Orthodox River


May 13 2020 - April 30 2020

Apostle James, Son of Zebedee (+ 44).

Sainted Donatos, Bishop of Eureia (+ c. 387).

PriestMartyrs: Basil, Bishop of Amasia (Uncovering of Relics, IV); Maximos. Saint Ephrem. Martyress Argyra (+ 1725). Monk Clement the Writer of Churchly Song (+ post 868).

Sainted Nikita, Bishop of Novgorod (Uncovering of Relics, 1558).

The Holy Apostle James, Son of Zebedee, one of the 12 Apostles, was called by our Lord Jesus Christ for apostolic service together with his brother, the Apostle John the Theologian. It was to them and to the holy Apostle Peter pre-eminently over the other Apostles that Jesus Christ revealed His Divine Mysteries: at the Resuscitation of the Daughter of Jairus, on Mount Tabor (at the Transfiguration), and in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Saint James, after the Descent of the Holy Spirit, preached in Spain and in other lands, and then he returned to Jerusalem. He openly and boldly taught about Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, and with the words of Holy Scripture he denounced the Pharisees and the Scribes [scholars], reproaching them with malice of heart and unbelief. The Jews had not the ability to refute the apostolic discourse and for money they hired the pseudo-philosopher and sorcerer Hermogenes, so that he would enter into a disputation with the apostle and confute his arguments about Christ as the Promised Messiah having come into the world. The sorcerer sent to the apostle his student Philip, who was converted to belief in Christ. Then Hermogenes himself became persuaded of the power of God, he burnt his books on magic, accepted holy Baptism and became a true follower of Christ.

The unbelieving among the Jews persuaded Herod Agrippa (40-44) to arrest the Apostle James and sentence him to death. Saint James calmly heard out the death sentence and continued to bear witness about Christ. One of the false-witnesses against the apostle by the name of Josiah was struck by the courage of Saint James. He came to believe in the truth of the words about the coming of Christ the Messiah. When they led forth the apostle for execution, Josiah fell at his feet, repenting his sin and asking forgiveness. The apostle hugged him, gave him a kiss and said: “Peace and forgiveness be unto thee”. Then Josiah confessed before everyone his faith in Christ, and he was beheaded together with Saint James in the year 44 at Jerusalem.

Sainted Donatos lived during the reign of the holy nobleborn Emperor Theodosius the Great (379-397) and was bishop of the city of Eureia. Not far from this city in the vicinity of Soreia was located an harm-causing spring of water. When the saint learned of this, he went with clergy to the spring and cast out from it a monstrous serpent, which died. The saint prayed, he blessed the spring and drank the water without harm. seeing this miracle, the people glorified God.

Another time, having prayed, Saint Donatos brought water forth from a dry and stoney place, and during a time of drought he besought rain from the Lord to water the land.

The daughter of the holy Emperor Theodosius fell terribly ill and was afflicted by an unclean spirit. Saint Donatos came to the palace, and with his entry the devil left and the sick one was healed. A certain money-lender, – after he was paid back a loan from a debtor who then died, tried to extort the money a second time from the dead man’s widow. The saint resurrected the dead man, who corroborated the repayment of the loan.

Saint Donatos died in about the year 387.

The PriestMartyr Basil, Bishop of Amasia: the account about him is located under 26 April.

The Holy Martyr Maximos suffered for his faith in Christ and was run through the chest with a sword.

The Monk Clement the Writer of Churchly Song was hegumen of the Studite monastery after Saint Nicholas (+ 868, Comm. 4 February). Known as a zealous defender of Christianity, the confessor of icon-veneration also composed Canons of the Mother of God and to certain of the Saints, – in particular troparia to the Mother of God, Canons of the Seven Youths of Ephesus (Comm. 4 August), the Prophet and God-Seer Moses (Comm. 4 September), the Archangels (Comm. 8 November), and the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ.

Sainted Nikita of Novgorod died on 31 January 1109. The account about him is located under 31 January. The relics of the saint were uncovered, attired in full vestment on 30 April 1558. The day of the Uncovering of the Relics of Saint Nikita was marked by the healing of many. At present his holy relics rest in the Novgorod cathedral in honour of the holy Apostle Philip.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos