October 25 2020 - October 12 2020

Martyrs Probos, Tarachos and Andronikes (+ 304). Monk Kosma, Bishop of Maium, Author of Kanons (+ c. 787).

Monks Amphylokhii (+ 1452), Makarii (+ 1462), Tarasii (+ 1440), and Theodosii of Glushetsk.

Martyress Domnica (+ 286). Women-Martyrs Antheia and Malthetha. Martyrs Andromachos and Diodoros. Sainted Jason, Bishop of Damascus, and Theodotos, Bishop of Ephesus. Sainted Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours (+ c. 400). Celebration to Saint John of the Lord’s Cross in Memory of the Transfer from Malta to Gatchina of a Part of the Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, together with the Philermia Icon of the Mother of God, and the Right Hand of Saint John the Baptist (1799).

The Jerusalem (48), Yaroslav-Smolensk (1642), Rudensk (1687) and Kaluzh (1748) Icons of the Mother of God.

The Holy Martyrs Probos, Tarachos and Andronikes suffered for Christ in the year 304 in the city of Cilician Tarsus. To the proposal of the pagans to offer sacrifice to the idols, the old soldier Tarachos replied, that he offers sacrifice to the One, True God in a pure heart. Seeing the firmness of the saints in confessing the true faith, the proconsul gave them over to torture. “When my body doth suffer, – said Saint Probos to the idol-worshippers, – then my soul is healed and invigorated”. The tormentors refined their tortures, such as their rage could invent, and then they tore the bodies of the saints apart. Christians secretly took up the remains of the saints and buried them.

The Monk Kosma, Bishop of Maium, Author of Kanons, was a native of Jerusalem. He was raised by the parents of the Monk John of Damascus (Comm. 4 December) together with their son, and he received a fine education. When Saint Kosma came of age, he set out to one of the monasteries of Palestine, where he attained reknown for monastic exploits. During a time of persecution against holy icons the Monk Kosma, together with the Monk John, came forth for the defence of Orthodoxy. In the year 743 Kosma was made bishop of Maium. He died in old age (+ c. 787), leaving behind many canons for feastdays and a triode for four days of Holy Week.

The Monk Amphylokhii, Hegumen of Glushetsk, already a monk of priestly dignity, came from Ustiug to the monk Dionysii of Glushetsk (Comm. 1 July) in the year 1417. Saint Dionysii, learning of the wish of Amphylokhii to become an ascetic, told him about the severity and harshness of life in his monastery, but this did not deter the newcomer. Then Saint Dionysii said: “If thou wishest to dwell here, then we shalt make a testament – not to be distinct one from another, while we dwell upon the earth”. Amphylokhii joyfully agreed and vowed to fulfill the ustav (rule) of the monastery.

The Monk Amphylokhii spent twenty years in deeds of fasting, prayer and obedience under the guidance of the Monk Dionysii, striving in all things to imitate him and assisting in the work of building up the monastery. After the death of Saint Dionysii, the Monk Amphylokhii was for 15 years the head of the Glushetsk monastery. The monk died peacefully in the year 1452 and was buried alongside his preceptor.

The Monk Tarasii of Glushetsk was hegumen of a monastery, built by Sainted Stephen of Perm (Comm. 26 April), and he zealously spread and affirmed the Orthodox faith among the Zyryani people.

In 1427 under the successor of Saint Stephen, Bishop Gerasim (Comm. 29 January), the Monk Tarasii voluntarily gave up leading the monastery and went to the Glushetsk monastery under the guidance of the Monk Dionysii.

Saint Dionysii, seeing the deep humility of Tarasii, accepted him. The former hegumen Tarasii toiled equally alongside the novices at the monastery and he led a strict ascetic life. The monk was buried at the Dionysiev monastery (+ 1440).

The Monk Makarii, Glushetsk Hegumen (in the world Matfei), was born in Rostov. As a twelve year old boy he was given over to the Monk Dionysii for raising. Growing up under the guidance of the great starets (elder), the saint was distinguished by a rare purity of soul. The Monk Makarii, already in the dignity of priestmonk, was chosen by the brethren as head of the monastery after the death of the Monk Amphylokhii. Saint Makarii expired to the Lord on 13 May (not earlier than 1462).

The Holy Martyress Domnica suffered for confessing Christianity in the year 286. Domnica lived in the region of Cilicia. By order of the governor Licius they beat her for a long time, and burnt her with fire. All tormented, Saint Domnica was thrown into prison, where she died.

Sainted Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours, lived in France. He is called the merciful for his generosity and care for the poor. Before accepting monasticism, Martin was a military commander under the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) and was distinguished for his bravery. When barbarians invaded the empire, by order of the emperor Saint Martin went out from the city with his troops to do battle with them. Having encountered a beggar by the wayside, he gave to him his own cloak. By night the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the saint and promised victory over the enemy, which soon occurred. The emperor solemnly met the victor and suggested to him to offer sacrifice in thanksgiving for the gaining of victory. But Saint Martin said, that he wanted to offer sacrifice to Christ, with Whose help he vanquished the enemy, by the act of becoming a monk. The emperor banished the saint. After seven years of ascetic life, Saint Martin was elevated to be bishop of Tours. Saint Martin possessed gifts of perspicacity and wonderworking. He died at the end of the IV Century.

The Transfer from Malta to Gatchina of a Part of the Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord, together with the Philermia Icon of the Mother of God and the Right Hand of Saint John the Baptist was done in the year 1799. These holy things were preserved on the island of Malta by the Knights of the Catholic Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. In 1798, when the French seized the island, the Maltese knights turned for defence and protection to Russia. On 12 October 1799 they offered these ancient holy things to the emperor Paul I, who at this time was situated at Gatchina. In the autumn of 1799 the holy items were transferred to Peterburg and placed in the Winter Palace within the church in honour of the Image of the Saviour Not-Made-by-Hand. The feast for this event was established in 1800.

By ancient tradition, the Philermia Icon of the Mother of God was written by the holy Evangelist Luke. From Jerusalem it was transferred to Constantinople, where it was situated in the Blakhernae church. In the XIII Century it was taken from there by crusaders and from that time kept by the Knights of the Order of Saint John.

The Jerusalem Icon of the Mother of God, by tradition, was written by the holy Evangelist Luke in the 15th year after the Ascension of the Lord at Gethsemane (48).

In the year 463 the image was transferred to Constantinople. By the intercession of the Jerusalem Icon of the MostHoly Mother of god the Byzantine army repulsed an invasion of the Skyths. In 988 the icon was transferred to Korsun and given to the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles prince Vladimir. When the people of Novgorod accepted Christianity, Saint Vladimir then sent them this image. Ivan the Terrible in 1571 transferred the icon to the Moscow Uspenie (Dormition) cathedral. During the time of the Napoleonic invasion of 1812 the original vanished and was replaced by an accurate copy.

The Yaroslav-Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God was the cell icon of the archimandrite of the Trinity-Sergiev Lavra, Antonii. On 12 October 1642 during the time of prayer he heard from the icon – the Smolensk Hodegetria – a voice: “Go, go to the limits of the city of Yaroslavl', to a newly-made monastery in My name”. Archimandrite Antonii sent this icon with the Monk Gersaim to the indicated monastery, being built in the forest, not far from Yaroslavl'. The wonderworking icon was set in the monastery church in the altar area.

The Rudensk Icon of the mother of God appeared in the year 1687 in the Rudno locale of Mogilevsk diocese. In 1712 the icon was transferred to the Florovsk Ascension monastery in Kiev, where now it is situated.

The Kaluzh Icon of the Mother of God appeared in the year 1748 (an account is located under 2 September). In 1812 many Russian and French soldiers beheld the image of the Kaluzh Mother of God, standing in the air. Thus also it was around Kaluga and Maloyaroslavl'. During the time of such appearances the Russian armies were always victorious. This vision was also granted the peasant Paraskeva Alekseeva.

© 1999 by translator Fr. S. Janos