FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Erastos, Olympas, Herodion, Sosipatros, Quartus, Tertios, Apostles of the 70
Holy Father Arsenius of Cappadocia
Our Holy Father Gregory, Bishop of Assa
Orestes the Martyr of Cappadocia
Τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων Ὀλυμπᾶ, Ροδίωνος, Σωσιπάτρου, Τερτίου, Ἐράστου καί Κουάρτου ἐκ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα
Τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Ὀρέστου καί τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός ἡμῶν Ἀρσενίου τοῦ Καππαδόκου.
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16
BRETHREN, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους α' 4:9-16
Ἀδελφοί, ὁ θεὸς ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀποστόλους ἐσχάτους ἀπέδειξεν ὡς ἐπιθανατίους· ὅτι θέατρον ἐγενήθημεν τῷ κόσμῳ, καὶ ἀγγέλοις, καὶ ἀνθρώποις. Ἡμεῖς μωροὶ διὰ χριστόν, ὑμεῖς δὲ φρόνιμοι ἐν χριστῷ· ἡμεῖς ἀσθενεῖς, ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰσχυροί· ὑμεῖς ἔνδοξοι, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἄτιμοι. Ἄχρι τῆς ἄρτι ὥρας καὶ πεινῶμεν, καὶ διψῶμεν, καὶ γυμνητεύομεν, καὶ κολαφιζόμεθα, καὶ ἀστατοῦμεν, καὶ κοπιῶμεν ἐργαζόμενοι ταῖς ἰδίαις χερσίν· λοιδορούμενοι εὐλογοῦμεν· διωκόμενοι ἀνεχόμεθα· βλασφημούμενοι παρακαλοῦμεν· ὡς περικαθάρματα τοῦ κόσμου ἐγενήθημεν, πάντων περίψημα ἕως ἄρτι. Οὐκ ἐντρέπων ὑμᾶς γράφω ταῦτα, ἀλλʼ ὡς τέκνα μου ἀγαπητὰ νουθετῶ. Ἐὰν γὰρ μυρίους παιδαγωγοὺς ἔχητε ἐν χριστῷ, ἀλλʼ οὐ πολλοὺς πατέρας· ἐν γὰρ χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἐγὼ ὑμᾶς ἐγέννησα. Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε.
The Reading is from Luke 13:1-9
At that time, there were some present who told Jesus of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, 'Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?' And he answered him, 'Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 13.1-9
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, παρῆσαν δέ τινες ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ καιρῷ ἀπαγγέλλοντες αὐτῷ περὶ τῶν Γαλιλαίων, ὧν τὸ αἷμα Πιλᾶτος ἔμιξε μετὰ τῶν θυσιῶν αὐτῶν. καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· δοκεῖτε ὅτι οἱ Γαλιλαῖοι οὗτοι ἁμαρτωλοὶ παρὰ πάντας τοὺς Γαλιλαίους ἐγένοντο, ὅτι τοιαῦτα πεπόνθασιν; οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοῆτε, πάντες ὡσαύτως ἀπολεῖσθε. ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δέκα καὶ ὀκτώ, ἐφ᾿ οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς, δοκεῖτε ὅτι οὗτοι ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐν ῾Ιερουσαλήμ; οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσητε, πάντες ὁμοίως ἀπολεῖσθε. ῎Ελεγε δὲ ταύτην τὴν παραβολήν· συκῆν εἶχέ τις ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι αὐτοῦ πεφυτευμένην, καὶ ἦλθε ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ οὐχ εὗρεν. εἶπε δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν· ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ, καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω· ἔκκοψον αὐτήν· ἱνατί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ; ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ· κύριε, ἄφες αὐτὴν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἔτος, ἕως ὅτου σκάψω περὶ αὐτὴν καὶ βάλω κόπρια. κἂν μὲν ποιήσῃ καρπόν· εἰ δὲ μήγε, εἰς τὸ μέλλον ἐκκόψεις αὐτήν.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ Ι' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων ἐκ τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, Ὀλυμπᾶ, Ῥοδίωνος, Σωσιπάτρου, Τερτίου, Ἐράστου καὶ Κουάρτου.
Ἑξάδα μυστῶν τοῦ Λογου ὑμνῶ λόγοις,
Λόγῳ βροτοὺς λύσαντας ἐξ ἀλογίας.
Ἑξὰς Ἀποστολέων δεκάτῃ βίον ἐξεπέρησεν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Ὀρέστου.
Ἀθλητικῶν, Ὀρέστα, σῶν ἱππασμάτων,
Νικητικὰ βραβεῖα πολλὰ προσδόκα.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Θεοστηρίκτου τοῦ ἐν Συμβόλοις· καὶ τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Νόνου Ἐπισκόπου, τοῦ κατηχήσαντος τὴν Ἁγίαν Πελαγίαν.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Μαρτίνου Ἐπισκόπου.
Βίου διαστάς, οὗ βραχύς τις ὁ δρόμος,
Τὸν πρὸς πόλον Μαρτῖνος ἔδραμε δρόμον.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Μίλου Ἐπισκόπου, καὶ τῶν δύο μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ.
Ἔκτειναν ἐχθροὶ σὺν δυσὶ μύσταις Μίλον,
Σφαγὴ μὲν αὐτόν, τοὺς δὲ μύστας τοῖς λίθοις.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Καλλιοπίου, Νίρου, καὶ Ὠρίωνος.
Ξίφει τράχηλον, Καλλιόπιε, κλίνας,
Κάλλος θεωρεῖς ἀκλινῶς Θεοῦ Λόγου.
Ὑπῆρξεν ἡμῖν ἡ κεφαλή σου, Νίρε,
Θείου κεφαλὴ Μάρτυρος διὰ ξίφους.
Κἂν ζῶν ἐβλήθη Μάρτυς εἰς γῆν Ὠρίων,
Ὑπὲρ τὸν Ὠρίωνα λάμπει τοῦ πόλου.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεὸς ἐλέησον καὶ σῶσον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Of these Saints, Olympas and Herodion became disciples of Peter, the chief Apostle, and came to Rome, where they were beheaded by Nero. The others reposed in peace, having become bishops: Sosipatros of Iconium, Quartus of Beirut, and Erastos of Paneas, or Paneias (which was also called Caesarea of Philippi); Saint Erastos had been chamberlain of the city of Corinth (Rom.16:23).
Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Απόστολοι Άγιοι, πρεσβεύσατε τώ ελεήμονι Θεώ ίνα πταισμάτων άφεσιν, παράσχη ταίς ψυχάς ημών.
O Holy Apostles, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offenses.
Kontakion in the First Tone
Τριάδος τής σεπτής, εκηρύξατε πίστιν, πολύθεον σοφοί, τών ειδώλων απάτην, εκ μέσου ποιήσαντες, ταίς σεπταίς διδαχαίς υμών, όθεν εύρατε, τήν αμοιβήν τών καμάτων, αιωνίζουσαν, εν ουρανοίς τούς στεφάνους, λαβόντες Απόστολοι.
The most solemn festival of the Apostles hath this day appeared to us and manifestly doth bestow divine forgiveness of trespasses on all that faithfully keep their memorial.
Saint Orestes was from Tyana of Cappadocia. During the persecution of Diocletian, this Martyr's ankles were pierced with long nails; being bound to a wild horse and violently dragged by it, he gave up his spirit in the year 289.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Ο Μάρτυς σου Κύριε, έν τή αθλήσει αυτού, τό στέφος εκομίσατο τής αφθαρσίας, εκ σού τού Θεού ημών, έχων γάρ τήν ισχύν σου, τούς τυράννους καθείλεν, έθραυσε καί δαιμόνων, τά ανίσχυρα θράση, αυτού ταίς ικεσίαις Χριστέ, σώσον τάς ψυχάς ημών.
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.
Kontakion in the Second Tone
Τό εν αθλήσει σου Μάρτυς αήττητον, ο αθλοθέτης Χριστός προσδεξάμενος, ζωής σοι τόν στέφανον δέδωκε, καί ιαμάτων τήν θείαν ενέργειαν, Ορέστα, ο μόνος φιλάνθρωπος.
Thine invincibility in contest, O Martyr, was accepted and rewarded by Christ, the Prize-bestower; and He hath granted thee the crown of life and the divine power to work healings, O Orestes, since He is the Friend of man.
Μέσα στο νέφος των Μαρτύρων και μέσα στο ανώνυμο πλήθος των Αγίων η Εκκλησία με στοργή κι ευγνωμοσύνη φύλαξε όσα μπόρεσε από τα ονόματά τους. Για τους ασεβείς λέει ο Θεός· "ου μη μνησθώ των ονομάτων αυτών", μα για τους αξίους, που είναι όλοι γραμμένοι στο βιβλίο του Θεού, η θεία Γραφή λέει ότι είναι "έντιμον το όνομα αυτών". Χρέος της λοιπόν το θεωρεί η Εκκλησία να τιμά και να μνημονεύη τους Αγίους με τα ονόματά τους και να τους εγκωμιάζη. Όποιος πιστεύει πως η Εκκλησία είναι μια μεγάλη οικογένεια εκείνων που έφυγαν και εκείνων που μένουν, καταλαβαίνει την ιερή σημασία της εκκλησιαστικής αυτής πράξεως, μα και την ενίσχυση που παίρνουν οι πιστοί, όταν ακούνε τα ονόματα των Αγίων και αισθάνωνται την παρουσία τους. Από τα αποστολικά χρόνια μας έρχονται τα ονόματα του Ολυμπά, του Ροδίωνος, του Εράστου, του Σωσιπάτρου και του Κουάρτου, τους οποίους γιορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ὀλυμπᾶς, Ῥοδίων (ἢ Ἠρωδίων), Ἔραστος, Σωσίπατρος, Τέρτιος καὶ Κουάρτος, οἱ Ἀπόστολοι ἀπὸ τοὺς 70
Καὶ οἱ ἕξι ἦταν ἀπὸ τοὺς ἑβδομήκοντα Ἀποστόλους τοῦ Κυρίου. Ἀναφέρονται ὅλοι στὸ ιστ´ κεφάλαιο τῆς πρὸς Ῥωμαίους ἐπιστολῆς τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου. Οἱ περισσότεροι ἀπ᾿ αὐτοὺς ὑπῆρξαν ἐπίσκοποι τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἐκκλησίας καὶ ἔγιναν ἄριστοι ἐφαρμοστὲς τῆς ἐντολῆς τοῦ θεοπνεύστου λόγου τῆς Ἁγίας Γραφῆς: «Ποιμάνατε τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐπισκοποῦντες μὴ ἀναγκάστως, ἀλλ᾿ ἑκουσίως, μηδὲ αἰσχροκερδῶς, ἀλλὰ προθύμως, μηδ᾿ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων, ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου». Ποιμάνετε, δηλαδή, τὸ ποίμνιο τοῦ Θεοῦ ποὺ εἶναι στὴ δικαιοδοσία σας, καὶ ἐπιβλέπετε αὐτὸ μὲ κάθε ἐπιμέλεια καὶ προσοχή, ὄχι ἀναγκαστικά, ἐπειδὴ βρεθήκατε στὴ θέση αὐτή, ἀλλὰ μὲ ὅλη σας τὴν θέληση, χωρὶς νὰ ἀποβλέπετε σὲ αἰσχρὰ κέρδη, ἀλλὰ μὲ προθυμία καὶ ζῆλο, χωρὶς νὰ καταπιέζετε τοὺς πιστούς, ποὺ σὰν ἄλλοι γεωργικοὶ κλῆροι δόθηκαν στὸν καθένα σας γιὰ πνευματικὴ καλλιέργεια, ἀλλὰ νὰ γίνεσθε στὸ ποίμνιο ὑποδείγματα ἀρετῆς ἀξιομίμητα. Πράγματι, καὶ οἱ πέντε Ἀπόστολοι ἔγιναν ὑποδείγματα ἀρετῆς. Ὁ Ὀλυμπᾶς καὶ ὁ Ἠρωδίων πέθαναν μαρτυρικὰ ἐπὶ Νέρωνος. Ὁ Σωσίπατρος ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος στὸ Ἰκόνιο καὶ πέθανε ἐπιτελῶντας ἄριστα τὰ καθήκοντά του. Ὁ Τέρτιος ἔγινε δεύτερος ἐπίσκοπος Ἰκονίου μετὰ τὸν Σωσίπατρο. Ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ τὴν πρὸς Ῥωμαίους ἐπιστολὴ τοῦ ἀπ. Παύλου (Ρωμ. ιστ´ 22). Ἡ μνήμη τοῦ ἀπ. Τερτίου ἐπαναλαμβάνεται καὶ τὴν 30ή Ὀκτωβρίου. Ὁ Ἔραστος κυβέρνησε μὲ παρόμοιο τρόπο τὴν ἐπισκοπὴ Νεάδος. Καὶ ὁ Κουάρτος, σὰν ἐπίσκοπος Βηρυτοῦ, πάλεψε μὲ θάῤῥος καὶ ἐνέταξε σὰν χριστιανοὺς στὴν ἐπισκοπή του πολλοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ὀρέστης
Προσκυνοῦσε μόνο τὸν ἕνα καὶ ἀληθινὸ Θεὸ καὶ ὄχι τ᾿ ἄψυχα εἰδωλολατρικὰ ἀντικείμενα. Ὁ ἅγιος Ὀρέστης καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὰ Τύανα τῆς Καππαδοκίας (ὁρισμένες ἁγιολογικὲς πηγὲς ἀναφέρουν ὅτι ἦταν γιατρός). Κατὰ τὸν ἐπὶ Διοκλητιανοῦ διωγμὸ (289), συνελήφθη ἀπὸ τὸν ἡγεμόνα Μάξιμο, ποὺ τὸν ἐξεβίαζε μὲ πολλοὺς τρόπους ν᾿ ἀρνηθεῖ τὸν Ἰησοῦ. Ἀφοῦ ὅμως δὲν κατόρθωσε τίποτα, διέταξε νὰ τὸν γυμνώσουν καὶ νὰ τὸν μαστιγώσουν ἀλύπητα. Κατόπιν τὸν ἔριξαν στὴ φυλακὴ γιὰ ἑπτὰ ἡμέρες καὶ ἔπειτα τὸν ἔφεραν στὸν εἰδωλολατρικὸ ναό, ὅπου προσφέρονταν θυσίες καὶ τὸν παρακινοῦσαν νὰ συμμετέχει καὶ αὐτὸς σ᾿ αὐτές. Γιατί, τοῦ ἔλεγε ὁ ἡγεμόνας Μάξιμος, ἀρνεῖσαι νὰ συμμετέχεις στὴ λατρεία, ποὺ μὲ τόση εὐλάβεια ἀκολουθοῦν οἱ σεπτοί μας αὐτοκράτορες; Τότε ὁ Ὀρέστης δὲν δίστασε νὰ πεῖ μὲ θάῤῥος, ὅτι εἶναι πρόθυμος ὑπήκοος ὅταν πρόκειται γιὰ τὰ πολιτικὰ καὶ τὰ ἐπίγεια πράγματα, πέρα ἀπὸ αὐτὰ ὅμως δὲν μπορεῖ νὰ δεῖ κανέναν αὐτοκράτορα ἐκτὸς μόνο τὸν ἀληθινὸ Θεό. Ἐξοργισμένοι τότε οἱ εἰδωλολάτρες, τρύπησαν τοὺς ἀστραγάλους του καὶ πέρασαν ἀνάμεσα σιδερένια ἁλυσίδα, καὶ κατόπιν τὸν ἔδεσαν πίσω ἀπὸ ἕνα ἄγριο ἄλογο. Τὸ ἄλογο ἀφέθηκε ἐλεύθερο καὶ ὅρμησε μὲ δυνατὸ καλπασμό, σέρνοντας τὸν Ὀρέστη πάνω σὲ ἀνώμαλο καὶ τραχὺ ἔδαφος. Σταμάτησε μετὰ ἀπὸ μία ἀπόσταση εἴκοσι μιλίων! Ὁ μάρτυρας ἦταν πλέον νεκρός.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Θεοστήρικτος «ὁ ἐν Συμβόλοις»
Ὑπῆρξε στὴν ἐποχὴ τῶν εἰκονομάχων καὶ ἀγωνίστηκε γιὰ τὶς ἱερὲς εἰκόνες. Ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά. Ἡ μνήμη του γιορτάζεται καὶ τὴν 17η Φεβρουαρίου.
Holy Apostles of the Seventy Olympas, Rodion, Erastus, Sosipater and Quartus
All of these Apostles were among the Seventy, and all are mentioned by St Paul in Romans 16. Saints Olympas and Rodion followed St Peter to Rome and were beheaded under Nero around the year 54. The other three reposed in peace after serving the Church as bishops: St Sosipater as Bishop of Iconium; St Erastus (described by St Paul as city treasurer of Corinth) as Bishop of Paneas (Caesarea Philippi); St Quartus as Bishop of Beirut. Quartus is said to have converted most of the citizens of Beirut to faith in Christ before his repose.
Our Venerable Father Arsenius of Cappadocia, the Wonderworker (1924)
Cappadocia (in eastern Turkey) is virtually devoid of Christians now, but in 1840, When St Arsenius was born there, there were still vital Orthodox communities. He became a monk and was sent to his native town, Farasa, to serve the people. He became known as a mighty intercessor before God, praying for all who came to him, Muslims as well as Christians. His countless miracles of healing became known throughout Cappadocia; those who could not come to see him would sometimes send articles of clothing for him to pray over. He became known as Hadjiefendis, a Muslim term of honor for pilgrims, because he made pilgrimage to the Holy Land every ten years on foot. He never accepted any gifts in return for his prayers and healings, saying "Our faith is not for sale!"
He concealed his holiness as much as he could beneath a rough and sharp-tempered exterior. If anyone expressed admiration for him, he would reply "So you think I'm a saint? I'm only a sinner worse than you. Don't you see that I even lose my temper? The miracles you see are done by Christ. I do no more than lift up my hands and pray to him." But as the Scriptures say, the prayers of a righteous man avail much, and when St Arsenius lifted up his hands, wonders often followed.
He lived in a small cell with an earthen floor, fasted often and was in the habit of shutting himself in his cell for at least two whole days every week to devote himself entirely to prayer.
Father Arsenius predicted the expulsion of the Greeks from Asia Minor before it happened, and organized his flock for departure. When the expulsion order came in 1924, the aged Saint led his faithful on a 400-mile journey across Turkey on foot. He had foretold that he would only live forty days after reaching Greece, and this came to pass. His last words were "The soul, the soul, take care of it more than the flesh, which will return to earth and be eaten by worms!" Two days later, on November 10, 1924, he died in peace and the age of eighty-three. Since 1970, many apparitions and miracles have occurred near his holy relics, which reside in the Monastery of Souroti near Thessalonica. He was officially glorified by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1986.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. The Holy Apostles Olympas, Erastus, Quartus, Herodion, Sosipater and Tertius
They were all among the Seventy. The latter three are also commemorated elsewhere: Herodion on April 8, Sosipater on April 28, and Tertius on October 30. Saints Olympas and Herodion were followers of the Apostle Peter and when Peter suffered, they also suffered. By the command of Nero, they were beheaded. Erastus had been the steward of the church in Jerusalem, and later became Bishop of Paneas in Palestine. Quartus was Bishop of Beirut. He suffered greatly, but converted many to the Christian Faith. Sosipater was a bishop in Iconium and Tertius was the second bishop in that city. They waged spiritual warfare and, as victors, received heavenly wreaths of glory.
2. The Holy Martyr Orestes
Orestes was from the town of Tyana in Cappadocia. He was a Christian from birth and a physician by profession. He was harshly tortured by a certain wicked eparch Maximus during the reign of Diocletian. When the eparch at first advised him to deny Christ and worship idols, Orestes replied: ``If you knew the power of the Crucified One, you would reject idolatrous falsehoods and worship the true God.'' For this, he was savagely beaten, scraped, pulled apart on the rack, burned with a red-hot iron, and cast into prison to die of starvation. The young Orestes spent seven days without bread or water. On the eighth day, he was again brought before the eparch who threatened him with frightening tortures. Orestes answered: ``I am prepared to endure every pain, having the sign of my Lord Jesus Christ inscribed on my heart.'' The governor condemned him, and the torturers hammered twenty iron nails into his feet and tied him to a horse, dragging him over thorns and rocks until the martyr of God breathed his last. On the place where they discarded Orestes's body, a man bright as the sun appeared, gathered Orestes's relics, and carried them to a hill near the town of Tyana, honorably burying them there. This wonderful saint appeared to St. Dimitri of Rostov after his repose, and showed him all the wounds on his body.
3. Saint Nonnus, Bishop of Heliopolis
Nonnus was renowned as a great ascetic in the Tabennisiot monastery in Egypt. Because of this, he was chosen Bishop of the diocese of Edessa in 448. Later, he was translated to the diocese of Heliopolis, and there converted 30,000 Arabs to the Christian Faith. After the death of Bishop Ibo, St. Nonnus returned to Edessa, where he remained until his repose in 471. Through his prayers, the infamous sinner Pelagia (who was later glorified for her holiness of life), was converted to the Christian Faith (see October 8).
HYMN OF PRAISE
The Holy Martyr Orestes
The young Orestes did not spare his youth,
But boasted of Christ before the judge,
The Living God, One and Holy,
Crucified on the Cross for mankind.
They flogged St. Orestes's back,
As he mocked the lifeless idols;
And they burned wondrous Orestes in the fire,
Which was cooled by the dew of God's Spirit.
They drove nails into his feet,
And covered his whole body with wounds.
Strengthened by the Spirit, Orestes prayed,
And gave thanks to God
That he was made worthy of such sufferings,
That God had adopted him as a son.
O Orestes, the God-pleaser,
Courageous martyr for Christ,
Help us unto the last day-
By your prayers, come to our aid-
That we may honorably end our lives,
And be made worthy of Paradise with you.
The all-wondrous ways of God's providence were shown in an exceptional and wondrous event in the Monastery of Dochiariou, in the time of the Blessed Neophytus, nephew of St. Euthymius. When, after Euthymius's repose, Neophytus began to build a new, larger church to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, his resources ran out and he prayed to God for help, and God helped him in a miraculous manner. A peninsula called Longos or Sika lay near the Monastery of Dochiariou. On this peninsula, Neophytus had a small metochion, close to which was a stone statue of a man, bearing the following inscription: ``He who strikes me on the head will find much gold.'' Many had struck the statue on the head, but had found nothing. It happened that Neophytus sent Basil, a novice of the monastery, on an errand. One day this Basil stood by the statue and wondered at the mysterious inscription. Just then the sun came out and cast the statue's shadow toward the west. Basil struck the head of the shadow with a stone, dug there, and found a kettle full of gold coins. He immediately ran to tell Abbot Neophytus. The abbot ordered three honorable monks to go with Basil in the monastery's boat and bring back the gold. These monks set off, loaded the gold into the boat and began the return trip. While they were on the sea, the devil tempted them to take the gold for themselves. Then those three honorable monks, deluded by the devil, bound Basil with a rope, tied a rock around his neck and threw him into the sea. As Basil fell to the bottom of the sea, the Archangels Michael and Gabriel suddenly appeared to him as two resplendent youths, took him and brought him to the church at Dochiariou, placing him before the Royal Doors in the locked church. The next day, when the monks entered the church, they found Basil lying bound before the sanctuary. The abbot questioned him and was told of the miraculous event. Then the three other monks arrived and, seeing Basil alive, were thunderstruck. The abbot punished them severely, took the gold and completed the church. However, he dedicated it to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and not to St. Nicholas, as he had earlier planned. That is why Euthymius's old church at Dochiariou is called the Church of St. Nicholas, and the new one is called the Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel.
on the only Peace and the Peacemaker
For He is our peace, Who hath made both one (Ephesians 2:14).
Between the Israelites and the pagans there lay a wide abyss that no mortal could bridge, or fill in and level off. The Lord Jesus Christ alone was the one who could do that, and He did it. That which had been estranged, He brought closer and joined. By what? By His Blood. By His sacrifice, He replaced all other sacrifices. By this, He redeemed all of nature and by Himself replaced that which men brought and offered to God (or, to the gods) as sacrifice. One sacrifice is sufficient both for the Israelites and for the pagans: the sacrifice of Christ. Furthermore, the blood of animals separated the Israelites and the pagans-by the places where they were offered, by the divinity to whom they were offered, by the kind of animal that was offered and the manner in which it was offered. Now, Christ's Most-pure Blood has come in place of all that blood, and His Blood unites and makes brothers of the Israelites and the pagans. They became blood brothers, even as all of us faithful are blood-brothers-because of the Blood of Christ, by which we are redeemed from the curse, and by which we are now fed. He destroyed the middle wall of partition (Ephesians 2:14) that divided and separated, and He joined the hands and the hearts of the Israelites and the pagans. By what? By His Body. That is, by the living truth, by the truth incarnate in Himself. The shadow of the Law had replaced truth for the Israelites, and fables had replaced truth for the pagans. He removed both of them and revealed the living truth in His Body, and the world saw and rejoiced.
O Lord Jesus Christ, our most blessed Redeemer, unite the hearts of us, Thy faithful.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.