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Thomas of godly mind.


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

Monday, July 06, 2015

The Holy Martyrs Isaurius the Deacon as well as Innocent, Felix, Hermias, Basil, Peregrinus Rufus and Ruphinus of Apollonia in Macedonia

The Holy Martyrs Isaurius the Deacon, Innocent, Felix, Hermias, Basil, Peregrinus were Athenians, suffering for Christ in the Macedonian city of Apollonia under the emperor Numerian (283-284). Beheaded with them for believing in Christ were two city officials, Rufus and Ruphinus.


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

Thursday, July 02, 2015

St Juvenal the Patriarch of Jerusalem

Saint Juvenal , Patriarch of Jerusalem, occupied the throne of the Holy City during the years 420-458. During this period great luminaries of the Church enlightened the world: Sts Euthymius the Great (January 20), Simeon the Stylite (September 1), Gerasimus of Jordan (March 4), and many others.

St Juvenal was a friend and converser with St Euthymius the Great. During St Juvenal’s archpastoral service, the Eastern Church was troubled by dangerous false teachings, which he opposed with a pastoral zeal, safeguarding the flock of Christ.

The Third Ecumenical Council was convened in the city of Ephesus in 431. It condemned the heresy of Nestorius, which was opposed to the Orthodox teaching of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. St Cyril of Alexandria (June 9) presided at this Council, and among his colleagues was Patriarch Juvenal.

In 451, the Fourth Ecumenical Council met in the city of Chalcedon. It condemned the Eutchian [Monophysite] heresy, which taught that the human nature in Christ was totally swallowed up and absorbed by the divine nature. The holy Fathers, among them St Juvenal, condemned the heresy of Eutychius and affirmed the Orthodox doctrine of the union of two natures in the Lord Jesus Christ, the divine and the human, without separation and without mixture. The heretics, however, continued to confuse the minds of Christians.

At the head of the heretics stood Theodosius, who had won over to his side the widow of the emperor Theodosius the Younger (+ 450), named Eudokia, who lived at Jerusalem. He demanded that Patriarch Juvenal repudiate the Council of Chalcedon, that is, that he should renounce the Orthodox dogma of the two natures in Christ.

St Juvenal would not agree to embrace falsehood, and bravely confessed the Chalcedon doctrine before the heretics. Theodosius and his adherents then deposed Patriarch Juvenal from the patriarchal throne. The saint withdrew to Constantinople, to Patriarch Anatolius (July 3) and the emperor Marcian. The heretic Theodosius, under the patronage of Eudokia, occupied the patriarchal throne in Palestine, but only for twenty months. Emperor Marcian, holding St Juvenal in high esteem, placed him on the patriarchal throne once more, and so the holy confessor returned to Jerusalem.

The saint made many efforts to restore Church peace. At the suggestion of St Simeon the Stylite, the empress Eudokia repented before St Juvenal and returned to communion with the Orthodox. A large part of the Jerusalem flock, who had been led astray by the heretics, followed her. Having defeated the pernicious heresies, and having established oneness of mind and propriety, Patriarch Juvenal died peacefully among his faithful flock, after serving as a bishop for thirty-eight years.


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

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Translation of the relics of the Venerable John of Rila from Trnovo to Rila

Commemorated on July 1

On October 19, 1238 the relics of St John of Rila were solemnly transferred to the new capital, Trnovo, and put in a church dedicated to the saint. Then on July 1, 1469 the holy relics of St John were returned to the Rila monastery, where they rest to the present day, granting grace-filled help to all the believers.

See his Life on August 18.


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