FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Myron the Martyr of Cyzicus
Straton, Philip, Eutychian, & Cyprian the Martyrs of Nicomedea
Afterfeast of the Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:13-18
BRETHREN, having the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους β' 4:13-18
Ἀδελφοί, ἔχοντες δὲ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πίστεως, κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον, Ἐπίστευσα, διὸ ἐλάλησα, καὶ ἡμεῖς πιστεύομεν, διὸ καὶ λαλοῦμεν· εἰδότες ὅτι ὁ ἐγείρας τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἡμᾶς διὰ Ἰησοῦ ἐγερεῖ, καὶ παραστήσει σὺν ὑμῖν. Τὰ γὰρ πάντα διʼ ὑμᾶς, ἵνα ἡ χάρις πλεονάσασα διὰ τῶν πλειόνων τὴν εὐχαριστίαν περισσεύσῃ εἰς τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ. Διὸ οὐκ ἐκκακοῦμεν, ἀλλʼ εἰ καὶ ὁ ἔξω ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος διαφθείρεται, ἀλλʼ ὁ ἔσωθεν ἀνακαινοῦται ἡμέρᾳ καὶ ἡμέρᾳ. Τὸ γὰρ παραυτίκα ἐλαφρὸν τῆς θλίψεως ἡμῶν καθʼ ὑπερβολὴν εἰς ὑπερβολὴν αἰώνιον βάρος δόξης κατεργάζεται ἡμῖν, μὴ σκοπούντων ἡμῶν τὰ βλεπόμενα, ἀλλὰ τὰ μὴ βλεπόμενα· τὰ γὰρ βλεπόμενα πρόσκαιρα· τὰ δὲ μὴ βλεπόμενα αἰώνια.
The Reading is from Matthew 24:27-33, 42-51
The Lord said to his disciples, "As the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
"Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth."
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ ΙΖ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου μάρτυρος Μύρωνος.
Τὶ μοι κεφαλῆς ἡ τομή, Μύρων λέγει.
Πρὸς τὸ στέφειν μέλλον με πάντιμον στέφος;
Ἑβδομάτῃ δεκάτῃ Μύρωνα τάμε ξίφος ὀξύ.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων μαρτύρων Στράτωνος, Φιλίππου, Εὐτυχιανοῦ καὶ Κυπριανοῦ.
Ἔθεντὸ με βδέλυγμα, φησὶν ὁ Στράτων,
Ἄνδρες βδελυκτοί, καὶ πυρὶ κτείνουσί με.
Φιλῶν Θεόν, Φίλιππε, καὶ ψυχῆς πλέον
Κατακριθεὶς πῦρ, οὐ φιλόψυχος γίνῃ.
Εὐτυχιανὸς εἰς κάμινον ἡμμένην,
Ὡς ἵππος εἰς πεδίον ἦν, τὸ τοῦ λόγου.
Πῦρ Κυπριανὸς καρτερήσας καμίνου
Ἐξώτερον πῦρ, ὃ Γραφὴ λέγει, φύγε.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων μαρτύρων Παύλου καὶ Ἰουλιανῆς τῆς ἀδελφῆς αὐτοῦ.
Ἰουλιανή, Παῦλος, ἀδελφοὶ φύσει,
Ὤφθησαν ὄντες καὶ ἀδελφοὶ τῷ ξίφει
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων μαρτύρων Θύρσου, Λευκίου, Κορωνάτου καὶ τῆς συνοδίας αὐτῶν, καὶ ἡ σύναξις τῆς Ὑπεραγίας Δεσποίνης ἡμῶν Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας ἐν τοῖς Ἁρματίου.
Οἱ τρεῖς ἀθληταὶ νῦν παρίστανται πόθῳ,
Τριάδι θείᾳ, ἧς ἐνήθλησαν χάριν.
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
Saint Myron was a priest during the reign of Decius, when Antipater was ruler of Achaia. On the day of our Lord's Nativity, Antipater entered the church to seize the Christians and punish them. Saint Myron, kindled with holy zeal, roundly insulted Antipater, for which he was hung up and scraped, then cast into a raging furnace, but was preserved unharmed. When Myron refused to worship the idols, Antipater commanded that strips be cut in the Saint's flesh from his shoulders to his feet; the Saint took one of the strips of his flesh and flung it in the tyrant's face. He was beaten, and scraped again upon his beaten flesh; then he was thrown to wild beasts, but when Antipater saw them leaving off their fierce nature and protecting the Saint from harm, he was overcome with unbearable shame and slew himself. The Saint was then sent to Cyzicus, where the proconsul had him beheaded, about the year 250.
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
Εκ βρέφους Χριστόν, ποθήσας παναοίδιμε, καί τούτου τηρών, τά θεία παραγγέλματα, πρός αυτόν ανέδραμες, ολοκλήρως Μύρων καί κατέπαυσας, σύν Αγγέλοις δοξάζων αυτόν, αιτούμενος πάσι θείαν άφεσιν.
Since thou didst love Christ from childhood, O all-lauded one, and strictly didst keep His precepts and divine commands, thou didst run whole-heartedly unto Him, O Myron, and foundest rest and with Angels glorifiest Him, while asking divine forgiveness for us all.
Apolytikion in the First Tone
Εν τή Γεννήσει τήν παρθενίαν εφύλαξας, έν τή Κοιμήσει τόν κόσμον ού κατέλιπες Θεοτόκε, Μετέστης πρός τήν ζωήν, μήτηρ υπάρχουσα τής ζωής, καί ταίς πρεσβείαις ταίς σαίς λυτρουμένη, εκ θανάτου τάς ψυχάς ημών.
In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions.
Την μνήμη δυο αδελφών αγίων Μαρτύρων γιορτάζει σήμερα η Εκκλησία, του Παύλου και της Ιουλιανής. Ομόπιστοι και ομόψυχοι επορεύθηκαν στο μαρτύριο και στεφανώθηκαν με το αίμα τους. Είναι, αλήθεια, μεγάλο πράγμα η κοινή πίστη και το κοινό φρόνημα μέσα σε μια οικογένεια, όπως πάλι το αντίθετο είναι από τα μεγαλύτερα κακά, μέχρι που ο Χριστός να το χρησιμοποιήση για παράδειγμα και να επαναλάβη τα λόγια του Προφήτου· "εχθροί του ανθρώπου οι οικιακοί αυτού". Η οικογένεια είναι ο πρώτος βαθμός κοινωνικής συμβιώσεως των ανθρώπων κι είναι αλήθεια πως η ενότητα είναι ο πρώτος όρος του κοινωνικού βίου. Όταν η ενότης αυτή αγιάζεται μέσα στο πνεύμα του Ευαγγελίου, όταν οι σκέψεις και οι θελήσεις των μελών της οικογενείας φωτίζονται και άγωνται από το θείο θέλημα, τότε το σπίτι είναι φυτώριο Αγίων και Μαρτύρων. Καλύτερο και τερπνότερο, λέει ο Ψαλμός, δεν είναι, "αλλ' η το κατοικείν αδελφούς επι το αυτό".
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μύρων
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μύρων μαρτύρησε ὅταν αὐτοκράτωρ ἦταν ὁ Δέκιος, τὸ 250 μ.Χ. Καταγόμενος ἀπὸ πλούσια οἰκογένεια, θὰ μποροῦσε νὰ ζήσει ἄνετα, μὲ ὅλα τὰ ἐπίγεια ἀγαθὰ ποὺ θὰ ἐπιθυμοῦσε. Ὅμως ἡ μεγάλη του ἀγάπη πρὸς τὸ Χριστό, ἔκανε τὸ Μύρωνα νὰ χειροτονηθεῖ ἱερέας. Ἀφιερώθηκε, λοιπόν, ὁλοκληρωτικὰ στὸ ποιμαντικό του καθῆκον καὶ δίδασκε, νουθετοῦσε καὶ βοηθοῦσε τὸ κάθε ἕνα μέλος τοῦ ποιμνίου του. Μεριμνοῦσε καθημερινὰ γιὰ τοὺς φτωχούς, τὶς χῆρες καὶ τὰ ὀρφανά. Κάποτε, ὁ ἔπαρχος Ἀχαΐας Ἀντίπατρος πῆγε στὸν τόπο ὅπου λειτουργοῦσε ὁ Μύρων καὶ συνέλαβε πολλοὺς χριστιανούς. Γιὰ νὰ ἐκβιάσει λοιπὸν τὸ Μύρωνα, νὰ ἀλλαξοπιστήσει, ἔφερε μπροστά του τὸ ποίμνιό του καὶ τοῦ εἶπε ὅτι, ἂν αὐτὸς ἀρνηθεῖ τὸ Χριστό, θὰ τοὺς ἀφήσει ὅλους ἐλεύθερους. Ὁ Μύρων μειδίασε καὶ ἀπάντησε: «Ἂν ἦταν γιὰ τὴν σωτηρία τῶν πνευματικῶν μου παιδιῶν, πρόθυμα θὰ ἔδινα τὴν ζωή μου. Τώρα ὅμως δὲν πρόκειται γι᾿ αὐτό. Ἂς δώσουν λοιπὸν οἱ ἴδιοι ἀπάντηση». Τότε ὅλοι μαζὶ φώναξαν: «Ὄχι. Μία ἀνθρώπινη ψυχὴ εἶναι ἀσύγκριτα πολυτιμότερη ἀπὸ μύρια σώματα καὶ ἀπὸ τὸν κόσμο ὅλο. Ποιὸς λοιπὸν ἀπὸ μᾶς θέλει νὰ δεχθεῖ, ὥστε νὰ χάσει τὴν ψυχή του ὁ πνευματικός μας πατέρας, γιὰ νὰ ζήσουν λίγο περισσότερο στὸν πρόσκαιρο αὐτὸ κόσμο οἱ δικές μας σάρκες;». Ὁ ἔπαρχος, ἐξοργισμένος ἀπὸ τὴν ἀπάντηση, ἀφοῦ βασάνισε μὲ φρικτὸ τρόπο τὸ Μύρωνα, τελικὰ τὸν ἀποκεφάλισε.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Στράτων, Φίλιππος, Εὐτυχιανὸς καὶ Κυπριανός
Οἱ Ἅγιοι αὐτοὶ ἦταν κάτοικοι τῆς Νικομήδειας καὶ καθημερινὰ πήγαιναν στὸ ἀμφιθέατρο καὶ συστηματικὰ δίδασκαν καὶ κατηχοῦσαν εἰδωλολάτρες. Αὐτὸ εἶχε σὰν ἀποτέλεσμα, πολλοὶ εἰδωλολάτρες νὰ πιστέψουν στὸν Χριστὸ καὶ τὸ ἀμφιθέατρο σχεδὸν ἀδείασε ἀπὸ θεατὲς ἄπρεπων θεαμάτων. Ὁ ἄρχοντας τῆς Νικομήδειας παρατήρησε τὴν ἀραίωση τῶν θεατῶν, ἔμαθε τὴν αἰτία καὶ διέταξε τὴν ἄμεση σύλληψη τῶν τεσσάρων Ἁγίων. Αὐτοὶ δὲν δίστασαν καὶ μπροστά του νὰ ὁμολογήσουν τὸν Χριστὸ καὶ τὰ ἔργα ποὺ ἐπιτελοῦσαν γιὰ τὴν ἀγάπη Του. Ἐξοργισμένος ὁ ἄρχοντας διέταξε καὶ τοὺς βασάνισαν σκληρά. Κατόπιν τοὺς ἔριξαν ζωντανοὺς στὴ φωτιὰ καὶ ἔτσι ἔνδοξα ἔλαβαν ὅλοι τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Παῦλος καὶ Ἰουλιανὴ καὶ οἱ μαζὶ μ᾿ αὐτοὺς μαρτυρήσαντες Στρατόνικος, Κοδρᾶτος καὶ Ἀκάκιος οἱ δήμιοι
Ὁ ἅγιος Παῦλος καὶ ἡ ἁγία Ἰουλιανὴ ἦταν ἀδέλφια μεταξύ τους, καὶ ἔζησαν στὰ χρόνια τοῦ αὐτοκράτορα Αὐρηλιανοῦ (270-275). Οἱ γονεῖς τους τοὺς ἀνέθρεψαν μὲ ὅλη τὴ ζωὴ τῆς χριστιανικῆς πίστης, ἱκανοὺς δηλαδὴ ὄχι μόνο γιὰ νὰ πιστεύουν καὶ νὰ στολίζονται ἀπὸ τὴν χρηστότητα τῆς ζωῆς, ἀλλὰ καὶ γιὰ νὰ φέρουν ἐπ᾿ ὤμου τὸ σταυρό τους, καὶ νὰ εἶναι ἕτοιμοι καὶ πρόθυμοι γιὰ ὅλες τὶς θυσίες τῆς κατὰ Χριστὸν αὐταπάρνησης. Καὶ ὅταν ὁ πατέρας καὶ ἡ μητέρα τους ἔφυγαν ἀπ᾿ αὐτὴν τὴ ζωή, ὁ Παῦλος καὶ ἡ Ἰουλιανὴ ἔμειναν στὸ θεοχάρακτο δρόμο τους. Ὁ Παῦλος διέπρεπε μεταξὺ τῶν νέων, στοὺς ὁποίους πολλὲς φορὲς γινόταν δάσκαλος μὲ τὶς φωτεινὲς γνώσεις του καὶ μὲ τὴν καθαρὴ ζωή του. Τὸ ἴδιο βέβαια καὶ ἡ Ἰουλιανὴ μεταξὺ τῶν νεαρῶν κοριτσιῶν. Ἔτσι, ἀδελφὸς καὶ ἀδελφὴ ἔγιναν ἀπὸ τὰ λαμπρότερα σεμνώματα τῆς χριστιανικῆς Ἐκκλησίας στὴν Πτολεμαΐδα. Αὐτὸ ὅμως, προκάλεσε τὸ μῖσος τῶν εἰδωλολατρῶν καὶ κατήγγειλαν τὰ δυὸ ἀδέλφια στὸν αὐτοκράτορα Αὐρηλιανό, ὅταν κάποτε αὐτὸς πέρασε ἀπὸ τὴν πόλη τους. Ὁ Αὐρηλιανός, μὴ μπορώντας καὶ αὐτὸς νὰ κλονίσει τὴν πίστη τους, διέταξε νὰ βασανιστοῦν σκληρά. Καὶ ἐνῷ οἱ δήμιοι, Στρατόνικος, Κοδρᾶτος καὶ Ἀκάκιος, τοὺς βασάνιζαν, θαύμασαν τὴν ψυχική τους ἀνδρεία, ὁμολόγησαν τὸν Χριστὸ καὶ ἀποκεφαλίστηκαν ἐπὶ τόπου. Τέλος, οἱ νέοι δήμιοι, ἀφοῦ ἔκαψαν τὶς σάρκες τους μὲ ἀναμμένες λαμπάδες καὶ εἶδαν ὅτι καὶ πάλι τὰ δυὸ ἀδέλφια ἔμεναν ἀμετακίνητα στὴν πίστη τους, τοὺς ἀποκεφάλισαν.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Θύρσος, Λεύκιος, Κορωνᾶτος καὶ ἡ συνοδεία τους
Ἴσως νὰ συγχέονται μὲ αὐτοὺς τῆς 14ης Δεκεμβρίου καὶ τὸ ὄνομα Καλλίνικος τοῦ τρίτου μάρτυρα νὰ ἔγινε Κορωνᾶτος. Πάντως γι᾿ αὐτοὺς τοὺς τρεῖς ἀναφέρεται ὅτι «τελεῖται αὐτῶν ἡ σύναξις πλησίον τῶν Ἐλενιανῶν».
Ὁ Ὅσιος Αἴγλων
Ἦταν ἀναχωρητής, ποὺ ἔζησε ἀσκητικὰ καὶ ἀπεβίωσε εἰρηνικά.
Ὁ Ὅσιος Ἠλίας ὁ Νέος
Ἱδρυτὴς Μονῆς, ἀναχωρητής. Καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὴν Σικελία. Προφήτευσε τὴν ἅλωση τῆς Θεσσαλονίκης. Ταξίδεψε στὴν Πελοπόννησο καὶ στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, ὅπου καὶ ἀσθένησε καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἐπιστροφή του στὴ Θεσσαλονίκη κατέλυσε στὸν ναὸ τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Δημητρίου. Πέθανε τὴν 17η Αὐγούστου τοῦ 903, ὁπότε καὶ ἡ μνήμη του.
Ἡ Σύναξις τῆς Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου ἐν τοῖς Ἁρματίου
Ὁ Ἅγιος Μακάριος ὁ Ὁσιομάρτυρας
Ἡ μνήμη του ἀναφέρεται στὸ Βυζαντινὸ Ἑορτολόγιο τοῦ Γεδεὼν (σελ. 158).Μαρτύρησε ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁγίων εἰκόνων στὰ χρόνια του αὐτοκράτορα Κοπρώνυμου τὸ 768. Ἦταν μοναχὸς στὸ βουνὸ τοῦ Αὐξεντίου.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Δημήτριος ὁ Μοναχὸς ἀπὸ τὴν Σαμαρίνα τῆς Πίνδου
Στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῶν σκλαβωμένων Ἑλλήνων ὁ μοναχὸς Δημήτριος, γεννήθηκε στὴ Σαμαρίνα τῆς Πίνδου στὰ τέλη τοῦ 18ου αἰῶνα. Ἔγινε μοναχὸς στὸ μοναστήρι τῆς πατρίδας του, ὅπου μὲ προσευχὴ καὶ νηστεία ἐξάγνισε τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὴν ψυχή του. Μετὰ τὴν κατάπνιξη, ἀπὸ τὸν Ἀλῆ Πασᾶ τὸ 1808, τῆς ἐπανάστασης ποὺ ὑποκίνησε ὁ παπα-Εὐθύμιος Βλαχάβας, ὁ Δημήτριος βγῆκε ἀπὸ τὸ μοναστήρι του καὶ γύριζε τὰ χωριὰ κηρύττοντας τὸν λόγο τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ διδάσκοντας ὑπομονὴ στὶς θλίψεις. Μετὰ ἀπὸ συκοφαντία τὸν συνέλαβε ὁ Ἀλῆ Πασᾶς καὶ τὸν φυλάκισε. Κατόπιν διέταξε τὸν ἄγριο βασανισμό του. Ἔτσι οἱ δήμιοι μὲ καλαμένιες ἀκίδες τρύπησαν τοὺς βραχίονές του καὶ ἔπειτα τὶς ἔμπηξαν στὰ νύχια τῶν χεριῶν καὶ τῶν ποδιῶν του. Στὴ συνέχεια ἔσφιξαν τὸ κεφάλι του σὲ μέγγενη καὶ κατόπιν ἀφοῦ τὸν κρέμασαν ἀνάποδα τὸν ἔκαιγαν ἀπὸ κάτω μὲ φωτιά. Βλέποντας κάποιος Τοῦρκος τὴν γενναιότητα τοῦ Δημητρίου, πίστεψε στὸν Χριστὸ καὶ ἔπειτα μαρτύρησε. Ὑστερα ὁ Ἀλῆ Πασᾶς ἔκτισε τὸν Δημήτριο μέσα σ᾿ ἕναν τοῖχο, ἀφήνοντας μόνο τὸ κεφάλι του ἀπ᾿ ἔξω γιὰ νὰ παρατείνει τὸ μαρτύριο. Ὁ Μάρτυρας ἄντεξε ἔτσι 10 ἡμέρες. Τελικὰ παρέδωσε τὸ πνεῦμα του στὸν Θεό, τὸ ἔτος 1808. Τὸ μαρτύριό του συνέγραψε ὁ πρόξενος τῆς Γαλλίας στὰ Ἰωάννινα Ε. Pouqueville.
(Τὸ μαρτύριο τοῦ ὁσιομάρτυρα Δημητρίου, ἀντέγραψε κατόπιν ὁ μοναχὸς Γεράσιμος Μικραγιαννανίτης. Νὰ σημειώσουμε ἐδῶ, ὅτι ὁ Δουκάκης καὶ ὁ Ἅγιος Νικόδημος στοὺς Συναξαριστές τους καθὼς καὶ ὁ Σ. Εὐστρατιάδης στὸ Ἁγιολόγιό του δὲν ἀναφέρουν τὴν μνήμη τοῦ νεομάρτυρα αὐτοῦ. Στὴν τοπικὴ ἁγιολογία τῆς Ἱερᾶς Μητροπόλεως Γρεβενῶν, ἕνα Ἡμερολόγιο τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος (1963), σελ. 306, ἀναφέρει τὴν μνήμη τοῦ Ἁγίου τὴν 18η Αὐγούστου. Τὸ Μέγα Εὐχολόγιο ὅμως, καθὼς καὶ ὁ Otto Meinardus, ἀναφέρουν τὴν μνήμη του τὴν 17η Αὐγούστου).
Martyr Myron of Cyzicus (250)
He was a priest in Achaia In the time of the Emperor Decius,when Antipater was governor of Achaia, the persecutors entered the church on the Feast of the Nativity, dragged Myron away from the service and put him to torture. He endured many horrible tortures, but would not worship the idols. Finally he was thrown to wild beasts. When Antipater saw the beasts greeting Myron affectionately, the persecutor seized a sword and slew himself. The Saint was then sent to Cyzicus, where he was beheaded by the proconsul.
Holy Martyr Patroclus (late 3rd c.)
He was born to wealthy parents in Trychasia (now Troyes) in Gaul. Despite his high station he used his wealth to give daily alms to the poor and ate only once a day after sunset. Such was his holiness that he became a wonderworker, known widely for his healing power. When the Emperor Aurelian visited Gaul, he ordered Patroclus brought before him. The Saint freely confessed Christ and told the Emperor: 'If, O King, you desire some of my goods, I will give them to you, for I can see your wretchedness.' The astonished Emperor asked how he could call the ruler of the entire Empire wretched. Patroclus replied, 'You have earthly, transitory riches, but you are wretched, for you do not possess yourself, since you have no faith in Christ in your heart.' The saint was condemned to death and beheaded. Two beggars, to whom he had given alms, found his body and gave it honorable burial.
The Holy Martyr Myron was a presbyter in Achaeia (Greece), and lived during the III Century. He suffered in the year 250 under the emperor Decius (249-251). The presbyter was gentle and kind to people, but he was also courageous in the defense of his spiritual children. One time, on the feast of the Nativity of Christ, he was celebrating Divine-services. The local governor Antipater came into the church with soldiers so as to arrest those praying there and to subject them to torture. Seeing this, Saint Myron began heatedly to plead for his flock, denouncing the governor for his cruelty. The saint was delivered over to torture, -- they took him and struck at his body with iron rods. They then threw the presbyter into a red-hot oven, but the Lord preserved the martyr -- at the very moment when about 150 men at a nearby pagan temple were scorched by the oven fire. The governor then began to demand the martyr to worship idols. Having received from Saint Myron a firm refusal, Antipater ordered the leather thongs to be cut from his skin. Saint Myron took one of the leather thongs and threw it in the face of his tormentor. Falling into a rage, Antipater gave orders to strike Saint Myron all over his stripped body, and then to deliver the martyr over to wild beasts for devouring. But the beasts would not touch him. Perceiving himself defeated, Antipater in his blind rage committed suicide. They then took Saint Myron to the city of Kizika, where he was beheaded by the sword (+ 250).
The Monk Alypii of Pechersk, one of the first and finest of Russian iconographers, was a monastic novice of the Monk Nikon (Comm. 23 March), and from his youthful years pursued asceticism at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. He studied the iconography of the Greek masters, and from the year 1083 beautifying the Pechersk church of the Uspenie (Dormition) of the MostHoly Mother of God. The Monk Alypii wrote icons gratis. If he learned that in some church the icons had become worn, he took them with him and unmercenarily restored them. If it so happened that they paid him for his work, the monk disbursed one part for the obtaining of iconographic materials, the second part he distributed to the poor, and only the third did he keep for himself. The Monk Alypii was never famous, and he did the iconography only so as to serve God. He was raised to the dignity of priestmonk and was known for a gift of wonderworking while still alive: the Monk Alypii healed a Kievan man suffering from leprosy and decay of the body by anointing the wounds of the sick man with paints, prepared for the writing of icons. Many icons done by the monk were glorified by wonderworking. A particular instance is known, when Angels of God helped him in the holy task of writing icons. A certain Kievan man, having built a church, entrusted two Pechersk monks to commission the icons for it. The monks concealed the money and said nothing to the Monk Alypii. Having waited a long time for the carrying out of the commission, the Kievan man turned to the hegumen with a complaint against the monk, and here only did they discover that he had not heard of the commission. When they brought the boards given by the customer, it turned out that on them already were done beautiful images. And when the church built for the icons was consumed by fire, all of the icons remained unharmed. One of these icons ( the Uspenie of the MostHoly Mother of God) -- having received the title Vladimir-Rostovsk (celebrated 15 August), was taken by GreatPrince Vladimir Monomakh (1113-1125) to a Rostov church built by him.
Another time, an Angel wrote an icon in honour of the Uspenie (Dormition) of the MostHoly Mother of God, when the Monk Alypii lay in a pre-death illness. And in this the Angel accepted the soul of the Monk Alypii (he died on 17 August not earlier than the year 1114). He was buried in the Nearer Caves (Comm. Sobor 28 September). Of the right hand of the Monk Alypii the first three fingers were folded perfectly alike, and the last two were bent to the palm -- in such prayerful manner of signing himself with the sign of the cross did the monk die. One of the icons of the Monk Alypii -- the MostHoly Mother of God with the Infant-Saviour, surviving from the time of the Monks Antonii and Feodosii of Pechersk is now preserved in the State Tretyakov Gallery (named the Svensk, and celebrated 3 May and 17 August).
The Martyrs Paul and Juliania suffered in about the year 273. The account about them is located under 4 March.
The Martyrs Therses, Leucius, Coronatus and their Companions suffered in Bythnian Caesarea and Apollonia under the emperor Decius (249-251). (It is possible that Coronatus is the same person as Cornutus, whose commemoration is on 12 September).
The Martyr Patrocles lived during the III Century under the emperor Aurelian (270-275). It is known, that he was a native of the city of Tricassinum (now the city of Troyes in France) and led a pious Christian life: he loved to pray, to read the Holy Scriptures, to fast and to be charitable to the poor. For this the Lord sent down upon him the gift of wonderworking. The emperor Aurelian summoned Saint Patrocles to himself and commanded him to worship idols, promising for this great honours and riches. The saint disdained idol-worship saying that the emperor himself was a beggar. "How canst thou term me, the emperor, a beggar?" -- questioned Aurelian. The saint answered: "Thou dost possess many earthly treasures, but thou hast not Heavenly treasures, because thou believest not in Christ and in the future life thou shalt not receive paradisical blessedness -- therefore thou art poor". Aurelian in answer sentenced him to beheading by the sword. Soldiers led him to the banks of the River Sequanum (now the Seine), but suddenly their eyes were beclouded, and Saint Patrocles at this time went across the river on the water and began to pray on an hill on the other river-bank. Coming to themselves, some of the soldiers were astounded at the disappearance of the martyr and they glorified God, but others attributed the miracle to magic. A pagan woman pointed out to the soldiers that Saint Patrocles was situated on the other bank of the river. Crossing over there, the soldiers killed the martyr (+ c. 275). His body was buried by night by the priest Eusebius and deacon Liberius.
The Martyrs Straton, Philip, Eutykhian and Kyprian suffered at Nikomedia. Visiting the circus, they taught people to cease with idol-worship and they converted many pagans to Christ. The governor, observing that the people were leaving the circus, summoned to himself the martyrs, who firmly confessed their faith in Christ and for this they were given over to wild beasts for devouring. The beasts did not touch them, and the martyrs were then subjected to torture and thrown into a fire (+ c. 303).
The Monk Levkii of Volokolamsk was the founder of the Uspenie (Dormition) monastery on the Ruza River (the monastery was located 32 versts from the city of Volokolamsk and 2 versts from the village of Seredo-Stratilatsk). The Monk Levkii was a disciple of the Monk Paphnutii of Borovsk (+ 1 May 1477) and associate of the Monk Joseph of Volotsk (+ 9 September 1515). The time of the founding of the monastery by the Monk Levkii might perhaps be determined from the remnants of the Life of the Monk Daniel of Pereyaslavl' (+ 7 April 1540). The monk Daniel upon his arrival at the Borovsk monastery in the year 1466 was entrusted by the Monk Paphnutii to the Starets (elder) Levkii as an experienced ascetic in the spiritual life. After 10 years, i.e. in 1476, the starets and his student settled in the Volokolamsk region, where they dwelt together for another 2 years in founding the monastery. After this the Monk Daniel went to Pereyaslavl'. It is conjectured that the Monk Levkii was 62 years of age at the founding of the monastery. Having raised up a monastery, he became known throughout the surrounding region for his ascetic life. The Monk Levkii died in extreme old age (according to tradition -- 17 July) at the end of the XV Century. He was buried in the monastery founded by him.
In the Iconographic original of the image of the monk is inscribed under 27 July: "He was greyed, and a beard like Sergei, his hair uncovered, a schema-habit on his shoulders, in his hands a staff, and monastic garb".
The commemoration of the Monk Levkii is observed both on 14 December and on 17 August -- on the Day of the Holy Martyr Leucius.
The Monk Philip of Sukhonsk was an hermit on Yankovsk hill, on the left bank of the Sukhona River -- two versts from the city of Ustiug. The Ustiug inhabitants built up a monastery at the place of his ascetic deeds, so as to learn monastic life under his guidance, and in the year 1654 they built a church in honour of the Znamenie (Sign) Mother of God with a chapel in the name of the then-glorified Metropolitan of Moscow, Sainted Philip. Brethren soon gathered. The Monk Philip, refusing no one his guidance, in his humility would not accept the dignity of hegumen and he died at the monastery as a simple monk on 17 August 1662.
The Svensk-Pechersk Icon of the Mother of God has two festal celebrations: on 3 May -- on the day of death of the Monk Feodosii of Pechersk (Vide concerning him under that day), and on 17 August -- on the day of the death of the Monk Alypii of Pechersk, who wrote the icon. The 17 August day of celebration was established in the year 1815 in thanksgiving for the deliverance of the city of Bryansk (around which the icon appeared in 1288) from its invasion during the 1812 Napoleonic War.
The Armatian Icon of the Mother of God was situated in Constantinople at the Armatian monastery. The place, where the monastery was located, was called "Armation" or "of the Armatians" and received suchlike a name from the military magister Armatias, nephew of the tyrant Basiliskos and a contemporary of the emperor Zenon (474-491). The celebration of the wonderworking icon was established to commemorate deliverance from the Iconoclast heresy. The VII OEcumenical Council in the year 787 drew up dogmatic determinations about icon-veneration based on the foundations of Holy Scripture and Church Tradition.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. THE HOLY MARTYR MYRON, THE PRESBYTER
Myron was a priest in the town of Achaia of wealthy and prominent origin and by nature was kind and meek, both a lover of God and of man. During the reign of Emperor Decius and, on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, pagans charged into the church, dragged Myron out from the service and subjected him to torture. During the time of torture in the fire, an angel appeared to him and encouraged him. After that, they began to cut his skin in strips from his head to his feet. The martyr grabbed one such strip of his skin and, with it, struck the torturer - the judge - on the face. The judge Antipater, as though possessed, took a sword and killed himself. Finally, they took Myron to the city of Cyzicus and there slew him with the sword in the year 250 A.D.
2. THE HOLY MARTYR PATROCLUS
Patroclus was a citizen of the city of Trychasia, present day Troyes in France [Gaul]. He inherited great wealth from his parents and, from this, as a true Christian, performed daily acts of mercy for the less fortunate while he himself lived a life of mortification taking food only once a day, after the setting of the sun. Because of his sanctity of life, the Lord granted Patroclus the power of healing and he was known throughout as a miracle-worker. Emperor Aurelian, arriving in Gaul, ordered that Patroclus be brought before him. St. Patroclus proclaimed his faith in Christ before the emperor and did not conceal anything. "O Emperor, if you desire something of my wealth, I will give it to you, for I see you as poor" said St. Patroclus to the emperor. To that, the emperor replied: "How is it that you call me the emperor, poor who has countless riches? St. Patroclus then said: "You have only transient earthly treasures but you are poor for you are not in possession of yourself nor do you possess the Faith of Christ in your heart." He was condemned to death and handed over to the soldiers to be taken to a bog near a river to be slain there and to leave his body in the mud. But the saint of God prayed to God that his body not remain in the mud and by the power of God he suddenly became invisible to the soldiers and was translated to the other side of the river. After a long search, the soldiers found him and slew him on a dry spot. Two beggars, to whom Patroclus often gave alms, came along this road, recognized the body of their benefactor and buried it with honors.
3. THE VENERABLE ELIJAH OF CALABRIA [ITALY]
Elijah was a Greek by descent and the abbot of the monastery Mellicia in Calabria in southern Italy. During the time of iconoclasm in the east, many eastern monks fled to Calabria with icons. In time, the monastic life was spread widely throughout Calabria. The Calabrian monks were distinguished by their great learning and austerity of life. At one time, there were so many Orthodox monasteries and monks in Calabria that Calabria was compared with Egypt of old. Later, through the centuries, Orthodox Calabria fell under the authority of the Archbishopric of Ohrid. Venerable Elijah died in Thessalonica in the year 903 A.D.
4. THE VENERABLE OLYMPIUS, THE ICONOGRAPHER OF THE MONASTERY OF THE CAVES IN KIEV
Portraying the images [faces] of the saints on wood, Olympius imitated even their good works in his own soul. He healed a man of leprosy, saw an angel of God and, in his old age, died peacefully in the Lord in the year 1114 A.D.
HYMN OF PRAISE
THE HOLY MARTYR PATROCLUS
Patroclus, before the emperor stood erect,
Christ the God, without fear, glorified;
The emperor asked him and Patroclus says:
The wealthy, to the poor should give,
I am wealthy and you O emperor, are poor,
Wealth I possess, only you ask,
Am I poor, who rules the world,
And wealthy are you, with that cursed Faith?
Wealthy I am, Patroclus repeats,
In the fire, my wealth does not burn,
From ages to ages, my wealth is,
In heaven, my wealth awaits me.
What kind of wealth! You are in my hands!
The emperor cried out: To torture will I hand you over,
Hand me over, O emperor, Patroclus replied,
God will reward me my sufferings.
Torture the body; the body is for torture,
Into the hands of the Lord, the spirit I give.
In the Christian, the spirit is free
As in every Christian soldier;
For me, glory and victory awaits
And you O emperor, shame and misfortune,
Upon me, quickly heap tortures
So that my wreath does not fade, O emperor.
The Lord does not allow His faithful servants to be shamed. It often happened that the martyrs of Christ, ridiculed and mocked before the courts, unexpectedly performed a miracle, which instilled fear in the unbelievers. Either the idols fell or thunder destroyed the temples of the heathen or an unexpected downpour of rain extinguished the fire prepared for their burning or the torturers beat themselves with stones and rods and so forth. Thus, Antipater, the torturer of St. Myron, during the suffering of this man of God suddenly went insane and killed himself. St. Olympius, the icongrapher, was already at the end of his life when he received an order from a man to paint [write] the icon of the Dormition [the Falling Asleep The Assumption] of the Most-holy Theotokos. As the feast was approaching, this man came several times to see whether the icon was completed. But the icon was not even begun, not even on the eve of the Feast of the Dormition itself when the icon was supposed to have been placed in the church. When this man returned home completely saddened, at once there appeared a young man in Olympius' cell who immediately sat down and began to write the icon. He worked very quickly and very expertly. When the icon was completed, it shone like the sun. Showing the icon to the astonished Olympius, the young man took the icon and brought it to the church for which it had been ordered. The next day, that man who had ordered the icon went to the church and, to his great surprise, saw the icon in its place. Then that man came to the monastery and, with the abbot, entered Olympius' cell. "How and who wrote the icon of this man?" asked the abbot. The ailing Olympius replied: "An angel wrote it, and he is now standing here to take me away." And with that, he gave up the spirit.
To contemplate the punishment of God upon Saul because of his disobedience (1 Samuel 15 1 Kings 15):
1. How God commanded Saul not to spare the Amalekites nor to take any of their livestock;
2. How Saul spared Agag, the Amalekite King, and allowed the best of the enemies livestock to be taken;
3. How Samuel informed Saul that God rejected him because of his disobedience and because of his arbitrary offering of the sacrifice to God without a priest.
About the Spirit-bearing divine Child
"And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:2).
The Holy Spirit of God does not separate from the Father nor does it separate from the Son either, nor does the Father separate from the Son and the Spirit, nor does the Son separate from the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit prophesied about the Son through the prophets, the Holy Spirit overshadowed the All-holy Virgin and prepared her for the birth of the Son of God, the Holy Spirit inseparably stood over the Son during the entire time of His visit to the world in the body. The Spirit of Wisdom the Spirit is the vision of heavenly mysteries; The Spirit of Understanding the Spirit is the comprehending of the ties of the visible and invisible world; The Spirit of Counsel the Spirit is the separation of good from evil; The Spirit of Power [Might] the Spirit is the authority over created nature; The Spirit of Knowledge the Spirit is the knowledge of the essence of created beings; The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord the Spirit is the recognizing of the divine power over both worlds and submission to the will of God. Whoever among men had unto himself this fullness of riches of the gifts of the Holy Spirit? No one, ever. Only the Lord Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit distributes His gifts and gives them to men, some to this one and some to another. But, the whole of the undivided fullness of His gifts shines in the Son of God.
Why did the Lord Jesus need to have the fear of God when He Himself is God? As God, He did not have the fear of God but as a man had the fear of God for the sake of an example to us. Just as He fasted, watched and labored as a man for the sake of teaching men, so He feared God as a man for the sake of teaching men. What is more curable for men infected with sin than the fear of God? He, as one Who was healthy had to take unto Himself the medicine for sin so that He could encourage us who are sick to take those medicines. Does not a parent do the same thing with sick children who are afraid to take the prescribed medicine?
O Triune and Eternal God before Whom all the heavenly hosts bow down singing the wondrous hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth receive our worship also and save us.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.