February 26 2020 - February 13 2020
Monk Martinian of Athens (c. 422). Nuns Zoa and Photinia (Svetlana) (V). Monk Eulogios, Archbishop of Alexandria (+ 607-608). Saint Stefan Nemany, in monasticism Simeon, Tsar of Serbia, the Myrh-Exuding (+ 1200). Saint Martin the Merciful. Martyrs – a Crucified Father and Son. Martyress Priscilla. Saint Nikander. Saint Onysimos the Faster. Saint Artemon of Palestine. Saint Justinian. Sainted Timothy, Patriarch of Alexandria (+ 385). Dolynsk Icon of the Mother of God.
The Monk Martinian at age 18 settled into the wilderness, somewhat off from the city of Palestinian Caesarea, where he dwelt in ascetic deeds and silence for 25 years, and he was granted a graced gift of healing illness. But the enemy of the race of man would not stop bothering the hermit with various temptations. One time a profligate woman got into a wager with some dissolute people, as to whether she could seduce Saint Martinian, the fame of whose virtuous life had spread throughout all the city. She came to him at night-time under the guise of a wandering suppliant asking night lodging. The saint let her enter, since the weather outside was inclement. But here the wicked guest changed over into her good clothes and began to tempt the ascetic. The saint thereupon rushed out of the cell, set alight a fire and put his bare feet upon the burning coals. He said such as this to himself: “It is hard enough for thee, Martinian, to suffer this temporal fire, now then wilt thou instead suffer the eternal fire, prepared for thee by the devil?” The woman, shaken by the spectacle, became repentant and besought the saint to guide her onto the way of repentance. At his directing she set off to Bethlehem, to a monastery of Saint Paula, where she dwelt for 12 years in strict ascetic deeds until her blessed end. The name of this woman was Zoa.
Having recovered from his scorching, Saint Martinian set off to an uninhabited rocky island, and lived on it under the open sky for several years, nourished by the victuals brought by a certain sailor from time to time, and in return the monk weaved baskets for him.
One time a powerful storm wrecked a ship, and to the island of Saint Martinian the waves carried on the ship debris a maiden named Photinia. Saint Martinian helped her to survive the island. “Remain here, – said he to her, – for here is bread and water, and in two months a boat will come”, – and he jumped into the sea and swam off. Two dolphins carried him to dry land. Thereafter Blessed Martinian began to lead the life of a wanderer. And so passed two years. One time, having come to Athens, the saint fell ill, and sensing the nearness of his end, he went into church and lay upon the floor, and calling out to the bishop he besought him to give his body over to burial. This occurred in about the year 422.
The Blessed Maiden Photinia stayed living on the island, where she spent 6 years in solitude, and then she gave up her soul to God. Everything about her end was reported by that same sailor who brought her food, just as he had also previously for the Monk Martinian. The sailor conveyed the body of Blessed Photinia to Palestinian Caesarea, where it was solemnly buried by the bishop and clergy.
The memory of the Monastics Zoa and Photinia is celebrated on the same day together with that of the Monk Martinian.
The Monk Eulogios, Archbishop of Alexandria, was one of the enlightened and active hierarchs of the VI Century. At first he was hegumen of the Justinian Mother of God monastery in Antioch, and then he was chosen to the cathedra-chair of the city of Alexandria, where he served for 27 years. During all his years the saint struggled incessantly against various heresies. His activity is known of through his letters to Sainted Gregory Dialogus, an highly esteemed monk and pope.
The Monk Eulogios died in either the year 607 or 608. His writings are preserved particularly in quotations by Patriarch Photios, and they reveal an Orthodox teaching about the natures of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are directed against heresies of the time of Saint Eulogios. In complete form there has reached us only one of his sermons – for Palm Sunday.
The Monk Simeon the Myrh-Exuding, Tsar of Serbia, was in the world the Great “Zhupan” (prince) of Serbia, and had the name Stefan Nemany (Nemanya). He lived during the XII Century. The prince toiled much for his fatherland: he united a large portion of the Serb lands and strove for the political independence of his country. He zealously defended his nation against the incursions of Latinism and heresies. At age 80 Stefan set off to Athos, where his son – the Monk Savva (Comm. 12 January), was glorified by holiness of life. Together there they restored the desolate Khilendaria monastery, to which monks from various lands began to gather. Saint Simeon was a great ascetic and wise guide for the monks. The Monk Simeon died on 13 February 1200. His relics began to exude myrh. The Monk Savva transported the remains of his father back to their native land, to Serbia, and placed them in a church of the MostHoly Mother of God situated at the River Studenitsa. Saint Simeon while still the prince had erected and richly adorned this church.
Saint Martin the Merciful was from the time of his youth distinguished by his benevolent heart and great pity for the poor. At age 20, before even he had accepted Baptism, he began to give away all his subsistence to the needy, and soon he himself remained with but only one set of clothes and a knife.
It was winter, and bitterly cold, and he saw a beggar begging alms at the city gates, but no one gave him anything but instead just passed right by. Saint Martin was deeply distressed at seeing this. Finally he took his tunic off himself, cut it in half with his knife and gave the beggar the one half, while the other half he used to cover his own nakedness. Many scoffed at the saint, seeing how he was dressed. At night, shivering in the cold, he saw in a dream our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, dressed in half of the tunic – that very one he had given to the beggar. The Lord said to the Angels while pointing to this tattered cloth: “Martin even before his Baptism hath covered Me with this cloth, and I shalt clothe him in glory, and at death I shalt call him into My Kingdom”. Having awakened, the saint immediately went and was baptised. The rest of his life he spent incessantly working at charity, and he was vouchsafed the gift of wonderworking.
© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos