Orthodox River


July 03 2020 - June 20 2020

PriestMartyr Methodios, Bishop of Patara (+ 312).

Martyrs Inna, Pinna and Rimma (Transfer of Relics to Alushta, I-II). Martyrs Aristokles the Presbyter, Demetrian the Deacon and Athanasias the Reader (+ c. 306). Martyr Crescentus. Sainted Lucius (Leukios) the Confessor, Bishop of Brundusium-Bruntisiopolis (V). Monks: Naum of Okhrid (+ 910); Africanus. Transfer of Relics and Clothing of the Apostles Andrew, Thomas and John the Theologian, the Disciple Luke, the Prophet Elisei (Elisha) and the Martyr Lazarus (c. 956-970). Sainted Kallistos, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ c. 1363). Saint Studios, Founder of the Studite Monastery.

Sainted Gurii, Archbishop of Kazan (Transfer of Relics, 1630). Sainted Mina, Bishop of Polotsk (+ 1116). Nobleborn Prince Gleb of Vladimir (+ 1175).

Modensk-Kosinsk Icon of the Mother of God.

The Holy Martyrs Inna, Pinna and Rimma: The Transfer of the Relics to Alushta was during the I-II Centuries. The account about them is under 20 January, the day of the celebration of memory of their death by martyrdom (I-II).

The Holy Martyrs Aristokles the Presbyter, Demetrian and Athanasias suffered for the Christian faith during the persecution under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311).

Presbyter Aristokles, a native of the Cypriot city of Tamasa, served in the cathedral church. During the time of the persecution against Christians he became terrified of the tortures, and he left the city and hid himself away in a mountain cave. But one time during prayer Light shone upon him, and he heard a command from the Lord to return to the island of Cyprus and suffer for Christ. Saint Aristokles obediently set out in return and upon the way he visited the church of the holy Disciple Barnabas (Comm. 11 June), where he met up with Deacon Demetrian and Athanasias the Reader. He told them about his vision, and Saints Demetrian and Athanasias decided to accept the crown of martyrdom together with him.

Having arrived in the city of Salamis, all three began to preach to the people about the Lord Jesus Christ, and denouncing the folly of idol-worship. The pagans arrested them, and the governor, seeing that they were steadfast in their faith in Christ, gave orders to behead Saint Aristokles, and to burn Saints Demetrian and Athanasias. But even in the fire the martyrs remained unharmed, and after this they were beheaded by the sword. The holy martyrs died in about the year 306.

The PriestMartyr Methodios, Bishop of Patara (Lycian region in Asia Minor), was distinguished for his genuine monastic humility. Calmly and with mildness he instructed his flock, but together with this he firmly defended the purity of Orthodoxy and he energetically contended against heresies, especially the widespread heresy of the Origenists. He left behind him a rich literary legacy: works in defense of Christianity against paganism, explications of Orthodox dogmas against the heresy of Origen, moral discourses, and explanations of Holy Scripture.

Saint Methodios was arrested by the pagans, steadfastly confessed before them his faith in Christ, and in the year 312 he was sentenced to death by beheading.

Sainted Lucius (Leukios) the Confessor was born in the city of Alexandria of pious parents named Eudykios and Euphrosynia. They gave their son the name Eutropios. The mother died when the lad was 11 years old, and his father took monastic tonsure at the monastery of Saint Hermias, taking along his son with him to the monastery. The boy was raised under the spiritual guidance of the hegumen Nikita and also experienced monastic elders. The boy showed himself to be very capable, and assiduously he studied Holy Scripture. Eutropios grew up into a quiet, meek and obedient lad. When he reached age 18, the hegumen Nikita died. The brethren of the monastery unanimously chose Eutropios as hegumen, even though he was not yet tonsured into monasticism. Reckoning himself unworthy to guide someone at something he was not, Eutropios refused. For seven years the monastery of Saint Hermias remained without head. And in these years Eutropios, asceticising at monastic deeds, attained to an high degree of spiritual life.

One time Eutropios set off on the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God to visit all the churches of the Dormition in the surroundings of the city of Alexandria. At the celebrations presided Hellios, bishop of Heliopolis, together with his clergy. At the same time he visited the monastery headed by the hegumen Theodore. And it was at this monastery that both father and son then remained. By night the father Eudykios had a revelation about his own approaching end, and also – that his son would become a bishop and enlighten with the light of the Christian faith the city and region of Brundusium (Grk. form Bruntisiopolis, now Brindisi in Calabria-Apuleia) in Italy. And in this same vision there was foretold for Eutropios his new name – Lucius (Leukios), meaning “the Spirit of the Lord is come upon him”. And it was on the Dormition feastday in the church of the Mother of God that bishop Hellios heard a voice from Heaven, blessing “Leukios” for archpastoral service, and he directed the archdeacon to enquire of those praying – who it was that bore this name. Then with love he blessed Saint Lucius and his father.

The monks of the Hermias monastery earnestly besought the bishop to install Saint Lucius as hegumen of the monastery. Although the ascetic initially refused, considering himself unworthy, he then submitted himself to the bishop and was ordained to the priestly dignity and was made hegumen.

From this time Saint Lucius intensified his efforts, and he was granted by God the grace of wonderworking, and casting out demons. One time a devil assumed the form of an immense serpent, and killed many in the nearby villages. The holy ascetic hastened to come to the aid of the villagers and he delivered them from the power of the devil. Seeing this, about three thousand pagans in the vicinity accepted Baptism.

During this period the Alexandria bishop Philip died a martyr, and Saint Lucius was chosen in his place. Seeing that Saint Lucius was converting many a pagan to Christianity, the eparch Saturninus decided to kill him. And wanting to defend their archpastor, certain of the Christians wanted to kill the eparch. Learning of this, the saint forbade them to cause the eparch any harm. Saint Lucius declared to his flock, that the Lord had commanded him to go to a pagan land and to enlighten with the light of the Christian faith the city of Bruntisiopolis and its surrounding region.

The holy archpastor established in his place a worthy bishop, and he then took with him the deacons Eusebios and Dionysios and five students, and they hastened onto a ship sailing for Italy. Along the way they were joined by the presbyters Leon and Sabinus, and upon their journey to Brundusium the saint met up with the tribune Armaleon and his 67 soldiers, all whom he converted to Christianity. In the city he began to preach to the people about Christ Jesus. The head of the city, named Antiochus, learned that the tribune Armaleon had converted to the faith in Christ, and so he summoned him and for a long time he asked questions about the Christian teaching. And learning about Saint Lucius, the governor wanted to meet him. At the meeting the governor said: “If thou desire that we believe in the God that thou preachest, beseech Him to send down rain upon our land, which we have not seen these two years already”. The saint, having summoned his clergy and all the newly-baptised Christians, made fervent supplication, after which there poured down rain in abundance, soaking the parched earth. Seeing this miracle, Antiochus and all the city of Brundusium (27,000 people) accepted holy Baptism. In memory of this event, in the city was built a church in honour of the Mother of God, and at the spot where the people were baptised – a second church, in honour of Saint John the Baptist.

Soon the saint fell ill, and it was foretold to him in a vision, that he would die of the sickness. Summoning his spiritual son Antiochus, Saint Lucius gave final instructions to bury him at the place, where the ship carrying him from Alexandria had landed. Antiochus fulfilled the request of the archpastor and built on this spot a church in the name of Saint Lucius. In it were transferred the relics of the saint, from which occurred numerous miracles.

The Monk Naum of Okhrid, Bulgarian by descent, was one of the disciple of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodios (Comm. 11 May), and he likewise accompanied Saint Kliment (Clement) of Okhrid during the time of his preaching of the Gospel in Bulgaria. When Saint Kliment set off to the south-western regions, the Monk Naum remained in the then capital city of Plisk. Afterwards the Monk Naum became successor to Saint Kliment in a monastery on the shores of Lake Okhrida, where he asceticised for 10 years. The Monk Naum reposed on 23 December 910, and his relics were glorified by numerous miracles, especially healings of sicknesses of soul. The memory of the saint is likewise celebrated on 23 December.

The Transfer of Relics and Garb of the Holy Apostles Andrew, Thomas and John the Theologian, the Disciple Luke, the Prophet Elisei (Elisha) and the Martyr Lazarus: Found during the time of the emperor Romanos Lakapenos (919-944) in a monastery of Saint Augusta, the clothing was solemnly transferred by holy Patriarch Polyeuktos (956-970) into the church of the Apostles.

Holy Nobleborn Prince Gleb of Vladimir, named Georgii in holy Baptism, was a younger son of nobleborn prince Saint Andrei Bogoliubsky (Comm. 4 July). Under the influence of his pious parents he grew up deeply believing and from twelve years of age he led a solitary spiritual life. The parents did not hinder their son and even assisted him in spiritual growth. The prince especially loved the reading of holy books, he esteemed the clergy and he was charitable to all. Despite his young age, he chose for himself the exploit of strict fasting and prayerful vigilance. Nobleborn prince Gleb died in the year 1174, at age nineteen.

His undecayed relics were preserved and glorified by miracles. In the year 1238, during the time of the incursion of Batu upon the Russian Land, the Tatars burned the cathedral at Vladimir. In this conflagration perished Bishop Mitrophan, Great-princess Agathia – spouse of Great-prince Georgii Vsevolodovich (+ 1238), and many an inhabitant of the city of Vladimir, locked in the cathedral church. The fire however did not even touch the tomb of Saint Gleb. Years later in July 1410, Tatars again descended upon Vladimir. In their plundering of the city, they began to sack the cathedral church treasury, having murdered the door-keeper Patrikii. And supposing that within the saint’s tomb was hidden away treasure, they set about to break it open. But just as the Tatars touched the stone crypt of Saint Gleb, flames shot forth from it, and the Tatars in terror quit the city.

Through the prayers of the holy prince the city was saved from an incursion of Polish-Lithuanian plunderers in 1613.

The celebration of Saint Gleb was established in the year 1702, and then also a service was written to him, and somewhat later – a vita (life). His relics rest in the Uspensky cathedral in Vladimir. In the year 1774 the south chapel of the cathedral was dedicated in honour of his name. Nobleborn prince Gleb is revered as an especial patron and defender of the city of Vladimir.

The Transfer of Relics of Sainted Gurii, Archbishop of Kazan, from the Saviour-Transfiguration monastery to the cathedral church of the city of Kazan occurred in the year 1630.

An account about the life of the saint is located under 5 December, the day of his repose.

Sainted Kallistos, Patriarch of Constantinople, at first asceticised upon Athos under the spiritual guidance of the Monk Gregory the Sinaite (Comm. 8 August). In 1350 he was elevated to the Constantinople OEcumenical cathedra-seat, occupying it under the reign of the emperors John Kantakuzenos (1341-1355) and John Paleologos (1341-1376). After two years as arch-hierarch he withdrew for deeds of silence to a monastery constructed by him in honour of Saint Mamant at Tenedos. Later again he was elevated to the Patriarchal seat. Holy Patriarch Kallistos reposed in about the year 1363 in Serbia, whither he had travelled with an embassy of John Paleologos. Saint Kallistos is known also as an author of spiritual writings.

Sainted Mina, Bishop of Polotsk, for a long time asceticised at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. On 13 December 1105 he was ordained bishop of Polotsk. The name of Saint Mina enters into the service to the Kievo-Pechersk holy fathers, since prior to his elevation to the dignity of bishop he bore obedience at the monastery. Remembrance of him is contained in the Kievo-Pechersk Paterikon. Saint Mina is reknown as one of the first Russian archpastors, continuing the spreading of the grace of faith in Christ after the Baptism of the Russian Land.

The Holy Martyr Crescentus underwent martyrdom by torture and died in Spain.

The Modensk-Kosninsk Icon of the Mother of God was brought by Graf Boris Petrovich Sheremetev in 1717 from the Italian city of Modena. Emperor Peter I presented this icon to the village of Kosino near Moscow, and it was glorified by numerous healings.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos