FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Euphemia the Great Martyr
Sebastiana, Disciple of St. Paul the Apostle
Dorotheos the Hermit of Egypt
Melitina the Martyr
Afterfeast of the Holy Cross
Τῇ ΙΣΤ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῆς Ἁγίας Μεγαλομάρτυρος καὶ πανευφήμου Εὐφημίας.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῆς Ἁγίας Μάρτυρος Μελιτηνῆς.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:1-10
BRETHREN, working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in any one's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους β' 6:1-10
Ἀδελφοί, συνεργοῦντες δὲ καὶ παρακαλοῦμεν μὴ εἰς κενὸν τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ δέξασθαι ὑμᾶς - λέγει γάρ, Καιρῷ δεκτῷ ἐπήκουσά σου, καὶ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ σωτηρίας ἐβοήθησά σοι· ἰδού, νῦν καιρὸς εὐπρόσδεκτος, ἰδού, νῦν ἡμέρα σωτηρίας - μηδεμίαν ἐν μηδενὶ διδόντες προσκοπήν, ἵνα μὴ μωμηθῇ ἡ διακονία· ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ συνιστῶντες ἑαυτοὺς ὡς θεοῦ διάκονοι, ἐν ὑπομονῇ πολλῇ, ἐν θλίψεσιν, ἐν ἀνάγκαις, ἐν στενοχωρίαις, ἐν πληγαῖς, ἐν φυλακαῖς, ἐν ἀκαταστασίαις, ἐν κόποις, ἐν ἀγρυπνίαις, ἐν νηστείαις, ἐν ἁγνότητι, ἐν γνώσει, ἐν μακροθυμίᾳ, ἐν χρηστότητι, ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἀνυποκρίτῳ, ἐν λόγῳ ἀληθείας, ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ, διὰ τῶν ὅπλων τῆς δικαιοσύνης τῶν δεξιῶν καὶ ἀριστερῶν, διὰ δόξης καὶ ἀτιμίας, διὰ δυσφημίας καὶ εὐφημίας· ὡς πλάνοι καὶ ἀληθεῖς· ὡς ἀγνοούμενοι, καὶ ἐπιγινωσκόμενοι· ὡς ἀποθνῄσκοντες, καὶ ἰδού, ζῶμεν· ὡς παιδευόμενοι, καὶ μὴ θανατούμενοι· ὡς λυπούμενοι, ἀεὶ δὲ χαίροντες· ὡς πτωχοί, πολλοὺς δὲ πλουτίζοντες· ὡς μηδὲν ἔχοντες, καὶ πάντα κατέχοντες.
The Reading is from Luke 7:36-50
At that time, one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner." And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?" "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 7.36-50
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ᾿Ηρώτα δέ τις αὐτὸν τῶν Φαρισαίων ἵνα φάγῃ μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ· καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ Φαρισαίου ἀνεκλίθη.καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ ἐν τῇ πόλει ἥτις ἦν ἁμαρτωλός, καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα ὅτι ἀνάκειται ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Φαρισαίου, κομίσασα ἀλάβαστρον μύρουκαὶ στᾶσα ὀπίσω παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ κλαίουσα, ἤρξατο βρέχειν τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ τοῖς δάκρυσι καὶ ταῖς θριξὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς ἐξέμασσε, καὶ κατεφίλει τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἤλειφε τῷ μύρῳ.ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Φαρισαῖος ὁ καλέσας αὐτὸν εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων· οὗτος εἰ ἦν προφήτης, ἐγίνωσκεν ἂν τίς καὶ ποταπὴ ἡ γυνὴ ἥτις ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἁμαρτωλός ἐστι.καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἶπε πρὸς αὐτόν· Σίμων, ἔχω σοί τι εἰπεῖν. ὁ δέ φησι· διδάσκαλε, εἰπέ.δύο χρεωφειλέται ἦσαν δανειστῇ τινι· ὁ εἷς ὤφειλε δηνάρια πεντακόσια, ὁ δὲ ἕτερος πεντήκοντα.μὴ ἐχόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἀποδοῦναι, ἀμφοτέροις ἐχαρίσατο· τίς οὖν αὐτῶν, εἰπέ, πλεῖον αὐτὸν ἀγαπήσει;ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Σίμων εἶπεν· ὑπολαμβάνω ὅτι ᾧ τὸ πλεῖον ἐχαρίσατο. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ὀρθῶς ἔκρινας.καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα τῷ Σίμωνι ἔφη· βλέπεις ταύτην τὴν γυναῖκα; εἰσῆλθόν σου εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, ὕδωρ ἐπὶ τοὺς πόδας μου οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ τοῖς δάκρυσιν ἔβρεξέ μου τοὺς πόδας καὶ ταῖς θριξὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς ἐξέμαξε.φίλημά μοι οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ ἀφ᾿ ἧς εἰσῆλθεν οὐ διέλιπε καταφιλοῦσά μου τοὺς πόδας.ἐλαίῳ τὴν κεφαλήν μου οὐκ ἤλειψας· αὕτη δὲ μύρῳ ἤλειψέ μου τοὺς πόδας.οὗ χάριν λέγω σοι, ἀφέωνται αἱ ἁμαρτίαι αὐτῆς αἱ πολλαί, ὅτι ἠγάπησε πολύ· ᾧ δὲ ὀλίγον ἀφίεται, ὀλίγον ἀγαπᾷ.εἶπε δὲ αὐτῇ· ἀφέωνταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι.καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς· τίς οὗτός ἐστιν ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν;εἶπε δὲ πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα· ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέ σε· πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Δύο γυναικών Μαρτύρων την μνήμη γιορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία, της Ευφημίας και της Μελιτινής. Και στων δύο γυναικών την άθληση θαυμάζομε το θάρρος και την ευψυχία· πώς γυναίκες με αδύνατο σώμα άντεξαν σε τόσα βασανιστήρια και δεν αρνήθηκαν την πίστη τους. Δεν ήταν βέβαια δύναμη ανθρώπινη μέσα τους, αλλά η δύναμη του Θεού που τις κρατούσεν αλύγιστες. Το έλεγε κάποτε ο Ιησούς Χριστός προς τους Αποστόλους· "μη φοβηθήτε από των αποκτεννόντων το σώμα, την δε ψυχήν μη δυναμένων αποκτείναι". Όποιος βάλη καλά τούτα τα λόγια στο μυαλό του βρίσκει την δύναμη να αντέξη σε πολλά μαρτύρια. Όταν οι δήμιοι πελεκούν το σώμα, οι Μάρτυρες του Χριστού, οι άνδρες και οι γυναίκες, "ρώμη τη θεία προφανώς ρωννύμενοι", όπως ψάλλει η Εκκλησία, υφαίνουν με τους πόνους των το ένδοξο ιμάτιο της αγιωσύνης και βάφουν με το αίμα τους την ένδοξη πορφύρα της θείας βασιλείας.
Ἀπολυτίκιον τῆς ἑορτῆς, Ἦχος α´.
Σῶσον Κύριε τὸν λαόν σου καὶ εὐλόγησον τὴν κληρονομίαν σου, νίκας τοῖς Βασιλεῦσι κατὰ βαρβάρων δωρούμενος καὶ τὸ σὸν φυλάττων διὰ τοῦ Σταυροῦ σου πολίτευμα.
Κοντάκιον, Ἦχος δ´. Ὁ ὑψωθεὶς
Ἐν τῇ ἀθλήσει σου καλῶς ἠγωνίσω, καὶ μετὰ θάνατον ἡμᾶς ἁγιάζεις, ταῖς τῶν θαυμάτων βλύσεσι Πανεύφημε, ὅθεν σου τὴν κοίμησιν, τὴν ἁγίαν τιμῶμεν, πίστει παριστάμενοι, τῷ σεπτῷ σου λειψάνῳ, ἵνα ῥυσθῶμεν νόσων ψυχικῶν, καὶ τῶν θαυμάτων τὴν χάριν ἀντλήσωμεν.
The Holy GreatMartyress Euphemia the All-Praiseworthy was the daughter of Christians -- the senator Philophronos and Theodosia. She suffered for Christ in about the year 304 in the city of Chalcedon, located on the banks of the Bosphorus opposite Constantinople.
The Chalcedon governor Priscus circulated an order to all the inhabitants of Chalcedon and its surroundings to appear at a pagan feast for worship and to offer sacrifice to an idol of Ares (Mars), threatening grave torments for whomever failed to appear. During the time of this impious feast 49 Christians had hidden away at one house, where they secretly made Divine-services to the True God. The young maiden Euphemia was also among those praying there. Soon the hide-out of the Christians was discovered, and they were brought before Priscus to answer for themselves. Over the course of 19 days the martyrs were subjected to various tortures and torments, but none of them wavered in their faith nor consented to offer sacrifice to the idol. The governor, beside himself with rage and not knowing still any further means of forcing the Christians into renunciation, sent them for trial to the emperor Diocletian, but he separated from them the youngest -- the maiden Euphemia, hoping that she, alone by herself, would not hold out.
Saint Euphemia, separated from her brethren in faith, fervently prayed the Lord Jesus Christ, that He Himself would strengthen her in the impending ordeal. Priscus at first urged the saint to recant, promising her earthly blessings, but then he gave the order to torture her. The martyress was tied to a wheel with sharp knives, which in turning cut at the body. The saint prayed loudly. And here it happened, that the wheel stopped by itself and would not move even with all the efforts of the executioners. An Angel of the Lord, having come down from Heaven, removed Euphemia from the wheel and healed her of her wounds, and with gladness the saint gave thanks unto the Lord.
Not perceiving the miracle that had occurred, the torturer ordered the soldiers Victor and Sosthenes to take the saint to a red-hot oven. But the soldiers, seeing amidst the flames two fearsome Angels, refused to carry out the order of the governor and became themselves believers in the God, Whom Euphemia worshipped. Boldly proclaiming that they too were Christians, Victor and Sosthenes bravely went to suffering. They were given over for devouring by wild beasts. During the time of execution they cried out for mercy to God, that the Lord should receive them into the Heavenly Kingdom. An heavenly Voice answered their cries, and they expired unto life eternal. The beasts however did not even touch their bodies.
Saint Euphemia, cast by other soldiers into the fire, remained unharmed. And with the help of God she emerged unharmed after many another torture and torment. Ascribing this to sorcery, the governor gave orders to dig out a new pit, and filling it with knives he had it covered over with ground and grass, so that the martyress would not know about the preparation for her execution; but here also Saint Euphemia remained safe, easily passing over the pit. Finally, they sentenced her to be devoured by wild beasts at the circus. Before execution the saint began to implore, that the Lord deem her worthy to die a violent death. But none of the beasts, set loose at her in the arena, attacked her. Finally, one of the she-bears struck her a small wound on the leg, from which came blood, and the holy GreatMartyr Euphemia instantly died. During this time there occurred an earthquake, and both the guards and the spectators ran in terror, so that the parents of the saint were able to take up her body and reverently bury it not far from Chalcedon.
A majestic church was afterwards erected over the grave of the GreatMartyr Euphemia. At this temple took place the sessions of the Fourth OEcumenical Council in the year 451, during the time of which in miraculous manner the holy GreatMartyress Euphemia confirmed the Orthodox confession, and setting limits to the Monophysite heresy, the details of which are related under the day of the commemoration of this miracle, 11 July.
With the taking of Chalcedon by the Persians in the year 617, the relics of the holy GreatMartyress Euphemia were transferred to Constantinople (in about the year 620). During the period of the Iconoclast heresy the reliquary with the relics of Saint Euphemia appears to have been thrown into the sea. Pious sailors pulled them out. They were afterwards taken to the Island of Lemnos, and in the year 796 they were returned to Constantinople.
Sainted Kiprian, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, was by origin a Serb, and asceticised at Athos. By his pious life and education he came to the attention of the Constantinople Patriarch Philotheos (1354-1355, 1362-1376), who in 1375 ordained Kiprian as Metropolitan of Kiev and Lithuania. At the Constantinople Council it was decided, to avoid a fragmentation of the Russian metropolia, that "upon the death of Sainted Alexei, he should become the Metropolitan of All Rus'". At Moscow Saint Kiprian endured many a sorrow from the great-prince, and therefore initially he lived either in Lithuania or at Constantinople. Only in the year 1390, during the time of Great-prince Vasilii Dimitrievich, was he accepted as primate at Moscow. Saint Kiprian concerned himself over the correction of the Divine-service books. There are preserved autographic manuscripts of certain Slavonic translations by the saint, witnessing to his great scientific work. And by his pastoral epistles he encouraged the faith of the Church. His activity in the translation of liturgical literature is widely known.
The Holy Martyress Sebastiana was a student of the holy Apostle Paul. During a persecution against Christians under the emperor Dometian (81-96), she was at trial as a Christian before the governor named Georgios in the city of Marcianopolis in the Mizea region. Saint Sebastiana firmly confessed her faith in Christ and for this she was subjected to cruel tortures. At first they beat her, and then they threw her into a red-hot oven, from which she emerged unharmed. They dispatched the saint to the city of Herakleia, where sentence was pronounced on her a second time. The governor named Pompian gave orders to tie the saint to a tree and lacerate her body with roof-tiles. The martyress remained unbroken in her faith. Then the governor gave her over for devouring by wild beasts. There too the Lord preserved the holy martyress, and the beasts refused to touch her. Then, by order of the governor, Saint Sebastiana was beheaded. Her body, thrown into the sea, was conveyed by Angels to the Island of Rhodes (in Thrace, in the Sea of Marmora).
The Holy Martyress Meletina lived in the city of Marcianopolis during the rule of the emperor Antoninus Pius ((138-161). She was a fervent Christian, and the Lord blessed her with the gift of wonderworking. By the power of prayers she shattered the idols of Apollo and Herakles. Her fiery preaching converted many pagans to Christ: among the converted was the spouse of the governor of the city of Marcianopolis. When the governor learned of this, he had Saint Meletina brought to trial, and sentenced her to be beheaded. In returning to his own country, the Macedonian Akakios reverently took up the body of Saint Meletina with the intention of burying her in Macedonia. But during the voyage Akakios fell sick and died. The ship stopped at the Island of Lemnos, where the body of the holy Martyress Meletina was consigned to burial, and alongside her grave they buried Akakios.
The Monk Dorotheios, Egyptian Wilderness-Dweller, a native of the Thebaid region in Egypt, asceticised for 60 years in the Skete wilderness, on the Western side of the River Nile. Palladius, bishop of Helenopolis and author of the reknown "Lausiaca", had in his youthful years been a student of the Monk Dorotheios, and thus has passed along memories of him. The Monk Dorotheios led a austere and ascetic manner of life. After finishing his prayers, he went off into the noonday heat to gather up stones along the seashore and build cells for the other hermits. By night the saint wove baskets, in exchange for which he received the necessities of sustenance. Food for the Monk Dorotheios consisted of bread and the meagre grass in the wilderness. Once a day he partook of food and drank a little water. The monk did not lie down to sleep, and only but dozed off sometimes at work or after eating. One time the Monk Dorotheios sent off his student to go fetch water, but that one returned saying that he saw a snake in the well and that the water in the well was now poisoned. The Monk Dorotheios went then himself to the well, took up a ladle of water, and making the sign of the Cross over it he drank of it, saying: "Where there is the Cross, there the demonic powers do altogether no harm". The Monk Dorotheios peacefully died up in age.
The Holy Martyress Liudmila, a Czech (Bohemian) princess, was married to the Czech prince Borivoy. Both spouses received holy Baptism from Saint Methodios, Archbishop of Moravia and Enlightener of the Slavs (Comm. 11 May). As Christians, they showed concerned for the enlightening of their subjects with the light of the true faith, they built churches and invited priests therein to make Divine-services. Prince Borivoy died early at age 36. Saint Liudmila as a widow led an austere pious life and continued to be concerned for the Church during the reign of her son Bratislav, which lasted for 33 years. Bratislav was married to Dragomira, from whom he had a son Vyacheslav. After the death of Bratislav, 18 year old Vyacheslav came on the throne. Taking advantage of the inexperience and youth of her son, Dragomira began to propagate pagan manners and customs in the country. Saint Liudmila of course opposed this. Dragomira came to hate her mother-in-law and tried to destroy her. When Saint Liudmila moved away to the city of Techin, Dragomira sent there two boyars in secret to murder her. At the time Saint Liudmila was praying, and the two assassins entered the house, carrying out Dragomira's orders. The relics of the holy Martyress Liudmila was buried in Techin in the city wall. From her grave there occurred numerous healings. Prince Vyacheslav transferred the body of Saint Liudmila to the city of Prague and placed it in the church of Saint George.
The Holy Martyrs Isaac and Joseph, brothers by birth, were born in the city of Theodosiopolis, or Karna (now Erzerum). Their father was an illustrious Moslem, but their mother -- a Christian. The good and pious woman educated her two sons, and also an older one whose name is uncertain, in the Christian faith. Having reached the age of maturity, all three brothers -- Joseph alone being married -- wanted to depart their Mahometan father in order confess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ without hindrance. They recoursed by letter to the Byzantine emperor Nicephoros I (802-811), requesting his permission to resettle at Constantinople and to enter into service at his court. Having received a favourable reply from the Christian sovereign, the brothers began to ready themselves for the journey. The eldest soon set out for Constantinople, but Joseph and Isaac were detained by order of the emir of Theodosiopolis. Questioned about the purpose of their journey to Constantinople, the brothers answered, to the surprise of all those present including their father, that they were Christians from the time of their birth and therefore they were fleeing the impious, and wanting to confess freely their own faith. Neither by enticements nor by threats were they able to sway the brave martyrs. Having convened an assembly of officials, the emir sentenced the brothers to death. At the place of execution, on bended knee, Saints Isaac and Joseph offered up prayer to the Lord, after which the executioner chopped off their venerable heads. This occurred in the year 808. Upon the unburied bodies of the holy martyrs by night came down and shone an extraordinarily bright column of light over them. Struck by this sign, the Mahometans the next day besought the Christians of the city to give burial to the bodies of the holy martyrs. Later, at the place of burial of the saints was built a temple and consecrated in the Name of the MostHoly Trinity.
Ἡ Ἁγία Εὐφημία ἡ Μεγαλομάρτυς
Ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια τοῦ αὐτοκράτορα Διοκλητιανοῦ, στὴ Χαλκηδόνα. Οἱ γονεῖς της Ψιλόφρων καὶ Θεοδωριανὴ ἦταν εὐγενεῖς καὶ θεοφοβούμενοι ἄνθρωποι. Τὸ ἴδιο καὶ ἡ κόρη τους Εὐφημία, ποὺ διακρινόταν γιὰ τὴν ὑπέροχη ὀμορφιά της καὶ γιὰ τὰ σπάνια πνευματικά της χαρίσματα. Κάποτε, λοιπόν, ὁ ἀνθύπατος Μικρᾶς Ἀσίας Πρίσκος ἐξέδωσε διαταγὴ ποὺ ὑποχρέωνε ὅλους τοὺς κατοίκους τῆς Χαλκηδόνας νὰ παρουσιαστοῦν στὴ γιορτὴ τοῦ θεοῦ Ἄρη καὶ νὰ θυσιάσουν πρὸς τιμήν του. Ἡ Εὐφημία, μαζὶ μὲ ἄλλους χριστιανοὺς ποὺ δὲν παρουσιάστηκαν, συνελήφθησαν καὶ κλείστηκαν στὴ φυλακή. Ὅταν μετὰ 20 μέρες χωρὶς νερὸ καὶ ψωμὶ τοὺς ἔβγαλαν καὶ τοὺς ρώτησαν ἂν ἐμμένουν στὴν πίστη τους, αὐτοὶ ἀποκρίθηκαν θετικά. Τότε κράτησαν μόνο τὴν Εὐφημία, ποὺ μὲ διάφορα δελεαστικὰ μέσα προσπάθησαν νὰ τὴν πείσουν νὰ ἀρνηθεῖ τὸ Χριστό. Ὅμως στὸ μυαλὸ τῆς Εὐφημίας ἐπικρατοῦσε ὁ λόγος τοῦ εὐαγγελιστῆ Ἰωάννη, ποὺ λέει: «ὃς ἂν ὁμολογήσει ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστὶν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ Θεὸς ἐν αὐτῷ μένει καὶ αὐτὸς ἐν τῷ Θεῷ». Ὅποιος, δηλαδή, ὁμολογήσει μὲ ὅλες τὶς δυνάμεις του ὅτι ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶναι ὁ ἐνανθρωπήσας Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ Θεὸς μένει σ᾿ αὐτὸν καὶ αὐτὸς μένει μέσα στὴ χάρη τοῦ Θεοῦ. Καὶ ἡ Εὐφημία, παρὰ τὰ φρικτὰ βασανιστήρια ποὺ ὑπέστη, ἀπ᾿ τὰ ὁποῖα μὲ τὴν βοήθεια τοῦ Θεοῦ βγῆκε ἄθικτη, ἔμεινε σταθερὴ στὴν ὁμολογία της στὸ Χριστό. Τελικὰ τὴν ἔριξαν στὰ θηρία καὶ μία ἀρκούδα τῆς ἔδωσε τὸ θανατηφόρο χτύπημα.
Ἡ Ἁγία Μελιτινή
Ἡ μεγάλη της πίστη κατόρθωσε νὰ νικήσει τοὺς ἰσχυρότερους ποὺ ἀνέλαβαν νὰ τὴν νικήσουν. Ἡ ἁγία Μελιτινὴ ἔζησε κατὰ τὸ ἔτος 160 μ.Χ., ὅταν βασιλιὰς ἦταν ὁ Ἀντωνῖνος ὁ ἐπονομαζόμενος εὐσεβής. Ὁ τότε λοιπὸν ἡγεμόνας τῆς Θρᾴκης Ἀντίοχος, σκληρὸς πολέμιος τῶν χριστιανῶν, διέταξε νὰ συλληφθεῖ καὶ ἡ Μελιτινὴ ἀπὸ τὴν Μαρκιανούπολη, ποὺ καταγγέλθηκε ὅτι ἐργαζόταν δραστήρια γιὰ τὴν διάδοση τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου. Ἐπειδὴ οἱ ἀπειλὲς δὲν μπόρεσαν νὰ τὴν φοβίσουν, ἀνέλαβε ἡ ἴδια ἡ σύζυγος τοῦ ἡγεμόνα νὰ τὴν ἀλλαξοπιστήσει. Γιὰ αὐτὸ τὴν δέχτηκε στὸ σπίτι της καὶ χρησιμοποίησε ἐπιδέξια ὅλα τὰ σαγηνευτικὰ καὶ ὕπουλα γυναικεῖα μέσα. Ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὴ ποὺ ἀνέλαβε νὰ νικήσει, νικήθηκε. Ὑπέστη ὅμως μία ἧττα, ἀπὸ κεῖνες ποὺ συγχρόνως εἶναι καὶ ἔνδοξη νίκη. Θέλησε δηλαδὴ νὰ κάνει εἰδωλολάτρισσα τὴν Μελιτινή, καὶ κατέληξε στὸ νὰ γίνει ἡ ἴδια χριστιανή. Κατόπιν καὶ οἱ δυὸ γυναῖκες μαζί, ἀφοῦ ἀπέκρυψαν τὸ γεγονὸς ἀπὸ τὸν Ἀντίοχο, συνεργάστηκαν καὶ ἔφεραν πολλοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες στὴ χριστιανικὴ πίστη. Μανιώδης ὁ Ἀντίοχος, ὅταν ἔμαθε τὴν ἀλήθεια, ἀποκεφάλισε τὴν Μελιτινή, ἡ ὁποία βάδισε μὲ θάρρος στὸ θάνατο καὶ συγχρόνως στὴν αἰώνια τρυφὴ καὶ δόξα.
Ἡ Ἁγία Λουντμίλα (Τσέχα μάρτυς)
Γεννήθηκε πιθανῶς τὸ ἔτος 856 μ.Χ. ἀπὸ γονεῖς εὐγενεῖς, ἀλλὰ εἰδωλολάτρες. Σὲ ἡλικία 16 χρονῶν, ἦλθε σὲ γάμο μὲ τὸν ἡγεμόνα τῶν Τσέχων Μποριβόια. Ἔγιναν χριστιανοὶ τὴν ἐποχὴ ποὺ οἱ δυὸ μεγάλοι Ἱεραπόστολοι τῶν Σλάβων, Μεθόδιος καὶ Κύριλλος βρίσκονταν στὴν Τσεχία. Τότε οἱ δυὸ βασιλεῖς, μὲ θερμὸ χριστιανικὸ ζῆλο, ἔκτισαν πολλὲς ἐκκλησίες καὶ κάλεσαν Ἱερεῖς γιὰ τὸν πλήρη ἐκχριστιανισμό τοῦ λαοῦ ποὺ κυβερνοῦσαν. Ὅμως ὁ Μποριβόια, μόλις 36 χρονῶν ἀπεβίωσε. Τότε ἡ νεαρὴ χήρα Λουντμίλα, μητέρα τριῶν ἀγοριῶν καὶ μίας κόρης, ἀφιέρωσε ὅλη της τὴ ζωὴ στὸ Χριστὸ καὶ τὴν Ἐκκλησία. Ἀλλ᾿ ὅταν ἀργότερα ἀνέλαβε τὴν ἡγεμονία ὁ ἐγγονός της Βιατσεσλάβος, ἡ νύφη της Δραγομίρα, προσπάθησε νὰ ἐπαναφέρει τὴν εἰδωλολατρία. Ἡ Λουντμίλα ὅμως τὴν ἐμπόδισε παντοιοτρόπως καὶ ἡ Δραγομίρα ὁρκίστηκε νὰ τὴν ἐκδικηθεῖ ἀκόμα καὶ μὲ θάνατο. Γιὰ νὰ γλιτώσει ἡ Λουντμίλα, ἀποσύρθηκε σ᾿ ἕνα πύργο κοντὰ στὴν πόλη τῆς Βοημίας Τέτσιν. Ἐκεῖ ἀκριβῶς τὴν βρῆκαν οἱ ἀπεσταλμένοι τῆς Δραγομίρας, ὅπου τὴν θανάτωσαν μὲ ἀγχόνη τὸ ἔτος 717 σὲ ἡλικία 62 χρονῶν. Ἀργότερα ὁ ἐγγονός της Βιατσεσλάβος, μετέφερε τὸ ἱερό της λείψανο στὴν Πράγα, ὅπου φυλάσσεται μέχρι σήμερα.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Δωρόθεος ὁ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ Ἐρημίτης (+ 4ος αἰ.)
Ὁ Ὅσιος Κυπριανὸς Μητροπολίτης Κιέβου, Ρῶσος (+ 1406)