Our Righteous Father Lazarus the Wonderworker
Our righteous Father Lazarus the Wonderworker of Mount Galesius near Ephesus was born in Lydia, in the city of Magnesium. An educated young man who loved God, Lazarus became a monk at the monastery of St Sava, the founder of great ascetic piety in Palestine. The monk spent ten years within the walls of the monastery, winning the love and respect of the brethren for his intense monastic struggles.
Ordained Presbyter by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, St Lazarus returned to his native country and settled near Ephesus, on desolate Mount Galesius. Here he saw a wondrous vision: a fiery pillar, rising up to the heavens, was encircled by angels singing, “Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered”. On the place where the saint beheld this vision, he built a church in honour of the Resurrection of Christ and took upon himself the feat of pillar-dwelling. Monks soon began to flock to the great ascetic, thirsting for wise spiritual nourishment by the divinely inspired word and blessed example of the saint, and a monastery was established there. Having received a revelation about his impeding end, the monk told the brethren, but through the tearful prayers of all, the Lord prolonged the earthly life of St Lazarus for another 15 years.
St Lazarus died at 72 years of age, in 1053 AD. The brethren buried the body of the Saint at the pillar upon which he had pursued asceticism. He was glorified by many miracles after his death.
Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
In your vigilant prayers, you drenched your pillar with streams of tears; by thy sightings from the depths, you beared fruit a hundredfold in labours; and you became a shepherd, granting forgiveness to them that came to you, O our righteous Father Lazarus. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion (Fourth Tone)
With great joy, the Church of Christ glorifies you on this day with psalmic hymns as a great light to us all; hence never cease to intercede with Christ to grant the forgiveness of sins to all.
The 33 Martyrs of Melitene
These holy Martyrs confessed during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian in the year 290. Of them, Saint Hieron was from Tyana in Cappadocia, a husbandman, of great bodily strength and high nobility of soul. As he was at work digging in his field, certain soldiers came to impress him into military service. He, however, not wishing to keep company with the impious, refused, and with his wooden tool alone drove away the armed soldiers, who fled in fear because of his strength. Later, however, he went of his own free will, and confessed Christ before the governor. His right hand was cut off, and he was imprisoned with thirty-two others, whom he strengthened in the Faith of Christ. Together they were all beheaded outside the city of Melitene in Armenia.
Apolytikion of 33 Martyrs of Militene 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 33 Martyrs of Militene in the Fourth Tone
The choir of Martyrs, shining far and light-bearing, hath dawned today and with the bright shafts of wonders hath made the Church resplendent with noetic light; wherefore, as we celebrate their most solemn remembrance, O our Saviour, we entreat that through their intercessions Thou rescue us from dangers of all kinds, as the most merciful God and the Friend of man.
We also celebrate today:
- Alexander, Martyr of Thessaloniki
- Martyr Athenodoros