June 01 2020 - May 19 2020

PriestMartyr Patrikios, Bishop of Prussa, and with him three Presbyters: Akakios, Menander and Polienos (+ c. 100). Martyr Caluf the Egyptian (+ 284-303).

Monks: Kornelii, WonderWorker of Komel’sk (+ 1537); Kornilii, Hegumen of Paleostrovsk, Olonetsk (+ c. 1420); Sergei of Shukhtomsk (+ 1609); John, Bishop of the Goths (+ 790). NobleBorn Prince John of Uglich, in monasticism Ignatii, of Vologda (+ 1523). Martyress Theotima; Anastasia. Saints Zosima; Priscilla and others. Monk Agapius.

Saint Patrikios lived during the I Century and was bishop of the city of Prussa in Bythnia (Asia Minor). He openly and boldly preached the teachings of Christ the Saviour and denounced the error of the pagans. For this he was taken together with the three presbyters – Akakios, Menander and Polienos, and led for interrogation to the governor of the city, Julius. At the time Julius was on journey for treatment at an hot-springs, and he gave orders to bring along after him also the Christian bishop with the presbyters, bound in iron chains. Having washed in the hot-springs, Julius offered sacrifice to his gods and, summoning Saint Patrikios and the other prisoners, he demanded them to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, threatening punishments in case of refusal.

Saint Patrikios replied to this: “I am a Christian and I worship the One True God, Jesus Christ, Who hath created the heavens and the earth and these warm springs for the benefit of all mankind”. On the command of Julius they threw the saint into the hot spring, and with firm faith the martyr prayed for help: “Lord, Jesus Christ, help me, Thy servant”, – and he remained unharmed.

In a rage of impotence Julius gave orders to cut off the head of Saint Patrikios and his three presbyters.

The end for the martyrs occurred in about the year 100 after the Birth of Christ.

The Monk Kornilli of Komel’sk was descended from the boyar (noble) family Kriukov. His brother Lukian served at the court of the Moscow GreatPrince. When Lukian, getting up in years, decided to set off to the monastery of the Monk Kirill of Beloezersk, there also followed after him Kornilii, who from a young age yearned after the solitary life. Having taken vows, the young Kornilii began his monastic exploits with a difficult obedience – he wore heavy chains in the bakery, and in his spare time of rest he occupied himself with the copying of church books. Because of his love for solitude, the Monk Kornilii later left the Beloezersk monastery, and he visited Rostov. At Novgorod Sainted Gennadii (Comm. 4 December) attempted to hold on to him, but the ascetic settled in a desolate spot not far from Novgorod. When people began to visit here also, yearning for the monastic life, he moved on to the Tver' Savvatiev wilderness monastery, and later in the year 1497, he settled in the Komel’sk forest, not far from Vologda, where he built himself a cell. To this place of the ascetic activity of the Monk Kornilii monks began to gather, and in 1501 he built a wooden church there in honour of the Entry into the Temple of the MostHoly Mother of God. And in that year Metropolitan Simon ordained him priest-monk. In 1512, when the number of brethren had grown, the monk constructed a stone church and he wrote down for the brethren an Ustav (Rule), compiled on the basis of the Ustavs of the Monks Joseph of Volotsk and Nil of Sorsk. This was the third Ustav, written by Russian saints for monastics. The Monk Kornilii of Komel’sk distinguished himself with liberality towards the unfortunate, and during a time of famine he constructed an orphanage for children on the monastery courtyard. For his love towards the poor and orphaned, the Monk Kornilii was many times granted graced vision of the Monk Anthony the Great (Comm. 17 January), for whom he had a especial reverence, and he raised up a church at his monastery in honour of the great ascetic. The strictness of life of the saint provoked some of the brethren to grumbling, and the Monk Kornilii was compelled to leave the monastery and he settled at Lake Sursk, 70 versts from his monastery. At times also he pursued asceticism at the Trinity-Sergiev Lavra. Interceding for the monks of the Korniliev monastery, GreatPrince Vasilii Ivanovich urged the monk to return to his own monastery. The ascetic gave in, and having returned to his own monastery, he transferred its guidance to his disciple Lavrentii and secluded himself in his cell.

During the time of a Tatar incursion against the Vologda region the Monk Kornilii, in protecting the brethren, set out with them to the Beloezersk outskirts. The monk died at age 82 on 19 May 1537. Many disciples of the Monk Kornilii were also glorified by sanctity of life: the Monks Gennadii of Liubimograd (Comm. 23 January), Kirill of Novoezersk (Comm. 4 February), Irodion of Iloezersk (Comm. 28 September), Adrian of Poshekhonsk (Comm. 5 March), Lavrentii and Kassian of Komel’sk (Comm. 16 May).

The all-church celebration to the Monk Kornilii (19 May) was established on 25 January 1600 by Patriarch Job and a council of bishops. The Life of the Monk was compiled by his disciple Nathanael in the year 1589. There exists a service and a praise to the Saint, and the Ustav written by the Monk Kornilii has been preserved.

The Monk Kornilii of Paleostrov and Olonetsk, born at Pskov, was the founder of monastic life on Pali island in Lake Onega at the end of the XIV Century. Despite the desolation of the island, brethren soon gathered to him, – for whom he built a church in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God and a refectory church in honour of the holy Prophet Ilias. The monk spent the final years of his life in a cave half a verst from the monastery, in unceasing prayer. The ascetic added to his effort by the wearing of heavy chains. The blessed repose of the monk occurred about the year 1420, and his remains were transferred to the monastery temple by his disciple, the Monk Avraam of Paleostrov (Comm. 21 August), who likewise was glorified by an ascetic life and later was buried alongside his spiritual guide in the Paleostrov monastery.

The Monk Sergei of Shukhtomsk, in the world Stefan, was born at Kazan. It is known that for three years he walked about the holy places of Palestine and Greece, studying the monastic life. He returned then to Novgorod, from whence he went to the Solovetsk monastery. In 1603 he accepted the monastic schema from archimandrite Isaia, who afterwards wrote the icon of the Monk Sergei of Shukhtomsk. Having accepted the schema, the monk imposed strict ascetic activity upon himself, going day and night without sleep kneeling in prayer. For his holy life the Lord bestowed upon the saint gifts of wonderworking and prophecy. The Monk Sergei of Shukhtomsk reposed on 19 May 1609.

The Holy Martyr Caluf the Egyptian lived during the III Century, and was from the city of Thebes. For his confession of faith in Christ he was arrested and taken before the governor of the city, by whose order they suspended him head downwards with an heavy stone and they beat him cruelly. The sufferer incessantly repeated: “I endure everything because of faith in the blessedness of future life”. They then untied him and began to urge him to offer sacrifice to idols, but the saint did not consent. Finally, he was thrown into a fire and there accepted a martyr’s death. This occurred in the year 303. The holy martyr Caluf suffered during the persecution by the emperor Maximian Hercules, co‑regent of Diocletian (284-305).

The Monk John, Bishop of the Goths, lived during the VIII Century. The future saint was born amidst the fervent prayer of his parents, and from an early age he pursued asceticism within monasticism. The monk made pilgrimage to Jerusalem and during the course of three years he made the rounds of all the holy places, and then returned to his native country. During this period the emperor Constantine Kopronymos the Iconoclast (741-775) banished the Gothic bishop, and the Gothic christians fervently besought Saint john to become their bishop. Saint John journeyed to Iveria (Gruzia / Georgia), – safely intact from the spread of the Iconoclast heresy, where hands of ordination were put upon him. Upon his return to the Goths he was compelled soon to depart from them and, hidden away from the pursuing Khazars, he settled at Amastrideia, where he dwelt for four years. Hearing about the death of the Khazar kagan (ruler), the saint said: “After 40 days I shall go to be judged with him before Christ the Saviour”. Indeed, after 40 days the saint died, and this occurred at the time when he returned to his people with preaching, in the year 790. The body of the saint was conveyed to the Parthenit monastery, situated in the Crimea at the foot of Mount Ayu-Dag, where formerly the saint lived in a large church built by him in the name of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The memory of Sainted John, Bishop of the Goths, is celebrated also on 26 June.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos