FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Isidore the Martyr of Chios
Holy Hieromartyr Therapontus
Holy New Martyrs Mark and John
Serapion the Holy Martyr
Τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Ἰσιδώρου τοῦ ἐν Χίῳ.
Τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἱερομάρτυρος Θεράποντος.
Τῶν Ἁγίων Νεομαρτύρων Μάρκου καί Ἰωάννου.
Τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός ἡμῶν Λεοντίου, Πατριάρχου Ἱεροσολύμων.
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from Acts of the Apostles 12:12-17
IN THOSE DAYS, Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran and told that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, "You are mad." But she insisted that it was so. They said, "It is his angel!" But Peter continued knocking; and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, "Tell this to James and to the brethren." Then he departed and went to another place.
Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων 12:12-17
Ἐν ταῖς ἡμεραῖς ἐκείναις, συνιδών τε ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὴν οἰκίαν Μαρίας τῆς μητρὸς Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἐπικαλουμένου Μάρκου, οὗ ἦσαν ἱκανοὶ συνηθροισμένοι καὶ προσευχόμενοι. Κρούσαντος δὲ τοῦ Πέτρου τὴν θύραν τοῦ πυλῶνος, προσῆλθεν παιδίσκη ὑπακοῦσαι, ὀνόματι Ῥόδη. Καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ Πέτρου, ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς οὐκ ἤνοιξεν τὸν πυλῶνα, εἰσδραμοῦσα δὲ ἀπήγγειλεν ἑστάναι τὸν Πέτρον πρὸ τοῦ πυλῶνος. Οἱ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὴν εἶπον, Μαίνῃ. Ἡ δὲ διϊσχυρίζετο οὕτως ἔχειν. Οἱ δὲ ἔλεγον, Ὁ ἄγγελος αὐτοῦ ἐστιν. Ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐπέμενεν κρούων· ἀνοίξαντες δὲ εἶδον αὐτόν, καὶ ἐξέστησαν. Κατασείσας δὲ αὐτοῖς τῇ χειρὶ σιγᾷν, διηγήσατο αὐτοῖς πῶς ὁ κύριος αὐτὸν ἐξήγαγεν ἐκ τῆς φυλακῆς. Εἶπεν δέ, Ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰακώβῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ταῦτα. Καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἕτερον τόπον.
The Reading is from John 8:42-51
The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."
The Jews answered him, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?" Jesus answered, "I have not a demon; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it and he will be the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death."
Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 8.42-51
Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος πρὸς τοὺς ἐληλυθότας πρὸς αὐτὸν Ἰουδαίους· Εἰ ὁ Θεὸς πατὴρ ὑμῶν ἦν, ἠγαπᾶτε ἂν ἐμέ· ἐγὼ γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐξῆλθον καὶ ἥκω· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀπ᾽ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐλήλυθα, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκεῖνός με ἀπέστειλε. διατί τὴν λαλιὰν τὴν ἐμὴν οὐ γινώσκετε; ὅτι οὐ δύνασθε ἀκούειν τὸν λόγον τὸν ἐμόν. ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστέ, καὶ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν θέλετε ποιεῖν. ἐκεῖνος ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἦν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ οὐχ ἕστηκεν, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλήθεια ἐν αὐτῷ· ὅταν λαλῇ τὸ ψεῦδος, ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων λαλεῖ, ὅτι ψεύστης ἐστὶ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ. ἐγὼ δὲ ὅτι τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω, οὐ πιστεύετέ μοι. τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐλέγχει με περὶ ἁμαρτίας; εἰ δὲ ἀλήθειαν λέγω, διατί ὑμεῖς οὐ πιστεύετέ μοι; ὁ ὢν ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀκούει· διὰ τοῦτο ὑμεῖς οὐκ ἀκούετε, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐκ ἐστέ. ἀπεκρίθησαν οὖν οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι καὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ· οὐ καλῶς λέγομεν ἡμεῖς ὅτι Σαμαρείτης εἶ σὺ καὶ δαιμόνιον ἔχεις; ἀπεκρίθη ᾿Ιησοῦς· ἐγὼ δαιμόνιον οὐκ ἔχω, ἀλλὰ τιμῶ τὸν πατέρα μου, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀτιμάζετέ με. ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ ζητῶ τὴν δόξαν μου· ἔστιν ὁ ζητῶν καὶ κρίνων.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΙΔ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Μάρτυρος Ἰσιδώρου.
Ἔσαινεν Ἰσίδωρον ἐλπὶς τοῦ στέφους,
Καὶ πρὸς τομὴν ἤπειγεν, ἐξ ἧς τὸ στέφος.
Ἐν δ' Ἰσίδωρον ἄορ δεκάτῃ τάμεν ἠδὲ τετάρτῃ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἱερομάρτυρος Θεράποντος.
Ὤφθης Θεράπων, οἷα θύτης τοῦ Λόγου,
Ὤφθης Θεράπων, καὶ δι' αἵματος Πάτερ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ ἁγίου μάρτυρος Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ ἐν Κεντουκέλλαις.
Μνήμη τῶν ἁγίων μαρτύρων Ἀλεξάνδρου, Βαρβάρου καὶ Ἀκολούθου.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεὸς ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
This Saint was a soldier from Alexandria. He came with the Roman fleet to Chios, where he was betrayed as a Christian to Numerian, Commander of the Fleet. Because he boldly pro-fessed himself to worship Christ as God and refused to worship any other, he was tormented and beheaded in 251, during the reign of Decius.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Ὁ Μάρτυς σου Κύριε, ἐν τῇ ἀθλήσει αὐτοῦ, τὸ στέφος ἐκομίσατο τῆς ἀφθαρσίας, ἐκ σοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν· ἔχων γὰρ τὴν ἰσχύν σου, τοὺς τυράννους καθεῖλεν ἔθραυσε καὶ δαιμόνων τὰ ἀνίσχυρα θράση. Αὐτοῦ ταῖς ἱκεσίαις Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, σῶσον τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
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 Fourth Tone
Κυβερνήτης μέγιστος τῇ οἰκουμένῃ σὺ ἐφάνης ἅγιε, ταῖς πρὸς Θεόν σου προσευχαῖς· διὸ ὑμνοῦμέν σε σήμερον, Μάρτυς θεόφρον, Ἰσίδωρε ἔνδοξε.
In thy holy prayers to God, thou hast shone brightly, a great guide for all the world. Wherefore, we praise thee on this day, O Saint, thou Martyr of godly mind and boast of Chios, O glorious Isidore.
Ο Θεός εδημιούργησε τον ορατό και τον αόρατο κόσμο για χάρη του ανθρώπου. Όχι μόνο η υλική δημιουργία, μα και οι άγιοι Άγγελοι υπηρετούν στο έργο της σωτηρίας του ανθρώπου "Πάντες εισι λειτουργικά πνεύματα εις διακονίαν αποστελλόμενα δια τους μέλλοντας κληρονομείν σωτηρίαν", λέγεται στην Αγία Γραφή. Κι ακόμα σ'ένα Ψαλμό είναι γραμμένο το εξής· "Παρεμβαλεί άγγελος Κυρίου κύκλω των φοβουμένων αυτόν και ρύσεται αυτούς". Σύμφωνη με αυτά είναι η διδασκαλία της Εκκλησίας, που διδάσκει ότι κάθε άνθρωπος έχει τον φύλακα Άγγελο, καθώς υπάρχει και μια ωραία προσευχή "εις τον Άγγελον φύλακα της του ανθρώπου ζωής". Στο ιερό μαρτύριο του αγίου Αλεξάνδρου του Ρωμαίου, του οποίου την μνήμη γιορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία, το πράγμα φάνηκε καθαρά. Ο δήμιος δεν σηκώνει μαχαίρι να κόψη την κεφαλή του Αγίου, γιατί βλέπει να τον παραστέκουν Άγγελοι του Θεού.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἰσίδωρος ποὺ μαρτύρησε στὴ Χίο
Ὁ Ἰσίδωρος ἦταν ναύτης τοῦ βασιλικοῦ στόλου, στὰ χρόνια του αὐτοκράτορα Δεκίου, καὶ καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Κάποια μέρα ποὺ μοῖρα τοῦ στόλου ἦταν ἀγκυροβολημένη στὴ Χίο, καταγγέλθηκε στὸ Ναύαρχο Νουμέριο ὅτι ὁ Ἰσίδωρος εἶναι χριστιανός. Ὁ Νουμέριος δὲν ἄργησε νὰ ἀκούσει τὸ ἴδιο καὶ ἀπὸ τὸν ἴδιο τὸν Ἰσίδωρο, ὅταν τὸν προσκάλεσε νὰ ὁμολογήσει. Τότε τὸν ἔδειραν σκληρὰ καὶ κατόπιν τὸν ἔριξαν στὴ φυλακή. Ὁ πατέρας του μόλις ἔμαθε τὸ γεγονὸς αὐτό, ἀμέσως κίνησε γιὰ τὴν Χίο, πολὺ στενοχωρημένος, διότι ὁ γιός του ἐγκατέλειψε τὴν πατροπαράδοτη εἰδωλολατρικὴ θρησκεία. Ὅταν ἔφθασε στὴ Χίο, δὲ δυσκολεύτηκε νὰ δεῖ τὸ γιό του. Ὁ Ἰσίδωρος, μόλις ἀντίκρισε τὸν πατέρα του, μὲ πολλὴ εὐλάβεια καὶ στοργὴ τὸν ἀσπάσθηκε συγκινημένος. Τὸ ἴδιο ἔκανε καὶ ὁ πατέρας του, ἀλλὰ δὲν ἄργησε νὰ ἐκφράσει καὶ τὴν θλίψη του γι᾿ αὐτόν. Ὁ Ἰσίδωρος τοῦ εἶπε ὅτι μᾶλλον ἔπρεπε νὰ χαίρεται, διότι εἶδε τὸ φῶς ποὺ προσφέρει ὁ Ἰησοῦς Χριστός. Ὁ πατέρας του τὸν παρακάλεσε θερμὰ νὰ ἐπιστρέψει στὴν εἰδωλολατρία, ἀλλὰ ὁ Ἰσίδωρος ἔμεινε ἀμετακίνητος στὴν πίστη του. Τότε, ὀργισμένος αὐτός, τὸν καταράστηκε καὶ παρότρυνε τὸ Νουμέριο νὰ τὸν θανατώσει τὸ συντομότερο. Καὶ πράγματι, ὁ Ἰσίδωρος μετὰ ἀπὸ διάφορα βασανιστήρια ἀποκεφαλίσθηκε. Ἔτσι, ἐπαληθεύεται ὁ λόγος τοῦ Κυρίου, ὅτι «παραδώσει εἰς θάνατον πατὴρ τέκνον». Δὲ θὰ εἶναι, δηλαδή, μόνο οἱ ξένοι ἐναντίον τῶν ἀγωνιζομένων χριστιανῶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι τοῦ σπιτιοῦ τους. Καὶ θὰ παραδώσει στὸ θάνατο ὁ ἄπιστος πατέρας τὸ πιστὸ παιδί του.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Θεράπων ἐπίσκοπος Κύπρου
Ἀπὸ ποὺ καταγόταν, ποιοὺς εἶχε γονεῖς καὶ σὲ ποιοὺς χρόνους ὁμολόγησε τὸ Χριστὸ καὶ ἔλαβε τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου δὲν τὸ γνωρίζουμε. Ἡ ἁγιογραφία μας, τὸν ἱστορεῖ ὅτι ἀνῆκε στὴν τάξη τῶν μοναχῶν, ἐκείνων ποὺ ἀπαρνοῦνται στ᾿ ἀλήθεια τὸ δικό τους θέλημα καὶ κουβαλᾶνε εὐχάριστα τὸ σταυρὸ τοῦ Κυρίου. Ἡ προφορικὴ παράδοση ἀναφέρει ὅτι ὁ Θεράπων ἔγινε ἐπίσκοπος Κύπρου, καὶ ὅτι ἐκεῖ τελείωσε μαρτυρικὰ τὴν ζωή του. Τὸ τίμιο λείψανό του μεταφέρθηκε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, ὅταν οἱ Τοῦρκοι σχεδίαζαν νὰ λεηλατήσουν τὴν Κύπρο. Τώρα, ἐκεῖ ὅπου βρίσκεται, ἀναβλύζει μύρο καὶ πραγματοποιεῖ θαύματα, σ᾿ αὐτοὺς ποὺ προστρέχουν σ᾿ αὐτὸ μὲ εἰλικρινὴ πίστη.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἀλέξανδρος ποὺ μαρτύρησε στὶς Κεντουκέλλες
Ἔζησε στὰ χρόνια τοῦ βασιλιᾶ Γαλερίου Μαξιμιανοῦ (286-305) καὶ ἦταν στρατιώτης στὸ τάγμα τοῦ κόμη Τιβεριανοῦ. Διακρινόταν γιὰ τὸ ὡραῖο του παράστημα καὶ γιὰ τὴν ἄψογη ἠθικὴ ζωή του. Ὅταν κάποτε ὁ Τιβεριανὸς θυσίαζε στὰ εἴδωλα, ὁ Ἀλέξανδρος ἀρνήθηκε νὰ συμμετάσχει στὶς θυσίες αὐτὲς καὶ δήλωσε μὲ θάῤῥος ὅτι ἦταν χριστιανός. Τότε ὑποβλήθηκε σὲ σκληρὰ βασανιστήρια. Ἡ δὲ μητέρα του Ποιμενία, μόλις πληροφορήθηκε τὸ γεγονός, ἔτρεξε καὶ ζήτησε τὴν ἄδεια νὰ δεῖ τὸν γιό της. Ὅταν τὸν εἶδε τὸν ἐνθάῤῥυνε νὰ φανεῖ ἀληθινὸς χριστιανὸς καὶ νὰ πεθάνει μὲ τὴν γενναιότητα ποὺ ἁρμόζει στοὺς στρατιῶτες τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Καὶ ὁ γιὸς δὲν διέψευσε τὶς ἐλπίδες τῆς μητέρας του. Ἀφοῦ τοῦ ἄνοιξαν τὶς πλευρές, κατόπιν τὶς ἔκαψαν μὲ ἀναμμένες λαμπάδες, ἀλλ᾿ ἐκεῖνος δὲν ὑποχώρησε στὸ τόσο σκληρὸ βασανιστήριο, ἐνισχυόμενος ἀπὸ τὴν θεία χάρη. Τελικὰ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισαν καὶ ἔτσι κατατάχθηκε στὸν ἔνδοξο χορὸ τῶν μαρτύρων τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἀλέξανδρος, Βάρβαρος, Μάξιμος καὶ Ἀκόλουθος
ΟΙ Ἅγιοι αὐτοί, ἀφοῦ ἔζησαν ζωὴ ἁγία καὶ ἔφεραν στὴ χριστιανικὴ πίστη πολλοὺς εἰδωλολάτρες, μαρτύρησαν διὰ ἀποκεφαλισμοῦ. Ἡ Σύναξη καὶ ἡ γιορτή τους γίνεται στὸν ναὸ τῆς ἁγίας Εἰρήνης, ποὺ βρίσκεται κοντὰ στὴ θάλασσα.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Λεόντιος Πατριάρχης Ἱεροσολύμων
Ἔζησε τὸν 12ο αἰῶνα καὶ καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Τιβεριούπολη (Στρώμνιτσα) ἀπὸ πλούσιους καὶ εὐσεβεῖς γονεῖς. Σπούδασε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη καὶ ἔγινε μοναχὸς στὴ Μονὴ τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰωάννου τοῦ Θεολόγου στὴν Πάτμο, ὑπὸ τὴν χειραγωγίαν τοῦ ἡγουμένου τῆς Μονῆς Θεοκτίστου, ἀπὸ τὸν ὁποῖο καὶ ἐκπαιδεύτηκε στὴ μοναχικὴ ζωή. Ὅταν πέθανε ὁ Θεόκτιστος, μὲ ὁμόφωνη ψῆφο τῶν μοναχῶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ μὲ γραπτὴ ὑπόδειξη τοῦ ἀποθανόντος Θεοκτίστου, ποὺ βρέθηκε μετὰ τὸν θάνατό του, τὸν διαδέχτηκε ὁ Λεόντιος. Κατόπιν ὁ Λεόντιος πῆγε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη γιὰ ὑποθέσεις τῆς Μονῆς του, ὅπου ἐξελέγη πατριάρχης Ἱεροσολύμων τὸ 1170. Στὴ νέα του θέση ὁ Λεόντιος διέπρεψε γιὰ τὴν ὁσιότητα τῆς ζωῆς του καὶ τὸν ἀποστολικό του ζῆλο. Πέθανε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη τὸ 1175, ὅταν εἶχε πάει γιὰ ὑποθέσεις τοῦ θρόνου του. Ἀσματικὴ Ἀκολουθία του ἐκδόθηκε στὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα τὸ 1912.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μᾶρκος ὁ Νεομάρτυρας ποὺ μαρτύρησε στὴ Σμύρνη
Ἦταν Κρητικὸς καὶ ἔμενε στὴ Σμύρνη, ὅπου, παιδὶ ἀκόμα ἐξισλαμίστηκε μὲ τὴν βία ἀπὸ τοὺς Τούρκους. Ἀργότερα ἔφυγε ἀπὸ τὴν Σμύρνη καὶ πῆγε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, ὅπου ἔτρεξε κοντὰ στὸν ἐνάρετο καὶ πολυμαθῆ διδάσκαλο Μελέτιο Συρίγου, ποὺ τὸν νουθέτησε καὶ τὸν ἐνδυνάμωσε στὸ δρόμο τοῦ μαρτυρίου. Ἐπανῆλθε στὴ Σμύρνη καὶ κήρυξε δημόσια τὸν Χριστὸ Θεὸ ἀληθινό. Συνελήφθη καὶ ὁδηγήθηκε στὸ κριτήριο, ὅπου καὶ ἐκεῖ ὁμολόγησε τὴν πίστη του στὸν Χριστό. Τότε τὸν ἔριξαν στὴ φυλακή, ἀφοῦ ἀνελέητα τὸν ἔδειραν. Κατόπιν μὲ κολακεῖες καὶ διάφορα ἄλλα βασανιστήρια προσπάθησαν νὰ κάμψουν τὸ φρόνημά του, ἀλλὰ ὁ Μᾶρκος ἔμεινε ἀμετακίνητος σ᾿ αὐτό. Τότε στὶς 14 Μαΐου 1643, στὴ Σμύρνη, ἀποκεφαλίστηκε καὶ ἔλαβε τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου. Τὸ ἱερό του λείψανο παρέλαβαν οἱ χριστιανοὶ καὶ τὸ ἔθαψαν μὲ τιμὲς στὸν ναὸ τῆς Ἁγίας Φωτεινῆς Σμύρνης. Τὸ μαρτύριο τοῦ Νεομάρτυρα αὐτοῦ διηγήθηκε ὁ Ἰσουΐτης Ἰσαὰκ α´.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσοχόος
Ὁ Νεομάρτυρας αὐτὸς καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη Σούμνα τῆς Βουλγαρίας καὶ ἔκανε τὸ ἐπάγγελμα τοῦ Χρυσοχόου. Ἦταν ὡραῖος στὴν ὄψη καὶ ἐνάρετος. Ἀπέναντι ὅμως ἀπὸ τὸ ἐργαστήριό του, κατοικοῦσε μία τούρκικη οἰκογένεια, ποὺ εἶχε μία νεαρὴ κόρη, ἡ ὁποία προσπαθοῦσε νὰ ἑλκύσει τὸν 18χρονο Ἰωάννη. Ἐπειδὴ ὅμως δὲν τὸν κατάφερε, συκοφάντησε τὸν Ἰωάννη ὅτι δῆθεν ἀποπειράθηκε νὰ τὴν βιάσει. Τότε ὁ μάρτυρας ὁδηγήθηκε στὸν κριτὴ καὶ σύμφωνα μὲ τὴν ἐκδοθεῖσα ἀπόφαση, ἔπρεπε ἢ νὰ τουρκέψει καὶ νὰ παντρευτεῖ τὴν τουρκοπούλα ἢ νὰ δαρεῖ μέχρι θανάτου. Ὁ Ἰωάννης ἀπάντησε ὅτι, προτιμᾶ νὰ πεθάνει παρὰ νὰ ἀρνηθεῖ τὸν Χριστό. Τότε τὰ βασανιστήρια ποὺ ἀκολούθησαν ἦταν φρικτὰ καὶ βάρβαρα. Τὸν ἔδειραν ἀνελέητα, ἔσχισαν τὸ σῶμα του, ἔκαψαν τὶς πληγές του μὲ ἀναμμένες λαμπάδες καὶ τελικὰ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισαν στὶς 14 Μαΐου 1802. Μαρτύριο τοῦ Ἁγίου συνέγραψε ὁ ἱερομόναχος Νικηφόρος ὁ Χίος.
Martyr Isidore of Chios (251)
A devout Christian from his early youth, he was kidnapped from his native Chios and impressed into the army. When he openly confessed himself a Christian, his commander ordered him to make sacrifice to the gods. When he resolutely refused, the commander ordered him to be beaten with iron flails, then had his tongue cut out. But even without a tongue, Isidore was miraculously enabled to speak, and clearly proclaimed the name of Christ. At the same moment, the commander was struck mute. The commander then ordered by signs that Isidore be beheaded. Isidore went to his death rejoicing and praising God. This occurred during the persecutions of the Emperor Decius.
Our Holy Father Serapion the Sindonite (5th c.)
" 'Sindon' means 'linen cloth,' and this saint was called 'the Sindonite' because he covered his naked body only with a linen cloth. He carried the Gospels in his hand. Serapion lived like the birds, with no roof and no cares, moving from one place to another. He gave his linen cloth to a poor wretch who was shivering with cold, and himself remained completely naked. When someone asked him: 'Serapion, who made you naked?', he indicated the Gospels and said: 'This!' But, after that, he gave away the Gospels also for the money needed by a man who was being houned to prison by a creditor in debt. [note: Gospel books were all hand-written, and were uncommon and valuable.] At one time in Athens, he did not eat for four days, having nothing, and began to cry out with hunger. When the Athenian philosophers asked him what he was shouting about, he replied: 'There were three to whom I was in debt: two have quietened down, but the third is still tormenting me. The first creditor is carnal lust, who has tormented me from my youth; the second is love of money, and the third is the stomach. The first two have left me alone, but the third one still torments me.' The philosophers gave him some gold to buy bread. He went to a baker, bought a single loaf, put down all the gold and went out. He went peacefully to the Lord in old age, in the 5th century." (Prologue)
Blessed Isidore the Fool for Christ (1484)
He was German by birth but, drawn to the Orthodox faith, he moved to Rostov and not only became Orthodox, but took on the podvig of folly for Christ. He lived in complete destitution, spending the days pretending madness and the nights in prayer. Many wonders were performed by this Saint even in his lifetime. When he died in his meager hut in 1484, the people of Rostov smelled a fragrant odor throughout the city. A merchant whom he had miraculously saved from drowning built a church in the place where his hut had stood.
The Holy Martyr Isidor lived during the III Century on the Island of Chios, and was a native of Alexandria. During the first year of rule of the emperor Decius (249-251) there was issued an edict to make a census of all those capable to serve in the armies of the Roman empire. Saint Isidor, tall and strong of body, was drafted into the regiment of the military-commander Numerius. Saint Isidor was a Christian, he led a life of temperance and abstinence, he was chaste and he shunned all the pagan customs. Another imperial edict then commanded, that all the soldiers were to worship the Roman pagan gods and to offer them sacrifice. Not to obey the edict carried the penalty of torture and death. The centurion reported to the military-commander Numerius, that Isidor was a Christian. At the interrogation before Numerius Saint Isidor without flinching confessed his faith in Christ the Saviour and refused to offer sacrifice to idols. Numerius urged the saint not to expose himself to tortures and to obey the will of the emperor, but Saint Isidor answered, that he would obey only the will of the eternal God, Christ the Saviour, and never would he renounce Him. The saint was handed over to torture. During the time of torments he praised Christ God and denounced the pagan idols. The military-commander gave orders to cut out the tongue of the saint, but even after this the saint continued distinctly to give glory to Christ. Numerius in fright fell to the ground and himself lost the gift of speech. Getting up with the help of soldiers, by means of gestures he demanded a small board and on it wrote an order -- to cut off the head of Saint Isidor. Saint Isidor welcomed his death sentence with joy and said: "I glorify Thee, O my Master, that by Thy mercy Thou hast accepted me in Thine Heavenly Habitation!" The death of the martyr occurred in the year 251. After execution his body was cast out without burial, but another saint, the secret Christian Ammonios, took up his body and committed it to earth. Later on Ammonios himself accepted a martyr's death in the city of Kyzikos (Comm. 4 September).
At the beginning of the XII Century the Russian pilgrim Daniel saw the relics of the holy Martyr Isidor on the Island of Chios. His relics were later transferred to Constantinople and placed in the church of Saint Irene.
Saint Isidor Tverdislov ("Constant of Word"), Fool-for-Christ, Rostov Wonderworker: He was born in Germany of rich parents and "from his youth" he had "a life unsullied and an understanding compassionate". Having left his parental home "desiring the Kingdom of God", Saint Isidor distributed his riches to the poor, and with the staff of a wanderer he went off about many lands and cities (it is unknown where he accepted the Holy Orthodox faith -- since he was raised in Catholicism). Finally, he arrived in Russia and he chose the place of his dwelling, Rostov. Here Saint Isidor, "in filth and snow and rain and cold" and "enduring every outrage", settled in a rickety wooden hut that he himself had made. He chose "a miserable and foolish manner of life as in the Epistle (1 Cor. 4: 10-13)" for the sake of Christ. Saint Isidor spent all his time at unceasing prayer, not giving himself over to "endless drowsing" and "rest". "He stood at all-night vigil and praise" to render his body "everlastingly to God". By day the blessed one made his rounds of the city, doing his deed as fool. "Like unto Job of old in patience", Blessed Isidor in the expression of Holy Church while still alive was "like an earthly angel and an heavenly man". "Having a soul compassionate, and pure of thought, and vigilant heart and faith unassailed, and true love without pretense", he was glorified during his life to work miracles. Saint Isidor reposed in the year 1474. They learned about his death only in that passing by his hut they perceived an especial fragrance. At the place of his burial in the city of Rostov was built the church of the Ascension of the Lord, in which through the present his relics rest in a crypt as a source of miracles. Blessed Isidor is termed "Tverdislov" ("Constant of Word") since that he spoke constantly. [trans. note: the title "Tverdislov" seems unique to Saint Isidor; this supplemental account of him is from the 1900 Bulgakov NaStol'naya Kniga.]
The Monk Nikita, Hermit of Kievo-Pechersk, Bishop of Novgorod (+ 1109): The memory of Sainted Nikita was earliest celebrated on 14 May by Novgorod, where his relics are situated. The memory of the saint is also celebrated on 31 January, the Day of His Repose, and on 30 April, the Day of the Uncovering of Relics (1558).
The account about him is located under 31 January.
The Holy Martyr Maximos suffered under the emperor Decius (249-251). Maximos was a layman and plied the trade of merchant. He was a pious Christian and he led many pagans to faith in Christ the Saviour, and persuaded them to accept Baptism. One time, when the pagans had gathered for offering to their gods an human sacrifice, Saint Maximos plucked up his courage, and unable to bear the sight of such a spectacle, he rushed at them, loudly denouncing their impiety and error, calling the idols soulless creations of mankind. The frenzied pagans stoned the martyr to death.
The Monk Serapion lived during the V Century in Egypt. He was called the Syndonite-wearer since he wore only a coarse linen garb, called a "syndon". From the time of his youth the monk lived, like the birds of the sky, not having a shelter, and for several days at a time he did not eat, not having the means to buy bread. He gave away his syndon-garb to a beggar, shivering from the cold, and he himself remained half-naked. A certain Greek philosopher, wanting to test the non-covetousness of the monk, one time gave the monk a gold coin and kept an eye on him. The saint went to the bread market, bought with it one loaf of bread, gave the merchant the gold coin and left, having no regard for the exchange value of the money. Saint Serapion by a special path led many on the way of salvation. One time he gave himself over into slavery to a Greek actor, whom he saw fit to convert to Christ. The actor, imitating the example of the holy life of the saint, believed and was baptised together with all his family. He besought Saint Serapion to remain with him not as a servant, but as a guide and friend, but the monk withdrew, not taking any of the money offered him. Having set off to Rome, Saint Serapion got on a ship, but paid nothing to the ship-owners. At first they began to reproach him for this, but noticing that the elder had gone five days already without eating, they began to feed him for the sake of God and in this they fulfilled the command of the Lord. At Rome the monk continued to wander about, going from house to house, having nothing, gathering together only but spiritual wealth for himself and for his neighbour.
Saint Leontios, Patriarch of Jerusalem, by the account of Saint Gregory Palamas, was Patriarch during the years 1223-1261. His life was similarly described by Theodore, a monk of Constantinople. This Vita was translated in abridged form from the Greek into the Russian language. It was translated a second time more fully by the Monk Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, who indicates the death of the Patriarch was instead actually in the year 1175.
The Holy Martyr Mark of Crete was beheaded by the Turks in the year 1643 for confessing faith in Christ.
The Holy Martyr John the Bulgarian was martyred by the Turks as a Christian in the year 1802.
The Yaroslavsk (Pechersk) Icon of the Mother of God: In the city of Yaroslavl' the townswoman Aleksandra Dobychkina suffered terribly for 17 years from emotional and bodily illness. In 1823 she had a vision in her sleep: of a church with an icon of the Mother of God. She decided to seek out the Yaroslavl' visionary temple and icon. This church turned out to be the temple in honour of the Procession of the Venerable Wood of the Cross of the Lord (Comm. 1 August), situated under the bell-tower of the archbishop's residence. Entering the church, the afflicted Aleksandra beheld on the wall the depiction of the Kievo-Pechersk Mother of God. Suddenly she had a powerful attack of fever, after which at first there was an onset of relief, and later a full healing from the grievous illness. And from that time began miraculous healings through prayers to the MostHoly Mother of God.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. THE HOLY MARTYR ISIDORE
During the reign of Decius, Isidore was drafted by force from the island of Chios into military service. From childhood, Isidore adhered to the Faith of Christ and spent his entire life in fasting, prayer and good works. But when in the army Isidore declared himself a Christian, the commander seized him, required of him an answer and counseled him to deny Christ and offer sacrifices to the idols. The saint replied: "Even if you kill my body, you have no authority over my soul. I possess the True, Living God, Jesus Christ Who now lives in me and after my death, He will be with me and I am in Him and will remain in Him and I will never cease to confess His Holy Name as long as my soul is in my body." First, the commander ordered that Isidore be whipped with oxen tails and after that they cut out his tongue. Even without his tongue, Isidore, by the Spirit of God, spoke and confessed the Name of Christ. Meanwhile, the punishment of God came upon the commander and he, suddenly, became mute. Finally, the mute commander gave the sign to behead Isidore. Isidore was elated at this sentence and after praising God went to the scaffold where he was beheaded in the year 251 A.D. His companion, Ammon buried his body and following that also suffered and received the martyr's wreath.
2. THE VENERABLE SERAPION, THE SINDONITE
Sindon means "linen cloth" in which the bodies of the dead were wrapped. Serapion was called the Sindonite because he covered his naked body with a single linen cloth. He carried a Book of the Gospels in his hand. Serapion lived like a bird without a roof and without any worries moving from place to place. He gave his sindon to a needy person who was shivering from the frost and remained completely naked. When someone asked him: "Serapion, who uncovered you?" He pointed to the Holy Gospels and said: "This!" After that he even gave the Book of the Gospels away as a ransom for a man in debt whose lender was threatening him with prison for this debt. Once in Athens, he did not eat anything for four days because he had nothing available and began to cry out from hunger. When the Athenian philosophers asked him why he was crying out so, Serapion replied: "I was indebted to three; two of which I have satisfied but the third one is still tormenting me. The first lender is carnal lust which tormented me from my youth; the second lender is avarice and the third lender is the stomach. Those two have left me, but the third one still torments me." The philosophers gave him a gold coin to purchase bread. He went to a baker, purchased only one loaf of bread, left the gold coin and departed. In his old age, he presented himself peacefully to the Lord in the fifth century.
3. BLESSED ISIDORE, "FOOL FOR CHRIST"
Isidore was a German by descent. Having come to Rostov, he fell in love with the Orthodox Faith and, not only became a communicant of the Orthodox Church, but assumed the difficult life of asceticism as a "Fool for Christ." He walked around completely in rags. Pretending insanity through his madness, he spent the entire day teaching men and at night, he spent in prayer. He spent nights in a hut made of branches which he had built in a muddy terrain. Great and awesome were the miracles which this saint performed both during life and after death. To a merchant, who was thrown from a boat and was drowning in the sea, Isidore appeared walking upon the water and led him to the shore. When the servants of the Prince of Rostov refused Isidore a glass of water that he asked for and drove him away from the door, then all the vessels with wine dried up. When Isidore died in his hut on May 14, 1484 A.D., the whole of Rostov smelled from a wonderful aroma. The merchant whom the Blessed Isidore saved from the sea, erected a church in his honor over the spot where his hut was located.
HYMN OF PRAISE
BLESSED ISIDORE, FOOL FOR CHRIST
Blessed Isidore wrestled with himself
Until passionless, as a withered tree, he became,
But even a withered tree, the bees with honey fill,
And from the dry cliff, a spring sometimes erupts.
The body of the blessed, with the Spirit filled
With the honey of Grace, the heart sweetened.
In the foolish body, the fountain of God's power,
In wretched garments, hidden treasure,
Wonderful Isidore, on the garbage heap lay,
On the streets cried out, leaped and fled,
Without roof and bread and without friends,
But under the watchful eye of his Creator
To vain men, he was an "instruction"
And to those beastly bound to the earth, a reproach;
He, by his life, as though he wanted to say:
Men, to misfortune your cares lead.
He is not fortunate, who from God steals,
But who alone possesses God as a treasure.
Sin which serves as a scandal to others is a two-fold sin. A wise man strives not to scandalize anyone and does not lead anyone into sin by his sinful example. Saint Ambrose praises such sagacity of the Emperor Valentian who died at an early age citing these examples from his life: "The emperor, hearing that he was talked about throughout Rome as a passionate hunter and a lover of wild beasts - which, in reality he was not - and how this passion was taking the emperor away from his duties of State, immediately ordered that all the wild beasts in his preserve be slain. Again, upon hearing how certain malicious people spread the rumor that he ate lunch early (wanting by this to present him as being gluttonous), the emperor imposed a strict fast on himself both privately and publicly. Before the public lunches he was rarely seen to place a morsel of food in his mouth. And again, when his sisters disputed with a certain man over some property, the emperor, even though he had the right to judge the dispute, directed the case to the open court so that he would not be accused of partiality." Indeed, with great fear, this pious emperor upheld the words of the Lord: "Woe to him who shall offend [scandalize] one of these little ones" (St. Matthew 18:6).
To contemplate the action of God the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:
1. How the Holy Spirit leads the apostles through all sorrows and tribulations, filling their hearts with consolation and joy;
2. How the Holy Spirit makes that seed of the Gospel grow and succeed which the apostles sow throughout the world, even where it seems to have been scattered in vain.
About Christ as the Branch of David
In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land" (Jeremiah 33:15)."
With these words, the holy Prophet Jeremiah prophesies the coming of the Holy Savior of the world from the lineage of David. The Branch of Righteousness is Jesus Christ Himself. These words could not have referred to anyone else, since, at the time of the coming of the Lord Jesus, a prince from the lineage of David did not sit any longer on the throne at Jerusalem but rather a foreigner, Herod the Idumean. Neither from then until today was there any other prominent branch of David, neither as a worldly ruler nor a spiritual ruler. At the time of the nativity of Christ, there were but a few people from the Tribe of David and they were unknown and impoverished. Among these were numbered the All-Holy Virgin and the righteous elder Joseph, the carpenter. It is clear therefore, that for the past thousand years since this prophecy was spoken, no other majestic branch from the lineage of David appeared, except the Lord Jesus. This becomes more clear from the following words: "As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister to Me" (Jeremiah 33:22). These words could only apply to the spiritual descendants of David through Christ the Lord, i.e., upon Christians, for only the number of Christians (and not the physical descendants of David of whom there are not any at all), for these twenty centuries can be measured with the stars in the heavens and with the sand in the sea.
O my brethren, let us rejoice that even we Christians belong to this countless number of people of God; to the greatest people in the history of the world both as to numbers and as to character. Let us rejoice even more that we belong to this heavenly Branch of David Who, by His Blood redeemed us from foreigners and adopted us and made us heirs and co-heirs of the kingdom eternal. O, All-good Lord, You have redeemed us prodigal sons from the contemptible humiliation and hunger and made us sons of the kingdom.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.