Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 27, 2011 - 16th Week After Pentecost (2nd Week of Luke)

FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Tuesday of the 2nd Week
Kallistratos the Martyr & his 49 Companions
Mark, Aristarchos, & Zenon, Apostles of the 70
Akylina the New Martyr of Thessaloniki

Άγιος Καλλίστρατος και οι μαζί μ' αυτόν Σαράντα εννέα Μάρτυρες
Άγιοι Μάρκος, Αρίσταρχος και Ζήνων οι Απόστολοι από τους Εβδομήκοντα
Αγία Ακυλίνα
Αγία Επίχαρις
Όσιος Ιγνάτιος ηγούμενος της Μονής Σωτήρος Χριστού της επιλεγόμενης του Βαθέος Ρύακος
Άγιοι Φιλήμων ο Επίσκοπος και Φουρτουνιανός
Άγιοι Δεκαπέντε Μάρτυρες
Όσιος Σαββάτιος «ὁ ἐν Σολοβέτσκῃ»


READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:11-21
BRETHREN, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would mutilate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Πρὸς Γαλάτας 5:11-21
Ἀδελφοί, εἰ περιτομὴν ἔτι κηρύσσω, τί ἔτι διώκομαι; Ἄρα κατήργηται τὸ σκάνδαλον τοῦ σταυροῦ. Ὄφελον καὶ ἀποκόψονται οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς. Ὑμεῖς γὰρ ἐπʼ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἐκλήθητε, ἀδελφοί· μόνον μὴ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν εἰς ἀφορμὴν τῇ σαρκί, ἀλλὰ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης δουλεύετε ἀλλήλοις. Ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ πληροῦται, ἐν τῷ, Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς ἑαυτόν. Εἰ δὲ ἀλλήλους δάκνετε καὶ κατεσθίετε, βλέπετε μὴ ὑπό ἀλλήλων ἀναλωθῆτε. Λέγω δέ, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε, καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε. Ἡ γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός· ταῦτα δὲ ἀντίκειται ἀλλήλοις, ἵνα μὴ ἃ ἂν θέλητε, ταῦτα ποιῆτε. Εἰ δὲ πνεύματι ἄγεσθε, οὐκ ἐστὲ ὑπὸ νόμον. Φανερὰ δέ ἐστιν τὰ ἔργα τῆς σαρκός, ἅτινά ἐστιν μοιχεία, πορνεία, ἀκαθαρσία, ἀσέλγεια, εἰδωλολατρεία, φαρμακεία, ἔχθραι, ἔρεις, ζῆλοι, θυμοί, ἐριθεῖαι, διχοστασίαι, αἱρέσεις, φθόνοι, φόνοι, μέθαι, κῶμοι, καὶ τὰ ὅμοια τούτοις· ἃ προλέγω ὑμῖν, καθὼς καὶ προεῖπον, ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν.

The Reading is from Luke 5:12-16
At that time, Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and besought him, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." And he stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him. And he charged him to tell no one; but "go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to the people." But so much the more the report went abroad concerning him; and great multitudes gathered to hear and to be healed of their infirmities. But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.

Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 5.12-16
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἦν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας· καὶ ἰδὼν τὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν, πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ λέγων· Κύριε, ἐὰν θέλῃς, δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἥψατο αὐτοῦ εἰπών· θέλω, καθαρίσθητι. καὶ εὐθέως ἡ λέπρα ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ.καὶ αὐτὸς παρήγγειλεν αὐτῷ μηδενὶ εἰπεῖν, ἀλλὰ ἀπελθὼν δεῖξον σεαυτὸν τῷ ἱερεῖ καὶ προσένεγκε περὶ τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ σου καθὼς προσέταξε Μωϋσῆς εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς.διήρχετο δὲ μᾶλλον ὁ λόγος περὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ συνήρχοντο ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀκούειν καὶ θεραπεύεσθαι ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀσθενειῶν αὐτῶν·αὐτὸς δὲ ἦν ὑποχωρῶν ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις καὶ προσευχόμενος.


WORD FROM THE DESERT:
Abba Joseph said to Abba Nisterus, "What should I do about my tongue, for I cannot control it?" The old man said to him, "When you speak, do you find peace?" He replied, "No." The old man said, "If you do not find peace, why do you speak? Be silent and when a conversation takes place, it is better to listen than to speak."

READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΚΖ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Καλλιστράτου, καὶ τῶν σὺν αὐτῷ ἁγίων μθ' Μαρτύρων.
Τμηθεὶς ὁ Καλλίστρατος αὐχένα ξίφει,
Στρατῷ συνήφθη καλλινίκων Μαρτύρων.
Εἰς τοὺς ἁγίους μθ' Μάρτυρας
Δεκὰς τετραπλῆ Μαρτύρων σὺν ἐννάδι,
Διὰ ξίφους ἄθλησιν ἀθλεῖ τιμίαν.
Εἰκάδι ἑβδομάτῃ Καλλίστρατος ἔνθεν ἀέρθη.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῆς ἁγίας Μάρτυρος Ἐπιχάρεως.
Εὔτολμος Ἐπίχαρις ἦν πρὸς τὸ ξίφος,
Συλλήπτορα πλουτοῦσα τὴν θείαν χάριν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἰγνατίου, Ἡγουμένου γενομένου τῆς Μονῆς τοῦ Σωτῆρος Χριστοῦ, τοῦ ἐπιλεγομένου Βαθέος Ῥύακος.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων Μάρκου, Ἀριστάρχου, καὶ Ζήνωνος.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Φιλήμονος ἐπισκόπου, καὶ Φουρτουνιανοῦ καὶ τῆς Ἁγίας Μάρτυρος Γαϊανῆς.
Γαϊανὴ φλεχθῆναι τὰ νῶτα δίδου,
Ὡς ἂν φλογίνης ῥομφαίας νῶτα φύγῃς.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων δεκαπέντε Μαρτύρων, οἵτινες ἐν πλοίῳ ἐμβληθέντες τοῦ πλοίου πυρποληθέντος, ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ ἀπεπνίγησαν.
Ὁ τριπλοπεντάριθμος ἀθλητῶν στόλος,
Καὶ πυθμένος κατῆρε μέχρι ποντίου.
Ἡ ἁγία Μάρτυς Ἀκυλῖνα, ῥάβδοις συνθλασθεῖσα τελειοῦται.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.

Kallistratos the Martyr & his 49 Companions
These Martyrs contested for the Faith during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 288. Saint Callistratus was arrested as a Christian, and after being tormented, was enclosed in a sack and cast into the sea. The sack burst, and the Saint came to dry land safe and sound. Forty-nine soldiers, seeing this, also confessed Christ, and with him were cast into prison, then beheaded.
Apolytikion 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 in the Fourth Tone
O all-wise and godly Saints, today the whole Church, showing honour to you all, doth now in spirit sing your praise; for ye contested in her behalf, O right-victorious Martyrs of Christ our God.
Μέσα σε ένα στρατιωτικό τάγμα ένας βρέθηκε χριστιανός, ο άγιος Μάρτυς Καλλίστρατος, του οποίου η Εκκλησία σήμερα γιορτάζει την μνήμη. Το πράγμα δεν έχει βέβαια τόσο μεγάλη σημασία για την εποχή εκείνη, όσο για σήμερα. Λιγοστοί και μετρημένοι είναι σήμερα οι αληθινοί χριστιανοί, εκείνοι που έχουν όχι μόνο τό όνομα, αλλά και τις αρετές του χριστιανού. Επάνω στα διάφορα πιστοποιητικά, που εκδίδουν κάθε ημέρα οι κρατικές Υπηρεσίες, πρώτο στοιχείο ταυτότητος αναγράφεται “χριστιανός ορθόδοξος”. Πόσοι όμως είναι πραγματικά χριστιανοί και μάλιστα ορθόδοξοι; Άνθρωποι δηλαδή, που να ξέρουν και να τηρούν το χριστιανικό νόμο και νάχουν ορθόδοξο φρόνημα; Σαν την εποχή εκείνη, που ένας ήταν μέσα σε ολόκληρο τάγμα, ο Καλλίστρατος - πράγματι εκτελώντας την καλή στρατεία, - έτσι και τώρα, όπως ακριβώς λέει το ιερό Ευαγγέλιο· “πολλοί εισι κλητοί, ολίγοι δε εκλεκτοί”.
Ἀπολυτίκιον, Ἦχος δ´. Ταχύ προκατάλαβε
Οἱ Μάρτυρες σου Κύριε, ἐν τῇ ἀθλήσει αὐτῶν, τὸ στέφος ἐκομίσαντο τῆς ἀφθαρσίας, ἐκ σοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν· σχόντες γὰρ τὴν ἰσχύν σου, τοὺς τυράννους καθεῖλον· ἔθραυσαν καὶ δαιμόνων τὰ ἀνίσχυρα θράση. Αὐτῶν ταῖς ἱκεσίαις Χριστέ ὁ Θεός, σῶσον τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Κοντάκιον, Ἦχος δ´. Ἐπεφάνης σήμερον
Πάντας ἡμᾶς σήμερον ἡ Ἐκκλησία, συντιμῶσα Ἅγιοι, ἀνευφημεῖ πνευματικῶς, ὡς ὑπὲρ ταύτης ἀθλήσαντας, Μάρτυρες θεῖοι, καλλίνικοι πάνσοφοι.
Holy Martyr Callistratus and the Forty-nine Martyrs with Him (288/304)
Callistratus was born in Carthage to Christian parents. In time, he joined the army, where he was the only Christian in his regiment. One of his fellow-soldiers saw Callistratus rise during the night to pray, and reported him to their commander. Callistratus was interrogated, then, when he refused to deny his faith or make sacrifice to the idols, was harshly beaten, then tied in a sack and thrown in the sea. But the sack burst open and Callistratus emerged from the sea unharmed. Seeing this, forty-nine of his fellow-soldiers confessed Christ, and were beaten and thrown into prison with Callistratus. In prison, Callistratus instructed the newly-enlightened Christians in the faith. Finally, all of them were beheaded, according to some sources in 288, according to others in 304.
Holy Apostles Mark, Aristarchus and Zenas of the Seventy
St Mark was also called John; according to Acts 12:12, the apostles gathered for prayer in Jerusalem at his mother Mary's house, and was later bishop in Byblos. St Aristarchus accompanied St Paul in his travels (Acts 16:29) and was later bishop in Syrian Apamea. St Zenas is mentioned as a lawyer in Titus 3:13, and was bishop in Lydda in Palestine.
Our Venerable Father Sabbatius, Founder of the Monastery of Solovki (1435)
He lived for many years as a monk at the Monastery of St Cyril of White Lake, where his ascetic struggles won him the respect of his brethren. To flee from the admiration of men he moved further north to Valaam Monastery. But he still attracted the good opinion of his community, so he secretly headed still further north, planning to reach the uninhabited Solovki Island in the White Sea (a large bay of the Arctic Ocean). When he reached the coast, everyone who might take him tried to dissuade him from living in such a harsh place. He answered 'My children, I have a Master who has the power to renew the strength of the old and to enfeeble the young if He so wills. He makes the poor rich, clothes the naked, provides for the destitute and satisfies the starving with a measure of food as he fed five thousand men in the desert.'
While waiting for seasonable sailing weather he met St Germanus (July 30) who lived nearby as a hermit. Together they found a fishing boat and, casting all their trust on the Lord, made the dangerous two-day voyage and set up a hermitage on the island. It became known as a holy place, and thenceforth those living in the world knew not to settle on Solovki, or even to set foot there without good reason. After six years, St Germanus departed, and Sabbatius was left alone.
When he was old, he began to fear that he would die without receiving the life-giving Mysteries, of which he had not partaken since he left Valaam. So he returned to the mainland where he met an abbot Nathanael just as he was taking Holy Communion to a sick man. Sabbatius persuaded the abbot to hear his confession and grant him the priceless gift of Holy Communion. He then settled in a nearby chapel and made ready for his departure from this life. A wealthy merchant from Novgorod visited him to ask for his blessing. The Saint said to him, 'Spend the night here and you will see the grace of God.' The next morning the merchant came to Sabbatius' cell and found that he had reposed during the night; his cell was suffused with a beautiful scent.
The following year, St Germanus, along with St Zosimas (April 17), returned to Solovki island and founded a monastery there, which proved to be the nurturing ground of many Saints.
Holy New Martyr Aquilina (1764)
She lived in the village of Zangliverion near Thessalonika. When she was still an infant, her father killed a Turkish neighbor in an argument and, to save his life, denied his Christian faith. To compound his apostasy he promised that when his daughter came of age she too would convert. Aquilina's mother, however, held fast to her faith in Christ, and brought up her daughter to love her Savior fervently. When Aquilina reached the age of eighteen, her father told her that the time had come to formally embrace Islam; he was dismayed when she replied that she would rather suffer any torment than deny Christ. Fearing for his own life, her father handed her over to the Turkish authorities. When the usual threats and promises had no effect, she was viciously beaten three times. Some pious Christians returned her, dying, to her mother, to whom she said 'I have done as you told me, and kept the confession of our faith. Surely you didn't think I would do anything else?' With this, the holy Martyr died. The Synaxarion relates, 'As her body was taken to be buried, every place that it passed was filled with a delightful scent, and a brilliant light came forth from her grave during the night.'
Saint Callistratus was a native of Carthage. An ancestor of Saint Callistratus, Neoscorus, has served under the emperor Tiberius in Palestine, under the command of the procurator of Judea Pontius Pilate, and was a witness to the suffering on the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, His martyr's death and glorious Resurrection. The father of the saint was a Christian, and he raised his son in faith and piety. Also like his father, Saint Callistratus became a soldier and excelled among his pagan military comrades by good conduct and gentle disposition. During the nights when everyone slept, he usually stayed up at prayer. One time a soldier sleeping nearby him heard Saint Callistratus invoking the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he reported this to the military commander, who in turn summoned Callistratus, interrogated him and wanted to make him offer sacrifice to idols. To this the saint answered firmly with a resolute refusal. Then the military commander gave orders to beat the saint and then, covered with wounds, to drag him over sharp stones. The beating and the torments did not sway the firm will and brave endurance of the sufferer. The torturer gave orders to sew up the saint in a leather sack and drown him in the sea. By Divine Providence however the sack came upon a sharp rock tearing it, and Saint Callistratus, supported by dolphins, came to dry land unharmed. Viewing such a miracle, 49 soldiers came to believe in Christ. Then the military commander threw Saint Callistratus together with the believing soldiers into prison. Before this, all of them were subjected to innumerable floggings.
In confinement Saint Callistatus continued to preach the Word of God to the soldiers and he bolstered their spirits for the martyr's act. Summoned again to the military commander, the sufferers firmly confessed their faith in Christ, after which they bound them hand and foot and threw them into a water-dam. But there their bonds broke, and with bright faces the holy martyrs stood in the water, rejoicing in their Baptism, which coincided with the act of martyrdom. Over them were beautiful bright crowns, and all heard a voice: "Be brave, Callistratus, with thine company, and come rest in the eternal habitations". At the same time with this, the earth shuddered and an idol standing not far off fell down and smashed. Beholding this happening, another 135 soldiers also believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. The military commander, fearing a mutiny in the army, did not set about to judge them, but again imprisoned Saint Callistratus with the others, where they fervently prayed and gave thanks to the Creator, for having given them power to endure such sufferings. At night by order of the military commander they chopped the martyrs to pieces with swords. Their holy remains were buried by the remaining-alive 135 soldiers, and afterwards on the spot of their sufferings, as Saint Callistatus had foretold, a church was built.
The Monk Savvatii of Solovetsk came to the Kirillo-Beloezersk monastery in the year 1396, where he took monastic vows. He there pursued asceticism for a long time, unquestioningly fulfilling all obediences. His humility, gentle love towards the brethren and his strict life distinguished the monk Savvatii among his fellow ascetics. He soon became burdened by the attention and esteem of the brethren and laity coming to him, and having learned that on Lake Ladoga is the rocky island of Valaam, he decided to settle there. Quite sadly, the brethren of the Kirillo-Beloezersk monastery were parted from their starets (elder). At Valaam the worldly fame likewise began to disquiet the humble starets. Amidst this the monk learned, that in the North was the uninhabited island of Solovetsk, and he began to ask of the hegumen blessing to settle there in solitude. But the hegumen and the brethren did not want to be separated from their holy starets-elder. At the command of God the Monk Savvatii by night left the Valaam monastery and set off to the shores of the White Sea. When he learned from the local people that the island was situated at a two-day voyage, that on it were many lakes and that on the island no one lived, he all the more was embued with the desire to settle there. The astonished local people asked the ascetic, whitened with grey hair, how he would live there and what he would eat. "My Master is such, -- answered the monk, -- Who unto frailty giveth the fresh strength of youth, and nourisheth to fullness the hungry".
For a certain while the Monk Savvatii remained at the chapel, set nearby the mouth of the Vyg River, in the environs of Soroka. There he encountered the Monk German -- pursuing asceticism as an hermit, and together they decided to settle upon the island. In a frail boat, praying to God, the elders set off upon the harsh sea and after three days they reached Solovetsk Island. The ascetics settled by the Sekirna hill, where they raised up a cross and made their cells. In the severe conditions of the North the startsi-elders over the course of several years by their exploits hallowed the unpopulated island. And here likewise the enemy of mankind -- the devil, tempted the holy elders. A certain fisherman with his wife, moved with a sense of envy, came somehow to the island and settled not far from the ascetics. But the Lord did not permit the laypeople to maintain themselves alongside the elders. Two youths in bright garb appeared to the wife of the fisherman and struck at her with rods. The fisherman took fright, quickly gathered his things and hastened to return to his former place of residence.
Once, when the Monk German had gone for cell-necessities off along the Onega River, the Monk Savvatii -- remaining alone and sensing his impending end, with prayer turned to God, that He would grant him to commune the Holy Mysteries. The monk sailed for two days to the mainland and at ten versts from the Vyg River encountered the hegumen Nathanael, who had come to the distant settlement to commune a sick Christian. Hegumen Nathanael rejoiced at meeting the monk, fulfilled his wish and heard the account about his exploits on the island. In parting, they agreed to meet at the church along the Vyg River.
Entering the temple, the holy elder prayerfully gave thanks to God for Communion. He then enclosed himself in a cell located nearby the church, and began to prepare himself for hermitage in the eternal habitation. During this time the Novgorod merchant John came to shore and, having venerated the holy icons in church, he went to the holy elder. Having received blessing and guidance, he offered the monk a portion of his wealth and was saddened, when he heard a refusal. To comfort the merchant, the Monk Savvatii offered him to stay over until morning and promised him prosperity on further journeying. But the merchant John hastened to disembark. Suddenly there began an earthquake and on the sea a storm picked up. Having taken fright, the merchant stayed, and in the morning when entering the cell for a blessing, he saw that the elder was already dead. Together with the just-arrived hegumen Nathanael, they buried the Monk Savvatii at the chapel and compiled a manuscript of his life. This occurred on 27 September 1435. After 30 years the relics of the Monk Savvatii were transferred by the Monk Zosima (+ 1478, Comm. 17 April) and the brethren of Solovetsk Island, placing them in the Transfiguration church. In 1566 the relics of the Monks Savvatii and Zosima were transferred into a church, named in their honour (combined Commemoration 8 August).
The Holy Disciple from the Seventy Mark, also named John, is mentioned by the holy Disciple and Evangelist Luke in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 12: 25, 15: 37-39) and also by the holy Apostle Paul in both the Epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4: 10) and the Epistle to Philemon (Phlm. 1: 23). The holy Disciple Mark preached the Word of God together with Paul and Barnabas and was made bishop by them of the Phoenician city of Biblos. The holy Disciple Mark attained great daring before God, such that his very shadow healed the sick (Comm. also 15 April).
The Holy Disciple from the Seventy Aristarchus was mentioned by the holy Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4: 10) and in Philemon (Phlm. 1: 23). The holy Disciple Aristarchus accompanied the holy Apostle Paul, and afterwards was made bishop in the Syrian city of Apameia (Comm. also 15 April).
The Holy Disciple from the Seventy Zenon, a disciple and co-worker with the first-ranked Apostle Paul, was called a "lawyer", -- since he was a learned man and led juridical matters in church courts. There is mention about him in the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to Titus (Tit. 3: 13): "Take care to send off Zenon the lawyer and Apollos such that nothing be wanting for them". Afterwards the disciple Zenon became bishop of the city of Diospolis (or Lydda) in Palestine.
The Holy Martyress Epikharia lived at Rome during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). For her steadfast confession of Christ as Saviour they subjected her to tortures: they suspended her and tore at her body with iron hooks, and then they beat at her with tin threshing-rakes. The holy martyress prayed, and an Angel of God struck down the torturers. Then Saint Epikharia was beheaded.
The Monk Ignatios lived during the X Century in Cappadocia and from his youth was dedicated by his parents to God. Upon attaining the age of maturity, he accepted monasticism and soon was ordained to the dignity of presbyter. Saint Ignatios afterwards was made hegumen of a monastery of the Saviour, called "Deep River", nearby to Constantinople. The Monk Ignatios concerned himself about the monastery, embellishing the churches and making an enclosure for the monastery. The Monk Ignatios died in the city of Amoreia in the year 975. His relics after a long period of time were uncovered undecayed.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Καλλίστρατος καὶ οἱ μαζὶ μ᾿ αὐτὸν μαρτυρήσαντες 49 Μάρτυρες
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Καρχηδόνα. Οἱ γονεῖς του, καθὼς καὶ οἱ προγονοί του, ἦταν εὐσεβέστατοι χριστιανοί. Ὅταν μεγάλωσε ὁ Καλλίστρατος, κατατάχθηκε στὸ στρατὸ σὰ νεοσύλλεκτος. Ἡ «ὁμίχλη» τῆς σαρκολατρείας ποὺ ἐπικρατοῦσε στὸ στράτευμα δὲν ἐπηρέασε καθόλου τὸν Καλλίστρατο. Ἀντίθετα μάλιστα, καλλιέργησε ἀκόμα περισσότερο τὶς εὐσεβεῖς συνήθειές του. Μία ἀπ᾿ αὐτὲς ἦταν νὰ προσεύχεται κατὰ τὴν νύκτα. Αὐτὸ ὅταν τὸ εἶδαν οἱ συνάδελφοί του, τὸν κατήγγειλαν στὸ στρατηγὸ Περσεντίνο (287 μ.Χ.). Αὐτὸς ἀμέσως τὸν κάλεσε, καὶ ὅταν ἄκουσε καὶ ἀπὸ τὸν ἴδιο ὅτι εἶναι χριστιανός, διέταξε καὶ τὸν βασάνισαν σκληρά. Κατόπιν, ἀφοῦ τὸν ἔδεσαν μέσα σ᾿ ἕνα σάκκο, τὸν ἔριξαν στὴ θάλασσα. Ἀλλὰ μὲ θαῦμα ὁ σάκκος σχίστηκε, καὶ δυὸ δελφίνια ἔφεραν σῶο καὶ ἀβλαβὴ τὸν Καλλίστρατο, στὴ στεριά. Τότε, 49 στρατιῶτες ποὺ εἶδαν τὸ γεγονὸς πίστεψαν στὸ Χριστό, καὶ ἀφοῦ ἔτρεξαν στὸν Καλλίστρατο, τοῦ εἶπαν: «Πράγματι, εἴδαμε ὅτι ὑπάρχει στ᾿ ἀλήθεια καὶ εἶναι μεγάλος ὁ Θεός σου, ὁ ὁποῖος καὶ ἀπὸ τὸ βυθὸ τῆς θάλασσας ὑπερφυσικὰ σὲ ἔβγαλε. Θὰ μποροῦσε, ἄραγε, νὰ δεχθεῖ καὶ ἐμᾶς τοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες;». Ὁ Καλλίστρατος τοὺς ἀπάντησε: «Ὁ δικός μου Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, ἐκείνους ποὺ ἔρχονται κοντά του δὲν τοὺς διώχνει. Διότι Ἐκείνου ὁ λόγος εἶναι: «Δεῦτε πρός με πάντες οἱ κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι, κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς». Τότε ὁ Καλλίστρατος κατήχησε ὅλους αὐτοὺς τοὺς στρατιῶτες μέσα στὴ φυλακή. Ὁ δὲ Περσεντίνος, ἐρχόμενος σὲ ἀδιέξοδο ἀπὸ τὴν πίστη τους, ὅλους τοὺς ἀποκεφάλισε.
Ἡ Ἁγία Ἐπίχαρις
Ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ρώμη στὰ χρόνια τοῦ Διοκλητιανοῦ (298) καὶ συνελήφθη ἐπειδὴ ἦταν χριστιανὴ ἀπὸ τὸν ἔπαρχο Καισάριο. Ὁμολόγησε μὲ θάρρος τὸν Χριστὸ καὶ βασανίστηκε σκληρά. Συνέτριψαν τὰ μέλη της μὲ μολύβδινη σφαῖρα καὶ στὸ τέλος τὴν ἀποκεφάλισαν.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἰγνάτιος ἡγούμενος τῆς Μονῆς Σωτῆρος Χριστοῦ τῆς ἐπιλεγόμενης τοῦ Βαθέος Ρύακος
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν δεύτερη ἐπαρχία τῶν Καππαδοκῶν καὶ ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια τῶν βασιλέων Νικηφόρου Β´ Φωκᾶ (963-969) καὶ Ἰωάννη Α´ Τσιμισκῆ (969-976). Ἀπὸ μικρὸς ἀφιερώθηκε στὸν Θεὸ καὶ πῆγε στὸ Μοναστήρι τοῦ Βαθέος Ρύακος (ἡ Μονὴ αὐτὴ βρισκόταν στὴν Τρίγλια κοντὰ στὰ σημερινὰ Μουδανιὰ τῆς Μ. Ἀσίας). Ἐκεῖ ἔμαθε ὅλη τὴν ἀσκητικὴ ἀκρίβεια ἀπὸ τὸν Ὅσιο Βασίλειο (+ 1 Ἰουλίου), ἡγούμενο καὶ κτήτορα τῆς Μονῆς αὐτῆς. Ὁ Ἰγνάτιος, ἐπειδὴ ἔφτασε σὲ μεγάλα ὕψη ἀρετῆς, χειροτονήθηκε Ἀναγνώστης, κατόπιν Ὑποδιάκονος, Διάκονος καὶ Πρεσβύτερος. Ἔπειτα ἔγινε ἡγούμενος τῆς ἐν λόγῳ Μονῆς καὶ ἐπέφερε μεγάλη πρόοδο σ᾿ αὐτή, τόσο ὑλικὴ ὅσο καὶ πνευματική. Ὅταν κάποτε οἱ πολιτικοὶ ἄρχοντες θέλησαν νὰ μεταχειριστοῦν τὰ χρήματα τῆς Μονῆς, ὁ Ἰγνάτιος μὲ τὴν ἀποφασιστική του στάση, προστάτευσε τὴν μοναστηριακὴ περιουσία. Ἀπεβίωσε στὸ δρόμο κοντὰ στὸ Ἀμόριο (κατ᾿ ἄλλους, ποὺ εἶναι καὶ τὸ πιθανότερο στὸ Ἀρμουτλῆ), ὅταν κάποτε ἐπέστρεφε ἀπὸ τὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη. Μετὰ ἕνα χρόνο τὸ λείψανό του ἀνακομίστηκε στὴν ἀγαπημένη του Μονή, γιὰ τὴν ὁποία τόσο εἶχε μοχθήσει.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Μᾶρκος, Ἀρίσταρχος καὶ Ζήνων οἱ Ἀπόστολοι
Ὁ Ἀρίσταρχος εἶχε τὴν μεγάλη τιμὴ νὰ χρηματίσει συνεργάτης τοῦ ἀπ. Παύλου, (πρὸς Φιλήμ. α´, 23) καὶ συναιχμάλωτός του (Κολοσσ. δ´, 10). Κατόπιν διέπρεψε καὶ σὰν ἐπίσκοπος Ἀπαμείας στὴ Συρία. Ὁ Μᾶρκος, ποὺ δὲν εἶναι βέβαια ὁ Εὐαγγελιστής, χειροτονήθηκε ἐπίσκοπος Βύβλου καὶ ἔδρασε ἀποστολικά. Ὅπως μάλιστα τοῦ Πέτρου (Πράξ. ε´, 15), ἔτσι καὶ αὐτοῦ ἡ σκιὰ μόνη ὅταν ἔπεφτε στοὺς ἀσθενεῖς τοὺς θεράπευε. Ὁ Ζήνων εἶναι ὁ ἴδιος με τὸν νομικὸ Ζηνᾶ, ποὺ σὰ γνήσιος καὶ εὐδόκιμος ἐργάτης τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου, βοήθησε γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ στὴν Κρήτη μαζὶ μὲ τὸν Ἀπολλώ. Γι᾿ αὐτὸ καὶ ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος τόσο συγκινητικὰ καὶ φιλόστοργα συνιστᾷ στὸν Τίτο, νὰ τοὺς φροντίσει τόσο πολύ, ὥστε νὰ μὴ τοὺς λείψει τίποτα (Τίτ. γ´. 13). Ὁ Ζήνων, διέπρεψε καὶ σὰν ἐπίσκοπος Διοσπόλεως.
Ἡ Ἁγία Γαϊανή
Στοὺς Συναξαριστὲς δὲν ὑπάρχει κανένα βιογραφικό της στοιχεῖο, μόνο ἡ φράση «τὰ νῶτα φλεχθεῖσα τελειοῦται». (Ἄλλες πηγὲς ἀναφέρουν ὅτι μαρτύρησε μετὰ τῆς Ἁγίας Ἐπιχάρεως).
Οἱ Ἅγιοι 15 Μάρτυρες
Οἱ Ἅγιοι αὐτοὶ μαρτύρησαν μὲ τὸν ἑξῆς τρόπο: Ἀφοῦ τοὺς ἔβαλαν μέσα σ᾿ ἕνα πλοῖο καὶ ξανοίχτηκαν στὴ θάλασσα, κατόπιν οἱ εἰδωλολάτρες τρύπησαν τὸ πλοῖο μὲ ἀποτέλεσμα νὰ πνίγουν ὅλοι οἱ Ἅγιοι αὐτοί.
Ἡ Ἁγία Ἀκυλίνα
Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὸ χωριὸ Ζαγκλιβέρι τῆς Θεσσαλονίκης καὶ ἀνατράφηκε ἀπὸ γονεῖς εὐσεβεῖς. Ὁ πατέρας της ὅμως σκότωσε ἕνα Τοῦρκο, μετὰ ἀπὸ φιλονικία μαζί του. Γιὰ ν᾿ ἀποφύγει τὴν τιμωρία τοῦ θανάτου, δέχτηκε τὸν μουσουλμανισμό. Ἀλλ᾿ ἡ μητέρα της ἔμεινε σταθερὴ στὸν Χριστὸ καὶ κάθε μέρα δίδασκε στὴν Ἀκυλίνα τὴν ἀρετὴ καὶ τὴν πίστη. Παρὰ τὶς ἐπίμονες προσπάθειες τοῦ πατέρα της καὶ τὶς ἀπειλὲς τῶν Τούρκων, ἡ Ἀκυλίνα δὲν ἀρνήθηκε τὸν Χριστό. Ὅταν τὴν ὁδηγοῦσαν στὸ μαρτύριο τὴν ἀκολουθοῦσε καὶ ἡ μητέρα της, ποὺ τὴν παρότρυνε σ᾿ αὐτό. Ἡ Ἀκυλίνα ἤλεγχε μὲ θάρρος τοὺς Τούρκους καὶ τὴν θρησκεία τους, μὲ ἀποτέλεσμα νὰ πεθάνει μαρτυρικά, μετὰ ἀπὸ πολυήμερο ραβδισμό, στὶς 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 1764.