Commemorated on January 19th
Macarios the Great of Egypt, Macarios of Alexandria Arsenios of Corfu, Mark Eugenicus, Metropolitan of Ephesus
St Macarios the Great was from the Thebaid of Egypt, a disciple, as some say, of St Anthony the Great. He was born about 331 and struggled in asceticism in the desert at Scete. Although young, he was called "the child elder" because of his great wisdom and austere manner of life.
He was ordained Presbyter and reposed in 391 AD, at the age of sixty. There are fifty homilies ascribed to him. It is said of St Macarios that he became as a God upon earth, for even as God protects the whole world, so did he cover the faults he saw as if he did not see them.
Once he came back to his cell to find a thief taking his things and loading them on a camel. Macarios'' non-possessiveness was so great that he helped the thief load the camel. When the camel refused to rise, Macarios returned to his cell and brought a small hoe, said that the camel wanted the hoe also, loaded it on, and kicked the camel telling it to get up. The camel obeyed Macarios'' command, but soon lay down again, and would not move until everything had been returned to Macarios. His contemporary, St Macarios of Alexandria, was so called because he came from Alexandria and was therefore of that Greek-speaking colony; while St Macarios the Great is also called "of Egypt", that is, he belonged to the ancient race native to Egypt, the Copts. Whenever St Macarios of Alexandria heard of a virtue practiced by any man, he strove to practice it even more fully himself. When he was already old, he visited the community of St Pachomios in Tabennisi and, without revealing who he was, asked admittance. St Pachomous, on account of Macarios'' age, was reluctant to receive him, but afterwards yielded to his entreaties. Shortly thereafter Great Fast began, and Macarios followed such a severe rule of fasting and prayer that many in the brotherhood complained to Pachomios, asking if he had brought this old man to put them to shame. Learning Macarios'' identity in a revelation, St Pachomios thanked him for breaking the pride of his monks, and sent him away in peace.
St Arsenios, who had Palestine as his homeland, was born in 876 AD, the son of devout parents. From childhood, he was consecrated to God and assumed the monastic habit. He studied in Seleucia, where he also received the dignity of the priesthood.
After he had moved from thence to Constantinople, he was appointed Metropolitan of Corfu. He adorned the throne there by his virtue and instruction. When advanced in age, he returned to Constantinople and appeased the unjust rage of Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos against the leaders of Corfu. Finally, during his journey back to his see, he fell ill at Corinth and reposed in the Lord about the middle of the tenth century.
The great teacher and invincible defender of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, St Mark, was the offspring and scion of the imperial city, Constantinople. Reared by most pious parents, and instructed in secular and spiritual wisdom, he became pre-eminent in both. St Mark lived as an ascetic on the Princes'' Islands and later in the monastery of St George Magana in Constantinople. He passed through all the degrees of the priesthood, and was finally advanced to the dignity of Archbishop and the lofty throne of the Metropoly of Ephesus. At the insistence of Emperor John Paleologos, the Saint was sent to the council of the Latin''s in Florence, to unite the churches that had been divided for so many years. He astounded the papal teachers with the divine wisdom of his words, and was the only one who did not sign the blasphemous decree of that false council. Because of this, the holy Church of Christ has ever honoured this great man as a benefactor, teacher, sole defender, and invincible champion of the Apostolic Confession. He reposed in 1443 AD.
Dismissal Hymn of St Macarios of Egypt
You proved to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a Wonderworker, O Macarios, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer obtained heavenly gifts, and you healed the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to you with faith. Glory to Him that has given you strength, Glory to Him that has crowned you, and Glory to Him that works healings for all through you.
Dismissal Hymn of St Arsenios
The truth of things hath 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 Arsenios, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Dismissal Hymn of St Mark
All-Laudable and most divine Mark, in you the Church found a great zealot by your confession of the holy and sacred Faith; for you championed the doctrines that the Fathers taught and you cast down darkness'' boastful pride. Wherefore pray to Christ God for them that honour you, that we be granted the forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion of St Macarios of Egypt
On this day You have appeared
The Lord God established yo, O great ascetic, in the house of abstinence, like an unerring star that lit the farthest regions with guiding light, Father of Fathers, O righteous Macarios.
Kontakion of St Arsenios
On this day You have appeared
You was manifested as a righteous hierarch, who served the Most High God like a true Angel on the earth; and now, O Father Arsenios, beseech Him with fervour to save our souls.
Kontakion of St Mark
On this day the Virgin
Clad, O godly-minded one, with an invincible armour, you dash to pieces the pride of the Western rebellion; you was brought forth as the champion of Orthodoxy, as the Comforter''s own instrument and pure vessel. For this cause, to you, we cry out, "Rejoice, O Mark, you boast of the Orthodox flock".