Cleopas, Apostle of the 70
Zenobios & Zenobia the Martyrs
Άγιοι Ζηνόβιος και Ζηνοβία τα αδέλφια
Άγιος Μαρκιανός ο Ιερομάρτυρας
Άγιοι Αλέξανδρος, Κρονίων, Ιουλιανός, Μακάριος και άλλοι Δεκατρείς Μάρτυρες
Άγιοι Κλεόπας ο Απόστολος και Ιωσήφ Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινούπολης
Άγιοι Τέρτιος, Μάρκος, Ιούστος και Αρτεμάς οι Απόστολοι από τους Εβδομήκοντα
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from John 20:19-31
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them: "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe."
Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to Him: "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 20.19-31
Οὔσης οὖν ὀψίας τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων, καὶ τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων ὅπου ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ συνηγμένοι διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων, ἦλθεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ ἔστη εἰς τὸ μέσον, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν. καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἔδειξεν αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τὴν πλευρὰν αὐτοῦ. ἐχάρησαν οὖν οἱ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες τὸν Κύριον. εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς πάλιν· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν. καθὼς ἀπέσταλκέ με ὁ πατήρ, κἀγὼ πέμπω ὑμᾶς. καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἐνεφύσησε καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· λάβετε Πνεῦμα ῞Αγιον· ἄν τινων ἀφῆτε τὰς ἁμαρτίας, ἀφίενται αὐτοῖς, ἄν τινων κρατῆτε, κεκράτηνται.
Θωμᾶς δὲ εἷς ἐκ τῶν δώδεκα, ὁ λεγόμενος Δίδυμος, οὐκ ἦν μετ᾽ αὐτῶν ὅτε ἦλθεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς. ἔλεγον οὖν αὐτῷ οἱ ἄλλοι μαθηταί· ἑωράκαμεν τὸν Κύριον. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἐὰν μὴ ἴδω ἐν ταῖς χερσὶν αὐτοῦ τὸν τύπον τῶν ἥλων, καὶ βάλω τὸν δάκτυλόν μου εἰς τὸν τύπον τῶν ἥλων, καὶ βάλω τὴν χεῖρά μου εἰς τὴν πλευρὰν αὐτοῦ, οὐ μὴ πιστεύσω. Καὶ μεθ᾽ ἡμέρας ὀκτὼ πάλιν ἦσαν ἔσω οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ Θωμᾶς μετ᾽ αὐτῶν. ἔρχεται ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς τῶν θυρῶν κεκλεισμένων, καὶ ἔστη εἰς τὸ μέσον καὶ εἶπεν· εἰρήνη ὑμῖν. εἶτα λέγει τῷ Θωμᾷ· φέρε τὸν δάκτυλόν σου ὧδε καὶ ἴδε τὰς χεῖράς μου, καὶ φέρε τὴν χεῖρά σου καὶ βάλε εἰς τὴν πλευράν μου, καὶ μὴ γίνου ἄπιστος, ἀλλὰ πιστός. καὶ ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου. λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· ὅτι ἑώρακάς με, πεπίστευκας· μακάριοι οἱ μὴ ἰδόντες καὶ πιστεύσαντες. Πολλὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ ἄλλα σημεῖα ἐποίησεν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐνώπιον τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, ἃ οὐκ ἔστι γεγραμμένα ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τούτῳ· ταῦτα δὲ γέγραπται ἵνα πιστεύσητε ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες ζωὴν ἔχητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ.
The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 1:11-19
BRETHREN, I would have you know that the gospel which was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother.
Πρὸς Γαλάτας 1:11-19
Ἀδελφοί, γνωρίζω δὲ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τὸ εὐαγγελισθὲν ὑπʼ ἐμοῦ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν κατὰ ἄνθρωπον. Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐγὼ παρὰ ἀνθρώπου παρέλαβον αὐτό, οὔτε ἐδιδάχθην, ἀλλὰ διʼ ἀποκαλύψεως Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ. Ἠκούσατε γὰρ τὴν ἐμὴν ἀναστροφήν ποτε ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ, ὅτι καθʼ ὑπερβολὴν ἐδίωκον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ἐπόρθουν αὐτήν· καὶ προέκοπτον ἐν τῷ Ἰουδαϊσμῷ ὑπὲρ πολλοὺς συνηλικιώτας ἐν τῷ γένει μου, περισσοτέρως ζηλωτὴς ὑπάρχων τῶν πατρικῶν μου παραδόσεων. Ὅτε δὲ εὐδόκησεν ὁ θεὸς ὁ ἀφορίσας με ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου καὶ καλέσας διὰ τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ, ἀποκαλύψαι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν ἐμοὶ ἵνα εὐαγγελίζωμαι αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, εὐθέως οὐ προσανεθέμην σαρκὶ καὶ αἵματι· οὐδὲ ἀνῆλθον εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα πρὸς τοὺς πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἀποστόλους, ἀλλὰ ἀπῆλθον εἰς Ἀραβίαν, καὶ πάλιν ὑπέστρεψα εἰς Δαμασκόν. Ἔπειτα μετὰ ἔτη τρία ἀνῆλθον εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἱστορῆσαι Πέτρον, καὶ ἐπέμεινα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡμέρας δεκαπέντε. Ἕτερον δὲ τῶν ἀποστόλων οὐκ εἶδον, εἰ μὴ Ἰάκωβον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου.
The Reading is from Luke 16:19-31
The Lord said, "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazaros, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazaros in his bosom. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazaros to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazaros in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses, and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to them, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 16.19-31
Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος· ῎Ανθρωπος δέ τις ἦν πλούσιος, καὶ ἐνεδιδύσκετο πορφύραν καὶ βύσσον εὐφραινόμενος καθ᾿ ἡμέραν λαμπρῶς. πτωχὸς δέ τις ἦν ὀνόματι Λάζαρος, ὃς ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ ἡλκωμένος καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου· ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἀπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ. ἐγένετο δὲ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πτωχὸν καὶ ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων εἰς τὸν κόλπον ᾿Αβραάμ· ἀπέθανε δὲ καὶ ὁ πλούσιος καὶ ἐτάφη. καὶ ἐν τῷ ᾅδῃ ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις, ὁρᾷ τὸν ᾿Αβραὰμ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ. καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπε· πάτερ ᾿Αβραάμ, ἐλέησόν με καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ ὕδατος καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου, ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ. εἶπε δὲ ᾿Αβραάμ· τέκνον, μνήσθητι ὅτι ἀπέλαβες σὺ τὰ ἀγαθά σου ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου, καὶ Λάζαρος ὁμοίως τὰ κακά· νῦν δὲ ὧδε παρακαλεῖται, σὺ δὲ ὀδυνᾶσαι· καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσι τούτοις μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται, ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται, μηδὲ οἱ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν. εἶπε δέ· ἐρωτῶ οὖν σε, πάτερ, ἵνα πέμψῃς αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός μου· ἔχω γὰρ πέντε ἀδελφούς· ὅπως διαμαρτύρηται αὐτοῖς, ἵνα μὴ καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔλθωσιν εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦτον τῆς βασάνου. λέγει αὐτῷ ᾿Αβραάμ· ἔχουσι Μωϋσέα καὶ τοὺς προφήτας· ἀκουσάτωσαν αὐτῶν. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· οὐχί, πάτερ ᾿Αβραάμ, ἀλλ᾿ ἐάν τις ἀπὸ νεκρῶν πορευθῇ πρὸς αὐτούς, μετανοήσουσιν. εἶπε δὲ αὐτῷ· εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν, οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ Λ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Ζηνοβίου καὶ Ζηνοβίας τῶν αὐταδέλφων.
Συγκαρτερεῖ σοι Ζηνόβιε τὸ ξίφος,
Ἡ καρτερόφρων, κἂν γυνή, Ζηνοβία.
Τμήθη Ζηνοβίῃ καὶ ἀδελφεὸς ἐν τριακοστῇ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἱερομάρτυρος Μαρκιανοῦ, Ἐπισκόπου Συρακούσης, μαθητοῦ τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀποστόλου Πέτρου.
Χριστοῦ τὸν εὔνουν Μαρκιανὸν οἰκέτην,
Διὰ βρόχου κτείνουσιν οἱ Χριστοκτόνοι.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Ἀλεξάνδρου, Κρονίωνος, Ἰουλιανοῦ, Μακαρίου, καὶ ἑτέρων δέκα καὶ τριῶν.
Σὺν Ἀλεξάνδρῳ τῆς τιτάνου τὸ ζέον,
Φέρει Κρονίων, υἱὸν οὐ σέβων Κρόνου.
Ἰουλιανὸς καὶ Μακάριος ξίφει,
Ζωὴν ἐφεῦρον τὴν μακαριωτάτην.
Οὐ πῦρ ἀναφθέν, οὐ ξίφος θηχθέν, Λόγε,
Δὶς πέντε καὶ τρεῖς ἄνδρας ἐκ σοῦ χωρίσει.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῆς Ἁγίας Μάρτυρος Εὐτροπίας.
Τὴν Εὐτροπίαν οἷα νύμφην λαμπάδες,
Προὔπεμπον οἴκῳ τοῦ νοητοῦ Νυμφίου.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀποστόλου Κλεόπα καὶ τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἰωσήφ, Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, καὶ τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων, Ἀστερίου, Κλαυδίου, Νέωνος, καὶ τῆς ἀδελφῆς αὐτῶν Νεονίλλης.
Κλαύδιος, Ἀστέριος, ἀλλὰ καὶ Νέων,
Ἄθλῳ ξίφους ὤφθησαν ἀστέρες νέοι.
Ἐπὶ ξύλου ταθεῖσα ἡ Νεονίλλα,
Ξύλου παλαιὰν ἐξερεύγεται βλάβην.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων ἐκ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα, Τερτίου, Μάρκου, Ἰούστου καὶ Ἀρτεμᾶ.
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Zenobios & Zenobia the Martyrs These Saints were from Aegae in Cilicia, brought up in piety by their parents. Zenobios was a physician, and healed many freely by the power of God; because of his virtue he was consecrated Bishop of Aegae. With his sister he was taken by Lysias the Governor, and after many tortures they were beheaded, about the year 290, during the reign of Diocletian.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Οι Μάρτυρές σου, Κύριε, εν τή αθλήσει αυτών, στεφάνους εκομίσαντο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, σχόντες γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλον, έθραυσαν καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση. Αυτών ταίς ικεσίαις, Χριστέ ο Θεός, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
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 Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Τούς αληθείας Μάρτυρας, καί ευσεβείας κήρυκας, τώv αδελφώv τήν δυάδα τιμήσωμεν, εν θεοπνεύστοις άσμασι, τόν Zηvόβιοv άμα τή σεπτή Zηνοβία, ομού βιώσαντας, καί διά μαρτυρίου τευξαμένους στέφος άφθαρτον.
With songs inspired by God, let us now render honour, as is due unto Zenobios and wise Zenobia, the pair of siblings in the flesh, who proclaimed true religion; those two martyrs of truth, who, passing their lives as one, also received together through martyrdom crowns that shall not fade.
"Οι βουλόμενοι πλουτείν εμπίπτουσιν εις πειρασμόν και παγίδα και επιθυμίας πολλάς ανοήτους και βλαβεράς, αίτινες βυθίζουσι τους ανθρώπους εις όλεθρον και απώλειαν". Δηλαδή, εκείνοι που θέλουν να μαζεύουν πλούτον πέφτουν σε πειρασμό και παγίδα και σε πολλές ανόητες και βλαβερές επιθυμίες, που βυθίζουν τους ανθρώπους στην καταστροφή και την απώλεια. Είναι λόγια της θείας Γραφής με το στόμα του Αποστόλου παύλου, λόγια με αιώνιο κύρος. Οι τέσσερις αδελφοί και άγιοι Μάρτυρες Κλαύδιος, Αστέριος, Νέων και Νεονίλλα, των οποίων η Εκκλησία σήμερα τιμά την μνήμη, εμαρτύρησαν βέβαια για την χριστιανική τους πίστη, μα η αρχική αιτία, για την οποία κατηγορήθηκαν για χριστιανοί, ήταν η μεγάλη πατρική τους περιουσία. Η μητρυιά τους, μετά τον θάνατο του πατέρα τους, για να σφετερισθή την περιουσία, κατάγγειλε τους τέσσερις αδελφούς. Πραγματικά λοιπόν "ρίζα πάντων των κακών έστιν η φιλαργυρία".
Holy Martyrs Zenobius and his sister Zenobia (~290)
These two holy ones were brother and sister, living the city of Aegea in Cilicia. When their parents died, they gave all their possessions to the poor. Zenobius, a physician, gave his healing services for free to all who came to him, often relying more upon the holy Name of Jesus than upon medicines. In time, he became Bishop of Aegea. During the persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian, Zenobius was arrested and brought before the governor Lysias, who demanded that he deny Christ and worship the idols. When Zenobius refused, he was subjected to torture. Zenobia, hearing of this, rushed to be with him and openly rebuked the governor. The two were then tortured together and finally beheaded, faithful to their Lord to the end.
Holy Apostle Cleopas
He is numbered among the Seventy. On the day of the Resurrection, Cleopas and St Luke were walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus when the Risen Christ appeared to them, as recounted in the twenty-fourth chapter of St Luke's Gospel.
The Gospel account does not name St Cleopas' companion, but the holy tradition of the Church tells us that it was St Luke himself, and thus that the story is a first-hand account.
St Joseph I, Patriarch of Constantinople (1283)
Once a married priest, he entered monastic life when his wife died, and became the spiritual father of the Emperor Michael VIII Paleologus, during whose reign he was elevated to the Patriarchate. Despite this patronage, St Joseph's integrity was inviolable: At his first Divine Liturgy as Patriarch, he required the Emperor publicly to confess and repent of several sins before admitting him to Communion. He fiercely opposed the Emperor's expedient policy of union with Rome, and was therefore deposed, retiring once more to monastic life. In old age, he was restored to the Patriarchal throne upon the death of Emperor Michael, but died a few months later.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ζηνόβιος καὶ Ζηνοβία τὰ ἀδέλφια
Κατάγονταν ἀπὸ τὶς Αἰγαῖς τῆς Κιλικίας καὶ ἦταν κληρονόμοι μεγάλης περιουσίας. Ὁ Ζηνόβιος εἶχε σπουδάσει ἰατρική, καὶ ὄχι μόνο πρόσφερε ἀφιλοκερδῶς τὶς ὑπηρεσίες του στοὺς πάσχοντες, ἀλλὰ ἐπιπλέον πλούσια μοίραζε ἀπὸ τὰ ἀγαθά του σ᾿ αὐτούς. Μὲ τὴν συμπεριφορά του αὐτὴ στήριζε τοὺς χριστιανούς, καὶ πολλοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες ἔφερε στὴ χριστιανικὴ πίστη. Ὅταν πληροφορήθηκε αὐτὸ ὁ ἔπαρχος Λυσίας, ἔδωσε διαταγὴ καὶ τὸν συνέλαβαν. Ὁ Ζηνόβιος μὲ παῤῥησία ὁμολόγησε ὅτι πράγματι εἶναι χριστιανός, καὶ ὅ,τι κάνει, τὸ κάνει γιὰ τὴν σωτηρία ψυχῶν καὶ τὴν δόξα τοῦ ἀληθινοῦ Θεοῦ. Ὁ Λυσίας μὲ αὐστηρότητα τοῦ εἶπε ὅτι ἂν δὲ σταματήσει αὐτὸ ποὺ κάνει καὶ δὲν ἀρνηθεῖ τὸ Χριστό, θὰ μαρτυρήσει φρικτά. Ὁ Ζηνόβιος ἀπάντησε ὅτι τὰ μαρτύρια μποροῦν νὰ βλάψουν τὸ σῶμα του, ἀλλὰ τὴν ψυχή του ποτέ. Διότι λέει ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ: «Καὶ τὶς ὁ κακώσων ὑμᾶς, ἐὰν τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ μιμητοὶ γένησθε;». Ποιός, δηλαδή, θὰ μπορέσει νὰ σᾶς κάνει κακὸ καὶ νὰ σᾶς ἐπιφέρει πραγματικὴ βλάβη, ἂν γίνετε μιμητὲς καὶ ἀκόλουθοι τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ; Ὁ Λυσίας ἀμέσως διέταξε καὶ τὸν βασάνισαν. Τότε παρενέβη ἡ ἀδελφή του Ζηνοβία καὶ ἤλεγξε τὸ Λυσία, ὅτι αὐτὸ ποὺ κάνει εἶναι ἄνανδρο. Ἀλλὰ ὁ ἔπαρχος συνέλαβε καὶ αὐτή, καὶ τελικὰ ἀποκεφάλισε καὶ τοὺς δυό. (Κάτ, ἄλλη ἐκδοχὴ ὁ Ζηνόβιος μαρτύρησε ἐπὶ Διοκλητιανοῦ. Γεννήθηκε ἀπὸ γονεῖς εὐσεβεῖς τὸν Ζηνόδοτο καὶ τὴν Θέκλα, καὶ πώς, ὅταν μεγάλωσε ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος Αἰγῶν, ἐπιτελῶντας πολλὰ θαύματα).
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μαρκιανός Ἱερομάρτυρας ἐπίσκοπος Συρακουσῶν
Βαπτίστηκε καὶ χειροτονήθηκε ἀπὸ τὸν Ἀπόστολο Πέτρο καὶ στάλθηκε ἐπίσκοπος στὶς Συρακοῦσες τῆς Σικελίας. Ἐκεῖ κατέπληξε μὲ τὰ θαύματά του διὰ τῆς προσευχῆς καὶ κατάφερε νὰ ἐκχριστιανίσει τοὺς περισσότερους κατοίκους τῆς περιοχῆς αὐτῆς. Ὁπότε οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, κινούμενοι ἀπὸ φθόνο, τὸν θανάτωσαν μὲ βίαιο θάνατο καὶ ἔτσι ὁ ἅγιος Μαρκιανὸς πῆρε τὸ ἀμάραντο στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Κοϊντάς, Μήτρας, Νεμεσίων, Πτολεμαῖος, Θεόφιλος, Ἰγένης, Ἰσίδωρος, Κλαύδιος, Ἐπίμαχος, Εὐτρόπιος, Ζήνων, Ἤρων, Ἀμμών, Ἀτήρ, Βήσας, Διόσκουρος, Ἀλέξανδρος, Κρονίων, Ἰουλιανός, Μακάριος καὶ ἄλλοι 13 Μάρτυρες
Μαρτύρησαν στὰ χρόνια τοῦ βασιλιᾶ Δεκίου τὸ 250, στὴν Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Οἱ δυὸ πρῶτοι θανατώθηκαν, μετὰ ἀπὸ σκληρὰ βασανιστήρια, ἀφοῦ ἔχυσαν ἐπάνω τους βρασμένη ἀσβέστη. Οἱ δὲ ἑπόμενοι δυό, ἀφοῦ καὶ αὐτοὶ βασανίστηκαν ἀπάνθρωπα, στὸ τέλος τοὺς ἀποκεφάλισαν. Ἀπὸ τοὺς ἄλλους 13 μάρτυρες, ἄλλους ἔκαψαν ζωντανοὺς καὶ ἄλλους ἀποκεφάλισαν.
Ἡ Ἁγία Εὐτροπία
Ἦταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρεια τῆς Αἰγύπτου καὶ μάταια ὁ ἔπαρχος Ἀπελλιανὸς προσπαθοῦσε νὰ διεγείρει τὴν ψυχὴ τῆς Εὐτροπίας στὶς ὁρμὲς τῆς ζωῆς, τῶν ἀνέσεων, τῶν τέρψεων καὶ τῶν ἡδονῶν, ποὺ ὑποσχόταν σ᾿ αὐτήν, ἂν ἤθελε ν᾿ ἀρνηθεῖ τὸν Χριστό. Τέρψη, ἡδονὴ καὶ ἄνεση γιὰ μένα εἶναι, ἔλεγε ἡ Εὔτροπια, τὸ νὰ ζῶ κατὰ τὰ χριστιανικὰ παραγγέλματα. Ἐμᾶς ἑλκύουν ἡ ἐγκράτεια, ἡ λιτότητα, οἱ κακοπάθειες καὶ οἱ θλίψεις γιὰ τοὺς ἄλλους, ἡ δὲ μεγαλύτερη τῶν ἡδονῶν εἶναι ὁ θάνατος γιὰ τὸ Χριστό. Καὶ αὐτὸ τὸ ἀπέδειξε ἡ μάρτυς καὶ μὲ ἔργα. Οὔτε φυλακή, οὔτε σιδερένια νύχια καὶ ἀναμμένες λαμπάδες πτόησαν ἢ πίκραναν τὴν ψυχή της. Τὰ λόγια της ἐξακολουθοῦσαν θαῤῥαλέα καὶ ἡρωικά, τὸ δὲ κεφάλι της βάφηκε μὲ τὸ αἷμα της. Καὶ τὸ κεφάλι ἐκεῖνο, ποὺ μὲ τέτοιο τρόπο ἔπεσε, ἦταν τὸ τιμιότερο ἀπὸ κάθε ἄλλο κεφάλι στολισμένο μὲ διαμάντια καὶ στέμματα βασιλικά.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Κλεόπας ὁ Ἀπόστολος καὶ Ἰωσὴφ Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως
Ὁ Κλεόπας ἦταν ἕνας ἀπὸ τοὺς 70 μαθητὲς τοῦ Κυρίου. Γι᾿ αὐτὸν βλέπε στὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν Εὐαγγέλιον ΚΔ´ 19-27. Ὁ Κλεόπας, ἔλαβε καὶ αὐτὸς κατὰ τὴν ἡμέρα τῆς Πεντηκοστῆς τὰ χαρίσματα τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος καὶ πέρασε τὴ ζωή του κοπιάζοντας γιὰ τὸ Εὐαγγέλιο. Ὁ δὲ Ἰωσὴφ ἔζησε τὸν 13ο αἰῶνα. Ἔγινε Ἱερομόναχος μετὰ τὸν θάνατο τῆς συζύγου του καὶ διαδέχτηκε στὸν Πατριαρχικὸ θρόνο τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως τὸν Γερμανὸ Γ´ τὸ 1268. Τὸ 1275 ὑπέβαλε τὴν παραίτησή του, διότι ὁ βασιλιὰς Μιχαήλ, εἶχε ὑπογράψει χωρὶς τὴν θέληση κλήρου καὶ λαοῦ, στὴ Λυὼν τῆς Γαλλίας, τὴν ἕνωση τῆς Ἀνατολικῆς καὶ τῆς παπικῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Στὶς 31 Ὀκτωβρίου 1282 ἐπανῆλθε στὸν θρόνο καὶ ἔκανε πολλὲς καὶ κοπιαστικὲς περιοδεῖες γιὰ νὰ ἀποκαταστήσει τὴν Ὀρθόδοξη ἐκκλησιαστικὴ τάξη. Ὅμως, τὸν Μάρτιο τοῦ 1283, ἐξουθενωμένος ἀπὸ τοὺς κόπους, παρέδωσε τὸ πνεῦμα του στὸ Θεό.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἀστέριος, Κλαύδιος, Νέων καὶ Νεονίλλη τὰ ἀδέλφια
Αὐτοὶ ἦταν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως τῶν Λαράνδων, τὸ γένος Ἴσαυροι καὶ ἀδέλφια κατὰ σάρκα, στὰ χρόνια τοῦ Διοκλητιανοῦ καὶ Λυσίου ἡγεμόνος τῆς Κιλικίας. Ὅταν πέθανε ὁ πατέρας τους, ἔπεσαν στὰ νύχια τῆς κακιᾶς μητριᾶς τους, ποὺ ἤθελε νὰ ἁρπάξει τὴν περιουσία ποὺ τοὺς ἄφησε ὁ πατέρας τους. Τὰ τέσσερα ἀδέλφια δὲν ἐπέτρεψαν στὴ μητριά τους νὰ οἰκειοποιηθεῖ τὴν περιουσία τους, ἀντίθετα ὅμως, μὲ κάθε προθυμία βοηθοῦσαν μὲ τὰ χρήματα αὐτὰ τοὺς φτωχούς. Τότε ἡ μέγαιρα μητριά, γιὰ νὰ ἐκδικηθεῖ τὰ τέσσερα ἀδέλφια, τὰ κατάγγειλε στὸν ἡγεμόνα τῆς Κιλικίας Λυσία, ὅτι ἦταν χριστιανοί. Ἀμέσως συνελήφθησαν καὶ βασανίστηκαν σκληρά. Ἀλλὰ τὸ φρόνημά τους δὲν ἄλλαξε. Τότε ἀποκεφαλίστηκαν καὶ οἱ τέσσερις, τὰ δὲ σώματά τους ῥίχτηκαν στὰ φαράγγια γιὰ νὰ τὰ φάνε τὰ ὄρνεα. Ἀλλ᾿ ἡ ψυχή τους πέταξε ἔνδοξη μπροστὰ στὸν θρόνο τοῦ Θεοῦ, περιμένοντας τὴ μεγάλη ἡμέρα τῆς μισθαποδοσίας.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Τέρτιος, Μᾶρκος, Ἰοῦστος (ἢ Ἰησοῦς) καὶ Ἀρτεμᾶς οἱ Ἀπόστολοι ἀπὸ τοὺς 70
Ὁ Τέρτιος ἔγινε δεύτερος ἐπίσκοπος Ἰκονίου μετὰ τὸν Σωσίπατρο. Ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ τὴν πρὸς Ῥωμαίους Ἐπιστολὴ τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου, καθὼς ὁ ἴδιος μαρτυρεῖ (Ρωμ. ιστ´ 22).
Ὁ Μᾶρκος, ἀνεψιὸς τοῦ Βαρνάβα, ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος Ἀπολλωνιάδας καὶ μὲ τὸ Εὐαγγελικό του κήρυγμα ἐξολόθρευσε τὸ σέβας τῶν εἰδώλων. (Κολ. δ´ 10).
Ὁ Ἰοῦστος ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος Ἐλευθερουπόλεως καὶ μὲ τὰ λόγια του καὶ τὰ θαύματά του εἵλκυσε στὴν ἀλήθεια τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου τοὺς ἐκεῖ ἀπίστους.
Καὶ ὁ Ἀρτεμᾶς ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος στὰ Λύστρα, καὶ σὰν δόκιμος ὑπηρέτης τοῦ Χριστοῦ διέλυσε στὸν τόπο αὐτὸν τὴν πλάνη τῶν δαιμόνων.
The PriestMartyr Zenobios, Bishop of Egeia, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr's death in the year 285 in Cilicia. From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their wealth, an inheritance, giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobios with the gift of healing various maladies. And he was chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.
In the dignity of bishop, Saint Zenobios zealously spread the Christian faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobios was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius. "I shalt speak with thee but briefly, -- said Licius to the saint, -- for I propose to thee: life -- if thou worshipest our gods, or death -- if thou dost not". The saint answered: "This present life without Christ is death; better I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him because of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in hades".
By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The sister of the bishop, seeing the suffering of her brother, wanted then to stop it with him. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ afront the governor, for which she also was given over to torture.
By the power of the Lord they remained alive after torture on a red-hot cot and in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. Presbyter Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs.
The Holy Disciples from the Seventy: Tertius (Tercias), Mark, Justus and Artemis. Saint Tertius was the second bishop in succession (after the holy Disciple Sosipater) in Iconium, where he converted many pagans to Christ, and here he ended his life as a martyr. The Apostle Paul makes mention of him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16: 22). Saint Mark, he that was John, (Acts 12: 12), a nephew of the Disciple Barnabas, was bishop of Apolloniada (Col. 4: 10). It was in the house of his mother Maria that the persecuted disciples found shelter after the Ascension of the Lord. Saint Justus, called Barsaba, a son of Saint Joseph the Betrothed, was chosen in place of Judas, together with Matthias. He was a bishop and died a martyr's death at Eleutheropolis.
Saint Artemis was bishop of the Lycian city of Lystra, and he died peacefully.
The Holy PriestMartyr Marcian, Bishop of Syracuse, a disciple of the Apostle Peter, was sent to Sicily. Here he settled into a cave near the city of Syracuse and successfully spread the faith in Christ. He died a martyr. His relics are situated in the Italian city of Gaeta. (The PriestMartyr Marcian is the same person as Saint Marcellus, Bishop of Sicily, whose memory is 9 February).
The Martyress Eutropia suffered for Christ in Alexandria in about the year 250. Often visiting Christians locked up in prison, she encouraged them to the patient endurance of suffering. For this the saint was arrested. At her trial she firmly confessed her faith in Christ and she died after grievous tortures.
Saint Stefan (Stephen) Miliutin, King of Serbia, his brother Dragutin, and their mother Elena (Helen): Saint Stefan was the younger son of king Stefan Urosh I, and grandson of First-Crowned King Saint Stefan (Comm. 24 September). He ruled Serbia from 1275 to 1320. Stefan Miliutin received the throne from his elder brother Dragutin, a true Christian, who after a short reign transferred power over to his brother, and he himself in loving solitude withdrew to Srem, where he did secret ascetic deeds in a grave-pit, dug by his own hand. During his righteous life, Saint Dragutin toiled much over converting the heretic Bogomils to the true faith. His death occurred on 2 March 1316.
Saint Stefan Miliutin, having become king, bravely by both word and by deed, defended the Orthodox Serbs and other same-faith peoples from numerous enemies. Pious Stefan did not forget to thank the Lord for His beneficence. More than 40 churches were built by him, as also many monastery and vagrant hostels. The saint particularly concerned himself with the Athonite monasteries.
When the Serbian kingdom fell, the monasteries remained centres of national culture and Orthodoxy for the Serb nation. Saint Stefan died on 29 October 1320 and was buried at the Bansk monastery. After two years his undecayed relics were uncovered.
Saint Elena, the pious mother to her sainted sons, after the death of her husband devoted her whole life to pious deeds: she built a shelter for the impoverished, and constructed a monastery for those wanting to live in purity and virginity. Near the city of Spich she erected the Rechesk monastery and endowed it with the necessities. Before her death, Saint Elena accepted monasticism and expired to the Lord on 8 February 1306.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. The Hieromartyr Zenobius and his sister Zenobia
They were from the town of Aegea in Cilicia. They inherited the true Faith and great material wealth from their parents. Working zealously for the Faith and with great love, they distributed all their wealth to the poor. Because their hands were so generous, the hand of God shielded them from every evil intent of men and demons. The generous hands of Zenobius, which gave to the poor, were endowed by God with the gift of miracle-working, and Zenobius healed the sick of every kind of infirmity merely by touching them. Zenobius was appointed Bishop of Aegea. During a persecution, the Prefect Lysias arrested him and said: ``I offer you two choices: life or death; life if you worship the gods, or death if you do not.'' St. Zenobius replied: ``Life without Christ is not life but death, whereas death for the sake of Christ is not death but life.'' When Zenobius was subjected to cruel tortures, Zenobia came to the judge and said: ``I also want to drink from this cup of suffering, and be crowned with that wreath.'' After being tortured in fire and in boiling pitch, both were beheaded with the sword in about the year 285. Thus this brother and sister took up their habitation in the Kingdom of the Immortal Christ the King.
2. The Holy Apostles Cleopas, Tertius, Mark, Justus and Artemas
They were all numbered among the Seventy. The risen Lord appeared to Cleopas on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-33). Tertius wrote down the Epistle to the Romans for Paul (Romans 16:22), and died a martyr as Bishop of Iconium after the Apostle Sosipater (November 10). St. Mark (or John) was the son of the devout Mary (whose home was a refuge for the apostles and the first Christians), and a kinsman of Barnabas (Acts 12:12). He became the bishop of the Samaritan town of Apollonia. Justus was a son of Joseph the Betrothed. Together with Matthias, he was one of those selected as a possible replacement for Judas the traitor, but he was not chosen. He suffered for the Gospel as a bishop in Eleutheropolis. St. Artemas was Bishop of Lystra in Lycaonia, and reposed peacefully.
3. The Holy King Milutin
Milutin was the son of Uro I and Queen Helena and brother of Dragutin. He fought many battles defending his Faith and his people. He fought against Emperor Michael Palaeologus because Palaeologus accepted union with Rome and tried to force the Balkan peoples and the monks of Athos to recognize the pope. He fought against Shishman, King of Bulgaria, and Nogai, King of the Tartars, in order to defend his lands. All his wars were successful, for he constantly prayed to God and hoped in God. He built more than forty churches: beside those that he built in his own land-Treskavac, Graèanica, St. George in Nagoriè, the Church of the Holy Theotokos in Skoplje, Banjska and so forth-he also built churches outside of his land, in Thessalonica, Sofia, Constantinople, Jerusalem and the Holy Mountain. He entered into rest in the Lord on October 29, 1320. His body was soon shown to be incorrupt and miracle-working; and as such, it reposes even today in the Church of the Holy King in Sofia, Bulgaria.
HYMN OF PRAISE
The Holy King Milutin
The saint of God, Milutin the gallant,
Had a great and difficult task:
To defend the Faith against evil schismatics,
And the people against many cruel tyrants.
He was a scourge to Palaeologus, and a scourge to the Latins-
Milutin triumphed over all the unbelievers.
The Orthodox Faith was his great treasure,
As it was Justinian's crown of pearls!
And, like Justinian, he built many churches,
And raised up glory to the glorious Christ throughout the world.
Royally he attended to matters imperial,
But his mind was not parted from Christ God.
Thus, pure and innocent in heart was he,
A venerable mind in the whirlpool of the world.
God, Who looks at the heart and judges accordingly,
Granted King Milutin immortality-
Immortality of soul, and an incorrupt body.
And lo, our holy king, even now, is intact!
As you fear no man, O wondrous King,
Be our defender before the Living God,
That he forgive our sinful monstrosities,
And vouchsafe us, with you, the Heavenly Kingdom.
A great son of the Orthodox Church, King Milutin saved the Balkans from Uniatism. At that time in history when the Byzantine emperor's conscience was weakened, this noble and God-bearing Slavic king rose up decisively and, with God's help, saved Orthodoxy-not only in his own land, but also in all the lands of the Balkans. He who closely examines the life of the holy King Milutin will understand why God gave him success after success in all his works throughout his life. When Milutin ascended the throne, he immediately vowed to God that he would build a church for each year that he would reign. He reigned forty-two years and built forty-two churches. Next to some of the churches-for example, in Thessalonica and Constantinople-he also built hospitals for the indigent, where the poor would receive everything free of charge. Beyond that, he especially loved to give alms to the needy from his own enormous wealth. Oftentimes, this powerful and wealthy king dressed in the clothes of a poor man and, with two or three of his servants, walked among the people at night and asked about their misfortunes, and gave to them abundantly. He lived a very simple, familial life, even in the midst of his great wealth-though he never seemed that way to foreigners. He had become accustomed to a simple life while still at the home of his father, King Uro I. It is told how Emperor Michael Palaeologus sent his daughter Anna with a retinue to the court of King Uro, as an offering to Milutin, in order to lure the Serbian king into union with Rome. But King Uro, seeing the foolish extravagance of the princess and her retinue, said: “What is this, and what is it for? We are not used to such a life.'' And pointing to a Serbian princess with a distaff in her hand, he said: “Behold, this is the kind of clothing we expect our daughter-in-law to wear.''
on the desire for God-the only desire of the righteous
Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee (Psalm 73:25).
In heaven and on earth, there is one supreme good for the soul of an awakened man. That good is God. There is countless good in heaven, but the King of heaven is the greatest good. There is countless good on earth, but the Creator of all of this good is incomparable. That is why the soul of the awakened man asks: ``What could I have or what could I desire, either in heaven or on earth, beside Thee?'' Is the river necessary to the one who is brought to drink at its source? Does one who sits at the king's table desire the shepherd's dinner? God alone is sufficient in Himself to satisfy all of men's hunger and thirst. The heavens are God's, the earth is God's. The Lord of all good is the greatest good; the Creator of all sweetness is the greatest sweetness; the Bearer of all wisdom is the greatest wisdom; the Source of all power and mercy is the greatest power and mercy; the Creator of every kind of beauty in heaven and on earth is the greatest beauty. No kind of good can enter the heart of man-whether openly or in a dream-that is not already in God to the highest degree.
Therefore, my brethren, let us ask God that we may receive all; let us seek God that we may find all; let us become rich in God that we may be rich in all.
O Lord our God, come near us when our souls seek Thee.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.