April 15 2020 - April 02 2020

Monks: Tito the Wonderworker (IX); George Matskvereli (IX-X, Gruzia); Euphymias (XI); Gregory of Nicomedia (+ 1240). Martyrs: Amphianos and Hedesios (+ 306); Polycarp (IV); Anastasias. Sainted Savva, Archbishop of Surozh (XII).

Icon of the Mother of God “Key to Understanding” (“Kliuch Razumenia”).

The Monk Tito the Wonderworker devoted himself from the time of youth to the monastic life. He pursued asceticism in the IX Century at the Studite monastery near Constantinople. By his deeds of fasting, purity of life and mild disposition the Monk Tito gained the common love of the brethren and at their request he was ordained presbyter. Fervent of faith, the monk stood up bravely for the Orthodox veneration of icons during the time of Iconoclast persecution. For his virtuous life he was granted by God the gift of wonderworking. The saint expired to the Lord in old age.

The Holy Martyrs Amphianos and Hedesios were brothers by birth. They lived in the city of Patara (province of Lycia) in the family of the pagan city-governor. For their further study in the pagan sciences they went to the city of Beirut.

There the brothers came to believe in Christ and became ardent followers of Him.

The holy brothers quit their pagan parents and departed to Alexandrian Caesarea, where they found for themselves an instructor, the Presbyter Pamphilos (the account about him is under 16 February), and under his guidance they became accomplished in spiritual life, dwelling in prayer and the study of sacred books.

At that time by decree of the emperor Maximian (305-313), a zealous pagan and cruel persecutor of Christians, – all the inhabitants of the city of Caesarea were required to make a public offering of sacrifice.

To save themselves from idol-worship, many Christians had to hide themselves away in secret places. Saints Amphianos and Hedesios also hid away.

But when the governor of the city of Caesarea had to make the sacrifice to idols, Saint Amphianos boldly went into the temple, he took hold the hand of the governor standing with the pagan sacrifice, and began to urge him to forsake his error and believe in Christ.

By order of the governor, soldiers seized hold of Saint Amphianos, fiercely beat him and then threw him in prison. Two days later they led him to trial, where they beat him with iron rods and burned at his body with bundles of flax soaked in oil. The brave youth, steadfastly confessing his faith in Christ, was then thrown with a stone about his neck into the sea. But suddenly a strong storm blew up, and the waves carried the body of the martyr to shore, where Christians gave it burial. The brother of the Martyr Amphianos, Saint Hedesios, was likewise subjected to torture, and they then sent him off to the copper mines.

After a certain while they freed Saint Hedesios and sent him to Alexandria. There he learned of the extreme cruelty towards Christians by the governor Hierokles, and he boldly denounced him. They began to torture Saint Hedesios, and then like his brother they drowned him (+ 306).

The Holy Martyr Polycarp suffered for his bold denunciation of the emperor Maxmian (305-313) for the spilling of innocent Christian blood in the city of Alexandria.

He openly confessed himself a Christian and went to voluntary torture. After cruel sufferings the martyr was beheaded.

Sainted Savva, Archbishop of Surozh (now the city of Sudak), lived in the Crimea (early XII Century). What is known about him is preserved as marginalia of the Greek Menaion written in the XII Century. At 5 versts from the former city of Surozh there exists a mountain, called Ai-Savva (Saint Savva), where there were once preserved the remains of a church and cave, in which apparently, the saint died and was buried. In the year 1872 was found an icon of Saint Savva of Surozh.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos