Monthly Archives: August 2022

Daily Readings for Thursday, August 25, 2022



Return of the Body of Bartholomew the Glorious Apostle, Titus the Apostle of the 70, John the Cappadocian, Epiphanius and Menas, Patriarchs of Constantinople, Holy Father John of Karpathos, Ebba, First Abbess of Coldingham

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO TITUS 1:1-5; 2:15; 3:1-2, 12-15

PAUL, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by command of God our Savior;
To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.
When I send Artemas or Tychicos to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.
All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all. Amen.

MATTHEW 5:14-19

The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Return of the Relics of the Apostle Bartholomew from Anastasiopolis to Lipari

The Transfer of the Relics of the Apostle Bartholomew took place at the end of the sixth century. His apostolic activity and martyr’s end are remembered by the Church on June 11. The Apostle Bartholomew suffered for Christ in Armenian Albanus (now Baku) in the year 71, where his holy relics were. Numerous miracles occurred from the relics of the holy Apostle, and many of the unbelieving were converted to Christ. Under the emperor Anastasius (491-518) the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew were transferred into the newly constructed city of Anastasiopolis (or Dura) and remained there until the end of the sixth century.

When the city of Anastasiopolis was captured by the Persian emperor Chozroes, Christians took up the chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew and fled with it to the shores of the Black Sea. Having overtaken them, pagan priests threw the chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew into the sea. Four other chests containing the relics of the holy Martyrs Papian, Lucian, Gregory and Acacius were also thrown into the sea.

By the power of God the chests did not sink into the depths of the sea, but miraculously floated upon the waves and reached Italy. The chest with the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew came to land at the island of Lipari, and the remaining chests continued their journey and came to land at various places in Italy. The chest with the relics of the Martyr Papian halted at Sicily, the Martyr Lucian at Messina, the Martyr Gregory at Calabria, and the Martyr Acacius at Askalon.

The arrival of the relics of the holy Apostle Bartholomew was revealed to Bishop Agathon of the island of Lipari, who went with clergy to the shores of the sea, took the chest from the waters and solemnly transferred it to church.

Myrrh flowed from the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew, healing people of various illnesses. The holy relics remained in the church of the island of Lipari until the middle of the ninth century when the island was captured by pagans. Christian merchants took up the holy relics of the Apostle Bartholomew and transferred them to the city of Beneventum, near Naples, where they were received with great veneration and placed in the main church of the city.

Apostle Titus of the Seventy and Bishop of Crete

Saint Titus, Apostle of the Seventy was a native of the island of Crete, the son of an illustrious pagan. In his youth he studied Hellenistic philosophy and the ancient poets. Preoccupied by the sciences, Titus led a virtuous life, not devoting himself to the vices and passions characteristic of the majority of pagans. He preserved his virginity, as the Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-bearer (December 20) testifies of him.

For such a manner of life the Lord did not leave him without His help. At age twenty Saint Titus heard a voice in a dream, suggesting that he abandon Hellenistic wisdom, which could not provide salvation for his soul, but rather to seek that which would save him. After this dream, Saint Titus waited yet another year, since it was not actually a command, but it did guide him to familiarize himself with the teachings of the prophets of God. The first that he happened to read was the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Having opened it to the 47th Chapter, he was struck by the words, speaking as it were about his own spiritual condition.

When news reached Crete about the appearance of a Great Prophet in Palestine, and about the great miracles He worked, the governor of the island of Crete (an uncle of Titus) sent him there. This Prophet was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, incarnate of the Most Holy Virgin Mary Who came into the world for the redemption of the race of mankind from the oppression of ancestral sin.

At Jerusalem, Saint Titus saw the Lord. He heard His preaching and believed in Him. He witnessed the suffering and death of the Savior on the Cross, His glorious Resurrection and Ascension to Heaven. On the day of Pentecost the future apostle heard how the Twelve Apostles, after the descent of the Holy Spirit, spoke in various languages, among which was the Cretan language (Acts 2: 11).

Saint Titus accepted Baptism from the Apostle Paul and became his closest disciple. He accompanied Saint Paul on his missionary journeys, fulfilling the tasks entrusted to him. He was involved in establishing new churches, and was with Paul in Jerusalem.

Saint Titus was numbered among the Seventy Apostles and was made Bishop of Crete by the Apostle Paul. Around the year 65, not long before his second imprisonment, the Apostle Paul sent a pastoral epistle to his son in the Faith (Tit. 1: 4).

When the Apostle Paul was taken like a criminal to Rome to stand trial before Caesar, Saint Titus left his flock in Crete for a time and went to Rome to be of service to his spiritual Father. After Saint Paul’s death by martyrdom, Titus returned to Gortyna, the chief city of Crete.

Saint Titus peacefully guided his flock and toiled at enlightening the pagans with the light of faith in Christ. He was granted the gift of wonderworking by the Lord. During one of the pagan feasts in honor of the goddess Diana, Titus preached to a crowd of pagans.

When he saw that they would not listen to him, he prayed to the Lord, so that the Lord Himself would show to the mistaken people the falseness of idols. By the prayer of Saint Titus, the idol of Diana fell down and shattered before the eyes of all. Another time Saint Titus prayed that the Lord would not permit the completion of a temple of Zeus, and it collapsed.

By such miracles Saint Titus brought many to faith in Christ. After bringing the light of faith to the surrounding regions, Saint Titus died peacefully at the age of 97. At the time of his death, his face shone like the sun.

Confessors Barses and Eulogius, Bishops of Edessa, and Protogenes, Bishop of Carrhae

Saint Barses and Eulogius, Bishops of Edessa, and Protogenes the Confessor, Bishop of Carrhae, suffered from the Arians in the second half of the fourth century. The emperor Valentius (364-378), wishing to propagate the Arian heresy, fiercely persecuted the Orthodox.

In the city of Edessa he removed Saint Barses, a champion for Orthodoxy, from the bishop’s throne. He sent him for confinement on the island of Arad. The Orthodox population there received the exiled saint with great honor. They banished him farther, to the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchos, but there also the warm welcome was repeated. Then Saint Barses was banished to the very frontier of the imperial realm, to the faraway city of Thenon where, exhausted by his exiles, he died.

At Edessa, the emperor Valentius placed the Arian pseudo-bishop Lupus upon the episcopal cathedra. Wolflike in name and deed, he scattered the sheep of Christ’s flock. The Orthodox population of Edessa, both clergy and laity, ceased to attend their church, which had been seized by the Arians. They gathered outside the city and celebrated the divine services in an open area.

After he learned of this, the emperor ordered the eparch Modestus to kill all the Orthodox who met for divine services outside the city. The eparch pitied the city, and he informed the Orthodox that they should not attend divine services. The Orthodox, fervent with the desire to receive a martyr’s crown for Christ, went as one to the place where they usually gathered for prayer.

Eparch Modestus, obeying his orders, went there with his armed soldiers. Along the way he saw a woman who hastened to the services with her small child, so as not to deprive him of the martyr’s crown. Shaken, Modestus turned back with his soldiers. Appearing before the emperor Valentius, he urged him to cancel the decree to kill all the Orthodox and to apply it only to the clergy.

They led persons of spiritual rank to the emperor, and in the lead the oldest presbyter Eulogius. The emperor urged them to enter into communion with the pseudo-bishop Lupus, but none of them agreed. After this they sent eighty men of clerical rank in chains to prison in Thrace. The Orthodox met them along the way, revering them as confessors, and furnished them all the necessities. Learning of this, the emperor ordered the martyrs to be taken two by two, and to disperse them to remote areas.

The holy presbyters Eulogius and Protogenes were sent to the Thebaid city of Antinoe in Egypt. There by their preaching they converted many idol-worshippers to Christ and baptized them. When the emperor Valentius perished and was succeeded on the throne by the holy emperor Theodosius (379-395), the Orthodox confessors remaining alive after the persecution were returned from exile. The holy presbyters Eulogius and Protogenes returned to Edessa. In place of the dead and banished Saint Barses, presbyter Eulogius was elevated to Bishop of Edessa, and the holy presbyter Protogenes was made bishop in the Mesopotamian city of Carrhae. Both saints guided their flocks until their death, which occurred at the end of the fourth century.

Saint Menas, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Menas, Patriarch of Constantinople (536-552), was at first a presbyter at Constantinople and supervisor there of the Home of Saint Sampson the Hospitable for the poor and needy during the reign of Saint Justinian I (527-565). After the removal of the heretic Anthimus (535-536), the holy presbyter Menas was raised to the patriarchal throne of Constantinople as one worthy to be bishop, because of his profound virtue and firm confession of Orthodoxy.

Agapitus, the Bishop of Rome (535-536), participated in the consecration of Saint Menas. He had come to Constantinople in order to depose the heretic Anthimus. During the patriarchate of Saint Menas a miracle occurred at Constantinople, which was known to the whole city.

A certain Jewish child went with other children to church and he partook of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. At home, he told his father about this. In a terrible rage, he seized the child and threw him into a red-hot oven (the father was a glass-blower). He said nothing to his wife. For three days, the mother tearfully searched for her son, calling loudly for him. On the third day, he emerged from the red-hot oven. When she pulled the child out, she found that he was unharmed.

The boy said that a most radiant Lady had come to him, cooling the fire and bringing him water and food. This incident became known to Saint Menas and the emperor Justinian I. The boy and his mother received Baptism, but the father of the child was obdurate and did not wish to repent, in spite of the great miracle that he had seen. Then the emperor ordered that the father be tried as a child-killer, and sentenced him to death.

The holy Patriarch Menas ruled the Church of Constantinople for sixteen years. During his patriarchate at Constantinople, the famous church of Hagia Sophia, the Wisdom of God, was consecrated. The saint died peacefully in the year 552.

New Hieromartyr Vladimir (Moshchansky) of Tver

No information available at this time.

Saint John the Cappadocian, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint John the Cappadocian, Patriarch of Constantinople, occupied the patriarchal throne from 518-520. The holy Patriarch Photius (857-867) termed him “a habitation of virtues.”

Saint Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, occupied the cathedra from 520 to 535. He died peacefully in the year 535.

Saint Constantia of Paphos

Saint Constantia was from the city of Paphos on the island of Cyprus, and as Saint Jerome (Hieronymus) writes in his book On the Ecclesiastical Writers, she was the disciple of Saint Hilarion the Great (October 21) who lived as an ascetic in a village in the Diocese of Paphos. In Saint Jerome’s Life of Saint Hilarion (44), he tells us that Saint Hilarion saved her daughter and son-in-law from death by anointing them with oil.

After Saint Hilarion’s death, Constantia remained near his grave and struggled in asceticism, in imitation of the Saint, praying ceaselessly and striving for her spiritual fulfillment. Through her faith and her prayers to Saint Hilarion she was also found worthy of performing miracles.

Saint Constantia is also mentioned by the chronographer Cyprian while the Cypriot scholar Stephanos Luzinian (in the XVI century) reports that she was regarded as the patroness of Paphos. Stephanos Luzinian writes about Saint Constantia:

“Constantia, a very noble lady of the city of Paphos, was a disciple of the most holy Father Hilarion. She died of unbearable sadness when she heard of the death of her master and how his body had been stolen by his disciple Hesychius. Her faithful love is worthy of praise: not only did she love her master while he was still alive, but her great love for him continued even after his death.”

Saint Jerome also relates (Life of Saint Hilarion, 47) that when Saint Constantia received a message saying that Saint Hilarion’s body was in Palestine, “She immediately fell dead, thus attesting to her deep love for the servant of God. It had become her custom to keep nightly vigils in the Saint’s sepulcher and converse with him as if he was there to aid her in her prayers.”

The Cypriot Menaion contains a complete Service in honor of Saint Constantia, and in her Troparion she is called “the Protectress of Paphos.”

Daily Readings for Wednesday, August 24, 2022



Eutyches the Hieromartyr & Disciple of St. John the Theologian, Cosmas of Aetolia, Equal to the Apostles, The Translation of the Relics of Dionysios of Zakynthos, Bishop of Aegina, The Translation of the Holy Relics of Saint Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow


Brethren, such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses' face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor. Indeed, in this case, what once had splendor has come to have no splendor at all, because of the splendor that surpasses it. For if what faded away came with splendor, what is permanent must have much more splendor.

MATTHEW 23:29-39

The Lord said to the Jews who had come to him, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'

Hieromartyr Eutyches, disciple of Saint John the Theologian

The Hieromartyr Eutyches, a disciple of the holy Apostles John the Theologian and Paul, lived from the first century into the beginning of the second century, and was from the Palestinian city of Sebastea.

Although Saint Eutyches is not one of the 70 Apostles, he is called an Apostle because of his labors with the older Apostles, by whom he was made bishop. After hearing about Christ the Savior, Saint Eutyches first became a disciple of the Apostle John the Theologian. Later he met the Apostle Paul, and preached together with him on the early journeys.

Saint Eutyches underwent many sufferings: they starved him with hunger, beat him with iron rods, they threw him into the fire, and then to be devoured by wild beasts. Once, a lion was let loose upon the saint, which astonished everyone because it praised the Creator with a human voice. The hieromartyr Eutyches completed his labors in his native city, where he was beheaded with a sword at the beginning of the second century.

Translation of the relics of Saint Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia

Saint Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow, died on December 21, 1326. The first transfer of his relics was on July 1, 1472 and a feastday was established. The second transfer of the relics of Saint Peter was after the consecration of the Dormition Cathedral, rebuilt on August 24, 1479, and the July 1 feastday was replaced.

There was a feastday of the appearance of the relics of Saint Peter (August 4) upon the occasion of an appearance to the wife of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584), the Tsaritsa Anastasia (1547-1560). Saint Peter appeared to Tsaritsa Anastasia and would permit no one to open his grave. He commanded the grave to be sealed and a feastday established.

Three epistles of Saint Peter are preserved. The first was to priests with an exhortation to pursue their pastoral service worthily, and to tend their spiritual children with zeal. It concluded with an account of Church law concerning widowed priests, and intended to protect them from reproach and temptation. He advised them to settle in a monastery, and for their children to be enrolled in a monastery school for upbringing and instruction. In the second missive, the saint urged priests to be true pastors and not hirelings, and to be concerned about the strengthening of themselves with Christian and pastoral virtues. In the third letter, Saint Peter again exhorts priests concerning their pastoral obligations, and he urges laypeople to fulfill the commandments of Christ.

Prominent in church-state affairs, there was good reason even for his contemporaries to compare Saint Peter with Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. The principal effort of Saint Peter was in the struggle for an unified Russian state and the blessing of Moscow as the unifier of the Russian land.

Venerable Arsenius, Abbot of Komel, Vologda

Saint Arsenius of Komel was born in Moscow, and was descended from a noble family, the Sakharusov. In his youth he was tonsured at the Trinity-Sergiev monastery, and he occupied himself there with the copying of books. There is a Gospel that he copied in the year 1506. In the years 1525-1527 the monk was igumen at the Trinity-Sergiev monastery. He often withdrew to the solitary Makrisch monastery. Great Prince Basil IV (1505-1533), making a visit to the monastery at that time, was surprised to behold the igumen of a prosperous monastery in old clothes covered with patches. The brethren explained that Saint Arsenius wished to travel in the wilderness.

Setting out together with his own cell elder to the Komel forest located 50 versts from Vologda, Saint Arsenius made a large wooden cross, and with this cross on his shoulders he set out through the forest to pick out a spot for a future monastery. Coming to a marshy place through a swamp, the monk stumbled under the heavy cross and fell. A heavenly beam of light flashed upon the ascetic at this very moment and convinced him to establish his monastery on this site. He set up the cross and built the first cell.

The local inhabitants, went there to hunt wild animals, and killed the disciple of Saint Arsenius. He himself was forced to withdraw into the Shelegod forest. Several monks soon gathered at his new monastery, and afterwards fugitives from a Tatar incursion upon the surrounding populace settled there. Saint Arsenius, seeking after silence, desired to live in a quieter spot.

In the year 1530 Great Prince Basil gave him a deed for land in the Komel forest at the Kokhtisha River. The monk began here to clear the forest together with his disciple Gerasimus. By prayer, the saint tamed the wild beasts. When several monks had gathered about him, he built a church in honor of the Placing of the Veil of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Visiting the Shelegod monastery, the monk instructed the peasants who had settled in the area of the monastery. He bid them reverently to observe feastdays and Sundays. Once when a peasant who had heard him started to work on a feastday, a wind suddenly arose scattering all his sheaves.

Having spent his life in fasting, prayer and constant work, Saint Arsenius died on August 24. 1550. His Life was written soon after his death, but burned in a fire in the Komel monastery in 1596. In shortened form, it was restored from the surviving manuscripts and augmented with posthumous miracles by John, a monk of the monastery.

A hundred years later after the death of the saint, the igumen Joasaph built a stone church at the monastery in honor of the Placing of the Veil of the Most Holy Theotokos. The left chapel of the church was dedicated to Saint Sergius of Radonezh, and the right chapel to Saint Arsenius of Komel.

Martyr Tation (Tatio) of Claudiopolis

The Martyr Tation lived in Bythnia and suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). When the persecutors of Christians learned that he believed in Christ, they arrested him and took him to the city of Claudiopolis to the governor, Urban.

Many times they urged the saint to deny Christ, and they locked him in prison and gave him over to various tortures. They beat him with sticks and dragged him beyond the city for execution. The holy martyr, after making the Sign of the Cross, died along the way.

Virgin Martyr Syra of Persia

The martyr Syra lived during the sixth century in Persia and was the daughter of an illustrious pagan priest of the fire-worshippers (i.e. Zoroastrians) from Karkh-Seleucia in Elimiade (Abizarde). Syra’s father, fearing the influence of Christianity on his daughter, sent her to the city of Tharsis after the death of her mother to be educated as a pagan priestess.

Syra became a priestess at the heathen temple of fire, and occupied herself with honorable activity. But once, after speaking with some Christian beggars, Syra believed in Christ the Savior and began to live as a Christian. She began to learn prayers and Psalms, to fast and to read Christian books.

Syra once fell ill. She was not able to find a remedy for her sickness, so she went to the Christian church and asked the priest only to give her some of the ashes from the church, hoping to receive healing from them. The priest, knowing Syra to be a servitor of idols, refused her request.

Syra was not angered, recognizing her own unworthiness, but with faith she touched the robe of the priest, as the woman with the issue of blood once touched the robe of the Savior (Mt. 9: 20-22). She immediately received healing and she returned home healed.

Syra’s family began to suspect that she wanted to accept Christianity, and they asked Syra’s stepmother to persuade her to abandon this intention. The stepmother, pretending that she herself was a secret Christian, talked sweetly with Syra, telling her to keep her faith secret. She also told Syra to continue to serve the fire outwardly, so she would not fall away from Christ altogether by being subjected to torture.

Syra began to hesitate about accepting Baptism, but when she saw a vision in her sleep about the desolate fate which befell her mother after her death, and about the luminous abodes foreordained for Christians, she made up her mind and went to the bishop, asking him to baptize her. The bishop declined to fulfill her request, fearing to give the pagan priests a reason for persecuting Christians. Besides this, he thought that Syra, fearing her father’s wrath, would deny Christ. The bishop advised her first to openly confess her faith in the Savior before her kinsfolk.

Once during the morning sacrifice, Saint Syra was stoking the priestly fire worshipped by the Persians as their god, and overturning the sacrifice she proclaimed loudly: “I am a Christian and reject false gods and I believe in the True God!”

The father beat his daughter until he became exhausted, and then threw her in prison. With tears and entreaties he urged her to return to her former faith, but Syra was unyielding. The father then denounced her to the pagan high priest, and afterwards to the governor and to the emperor Chozroes the Elder.

They tortured the holy maiden for a long time in prison, but the Lord strengthened her, and she stood firmly on her faith in Christ. After she bribed the prison guard, Saint Syra went to the bishop and received Baptism. The Lord granted Saint Syra the gift of wonderworking. When the Persians gave the martyr over for the leering of impious men, they began to jeer at the saint, saying: “What’s the fable told about you, that the chains fall from your neck, hands and legs by themselves? Let us see now how the chains fall off!” Saint Syra prayed in the depths of her heart to the Savior, and immediately the chains fell from her. And this was not the only time.

Succumbing to her tortures, Saint Syra fell deathly ill. She began to entreat the Lord that He not permit her to die from the illness, but rather to grant her a martyr’s crown. The Lord heard her and granted healing. Seeing the martyr healed, the prison guard and jail warden went to dishonor the holy maiden, but the Lord struck one with illness and the other one was struck dead. The martyr was condemned to be strangled.

They conducted the execution with refined cruelty. After a while they left go of the rope, asking the saint whether she wanted to change her mind and remain among the living. But the martyr, barely alive, refused and requested the execution be done quickly. The body of the saint was thrown to dogs to be devoured, but they would not touch it. Christians then buried the body of Saint Syra.

Saint George Limniotes, Confessor of Mount Olympus

Saint George Limniotes lived during the seventh and eighth centuries and was a monk of the Olympian monastery near Constantinople. He suffered for venerating icons under the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-741). They burned his head and cut off his nose. Saint George died in the year 718.

Repose of the New-Hieromartyr Cosmas of Aitolia, Equal of the Apostles

The New Hieromartyr Cosmas, Equal of the Apostles, in the world Constas, was a native of Aitolia. He studied at first under the guidance of the archdeacon Ananias Dervisanos, and afterwards continued his education on Mount Athos, at the Vatopedi school renowned for teachers such as Nicholas Tzartzoulios (from Metsovo) and Eugenius Voulgaris (afterwards in the years 1775-1779 the archbishop of Ekaterinoslav and the Chersonessus).

Remaining on Athos at the Philotheou monastery to devote himself to spiritual labors, he was tonsured a monk with the name Cosmas, and later was ordained hieromonk. The desire to benefit his fellow Christians, to guide them upon the way of salvation and strengthen their faith, impelled Saint Cosmas to seek the blessing of his spiritual fathers and go to Constantinople. There he mastered the art of rhetoric and, having received a written permit of Patriarch Seraphim II (and later from his successor Sophronius) to preach the Holy Gospel.

So the saint began to proclaim the Gospel at first in the churches of Constantinople and the surrounding villages, then in the Danube regions, in Thessalonica, in Verroia, in Macedonia, Chimaera, Akarnania, Aitolia, on the islands of Saint Maura, Kephalonia and other places.

His preaching, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, was simple, calm, and gentle. It brought Christians great spiritual benefit. The Lord Himself assisted him and confirmed his words with signs and miracles, just as He had confirmed the preaching of the Apostles.

Preaching in the remote areas of Albania, where Christian piety had almost disappeared among the rough and coarse people entrenched in sin, Saint Cosmas led them to sincere repentance and improvement with the Word of God.

Under his guidance, church schools were opened in the towns and villages. The rich offered their money for the betterment of the churches, for the purchase of Holy Books (which the saint distributed to the literate), veils (which he gave women, admonishing them to come to church with covered heads),for prayer ropes and crosses (which he distributed to the common folk), and for baptismal fonts so that children could be baptized in the proper manner.

Since the churches could not accommodate everyone wanting to hear the wise preacher, Saint Cosmas with forty or fifty priests served the Vigil in the fields, and in city squares, where thousands of people prayed for the living and for the dead, and were edified by his preaching. Everywhere that Saint Cosmas halted and preached, the grateful listeners set up a large wooden cross, which remained thereafter in memory of this.

The apostolic service of Saint Cosmas was brought to a close by his martyric death in the year 1779. At 65 years of age, he was seized by the Turks and strangled. His body was thrown into a river, and after three days, was found by the priest Mark and buried near the village of Kolikontasi at the monastery of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos. Afterwards, part of his relics were transferred to various places as a blessing.

He was glorified by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1961.

“Saint Peter of Moscow” Icon of the Mother of God

The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Of Saint Peter” was so called because it was painted by Saint Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow (+ December 21, 1326) while he was igumen of the Ratsk monastery near Volhynia. During a visit to the Ratsk monastery by Saint Maximus, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia (+ December 6, 1306), Saint Peter gave him this icon as a gift. The Metropolitan took it to Vladimir at Klyazma, where his cathedral was then located.

Upon the death of Saint Maximus, the igumen Gerontius, who wished to become the new metropolitan, intended to take this icon to Patriarch Athanasius of Constantinople (October 24). The journey of Igumen Gerontius was delayed, however, by a terrible storm at sea. During this storm, the Most Holy Theotokos appeared to him and said: “The office of bishop will not be conferred upon you, but rather on the one who painted My Icon.”

When he came before Patriarch Athanasius, Saint Peter was already in Constantinople and had been consecrated as Metropolitan. The Patriarch gave the icon to Saint Peter with the words: “Take the holy icon of the Mother of God, which you painted with your own hands, for this reason the Ever-Virgin Herself has granted you this gift, and She foretold your path.”

Saint Peter took the icon to Vladimir, and when the metropolitan cathedral was transfered to Moscow in the year 1325, the icon was placed in the Dormition Cathedral above the table of oblation.

Saint Martyrius, Archbishop of Novgorod

Saint Martyrius, Archbishop of Novgorod, was born in Stara Rus. On the northeast side of the city, near the right bank of the Polista River he founded in the year 1192 the Transfiguration men’s monastery.

At the Novgorod cathedral, Saint Martyrius was chosen by lot after the death of Saint Gregory (May 24). On December 10, 1193 in Kiev, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop. Saint Martyrius became famous as an indefatigable builder of churches. In May 1195, he contracted for a church in the name of the Mother of God at the city gates. On September 13, 1196, he consecrated a church in honor of the Resurrection of Christ in a new women’s monastery at Lake Myachina.

In January 1197 the saint consecrated a church in honor of Saint Cyril of Alexandria at the men’s monastery of the same name 3 versts from Novgorod. In the year 1197, he contracted in the carpenter’s quarter of Novgorod for a women’s monastery in the name of the holy Great Martyr Euphemia, built by devout young women of the city.

In January 1197 Saint Martyrius consecrated at the Transfiguration monastery in Stara Rus a temple dedicated to Saint Nikēphóros, Patriarch of Constantinople. In May 1198, he began to build a stone church in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and on August 15 of the same year he consecrated it.

In that same year Princess Elena, wife of Prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich, built on the merchants’ side at Molotkova a church in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos at the monastery, founded by Saint Martyrius. The church was built in memory of the following miracle. A certain devout man of Novgorod went to church each day. Once he returned home, and became tired, fell asleep, and dropped a prosphora stamped with the image of the Theotokos. The dogs, smelling bread, ran up to the prosphora but jumped away, driven off by an invisible power.

Great Prince Vsevolod became disaffected with the people of Novgorod. In 1199 Saint Martyrius went to Vladimir with representatives of the townspeople. Along the way, on the shore of Lake Seliger, he died on August 24, 1199. His body was taken to Novgorod to the Martyriev Portico of the Sophia Cathedral, so named because it was built by Saint Martyrius. His icon is in the altar of the Novgorod Sophia Cathedral.

Appearance of the Mother of God to Saint Sergius of Radonezh

The Appearance of the Most Holy Theotokos to Saint Sergius of Radonezh: Once, late at night, Saint Sergius (1314-1392) was reading an Akathist to the Mother of God. Having finished his habitual rule, he sat down to rest a bit, but suddenly he said to his disciple, Saint Micah (May 6): “Be alert, my child, for we shall have a wondrous visitation.” Scarcely had he uttered these words than a voice was heard: “The All-Pure One approaches!”

Saint Sergius rushed from the cell to the entrance, and suddenly it was illumined by a bright light, brighter than the sun. He beheld nearby in imperishable glory the Mother of God, accompanied by the Apostles Peter and John. Unable to bear such a vision, Saint Sergius reverently prostrated himself before the Mother of God. She said to him, “Fear not, My chosen one! I have come to visit you. Your prayer for your disciples and your monastery has been heard. Do not be troubled, for your habitation shall prosper, not only in your lifetime, but also after your departure to God. I will be with your monastery, supplying its needs abundantly, and protecting it.” Having said this, the Mother of God became invisible.

For a long time Saint Sergius was in an inexpressible rapture, and having come to himself, he raised up Saint Micah. “Tell me, Father,” he asked, “what is the meaning of this miraculous vision? My soul nearly left my body from terror!” But Saint Sergius was silent, and only his luminous face spoke of the spiritual joy which he had experienced. “Wait a bit,” he said finally to his disciple, “my soul also trembles because of this wondrous vision.”

After a while Saint Sergius summoned two of his disciples, Saints Isaac and Simon, and shared with them the vision and the promise of the Theotokos. They all sang a Molieben to the Mother of God. Saint Sergius spent the remaining part of the night without sleep, calling to mind the divine vision.

The appearance of the Mother of God at the cell of Saint Sergius, at the present place of the Serapionov chamber, was on one of the Fridays of the Nativity Fast in the year 1385. The commemoration of the visit of the Mother of God to the Trinity monastery and of Her promise was reverently kept by the disciples of Saint Sergius.

On July 5, 1422 the holy relics of Saint Sergius were uncovered, and soon after an icon of the Appearance of the Mother of God was placed on the grave of Saint Sergius. The icon was honored with great reverence.

In the year 1446 Great Prince Basil (1425-1462) was besieged at the Trinity monastery by the armies of Princes Demetrius Shemyaka and John of Mozhaisk. He barricaded himself into the Trinity cathedral, and when he heard that he was being sought, he took the icon of the Appearance of the Mother of God and with it met Prince John at the southern church doors, saying: “Brother, we kissed the Life-Creating Cross and this icon in this church of the Life-Creating Trinity at this grave of the Wonderworker Sergius, that we would neither intend nor wish any evil to any of our brethren among ourselves. Now I do not know what will happen to me here.”

The Trinity monk Ambrose reproduced the icon of the Appearance of the Mother of God to Saint Sergius, carved in wood (mid-fourteenth century).

Tsar Ivan the Terrible took the icon of the Appearance of the Mother of God on his Kazan campaign (1552). The most famous icon, painted in the year 1588, was by the steward of the Trinity-Sergiev Lavra, Eustathius Golovkin on a board from the wooden reliquary of Saint Sergius, which was taken apart in the year 1585 when the relics of Saint Sergius were placed in a silver reliquary (August 14).

Through this icon, the Mother of God repeatedly protected the Russian army. Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich (1645-1676) took it on the Polish campaign in 1657. In the year 1703, the icon took part in all the military campaigns against the Swedish king Charles XII, and in 1812 Metropolitan Platon sent it to the Moscow military levy. The icon was carried in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, and during World War I it was at the quarters of the supreme commander-in-chief in 1914.

A church was built over the grave of Saint Micah and at its consecration on December 10, 1734 was named in honor of the Appearance of the Most Holy Theotokos and the holy Apostles to Saint Sergius of Radonezh.

On September 27, 1841 the church was restored and consecrated by Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, who said: “By the grace of the All-Holy and All-Sacred Spirit the restoration of this temple is now accomplished, fashioned before us in honor and memory of the Appearance of our Lady the Most Holy Theotokos to our holy God-bearing Father Sergius, to which Saint Micah was also an eyewitness.”

The commemoration of this grace-bearing event is rightly marked by the consecration of a church, however, this whole monastery is a memorial of that miraculous visit. Therefore, its purpose in the continuing centuries was the fulfillment of the promise of the heavenly Visitor: “This place shall endure.”

In memory of the visit of the Mother of God at the Trinity-Sergiev monastery, an Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos is sung on Fridays, and a special service in honor of the appearance of the Mother of God is celebrated at the monastery on August 24, on the second day of the leave-taking of the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Venerable Serapion the Wonderworker, Abbot of Saint John the Baptist Monastery

Saint Serapion was abbot of the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist in the Davit-Gareji Wilderness. He was endowed by God with the ability to work miracles.

Once Saint Serapion set off for the city, following at a short distance behind several of the monastery’s brothers.

While they were traveling, a group of bandits attacked the monks who were walking in front of their abbot and made off with many of the church vessels they were carrying.

Terrified, the monks ran back to Serapion and told him what had happened.

“Great is God!” said Serapion. “I will not permit the unbelievers to steal His sacred things!”

With staff in hand, the elder raced ahead alone in pursuit of the robbers. When the robbers turned back they saw a terrible flame issuing forth from the elder’s staff and became greatly afraid. They abandoned the donkey that had been carrying their spoils and took to their heels.

Another time Serapion suddenly burst out of his cell and cried to the brothers, “Woe is me! Woe is me! Robbers have attacked the servants on their way to the monastery!” Having made this frightening announcement, he returned to his cell and began to pray. After a few hours the distraught servants arrived at the monastery and reported that bandits had attacked them along the way. The servants said that, when fleeing their attackers, they had abandoned the mules that were hauling the monastery’s property. A short time later the mules arrived at the monastery unaccompanied, bearing their load as before.

Saint Serapion eventually abandoned his leadership of the monastery. He was tonsured into the great schema and withdrew into seclusion. Soon after, God revealed to him that his death was near, and he asked the brothers to bury him under the church gates, in a grave that he had prepared for himself. He intended for all who entered there to walk over his grave.

Saint Serapion reposed in the year 1774.

8/28 announcements

August 28, 2022

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

I Corinthians 9:2-12: Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ.

Matthew 18:23-35: The Lord spoke this parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also My heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Troparion of the Resurrection: When thou, O immortal Life, didst humble thyself unto death, then didst thou destroy death by the brightness of thy Godhead; and when thou didst raise the bowels of the earth, then all the heavenly powers exclaimed, O Christ, thou art the Giver of life! Glory to thee, O our God!

Troparion of St. Moses the Ethiopian: Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Moses, 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 in 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.

Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.

Kontakion of the Nativity of the Theotokos: By thy holy birth-giving, O pure one, Joachim and Anne were delivered from the reproach of barrenness; and Adam and Eve were delivered from the corruption of death; thy people do celebrate it, having been saved from the stain of iniquity, crying unto thee, The barren doth give birth to the Theotokos, who nourisheth our life.


UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast.

Sunday, August 28

8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)

10:00 a.m. — Divine Liturgy (webcast)

Monday, August 29 (Beheading of the Forerunner)


Father Herman off

Tuesday, August 30

NO Services

1:00 p.m. — Ladies’ Lunch

Wednesday, August 31 (Deposition of the Belt of the Theotokos)

6:30 p.m. — Daily Vespers

7:15 p.m. — Chanter Practice

Thursday, September 1 (Indiction of the Ecclesiastical Year)

September 1 marks the beginning of the ecclesiastical year. The liturgical year is a body of sacred “signs” which have a present effect. Each liturgical feast renews and actualizes the event of which it is the symbol; it takes the event out of the past and makes it immediate; it offers us the appropriate grace; it becomes the “effectual sign.” The liturgical year is a special means of union with Christ. Every Eucharist unites us intimately with Christ, for in it He is “both He who offers and He who is offered.” Every prayer, being the prayer of the members of the mystical body, shares in the prayer of Him who is the Head of the Body and the only One whose prayer is perfect. We are called to relive the whole life of Christ: from Christmas to Easter, from Easter to Pentecost, we are exhorted to unite ourselves to Christ in his birth and in his growth, to Christ suffering, to Christ dying, to Christ in triumph and to Christ inspiring His Church. The liturgical year forms Christ in us; the liturgical year is Christ Himself, annus est Christus. It includes the cycle of feasts of the saints, the glorified members of the body of Christ. Their sanctity is but an aspect, a shining ray of the holiness of Christ Himself. To celebrate the feast of a saint is to celebrate a special grace that flows from Christ to that saint and so to us. In the same way that the feasts of our Lord in a mysterious way renew the events of His life, so the feasts of the saints make their lives, their merits and their deaths mysteriously actual. Commemorations of the martyrs renew the grace of their violent deaths, so that, as these were a participation in the passion of Christ, this passion is relived in remembering the martyrs. The liturgical year has but one and the same object, Jesus Christ; whether we contemplate Him directly or through the members of His body. Great graces and great spiritual opportunities are offered us during the course of the liturgical year. It provides a frame and support for Christian piety; it gives it a style which is sober and objective; it maintains a bond of unity among believers. Above all, it communicates an inspiration and transmits a life. It acquires its true meaning to the extent that it becomes an adoration in spirit, in truth.

(Excerpted and paraphrased from The Year of Grace of the Lord)

NO Services

Friday, September 2

NO Services

Saturday, September 3

NO Great Vespers

Sunday, September 4 (Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost)

8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)

10:00 a.m. — Hierarchical Divine Liturgy (webcast)


The Eucharist Bread …was offered by the Karams for the Divine Liturgy this morning.

Eucharist Bread Schedule:

Eucharist Bread Coffee Hour

August 28 Karam Dansereau/Alaeetawi

September 4 Brock Meadows/Pigott

September 7 (Wed. p.m.) Meadows (Artoklasia bread) NO Coffee Hour

(Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos)

September 11 R. Root POT LUCK MEAL


September 13 (Tues. .m.) Pacurari Lasseter/Pacurari/Miller

(Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)

September 18 Baker D. Root/Baker/Cooper

September 25 Henderson Henderson/Jones

Also, please remember that we still need your tithes and offerings which may be placed in the tray that is passed during the Divine Liturgy, in the tithe box at the back of the nave or be mailed to: St. Peter Orthodox Church, P.O. Box 2084, Madison, MS 39130-2084.

Schedule for Epistle Readers – Page numbers refer to the Apostolos (book of the Epistles) located on the Chanters’ stand at the front of the nave. Please be sure to use this book when you read.

Reader Reading Page#

August 28 Brenda Baker I Cor. 9:2-12 141

September 4 Sam Habeeb I Cor. 15:1-11 146

September 11 Walt Wood Gal. 6:11-18 198

September 13 (Tues. p.m. Kh. Sharon Meadows I Cor. 1:18-24 311-312

September 18 Sh. Charlotte Algood Gal. 2:16-20 193

September 25 Ian Jones II Cor. 4:6-15 163

Continue to pray for Metropolitan Paul (who is also the brother of our Patriarch) and the Syriac Archbishop John of Aleppo who were abducted while on a humanitarian mission in Syria.

Please remember Fr. Joseph and Kh. Joanna Bittle, and their daughter Abigail, in your prayers.

Please remember the following in your prayers: Aidan Milnor, the Milnor family; Lamia Dabit and her family; Mary Greene (Lee and Kh. Sharon’s sister); Jay and Joanna Davis; Fr. Leo and Kh. Be’Be’ Schelver and their family; Kathy Willingham; Marilyn (Kyriake) Snell; Jack and Jill Weatherly; Lottie Dabbs (Sh. Charlotte Algood’s mother), Sh. Charlotte and their family; Maria Costas (currently at St. Catherine’s Village); Reader Basil and Brenda Baker and their family; Buddy Cooper.

His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS will be with us for the wedding of Tiffany Strain on September 3rd and will be serving Hierarchical Divine Liturgy that Sunday.

Please mark your calendars now for this year’s Diocesan Fall Retreat. It will be hosted by St. Ignatius in Franklin, TN again this year, on September 9-10. Registration has been opened and necessary information has been emailed.

There will be NO Great Vespers service on Saturday, September 3rd.

Instructions for streaming our services can be found on the parish website.

Calendar Items:

* The men of the parish meet for lunch at 11:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month.

* The Ladies meet at the church at 10:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children on behalf of our children.

* The Ladies meet for lunch on the last Tuesday of the month.

* September 1st is the Indiction of the Ecclesiastical Year. We will have the Prayers of Indiction at the end of The Divine Liturgy TODAY.

* The remaining date for Stewpot for 2022 is Saturday, September 3rd.

* We will celebrate the Heirarchical Divine Liturgy with His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS on Sunday, September 4th.

* We will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos with Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia on Wednesday evening, September 8th, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

* Church School will resume on Sunday September 11th at 9:00 a.m.

* The Feast of the Precious and Life-giving Cross will be celebrated with Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy on Tuesday evening, September 13th, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

PARENTS, a problem has arisen due to the nursery room being left messy after Coffee Hour. No food of any kind should be taken into that room. Also, it is necessary for a parent to be in the room whenever their children are in there playing. Thank you for your assistance with this.

Fasting Discipline for August/September

Following the 15th, the traditional fasting discipline (no meat, dairy, eggs, fish, wine or oil) is observed on the remaining Wednesdays and Fridays of the month. The feast-day of the Beheading of the Forerunner on August 29th is a strict fast day. In September, the traditional fasting discipline is observed on all Wednesdays and Fridays of the month. The Feast of the Elevation of the Cross on September 14th is also a strict fast day.

Major Commemorations for August/September

August 29 Beheading of the Forerunner

August 31 Deposition of the Belt of the Theotokos

September 1 Indiction of the Ecclesiastical Year

September 6 Miracle of the Archangel Michael

September 8 Nativity of the Theotokos

September 9 Righteous Joachim and Anna

September 13 Dedication of the Church of the Anastasis

September 14 Elevation of the Precious Life-giving Cross

September 23 Conception of the Forerunner

September 24 Proto-martyr Thekla

September 26 Apostle John the Theologian (repose)

Quotable “As a permanent state, repentance is an inner stance of fear of God, the remembrance of death, and—above all—humility; by which man comes to know again with sadness his infirmity, his weakness, and his nothingness before God.”

Elder Sergei of Vanves

Worship: Sunday, September 4, 2022 (Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost)

Scripture: I Corinthians 15:1-11; Matthew 19:16-26

Celebrant: Father Herman

Epistle Reader: Sam Habeeb

Prosphora: Brock

Coffee Hour: Meadows/Pigott

Daily Readings for Tuesday, August 23, 2022



Apodosis of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary, Our Holy Father Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Lupus the Martyr, Our Righteous Father Nicholas of Sikelion, Our Holy Father Kallinikos, Patriarch of Constantinople, Haralambos of Kalyviani, 38 Martyrs of Thrace, Our Holy Father Irenaeus, Bishop of Sirmium


Brethren, have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

LUKE 10:38-42, 11:27-28

At that time, Jesus entered a village; and a woman called Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve you alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.” As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Leavetaking of the Dormition of the Mother of God

The Leavetaking of the Feast of the Dormition falls on August 23. The office of the Feast is repeated, except for the entrance, readings, and Litya at Vespers; and the polyeleos and Gospel of the Feast at Matins.

Martyr Lupus, slave of Saint Demetrius of Thessalonica

The Martyr Lupus lived at the end of the third century and beginning of the fourth century, and was a faithful servant of the holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica (October 26). Being present at the death of his master, he soaked his own clothing with his blood and took a ring from his hand. With this clothing, and with the ring and the name of the Great Martyr Demetrius, Saint Lupus worked many miracles at Thessalonica. He destroyed pagan idols, for which he was subjected to persecution by the pagans, but he was preserved unharmed by the power of God.

Saint Lupus voluntarily delivered himself into the hands of the torturers, and by order of the emperor Maximian Galerius, he was beheaded by the sword.

Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons

The Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, was born in the year 130 in the city of Smyrna (Asia Minor). He received there the finest education, studying poetics, philosophy, rhetoric, and the rest of the classical sciences considered necessary for a young man of the world.

His guide in the truths of the Christian Faith was a disciple of the Apostle John the Theologian, Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (February 23). Saint Polycarp baptized the youth, and afterwards ordained him presbyter and sent him to a city in Gaul then named Lugdunum [the present day Lyons in France] to the dying bishop Pothinus.

A commission was soon entrusted to Saint Irenaeus. He was to deliver a letter from the confessors of Lugdunum to the holy Bishop Eleutherius of Rome (177-190). While he was away, all the known Christians were thrown into prison. After the martyric death of Bishop Pothinus, Saint Irenaeus was chosen a year later (in 178) as Bishop of Lugdunum. “During this time,” Saint Gregory of Tours (November 17) writes concerning him, “by his preaching he transformed all Lugdunum into a Christian city!”

When the persecution against Christians quieted down, the saint expounded upon the Orthodox teachings of faith in one of his fundamental works under the title: Detection and Refutation of the Pretended but False Gnosis. It is usually called Five Books against Heresy (Adversus Haereses).

At that time there appeared a series of religious-philosophical gnostic teachings. The Gnostics [from the Greek word “gnosis” meaning “knowledge”] taught that God cannot be incarnate [i.e. born in human flesh], since matter is imperfect and manifests itself as the bearer of evil. They taught also that the Son of God is only an outflowing (“emanation”) of Divinity. Together with Him from the Divinity issues forth a hierarchical series of powers (“aeons”), the unity of which comprise the “Pleroma”, i.e. “Fullness.” The world is not made by God Himself, but by the aeons or the “Demiourgos,” which is below the “Pleroma.”

In refuting this heresy, championed by Valentinus, Saint Irenaeus presents the Orthodox teaching of salvation. “The Word of God, Jesus Christ, through His inexplicable blessedness caused it to be, that we also, should be made that which He is … ,” taught Saint Irenaeus. “Jesus Christ the Son of God, through exceedingly great love for His creation, condescended to be born of a Virgin, having united mankind with God in His own Self.” Through the Incarnation of God, creation becomes co-imaged and co-bodied to the Son of God. Salvation consists in the “Sonship” and “Theosis” (“Divinization”) of mankind.

In the refutation of another heretic, Marcian, who denied the divine origin of the Old Testament, the saint affirms the same divine inspiration of the Old and the New Testaments: “It is one and the same Spirit of God Who proclaimed through the prophets the precise manner of the Lord’s coming,” wrote the saint. “Through the apostles, He preached that the fulness of time of the filiation had arrived, and that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.”

The successors of the Apostles have received from God the certain gift of truth, which Saint Irenaeus links to the succession of the episcopate (Adv. Haer. 4, 26, 2). “Anyone who desires to know the truth ought to turn to the Church, since through Her alone did the apostles expound the Divine Truth. She is the door to life.”

Saint Irenaeus also exerted a beneficial influence in a dispute about the celebration of Pascha. In the Church of Asia Minor, there was an old tradition of celebrating Holy Pascha on the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan, regardless of what day of the week it happened to be. The Roman bishop Victor (190-202) forcefully demanded uniformity, and his harsh demands fomented a schism. In the name of the Christians of Gaul, Saint Irenaeus wrote to Bishop Victor and others, urging them to make peace.

After this incident, Saint Irenaeus drops out of sight, and we do not even know the exact year of his death. Saint Gregory of Tours, in his Historia Francorum, suggests that Saint Irenaeus was beheaded by the sword for his confession of faith in the year 202, during the reign of Severus.

The Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, and Saint Irenaeus of Lyons are three links in an unbroken chain of the grace of succession, which goes back to the Original Pastor, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

In his old age, Saint Irenaeus wrote to his old friend the priest Florinus: “When I was still a boy, I knew you… in Polycarp’s house…. I remember what happened in those days more clearly than what happens now…. I can describe for you the place where blessed Polycarp usually sat and conversed, the character of his life, the appearance of his body, and the discourses which he spoke to the people, how he spoke of the conversations which he had with John and others who had seen the Lord, how he remembered their words, and what he heard from them about the Lord … I listened eagerly to these things, by the mercy of God, and wrote them, not on paper, but in my heart.”

Saints Eutychius and Florentius of Nursia

Saints Eutychius and Florentius were monks living an ascetical life in a monastery of the Valcastoria region of Nursia in Italy during the VI century. Saint Eutychius converted many to God by his teaching, and when the Igoumen of a nearby monastery died, they asked Eutychius to become its Superior. He consented, but continued to be concerned with his former monastery, where his fellow ascetic Florentius remained.

Saint Florentius performed many miracles during his lifetime. He tamed a bear, and trained it to serve him. It tended the sheep, carried water, and obeyed the Elder's commands. Jealous of the fame of Saint Florentius, four monks killed the bear. The Saint prayed that the wrath of God would fall upon the murderers. So it came to pass, just as he said. The monks were stricken with leprosy, and died shortly afterward. When he learned that the monks were dead, Saint Florentius was saddened and distressed, considering himself the murderer of those monks. He wept for them the rest of his life.

Saint Eutychius did not work any miracles during his lifetime, but after his repose his cloak began to produce miracles of healing. During a drought in 1492, the people of Nursia went to the fields with his cloak, and God sent rain. Saint Eutychius went to the Lord on May 23, 540, and Saint Florentius, on June 1, 547.

Saint Gregory Dialogus (March 12) extolled their virtues and miracles in Book III of his Dialogues.

Saints Eutychius and Florentius are commemorated on May 23 in Greek usage.

Saint Callinicus, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Callinicus, Patriarch of Constantinople (693-705), was at first a presbyter in the temple of the Most Holy Theotokos at Blachernae, but in 693 with the death of Patriarch Paul (686-693), he was elevated to the episcopal throne of Constantinople. The cruel Justinian II (685-695) reigned at this time. He undertook the construction of a palace very near the church of the Most Holy Theotokos and decided to demolish it. The emperor ordered Patriarch Callinicus to give his blessing for tearing it down. The patriarch replied that he had prayers only for the building of churches, not their destruction. When the church was demolished, he cried out with tears, “Glory to Thee, O Lord, in enduring all things.”

Soon the wrath of God befell Justinian. He was toppled from the throne and sent for imprisonment to Cherson, where they cut off his nose (from which he received the nickname “Short-nose”). Leontius (695-698) succeeded him on the throne.

Prousiotissa Icon of the Mother of God

High upon the fir-covered mountain peaks of southwestern Eurytania, wedged between vertical grayish rocks in savage majesty, is the Holy Monastery of Proussos. It is an historic stauropegial monastery, with magnificent three-storey buildings. There among them a cave has been carved out, inside of which is the first ancient temple of the monastery. In it is kept the wonderworking Icon of the Panagia (the All-Holy Virgin), called Prousiotissa, and her Feast Day is celebrated with grandeur and solemnity on August 23.

According to Tradition, this wonderworking Icon of the Theotokos is believed to have been painted by the Holy Evangelist Luke (October 18), and came from Prousa in Asia Minor (according to manuscript 3 of the codex of the Holy Monastery of Prousiotissa). It was taken from Prousa by a young nobleman in the reign of the last iconoclastic Emperor Theophilos (October 2, 829 – January 20, 842). Theophilos ordered all the icons to be removed from the churches and destroyed. The Orthodox people protected and hid the holy icons, even though the penalty for this "crime" was exile or death.

When the Emperor's decree was read in the city of Proussa, the son of a member of the imperial court chose to disregard it. Taking the the Holy Icon, he sought refuge on the Greek mainland, because the persecution was not quite as severe there, on the islands, or on the coast of Asia Minor. On the way to Greece, however, the young man lost the Icon at Gallipoli in Thrace, which caused him great sorrow. “Woe is me, the wretched one," he cried. “The Mother of God has abandoned me because of my sins."

The Icon had returned miraculously to a cave in a wild part of Eurytania (in the vicinity of Litza and Agrapha, where the monastery and the Icon's shrine are at present), and where it was revealed to some local shepherds on the night of August 22-23.

The young man chose not to go back, because he could not bear to live among the iconoclasts. He continued on his journey and settled in the city of New Patre, near the northwest end of the Peloponnesos. Time went by, and then one day he heard rumors about certain miraculous events in the region of Aitola. According to these reports, the son of a local shepherd was tending his father's flock in a rugged, inaccessible spot in the mountains. There were no homes or villages, but only a shelter for the shepherds. One night, as the child was sleeping, he was awakened by heavenly chanting coming from a cave behind him. With much apprehension he turned and saw a fiery pillar of light coming from the cave and reaching up to Heaven. This is why the Icon is also called Pyrsos – because of the place where it was hidden. Astonished, the boy went to inform his father what he had seen. The father thought that his son had been dreaming, and told him not to fear things that weren't real. The young man insisted, however, that what he had heard and seen was real.

The next night, the child brought his father to the same place where he had seen the pillar of light, so that he could see this phenomenon for himself. The man saw exactly what his son had described, but he did not dare to look in the cave. The next day he took other people there, and all of them saw the same vision. After searching the area they discovered the Holy Icon in the cave, radiant and luminous. Filled with joy, they venerated the Icon, and decided to keep it there. The discovery of her Holy Icon was the first miracle of Panagia Prousiotissa.

Meanwhile, the young man who had lost the Icon heard about an Icon of the Theotokos which had been revealed by a pillar of light. He and his servants left at once, and after two days they arrived at the cave where the Icon was kept. The moment he saw the Icon he knew it was the same one he had lost. After venerating the Icon, he gave gifts to the shepherds and started back to New Patre with it. The shepherds’ joy turned to sorrow when they realized they were being deprived of the Icon. They pleaded with the young man to leave the Holy Icon with them. He told them that the Icon belonged to him, and that he had given them rich gifts to compensate them for their loss. Furthermore, he said that the mountain was not a good place to build a church or to accommodate pilgrims. Then he took the Icon and left.

When he and his companion were tired and had to rest, they stopped at a certain place. They fell asleep and when they woke up, they couldn't find the Icon. Assuming that the shepherds had stolen it while they were sleeping, they retraced their steps. When they came to a narrow spot near the river, the young man heard a voice, saying, "Oh young man, be saved! Go in peace and do not labor any more. It pleases me to remain here with the shepherds and peasants, but not to be in the cities with people who preach heresy. If you wish to remain with me, then come to the place where you found me. This will be for your benefit."

Only the young man was able to hear the voice. In obedience to the Mother of God, he freed his servants, gave away all of his possessions, and went back to the cave where he had found the Icon, accompanied by one of his servants, who decided to remain with him. He was convinced that it was the will of the Panagia that she should remain there. The young man built a chapel in the cave for the Icon. He and his servant both received the monastic tonsure from Hieromonk Raphael, who came from the hermitage of Saint Demetrios. He was tonsured with the name Demetrios, and his servant received the name Timothy. Later, he built a cell opposite the chapel in a quiet place, where they repented for their sins. Father Demetrios reposed there in peace, after living a God-pleasing life. His disciple Timothy buried his body in the church he had built, and his blessed soul flew to Heaven.

This was the beginning of the Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos of Prousa (or Prousiotissa).

The Icon of the All-Holy Virgin is of the Hodēgḗtria type and has a gilded silver-plated metal cover, the gift of General George Karaiskakis, who was housed in the Monastery during the Revolution of 1821. The metal cover was made by the goldsmith George Karanikas in 1824, as is shown by the embossed inscription above the right shoulder of the Mother of God: "The Pantanassa. Through the generosity of General George Karaiskakis, made by the hand of George Karanikas, 1824."

The Monastery's records show that it had been devastated many times during the Turkish occupation. The last act of vandalism (by the Germans in 1944) reduced the buildings into piles of rubble. After the buildings fell, an officer wanted to burn down the church. He tried to do so many times, but to no avail. While he was standing outside and giving orders, he was punished by the Panagia, as an example to others. An invisible force threw him violently onto the pavement. The impact was very powerful, and the German was unable to get up. The soldiers lifted him and placed him upon an animal in order to carry him to Agrinio. Thus the temple remained unharmed, just as it has been preserved intact through the centuries.

Four years passed, and a civil war was raging in the Greek countryside. The inhabitants of Eurytania and Naupaktos left their villages, seeking safety in other parts of Greece. They brought their wonderworking Icon with them. She also shared the fate of her children, and was carried by the monks of Proussos to the acropolis of Naupaktos. The monastery remains
completely deserted.

After a long time, the army's operations began. The Ninth Division launched an attack to wipe out Eurytania. Some sections passed through Proussos. Some officers and soldiers approached the dark church of the cave and went in to pray. Inside, they beheld a strange sight. In front of the iconostasis, to the left of the Beautiful Gate, was a lit candle and a nun was kneeling there. The soldiers were amazed. How could this nun be living there at a time when Eurytania was completely abandoned by its residents? How did she live, what did she eat, where did she get oil for the lamp? When they asked her, she replied modestly and with pain: "My children, I've been living here alone for two and a half years. For my own life, I don't need food and bread. It is enough for me to have my lamp lit."

The soldiers grew tired of this business, and were in a hurry to leave, so they paid no attention to her words. But the next day, when they thought about it, they realized that this was a wondrous thing. Later, when they passed through Naupaktos, they begged their commanding officer for permission to visit Metropolitan Christophoros of Naupaktos and Eurytania. The hierarch welcomed them with love, and after hearing their story, he was able to shed some light on the mystery.

"The temple that you visited," he told them, "belongs to the now abandoned Prousiotissa Monastery, whose wonderworking Icon has been kept here for more than two years, in the chapel of our metropolis, at Saint Dionysios. Go there and venerate it, and then you will understand."

They did go to venerate the Icon. Then suddenly, everyone understood the mystery. In the Icon of the Mother of God, they recognized the nun they had met in the chapel of the cave, high above Proussos!

Daily Readings for Monday, August 22, 2022



The Holy Martyr Agathonicus, Holy Martyr Anthuse, Athanasios the Hieromartyr & Bishop of Tarsus, New Martyrs Manuel and John, The Synaxis of the Icon of the Mother of God of Prusa, Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary


Brethren, my joy is the joy of you all. For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
But if any one has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure – not to put it too severely – to you all. For such a one this punishment by the majority is enough; so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, for he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Any one whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, to keep Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, a door was opened for me in the Lord; but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

MATTHEW 23:13-22

The Lord said to the Jews who had come to him, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, 'If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God

The Church continues to honor the passage of the Most Holy Theotokos from death to life. Just as Christ once dwelt in the virginal womb of His Mother, now He takes Her “to dwell in His courts.”

Martyr Agathonicus of Nicomedia, and those with him, who suffered under Maximian

The Martyrs Agathonicus, Zoticus, Theoprepius, Acindynus, Severian, Zeno and others accepted death for Christ during the reign of the emperor Maximian (284-305).

The Martyr Agathonicus was descended from the illustrious lineage of the Hypasians, and he lived at Nicomedia. Well versed in Holy Scripture, he converted many pagans to Christ, including the most eminent member of the Senate (its “princeps” or leader). Comitus Eutolmius was sent to the Pontine (lower Black Sea) region, where he crucified the followers of the Christian Zoticus, who had refused to offer sacrifice to idols. He took Zoticus with him.

In Nicomedia, Eutolmius arrested the Martyr Agathonicus (together with the princeps), and also Theoprepius, Acindynus and Severian. After tortures, Eutolmius ordered that the martyrs be taken to Thrace for trial by the emperor.

But along the way, in the vicinity of Potama, the Martyrs Zoticus, Theoprepius and Acindynus were unable to proceed further behind the chariot of the governor because of wounds received during torture. Therefore, they were put to death. The Martyr Severian was put to death at Chalcedon, and the Martyr Agathonicus together with others was beheaded with the sword by order of the emperor, in Selymbria.

The relics of the Martyr Agathonicus were in a church named for him at Constantinople, and were seen in the year 1200 by the Russian pilgrim Anthony. And in the fourteenth century Philotheus, the archbishop of Selymbria, devoted an encomium to the Martyr Agathonicus.

Hieromartyr Athanasius, Bishop of Tarsus in Cilicia, Ven. Anthusa the Nun, and those with them

The Hieromartyr Athanasius, bishop of the Cilician city of Tarsus, who baptized the holy Nun Anthusa, was beheaded by the sword under the emperor Aurelian (270-275).

Saint Anthusa, a native of the city of Seleucia (in Syria), was the daughter of illustrious pagans. Learning of the teachings of Christ, she under pretense of visiting her benefactress, journeyed instead to Tarsus to Saint Athanasius and received Baptism from him.

Her parents were enraged at their daughter for becoming a Christian. She received monastic tonsure from Saint Athanasius, then settled in the desert, where she spent 33 years at ascetic deeds. She died at the end of the third century while she was praying. The Martyrs Charisimos and Neophytus, who had been baptized together with the Nun Anthusa, were her servants, and they too accepted death for Christ.

Virgin Martyr Eulalia of Barcelona and the Martyr Felix

The Martyr Eulalia lived in Spain, near the city of Barcionum (now Barcelona), and she was raised by her parents in piety and the Christian Faith. Already at fourteen years of age, the maiden spent a solitary life in her parental home with others of her own age, occupied in prayer, the reading of Holy Scripture, and handicrafts.

During the time of a persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311), the governor Dacian arrived in the city of Barcionum to rid it of Christians. Hearing of this, the maiden secretly left her home at night, and by morning had made her way into the city. Pushing her way through the throng of people, the girl made a bold denunciation of the judge for forcing people to renounce the True God in order to offer sacrifice to devils instead.

Dacian gave orders to strip the girl and beat her with rods, but she steadfastly endured the torment and told the judge that the Lord would deliver her from the pain. They tied the martyr to a tree and tore her skin with iron claws, and they then burned her wounds with torches.

During her torment, Dacian asked the saint, “Where then is your God, Whom you have called upon?” She answered that the Lord was beside her, but that Dacian in his impurity could not see Him. During the saint’s prayer: “Behold, God helps me, and the Lord is the defender of my soul” (Ps. 53/54:4), the flames of the torches turned back upon the torturers, who fell to the ground.

The Martyr Eulalia began to pray that the Lord would take her to Heaven to Himself, and with this prayer she died. People saw a white dove come from her mouth and fly up to Heaven. Then a sudden snowstorm covered the martyr’s naked body like a white garment (the saint’s commemoration is sometimes given as December 10, which may be more correct, in view of the snow).

Three days later, the martyr’s parents came and wept before her hanging body, but they were also glad that their daughter would be numbered among the saints. When they took Saint Eulalia from the tree, one of the Christians, named Felix, said with tears of joy: “Lady Eulalia, you are the first of us to win the martyr’s crown!”

Saint Felix himself soon accepted death for Christ, and is also commemorated on this day.

Icon of the Mother of God of Georgia

In 1622, the Persian Shah Abbas I, after the devastating invasion of Orthodox Georgia, took part of the Robe of the Lord, and some especially revered icons. Three years later, when the Russian clerk Stephen Lazarev, who was in Persia to do some trading, a certain person from the Shah's retinue offered to let him purchase one of the stolen Georgian icons: an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. At the same time, at Yaroslavl, the merchant Gregory Lytkin, by whom Stephen was employed, had a revelation of his clerk's imminent arrival with the precious acquisition.

Lytkin had been instructed by a voice from above to take the Icon from Yaroslavl to Arkhangelsk, near the Pinega River. Here, 16 versts from Kholmogorsk, was the Black Mountain monastery (which took its name from the mountain, on which a church was built in 1603.) Later, it was called Krasnogorsk (Beautiful Mountain).

Here the merchant delivered the Georgian Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in 1629, during the reign of Tsar Michael. On August 22, with a large contingent of the faithful, the Icon was reverently placed in the monastery. At the same time, the miraculous healing of the blind and deaf monk Pitirim took place. The subsequent manifestations of the Icon's miraculous power prompted Metropolitan Nikon of Novgorod (later the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia) to investigate. Afterward, from 1650, the annual celebration of this Icon took place on August 22, the day of its arrival at Krasnogorsk Monastery.

From that time, the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God was brought to Arkhangelsk each year with honors. The revered Icon was left for a certain time in the main cathedral of the city, for the sanctification of the city and of the Christ-loving people. During the reign of Tsar Alexei (1645-1676), the miraculous Icon was taken to Vologda, Great Ustyug, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, and Siberia.

In 1654, Hieromonk Makarios of Krasnogorsk Monastery brought the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (which had been brought from Persia) to Moscow for restoration, and to be covered with a new riza. It was placed in the newly-built church, dedicated to the Life-giving Trinity, at Nikitnikov Lane near the Saint Barbara Gate, where the Kremlin masters carried on their iconographic work. Gregory Nikitnikov had built the church on his property at his own expense (1628-1651). In the church was a chapel dedicated to Saint Nikḗtas (September 15). Members of the Nikitnikov family were also entombed there.

About that time, a plague or pestilence was raging in Moscow. At the request of the master silversmith Gabriel Evdokimov, whose son was near death, a Moleben was served in his house before the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God from Krasnogorsk Monastery. The patient soon recovered. In gratitude for this miraculous healing, a copy of Georgian Icon was made and placed in Holy Trinity church. From that time, the church was also called Georgian.

The gracious help of the Most Holy Theotokos continued to be conferred by the aforementioned copy of her Icon. During the plague epidemic of 1654, the Moscow merchant Stephanov prayed continuously to the Queen of Heaven. The Most Holy Virgin appeared to him three times in a dream saying: "Pray to the Georgian Theotokos, on the Glinishchi at the mills, and you will be spared." The Holy Trinity church at Nikitniki was also called the church of the Great Martyr Nikḗtas (one of the chapels) on Glinishchi, near the mills. The merchant did not take his family from Moscow as he intended, but began to pray fervently in the Holy Trinity church. The epidemic did not touch him or his family.

The Churchwide celebration of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God was established with the blessing of Patriarch Nikon in 1654. In 1698, the caretaker of the Moscow printing house Theodore Polikarpov compiled a
second edition of the Service.

After the liberation of Moscow from Napoleon's troops, on December 1, 1812 the wonderworking Georgian Icon of the Mother of God, along with other miraculous Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos (Vladimir, Iveron, and Assuage my Sorrows) were carried in solemn procession around the Kremlin.

In 1904, a chapel was built in Holy Trinity church in honor of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God. Now this Icon is in the church of the Holy Trinity in Nikitnikov (Razin Street).

Miraculous healings were granted by the Most Holy Theotokos through her wonderworking Icon, which were documented and verified at the end of the XIX century. For example, on June 17, 1887, Lydia Tserkovnitskaya, the wife of a priest in the village of Shuysk, Vologda Province, was critically ill. She recovered after praying before the wonderworking Georgian Icon. There is historical evidence of four more Georgian icons of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Concerning the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God, which was in Moscow's Alekseevsky Convent, church evidence reports that it is not a copy of the Icons from Krasnogorsk Monastery nor from Holy Trinity church at Nikitnikov, which were brought from Georgia. In the same deadly plague epidemic of 1654, one of the nuns at the Alekseev Convent fell ill. While she addressed long prayers to the Heavenly Healer, the sick woman suddenly remembered the miraculous recovery she had heard about from the Icon of the Mother of God, which is in the church of the Life-giving Trinity by Saint Barbara's Gate. However, there was no one to send there. After some time, an unknown monk came to the Convent. Turning to the sick nun, he said: "Do not be sad that the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God cannot be brought here. You have here exactly the same Icon as the one brought from Georgia. You will find it in the cave, and you shall behold God's mercy."

The allegorical meaning of these words became clear afterward in the monastery sacristy, which was laid out like caves, when a hitherto unknown Icon of the Mother of God was discovered. After a Moleben, the miraculous Icon was carried to the cells of the nuns who were suffering from the pestilence. All of them were healed. From that time, the epidemic in Moscow began to abate.

Through the prayerful intercession of the Georgian Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos at the Alekseev Convent, the blind Princess Martha Prozorovskaya received miraculous healing in 1662. She gained her sight by the prayers of her parents, after seven years of serious illness.

To the northwest of Kazan, 18 versts from the city of Sviyazhsk, in the middle of the XVII century was the Raithu communal Hermitage of the Theotokos, which got its name from one of its churches, which was dedicated to the Venerable Fathers slain at Sinai and Raithu (January 14). Tradition states that during the construction of the monastery, Metropolitan Laurence of Kazan, by a revelation from above, sent the best local iconographers to Pinega, to the Krasnogorsk Monastery, which was very far from Kazan, in order to make a faithful copy of the wonderworking Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, which was brought from Persia.

In 1661, a skillfully executed copy of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God was delivered from Arkhangelsk. It became highly revered by the local population. Subsequently, this Icon was placed in the cathedral church in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos.

In the XVIII century, the pious peasants of the village of Klyucharev, Korchev county, Tver Province, presented the caretaker of the Moscow Archangel Cathedral with a copy of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God, which became highly regarded by the locals, when the rye crop was threatened with destruction in the late 1860s. Vast fields of newly-sprouted crops were being eaten by an unknown worm, and nothing they did was of any use. Then the peasants prayed for help to the Most Holy Theotokos, whose Georgian Icon they revered. After a Cross Procession around the fields with the Icon, a sudden, unprecedented torrential rain fell. Streams of water washed the worms out of the ground, which were eaten by a large flock of birds. See also other revered copies of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God in the Protection church at Vorontsov Field, and in the Holy Cross Church in the city of Tula.

The Icon disappeared after the closure of the monastery (1920-1922), and later it was returned to the monastery. In his 1946 report to the Moscow Patriarchate, Bishop Leonty (Smirnov) of Arkhangelsk states that the Georgian Icon was carried in a procession, which took place at Arkhangelsk in 1946. The further fate of the Georgian Icon is unknown.

Saint Bogolep, disciple of Saint Paisius of Uglich

Saint Bogolep lived during the XV and XVI centuries and was a disciple of Saint Paisios of Uglich (June 6). The Yaroslavl Paterikon (1912) credits Saint Bogolep with finding the wonderworking Icon of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos in 1482, which is mentioned in the Life of Saint Paisios. The Life states that "a certain baker" from the Uglich men's Monastery of the Lord's Theophany (later called Protection) went to the Volga early one morning for water. On the shore under the mountain he saw an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. It is not known how it came to the Monastery. The monk ran to the Monastery and reported the incident to Saint Paisios. That baker was Saint Bogolep, who had worked as a baker when he was still in the world. After entering the Monastery, he carried out the same obedience.

Because of his piety and humility, Saint Basil was ordained as a priest before his death, and was tonsured into the Schema.

The date of Saint Basil's local glorification is not known. His Feast Day is celebrated on August 22, perhaps because the martyr Theoprepios (Феопрепий in Russian), who suffered martyrdom in the IV century with Saint Agathonikos of Nikomedia, is commemorated on that date.

The local canonization of Saint Bogolep was confirmed with the inclusion of his name in the Synaxis of the Rostov-Yaroslavl Saints, by the decision of His Holiness Patriarch Alexei I of Moscow and the Holy Synod on March 10, 1964.

The Synaxis of the Rostov-Yaroslavl Saints is celebrated on May 23/June 5.

Venerable Isaac I of Optina

Saint Isaac (Antimonov) fell asleep in the Lord on August 22, 1894.

The Moscow Patriarchate authorized local veneration of the Optina Elders on June 13,1996, glorifying them for universal veneration on August 7, 2000.

Daily Readings for Sunday, August 21, 2022



10th Sunday of Matthew, The Holy Apostle Thaddaeus, The Holy Martyr Bassa and Her Sons: Theognis, Agapius, and Pistus, Athanasios Patelaros, Patriarch of Constantinople, Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary


Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

MATTHEW 17:14-23

At that time, a man came up to Jesus and kneeling before him said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move hence to yonder place, ‘ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting.” As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”

Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God

The Church continues to honor the passage of the Most Holy Theotokos from death to life. Just as Christ once dwelt in the virginal womb of His Mother, now He takes Her “to dwell in His courts.”

Apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy

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

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

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

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

Martyr Bassa of Edessa and her sons Theogonius, Agapius, and Pistus

The Martyr Bassa with her sons Theognis, Agapius and Pistus, lived in the city of Macedonian Edessa and she was married to a pagan priest. From childhood she had been raised in the Christian Faith, which she passed on to her sons.

During the reign of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), the husband denounced his wife and children to the governor. In spite of threats, the boys refused to offer sacrifice to idols, so they were tortured and put to death. The eldest son, Theognis, was raked with iron claws, then he was beheaded. The skin of the young Agapius was flayed from head to chest, but the martyr did not utter a sound. The youngest son Pistus was tortured and beheaded, just as his brothers had been. One account says that the three brothers suffered at Edessa in Macedonia. Another account says they died at Larissa in Thessaly, their homeland.

Saint Bassa was thrown into prison and was weakened by hunger, but an angel strengthened her with heavenly food. Under successive tortures she remained unharmed by fire, water and beasts. When they brought her to a pagan temple, she shattered the statue of Zeus. Then they threw the martyr into a whirlpool in the sea. But to everyone’s surprise a ship sailed up, and three radiant men pulled her up (Saint Νikόdēmos of the Holy Mountain (July 14) suggests that these were her children, martyred earlier). After eight days Saint Bassa came by ship to the governor of the island of Alona, not far from Cyzicus, in the Propontis or Sea of Marmora. After beating her with rods, they beheaded her.

By the year 450 there was already a church in honor of the holy martyr Bassa at Chalcedon.

Venerable Abramius the Wonderworker, Archimandrite of Smolensk

Saint Abramius of Smolensk, a preacher of repentance and the Dread Last Judgment, was born in the mid-twelfth century at Smolensk of rich parents, who had twelve daughters before him, and they begged God for a son.

From childhood he grew up in the fear of God, he was often in church and had the opportunity to read books. The parents hoped that their only son would enter into marriage and continue their illustrious lineage, but he sought a different life. After the death of his parents, having given away all his wealth to monasteries, to churches and to the destitute, the saint walked through the city in rags, asking God to show him the way to salvation.

He was tonsured in the monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos, five versts from Smolensk, at Selischa. Having passed through various obediences there, the monk fervently occupied himself with copying books, culling spiritual riches from them. The Smolensk prince Roman Rostislavich (+ 1170) started a school in the city, in which they taught not only in Slavonic, but also from Greek and Latin books. The Prince himself had a large collection of books, which Saint Abramius used. He had struggled for more than 30 years at the monastery, when in the year 1198 the igumen persuaded him to accept the dignity of presbyter. Every day he served the Divine Liturgy and fulfilled the obedience of clergy not only for the brethren, but also for the laity.

Soon the monk became widely known. This aroused the envy of the brethren, and then of the igumen also, and five years later, the monk was compelled to transfer to the Exaltation of the Cross monastery in Smolensk itself. With offerings from the devout, he embellished the cathedral church of the poor monastery with icons, and with curtains and candle-stands. He himself painted two icons on themes which most concerned him. On one he depicted the Dread Last judgment, and on the other the suffering of the trials of life. Lean and pale from extreme toil, in priestly garb the ascetic resembled Saint Basil the Great in appearance. The saint was strict both towards himself, and towards his spiritual children. He preached constantly in church and to those coming to him in his cell, conversing with rich and poor alike.

The city notables and the clergy demanded that Bishop Ignatius bring the monk to trial, accusing him of seducing women and tempting his spiritual children. But even more terrible were the accusations of heresy and the reading of forbidden books. For this they proposed to drown or burn the ascetic. At the trial by the Prince and the Bishop, the saint answered all the false accusations. Despite this, they forbade him to serve as a priest and returned him to his former monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos . A terrible drought occurred in consequence of God’s wrath over the unjust sentence, and only when Saint Ignatius pardoned Saint Abramius, permitting him to serve and preach, did the rain again fall on Smolensk.

The bishop Saint Ignatius built a new monastery, in honor of the Placing of the Robe of the Most Holy Theotokos, and he entrusted the guidance of it to Saint Abramius, and he himself settled into it, retiring from the diocese because of age. Many wished to enter under the guidance of Saint Abramius, but he examined them very intensely and only after great investigation, so at his monastery there were only seventeen brethren. Saint Abramius, after the death of Saint Ignatius, having become his spiritual friend, urged the brethren, more than before, to think about death and to pray day and night, that they be not condemned in the Judgment by God.

Saint Abramius died after the year 1224, having spent 50 years in monasticism. Already at the end of the thirteenth century a service had been compiled to him, together with his disciple Saint Ephraim. The terrible Mongol-Tatar invasion, seen as the wrath of God for the nation’s sins, not only did not stifle the memory of Saint Abramius of Smolensk, but rather was a reminder to people of his calling to repentance and recollection of the dread Last Judgment.

Venerable Ephraim the Wonderworker, disciple of Abramius, and Archimandrite of Smolensk

Saint Ephraim was the disciple of Saint Abramius of Smolensk. He compiled the Life of Saint Abramius, which provides many details about education in the remote northwestern part of Russia in those days.

Venerable Abramius the lover-of-labor of the Kiev Near Caves

It is hard to determine precisely when Saint Abraham and the other saints of the Caves lived because of the scarcity of written records. It is likely, though not certain, that they lived during the Mongol-Tatar invasions in the XIII century.

In the Teraturgim of Hieromonk Athanasius (Kalophoisky), dating back to the XVII century, Saint Abraham is called “Venerable Elder Abraham, the Lover of Labor.” Archbishop Philaret (Gumilevsky) said that “toward the end of his life, he toiled in a cave. After praying here he worked to prepare everything necessary for the Brotherhood of the Caves, which earned him the title ‘Lover of Labor.’”

Archbishop Sergius (Spassky) suggests that Saint Abraham lived during the XII-XIII centuries. On the other hand, the Orthodox Encyclopedia places his life between the second half of the XIII century and the beginning of the XIV century. His holy relics rest in the Near Caves of Saint Anthony.

On an ancient icon of the wonderworkers of the Near Caves Saint Anthony is called an Igoumen. He is described in the same way in a manuscript list of saints. If that is so, then he buried Prince Skirigail (John), who was killed by his own servants in Vyshgorod in 1396, near the tomb of Saint Theodosios (May 3).

Saint Abraham the Lover of Labor has long been commemorated on August 21, the same day as Saint Abraham of Smolensk.

Saint Abraham the Lover of Labor is also commemorated on September 28, the Synaxis of all the Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves Monastery, whose relics lie in the Near Caves of Saint Anthony. We also remember Saint Abraham on the Second Sunday of Great Lent, the Synaxis of all the Venerable Fathers of the Kiev Caves (which is a movable Feast).

Saint Sarmean, Catholicos of Kartli, Georgia

The chronicles listing the generations of chief shepherds of Georgia reveal that Saint Sarmean was leader of the Georgian Apostolic Church from the year 767 (or 760, according to some sources) until the year 774. These were years of Arab-Muslim rule in Georgia. The Arabs persecuted the Christians, oppressed those who served in the Church, and tried in every way to convert the country to Islam. Despite the frightful abuses that the faithful endured and the transformation of the city into a residence for the emir, many Tbilisi churches continued to function.

Sarmean was a firm defender of Orthodoxy. Once, however, on Cheese-fare Thursday at Shio-MgvimeMonastery, a group of strangers bearing gifts arrived at the monastery. He served Holy Communion to them without ever inquiring into their faith. Later he learned that they were Jacobites (members of one of the Monophysite churches).

His carelessness was revealed to him in a dream that same night.

When he awoke the next morning, Catholicos Sarmean summoned the bishops, confessed his mistake, burned the gifts that the Jacobites had given him before their eyes, and departed for an isolated cave, where he wept over his sin with bitter tears.

But the All-merciful Lord sent a sign to Saint Sarmean to inform him that his transgression had been forgiven. The bishops sent him a message from Mtskheta: “O Great Sovereign Patriarch Sarmean! Rejoice! We, your spiritual children, believers in your holiness, the entire council of bishops, wish to inform you that Saint Shio has appeared and told each of the five of us that the Lord has remitted your sin. Make haste and summon us to the monastery, that we may give thanks together to our Holy Father Shio!”

Holy Catholicos Sarmean, divinely endowed with humility, faith, love, and the fear of God, led his flock wisely to the end of his days and reposed peacefully in the year 774.

New Martyr Simeon of Samokov

No information available at this time.

Hieromartyr Raphael of Serbia

No information available at this time.

Saint Cornelius of Paleostrov and Olonets

Saint Cornelius of Paleostrov and Olonets, born at Pskov, was the founder of monastic life on Pali island in Lake Onega at the end of the fourteenth century. Despite the desolation of the island, brethren soon gathered near him. He built for them a church in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, and a trapeza church in honor of the holy Prophet Elias.

The saint spent the final years of his life in a cave half a verst from the monastery, in unceasing prayer. The ascetic added the wearing of heavy chains to his struggles.

The saint’s blessed repose occurred around the year 1420. His relics were transferred to the monastery church by his disciple, Saint Abramius of Paleostrov (August 21), who was also glorified by his ascetical life, and was buried in the Paleostrov monastery beside his Elder.

Hieromartyr Raphael of Sisatovac

No information available at this time.

Holy Schema-nun Martha

No information available at this time.

Daily Readings for Saturday, August 20, 2022



Samuel the Prophet, Holy Martyr Luke of Bouleutos, Stephen, First King of Hungary, Hierotheos, Bishop of Hungary, Oswin the Martyr, King of Deira, Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary


Brethren, I appeal to you, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

MATTHEW 17:24-27; 18:1-4

At that time, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your teacher pay the tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?" And when he said, "From others, " Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself." At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God

The Church continues to honor the passage of the Most Holy Theotokos from death to life. Just as Christ once dwelt in the virginal womb of His Mother, now He takes Her “to dwell in His courts.”

Prophet Samuel

The Prophet Samuel was the fifteenth and last of the Judges of Israel, living more than 1146 years before the Birth of Christ. He was descended from the Tribe of Levi, and was the son of Elkanah from Ramathaim-Zophim of Mount Ephraim. He was born, having been besought from the Lord through the prayers of his mother Hannah (therefore he received the name Samuel, which means “besought from God”). Even before birth, he was dedicated to God. Her song, “My heart exults in the Lord,” is the third Old Testament ode of the Canon (1 Sam/1 Kings 2:1-10).

When the boy reached the age of three, his mother went with him to Shiloh and in accord with her vow dedicated him to the worship of God. She gave him into the care of the High Priest Eli, who at this time was a judge over Israel. The prophet grew in the fear of God, and at twelve years of age he had a revelation that God would punish the house of the High Priest Eli, because he did not restrain the impiety of his sons. Eli’s whole family was wiped out in a single day.

The prophecy was fulfilled when the Philistines, having slain in battle 30,000 Israelites (among them Hophni and Phinees, the sons of Eli the High Priest), gained victory and captured the Ark of the Covenant. Hearing this, the High Priest Eli fell backwards from his seat at the gate, and breaking his back, he died. The wife of Phinees, upon hearing what had happened in this very hour, gave birth to a son (Ichabod) and died with the words: “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God is taken away” (1 Sam/1 Kgs 4: 22).

Upon the death of Eli, Samuel became the judge of the nation of Israel. The Ark of God was returned by the Philistines on their own initiative. After returning to God, the Israelites returned to all the cities that the Philistines had taken. In his old age, the Prophet Samuel made his sons Joel and Abiah judges over Israel, but they did not follow the integrity and righteous judgment of their father, since they were motivated by greed.

Then the elders of Israel, wanting the nation of God to be “like other nations” (1 Sam/1 Kgs 8: 20), demanded of the Prophet Samuel that they have a king. The Prophet Samuel anointed Saul as king, but saw in this a downfall of the people, whom God Himself had governed until this time, announcing His will through “judges,” His chosen saints. Resigning the position of judge, the Prophet Samuel asked the people if they consented to his continued governance, but no one stepped forward for him.

After denouncing the first king, Saul, for his disobedience to God, the Prophet Samuel anointed David as king. He had offered David asylum, saving him from the pursuit of King Saul. The Prophet Samuel died in extreme old age. His life is recorded in the Bible (1 Sam/1 Kgs; Sirach 46:13-20).

In the year 406 A.D. the relics of the Prophet Samuel were transferred from Judea to Constantinople.

Hieromartyr Philip, Bishop of Heraclea and with him the Martyrs Severus, Memnon, and 37 Soldiers in Thrace

Saint Philip was Bishop of Heraclea, and suffered martyrdom with Saints Severus, Memnon, and thirty-seven others in Thrace during the third century. They all suffered in Philippopolis, Thrace under the emperor Diocletian (284-305).

When the governor learned that the Saint Severus had converted the centurion Memnon to Christ, he ordered that Memnon be tortured. They cut three strips of skin from Saint Memnon’s back.

Saint Severus was raked with iron hooks. Then they put red-hot rings on his fingers and girded him with a red-hot iron belt. After these tortures, he was blinded.

Bishop Philip and the others had their hands and feet cut off and were thrown into a fiery oven. Their names are Orion, Antilinus, Molias, Eudemon, Silvanus, Sabinus, Eustathius, Straton, Bosua of Byzantium, Timothy, Palmatus, Mestus, Nikon, Difilus, Dometian, Maximus, Neophytus, Victor, Rinus, Satorninus, Epaphroditus, Cercanus, Gaius, Zoticus, Cronion, Anthony, Horus, Zoilus, Tyrannus, Agathon, Panstenus [Parthenias], Achilles, Panthyrias, Chrysanthus, Athenodorus, Pantoleon, Theosebius, Genephlius of Philippopolis.

Martyrs Heliodorus and Dosa of Persia

The Martyrs Heliodorus and Dosa suffered for Christ in Persia under the emperor Sapor II, in the year 380.

Martyr Lucius

The Martyr Lucius, a senator, was beheaded by the sword on the island of Crete in the year 310 for confessing his faith in Christ.

Holy New Martyr Theocharis

In the year 1740 Sultan Ahmed and Ibrahim Pasha, the governor of Asia Minor, a decree was issued that Christian boys should be placed in concentration camps. The orphan Theocharis was among them. On a certain day, however, the judge of Neapolis (Nevsehir) in Cappadocia, saw Theocharis in the camp, he liked him, and brought him home to care for his animals.

Theocharis’s piety and comeliness prompted the judge to suggest that he become his son-in-law, after first becoming a Moslem. Theocharis answered courageously, “My master, I was born a Christian, and I cannot deny the faith of my Savior and of my fathers.” The Ottoman judge considered the answer to be offensive and threatened him with torture, and then he sentenced him to death by starvation. Theocharis went to church to confess and to partake of the spotless Mysteries, and then returned to his master. When he repeated his refusal and confessed his faith, they threw him into prison without food for many days. He was nourished by prayer, however and did not feel hunger; he was satisfied with a little water once in a while. When the judge repeated his offer to let him marry his daughter, Theocharis firmly refused. Then, after frightful torture, they took him an hour’s journey from the city of Neapolis, where he was stoned and then hanged at noon on a white poplar tree on August 20, 1740.

In 1923, the right hand of St. Theocharis was brought to Thessaloniki and was placed in the Church of St. Katherine, where it remains today.