June 16 2020 - June 03 2020

Martyrs Lucillian, Claudius, Ipatius, Paul, Dionysius and Paula the Virgin (+ c. 270-275).

Transfer of Relics of Nobleborn Tsarevich Dimitrii from Uglich to Moscow (1606). Martyrs: Bishop Lucian, Presbyter Maxianus, Deacon Julian, Marcellinus and Saturninus (+ c. 81-96). Nun Hieria (+ c. 320). Monk Pappus. Sainted Achilles, Patriarch of Alexandria (+ 312). Monk Athanasias the Wonderworker (X).

Yugsk Icon of the Mother of God (1615).

The Holy Martyrs Lucillian, the Lads Claudius, Ipatius, Dionysius, and Paula the Virgin: Lucillian was a pagan priest during the time of the Roman emperor Aurelian (270-275). In his old age he became persuaded of the falseness of the pagan religion, and with all his heart he turned to the faith in Christ the Saviour, and was baptised.

Under the influence of his preaching many a pagan was converted to Christianity. Then certain Jews, out of concern for his spreading faith in the Christ crucified by them, reported against Lucillian to the Nicomedia city-governor Sylvanus, who thereupon urged the elder to return to idol-worship. For his refusal, they smashed the jawbone of Saint Lucillian, beat him with canes and suspended him head downwards, and then they locked him away in prison. Here he met up with four lads that were confessors of Christianity – Claudius, Ipatius, Paul and Dionysius. Saint Lucillian urged them to stand firm in the faith, and to fear neither tortures nor death. After a certain while they brought them to trial and then thrown into a red-hot furnace, but suddenly rain poured down extinguishing the flames, and the martyrs remained unharmed. The governor sentenced them to death by execution, sending them off to Byzantium for carrying out the sentence. The holy lads were beheaded by the sword, and the holy Martyr Lucillian was nailed to a cross with quite many nails.

Witness to the deed of the holy martyrs was the holy Virgin Paula, who had dedicated herself to the service of those suffering for the faith in Christ. She provided food to Christian prisoners, washed their wounds, brought medications and also buried the bodies of martyrs. After the death of Saint Lucillian and the four lads, she returned to Nicomedia and continued on with her holy service. The holy virgin was arrested and cast into a furnace, but by the power of God she remained unharmed. Then they sent her off to Byzantium, where the holy martyress was beheaded by the sword.

The PriestMartyr Lucian lived in Rome, and as a pagan he had the name Lucius. He was enlightened by the light of faith in Christ by the holy Apostle Peter, and accepted Baptism. After the death of the Apostle Peter, Saint Lucian preached the Gospel in Italy. During this period there arrived in Rome Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (Comm. 3 October), a disciple of the Apostle Paul. At the request of Saint Clement, Pope of Rome (Comm. 25 November), he consented to set off preaching the Gospel in the Western lands and began to gather up companions and helpers for this. Saint Clement, having consecrated Saint Lucian a bishop, sent him off with Saint Dionysius, along with Saints Marcellinus and Saturninus, the Presbyter Maxianus and the Deacon Julian.

The holy preachers sailed from Italy to Gaul (France). Saint Marcellinus with those accompanying him continued on to Spain, Saint Saturninus – to Gaul, and Saint Dionysius with the others – to the region of Paris. From there Saint Lucian with Maxianus and Julian set out to Belgium.

The preaching of Saint Lucian was very successful. By the power of grace in word and the example of life, he converted to Christianity a large number of pagans. Saint Lucian was a strict ascetic, and over the course of an entire day he ate but a morsel of bread and some water. Towards the converted he was kindly, always joyful and cheerful of face. Soon almost all the settlements of Belgium were converted to the faith in Christ.

During this period, the Roman emperor Dometian (81-96) had started up a second persecution against Christians (after that of Nero, 54-68), and he issued an edict, demanding torture and execution for any that refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods.

Three officials were sent to Belgium to carry out the edict. The Lord revealed to Saint Lucian about the ordeal facing him. Having gathered the flock, he urged them not to be afraid of threats, tortures or death, and then he offered up thanksgiving to God, for having granted him the possibility to join in together with the assembly of the holy martyrs. After prayers, Saint Lucian together with Presbyter Maxianus and Deacon Julian withdrew to the summit of an hill, where he continued to teach the people accompanying him.

And here it was that the soldiers of the emperor came upon the saints, and led them away for trial. Saints Maxianus and Julian were urged to repudiate Christ and offer sacrifice to idols, but they both resolutely refused and were beheaded.

Then the judge began to interrogate Saint Lucian, accusing him of sorcery and disobedience to the emperor and senate. The saint answered, that he was not a sorcerer, but rather a servant of the True God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he refused to offer sacrifice to mere idols, wrought by human hand.

The saint was subjected to fierce beatings, during the time of which he repeated only: “Never wilt I cease in heart, faith and lips, to praise Christ, the Son of God”. The holy martyr was beheaded. Over his body shone an heavenly light, and the Voice of the Saviour was heard, summoning the valiant sufferer into the Heavenly Kingdom to receive the martyr’s crown. By the power of God the saint stood up, took hold his cut-off head, crossed over the river, and reaching the burial spot chosen by him, he lay down upon the ground and reposed with peace. In view of this extremely great miracle about 500 pagans were converted to Christ. Afterwards over the grave of the Martyr Lucian there was erected a church, into which also were transferred the remains of the Holy Martyrs Maxianus and Julian.

The Nun Hieria was born into a pagan family, and became the wife of a Roman senator, but after a mere 7 months was widowed. While in the Assyrian city of Seuapolis, she learned that in the vicinity of the city of Niziba there was a women’s monastery, in which asceticised the young Monastic Febronia, distinguished for her particularly strict life. Under the guise of a wanderer, Hieria visited her and conversed with her all night, being instructed in the Christian faith, and then having returned home, she was baptised and persuaded her parents to do likewise.

During the time of the persecution by Diocletian (284-305), the majority of the inhabitants of the Niziba monastery left and hid away from the persecutors, but Saint Febronia was brought to trial before the cruel official Selinus and for her confession of Christ she was subjected to inhuman tortures. Saint Hieria intrepidly denounced the cruelty of the torturers. The judge gave orders to arrest and torture her also, but then he changed his mind, in learning that Saint Hieria – was the widow of a Roman senator.

Bitterly bewailing the martyr’s death of Saint Febronia (+ c. 304, Comm. 25 June), Hieria grieved, that she herself had not been vouchsafed to suffer for the faith in Christ. With tears she besought the hegumeness Brienna to accept her in place of Febronia at the monastery. Having bestown all her substance upon the monastery, the nun Hieria spent there the remaining days of her life and peacefully reposed to God in about the year 320.

The Transfer of the Holy Relics of Nobleborn Tsarevich Dimitrii, murdered on 15 May 1591 (the account is located under 15 May), was made in the year 1606 with the transfer taking place from Uglich to Moscow. The reason for this was the desire, in the expression of tsar Vasilii Shuisky, “to stop lying lips and blind unbelieving eyes from saying, that he (the tsarevich) had escaped alive from the hands of the murderers”, – in view of the appearance of the false-pretender, declaring himself to be the true tsarevich Dimitrii. The holy relics were solemnly transferred and placed in the Arkhangelsk cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, “in the side-altar of John the Forerunner, wherein was his father and his brothers”. After numerous miracles of healing from the holy relics, in this same year of 1606, “there were made feastdays to the tsarevich Dimitrii thrice within the year – his birthday (19 October), the murder (15 May), and the transfer of relics to Moscow (3 June)”.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos