Orthodox River


February 12 2020 - January 30 2020

“Three Saints” – Assemblage (Sobor, Synaxis) of the OEcumenical Teachers of the Church and Sainted-Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom (1084).

Priestmartyr Hyppolitus and with him the Martyrs Censorinus, Sabinus, Chrysia the Virgin and 20 Other Martyrs (III). Monk Zinon, Fast-Keeper of Pechersk Lavra, in Farther Caves (XIV). Monk Zenon (Xeno), teacher of Sainted Basil the Great (V). Martyr Theophilos the New (+ 784). Nobleborn Peter, Tsar of Bulgaria (+ 967). Martyr Theodore (+ 1784). UnCovering of Relics of PriestMartyr Clement, Pope of Rome.

“Three Saints” – the Assemblage (Sobor, Synaxis) of the Holy OEcumenical Teachers of the Church and Sainted-Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostomos: At Constantinople for a long time there raged disputes about which one of the three sainted-hierarchs should be accorded the primacy of honour. One faction of the people preferred Saint Basil (Comm. 1 January), others stood forth for Saint Gregory the Theologian (Comm. 25 January), while a third reverenced Saint John Chrysostomos (Comm. 13 November).

From this arose among church factions amongst Christians: some called themselves Basilians, others – Gregorians, and the third – Johannites.

In accord with the will of God, in the year 1084 the three sainted-hierarchs appeared to the Euchantine metropolitan John, and in declaring that they were equal before God, they gave orders that the disputes should stop and that a day in common celebration of their memory should be established.

The PriestMartyr Hyppolitus, and the Martyrs Censorinus, Sabinus, Chrysia the Virgin and 20 Other Martyrs suffered during the III Century.

Saint Censorinus was an high-ranking dignitary during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius II (268-270). Through a denunciation, he was arrested and locked up in prison for his faith in Christ. There by the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ he raised up a dead person, – as a result of which 20 soldiers, prison guards, were converted to Christ. They were beheaded together with Saint Censorinus. Then there was brought for interrogation the maiden Chrysia, who bravely confessed herself a Christian and was subjected to torture. After horrible torments she was drowned in the sea.

Saint Sabinus they struck at with an heavy hammer, and then they hung the body on a tree and burnt it. In his torments he gave up his holy soul to the Lord.

With Saint Chrysia suffered the Martyrs: Filiclus, Maximus, Herculinus, Venerius, Stiracinus, Minus, Commodus, Hermes, Maurus, Eusebius, Rusticus, Monagreus, Amandinus, Olympius, Cyprus, Theodore, Tribunus, Maximus the Presbyter, Archelaus the Deacon and Cyrenus the Bishop.

Saint Hyppolitus, Bishop of Ostia, – a Roman sea-port at the mouth of the Tiber River, in learning about the suffering of the martyrs, despite his advanced years, showed up at the trial and denounced the torturers for their inhumanity, calling them blood-thirsty. The enraged judge gave the holy bishop over to torture. After long torments they tied him hand and foot and threw him into the sea.

All these Roman martyrs suffered in the year 269. The relics of the PriestMartyr Hyppolitus were put at Rome into a church of the holy Martyrs Lawrence and Pope Damasus. The holy PriestMartyr Hyppolitus was a student of Saint Ireneius, Bishop of Lugdunum (Lyons in France), and he likewise is reknown as a Christian theologian who had written many a composition against the heretics. Saint Hyppolitus compiled a Paschal Canon, a noted composition “About Christ”, and a “Discourse concerning the Anti-Christ”. Saint Hyppolitus wrote likewise many an exegesis of Holy Scripture, on the Biblical Books: Genesis, Exodus, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, and on the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, and on the Prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, on the Psalms of David and on the Apocalyse. Part of his works are preserved only in fragments. In full are preserved his discourses, devoted to the Theophany and the Prophet Daniel. His discourses evidence his masterful style of ancient churchly preaching.

The Monk Zinon, Fast-Keeper and Toil-Lover, of Pechersk in the Farther Caves: In the Third Ode of the Canon to the Monks of the Farther Caves, he is acclaimed as “resplendid in fast”. His memory is celebrated also on 28 August and the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.

The Monk Zenon (Xeno), Teacher of Saint Basil the Great, was born in the city of Pontus into a rich family. He served at the court of the emperor Valens (364-378), amongst the soldiers with whom were sent out the imperial edicts. After the death of Valens Saint Zenon left the world and settled himself in a cave near the city of Antioch. For forty years he asceticised in this cave, and in complete solitude he lived an austere life, cleansing the soul, and occupying himself with meditation on God. The Monk Zenon went each Sunday to church and he communed the Holy Mysteries of Christ. In his cell he had neither bed nor fire-place nor lamp. The ascetic wore old rags, ate only bread and water, for which he had to make a tedious journey into the city to the well. The Monk Zenon was particularly fond of holy books, which he borrowed from those visiting him for spiritual counsel. Through his deep humility the blessed ascetic, filled with the gifts of grace, considered himself poor in spirit. The Monk Zenon died at the beginning of the V Century.

The Holy Martyr Theophilos the New was born and raised in Constantinople. He was a commander of the Greek armies and a senator. During a time of war with enemies of the Greek (Byzantine) empire, Saint Theophilos was taken captive. The Arabs demanded he renounce Christ, but he remained faithful to Orthodoxy. Then they imprisoned Saint Theophilos on Cyprus, where he spent four years, after which they beheaded him in the year 784.

Nobleborn Peter, Tsar of Bulgaria, was the son of the militant Bulgarian prince Simeon. Saint Peter was distinguished for his Christian piety, and he often turned to the Monk John of Ryl’sk (Comm. 18 August, 19 October), asking his prayers, spiritual guidance and advice. Nobleborn tsar Peter concluded peace with Byzantium on terms advantageous for Bulgaria. He gained recognition also from the Patriarch of Constantinople for the autonomy of the Bulgarian Church, and the affirmation of a Patriarchal cathedra-seat in Bulgaria, benefiting all the Bulgarian Church. Saint Peter aided in the successful extirpation of the Bogomil heresy in his lands. He died in the year 967, at 56 years of age.

The holy Martyr Theodore was born in the city of Mytilene, where he married and raised children in Orthodox piety. Through the sufferance of God he renounced Christ and accepted Mahometanism, but soon repented himself, left his family and went off to Athos. But even in the monastery Saint Theodore was deeply anguished by his renunciation. The Lord blessed the saint in a confession of Orthodoxy afront a Mahometan judge in the year 1784. The enraged judge gave orders to fiercely torture the holy martyr, and then they strangled him with a rope and cast him into the sea. Christians buried the body of the holy Martyr Theodore in a church named for Saint John the Forerunner.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos