Hesychius the Martyr
Holy Martyr Hesychios was the first and the leader in the royal palace and the Senate during the reign of king Maximian in 302 A.D. When Maximian ordered that all Christians who were royal soldiers ought to be deprived of their belt (which was a sign of their royal merit) and live as civilians and without honour, many Christians preferred to live without any outward honour due to this illegal order than to be honoured and lose their soul. Saint Hesychios was numbered with these Christians, and when the emperor heard this, he ordered that the Saint ought to be stripped of the expensive clothes, which he used to wear, and be dressed with a shabby mantle without sleeves woven from hair and to be as disgraced and disdained as to consort with women.
When this had been carried out, the king asked him, “Aren’t you ashamed, Hesychios, that you lost the honour and office of magistrianus and that you have been debased to this kind of life? Or maybe you don’t know that the Christians, whose way of life you preferred, have no power to restore you to your previous great honour and office?” The saint replied, “Your honour, O emperor, is temporary but the honour and glory which Christ gives is eternal and without end”. Because of these words the emperor got angry and ordered his men to tie a great millstone around the Saint’s neck and throw him in the middle of river Orontus, which lies in Coele Syria and which is commonly called Oronge. Thus, the blessed man received the crown of martyrdom from the Lord.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
Be quick to anticipate
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)
You Who was raised up
When you followed in the steps of the Martyrs, you ascended to the height of divine love, which made you godlike, O most wise Hesychios; when you forsaked the court of an emperor that was earthly, you was honoured in the courts of the King of the Angels; and cast into the river, you found the living water of true and eternal life.
Our Holy Father Nicholas Planas
Saint Nicholas Planas was born in 1851 A.D. on the island of Naxos in Greece. He was married as a teenager and soon after ordained to the diaconate and then the priesthood. His wife reposed soon after and so he assumed the burden of being a widowed father and a parish priest. He was known for his zeal in serving the liturgy, especially his habit of serving the Divine Liturgy every day for 50 years. Many altar boys would see him radiating light or raised off the ground while serving the liturgy. Being so revered by his parishioners, he became known as “Papa,” which is an affectionate term for a parish priest. Papa Nicholas reposed in 1932 and was formally canonized as a saint in 1992.
Also Celebrated Today:
- Andronikos & Athanasia the Martyrs
- Theodotos the Holy Martyr, Bishop of Cyrenia
- Joachim of Vatopedi who was given the name Papoulakis
- Euthalia the Virgin-Martyr of Sicily
- Chad, Bishop of Lichfield