December 23 2020 - December 10 2020

Martyrs Minos, Hermogenes and Eugraphos (+ c. 313).

Sainted Joasaph, Bishop of Belgorod (+ 1754). Martyr Gemellos the Paphlagonian (+ c. 361). Monk Thomas (X). Blessed John (+ 1503) and his parents: Blessed Stefan (Stephen) and Blessed Angelina, Rulers of Serbia. PriestMartyr Theoteknos. Martyrs Marian and Eugene in Caesarea. Martyress Eulalia.

The Holy Martyrs Minos, Hermogenes and Eugraphos suffered for their faith in Christ under the emperor Maximian (305-313).

Saint Minos was sent by the emperor from Athens to Alexandria to suppress the riots that had arisen between the Christians and the pagans. Distinguished for his gift of eloquence, Minos instead openly began to preach the Christian faith and he converted many pagans to Christ. Learning of this, Maximian dispatched Hermogenes to the Alexandria district to conduct a trial over the saints, and moreover was given orders to purge the city of Christians. Hermogenes, although he was a pagan, was distinguished however by his reverent bearing. And struck by the endurance of Saint Minos under torture and by his miraculous healing after the cruel torments, he also came to believe in Christ. Maximian himself then arrived in Alexandria. Neither the astonishing stoic endurance under torture of Saints Minos and Hermogenes, nor even the miracles of these days manifest of God in this city, in any way mollified the emperor, but instead vexed him all the more. The emperor personally stabbed Saint Eugraphos, the secretary of Saint Minos, and then gave orders to behead the holy Martyrs Minos and Hermogenes.

The remains of the holy martyrs, cast into the sea in an iron chest, were afterwards found (about this see under 17 February) and transferred to Constantinople. The emperor Justinian built a church in the name of the holy Martyr Minos of Alexandria. Saint Joseph the Melodist (Comm. 4 April) composed a canon in honour of the holy martyrs.

Saint Joasaph, Bishop of Belgorod: the account about him may be found under 4 September.

The Martyr Gemellos the Paphlagonian, for his staunch denunciation of the emperor Juilan the Apostate (361-363) in the city of Ancyra (Galatia), was subjected to cruel tortures. They flayed the skin from him and nailed him to a cross.

The Monk Thomas Dethurkinos was born in Bithynia. From his youthful years he was fond of monastic life and entered one of the surrounding monasteries. Later in life, when the Byzantine official Galoliktos had founded at the River Sagarisa a monastery, the Monk Thomas was already an experienced monk, and the brethren chose him as head of the new monastery. From there the Monk Thomas withdrew into the wilderness, where for a long time he asceticised in solitude. The monk underwent many a snare of the devil in the wilderness. The Lord glorified him with the gift of healing and perspicacity. One time, the emperor Leo the Wise (886-911) came to the monastery to Saint Thomas for advice. Not finding the monk at the monastery, the emperor sent off his messenger with a letter for him. And just as the messenger arrived at the hut of the elder, the saint carried out to him a sealed answer, resolving the quandary of the emperor. The account about the repose of the monk is not preserved.

Blessed John and his parents: Blessed Stefan and Blessed Angelina (XV Century): The life of the Serbian ruler Stefan Brankovich and his family was filled with instability and misfortune. After Serbia was seized in 1457 by the Turks, the then Serbian ruler’s middle son, Stefan, distinguished by meek disposition and fine knowledge of Holy Scripture, set out to the capital of Turkey after his sister, who had been given to sultan Murat in marriage. But learning however, that the Turks with fanatic cruelty had burned the Mileshevsk monastery, Blessed Stefan rose up in defense of Serbia from oppression. When he married Angelina, the daughter of the prince of Albania, the Turks threatened Blessed Stefan and his family with punishment. With his wife and three children he was forced to hide first in Albania, and then in Italy, where later he died.

Blessed Angelina transferred the undecayed remains of her spouse to Kupinovo. At the end of the XV Century a son of Righteous Stefan and Angelina, Blessed John, became ruler of Serbia. The undecayed relics of Righteous John and his parents were afterwards glorified by many miracles.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos