October 22 2020 - October 09 2020

Apostle James Alphaeus (I).

Monastics Andronikos and his wife Athanasia (V).

Righteous ForeFather Abraham and his nephew Lot (2000 B.C.). Martyr Diocletian (I-II). Martyrs Euventios (Juventinus) and Maximos (361-363). Martyress Poplia the Confessor, Deaconess of Antioch (IV). Monk Peter of Galatia (IX).

Korsun Icon of the Mother of God.

Saint James Alphaeus – one of the Twelve Apostles, was brother of the holy Evangelist Matthew. After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle James Alphaeus, together with the Apostle Andrew the First-Called (Comm. 30 November), made missionary journeys preaching in Judea, Edessa, Gaza, Eleutheropolis, and converting many on the path of salvation. In the Egyptian city of Ostrazin Saint James finished his apostolic work with a martyr’s death on the cross.

The Monastics Andronikos and his wife Athanasia lived in Antioch during the V Century. Saint Andronikos was a craftsman. His earnings he divided into three portions. One part he gave to the church, the second – for the poor, and the third he used for his family. When the Lord took the son and daughter of Andronikos and Athanasia, the pious spouses decided to fully devote themselves to the service of God, helping the poor and the sick. And soon the saintly spouses set out for Alexandria, where Andronikos entered a skete monastery, and Athanasia – the women’s Tabennisiota monastery.

After 12 years of ascetic life the Monk Andronikos went to Jerusalem for prayer at the holy places. He met a co-pilgrim – the monk Athanasias. This was Athanasia who, foreseeing the difficulties of the journey, had donned men’s attire. They did not recognise each other, since long ascetic effort had altered their appearance. Having returned from Jerusalem, both monks settled into a single cell and for many years asceticised in silence. After the death of the Monastic Athanasia there remained a note, revealing her secret. And soon the Monk Andronikos likewise died.

Concerning Righteous Abraham the ForeFather and his nephew Lot – vide the Book of Genesis, Chapters 12-25.

The Holy Martyrs Euventios (Juventinus) and Maximos were body-guards of the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). Having arrived in Antioch, the emperor gave orders to sprinkle with idol-worship blood all the food-stuffs in the marketplace and the water in the wells. Saints Euventios and Maximos opposed this edict, and Julian ordered them executed.

The Holy Martyress Poplia (Publia) the Confessor, Deaconess of Antioch, early became a widow, and with all her strength she turned to raising up her son John in the Christian faith. John became a presbyter, and Poplia for her prudent and ascetic life merited the dignity of deaconess. She took under her guidance widows and young women desiring to devote themselves to the service of God, and she organised a monastery in her home. During the time of the persecution of Christians under the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), Saint Poplia with the sisters denounced the reprobate.

When the emperor made his way to the house of Poplia, the sisters sang loudly the 113th Psalm, denouncing idol-worship. The soldiers of the ruler fiercely beat up the venerable eldress, but she forebearingly endured the beating. But surviving not long after this, Saint Poplia expired to the Lord in peace.

The Korsun Icon of the Mother of God: In Ephesus had been preserved an icon of the Mother of God, written by the holy Evangelist Luke. On 9 October in the year 988, a copy of this icon was transferred from Korsun to Kiev by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir (Comm. 15 July), and it came to be called the Korsun Icon. Later on this icon was transferred to Novgorod, and from thence – to Moscow to the Uspensk cathedral in the Kremlin. Another like image of the Mother of God was brought from Greece to Russia in 1162 by the Nun Evphrosynia of Polotsk (Comm. 23 May).

Saint Evphrosynia founded the Saviour monastery at Polotsk. When she learned that in Greece was an icon written by the Evangelist Luke, she then dispatched rich presents to the Greek emperor and the patriarch Luke Chrysovergos with a request to send her this icon. The holy image was dispatched to Rus' from Ephesus. They conveyed the icon through Korsun, and at the request of the inhabitants of that city it remained there about a year, likewise receiving the name of Korsun Icon. And in the year 1239 the daughter of the Polotsk prince Bryachislav, Alexandra, leaving for marriage to holy Nobleborn Prince Alexander Nevsky (Comm. 23 November), conveyed this icon to the city of Toropets.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos