Thursday, April 28, 2016

Virginmartyr Kerkyra and those with her

Commemorated on April 28

When the daughter of the governor of Kerkyra (Korfu), the maiden Kerkyra, learned how Christians were suffering for Christ, she declared herself a Christian and gave away all her finery to the poor. The infuriated governor attempted to persuade his daughter to deny Christ, but St Kerkyra stood firm against both persuasion and threats. Then the enraged father devised a terrible punishment for his daughter: he gave orders that she be placed in a prison cell with the robber and murderer Murinus, so that he might defile the betrothed of Christ.

But when the robber approached the door of the prison cell, a bear attacked him. St Kerkyra heard the noise and she drove off the beast in the name of Christ. Then, by her prayers, she healed the wounds of Murinus. Then St Kerkyra enlightened him with the faith of Christ, and St Murinus declared himself a Christian and was executed.

The governor gave orders to burn down the prison, but the holy virgin remained alive. Then on her enraged father’s order, she was suspended upon a tree, choked with bitter smoke and shot with arrows. After her death, the governor decided to execute all the Christians on the island of Kerkyra.


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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Holy Hieromartyr Symeon, Kinsman of the Lord

April 27

Symeon was a first cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the son of Clopas (or Cleopas, also called Alphaeus), the brother of Joseph the Betrothed. He became the second Bishop of Jerusalem, as a successor to James the Brother of God. He ended his life when he was crucified during the reign of Trajan, in 107, at the age of 120.

Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Symeon in the First Tone
We sacredly acclaim thee as Jesus Christ's kinsman, and as His steadfast Martyr, O all-lauded Hierarch. For bravely hast thou destroyed all deception and kept the faith. Hence, O Symeon, we keep thy holy remembrance on this festive day; and by thy prayers, we are granted the pardon of grievous sins.

Kontakion of Hieromartyr Symeon in the Fourth Tone
Since the church hath Symeon, the God-proclaimer, as a great and shining star, she is now guided by his light as she doth cry out in joy today: Rejoice, O ven'rable summit of martyred Saints.



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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Basil the Holy Martyr Bishop of Amasea

April 26

This Saint was Bishop of Amasia in Pontus, in the days of Licinius (reigned 308-324), fellow Emperor and brother-in-law of Saint Constantine the Great. Licinius' wife Constantia, sister of Saint Constantine, had as handmaid a virgin named Glaphyra. When it became known that Licinius had conceived a sinful desire for her. Constantia secretly sent Glaphyra away to the East. Coming to Amasia, she took refuge with Saint Basileus. When Licinius learned of this, he furiously commanded that both be brought before him. When the soldiers came for them, however, Saint Glaphyra had already departed to the Lord; she is also commemorated this day. Saint Basileus was taken alone to Nicomedia, where he was beheaded. His body was cast into the sea, but through divine revelation was found again and brought back to Amasia.

Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Basil of Amaseia 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 Basil. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.



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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Great and Holy Monday

Commemorated on April 25

Holy Week: A Liturgical Explanation for the Days of Holy Week


These three days, which the Church calls Great and Holy have within the liturgical development of the Holy Week a very definite purpose. They place all its celebrations in the perspective of End ; they remind us of the eschatological meaning of Pascha. So often Holy Week is considered one of the “beautiful traditions” or “customs,” a self-evident “part” of our calendar. We take it for granted and enjoy it as a cherished annual event which we have “observed” since childhood, we admire the beauty of its services, the pageantry of its rites and, last but not least, we like the fuss about the paschal table. And then, when all this is done we resume our normal life. But do we understand that when the world rejected its Savior, when “Jesus began to be sorrowful and very heavy... and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death,” when He died on the Cross, “normal life” came to its end and is no longer possible. For there were “normal” men who shouted “Crucify Him [” who spat at Him and nailed Him to the Cross. And they hated and killed Him precisely because He was troubling their normal life. It was indeed a perfectly “normal” world which preferred darkness and death to light and life.... By the death of Jesus the “normal” world, and “normal” life were irrevocably condemned. Or rather they revealed their true and abnormal inability to receive the Light, the terrible power of evil in them. “Now is the Judgment of this world” (John 12:31). The Pascha of Jesus signified its end to “this world” and it has been at its end since then. This end can last for hundreds of centuries this does not alter the nature of time in which we live as the “last time.” “The fashion of this world passeth away...” (I Cor. 7:31).

Pascha means passover, passage. The feast of Passover was for the Jews the annual commemoration of their whole history as salvation, and of salvation as passage from the slavery of Egypt into freedom, from exile into the promised land. It was also the anticipation of the ultimate passage—into the Kingdom of God. And Christ was the fulfillment of Pascha. He performed the ultimate passage: from death into life, from this “old world” into the new world into the new time of the Kingdom. And he opened the possibility of this passage to us. Living in “this world” we can already be “not of this world,” i.e. be free from slavery to death and sin, partakers of the “world to come.” But for this we must also perform our own passage, we must condemn the old Adam in us, we must put on Christ in the baptismal death and have our true life hidden in God with Christ, in the “world to come....”

And thus Easter is not an annual commemoration, solemn and beautiful, of a past event. It is this Event itself shown, given to us, as always efficient, always revealing our world, our time, our life as being at their end, and announcing the Beginning of the new life.... And the function of the three first days of Holy Week is precisely to challenge us with this ultimate meaning of Pascha and to prepare us to the understanding and acceptance of it.

1. This eschatological (which means ultimate, decisive, final) challenge is revealed, first, in the common troparion of these days:

Troparion—Tone 8

Behold the Bridegroom comes at midnight,
And blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching,
And again unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.
Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep,
Lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom.
But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, are You, O our God!
Through the Theotokos have mercy on us!

Midnight is the moment when the old day comes to its end and a new day begins. It is thus the symbol of the time in which we live as Christians. For, on the one hand, the Church is still in this world, sharing in its weaknesses and tragedies. Yet, on the other hand, her true being is not of this world, for she is the Bride of Christ and her mission is to announce and to reveal the coming of the Kingdom and of the new day. Her life is a perpetual watching and expectation, a vigil pointed at the dawn of this new day. But we know how strong is still our attachment to the “old day,” to the world with its passions and sins. We know how deeply we still belong to “this world.” We have seen the light, ‘We know Christ, we have heard about the peace and joy of the new life in Him, and yet the world holds us in its slavery. This weakness, this constant betrayal of Christ, this incapacity to give the totality of our love to the only true object of love are wonderfully expressed in the exapostilarion of these three days:

“Thy Bridal Chamber I see adorned, O my Savior
And I have no wedding garment that I may enter,
O Giver of life, enlighten the vesture of my soul
And save me.”

2. The same theme develops further in the Gospel readings of these days. First of all, the entire text of the four Gospels (up to John 13: 31) is read at the Hours (1, 3, 6 and 9). This recapitulation shows that the Cross is the climax of the whole life and ministry of Jesus, the Key to their proper understanding. Everything in the Gospel leads to this ultimate hour of Jesus and everything is to be understood in its light. Then, each service has its special Gospel lesson :

On Monday:

At Matins: Matthew 21: 18-43—the story of the fig tree, the symbol of the world created to bear spiritual fruits and failing in its response to God.

At the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts: Matthew 24: 3-35: the great eschatological discourse of Jesus. The signs and announcement of the End. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away....”

“When the Lord was going to His voluntary Passion,
He said to His Apostles on the way:

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem,
And the Son of Man shall be delivered up
As it is written of Him.
Come, therefore, and let us accompany Him,
With minds purified from the pleasures of this life,
And let us be crucified and die with Him,
That we may live with Him,
And that we may hear Him say to us:
I go now, not to the earthly Jerusalem to suffer,
But unto My Father and your Father
And My God and your God,
And I will gather you up into the heavenly Jerusalem,
Into the Kingdom of Heaven....”
(Monday Matins)



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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

St Elizabeth the Wonderworker of Constantinople

Commemorated on April 24

Saint Elizabeth the Wonderworker was from Constantinople, and was chosen for the service of God at birth. It was revealed to her mother that the girl would become a chosen vessel of the Lord (Acts 9:15).

The parents sent their daughter to a monastery as a child. She grew up in an atmosphere of fasting and constant prayer, and received the gift of healing physical and spiritual infirmities.

The sisters chose her to be abbess of the Sts Cosmas and Damian Monastery. She wore a coarse hairshirt all year round. Her body was chilled in winter, but her spirit blazed with ardent love for God.

The saint’s asceticism was very strict. For many years she ate only grass and vegetables, but would not partake of bread, wine, or oil. Many times St Elizabeth ate nothing at all during the forty days of the Great Fast. Imitating the Publican in humility, for three years she did not lift up her eyes to the heavens, but she looked constantly to God with her spiritual eyes. At midnight prayers, the saint shone with a heavenly light.

St Elizabeth performed many miracles: a vicious serpent was killed by her prayer, she healed a woman with issue of blood who had been ill for many years, and she cast out unclean spirits from people. At her tomb many were healed of various illnesses, and the blind received their sight. Many were cured with just some earth from her grave.

We do not know exactly when St Elizabeth lived, but it was probably between the sixth and ninth centuries.


In you, O Elizabeth, was carefully preserved what is according to the image, / 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, O blessed Elizabeth, your spirit rejoices with the angels.


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

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lazarus Saturday

April 23

Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, the friends of the Lord Jesus, had given Him hospitality and served Him many times (Luke 10:38-4z; John 12:2-3). They were from Bethany, a village of Judea. This village is situated in the eastern parts by the foothills of the Mount of Olives, about two Roman miles from Jerusalem. When Lazarus - whose name is a Hellenized form of "Eleazar," which means "God has helped," became ill some days before the saving Passion, his sisters had this report taken to our Saviour, Who was then in Galilee. Nonetheless, He tarried yet two more days until Lazarus died; then He said to His disciples, "Let us go into Judea that I might awake My friend who sleepeth." By this, of course, He meant the deep sleep of death. On arriving at Bethany, He consoled the sisters of Lazarus, who was already four days dead. Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled at the death of His beloved friend. He asked, "Where have ye laid his body?" and He wept over him. When He drew nigh to the tomb, He commanded that they remove the stone, and He lifted up His eyes, and giving thanks to God the Father, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." And he that had been dead four days came forth immediately, bound hand and foot with the grave clothes, and Jesus said to those standing there, "Loose him, and let him go." This is the supernatural wonder wrought by the Saviour that we celebrate on this day.

According to an ancient tradition, it is said that Lazarus was thirty years old when the Lord raised him; then he lived another thirty years on Cyprus and there reposed in the Lord. It is furthermore related that after he was raised from the dead, he never laughed till the end of his life, but that once only, when he saw someone stealing a clay vessel, he smiled and said, "Clay stealing clay." His grave is situated in the city of Kition, having the inscription: "Lazarus the four days dead and friend of Christ." In 890 his sacred relics were transferred to Constantinople by Emperor Leo the Wise, at which time undoubtedly the Emperor composed his stichera for Vespers, "Wishing to behold the tomb of Lazarus . . ."

Apolytikion of Lazarus Saturday in the First Tone
O Christ our God, before Your Passion, You raised Lazarus from the dead to confirm the common Resurrection for all. Therefore, we carry the symbols of victory as did the youths, and we cry out to You, the victor over death, "Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. "

Kontakion of Lazarus Saturday in the Second Tone
Christ, everyone's joy, the truth, the light, life, the resurrection of the world, has by His goodness appeared to those on earth. He is the archetype of the resurrection, granting divine forgiveness to all.


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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Alexandra the Martyr

April 21

Martyr Alexandra, the Empress and wife of Emperor Diocletion, was so impressed by the courage and martyrdom of St George that she became a Christian and fell under the same persecution. She also was condemned to be beheaded but when she arrived at the place of execution she asked to be allowed to sit down. Her request was granted. She sat down and died quietly before the executioners could carry out their task. Her feast day is 21 April.

Apolytikion of Alexandra the Martyr in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.


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

Monday, April 18, 2016

St Basil Ratishvili of Georgia

Commemorated on April 18

Saint Basil Ratishvili, one of the most prominent figures of the 13th-century Church, was the uncle of Catholicos
Ekvtime III. He labored with the other Georgian fathers at the Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos. Endowed with the gift of prophecy, St. Basil beheld a vision in which the Most Holy Theotokos called upon him to censure King Demetre’s impious rule. (This is actually St. Demetre the Devoted, who in his youth lived profligately but later laid down his life for his nation.)

Having arrived in Georgia and been brought before the king, the God-fearing father denounced the sovereign’s uncrowned marriage [i.e., a conjugal union without the blessing of the Church]. He promised the king that if he abandoned his present way of life, he would find great happiness and success. St. Basil also condemned the ungodly ways of Georgia’s apostate feudal lords.

But the king and his court disregarded the virtuous elder’s admonitions, and in response St. Basil prophesied: “A vicious enemy will kill you, and your kingdom will remain without refuge. Your children will be scattered, your kingdom conquered, and all your wealth seized. Know that, according to the will of the Most Holy Theotokos, everything I have told you will come to pass unless you repent and turn from this way of life. Now I will depart from you in peace.”

St. Basil returned to Mt. Athos and peacefully reposed at the Iveron Monastery.

His vision was fulfilled.


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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Martyr Adrian of Corinth

The Holy Martyr Adrian suffered during the time of the reign of the emperor Decius (249-251). Like many other Christians at that time, St Adrian was locked up in prison. During a pagan festival they brought out all the Christian prisoners to offer sacrifice to the idols. They ordered St Adrian to throw some incense on the coals, but the holy martyr scattered the fire and wrecked the sacrifice. The pagans fell upon him in a rage, beating him with sticks and iron rods, and striking him with stones. Finally, they threw him into a fire, and he won the crown of martyrdom.


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

Friday, April 15, 2016

Crescens the Martyr

April 15

This Martyr was from Myra of Lycia, born of an illustrious family. Of his own accord he went amidst the idolaters and admonished them to leave off their futile religion and worship the only true God, Who is worshipped by the Christians; for this he was arrested. When asked by the ruler what his name and lineage were, the Saint would answer only that he was a Christian; counseled to offer sacrifice to the idols, he refused. For this, he was hung up and beaten, was scraped, and then was cast into fire, in which he gave up his holy soul into the hands of God, though not even the hair of his head was harmed by the flames.

Apolytikion of Martyr Crescens in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.


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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

5th Thursday of Lent: The Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete

This most compunctionate Canon-which is truly great not only because of the quantity of Troparia as compared with other canons, but also because of the multitude of mystical thoughts and insights-is the excellent composition of Saint Andrew of Crete (see July 4). Examining the entire history of the Holy Scriptures, both Old and New, and artistically fitting it together into one sacred song, this divine Father incites every soul to imitate the good and to flee from evil, and to return to God by means of repentance.

Kontakion of 5th Thurs. of Lent in the Plagal of the Second Tone
My soul, my soul, arise! Wherefore dost thou slumber? The end is drawing nigh, and thou shalt be troubled. Arouse thyself, therefore, that Christ God may spare thee; for He is everywhere present and filleth all things


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

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hieromartyr Artemon the Presbyter of Laodicea in Syria

Commemorated on April 13

The Hieromartyr Artemon was born of Christian parents in Laodicea, Syria in the first half of the third century. From his youth, he dedicated himself to the service of the Church. The saint served the Church as a a Reader for sixteen years.

For his zeal in Church services, Bishop Sisinius ordained him deacon. St Artemon also fulfilled this service with fervor and diligence for twenty-eight years, then he was ordained to the priesthood. In this position, St Artemon served the Church of God for thirty-three years, preaching Christianity among pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began his fierce persecution against Christians, St Artemon was already old. The emperor issued an edict ordering Christians to offer sacrifice to idols.

Saint Sisinius, knowing of the impending arrival of the military commander Patricius in Laodicea, went with the priest Artemon and other Christians into the temple of the goddess Artemis. There they smashed and burned the idols, reducing them all to dust.

Afterwards, St Sisinius and St Artemon gathered the flock into the church and fervently exhorted the Christians to remain firm in the Faith and not to fear the threats of torturers.

When he arrived in Laodicea, Patricius celebrated a five-day festival in honor of the pagan gods, and then went to the temple of Artemis to offer sacrifice. He learned who had destroyed the temple, and went with a detachment of soldiers to the church where the Christians were praying.

As he approached the church, Patricius suddenly felt a chill, and then developed a fever, which left him barely alive. They carried him home and put him to bed. “The Christians have put a curse on me, and their God torments me,” he said to those about him. Although Patricius prayed to the idols, they did not relieve his sufferings. He sent a messenger to St Sisinius and asked for his help, promising to set up a gold statue of the bishop in the middle of the city. The saint replied, “Keep your gold, but if you believe in Christ, He will heal you.”

Patricius was afraid of dying, so he declared that he believed in Christ, and the affliction left him. But even this miracle did not affect the obdurate soul of the pagan. Although he did not touch St Sisinius, he did enforce the imperial edict against other Christians in the city of Caesarea. Along the way he encountered St Artemon, who was followed by six wild donkeys and two deer.

When Patricius asked how he was able to control these wild beasts, St Artemon replied that he held them with the Word of Christ.

Patricius learned from the pagans that the old man was the same Artemon who had destroyed the pagan temple of Artemis. He ordered that Artemon be arrested and taken to the city of Caesarea. St Artemon went with the soldiers without fear, but he ordered the animals to go to St Sisinius.

Seeing the animals Bishop Sisinius asked, “Why have these animals come here?” A doe received the gift of speech from God and said, “The servant of God Artemon is being held by the impious Patricius, and is being brought to Caesarea in chains. He commanded us to come here to give you this news.” Do not be astonished that the Lord, Who opened the mouth of Balaam’s ass (Num. 22:28), also permits the doe to speak. The bishop sent Deacon Phileas to Caesarea to verify this information.

In Caesarea Patricius brought St Artemon to trial and tried to force him to offer sacrifice in the temple of Asclepius. In this pagan temple there lived many poisonous vipers. The pagan priest never opened the doors, nor did he place the sacrifice before the idol. But St Artemon, calling on the Name of Jesus Christ, went into the temple and released the snakes. The pagans fled, but the saint stopped them and killed the snakes by his breath. One of the pagan priests, Vitalius, believed in Christ and asked St Artemon to baptize him.

Patricius thought that St Artemon killed the snakes by sorcery, and again he interrogated and tortured him. Then the doe which had spoken arrived in Caesarea. The doe lay down at the feet of the martyr, licking his wounds. By God’s command the doe spoke again, denouncing the impious pagans. Addressing Patricius, the doe predicted that he would be seized by two birds of prey, and dropped into a cauldron of burning pitch. Patricius was enraged because he had been censured by a wild beast. He commanded his soldiers to shoot the doe with arrows, but she escaped. Afraid that the miracles performed by St Artemon would draw more people to him, Patricius gave orders to execute him.

They filled an enormous cauldron with boiling pitch, intending to throw the saint into it. Patricius rode up to the cauldron on horseback to see if the pitch was indeed boiling. Then two angels in the form of eagles seized Patricius and threw him into the cauldron. His body was consumed so that not a single bone remained.

Seeing the miracle, everyone ran away except St Artemon, who blessed and glorified God. When the saint finished his prayer, a spring of water issued from the ground. St Artemon baptized the pagan priest Vitalius and many pagans, who had come to believe in Christ. On the following morning St Artemon communed the newly-baptized with the Holy Mysteries.

Many of the baptized were ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, and Vitalius was made Bishop of Palestine. The hieromartyr Artemon, instructed by the voice of God, preached the Gospel in Asia Minor. Then an angel appeared to him and transported him to the place which had been revealed to him, where he converted many to Christ. Pagans seized the saint and beheaded him (+ 303).

St Artemon is commemorated on March 24 on the Greek calendar.


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 Artemon, entreat Christ God to save our souls.


Made worthy of a sacred confession, / and completing your life as a martyr, / you were translated to heaven, / receiving from God an unfading crown. / Therefore we celebrate your holy memory, calling out: / Remember us, as you stand before Christ, / O wise Hieromartyr Artemon.


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

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monk Martyrs Menas, David and John of Palestine

The Monk Martyrs Menas, David and John lived in Palestine. They were martyred in the seventh century by Arabs, who shot them through with arrows (+ post 636, when Jerusalem was captured by the Arabs).


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

Monday, April 11, 2016

St Callinicus of Cernica the Bishop of Rimnicului in Romania

Commemorated on April 11

Our holy Father Callinicus (Calinic) of Cernica, who served as bishop of Ramnicu Valcea in Romania was born in Bucharest on October 7, 1787, near the church of St Bessarion. His parents, Anthony and Flora (Floarea) Antonescu, were honest and pious people. In holy Baptism he received the name Constantine.

Constantine’s mother brought her son to church and taught him his prayers, instilling in him a deep love for the Most Holy Theotokos. When he was old enough, he was sent to school in Bucharest. In addition to the usual subjects taught at that time, he also learned Greek.

After raising her children, Flora became a nun in the monastery of Pasarea, and was given the new name Philothea. Her first son became a priest, and later he received the monastic tonsure, taking the name Acacius. It is not surprising that the younger son, Constantine, became attracted to the monastic life and wished to follow their example.

On Feast Days, Constantine loved to visit the monastery of Cernica. The igumen at that time was the most devout George, who was a disciple of St Paisius Velichkovsky (November 15). The Cernica monastery also followed the Rule of St Paisius.

In 1807, when he was twenty years old, Constantine left his home and entered the monastery. He was given into the care of Father Pimen, a master woodcarver, and one of the Spiritual Fathers of the monastery. In a short time, Constantine surprised the rest of the monks by the way he fulfilled his monastic obediences, by his prayer and fasting, and by his exceptional love and innate goodness. At his tonsure, he received the new monastic name Callinicus, and was soon esteemed for his love of prayer, his humility, and his balanced spiritual life. Some of the less zealous monks, however, were ashamed when they saw his exceptional fervor.

The young monk continued to fulfill his obediences, and amazed the brethren with his purity, knowledge, long-suffering, kindness, and unfeigned love (2 Cor. 6:6-7). Therefore, Fr Pimen decided not to wait for the full three years of monastic trial for Constantine. On November 9, 1808, with the blessing of Igumen Timothy, Brother Constantine was tonsured with the name Callinicus.

Fr Callinicus prayed, fasted, fulfilled all the rules, and permitted himself only three hours of sleep each day. Because of the strictness of his life, and his good example to others, he was ordained to the diaconate on December 3, 1808. He remained under the supervision of Father Pimen, for no one may enter the Kingdom of Heaven without obedience.

Hierodeacon Callinicus, because of the strictness of his life, soon attracted the notice of Igumen Timothy. In 1813, after many of the priests at the monastery had died from cholera, Deacon Callinicus was found worthy of the holy priesthood. His ordination took place on February 4, 1813. Though at twenty-six he was younger than most of the other monks, they respected his wisdom and asked him to become their Confessor and Spiritual Father. So it was that on September 20, 1815 Metropolitan Nectarius himself made him the Spiritual Father of the monastery.

So great were his spiritual qualities that many people came to him for Confession, not only monks and laymen from various lands, but even the Metropolitan himself. They all found in him the consolation and tenderness of God. Since the humble Callinicus knew the monastery’s rules so well, Igumen Timothy also made him the Ecclesiarch.

Elder Timothy reposed on March 3, 1816, departing this life with his soul at peace. He had built a large church on the island of St Nicholas, and dedicated it to that saint. Although the work of painting icons in the church was only half finished, he knew that others would complete the work he had begun.

St Callinicus took part in this work himself. In 1812 he and his Spiritual Father Pimen went to Moldavia looking for help. Upon their return, Fr Pimen went to the Holy Mountain for greater tranquility. St Callinicus found himself under obedience to Fr Dorotheus, who was elected to replace Fr Timothy as Igumen in 1816.

Since Fr Dorotheus was quite old, most of the cares of the monastery rested on the shoulders of St Callinicus. These responsibilities did not interfere with his work of enlightening his own soul, however.

In 1817, Fr Dorotheus, feeling that his end was near, sent St Callincus and the monk Dionysius (who spoke Turkish) to bring Fr Pimen back from Mount Athos so that he could replace him as igumen. St Callinicus was happy to undertake this journey. Arriving on the Holy Mountain, St Callinicus and Fr Pimen visited many of the monasteries there, observing the life of the monks. He learned many things which he later applied when he was the igumen of the monastery, and even as bishop. He listened to the counsels of the Athonite monks, both the learned and those who were humble.

After helping the monasteries with whatever they had, they celebrated the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, St Callinicus and Fr Pimen returned to Romania in 1818. When they got to Cernica, they found Fr Dorotheus still alive, and he told Fr Pimen to take his place. The Lord, however, decreed otherwise.

The ever-memorable Fr Dorotheus fell asleep in the Lord on December 13, 1818. On the following day, the monks of Cernica elected St Callinicus as the next igumen. Fr Pimen was not saddened by this at all. He remained as the Spiritual Father of St Callinicus, and until his death he continued to advise and to love his former disciple. Fr Pimen was placed in charge of the monastery’s vestments, and of all the monastery’s business. He introduced some new rules to Cernica, which were similar to those he found on Mount Athos. The monks of Cernica found these rules very difficult to follow. Perhaps that is the reason why St Callinicus was chosen as igumen, rather than Fr Pimen.

Eleven years had passed since the saint entered the monastery, and now he was thirty years old. In less than two years he had completed the iconography work in the church of St Nicholas on the island. He also finished the exterior of the church, and furnished it with everything needful. Seeing the zeal which St Callinicus had for God’s house, Metropolitan Dionysius Lupu raised him to the rank of Archimandrite.

St Callinicus was very patient and kind with people, but he could also be very strict when it was necessary. He counseled those who were lazy or disobedient, and he sent some of them away to other monasteries so that his monks would not be influenced by their bad example. He would not allow slander in the monastery, considering this vice to be “the death of the soul.” Abba Or says something similar. See SAYINGS OF THE DESERT FATHERS, transl. Benedicta Ward London, 1975, p. 207, # 15.

The saint fulfilled his responsibilities as igumen with great fervor, though he knew what a difficult task to govern men is. He believed that the igumen should be “the heart of all hearts who seek him or ask him for instruction or consolation. He is the path to perfection for all the believing souls around him.

Just as Sts Anthony the Great (January 17), Pachomius (May 15) and Macarius (Jan. 19) were responsible for many monasteries in the desert of Egypt, so was St Callinicus responsible for several monasteries and sketes in addition to his own. The monasteries of Pasarea, Tiganesti, Caldarusani, and the Sketes of St John of Tigia, Poiana Marului, Ratesti, and Ciorogirla.

The parish churches at Campina, Ghenoaia, and Tohani Buzaului were also under his authority. In the latter church, it was the prerogative of the Spiritual Father of Cernica to choose the chief priest.

St Callinicus was the igumen of Cernica during difficult times. In March of 1821 the uprising of Tudor Vladimirescu began. After this, the Turks attacked the country, and many of the citizens of Bucharest sought shelter in the monastery of Cernica.

St Callinicus received everyone with paternal love, hiding them in the cells of the church of St Nicholas. At this time he sent monks to the island of St George. On May 15 of the same year, the Turks came to the town of Catsela, which was close to the monastery. Someone informed the Turks that some rebels were hiding in the monastery. The Turks surrounded the buildings and placed cannons everywhere, intending to raze the monastery.

Learning of this danger, St Callinicus assembled the people and the monks in the church. After encouraging them, he prayed all night in the church with them, asking that they and the monastery might be spared. The next day he sent a monk to the Pasha at Catsela to assure him that there were only simple folk from Bucharest with women and children in the monastery. The Pasha changed his mind, and sent soldiers to protect the monastery from danger.

The supply of food for those staying in the monastery began to run low, but the monks had no more provisions. Deeply saddened, St Callinicus prostrated himself in front of an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos and St Nicholas, and prayed for assistance. When he finished praying, a miracle took place. Five carts loaded with bread and drawn by two bulls came through the monastery gates.

Another Pasha came to the monastery of Pasarea in the village of Panteleimon, and kidnapped one of the nuns. St Callinicus moved the rest of the nuns from Pasarea to the monastery of Snagov for their safety. He then wrote a letter of protest to the governor, who ordered the Pasha to release the nun. The Pasha swore that he would destroy the monastery of Cernica and take revenge upon St Callinicus. Once again, the saint learned of the Pasha’s intentions, and he prayed all night long with his clergy for the monastery to be spared.

At midnight, the Pasha was prepared to attack the monastery, but first he asked for a cup of coffee. A servant handed him the coffee, and as he did so, he shot the Pasha. The bullet struck the bag of gold coins which he wore under his shirt, and so he was not killed. In gratitude for his deliverance, he sent the gold to St Callinicus saying that it should be used to build a well for the monastery.

Fearing some sort of trickery, the saint told the Turks, “If you wish, and if you are telling the truth, then you yourselves should build the well next to the bridge.” Workmen built the well on the north shore of St George’s Island, and it is known as the Well of the Turk, to this very day.

On another occasion, the monastery cook told St Callinicus that they had no more flour. He replied, “Let us place our hope in the Mother of God and in St Nicholas, and we shall want for nothing.” The saint went to his cell to pray before the holy icons, asking St Nicholas to help them.

A miracle took place that evening after Vespers. A cart with two drivers came to the monastery with a load of flour. They asked Fr Charalampus, the ecclesiarch, where to unload the flour which their master had sent as a gift. When the monk asked for the name of their master, they said that he wished to remain anonymous. St Callinicus served a Molieben of Thanksgiving to St Nicholas, and then went to bless the flour, which was used to bake bread for the consolation of the brethren.

In 1827, a certain man came to the monastery when St Callinicus was speaking to his Spiritual Father, Pimen. The man asked if he might borrow fifty lei (Romanian currency). An hour after this man had left; a young man came to St Callinicus and kissed his hand saying, “Holy Father, my father has died. Before his death he told me to give one thousand lei to the monastery. I do not have the full amount now, but here are five hundred lei, and later on I will bring you another five hundred lei.”

St Callinicus realized that the person who had requested the loan of fifty lei had been sent by God to test his mercy and his love, and so he received ten times that amount in return. Fr Pimen asked him, “What were you thinking, Fr Callinicus, when you gave alms to that man?”

The saint replied, “I wanted to give one hundred lei, but I did not have that much. I gave him fifty and received five hundred. As the Gospel says, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’ (Matt. 5:7).”

After Matins one morning in July of 1829, St Callinicus was in his cell reading the Life of St Nicholas. When he got to the sixth chapter, he fell asleep from weariness after the all-night Vigil. Suddenly, St George appeared in his armor and St Nicholas in the vestments of a bishop. Behind them was Father George, the late igumen of Cernica.

“Arise,” said St Nicholas, “and on this island build a church dedicated to the Holy Great Martyr George.” St George told him, “We will send you everything that you require.” Then Igumen George said, “Do not doubt in your heart.” They departed after saying these things.

When he woke up, Fr Callinicus continued reading the Life of St Nicholas until he reached the end. Then he went out to visit his Spiritual Father Pimen on the small island of St George in order to ask him whether this vision might have been some sort of temptation from the Devil. “No, my child,” Fr Pimen replied, “this is not demonic, but is really something from God. These same three individuals also appeared to me three times tonight, ordering the work to begin at once. I have just finished getting dressed so that I could pass on their instructions to you.”

At that time there were only a few cells on St George’s Island, among them was the cell of the late Igumen George, where Fr Pimen had now taken up his residence. There was also a small church dedicated to St George, a gift from Bratovian. Next to this, St Callinicus built a large and beautiful church.

In time, the words of St George were fulfilled, and indeed all that was necessary was provided. Several years after the uprising of Tudor Vladimirescu, a certain Romanian noble made a secret agreement to banish the Phanariots from the country and to choose a Romanian king. They collected money and other necessities for this purpose. The funds were to be held by Bishop Ioannicius, who lived in Bucharest. The nobles told him that if their plan failed, and if they had to flee the country, that the money should be used to build a church. The holy bishop also contributed some of his own money to this sum.

In 1831, during an outbreak of cholera, Bishop Ioannicius came to Cernica and entrusted all the money to St Callinicus. The building of the church had already begun in 1823. It was completed in 1836 and consecrated that year on the Feast of the Transfiguration (Aug. 6).

In January of 1838, the church was destroyed by a great earthquake. The saint restored it and built cells nearby, surrounding the buildings with strong walls. This work was completed in 1842. In 1846, he began construction of a church at the Skete of Pasarea, which was consecrated the following year.

St Callinicus also built a church in Buesti on the Baragan River, and he built stone houses in the village for the overseers. He also built barns for Cernica Monastery’s animals. Many people were surprised when he tilled the land and planted willow trees in the middle of the field.

Several times when Alexander Ghica was governor, St Callinicus was selected to become Metropolitan, but he always declined. He had no wish to leave the monastery where he had labored for so many years.

About this time, someone in the monastery poisoned the saint. The brethren of the monastery were much saddened by this evil deed. Since he was near death, he advised the monks to select someone to replace him as Igumen. They chose the most devout Benjamin Katulos.

One night, as St Callinicus lay in bed waiting for the Lord to take him, he entreated, “O Lord my God, I did not think. I do not wish to die from poison.” At that moment he seemed to hear a voice say to him, “You will not die from poison. Arise and be well, for soon you shall become the Bishop of Ramnicu Valcea. There you will guide the church on a true course, for some have caused it to deviate from the right path.”

At once, he felt himself to be completely well. He got up and went into the church, where the monks were chanting the midnight service. They were amazed to see him fully recovered and standing in his usual place. They went to his cell after the service to ask him how he had become well all of a sudden. He shared with them everything that the voice had told him. They all rejoiced, giving glory to God.

The assigned governor of Romania, Barbu Demetrius Stirbei had just returned from the Sublime Porte (this was the official name of the gate leading to a block of buildings in Constantinople which housed government offices). He was an intelligent man and a good ruler. As such, he decided to put the Church’s affairs in order, as well. So he had bishops elected to fill sees which were vacant.

St Callinicus was elected Bishop of Ramnicu Valcea (a city located north and west of Bucharest) on September 14, 1850, and only with great reluctance did he accept the position. He accepted only because he did not wish to make the sovereign sad. Since he would have to leave his monastery in order to fulfill the responsibilities of a bishop, the monks elected Archimandrite Nikander to replace him.

The monks loved their Spiritual Father who had guided them on the path to salvation by his words and by his example. When he left Cernica, the great bell was rung until everyone had gathered in the church to bid the saint farewell. There were about 350 monks in the monastery at that time, and even those who were ill got up from their beds in order to receive his blessing one last time.

St Callinicus entered the church and read the Prayer of Forgiveness, asking them to maintain the rules of the Church and of the monastery. When the service had concluded, everyone left and went outside and walked to the waiting carriage, to the sound of the monastery’s bells. Many were weeping, and even the hardest hearts were softened. St Callinicus took several monks with him so that they might assist at the Divine Services in the diocese. In this manner the saint left the monastery of Cernica where he had lived for almost 43 years, serving as Igumen for 32 of those years. As the carriage bore him away, St Callinicus looked out the window at the domes of the monastery’s two churches. As he remembered his life in this place, his eyes filled with tears.

Ramnicu Valcea, the see of the diocese, was in Craiova, the capital of the province of Olteni. During the long journey, he would stop at several towns and villages, where the people greeted him with the traditional bread and salt. At Craiova the church bells rang, and many people sang songs written in his honor. So many people came to see him that the church of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius could not contain them all. Prayers were offered for the new bishop’s health, and official representatives of the city’s clergy and lay leaders congratulated him and wished him success in his archpastoral ministry.

St Callinicus began his work the next day, visiting churches and monasteries, and correcting those things that were not according to the proper order of the Church. His door was always open to the poor and downtrodden, and he taught his flock by word and by personal example.

Things continued in this way until 1854 when war broke out between Russia and the Turks. These were also difficult times for Romania, because the Turks entered the province of Olteni on July 18. Even though St Callinicus had been ordered to return to Bucharest with his clergy and staff, he went instead to Ramnicu Valcea, the former See of the diocese. The church and its surrounding buildings had been damaged when a fire broke out there on March 27, 1847. St Callinicus was able to restore everything in two years.

The holy bishop was also a writer. He composed a “Lamentation,” various poems, and an “Instruction” for monks, in addition to a Chronicle of the events of 1821. At the same time that the See was returned to Ramnicu Valcea from Craiova, St Callinicus set up a printing press so that he could print service books for the churches, and spiritual books for the benefit of the faithful.

The saint had the gift of working miracles, and many people were aware of this at the time. A young monk who was close to him and was able to observe his holy life said of him, “I was struck by his spiritual life, because I had read a great deal concerning the lives of other Holy Fathers. I understood then that I was serving a living saint.”

St Callinicus also knew the thoughts of others. The same young monk recalled that after evening prayers the bishop would call him and talk to him about faith and about his obligations as a monk. One time he was listening to the bishop and thought that His Grace might be glorified as a saint after his death. St Callinicus answered his unspoken thoughts, “Why do you think so highly of me? I ask God that after my death my sinful body might be returned to the earth, and not what you are thinking, my pious one.”

The monk asked his forgiveness because he had this thought about him. Then the bishop told him not to speak of his gift of discerning thoughts during his lifetime. “My son,” he said, “there are monks and laymen who are believers only in word. Their thoughts, however, are far from Christian righteousness; thus, they do not need to know what you know of me. After my death, you may tell those who are true Christians about me, through both the spoken and written word.”

St Callinicus once made the body of a person who was long dead turn to dust. In the summer of 1854 he went up the river Valea Jiului to the skete of Lainici. Many of the faithful from all the villages came out to receive his blessing. Among these were the sons of a certain wealthy man who had died some time before. They asked the bishop to stay in their home that night, because the next day was a Saturday and they wanted him to serve a Memorial Service for their father.

The saint agreed to stay at their home that night. With great sadness they told him that their father had reposed a long time before, but that his body had not yet turned to dust. They opened his grave three times, and had bishops and priests conduct Memorial Services for him. Since the body still had not decayed, they thought that some sort of curse had been placed on him.

The next day St Callinicus served the Divine Liturgy in the village church, then went to the man’s grave, which had been opened for the fourth time. The body was taken from the grave and placed by the church wall. All of his clothes looked as if they were new.

After the service the bishop read the prayer of forgiveness of all sins. As he was reading, the body began turning to dust, starting with the feet. When the prayer was finished, nothing was left of the body but a pile of dust and some white bones. Those present began to glorify God, Who had endowed Bishop Callinicus with such miraculous power.

After three days at the Skete of Lainici, St Callinicus set off along a mountain path for his metochion. At a certain hill, he suddenly stopped, sat down on the ground, and started to weep. One of his disciples asked if he felt ill. “No, my son,” he replied, “but I did not think that I would outlive the Elder of Cernica. Elder Nikander has fallen asleep.”

The disciple noted the exact day and time of this conversation. Later, when he went to Bucharest on business, he stopped at Cernica. There he was told that Elder Nikander had indeed reposed on the very day and at the very hour that he had spoken to St Callinicus in the mountains.

On another occasion, St Callinicus healed a woman who had been possessed by a demon. He performed this miracle in one of the churches of Ramnicu Valcea. This took place in the presence of Father Kostako, the Archpriest of that city, Archimandrite Anastasius Baldovin, and the land owner Kostako, who built the Skete of Frasinei and other sketes.

St Callinicus had just finished serving the Divine Liturgy when he was asked to read a prayer for a woman who was quite ill. Possessed by an evil spirit, she was restrained by four men. Her clothes were tattered and torn, and she screamed and foamed at the mouth. It was only with great difficulty that they brought her to the bishop and had her kneel.

The saint read the prayer, blessed her three times and said, “Arise, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” At once the woman got up, completely healed in soul and in body. She bowed before the holy icons and gave thanks to God. She asked for some clothes, since she could not go out in the rags she was wearing.

St Callinicus also healed the son of the land owner Kostako, who showed signs of epilepsy. Each day he seemed to get worse. When the young man fell to the ground foaming at the mouth the land owner went to the bishop and told him about his son. “Go home,” the saint told him, “and pray to the Mother of God.”

When Kostako reached his home he found his son praying before an icon of the Theotokos. The young man told his father and his family, “You should pray to the Mother of God, as well. Do you not see how the bishop is praying? Now I shall not be sick any more.”

Kostako went back to the bishop to thank him for this miracle. At the gate to his home Kostako met Archimandrite Anastasius Baldovin, who carried a silver reliquary containing the head of the holy Martyr Mercurius (November 24). The monk asked him where he was going. “I am going to thank the bishop, because my son has become well,” he answered.

“His Grace has sent me here with the relic of St Mercurius so that your son may venerate it,” said Fr Anastasius. From that hour the young man was completely well.

A certain peasant in the village of Muereasca-Valcea had a daughter who was ill. She could not be brought to the bishop at the nearby Skete of Frasinei because St Callinicus did not allow women there. He followed the example of St Athanasius of Athos (July 5), who did not permit women to set foot on Mount Athos, the Garden of the All-Holy Theotokos.

A tablet had been placed at the boundary between the Skete and Muioriaska-Vylcha. The inscription read: “Callinicus, by the mercy of God Bishop of Ramnicu Valcea and Noul Severin, order that no woman should set foot beyond this place.”

No one disobeyed the order, because the people were afraid to do so. In the summer of 1862 or 1863 a girl from Muereasca unknowingly crossed the boundary line while chasing a cow. She became ill and had fits.

Her parents asked the village priest to ask for St Callinicus to forgive and heal her. When the bishop heard of this he agreed to go and see the girl.

Upon entering the girl’s house, St Callinicus found her in bed and in great pain. He asked her, “Do you recognize me?” The afflicted one nodded her head. As he caressed her head the saint told her, “You will become well; yes, you will become well. I have forgiven you; now let us pray to the Lord that He may also forgive you.” He read the Prayer of Forgiveness, and told her again, “Yes, you will be well.” The girl, of course, was healed, and news of the miracle spread throughout the district.

St Callinicus performed similar miracles during the seventeen years he served as Bishop of Ramnicu Valcea. When he reached the age of 80, he began to feel the approach of death. He had served the Lord for sixty-two years, and he was much weakened by all his labors, and thought that he should retire from his Episcopal duties. He decided to return to the monastery of Cernica, where he wanted to be buried.

On May 24, 1867, the saint arrived at the monastery, where he saw some of the monks he had known in his younger days. As he looked around him, he saw many reminders of his earlier accomplishments. There was St George’s Island, and the church of St George which he had built, and surrounded with strong walls. Everything in this place was dear to him, and it was fitting that he should come here to rest, and also to die.

On the second day after his arrival, St Callinicus went into the church and prayed for a long time in front of the holy icons. After the service, he gave out prosphora to everyone and gave them his blessing. After this, he returned to his cell, and he never left it again until the end of his life.

For nearly a year, the saint remained in his cell. On Great and Holy Thursday in 1868, he called seven priests to come and administer to him the Mystery of Holy Unction. At the end of the service he said to them, “Fathers, pray to the Lord for me, for soon we will be parted.”

On the radiant day of Christ’s Resurrection, he asked one of the priests to bring him Holy Communion. After partaking of the Holy Mysteries, he received one of the monks who wanted to obtain his blessing to travel to Ramnicu Valcea, where he was being sent.

“You will go on April the eleventh,” he told the monk, “but until then, please read the Prayer Rule for me, since in my weakness I cannot read it for myself.”

At five o’clock on the morning of the date specified, the saint asked his disciple Germanus to give him a clean shirt, for several high-ranking individuals had come to bid him farewell. St Callinicus also asked that a cross be placed in his hand. He kissed it and said, “Holy Cross, help me.” Placing his head on the breast of Fr Germanus, he sighed three times and gave his soul to God.

St Callinicus had lived almost eighty-one years. He had lived for forty-three years at Cernica, spent seventeen years as bishop, and returned to Cernica in the last year of his life. About two weeks before his repose, he told the pious Anastasius Baldovin, “I have fourteen days to live, and then I shall leave you. Do not forget to clothe me in the garments which I have shown you.”

St Callinicus fell asleep in the Lord on April 11, 1868. Not only did he know the time of his own death, but also foresaw the date of Metropolitan Niphon, his spiritual child. When the Metropolitan came to confess to him, the saint spoke with him for some time. When the Metropolitan left, Fr Germanus entered the cell of St Callinicus. The saint told him that there was hope that Niphon would live for another seven years. “My son,” he continued, “seven years after they dig me up, Metropolitan Niphon himself will be placed in the grave.”

So it came to pass. Seven years later, on May 5, 1875, Metropolitan Niphon reposed.

St Callinicus also made predictions concerning the Romanian land. He prophesied that a foreign prince would be placed on the throne, that in 1877 the Russian Tsar would cross the Danube with his army and do battle with the Turks, and that there would be a great war, “such as there has never been upon the earth (World War I).”

News of the saint’s repose spread quickly to Bucharest, and to other cities and towns. Many people came to Cernica to see the holy bishop for the last time.

St Callinicus was dressed in the vestments he had received as a gift from Sava Brancoveanu when he was consecrated as bishop. He was brought to the church seated in a chair, holding the Gospel and a staff in his hands. He remained there for two days.

On Saturday, April 16, 1868, Metropolitan Niphon arrived at Cernica with four bishops, and chanted the service for the departure of a soul together with all the clergy of the monastery. Afterward, St Callinicus was buried in the narthex of the church of St George.

St Callinicus died in poverty, for he gave everything away to widows and orphans, donated funds for the building of churches, and also for other charitable purposes. Though he renounced worldly riches, he had acquired great spiritual treasures during the course of his holy and God-pleasing life. Through the prayers of St Callinicus, let us strive to lay up for ourselves similar spiritual treasures, holy and incorruptible, in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Amen.


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

Saturday, April 09, 2016

4th Saturday of Great Lent: Memorial Saturday

Commemorated on April 9

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

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

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

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

The holy Fathers also testify to the benefit of offering prayers, memorial services, Liturgies, and alms for the dead (St John Chrysostom, St Cyril of Jerusalem, St John of Damascus, etc.). Although both the righteous and those who have not repented and corrected themselves may receive benefit and consolation from the Church’s prayer, it has not been revealed to what extent the unrighteous receive this solace. It is not possible, however, to transfer a soul from a state of evil and condemnation to a state of holiness and blessedness through the Church’s prayer. St Basil the Great points out that the time for repentance and forgiveness of sins is during the present life, while the future life is a time for righteous judgment and retribution (Moralia 1). St John Chrysostom, St Gregory the Theologian, and other patristic writers concur with St Basil’s statement.

By praying for others, we bring benefit to them, and also to ourselves, because “God is not so unjust as to forget your work and the love which you showed for His sake in serving the saints...” (Heb. 6:10).


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


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


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

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Calliopus and Akylina the Martyrs

April 7

The holy Martyr Calliopius was from Perga in Pamphylia, brought up in piety by his godly mother Theocleia. When the persecution of Maximian broke out, Saint Calliopius presented himself of his own accord before the Governor Maximus in Pompeiopolis of Galatia. After he had suffered many torments, his mother visited him in prison and encouraged him in his martyrdom. After this, his thrice-blessed mother, upon learning that he was to be crucified on Holy and Great Thursday, bribed the tyrants to defer it one day, that he might imitate the Lord's Crucifixion on the same day that He suffered it. The holy Martyr Calliopius received the crown of martyrdom on Holy and Great Friday in the year 304, being crucified upside down.

Apolytikion of Martyrs Calliopius and Akylina in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion of Martyrs Calliopius and Akylina in the Third Tone
When thy mother looked on thee made fair with wounds as a Martyr and conformed unto the Lord through holy contests and suff'rings, she was filled with ardent longing to win such glory and became with thee a Martyr in her volition. Now with her do thou entreat Christ, O Calliopius, that we find mercy and grace.



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

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Holy Martyrs Jeremiah and the Priest Archilius (Alchimius)

The Holy Martyrs Jeremiah and the Priest Archilius (Alchimius) suffered martyrdom in the third century. St Gregory Dialogus (March 12) mentions them.


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

Monday, April 04, 2016

Venerable Zosimas of Palestine

Commemorated on April 4

Saint Zosimas was born near the end of the fifth century, and lived in a monastery by the Jordan River. He met St Mary of Egypt (April 1), gave her Holy Communion, then buried her.

St Zosimas lived to be one hundred years old, then fell asleep in the Lord around 560.


Let us the faithful praise Zosimas the offspring of the wilderness, / The angel in the flesh and the boast of monastics. / With him, let us acclaim holy Mary of Egypt / Whose life transcended the limits of nature. / Together, let us cry to them: / Glory to him who strengthened you! / Glory to him who sanctified you! / Glory to him who through you works healing for all!


Let us all praise the righteous Zosimas, the boast of monastics, / And with him, Mary who in the desert lived the angelic life. / Let us cry to them in faith: / Deliver from harm and corrupting passions, / Those who celebrate your radiant memory!


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

Sunday, April 03, 2016

3rd Sunday of Great Lent: Veneration of the Cross

Commemorated on April 3

The Third Sunday of Lent is that of the Veneration of the Cross. The cross stands in the midst of the church in the middle of the lenten season not merely to remind men of Christ’s redemption and to keep before them the goal of their efforts, but also to be venerated as that reality by which man must live to be saved. “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt.10:38). For in the Cross of Christ Crucified lies both “the power of God and the wisdom of God” for those being saved (1 Cor.1:24).


O Lord, save Your people, / and bless Your inheritance. / Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians, / over their adversaries. / And by virtue of Your Cross / preserve Your habitation!


Now the flaming sword no longer guards the gates of Eden; / it has mysteriously been quenched by the wood of the Cross! / The sting of death and the victory of hell have been vanquished; / for You, O my Savior, have come and cried to those in hell: / “Enter again into paradise.”


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

Friday, April 01, 2016

Venerable Macarius the Abbot of Pelecete

Saint Macarius was born at Constantinople in 785. While still a child, he lost his parents. The saint fervently read the Scriptures and came to realize that earthly things are temporary and perishable, and that heavenly things are permanent and imperishable. Therefore, he decided to devote his life entirely to God. He entered the Pelecete monastery in Bithynia, where at the time the igumen was the renowned ascetic, St Hilarion (March 28).

After the death of St Hilarion, St Macarius was unanimously chosen as igumen by the brethren. During the reign of the Byzantine Emperors Leo V the Armenian (813-820) and Michael II the Stammerer (820-829), St Macarius suffered as a confessor for the veneration of holy icons. He was sent to the island of Aphousia, where he died in about the year 830.


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