Orthodox River


March 06 2020 - February 22 2020

Uncovering of Relics of Martyrs at Eugenium (395-423). Martyr Mauricios and 70 Soldiers: Photinos, Theodore, Philip and Others (+ c. 305). Monks Thalassios, Limnios and Baradates, Syrian Wilderness-Dwellers (V). Monk Athanasias the Confessor (+ 821). Saint Telesphorus, Pope of Rome (II). Martyress Anthusa and with her 12 Beheaded by the Sword. Martyr Razumnik (Synetos). Saint Babylos and Two Women. Saint Titos, Bishop of Bostra. Martyrs the 9 Brothers: Guram, Agarnas, Bakar, Vach, Bardzim, Dach, Juanmer, Romaz and Parsman (VI) (Gruzia).

Uncovering of the Relics of the Holy Martyrs at Eugenium: During the times of persecutions against Christians the remains of the holy martyrs usually were buried by believers in hidden places. So also at Tsar’grad (Constantinople), nearby the gates and tower named the Eugenikoi, were found buried a great number of the bodies of martyrs, the names of which remained unknown by the Church. When on this spot miracles of healing began to happen, the relics of the saints were discovered and with great honour moved to a church. It was revealed to a certain pious clergyman, Nicholas Kalligraphos, that among the relics discovered at Eugenium were also the relics of the holy Disciple from among the 70 Andronikos and his helper Junia, about whom the Apostle Paul makes mention in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16: 7). In the XII Century at the place of discovery of the relics of the holy martyrs was built a great-domed church by the emperor Andronikos (1183-1185), the patron saint of whom was the holy Disciple Andronikos.

Saint Mauricios, a military commander of Syrian Apameia, suffered in the year 305 under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311) together with his son Photinos and 70 soldiers under his command (from the soldiers are known the names of only two – Theodore and Philip).

During a time of persecution, pagan priests made denunciation to the emperor that Saint Mauricios was spreading the faith in Christ. Brought to trial, Saint Mauricios with his son and his soldiers firmly and unflinchingly confessed their faith and they wavered neither to entreaty nor to threats. They were then beaten without mercy, burnt at with fire and torn at with iron hooks. Young Photinos, having firmly endured the tortures, was beheaded by the sword before the very eyes of his father. But this cruel torment did not break Saint Mauricios, who took comfort in that his son had been vouchsafed the martyr’s crown.

They then devised for the martyrs even more subtle tortures: they led them to a swampy place, where it was full of mosquitoes, wasps and gnats, and they tied them to trees, having smeared their bodies with honey. The insects fiercely stung and bit at the martyrs, who weakened by hunger and thirst. The saints endured these torments over the course of 10 days, but they did not cease praying to and glorifying God until finally the Lord put an end to their sufferings. The wicked torturer gave orders to behead them and leave their bodies exposed without burial, but Christians secretly by night buried the venerable remains of the holy martyrs at the place of their horrible execution.

The Monk Thalassios, Wilderness-Dweller of Syria, lived during the V Century. At a young age he withdrew atop an hill near the village of Targala and passed 38 years there in monastic deeds, having neither a roof over his head, nor any cell nor shelter. For his simple disposition, gentleness and humility he was granted by the Lord a gift of wonderworking and healing the sick. Many wanted to live under his guidance, and the saint did not refuse those coming to him, and he himself built cells for them. He died peacefully, granted rest from his labours.

The Monk Limnios began his efforts under the guidance of the Monk Thalassios and dwelt with him for a sufficiently long time to acquire the virtues of his teacher – simplicity of manner, gentleness and humility. Then the Monk Limnios went over to the Monk Maron (Comm. 14 February). Atop an hill he made himself a small enclosure from stone without a roof, and through a small aperture in it, he conversed with those who came. His heart was full of compassion for people. Wanting to the extent of his ability to help all the destitute, and with the help of his admirers, he built on the hillside a wanderers home – a dwelling for the poor and the crippled, and he fed them with what was brought him by pious people. The holy ascetic even sacrificed for these poor brethren his own quiet and solitude and took upon himself concern about their spiritual nourishment, inducing them to pray and glorify the Lord. For his holy life he was granted the gift of wonderworking.

The Monk Baradates the Syrian began the exploit of wilderness-dweller in an hut, in the surroundings of Antioch. He then built himself a stone cell upon an hill, very cramped and low, such that the ascetic was able to situate himself in it only in a stooped position. In it was neither window nor door, and in the cracks left intentionally there penetrated the wind, rain and cold, and in summer he was not protected from the heat. After many years the Alexandrian Patriarch Theodorit in visiting urged the monk to leave the cramped hut. Then the saint withdrew into a new seclusion: covered from head to foot by a leather tunic with a small opening for breathing, he prayed standing with hands upraised to heaven. The grace of God strengthened him in his works and purified his heart from passions. People began to flock to him for spiritual counsel, and Saint Baradates with deep humility guided them. Having acquired many graced gifts, the monk in peace expired to the Lord.

The Monk Athanasias the Confessor was born in Constantinople of rich and pious parents. From the time of his childhood he dreamt of totally devoting himself to God, and having attained to maturity of age, he settled in one of the Nicomedia monasteries, called the Paulopetreia (i.e., in the names of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul), and he took monastic vows there. The high degree of his ascetic life became known at the imperial court. During the reign of the iconoclast emperor, Leo the Armenian (813‑820), Saint Athanasias was subjected to torture for venerating icons, and then underwent exile, grief and suffering. Confessing the Orthodox faith to the very end of his life, the Monk Athanasias died peacefully in the year 821.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos