July 26 2020 - July 13 2020

Sobor of ArchAngel Gabriel. Sainted Julian, Bishop of Cenomanea (I). Monastics Stephanos Savvaites (+794); Sara of Livea (IV). Martyrs Serapion (II-III); Marcian (+258).

Monk Antoni of Leokhovo (Transfer of Relics 1620).

The Sobor of the ArchAngel Gabriel is celebrated on the day following after the Annunciation/Blagoveschenie, ie. 26 March. This feast is celebrated a second time 13 July. The reason for its being established probably served the dedication in the XVII Cent. of a church at Constantinople, constructed in the name of the Holy Archi-Strategos / Chief of the Heavenly Hosts.

An account of the Holy ArchAngel is located under 26 March and 8 November.

The Monk Stephanos Savvaites, nephew of Saint John of Damascus (Comm. on 4 December), was born in the year 725. The ten year old lad entered the Lavra of Saint Savva and spent his whole life at this monastery, sometimes going out into the wilderness for solitary ascetic deeds. The monk Stephanos was bestowed the gifts of wonder-working and perspicacity: he healed the sick, cast out devils, and discerned the thoughts of those coming to him for counsel. He died in the year 724, foretelling in advance the day of his death. The life of the monk was compiled by his student Leontios.

Sainted Julian, Bishop of Cenomanea, was elevated to bishop by the Apostle Peter. There exists the opinion that he – is one and the same person with Simon the Leper (Mk. 14, 3), in Baptism receiving the name Julian.

The Apostle Peter sent Saint Julian to preach the Gospel in Gaul.

He arrived in Cenomanea (the region of the River Po in the north of present-day Italy) and settled into a small hut out beyond a city (probably Cremona), and he began to preach among the pagans. The idol-worshippers at first listened to him with distrust, but the preaching of the saint was accompanied by great wonders. By prayer Sainted Julian healed various of the sick. Gradually there began to flock to him a great multitude of people, asking for help. In healing bodily infirmities, Sainted Julian healed also the souls, enlightening those coming to him by the light of faith in Christ.

In order to quench the thirst of his numerous visitors, Sainted Julian, having prayed to the Lord, struck his staff on the ground and from that dry place there came forth a spring of water. This wonder converted many pagans to Christianity. One time the Sainted Bishop wanted to see the local prince. At the gate of the prince’s dwelling there sat a blind man whom Saint Julian took pity on, and having prayed, gave him his sight. The prince came out towards the Sainted Bishop, and having only just learned that he had worked this miracle, he fell down at the feet of the bishop, requesting Baptism. Having catechised the prince and his family, Saint Julian imposed on them a three-day fast, and then he fulfilled over them the mystery of Baptism.

On the example of the prince, the majority of his subjects also converted to Christ. The prince donated his own home to the bishop for the constructing of a temple in it and he provided the Church with means. Saint Julian fervently concerned himself with the spiritual enlightening of his flock and as before he healed the sick. Deeply affected by the grief of parents, the sainted bishop by his own prayer entreated of God the raising up of their dead children to life. The holy Bishop Julian remained long on his throne, teaching his flock the way to Heaven. The Sainted Bishop died in extreme old age (I Cent.). To the end of his days he preached about Christ and he completely eradicated idol-worship in the land of Cenomanea.

The Holy Martyr Serapion suffered for Christ before the Emperor Severus (193-211). As a Christian he was brought to judgment before the governor Achilles. The holy martyr firmly announced to the pagans about his faith in Christ and he was subjected to inhuman torments, after which he was thrown into prison.

Healed by the Lord Jesus Christ, he was brought to the judgment place and he presented himself before the judge completely healthy. The enraged pagans sentenced the saint to burning. Thrown into a bon-fire, he gave up his soul to God (+ c. 205).

The Holy Martyr Marcian, a native of Lyceian Iconium, while still at a youthful age converted many to Christ by his fiery preaching. For his zealousness the idol-worshippers subjected the saint to bodily punishment, and then sent him to Cappadocia to the governor Perennias, who now by persuasion now by threatening, attempted to turn away the youth from the Truth – Christ. Saint Marcian fearlessly testified about the truthfulness of the Christian faith and he accused Perennias of worshipping soul-less idols. The enraged governor gave orders to subject the saint to severe torments, but in his sufferings the saint remained steadfast in his faithfulness to Christ. They cut off his head when he prayed, giving thanks to God for his fate (+258).

The Transfer of the Relics of the Monk Antonii of Leokhovo (1620). (The account about the saint is located under 17 October).

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos