Orthodox River


March 11 2020 - February 27 2020

Monk Prokopios Dekapolites the Confessor (+ c. 750).

Monk Tito, Presbyter of Pechersk, in the Nearer Caves (+ 1190). Monk Tito of Pechersk, a former Warrior, in the Farther Caves (XIV). Monk Thalaleos of Syria (+ c. 460).

Monks Asklepios and James of Syria (V). Martyr Galasius (+ 297). Martyr Nisios. Monk Stephen (+ post 614). Monk Timothy of Caesarea. Sainted Marcian, Bishop of Nakua. Sainted Marcian, Bishop of Jerusalem (+ 333). Martyrs: Julian, Eunos (Kronion) his servant, Beza (Bisos) the soldier, and Mekaros (+ 249-251).

The Monk Prokopios Dekapolites lived during the VIII Century in the region of Dekapolis (Mk. 7: 31), to the east of Lake Galilee. And there also he devoted himself to salvation, occupied with monastic deeds.

Saint Prokopios, together with his co-ascetic Saint Basil (Comm. 28 February) and others zealous for holy Orthodoxy, rose up against the Iconoclast heresy that had arisen in those times. By order of the emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-741), the Monk Prokopios was arrested, subjected to a fierce scourging and thrown into prison. Here he languished together with the Monk Basil until the very death of the oppressive emperor, after which the holy confessors were set free. The Monk Prokopios spent the rest of his life peacefully at monastic deeds, guiding many on the way of virtue and salvation. He died in old age, in about the year 750.

The Monk Tito, Presbyter of Pechersk, in the Near Caves, lived in great friendship with the deacon Evagrii, which afterwards turned into a strong dislike and hostility. When the Presbyter Tito fell ill with a grievous illness and began to ready himself for death, he sent to Evagrii to implore forgiveness, but Evagrii would not be reconciled. The Pechersk brethren by force brought Evagrii to the sick-bed. The Monk Tito with tears begged him for forgiveness, but Evagrii remained obstinate. He declared that he would forgive Tito neither at present nor in the future. Having said this, he himself fell down dead, struck with a spear by an Angel, and at that very instant Tito received healing.

The Monk Tito increased his efforts, became known for especial humility, and became a wonderworker.

The Monk Tito reposed not earlier than 1190. His memory, besides 27 February, is celebrated also on 28 September with the Sobor-Assembly of the Monks of the Nearer Caves.

The Monk Thalaleos lived during the V Century. He was a native of Cilicia (Asia Minor), accepting monasticism at the monastery of Saint Sava the Sanctified, and was ordained presbyter there. Later on, having relocated to Syria, not far from the city of Habala, he found a dilapidated pagan temple surrounded by graves, and he settled there in a tent. This place had a rough reputation, since the unclean spirits residing there frightened travellers and caused them much harm.

And here the monk lived, praying day and night in total solitude. The demons often assailed the saint, trying to terrify him with sights and sounds. But by the power of God the monk gained victory over the power of the enemy ultimately, after which he was troubled no more. The monk then intensified his efforts even more: he built himself an hut, so very cramped that it was just possible to get into it, and only with an effort was it possible to keep up his head, and there he dwelt for about 10 years.

The Lord granted the ascetic the gift of wonderworking: miracles helped him to enlighten the surrounding inhabitants, who were pagans. And with the help of the inhabitants converted by him to Christianity, he demolished the idolous temple, building in its place a church and bringing into it daily Divine-services. The Monk Thalaleos died in old age in about the year 460. In the book entitled “Leimonarion”, or “Pratum” (“The Meadow”), – a composition of the Greek monk John Moskhos (+ 622), – it speaks thus about the Monk Thalaleos: “Abba Thalaleos was a monk for sixty years and with tears never ceased saying: God hath given us, brethren, this time for repentance, and if we perish, we then shalt be severely judged”.

The Monks Asklepios and James, Syrian Ascetics, lived during the V Century. Blessed Theodorit of Cyr speaks of them. The Monk Asklepios led an ascetic life of temperance in his native village and did not suffer hindrance by constant association with many people. He had many imitators and followers. One of them was Blessed James, who secluded himself into a small dwelling near the village of Nimuza. Up until the end of his 90 years of life, the ascetic did not exit his hermitage, giving answer to those who came through a small aperture, made on a slant in the wall, such that no one was able to see him. He never prepared a fire nor lighted a lamp.

The Monk Stephen, formerly a courtier under the emperor Maurice (582-602), left his service, and founded an hospice for the elderly at Armatia (Constantinople), and devoted himself totally to the effort of taking in strangers. He died peacefully somewhat beyond age 61.

The Holy Martyrs Julian, Eunos (Kronion) his servant, Beza (Bisos) the soldier and Mekaros suffered at the beginning of the reign of Decius (249-251) at Alexandria. Saint Julian, a very old man, suffered from gout and could neither stand nor get about. He was carried to the trial by his servants, one of whom, one of whom by the name of Eunos bravely confessed faith in Christ, even though a second servant recanted. They took Julian and Eunos through the city on camels, subjecting them to the jeering of pagans, and finally burnt them in a bon-fire. The soldier Saint Beza also suffered together with them. For trying to defend the holy martyrs from insult, he was beheaded by the sword. And then also Mekaros of Lebanon was burnt.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos