Orthodox River


June 10 2020 - May 28 2020

Monk Nikita the Confessor, Bishop of Chalcedon (IX).

Sainted Ignatii, Bishop of Rostov (+ 1288).

PriestMartyr Eutykhias, Bishop of Meletineia (I).

Holy Martyress Helikonida (+ 244). PriestMartyr Helladias, Bishop (VI‑VII). Martyrs: Demetrios (+ 1794); Zakharias (+ 1802); Sophronii (+ c. 1510); Crescentius, Paul and Dioscorides (+ 326). Nun Philothea.

Icons of the Mother of God: Nicea (304), Antioch and Chukhlomsk (Galichsk) “Umilenie-Tenderness” (1350).

The Monk Nikita the Confessor, Bishop of Chalcedon, lived during the 2nd half of the VIII Century. For his God-pleasing life he was elevated to the dignity of bishop of Chalcedon. Saint Nikita distinguished himself by his charity, he always helped the poor, he took in wanderers into his dwelling, he concerned himself about the orphaned and the widowed, and he interceded for the wronged. During the reign of the Iconoclast Leo the Armenian (813-820), Saint Nikita bravely denounced the Iconoclast heresy and urged his flock reverently to venerate the holy icons of Christ, the Mother of God and the holy Saints. Saint Nikita endured much suffering from the impious emperor and his like-minded cohorts; he was subjected to tortures and sent off to exile. The holy Confessor Nikita died at the beginning of the IX Century. From his relics occurred miracles of healing. In the Canon of the service to him, written by the Constantinople presbyter Joseph, it declares as glorified amongst the Saints also the brother of Saint Nikita – Saint Ignatios.

The PriestMartyr Eutykhias, Bishop of Meletineia, was a co-worker with the Holy Apostles, and he suffered for Christ in the city of Meletineia during the I Century.

The Holy Martyress Helikonida lived during the III Century in the city of Thessalonika. During a time of persecution against the followers of Christ, Saint Helikonida arrived in the city of Corinth and began to urge the pagans to give up serving senseless idols and instead worship the One True God, the Creator of the universe. She was arrested for this preaching and brought before the governor Perinaus, who both by flattery and by threats in vain attempted to persuade the saint to offer sacrifice to idols. The holy martyress was subjected to tortures, but she bravely endured them. They then threw her into an hot furnace, but she emerged from it unharmed, because an Angel of the Lord had cooled the flames. Thinking the saint a “sorceress”, the governor pondered over new torments for her. From her head they began to tear at the skin, and to burn at her breast and head with fire. And having halted the torture, the judge again attempted to urge Saint Helikonida to offer sacrifice to the idols, promising her honours and the title of priestess. Suddenly the saint appeared to consent, and with merriment the pagan-priests and the people led her to the pagan-temple amidst the sounds of trumpet and drum and, at the request of the saint, they left her there alone. But Saint Helikonida, filled with an heroic strength, cast down and smashed all the idols. Having waited a long while, the pagan-priests went into their temple. Seeing the destruction, they went into a vicious rage and cursed at the holy virgin with shouts of: “Put the sorceress to death!” They began to beat the holy martyress, and then they threw her into prison, where she spent 5 days. In prison Christ the Saviour together with the holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel appeared to the holy martyress and healed her of her wounds. Finally, they despatched the saint for tearing-apart by wild beasts. They set loose upon her three hungry lions, but the beasts came up to the martyress meekly and lay down at her feet. The pagan mob shouted and demanded “Death to the sorceress”. But at this point the lions pounced up from the arena and jumped at the people, who fled in terror. Not knowing what else to do, the governor gave orders to cut off the head of Saint Helikonida. The saint went with joy to execution and heard a Voice, summoning her to the Heavenly habitations. Her body was reverently buried by Christians.

Her end transpired in the year 244.

The PriestMartyr Helladias the Bishop was for his confession of faith in Christ thrown into fire, but he remained unharmed; he died a martyr from the terrible beating inflicted upon him. In the Service to Saint Helladias is said, that in prison the Lord Jesus Christ visited him and healed him of his wounds. According to certain sources, Saint Helladias suffered under the Persians during the time of their invasion into the Eastern districts of the Roman empire in the IV Century.

The Holy Martyr Demetrios (Mitra) suffered for Christ under the Turks in the year 1794.

The Monk Sophronii (in the world Stefan) – was a native of the village of Penkovets in Bulgaria. He accepted monastic tonsure at a monastery near Rus’ along the River Danube/Dunaj, where he asceticised in deeds of fasting and prayerful vigilance. In 1510 the monk was murdered by his own servant. His relics were found undecayed after three years, and afterwards the Vita-Life of the saint was compiled.

The Holy Martyrs Crescentius, Paul and Dioscorides suffered for Christ at Rome in the year 326.

The Nicea Icon of the Mother of God was glorified in the year 304. During the time of a siege by Hamir of the city of Nicea, situated in Asia Minor, a certain Constantine, seeing the icon of the Mother of God, took hold a stone and threw it at the icon, and then began to trample it underfoot. By night the Mother of God appeared in a dream to the perpetrator of the sacrilege and said: “Thou hast committed grave insult to Me. Know, that thou hast done this to thine own perishing”. Punishment followed forthwith. During the time of battle he was suddenly struck on the head by a stone and fell down senseless.

This event was told of by the fathers of the First OEcumenical Council (year 325), and they established it to sing before the Mother of God: “Thine Holy Sanctuary Thou hast made the womb”.

The Chukhlomsk (Galich) “Umilenie-Tenderness” Icon of the Mother of God: The account about this icon is located under 20 July.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos