November 23 2020 - November 10 2020

Disciples from the 70: Herastos, Olympos, Rodion, Sosipater, Quartus (Kuartos) and Tercias (I). Sainted Nonnus the Bishop (+ 471). Martyrs Calliopios, Nyros, Orion.

Martyr Orestes the Physician (+ 304). PriestMartyr Milios, Bishop of Persia, and two of his disciples, Euores the Presbyter and Seboes (Eunoes) the Deacon (+ 341). Monk Theosterikos the Confessor. Martyr Constantine, Prince of Gruzia (Georgia) (+ 842). Breaking on the Wheel of Holy GreatMartyr George (Gruzia) (+ 303). Sainted Ephrem, Bishop of Unia. Martyr Nestor.

The Holy Disciples from the 70: Herastos, Olympos, Rodion, Sosipater, Kuartos (Quartus) and Tercias lived during the I Century.

Saint Rodion, or Herodian, was a kinsman of the Apostle Paul (Rom. 16: 11), and left the bishop’s cathedra (chair) at Patras so as to go to Rome with the Apostle Peter. The holy Disciple Olympos (or Olympian), – about whom the holy Apostle Paul recollects (Rom. 16: 15), was also a companion of the Apostle Peter. Both of these Disciples from the 70 were beheaded on the very day and hour, when the Apostle Peter was crucified.

The holy Disciples Herastos, Sosipater, Quartus and Tercias were disciples of the holy Apostle Paul. The Apostle to the Gentiles speaks of them in the Epistle to the Romans: “Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen, do greet you…” (Rom. 16: 21); “And also do I, Tercias, who wrote down this epistle, greet you” (Rom. 16: 22); “And Herastos, the city treasurer, doth greet you, and brother Quartus” (Rom. 16: 23).

The Disciple Sosipater, a native of Achaeia, was bishop of Iconium where also he died. The Disciple Herastos was at first a deacon and treasurer of the Jerusalem Church, and later on bishop at Paneadis. The holy Disciple Quartus endured much suffering for his piety and converted many pagans to Christ, dying peacefully in the dignity of bishop in the city of Beirut. The holy Disciple Tercias, having written down the dictation of the Apostle Paul contained in the Epistle to the Romans, was the second bishop of Iconium, where also he died.

The Holy Martyr Orestes lived at the end of the III Century in the city of Tiana in Cappadocia during the time of the emperor Diocletian. He was an illustrious and capable soldier, and from childhood Saint Orestes was truly a good Christian.

By order of the emperor, the military-officer Maximinus was dispatched to Tiana for dealing with Christianity, which then had spread widely throughout Great Cappadocia. Orestes was among the first brought to trial to Maximinus. He bravely and openly confessed his faith in our Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus Christ. The prosecutor offered the saint riches, honours and reknown for renouncing the One True God, but Saint Orestes was unyielding. By order of Maximinus, they took Orestes to a resplendid pagan temple and again demanded he worship idols. When he refused, 40 soldiers, taking turns one after the other, beat the holy martyr with lashes, with canes, with rawhide, and then they tormented him with fire. Saint Orestes cried out to the Lord: “Oh God, make with me a sign of blessing, let those hating me see it and be put to shame”. And the Lord heard His true servant. The earth began to tremble, and the idols fell down and were smashed. Everyone rushed out of the temple, and when Saint Orestes came out, the very temple tumbled down.

Infuriated, Maximinus ordered the holy martyr to be locked up in prison for seven days giving him neither food nor drink, and on the eighth day to continue with the torture. They wedged nails into the heels of the martyr, and then tied him to a wild horse. Dragged over the stones, the holy martyr expired to the Lord in the year 304. His relics were thrown into the sea.

When many years had passed, in 1685, a certain monk of the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra (Dimitrii, afterwards the Sainted-Hierarch of Rostov, Comm. 28 October) was copying from an ancient manuscript the Life of Saint Orestes. He became tired and fell asleep. The holy martyr appeared to him in a dream vision and, having shown him the deep wound in his chest and the lacerated sinews of his arms and bruised knees, he bid him to add these into his life, since not all the torments which befell the saint were recorded in the ancient manuscript. The humble monk carried out the wish of the holy Martyr Orestes and he gave praise to God, Who is Wondrous in His Saints.

The PriestMartyr Milios, Bishop of Persia, and his two Disciples, lived during the IV Century. The holy Martyr Milios was banished from the city of Suza, where his bishop’s cathedra was situated. By his pious and ascetic life he was vouchsafed gifts of prophecy and healing. The saint suffered in the year 341 with two if his students, Abrosim and Sinos [trans. note: this text variance of name from the header above is in the Russian original, perhaps reflecting alternate Graeco-Russian transcriptions of Persian names], in their native city of Suza. They returned there after long wanderings and brought many to Christ.

The Holy Martyr Constantine – was a Gruzian prince from Upper Kartalinia. He was famed in his country for his generosity to the poor, and for the patronage of churches and clergy. During his time Gruzia was often subject to invasion from various enemies. In one of these battles with the barbarians, Constantine was taken captive and brought to Tiflis to the emir Buga, who at first locked him in prison, but later transferred him to the emperor Dzhepar, who demanded he renounce Christ, but Constantine firmly confessed his faith. They locked him away into a fetid prison cell. Because of his stoic strength of faith, on orders of the emperor he was beheaded with the sword in the year 842 at age 85. They hung up the body of the saint in the city square, but Christians took it and brought it to Gruzia. The place of burial is unknown.

In honour of the holy Martyr Constantine, a feastday was established under the Catholikos John II (871-893), and later on a service was compiled by the Catholikos Anthony.

The Breaking on the Wheel of the Holy GreatMartyr George: Gruzia (Georgia), – having been enlightened with the Christian faith by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina (+ 335, Comm. 14 January), a kinswoman of the holy GreatMartyr George the Victory-Bearer (+ 303, Comm. 23 April) – has especial veneration to Saint George as its patron-saint. One of the names of Gruzia (Georgia) – is in honour of George (this name is preserved now in many languages of the world). In his honour the holy GreatMartyr Nina established a feastday. It is celebrated at present in Georgia on 10 November, in remembrance of the Breaking on the Wheel of Saint George. During the year 1891 in the Caucassus, near the village of Kakha in the Zakatal’sk region, a new church in place of the old was built in honour of the holy GreatMartyr George the Victory-Bearer, and many of the heterodox Bogomils thronged to it.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos