The Prophet Elisseus, the son of Saphat, was from the town of Abel-me-oul and had been a husbandman. In the year 908 B.C., at God’s command, the Prophet Elias anointed him to be Prophet in his stead. This happened while Elisseus was plowing his land, having twelve oxen under yoke. Straightway, Elisseus slew the oxen and cooked them, using the wooden plough and the other instruments of husbandry as firewood; then he gave the oxen as food to the people. Bidding farewell to his parents, he followed Elias and served him until the latter was taken up as it were into Heaven (see July 20). When Elisseus received his teacher’s mantle and the grace of his prophetic spirit twofold, he demonstrated whose disciple he was through the miracles he wrought and through all that is related of him in the Fourth Book of Kings. He departed full of days and was buried in Samaria, about the year 839 B.C. But even after his death God glorified him; for after the passage of a year, when some Israelites were carrying a dead man for burial and suddenly saw a band of Moabites, they cast the dead man on the grave of the Prophet. No sooner had the dead man touched the Prophet’s bones, than he came to life and stood on his feet (IV Kings 13:20-21). Mentioning this, Jesus the Son of Sirach says, “He did wonders in his life, and at his death his works were marvellous” (Ecclus. 48:14). It is because of such marvels that the faithful have reverence for the relics of the Saints (see also Jan. 16). His name means “God is saviour.”
Apolytikion of Prophet Elisseus in the Fourth Tone
The incarnate Angel, the Cornerstone of the Prophets, the second Forerunner of the Coming of Christ, the glorious Elias (Elijah), who from above, sent down to Elisha the grace to dispel sickness and cleanse lepers, abounds therefore in healing for those who honour him.
Kontakion of Prophet Elisseus in the Second Tone
A prophet of God didst thou become when worthily thou hadst been vouchsafed a double portion of God’s grace as Elias’ true companion, O Elisseus, divinely-blest; and with him, thou unceasingly entreatest Christ God in behalf of us all.
Methodius the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople
As for Saint Methodius, he was born to wealthy parents in Syracuse of Sicily about the end of the eighth century. Being a presbyter, he was sent as an ambassador to Rome in 815 or 816 on behalf of Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople, who had been exiled by Leo the Armenian (see June 2). After Leo’s death, he returned to Constantinople; but since he was a zealot for the veneration of the holy icons, he was immediately exiled by Emperor Michael the Stutterer to a fortress near Bithynia. When Michael died, he was freed for a short time; but then, because of his confession of the Orthodox Faith, he was imprisoned again by the Emperor Theophilus in a dark and foul-smelling sepulcher. Since this was not enough for the Emperor’s inhumanity, he commanded that two thieves be shut up with Methodius, and when one of them died, that the corpse not be removed. While the Saint was imprisoned there, a certain poor fisherman ministered to his needs. Finally, when the Church received its freedom under Saint Theodora the Empress, the Saint ascended the patriarchal throne of Constantinople in 842. Together with the holy Empress, Methodius restored the holy icons to their proper honor; this is commemorated on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. He governed the Church of Constantinople for four years, and reposed in 846.
Apolytikion of Methodius the Confessor in the Fourth Tone
A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Methodios, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
Kontakion of Methodius the Confessor in the Second Tone
Thou didst struggle on earth as one without a body, and didst inherit Heaven, O Methodius; for thou didst set forth the veneration of icons to the ends of the earth. And while living in abundant labours and hardships, thou didst not cease boldly to censure them that set at nought the icon of Christ.
We Also Celebrate Today:
Cyril, Bishop of Gortyna
The Holy Hieromartyrs of Estonia: Basil the Protopresbyter, John, John, and Artemios
The Holy Martyrs Martha the Presvytera, John, Theodore and Anna