Saints Calendar

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1
  • Mary of Egypt
    All day
    01-04-2018-29-03-2019

    When Mary was only twelve years old, she left her parents and departed to Alexandria, where she lived a depraved life for seventeen years. Then, moved by curiosity, she went with many pilgrims to Jerusalem, that she might see the Exaltation of the venerable Cross. Even in the Holy City she gave herself over to every kind of licentiousness and drew many into the depth of perdition. Desiring to go into the church on the day of the Exaltation of the Cross, time and again she perceived a certain invisible power preventing her entrance, whereas the multitude of people about her entered unhindered.

    Therefore, wounded in heart by this, she decided to change her way of life and reconcile herself to God by means of repentance. Invoking our Lady the Theotokos as her protectress, she asked her to open the way for her to worship the Cross, and vowed that she would renounce the world. And thus, returning once again to the church, she entered easily. When she had worshipped the precious Wood, she departed that same day from Jerusalem and passed over the Jordan. She went into the inner wilderness and for forty-seven years lived a most harsh manner of life, surpassing human strength; alone, she prayed to God alone.

    Toward the end of her life, she met a certain hermit named Zosimas, and she related to him her life from the beginning. She requested of him to bring her the immaculate Mysteries that she might partake of them. According to her request, he did this the following year on Holy and Great Thursday. One year after this, Zosimas again went thither and found her dead, laid upon the ground, and letters written in the sand near her which said: “Abba Zosimas, bury here the body of wretched Mary. I died on the very day I partook of the immaculate Mysteries. Pray for me.” Her death is reckoned by some to have taken place in 378, by some, in 437, and by others, in 522. She is commemorated also on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent. Her life was recorded by Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem.

    Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    By the toils of thy struggles, O God-inspired one, thou didst hallow the harshness of the desert. Wherefore, we glorify thy memory, as we honour thee with hymns, O Mary, glory of the righteous.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Gerontios & Vasilides the Martyrs
    • Euthemios of Suzdal
2
  • Titus the Wonderworker
    All day
    02-04-2018-30-03-2019

    Little is known of St Titus except that he displayed zeal for the monastic life from his youth. He pursued asceticism in the ninth century at the Studion monastery near Constantinople. By his deeds of fasting, purity of life and mild disposition, St Titus gained the love of the brethren, and at their request he was ordained priest.

    Fervent of faith, the Saint stood up for the Orthodox veneration of icons during the Iconoclast persecution. Because of his virtuous life, God granted him the gift of wonderworking. The Saint was translated to the Lord in his old age.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    You purify yourself through prayer and abstinence and shine forth with the brightness of grace and virtues, thus gladdening those who sing to you, “Rejoice, O Titus, adornment of the Fathers”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Theodora the Virgin-martyr of Palestine
    • Amphianos & Aedesios the Martyrs of Lycia
3
  • Nikitas the Confessor
    Joseph the Hymnwriter
    All day
    03-04-2018-31-03-2019

    Saint Nikitas the Confessor, Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium

    Saint Nikitas lived in the eighth century and became the Abbot of the Monastery of Medicium, which was near the city of Triglia on the Sea of Marmara. For his Orthodox confession of the veneration of the holy icons, he was persecuted and exiled twice by the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian, but recalled by Michael the Stutterer, and reposed, adorned with the twofold crown of holiness and of confession of the Orthodox Faith, about the year 824.

    Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)

    You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Nikitas, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.

    Joseph the Hymnographer

    Saint Joseph was from Sicily, the son of Plotinus and Agatha. Because Sicily had been subjugated by the Moslems, he departed thence and, passing from place to place, came with Saint Gregory of Decapolis (see NOV. 20) to Constantinople, where he endured bitter afflictions because of his pious zeal. Travelling to Rome, he was captured by Arab pirates and taken to Crete, whence he later returned to Constantinople. He became an excellent hymnographer and reposed in holiness shortly after 886 (according to some, it was in 883). The melismatic canons of the Menaion are primarily the work of this Joseph; they bear his name in the acrostic of the Ninth Ode. He also composed most of the sacred book known as the Paracletike, which complements the Octoechos For this reason, Joseph is called par excellence the Hymnographer.

     

    Also Celebrated Today Are:

    • Theodosia and Irene the Martyrs
4
  • George of Maleon
    All day
    04-04-2018-01-04-2019

    St George took up the monastic life from his youth during the 9th Century, and went to Mount Maleon in the Peloponnesus, where a community of monks gathered about him. He foretold his death from three years before, and reposed in an odour of sanctity.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labours have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O George, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    O Father George, you did wisely disdain the pleasures of earth and on wings of virtue find rest in the abodes of the incorporeal choirs in heaven. And you intercede unceasingly for us all.

     

    Also Celebrated Today Are:

    • Righteous Plato the Studite
    • Nicetas the Hieromartyr, Struggler of Serrai (1808)
    • Righteous Zosimas
    • Theonas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, Founder and Renovator of the Sacred
    • Monastery of Saint Anastasia of Pharmakolytria, Halkidiki
    • Theodoulos and Agathopous of Thessaloniki
5
  • Claudios & Companions
    All day
    05-04-2018-02-04-2019

    Monk-Martyrs Claudios, Diodore, Victor, Victorinus, and those with them

    Of these Martyrs, Sts Victor, Victorin, and Nicephoros were crushed to death by a large boulder St Claudios died when his arms and legs were severed; Sts Diodore and Serapion were burned alive; St Pappias was cast into the sea. According to some accounts, they contested in Corinth under Decios in 251 AD; according to others, in Diospolis in Egypt under Numerian in 284 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Your Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for You received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since they possessed Your strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    O blessed Martyrs, as Christ’s courageous soldiers you scattered the enemy principalities. Rejoicing in one spirit, you proclaimed together, “Christ is the crown of Athletes”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Theodora the Righteous of Thessaloniki
    • Agathopodes and Theodulos the Martyrs
    • George the new Martyr
6
  • Eutychios of Constantinople
    All day
    06-04-2018-03-04-2019

    Saint Eutychios, Patriarch of Constantinople

    Born in Theia Kome of Phrygia, St Eutychios was the son of illustrious parents, from whom he received a pious upbringing. He studied in Constantinople, and became a monk in a certain monastery of Amasia. In 552 AD, he was chosen Patriarch of New Rome, but was exiled in 565 AD as a result of the machinations of the Origenists. In 577 AD he was restored to his throne and reposed on April 6, 582 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Eutychios, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    O divine Eutychios, to all that praise you, you gave abundant gifts of holy joy and grace divine from that which God has bestowed on you, O rightful namesake of blessed prosperity.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • 120 Martyrs of Persia
    • Gregory of Sinai
    • Platonis the Nun of Nisibis
7
  • Savva
    Calliopus & Akylina the Martyrs
    Tikhon, Pat of Moscow
    George of Lesvos
    All day
    07-04-2018-04-04-2019

    Saint Savva Of Kalymnos

    Saint Savva was born in 1862 in Eastern Thrace and was baptised with the name of Vasilios. From a young age he had a calling for the holy monastic life and so he left for Mount Athos as a teen where he entered St. Anne’s Skete. Along with the usual monastic duties, he learned iconography and Byzantine music. After a few years, he traveled to Jerusalem for a pilgrimage to the holy sites, and there he entered the monastery of St. George Hozevitou. After a period of being a novice, he was tonsured a monk and given the name of Savva.

    In 1902, St. Savva was ordained a deacon and a year later he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. He spent almost 10 years in the desert by the Jordan where he led an austere life and occupied himself with prayer and iconography. His dwelling consisted of two cells which he reached by ascending up a rope ladder. This isolation was necessary for successful inner concentration and noetic prayer and he made great spiritual progress there.

    Due to health reasons and the political situation in Palestine which made life unsafe, St. Sava returned to Greece where he searched for a quiet place to continue his monastic life. He traveled throughout Greece for three years but could not find a suitable place. His prayers were answered when another saint, St. Nektarios of Aegina, had asked St. Savva to come to the Holy Trinity Convent in Aegina and serve as a priest for nuns. There he would also be able to teach them the sacred art of iconography and Byzantine music. St. Savva stayed at the convent for six years, from 1919 until 1925. This time at the Convent was one of the most significant events in the saint’s life due to his association with St. Nektarios who was at the height of his spiritual development. St. Savva had the opportunity to confess and receive counsel from St. Nektarios. The two had the highest esteem for each other and each considered the other a saint. Saint Savvas also conducted Saint Nektarios’ funeral service.

    As a matter of fact, St. Savva painted the first icon of St. Nektarios: One day St. Savva asked the abbess not to let anyone disturb him for forty days, during which he remained confined to his cell in which the nuns could hear constant conversation between the living Saint and the reposed Saint. After 40 days, he came out of his cell holding an icon of St. Nektarios. He handed it to the abbess and asked her to place it in the church for veneration. The abbess was surprised since St Nektarios had not been glorified (“canonized”) as a saint yet, and she was afraid that the convent would get into trouble. Although the saint was always meek and humble, he insisted, and told her in a commanding manner: “You must show obedience. Take the icon and place it on the icon stand, and do not scrutinize the will of God.” He knew the holiness and purity of St. Nektarios.

    After St. Nektarios reposed, more and more pilgrims would come to the convent due to the growing reputation of St. Nektarios as a miracle-worker. This disrupted the quiet life that St. Savva loved, and so he departed the convent in 1925, again for a quieter life. St. Savva spent the last years of his life as the priest and spiritual father at the Convent of All Saints on the island of Kalymnos. As a confessor, he combined leniency with severity. He was lenient on certain sins and severe to others. He remained an ardent spiritual striver until the end of life and practiced extreme forms of self-restraint with regard to food, drink, and sleep. St. Savva became a shining example of virtue to all who came into contact with him. Many smelled a heavenly fragrance in his presence and some even saw him rising above the ground as he stood at prayer.

    Towards the end of his life, St. Savva was in a state of intense prayer and holy contrition. For three days he did not receive anyone and he gave his last counsels: requested love and obedience in Christ. When he was on the point of death taking his last breath, suddenly he received strength, brought his blessed small hands together, and clapped them repeatedly saying his last Holy words: “The Lord! The Lord! The Lord!” He went to the Lord in 1948 on the eve of the feast of the Annunciation. One nun saw the soul of the saint ascending in a golden cloud towards heaven. After about 10 years when the saint’s grave was opened in accordance to the Greek Orthodox custom, a heavenly fragrance emanated from the grave which covered the whole island of Kalymnos, this phenomenon was witnessed by many, including the local bishop. This was a testament to the sanctity of the saint. Numerous miracles and healings have since been attributed to St. Savva the New of Kalymnos.

    Apolytikion

    Let us faithful praise Holy Savas, the glory and protector of Kalymnos, and peer of the Holy Ascetics of old; for he has been glorified resplendently as a servant of Christ, with the gift of working miracles, and he bestows upon all God’s grace and mercy.

    Kontakion

    Today the island of the Kalymnians celebrates your holy memory with a rejoicing heart; for it possesses as truly God-given wealth, your sacred body that has been glorified by God, O Father Savas, approaching which they receive health of both soul and body.

     

    Calliopus and Akylina the Martyrs

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

    Apolytikion of Martyrs Calliopius and Akylina in the Fourth Tone

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

    Kontakion of Martyrs Calliopius and Akylina in the Third Tone

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

     

    Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America

    Born in 1865 in the region of Pskov, our Father among the Saints Tikhon was tonsured a monk in 1891 and ordained to the priesthood in the same year. In 1897 he was consecrated Bishop of Lublin, and a year later appointed Bishop of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, with his see extending to all of North America from 1900 onwards. He did much to unite the Orthodox Christians of a great many ethnic backgrounds in North America, so that there was indeed one flock under one shepherd. In 1907 he was made Archbishop of Yaroslavl and Rostov, and in 1913, Archbishop of Lithuania.

    In 1917, when he was Metropolitan of Moscow, he was elected to be the first Patriarch of Russia in over 200 years, in times that could not have been more difficult. After the Revolution of 1917, the persecution of the Russian Church by the atheist government grew more bold and more fierce with every year. By nature a meek and peace-loving man, Tikhon sought to determine, while giving only to God that which is God’s, what could be given to Caesar to preserve peace and avoid the shedding of blood. At his departure on the feast of the Annunciation in 1925, Saint Tikhon made the sign of the Cross thrice, pronouncing the words, “Glory to Thee, O God!” Because of the many unspeakable sufferings he endures as Patriarch, he is honoured as a Confessor.

    Note: St. Tikhon’s repose was on the Feast of the Annunciation according to the Old Calendar (March 25), but on the New Calendar his repose falls on April 7.

    Apolytikion of Tikhon, Pat. of Moscow in the Plagal of the First Tone

    To the new world sent forth as a shepherd of the flock, thou wast called back to the old, to take up the Cross as a staff and from wolves and faithless shepherds to defend the Church; and after thee, the sheep of Christ knew no shepherd to be true who kept not thy good confession, wherein, O Tikhon, preserve us unharmed throughout our earthly pilgrimage.

    Kontakion of Tikhon, Pat. of Moscow in the Fourth Tone

    The most holy Patriarch, ven’rable Tikhon, the Confessor of the Faith, hath gained from Christ the crown of life; for he did labour with godly zeal and strove till death in defence of the Church of Christ.

    George, Bishop of Lesvos

    The righteous George struggled in behalf of the holy icons, and reposed in peace about the year 821.

    Apolytikion of George, Bp. of Mytylene in the Third Tone

    As a garden planted by the Spirit, thou didst yield as fruit the soul’s salvation, teaching men the ineffable mysteries of Him that fell as a grain of wheat in the earth and by His dying hath made all the world to live. Righteous Father George, entreat Christ our God in our behalf, that His great mercy may be granted unto us.

    Kontakion of George, Bp. of Mytylene in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As a true husbandman of grace and godly piety, who wast thyself the Holy Spirit’s sacred husbandry, thou didst cultivate the plants of exalted wisdom; and in worshipping the icons of Christ and His Saints, thou didst pull up by the roots the tares of heresy. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O God-bearing Father George.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Gerasimos the God-Bearer of Byzantium
8
  • Herodion, Agavos, Rouphos, Asynkritos, Phlegon & Hermes of the 70
    All day
    08-04-2018-05-04-2019

    Apostle Herodion, whom St Paul mentions in his Epistle to the Romans (16:11) and calls his “kinsman”, was ordained Presbyter and then Bishop of New Patras, where he was slain by Jews and pagans. St Agavos is mentioned in Acts 21:10-11, where he prophesied St Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem at the hands of the Jewish leaders. In Acts 11:27-28 it is mentioned also that this Saint foretold the great famine that would happen in the time of Claudius Caesar.

    Having preached the Gospel throughout various regions, he departed to the Lord. The Apostle Rouphos became Bishop of Thebes in Greece. The Apostles Asynkritos and Phlegon preached Christ in many places, suffered many afflictions at the hands of the pagans and Jews, and departed unto the Lord. The Apostle Hermes is mentioned with them in the Epistle to the Romans (16:13-14).

    Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

    O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Like stars, O holy Apostles, you illumine the way of the faithful with the light of the Holy Spirit. You repel the darkness of error as you gaze on God the Word.

    We also celebrate today:

    • Rufus the Obedient of the Kiev Caves
    • Celestine, the Pope of Rome
    • The HolyNew Martyr John the Ship-Builder who was martyred in Kos
  • Saturday of Lazarus
    All day
    08-04-2018-06-04-2019

    Through the miracle of modern medicine the life-sustaining machine can pump air into a lung, cause a heart to beat, or a kidney to function, but although it can sustain life, it cannot restore it. Restoration of life calls for a true miracle. Such a true miracle is recounted in the familiar story of how Jesus Christ recalled a man named Lazaros from a premature death by his divine grace. A spark of that divinity was transmitted to Lazaros in the process of his deliverance and instilled in him the grace with which he was to become a saint.

    Such great emphasis is placed on the return of Lazaros from the dead that his prior life is practically ignored. His true life began after he had died. exactly four days after, since that was the period of time in which he had lain dead before Christ appeared at his tomb in Bethany. A true friend of the departed Lazaros, as well as of his grieving sisters Mary and Martha, Jesus stood before the tomb and commanded Lazaros to come forth, whereupon Lazaros stepped from oblivion into immortality. Thereafter he became a servant of the Lord in the early development of the new faith.

    Following the death and resurrection of the Saviour, Lazaros undertook an apostolic mission which carried him to many corners of the empire and ultimately to the island of Cyprus, where he settled after his ordination as bishop of Kition. The apostles of Christ encouraged him to stay on this island, and there he spent the final thirty years of his life, implanting Christianity with the firmness that was to sustain Cyprus centuries later through conquest, piracy, and subjugation. The association of Lazaros with Cyprus has been obscured by events on that strife-torn land, but evidence of his presence there is still extant after nearly two thousand years.

    Christianity had taken a firm hold on the island when Lazaros died at the age of fifty-eight, this time not to be recalled by, but to join the Messiah who had summoned him many years before. He was buried in Cyprus and according to tradition there was inscribed after his name on his casket the words, “Tetraimeros, friend of Jesus Christ.” The word “tetraimeros” is translated the “fourth day,” the day on which he was brought back from the grave. Moreover, he was honoured in life as a friend of Jesus and was thus assured a place of honour in the kingdom of heaven. Lazaros was entombed in a small chapel dedicated to his memory. More than 800 years later, Emperor Leo of Constantinople, himself a devout Christian, replaced the chapel which was threatened with ruin with a beautiful cathedral and monastery, a fitting tribute to the personal friend of Jesus. After a time, Leo decided that the proper resting place for St. Lazaros would be in the capital city of Constantinople. That project was probably frowned upon by the islanders who pridefully cherished the shrine of Lazaros, but in due course, they came to accept the plan to place Lazaros in a more hallowed setting. The remains of St. Lazaros were ceremoniously brought to the cultural centre of Constantinople on 17 October 891.

    A magnificent cathedral was erected in honour of St. Lazaros and his holy relics lie enshrined their in a bronze casket. The official dedication of the cathedral took place on 4 May 892. About the same time the remains of St. Mary Magdalene were also brought to Constantinople by the devout Emperor Leo. Thus the Emperor sought to honour these two friends of Jesus. If a man can be measured by the kind of friends he has, then the measure of St. Lazaros cannot be drawn, because he had the friendship of Jesus Christ.

    The closeness with the Saviour, although it added considerable lustre to the life of St. Lazaros, extended by a miracle of the Lord, was the deep commitment to Jesus Christ and subsequent mission in his behalf which has made Lazaros a saint of the Greek Orthodox Church. When the life expectancy standards at the time of Christ are considered, it can be said that Lazaros at age fifty-eight departed this earth after having lived a full life.

    Apolytikion of Lazarus Saturday in the First Tone

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

    Kontakion of Lazarus Saturday in the Second Tone

    Christ, everyone’s joy, the truth, the light, life, the resurrection of the world, has by His goodness appeared to those on earth. He is the archetype of the resurrection, granting divine forgiveness to all.

9
  • Martyr Eupsychios
    All day
    09-04-2018-06-04-2019

    The Holy Martyr Eupsychios

    The Holy Martyr Eupsychios was born in the city of Caesarea in Cappadocia and received a Christian upbringing by his illustrious parents. During the reign of Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), Eupsychios entered into Christian wedlock. At Caesarea there was a pagan temple to the goddess Fortuna, whom Julian the Apostate revered. As Eupsychios was going to his wedding, the pagans were offering sacrifice to the goddess Fortuna. St Eupsychios was filled with zeal for the Lord, and he destroyed the temple. He knew that this would inevitably result in his punishment. He distributed all his possessions to the poor and prepared himself for martyrdom.

    The enraged emperor Julian loosed his wrath not only upon St Eupsychios, but against all the inhabitants of this city. Some of the citizens were executed, while the more respectable were sent into exile. Christian clergy were drafted into military service, and he looted the churches of anything valuable. The city was deprived of its title Caesarea (i.e. “Imperial”) and resumed its original name of Maza. He also imposed a severe tax on the inhabitants. The emperor threatened to annihilate the city altogether, if the people did not build a new pagan temple in place of the one destroyed.

    Julian tried to compel St Eupsychios to offer sacrifice to idols. For many days they tormented the Saint on a rack, and also with iron claws. But his faith was firm, and the judge sentenced the martyr to be beheaded with a sword. Then Julian embarked on a campaign against the Persians, marching through Cappadocia and approaching Caesarea. Danger threatened the city, since the emperor intended to raze it to its foundations. Then St Basil the Great (commemorated January 1), showing Julian the proper respect as sovereign authority, came out to meet him carrying with him three loaves of barley bread, which he ate. The emperor ordered his retainers to take the loaves, and to give St Basil a pinch of hay saying, “You have given us barley, cattle fodder. Now receive hay from us in return”.

    The Saint answered, “O Emperor, we bring you that which we ourselves eat, and you give us cattle feed. You mock us, since you, by your might, are not able to transform hay into bread, the essential food of mankind”. Julian angrily retorted, “I’ll shove this hay down your throat when I return here from Persia. I shall raze this city to its very foundations, and plow over this ground and turn it into a field. I know that it was on your advice that the people dared to destroy the statues and temple of Fortuna”. After this the emperor continued on his way, but soon perished in his campaign against the Persians. He was struck down in the year 363 AD by the holy Great Martyr Mercurios (commemorated November 24). After the emperor’s demise, the Christians of the city of Caesarea built a splendid church over the grave of St Eupsychios, and from his holy relics they received help and healing.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    As a living temple of Christ the Lord you destroyed the ungodly temple, and built a dwelling in Paradise, O Martyr Eupsychios, by your steadfast toils in martyrdom.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

10
  • Hieromartyr Gregory V of Constantinople
    Martyrs Terence & Companions
    All day
    10-04-2018-07-04-2019

    Saint Gregory V, the Holy Martyr and Patriarch of Constantinople

    Saint Gregory V, Archbishop of Constantinople, occupied the Patriarchal throne three times (1797-1799, 1806-1808, 1819-1821 AD). During this time Greece was under the harsh Turkish yoke, but many Greek patriots lived in the hope of winning national independence. They found a brave champion for freedom, the Holy Patriarch Gregory V.

    Saint Gregory’s connections with the Greek patriots came to light only when Alexander Ypsilantis and his army crossed over the River Prut against Sultan Makhmul. Toward the end of 1820 AD, the Russian Embassy advised him to flee from Constantinople because his life was in danger. The Saint replied, “Only a hireling deserts the flock in time of danger, but the good shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his flock”. He hoped that if he were killed, the other Christian nations would rise up to help Greece.

    As the Revolution began in Greece, the enraged Turks retaliated against the Christians. It is estimated that 30 000 men, women, and children were killed by the Moslems because of the insurrection. The Patriarch, as the leader of the Greek people, was a natural scapegoat. He was accused of being a traitor, and a secret leader of the Revolution.

    On the day of Holy Pascha, April 10, 1821 AD, they arrested St Gregory and hanged him before the doors of the Patriarchate. Because of his age and his asceticism, his body was not heavy enough to cause immediate death, so he suffered for a long time. No one dared to help him, and it was after nightfall before he finally gave up his soul to God. Those doors have remained shut since that day. After three days, the Saint”s body was sold to a Jewish mob, who dragged his body through the streets, then threw it into the sea.

    Mark Sklabos, the Greek captain of a Russian ship saw the body floating in the water. Under the cover of darkness, they brought the holy relics on board and sailed to Odessa. There, in the Greek church of the Most Holy Trinity, the body of the Saint was buried on June 17, 1821. The Tsar of Russia sent vestments and a mitre with cross, which had belonged to Patriarch Nikon (1652-1658 AD) from Moscow to clothe the Hieromartyr”s body.

    In 1871 AD, at the request of the Greek authorities, it was decided to transfer the relics of St Gregory from Odessa to Athens for the fiftieth anniversary of Greek independence. A special service in honour of the Saint was composed in Athens. St Gregory”s death contributed to the rebirth of Greece.

    The Holy Martyr Terence and his Companions beheaded at Carthage

    St Terence and his Companions beheaded at CarthageThe Holy Martyr Terence and his Companions suffered under the emperor Decius (249-251 AD). The emperor issued an edict commanding all subjects to offer sacrifice to the pagan idols. When the governor of Africa Fortunianus received this edict, he gathered the people into the city square, set out cruel instruments of torture and declared that everyone without exception had to offer the sacrifice to the idols. Many, afraid of torture, complied. However, St Terence and forty other Christians bravely affirmed their faith in the Saviour and ridiculed the idols. Fortunianus was amazed at their boldness and he asked how they as rational people, could confess as God, One Whom the Jews crucified as a malefactor.

    St Terence answered that their belief was in the Saviour, Who voluntarily endured death on the Cross and rose on the third day. Fortunianus saw that Terence inspired the others by his example, and so he ordered him to be isolated in prison with his three closest companions: Africanus, Maximus, and Pompeius. Fortunianus was determined to force the rest of the martyrs, including Xenon, Alexander, and Theodore, to renounce Christ. Neither threats nor terrible tortures could sway the holy martyrs. They burned them with red-hot iron, they poured vinegar on the wounds, they sprinkled on salt, and they raked them with iron claws. In spite of their sufferings, the Saints did not weaken in their confession of Christ, and the Lord gave them strength.

    Forunatian gave orders to lead the martyrs into the pagan temple, and once again he urged them to offer sacrifice to the idols. The valiant warriors of Christ cried out, “O Almighty God, Who once sent down fire on Sodom for its iniquity, destroy this impious temple of idolatry”. The idols fell down with a crash, and then the temple lay in ruins. The enraged governor gave orders to execute them, and the martyrs, glorifying God, bowed their necks beneath the executioner’s sword.

    After the execution of the thirty-six martyrs, Fortunianus summoned Terence, Maximus, Africanus and Pompeius before him. He showed them the martyrs’ bodies and again urged them to offer sacrifice to the idols. The martyrs refused. The governor put heavy chains on them, and gave orders to starve them to death. By night, an angel of the Lord removed the martyrs’ chains and fed them.

    In the morning, the guards found the Saints cheerful and strong. Then Fortunianus ordered sorcerers and conjurers to carry snakes and all kinds of poisonous creatures into the prison. The guards looked into the cell through an opening in the ceiling and saw the martyrs unharmed, praying, and the snakes crawling at their feet. When the sorcerers opened the door of the prison cell, the snakes bit them. The furious Fortunianus gave orders to behead the holy martyrs. Christians took up their holy bodies and buried them with reverence outside the city.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the First Tone)

    All the powers of Heaven were awestruck and amazed at the achievements and deeds of the holy Martyrs of Christ; for contending well in mortal bodies clothed with flesh, they overcame the fleshless foe by the power of the Cross and invisibly subdued him. And now they pray to the Lord, that He might bestow His mercy on our souls.

    Kontakion (First Tone)

    Let us celebrate the memory of Terence and his companions and draw near to receive healing. For with grace and power of the Spirit they heal the sicknesses of our souls.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Holy Father Theonas, Archbishop of Thessolonica
    • 150 and more Righteous Martyr Fathers of the Sacred Monastery of Pantocrator Daou Pentelis
11
  • Antipas of Pergamon
    All day
    11-04-2018-08-04-2019

    St Antipas was a contemporary of the holy Apostles, by whom he was made Bishop of Pergamom. He contested during the reign of Domitian, when he was cast, as it is said, into a bronze bull that had been heated exceedingly. The Apostle John writes of him in the Book of Revelation, and says (as it were from the mouth of Christ, Who says to the Angel [that is, the Bishop] of the Church of Pergamom), “I know your works, and where you live, even where Satan”s seat is; and you hold fast My Name, and have not denied My Faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful Martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells” (Rev 2:13). The faithful pray to this Saint for ailments of the teeth.

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    The celebrated hierarch and Pergamom”s first prelate, the fellow-contestant of Martyrs and most divine myrrh-streamer, come let the faithful honour now wise Antipas, who truly is a great and swift healer of severely afflicted teeth, and cry to him with our whole soul, “Glory to Christ that has glorified you. Glory to Him that has crowned you. Glory to Him that works healing for all through you”.

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    To the Hierarch and renowned Great Martyr of the Lord, to the most excellent protector of all Pergamom, to him that cast our common foe down in ruin, to Antipas let us sing praises as is due, for he heals them that suffer from afflicted teeth. Let us cry with love, “Rejoice, O thrice-blessed Father”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Pharmuthios the Anchorite
    • Guthlac the Hermit of Crowland
12
  • Basil the Confessor
    All day
    12-04-2018-09-04-2019

    St Basil the Confessor lived during the eighth century. He was elected as bishop by the inhabitants of Parios, who venerated the Saint as a true pastor of the flock of Christ. When the Iconoclast heresy broke out, St Basil resolutely came out on the side of icon veneration and refused to sign the orders for their abolition (the “Iniquitous Scroll” of the Council of 754 AD, which was convened under the emperor Constantine V Copronymos (741-775 AD). The Saint avoided any contact with the heretics and did not permit them into his diocese. For his zeal, he suffered much persecution, hunger and deprivation. St Basil remained faithful to the Orthodox Church until he finally reposed in peace.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things have revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Basil, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Sixth Tone)

    You royally served the King of all, O holy Hierarch Basil. You revealed divine truths and become a whole burnt offering. To those who honour you your cry, “The honour given to the icon ascends to Christ”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Anthousa the Righteous of Constantinople
    • Akakios of Kavsokalyvia
    • Sergius II, Patriarch of Constantinople
13
  • Martin of Rome
    George the New Martyr
    All day
    13-04-2018-10-04-2019

    Martin the Confessor, Pope of Rome

    St Martin was born in Tuscany. He had been the papal delegate at Constantinople; upon the death of Pope Theodore, St Martin was elected his successor. At this time the Emperor Constans II, also known as Constantine Pogonatus (reigned 641-668 AD), was seeking support of his confession of faith called the Typos, which espoused the Monothelite heresy, that is, that there is only one will and energy in the Incarnate Son of God. However, the newly consecrated Pope not only did not accept the Typos, but convened the Lateran Council of 649 (attended by 105 of his Bishops, and St Maximos the Confessor, who was then in Rome), which anathematized the Typos and the Monothelite heresy. Because of this, St Martin was seized by an imperial force in 653 AD and brought to Constantinople, where he was charged with sending money to the Saracens and conspiring with them, and blaspheming against the most holy Mother of God. Though innocent of these accusations, he was exiled to Cherson on the Black Sea, where, after many sufferings and privations, he received the crown of his courageous confession in the year 655 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Your gentleness, do not take Your mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

    Kontakion (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    O High Priest and teacher of mysteries, you poured forth streams of doctrine, you expounded the true theology that Christ has two natures and wills. Intercede for those who cry, “Rejoice, blessed Father Martin”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Theodosios the Martyr
    • Zoilos the Martyr
14
  • Aristarchus, Pudens, Trophimus the Apostles of the 70
    All day
    14-04-2018-11-04-2019

    Saint Aristarchus is mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians (4:10), and also in the Epistle to Philemon (v. 24). By his ascetical manner of life, this Saint proved to be another Saint John the Baptist. He became Bishop of Apamea in Syria, and brought many to the Faith of Christ. Saints Pudens and Trophimus are mentioned in II Timothy 4:20-21. Also, Acts 21:29 mentions that Trophimus was from Ephesus. According to sources that Saint Dorotheus of Tyre (celebrated on June 5) found written in Latin in Rome, these Apostles were beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero (54-68).

    Apolytikion of Aristarchus, Pudens, & Trophimus of the 70 in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Thomais the Martyr of Alexandria
    • Ardalion the Actor and Martyr
    • Demetrios the New-Martyr of Arcadia
15
  • Martyr Crescens
    All day
    15-04-2018-12-04-2019

    Crescens the Martyr

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

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Inspired Crescens, you ended your life as a martyr. You rejoiced in your torments and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Pray to the Lord for us who celebrate thy memory.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Leonidas, Bishop of Athens
    • Michael the New Martyr of Smyrna
    • The 9 Monk-martyrs of Corinth
    • Padarn, Bishop and Founder of Llandabarn Fawr
16
  • Martyrs Agape, Chionia & Irene
    All day
    16-04-2018-13-04-2019

    When the Emperor Diocletian was at Aquileia, he learned that these Saints were Christians, and had them brought before him. Because they would not deny Christ, he had them imprisoned, and when he went into Macedonia, he committed them to Dulcitius the Prefect, who, however, lost his understanding and became incapable of doing them any harm. Diocletian then gave Count Sisinius charge over them. He had Saints Agape and Chionia burned; he ordered that Saint Irene be put in a brothel, but by the providence of God this was not accomplished, and she was shot with an arrow. These holy sisters suffered martyrdom in Thessalonica in the year 295.

    Apolytikion of Virgin Martyrs Agape, Chionia and Irene in the Plagal of the First Tone

    Since Thou hast given us the miracles of Thy holy Martyrs as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strengthen the faith of Orthodox Christians, since Thou alone art good and the Friend of man.

    Kontakion of Virgin Martyrs Agape, Chionia and Irene in the Third Tone

    O Most fair Chionia, divine Irene, and Agape, ye are mirrors glittering with spotless virginal brightness; and ye shine like unto lightning upon the whole Church with the splendour of your contest as valiant Martyrs; and ye drive away the darkness of pain and sickness as brilliant gems of Christ God.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Leonidas and Charissa, Nike, Galene, Kallida, Nounenchia, Vasilissa, and Theodora the Martyrs
17
  • Hieromartyr Symeon
    All day
    17-04-2018-15-04-2019

    Symeon the Holy Martyr and Bishop of Persia

    This Martyr was Bishop of the royal cities Seleucia and Ctesiphon in Persia. As the number of Christians increased in Persia, building churches and appointing clergy, the Magi, guardians of the Persian religion, and the Jews, who also envied them, accused Symeon to Sapor II, King of Persia, saying that Symeon was a friend of the Roman Emperor and his spy. Then began Sapor’s persecution of the Christians of Persia, about the year 343. The Magi together with the Jews destroyed the churches. Saint Symeon was brought before Sapor, and, refusing to worship the sun, was imprisoned. On Holy and Great Friday of that year, Saint Symeon was brought out of prison with a hundred others, bishops, priests, and deacons. As each was taken to be slain, Saint Symeon exhorted him to be of good courage; he was slain last of all. It is said that 1,150 Martyrs were slain; an innumerable multitude of Christians were slain throughout Persia during this persecution, among them Saints Acepsimas, Joseph, and Aethalas (see Nov. 3).

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Symeon in the Plagal of the First Tone

    All the powers of Heaven were awestruck and amazed at the achievements and deeds of the holy Martyrs of Christ; for contending well in mortal bodies clothed with flesh, they overcame the fleshless foe by the power of the Cross and invisibly subdued him. And now they pray to the Lord, that He might bestow His mercy on our souls.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Makarios, Bishop of Corinth
    • Agapetos of Rome
    • Hadrian the New-Martyr
    • Donnan, Abbot of Eigg, and the Monk-Martyrs with him
18
  • John the Righteous
    All day
    18-04-2018-15-04-2019

    Holy Father John the Righteous, disciple of St. Gregory of Decapolis

    This Saint took up the monastic life from his youth and became a disciple of Saint Gregory of Decapolis (see Nov. 20). After his elder, Saint Gregory, reposed (in the first half of the ninth century), he came to Jerusalem and finally reposed in peace in the Monastery of Saint Chariton.

    Apolytikion of John the Righteous in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Euthemios the Enlightener of Karelia
    • Cosmas, Bishop of Calcydon
    • John the New Martyr of Epiros
    • Athanasia the Wonderworker of Aegina
19
  • Martyr Paphnutius
    All day
    19-04-2018-16-04-2019

    The Holy Hieromartyr Paphnutius

    All that is known concerning this Saint is that he was a bishop and that he suffered many torments by fire, the sword, and wild beasts.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Paphnutius in the Fourth Tone

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

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • George the Confessor
    • Tryphon, Patriarch of Constantinople
    • Martyrs Emmanuel, Theodore, George, Michael and the other George of Samothrace
    • Aelphege the Hieromartyr of Canterbury
20
  • Theodore the Trichinas
    Zacchaeus the Apostle of Caesaria
    All day
    20-04-2018-17-04-2019

    Saint Theodore who was from Constantinople, was born to parents who were pious and of means. He took up the monastic life in a monastery in the imperial city, and wore nought but a rough hair shirt for all his life, from whence also he received his name. He reposed in the late fourth, or early fifth century. Saint Joseph the Hymnographer composed a canon in his honour.

    Apolytikion of Theodore Trichinas in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

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

    Kontakion of Theodore Trichinas in the Third Tone

    As thy fiery chariot, thou didst ascend on the virtues, O God-bearer, mounting up unto the dwellings of Heaven; and thou wast an Angel living on earth among men, and a man dancing for joy with the holy Angels. Hence, O Theodore, thou hast proved a godly vessel of awesome wonders and signs.

     

    Zacchaeus the Apostle of Caesaria

    The conversion of the publican Zacchaeus, and our Saviour’s compassion for him, is narrated in the Holy Gospel (Luke 19:1-10). Afterwards he laboured as a companion of the Holy Apostles, and became first Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine.

    Apolytikion of Apostle Zachaias in the Third Tone

    Having justly hated unjust riches, thou didst lay up treasures of salvation; for, receiving the Saviour within thy house, thou, O Zacchaeus, wast truly made marvelous with all the fruits of repentance thou broughtest forth: deeds of mercy, the correction of wrongs, and godly life, because of which we honour thee and call thee blest.

    Kontakion of Apostle Zachaias in the Fourth Tone

    When He that bowed the Heavens came to save sinners, Zacchaeus, great in zeal, but little of stature, beheld the Tree of Life from in the sycamore; lifted above the earth, he saw Jesus, Who called him: coming down in lowliness, he repenting, received Him; and so salvation came into his house, and he was shown forth a true son of Abraham.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Gregory & Anastasios, Patriarchs of Antioch
    • Athanasios, Founder of the Monastery of Meteora
21
  • Hieromartyr Januarius
    Alexandra the Martyr
    All day
    21-04-2018-18-04-2019

    The Holy Hieromartyr Januarius and Those With Him

    These Martyrs contested for piety’s sake in Campania of Italy, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), when Timothy was Proconsul. Saint Januarius was the Bishop of Benevento in Campania; he was arrested and taken to Nola, where he was cast into a burning furnace, from which he came forth unharmed; at Puteoli, together with Proculus, Sosius, and Faustus the deacons, Desiderius, reader of the Church of Benevento, and Eurychius and Acutius, nobles from Puteoli, he was cast to wild beasts, which as they came near the Saints, fell affectionately at their feet. Finally they were all beheaded, about the year 305.

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Januarius in the Fourth Tone

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

     

    Alexandra the Martyr

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

    Apolytikion of Alexandra the Martyr in the Fourth Tone

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Our Holy Father Maximian, Patriarch of Constantinople
    • Theodore the Holy Martyr & his mother Philippa of Perge
    • Anastasios the Monk of Sinai
    • Beuno, Abbot of Clynnog
22
  • Theodore of Sykeon
    All day
    22-04-2018-19-04-2019

    Saint Theodore was born out of wedlock in Sykeon, a village of Galatia in Asia Minor. From his childhood, he was under the protection and guidance of the holy Great Martyr George, who often appeared to him, and was as it were his trainer in the hard ascetical discipline which he took upon himself all his life. After a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he became a monk in his native Galatia. About 584 he was ordained Bishop of Anastasiopolis in Galatia, where he shepherded his flock for ten years. After this, he asked to be allowed to be relieved of the duties of governing the diocese. His request was granted but he was commanded to retain his rank as bishop. Saint Theodore was a great worker of miracles, and also received from God the power to cast out even the most obstinate demons, who called him “Iron-eater” because of his stern way of life. Having passed throughout many regions, worked numerous miracles, and strengthened the faithful in piety, he departed this life in 613.

    Apolytikion of Theodore of Sykeon in the Fourth Tone

    Since thou hadst been known from thy swaddling bands to be sanctified, and hadst been shown to be filled with graces, thou didst illuminate the world with miracles, and dist drive off the swarms of demons, O sacred minister Theodore; wherefore do thou beseech the Lord in our behalf.

    Kontakion of Theodore of Sykeon in the Third Tone

    As thy fiery chariot, thou didst ascend on the virtues, O God-bearer, mounting up unto the dwellings of Heaven; and thou wast an Angel living on earth among men, and a man dancing for joy with the holy Angels. Hence, O Theodore, thou hast proved a godly vessel of awesome wonders and signs.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Nathaniel, Luke, & Clemente the Apostles
    • Nearchos the Martyr
    • Gregory Gravanos of Nisyros
23
  • Great Martyr George
    All day
    23-04-2018-20-04-2019

    George the Great Martyr and Triumphant

    Saint George, this truly great and glorious Martyr of Christ, was born of a father from Cappadocia and a mother from Palestine. Being a military tribune, or chiliarch (that is, a commander of a thousand troops), he was illustrious in battle and highly honoured for his courage. When he learned that the Emperor Diocletian was preparing a persecution of the Christians, Saint George presented himself publicly before the Emperor and denounced him. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was put to unheard-of tortures, which he endured with great bravery, overcoming them by his faith and love towards Christ. By the wondrous signs that took place in his contest, he guided many to the knowledge of the truth, including Queen Alexandra, wife of Diocletian, and was finally beheaded in 296 in Nicomedia.

    His sacred remains were taken by his servant from Nicomedia to Palestine, to a town called Lydda, the homeland of his mother, and then were finally transferred to the church which was raised up in his name. (The translation of the Saint’s holy relics to the church in Lydda is commemorated on November 3; Saint Alexandra the Queen, on April 21.)

    If April 23 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St George is translated to Bright Monday.

    Apolytikion of Great Martyr George in the Fourth Tone

    Liberator of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings, O trophy-bearer, Great Martyr George, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Great Martyr George in the Fourth Tone

    Cultivated by God, you became manifest as an honorable tiller gathering for yourself the sheaves of virtue. For you sowed with tears but reaped with gladness; in the contest you competed with your blood and came away with Christ. By your intercessions, O Holy One, all are granted forgiveness of sins.

24
  • Elizabeth the Wonderworker
    All day
    24-04-2018-22-04-2019

    Elizabeth the Wonderworker

    Saint Elizabeth was born in Heraclea of Thrace. She lived in virginity and exhausted herself with ascetical labours and every kind of hardship from the time of her youth, and was deemed worthy of the grace of wonderworking from God; she reposed in peace in Constantinople in the middle of the fifth century.

    Apolytikion of Elizabeth the Wonderworker in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

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

    Kontakion of Elizabeth the Wonderworker in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As a fair house of virtues and a temple of virginity, thou makest miracles pour forth abundantly as an unfailing fount of grace; and thou purgest all sickness from the body and soul, O Mother Elizabeth, for them that praise the Maker while crying out: Alleluia.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Savvas the General of Rome
    Nicholas the New-Martyr of Magnesia
    Mellitus, Archbishop of Canterbury

25
  • Apostle & Evangelist Mark
    All day
    25-04-2018-22-04-2019

    Mark the Apostle and Evangelist

    Mark was an idolater from Cyrene of Pentapolis, which is near Libya. Having come to the Faith of Christ through the Apostle Peter, he followed him to Rome. While there, at the prompting of Peter himself and at the request of the Christians living there, he wrote his Gospel in Greek, and it is second in order after Matthew’s. Afterwards, travelling to Egypt, he preached the Gospel there and was the first to establish the Church in Alexandria. The idolaters, unable to bear his preaching, seized him, bound him with ropes, and dragged him through the streets until he, cut to pieces on rocks, gave up his soul. It is said that he completed his life in martyrdom about the year 68. He is depicted in holy icons with a lion next to him, one of the living creatures mentioned by Ezekiel (1:10), and a symbol of Christ’s royal office, as Saint Irenaeus of Lyons writes.

    If April 25 falls on or before Great and Holy Pascha, the Feast of St. Mark is translated to Bright Tuesday.

    Apolytikion of Apostle and Evangelist Mark in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion of Apostle and Evangelist Mark in the Second Tone

    When thou hadst received the Spirit’s grace from Heaven’s heights, thou rentest apart the webs of the philosophers; and on catching all of the nations in thy net, O all-lauded Mark, thou didst offer them to thy Lord, by preaching the Gospel of divine renown.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    New Martyr Emmanuel and Companions

26
  • Hieromartyr Basil
    All day
    26-04-2018-23-04-2019

    Basil the Holy Martyr Bishop of Amasea

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

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Basil of Amaseia in the Fourth Tone

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Glaphyra the Righteous
    Justa the Nun

27
  • Martyr Symeon
    Eulogios the Innkeeper of Constantinople
    All day
    27-04-2018-24-04-2019

    The Holy Hieromartyr Symeon, Kinsman of the Lord

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

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    We sacredly acclaim you as Jesus Christ’s kinsman, and as His steadfast Martyr, O all-lauded Hierarch. For bravely you have destroyed all deception and kept the faith. Hence, O Symeon, we keep your holy remembrance on this festive day; and by your prayers, we are granted the pardon of grievous sins.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Since the Church has Symeon, the God-proclaimer, as a great and shining star, She is now guided by his light as She cries out in joy today: Rejoice, O venerable summit of martyred Saints.

28
  • 9 Martyrs of Cyzicus
    All day
    28-04-2018-25-04-2019

    The Holy Nine Martyrs of Cyzicus

    These holy Martyrs, who were from various regions, suffered martyrdom together when they were beheaded in Cyzicus, a city in Asia Minor on the southern coast of the Sea of Marmara.

    Apolytikion of 9 Martyrs of Cyzicus in the Fourth Tone

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    John, the Martyr of Romania
    Theocharus and Apostolos
    Memnon the Wonderworker

29
  • Jason & Sosipater
    All day
    29-04-2018-26-04-2019

    Saints Jason and Sosipater, the Apostles of the 70 and their Companions

    Both of Saints Jason and Sosipater were disciples of the Apostle Paul, who mentions them in his Epistle to the Romans, saying, “Jason and Sosipater my kinsmen greet you” (Rom 16:21). St Jason was from Tarsus of Cilicia, and became Bishop there. St Sosipater was from Patras of Achaia, and became Bishop of Iconium. When they had shepherded their churches well for a long time, they departed west that they might profit others also, and arrived finally at the island of Corfu, where they were the first to preach the Gospel to its people. They suffered many things for Christ’s Name, drew many souls to salvation, and finished the course of their life there. In the ancient city of Corfu, a church from the first centuries, built in their honour and bearing inscriptions that mention the Saints by name, verifies the historical account concerning them.

    Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

    O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Second Tone)

    Being illuminated with the teachings of Paul, you became luminaries to the whole world, O thrice-blessed ones; for you ever shine upon the world with miracles, O Jason, fountain of healings, and Sosipater, glory of the Martyrs of Christ. O God-bearing Apostles, protectors of them that be in need, entreat God that our souls be saved.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Holy Martyr Cercyra
    Our Holy Father John of Kaloktenos, Metropolitan of Thebes
    Basil, Bishop of Montenegro
    Nektarios the New Martyr of Optina

30
  • Apostle James
    All day
    30-04-2018-28-04-2019

    James the Apostle and brother of St. John the Theologian

    James was one of the Twelve, like his brother John (celebrated on Sept. 26), whom the Lord called “Sons of Thunder,” because they became great preachers and because of their profound theology. It was the Saint’s boldness in preaching the Gospel that Herod Agrippa, the son of Aristobulus and grandson of Herod the Great, could not endure, and so he took him into custody during the days of the Passover, and slew him with the sword (Acts 12: 1-2); and thus he drank the cup of which the Saviour had spoken to him prophetically (Matt. 20:23). As for Herod, the following year he went down to Caesarea, and, as the Acts of the Apostles records: “Upon a set day, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration” to the elders of Tyre and Sidon; and the flatterers that surrounded him “gave a shout, saying, ‘it is the voice of a god, and not of a man.’ And immediately an Angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory; and like his grandfather (see Dec. 29) “he was eaten of worms and gave up the spirit” (Acts 12:21-23)

    Apolytikion of Apostle James in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostle James, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion of Apostle James in the Second Tone

    The voice of thy God thou heardest when it called to thee, O glorious James; hence, casting off thy father’s love, thou together with John thy brother didst run straightway to Christ the Lord, and with him was granted to see the Lord’s most divine Transfiguration.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Argyra the New Martyr
    Clement the Hymnographer
    Erconwald, Bishop of London

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