Daily Readings for Monday, April 17, 2023



Renewal Monday, Symeon the Holy Martyr, Bishop of Persepolis, and those with him, Makarios, Bishop of Corinth, Agapetos of Rome, Hadrian the New-Martyr, Donnan, Abbot of Eigg, and the Monk-Martyrs with him

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 1:12-17, 21-26

In those days, the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaios and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, "Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. "So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us — one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.
And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justos, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place." And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

JOHN 1:18-28

No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" And he answered, "No." They said to him then, "Who are you? let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord, ' as the prophet Isaiah said.
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Bright Monday

On Bright Monday the Church commemorates the Sweet-Kissing (Glykophilousa) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.

Like the Ivḗron Icon (March 31), the Sweet-Kissing Icon was also saved from the iconoclasts by a pious woman in the ninth century. It also traveled miraculously upon the sea, arriving at Mt. Athos, the “Garden of the Theotokos,” where it was honored by the monks.

A nobleman named Simeon was an iconoclast who shared the emperor Theophilus’s hatred for the holy icons. Simeon’s wife Victoria, on the other hand, venerated icons, especially a certain icon of the Mother of God before which she prayed each day. Simeon could not tolerate his wife’s piety, so he demanded that she give him the icon so he could burn it. Victoria threw the icon into the sea, hoping that it would be preserved through God’s providence.

Years later, the icon appeared on the shores of Mt. Athos near the monastery of Philotheou. The igumen and the brethren of the monastery retrieved the icon and placed it in the church, where it worked many miracles.

In 1830 a pilgrim came to the monastery from Adrianopolis. He listened to the history of the icon and the miracles associated with it, but regarded such things as childish fables. The monk who had related all this was surprised and grieved by the pilgrim’s disbelief, fearing that such doubts indicated an unhealthy spiritual state. He did all that he could to remove the pilgrim’s skepticism, but the man stubbornly adhered to his opinion.

The Mother of God, in her compassion, finally healed the pilgrim’s soul in a rather dramatic way. On the very day that he had his discussion with the monk, the pilgrim was walking on an upper balcony. Suddenly, he lost his footing and began to fall. In his distress he called out, “Most Holy Theotokos, help me!” The Mother of God heard him, and he landed on the ground completely unharmed.

The icon is one of the Eleusa (Tenderness) type. It is unusual in that it shows the Virgin kissing her Child. Christ raises His hand as if to repulse His mother’s caress.

Other Sweet-Kissing (Tenderness) icons are:

Lubyatov (March 19)

Novgorod (July 28)

Pskov (May 21, June 23, August 26, October 7)

Smolensk (March 19)

Sviatogorsk (July 17)

Yaroslavl (May 14)

Icon of the Mother of God of Mt. Athos, “Sweet Kissing”

Like the Panagia Portaitissa, the Glykophilousa Icon is one of those which were saved during the iconoclastic period and brought miraculously to Mount Athos. It originally belonged to Victoria, the devout wife of the senator Symeon. Victoria was one who venerated the holy icons, especially that of the Most Holy Theotokos, before which she prayed each day. Her husband was an iconoclast who found her piety offensive, for he, like Emperor Theophilos (r. 829-842), found the veneration of icons distasteful. Symeon told his wife to give him her icon so that he could burn it. In order to save the icon from being destroyed, she threw it into the sea, and it floated away standing upright on the waves. After a few years, the icon appeared on the shores of Mount Athos near the Monastery of Philotheou, where it was received with great honor and rejoicing by the Abbot and Fathers of the Monastery, who had been informed of its impending arrival through a revelation of the Theotokos.

A spring of holy water sprouted forth on the very spot where they placed the icon on the shore. Every year on Monday of Bright Week there is a procession and blessing of water. Numerous miracles have occurred.

Although there are many miracles of the Glykophilousa Icon, we will mention only a few. In 1713, the Mother of God answered the prayers of the devout Ecclesiarch Ioannikios, who complained about the poverty of the monastery. She assured him that she would provide for the material needs of the monastery.

Another miracle took place in 1801. A pilgrim, after seeing the precious offerings having from the icon, planned to steal them. He stayed in the Temple after the Ecclesiarch closed it. Then he stole the offerings and left for the port of Ivḗron Monastery. There he found a boat that was leaving for Ierissos. After a while the ship sailed, but despite the excellent weather, it remained stationary in the sea. When the Ecclesiarch saw what had happened, the abbot sent monks out in various directions. Two went to the port of Ivḗron and when they saw the immobile ship, they realized what happened. The guilty man who committed this fearful sacrilege asked for forgiveness. The monks were magnanimous and did not want the thief to be punished.

A pilgrim from Adrianopolis visited Philotheou Monastery in 1830. He listened attentively to a monk tell the story of the holy Icon and the miracles associated with it, but he regarded the account as a fictitious tale which only a child might believe. The monk was grieved at the man’s unbelief, and tried to persuade him that everything he had said was absolutely true. The unfortunate pilgrim remained unconvinced.

That very day, as the pilgrim was walking on an upper balcony, he slipped and began to fall. He cried out, “Most Holy Theotokos, help me!” The Mother of God heard him and came to his assistance. The pilgrim landed on the ground completely unharmed.

The Glykophilousa Icon belongs to the Eleousa (the Virgin of Tenderness) category of icons, where the Mother accepts the affection shown by the Child Christ. The icon is commemorated by the Church on March 27 and also on Bright Monday. The icon depicts the Theotokos inclining toward Christ, Who embraces her. She seems to be embracing Him more tightly than in other icons, and her expression is more affectionate.

The Icon is located on a pillar on the left side of the katholikon (main church).

Hieromartyr Simeon, Bishop in Persia, and those with him

The Hieromartyr Simeon, Bishop of Persia, suffered during a persecution against Christians under the Persian emperor Sapor II (310-381). They accused the saint of collaborating with the Roman Empire and of subversive activities against the Persian emperor.

In the year 344, the emperor issued an edict which imposed a heavy tax upon Christians. When some of them refused to pay it, this was regarded as an act of rebellion, so the emperor began a fierce persecution against Christians.

Saint Simeon was brought to trial in iron fetters as a supposed enemy of the Persian realm, together with the two hieromartyrs Habdelai and Ananias. The holy bishop would not even bow to the emperor, who asked why he would not show him the proper respect. The saint answered, “Formerly, I bowed because of your rank, but now, when you ask me to renounce my God and abandon my faith, it is not proper for me to bow to you.”

The emperor urged him to worship the sun, and he threatened to eradicate Christianity in his land if he refused. But neither urgings nor threats could shake the steadfast saint, and they led him off to prison. Along the way the eunuch Usphazanes, a counsellor of the emperor, saw the saint. He stood up and bowed to the bishop, but the saint turned away from him because he, a former Christian, out of fear of the emperor, now worshipped the sun.

The eunuch repented with all his heart, he exchanged his fine attire for coarse garb, and sitting at the doors of the court, he cried out bitterly, “Woe to me, when I stand before my God, from Whom I am cut off. Here was Simeon, and he has turned his back on me!”

The emperor Sapor learned about the grief of his beloved tutor and asked him what had happened. He told the emperor that he bitterly regretted his apostasy and would no more worship the sun, but only the one true God. The emperor was surprised at the old man’s sudden decision, and he urged him not to abjure the gods whom their fathers had reverenced. But Usphazanes was unyielding, and they condemned him to death. Saint Usphazanes asked that the city heralds report that he died not for crimes against the emperor, but for being a Christian. The emperor granted his request.

Saint Simeon also learned about the death of Usphazanes, and he gave thanks to the Lord. When they brought him before the emperor a second time, Saint Simeon again refused to worship the pagan gods and confessed his faith in Christ. The enraged emperor gave orders to behead all the Christians in the prison before the saint’s eyes.

Without fear the Christians went to execution, blessed by the holy hierarch, and they bent their heads beneath the sword. Saint Simeon’s companion, the Priest Habdelai, was also beheaded. When they came to the Priest Ananias, he suddenly trembled. Then one of the dignitaries, Saint Phusicus (Pusicius), a secret Christian, was afraid that Ananias would renounce Christ, and he cried out, “Do not fear the sword, Elder, and you will see the divine light of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Saint Phusicus betrayed himself by this outburst. The emperor gave orders to pluck out his tongue and to flay the skin off him. Along with Saint Phusicus, his daughter Askitrea was also martyred. Saint Simeon was the last to go before the executioner, and he placed his head on the chopping-block (April 13, 344). Executions continued all during Bright Week until April 23.

Saint Azates the Eunuch, a close official to the emperor, also received the crown of martyrdom, along with Saints Abdechalas, Usthazanes, and Azades. The sources indicate that 1,150 Martyrs perished because they refused to accept the Persian religion.

Saint Akakios, Bishop of Melitēnḗ

Saint Akakios was born into a pious family in the Armenian city of Melitēnḗ. His parents had been childless for a long time. They had prayed for a son, and vowed to dedicate him to God. Therefore, Akakios was given to Bishop Oustrykhios1 of Melitēnḗ (November 7) to serve the Church. Saint Oustrykhios was a firm supporter of Orthodoxy. When the heresy of Macedonius arose, it was Saint Oustrykhios who set forth the Orthodox teaching about the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Holy Trinity, one in essence and indivisible, at the Third Ecumenical Council, which met at Ephesus in the year 381.

The holy hierarch raised Akakios with love, made him a Reader, and later ordained him as a deacon, and then to the holy priesthood. Saint Akakios served the Church well, instructing both adults and children in the Holy Scripture, and in the Orthodox Confession of faith. Among his disciples was Saint Euthymios the Great (January 20).

After the death of Saint Oustrykhios, Saint Akakios was elevated to the hierarchal throne of Melitēnḗ by general acclamation. He governed his diocese wisely, and because of his firm faith, humility and deeds, the Saint received the grace of working miracles. Once, during a dry summer, the Saint served the Liturgy in an open field, suddenly the wine in the Holy Chalice was mixed with the falling rain, which fell throughout the land.

The holy Bishop prayed when the river flooded, and it turned back, rising no higher than the stone which the Saint had placed at the riverbank. On one of the islands of the River Azar, the Saint built a temple in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos, despite opposition from the pagans.

The builders of the church, either by their carelessness or malice, were not diligent in building the dome. During the Liturgy the dome was ready to collapse, and people rushed out of the church in terror. But the Saint halted their flight saying, “The Lord is the defender of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 26/27:1). The dome remained suspended in the air. Only when the service had ended, and the Saint was the last one to leave the church, did the dome collapse, causing harm to no one. After this, the church was rebuilt.

Saint Akakios participated in the Third Ecumenical Council (431) and he defended the Orthodox teaching of Christ's two natures (divine and human), and of His seedless birth from the Most Holy Virgin Theotokos.

Saint Akakios reposed peacefully around the year 435. He should not be confused with Saint Akakios the Confessor (March 31), who was also a Bishop of Melitēnḗ.

1 Saint Oustrykhios (or Bostrykhios) was one of the 33 Martyrs of Melitēnḗ.

Venerable Zosimas, Abbot of Solovki

Saint Zosimas, the Igumen of Solovki and great luminary of the Russian North, was the founder of cenobitic monasticism on Solovki Island. He was born in the Novgorod diocese, in the village of Tolvui near Lake Onega. From his early years he was raised in piety, and after the death of his parents Gabriel and Barbara, he gave away his possessions and received the monastic tonsure.

In search of a solitary place, he journeyed to the shores of the White Sea, and at the mouth of the Suma he met Saint Herman (July 30), who told him of a desolate sea island, where he had spent six years with Saint Sabbatius (September 27).

About the year 1436, the ascetics crossed the sea and, providentially, they arrived at the Solovki islands. There Saint Zosimas beheld a vision of a beautiful church in the sky. With their own hands the monks built cells and an enclosure, and they began to cultivate the land and to plant seeds.

Once, in late autumn, Saint Herman had to go to the mainland for provisions. Because of the autumn weather he was unable to return. Saint Zosimas remained alone on the island all winter, enduring many temptations in his struggles with the demons. Death by starvation threatened him, but miraculously two strangers appeared and left him a supply of bread, flour and oil. In the spring Saint Herman returned to Solovki with a fisherman named Mark, and he brought supplies of food and some materials to make fishing nets.

When several hermits had gathered on the island, Saint Zosimas built a small wooden church in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and a trapeza. At Saint Zosimas's request, an Igoumen was sent from Novgorod to the newly-formed monastery with an antimension for the church. Thus the renowned Solovki Monastery had its beginning. In the severe conditions of the remote island the monks knew how to economize. But the Igoumens who were sent from Novgorod to Solovki could not endure life under such harsh conditions, and so the brethren chose Saint Zosimas as their Igoumen.

Saint Zosimas occupied himself with building up the inner life of the monastery, and he introduced a strict cenobitic Rule. In 1465 he transferred the relics of Saint Sabbatius to Solovki from the River Vyg. The monastery suffered from the nobles of Novgorod, who confiscated the fish caught by the monks. The saint was obliged to go to Novgorod in order to seek the Archbishop's protection.

Following the Archbishop's advice, he visited the homes of the nobles and asked them not to allow the monastery to suffer harm. The influential and wealthy Martha Boretskaya impiously ordered Saint Zosimas to be thrown out, but then she repented and invited him to a meal. At this meal he suddenly saw that six of the illustrious nobles sat there without their heads. Saint Zosimas told his disciple Daniel about this vision, and predicted the impending death of the nobles. His prediction came to pass in the year 1478, when the six boyars were executed during the capture of Novgorod by Ivan III (1462-1505).

Shortly before his repose, the Saint prepared his own grave, in which he was buried beyond the altar of the Transfiguration church (+ April 17, 1478). Later on, a chapel was built over his relics. His relics and those of Saint Sabbatius were moved to the chapel which was dedicated to them at the Transfiguration cathedral on August 8, 1566.

Many miracles took place when Saint Zosimas and Saint Sabbatius appeared to fishermen who were perishing in the depths of the sea. Saint Zosimas is also considered a patron of bee-keeping and a guardian of beehives; and he is even known as "The Bee-keeper.” Those who are sick often hasten to Saint Zosimas, asking to be healed. The many hospital churches dedicated to him attest to the great healing power of his prayers to God.

Saint Zosimas is also commemorated on August 8, and on the First (1566) and Second (1992) transfers of the relics of Saints Zosimas and Sabbatius.

Uncovering of the relics of Venerable Alexander, Abbot of Svir

Saint Alexander of Svir died on August 30, 1533. His incorrupt relics were uncovered in 1641 during the reconstruction of the Transfiguration cathedral.

On April 17, 1641, the relics of Saint Alexander of Svir were found and examined. The discovery was accompanied by special signs; on April 15 and 16 there was extraordinary thunder and lightning, which ran along the ground above the grave of the holy founder of the monastery. Then during the Divine Liturgy on April 17 (the Saturday of the Righteous Lazarus) the workers were digging a hole for the walls of the new stone church of the Transfiguration of the Lord; and in the altar of the old church they found the Saint's coffin. The ground above it was in the shape of a cave, with nothing to support it.

All the monks came down to see the decayed coffin (only the lower board was well preserved). When Igoumen Abraham removed the top board, a strong fragrance was noticed. The Saint's body was intact, and was clothed in a mantya and the schema. His face was covered, and beneath the schema, part of his beard could be seen; both legs lay as if he were recently deceased, with the right foot upward, and the left foot facing to the side, both feet were in sandals.

From his body emanated a fragrance like myrrh, or flowers. Metropolitan Aphthonios of Novgorod was present at the uncovering of the relics. With reverence and joy, the relics were placed in a new coffin and were taken to the temple of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker in that same Hermitage.

The monks, who had seen the incorrupt flesh of their heavenly patron, were amazed, and they made a detailed description of the shrine. Particularly surprising was the face, which was so life-like that the Saint seemed asleep. The face matched the icons which had been painted by his contemporaries. The authors of the description also noted the unusual position of the Saint's hands and feet and the amber-yellow color of his skin. Soon the relics were placed in a silver reliquary donated by Tsar Michael, and were moved to the newly rebuilt Transfiguration Cathedral.

At the same time, the commemoration of Saint Alexander was appointed on two dates: August 30, the day of his blessed repose, and April 17, the day of the uncovering of his relics.

The incorrupt relics of the saint were removed from the Svir Monastery by the Bolsheviks on December 20, 1918 after several unsuccessful attempts to confiscate them. There was an infamous campaign to liquidate the relics of the saints which continued from 1919 to 1922. Many relics of Russsian saints were stolen and subjected to “scientific examination” or displayed in antireligious museums. Some were completely destroyed.

Hoping to prove that the relics were fakes, the Soviets conducted many tests. However, the tests only confirmed that the relics were genuine. Finally, the holy relics were sent to Petrograd’s Military Medical Academy. There they remained for nearly eighty years.

A second uncovering of Saint Alexander’s relics took place in December 1997.

The relics were found to be incorrupt, just as they were when they were confiscated. The saint’s appearance matched the description in the records from 1641. Once it was determined that these were in fact the relics of Saint Alexander, Metropolitan Vladimir of Saint Petersburg permitted them to be taken to the church of Saint Sophia and her three daughters Faith, Hope, and Love (September 17) for four months before their return to the Svir Monastery. As people venerated Saint Alexander’s relics they noticed a fragrant myrrh flowing from them.

The holy relics were taken to the Saint Alexander of Svir Monastery in November 1998, and miraculous healings continue to take place before them.

See August 30 for the Life of Saint Alexander.

Martyr Adrian of Corinth

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

Saint Agapitus, Pope of Rome

Saint Agapitus, Bishop of Rome, was a zealous adherent of Orthodoxy. By his pious life he won the general esteem and was elevated to the See of Rome in the year 535.

The Gothic king Theodoric the Great sent Agapitus to Constantinople for peace negotiations. Along the way, Saint Agapitus encountered a man who was lame and mute. He healed him of his lameness, and after receiving the Holy Mysteries the mute one spoke. After arriving in Constantinople, the saint healed a blind beggar.

At that time, a local Council was convened in Constantinople. Saint Agapitus participated in it and zealously defended the Orthodox teaching against the heretic Severus, who taught that the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ was subject to decay similar to every man’s body.

Saint Agapitus died at Constantinople in the year 536.

Venerable Makarius of Corinth

Saint Makarios was born in Trikala, of Corinth in 1731, to devout parents who were descended from the famous Notaras family of Constantinople. His father’s name was George and his mother’s was Anastasia. In Baptism he received the name Michael. His teacher in Kephalonia was named Eustathios. Young Michael was very zealous for the solitary life, and so he left his parents’ house in secret, and went to the Great Cave (Μέγα Σπήλαιον) Monastery. The Monastery was so named because it is the largest monastery of the Peloponnesos, and it was built in front of a cave. His father discovered where he was, however, and had Michael sent back home, where he spent much of his time studying the Divine Scriptures and other edifying books.

Since Corinth had lacked a teacher for a long time, Michael taught the young people for six years without payment. Even when he was very young, it was apparent that he did not care for the material things of this world, but only for spiritual treasures. When his father appointed him as the supervisor of an area where he could become very wealthy, he gave his money to the poor, and his father scolded him.

He excelled as a teacher, and the Corinthians loved him for his exemplary way of life. After the death of His godfather Archbishop Parthenios of Corinth in 1764, they suggested to Patriarch Samuel of Constantinople that he appoint Michael, who was then a layman, as his successor. Thus, he passed through the various degrees of ordination and was consecrated as Archbishop of Corinth by Patriarch Samuel.

The blessed one did not seek the hierarchal office for power, or as a means of acquiring wealth, but out of his paternal concern for the security and the salvation of his flock, for which he would have to render an account to the Lord and God of all. He rid the Church of corrupt and ineffectual priests and replaced them with priests who were virtuous and qualified. Those who were not qualified were sent to monasteries to be educated and trained how to serve.

When the Russo-Turkish War began in 1768, Archbishop Makarios was forced to flee to Zakynthos with his family, and from there to Hydra, where he lived in a monastery. When things settled down, the Holy Synod of Constantinople chose a new Archbishop of Corinth, perhaps because Archbishop Makarios had abandoned his See.1

He visited Hydra and from there he went to Chios. From Chios he went to Mount Athos, fulfilling his persistent and praiseworthy desire to visit the Holy Mountain and to experience its way of life. When the divine Makarios arrived on Mount Athos in 1777, he settled in the kelli2 of Saint Anthony, which belonged to his compatriot Elder David. There he met Saint Νikόdēmos the Hagiorite once again. At that time, the Athonite community was divided by quarrels and controversies over Memorial Services and kollyva. The reason for the dispute was a disagreement about when the departed ought to be commemorated in church.

The Church’s Tradition is to have services for the departed on Saturdays, and that Memorial Services are not permitted on Sundays or Feast Days. Hence, disputes arose out of the intense quarrels and contradictions which also extended to other areas of Church life. The situation there saddened the hierarch. Because of the riots and disturbances on the Holy Mountain, he feared for his own life, and so he returned to Chios. After remaining there for a brief time, he departed for Patmos.

During his stay in Patmos, the Saint sought a permanent residence, and since he was attracted by the location, he founded the Sacred Kathisma3 of All Saints (Ιερό Κάθισμα των Αγίων Πάντων) in 1782.

After the Saint’s father reposed, his two brothers wanted him to act as executor of his will. Saint Makarios gave everything to his brothers without keeping anything for himself. Then he returned to Chios to obtain some letters of recommendation, and went to Smyrna to meet with Prince John Maurogordatos of Moldovo-Vlakhia.4 The Prince knew Saint Makarios by reputation, and therefore he received him with reverence and respect for him as a man of God. Not only was he happy to show him hospitality in his home, but Maurogordatos also contributed money for the publication of The Philokalia, and for the publication of the Holy Catechism of Metropolitan Platon of Moscow.

From Smyrna the Saint returned to Chios. He chose his place of residence at the church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in the north-northwestern edges of Vrontados at the foot of Aippus. He found spiritual peace with Saint Athanasios Parios (who wrote his Life), Saints Nikephoros and Niphon of Chios, Gregory of Nisyros, and Athanasios of Armenia, all of whom had left the Holy Mountain several years earlier, because of the disturbances and scandals over Memorial Services.

Saint Makarios remained in his hermitage on Chios for the rest of his life (1790-1805), engaging in severe ascetical struggles, practicing interior prayer, writing books, confessing and counseling people, instructing them in the Faith, inspiring them to virtue, and helping those in need.

He also prepared several individuals who had denied Christ to go back to the place where they had done this, and confess that they only worshiped Christ, the true God. Of course, the Turks put these New Martyrs to death when they heard such talk, so he encouraged the martyrs by his words, and strengthened them by prayer and fasting, so that they would not lose their courage and deny Christ again.

Saint Makarios departed to the Lord on April 17, 1805. His honorable body was buried in the courtyard of the church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul on the south side. The recovery of his relics took place in 1808.

1 It has been suggested that Saint Makarios was replaced because the Turks thought that he encouraged the Greeks in their desire to revolt. In any case, the Saint retained his rank and was permitted to serve unhindered anywhere he wished.

2 A Kelli is a monk’s cell, or a monastic establishment consisting of a building with a chapel in it, and some surrounding land. Usually it is occupied by three monks.

3 In an Orthodox context, a Kathisma refers to a division of the Psalter, a chair or seat, or a monastic establishment, perhaps a type of hermitage.

4 This region is now part of modern Romania.