April 19 2020 - April 06 2020

Sainted Eutykhios, ArchBishop of Constantinople (+ 582).

Sainted Methodios, ArchBishop of Moravia (+ 885).

Martyrs Jeremiah and Priest Archilius (III); 120 Persian Martyrs (+ c. 344-347); Paul the Russian (+ 1683); Serapion.

Monastics Platonida of Syria (+ 308); Paul, First Hegumen of Studite Monastery; Gregory the Byzantine (begin. XIV) (Athos). Sainted Athonii of Novgorod (+ 1653).

Sainted Eutykhios, Archbishop of Constantinople, was born in a village bearing the name “Divine” in the province of Phrygia. His father, Alexander, was a soldier, and his mother Synesia – was the daughter of the Augustopolis priest Isichias. Saint Eutykhios received the first rudiments of his education and a Christian upbringing from his grandfather the priest. Once during the time of a childhood game the boy wrote his own name with the title of Patriarch and by this seemed to predict his future service. He was sent off to Constantinople at age 12 for continuing further education. The youth persevered in his study of science and realised, that human wisdom – is nothing in comparison to the study of Divine Revelation. He decided to dedicate himself to monastic life. Saint Eutykhios withdrew into one of the Amasian monasteries and in it accepted the Angelic order. For his strict life he was made archimandrite of all the Amasian monasteries, and in 552 was appointed to the Patriarchal throne.

When the V OEcumenical Council prepared to assemble during the reign of the holy nobleborn emperor Justinian (527-565), the metropolitan of Amasia was ill and he sent in his place Saint Eutykhios. At Constantinople the aged Patriarch Saint Minas (536-552; Comm. 25 August) beheld Blessed Eutykhios and predicted that he would be the next Patriarch. After the death of the holy Patriarch Minas, the Apostle Peter appeared in a vision to the emperor Justinian and, pointing his hand at Eutykhios, said: “Let he be made your bishop”.

At the very beginning of his patriarchal service, Saint Eutykhios convened the V OEcumenical Council (553), at which the fathers condemned the heresies cropping up and pronounced them anathema. However, after several years there arose a new heresy in the Church, Aphthartodocetism (asartodoketai) or “imperishability” – which taught that the flesh of Christ, before His death on the Cross and resurrection, was imperishable and not capable of suffering.

Saint Eutykhios vigourously denounced this heresy, but the emperor Justinian himself inclined towards it, and turned his wrath upon the saint. By order of the emperor, soldiers seized hold of the saint within the temple, tore off from him his patriarchal vestments, and sent him off into exile to an Amasian monastery (565).

The saint bore his banishment with meekness, and dwelt at the monastery in fasting and prayer, and he worked many miracles and healings.

Thus, through his prayer the wife of a pious man, Androgenes, who before having borne to light only dead infants, now gave birth to two sons who lived to reach years of maturity. Two deaf-mutes received the gift of speech; and two little children, grievously ill, he restored to health. The saint healed a cancerous ulcer on the hand of an artist. The saint healed also another artist, anointing his diseased hand with oil and making over it the sign of the cross. The saint healed not only bodily, but also spiritual afflictions: he banished the devil out of a girl that had kept her from Holy Communion; he banished the devil out of a youth who had fled off from a monastery (after which the youth returned to his monastery); he healed a drunken leper, who – cleansed of his leprosy, stopped drinking.

During the time of an invasion by the Persians into Amasia and its widespread devastation for the inhabitants – by order of the saint, they distributed grain to the hungry from the monastic granaries – and the stores of grain at the monastery, through his prayers, were not depleted.

Sainted Eutykhios received of God a gift of prophecy: thus, he indicated the names of two successors to emperor Justinian – Justin (565-578) and Tiberias (578-582).

After the death of the holy Patriarch John Scholastikos, Saint Eutykhios returned to the cathedra in 577 after his 12 year exile, and he again wisely ruled his flock.

Four and an half years after his return to the Patriarchal throne, Saint Eutykhios on Thomas Sunday 582 gathered together all his clergy, gave them a blessing and in peace expired to the Lord.

Sainted Methodios, ArchBishop of Moravia, died on 6 April in the year 885. The account about him is located under 11 May, on the day of his mutual commemoration with Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril (Kirill), Teacher of the Slavic peoples.

The Nun Platonida was at first a deaconess, but afterwards withdrew into the Niziba wilderness, where she organised a women’s monastery.

The ustav / rule of her monastery was distinguished for its strictness. The sisters partook of food only once a day. During their free-time from prayer they spent the time in monastic works and various obediences, usually of manual labour. On Fridays, the day commemorating the sufferings of Christ the Saviour on the Cross, all work stopped, and the monastics from morning until evening were in temple, where in the intervals between services they did readings from Holy Scripture and its interpretation.

The Nun Platonida was for all the sisters a living example of strict monastic ascetic deed, meekness, and love for neighbour. Having reached extreme old age, the Nun Platonida died peacefully in the year 308.

The Holy Martyrs Jeremiah and the Priest Archilius (Alchimius) accepted martyr’s death in the III Century. Sainted Gregory Dialogos (+ 604; Comm. 12 March) has an account about them.

The Holy 120 Martyrs suffered under the Persian emperor Sapor. They were taken into captivity during the reign of the Greek emperor Constantios (337-361). They were consigned to the flames after firmly confessing their faith (c. 344-347). Righteous Shandulios (Comm. 3 November) concealed their remains from outrage by the pagans. Among the number of the holy martyrs were ten virgins, who had dedicated themselves to the service of God.

The Holy Martyr Paul was a Russian and accepted death under the Turks in 1683.

In his youthful years he was taken into captivity by Tatars in the Crimea, and then was taken to Constantinople. After harsh labour the saint received his freedom and married a Russian woman, also situated in captivity. From his harsh slave labour the saint fell ill with epilepsy. His wife and neighbours – Christians, decided to take him to the church of the MostHoly Mother of God of Mugluneia, where certain of the sick had received healing. Saint Paul in an attack of his illness resisted and shouted: “I am an hagarite, and shall remain an hagarite”. The Turks, angered that Christians had forcefully taken into a church a man accepting Islam, rushed off to report this to the vizier. The vizier summoned Saint Paul, who came to him al ready healed. Upon interrogation the saint confessed himself a Christian and, encouraged by his spouse, did not yield to the threats of the Muslims. On Great Friday 1683 Saint Paul was beheaded for his belief in Christ. His wife also was subjected to torture, but after a ransom bribe she was released from prison.

On this day are commemorated 2 Martyrs from Ascalon, buried up to their loins.

The Monk Gregory was a native of Byzantium, and pursued an ascetic life on Athos in the Laura of the Monk Athanasios (Comm. 5 July). He was the spiritual guide of Sainted Gregory Palamas (+ c. 1360; Comm. 14 November).

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos