The Prophet Joel (800 B.C.) predicted the desolation of Jerusalem. He also prophesied that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all people, through the Savior of the world (Joel 2:28-32). The hymnographer Anatolius links Joel’s prophecy to the Nativity of the Lord. In the Praises at…
Martyr Varus lived in Egypt during the period of several persecutions against Christians (late third to early fourth century). Varus (Ouaros) was a military commander and secretly a Christian. He gave assistance to many of the persecuted and imprisoned Christians, and he visited the prisoners at…
Today we commemorate the transfer of the relics of Saint John, Abbot of Rila in Bulgaria (1238). The relics of Saint John were transferred from the city of Sredets [Sofia] to Trnovo, the capital of the Bulgarian realm, in the year 1238. See August 18 for his Life.
Saint Cleopatra and her son John came from the village of Edra near Mount Tabor in Palestine. She was a contemporary of the holy Martyr Varus and witnessed his voluntary suffering. After the execution, Saint Cleopatra brought the body of the holy martyr to her own country and buried him with…
Hieromartyr Sadoc was the hierarch of a Persian district. When the Persian emperor Sapor learned that Sadoc was preaching faith in Christ, he gave orders to arrest and imprison him together with 128 Christian believers. For several months they attempted to persuade the righteous martyrs to…
No information available at this time.
1. The Holy and Great Martyr Artemius.
This glorious saint was Egyptian by birth, and the commander-in-chief of the army of the Emperor Constantine the Great. When the victorious Cross, encircled by stars, appeared to the Emperor, Artemius also saw it, came to faith in Christ the Lord and was baptised. Later, in the time of the Emperor Constantius, Constantine's son, he was sent to Greece to take the relics of St Andrew and St Luke from Patras and Thebes respectively to Constantinople, which charge Artemius carried out with joy. After that, he was appointed governor and imperial representative in Egypt, in which appointment he remained throughout the reign of Constantius and for a certain time under Julian the Apostate. When this renegade Emperor went to war against the Persians, he stopped for a time in Antioch, and summoned Artemius and his army to join him there. Artemius went. At that time, the Emperor gave two Christian priests, Eugenius and Macarius, over to torture. Seeing this, St Artemius was profoundly alarmed, went to the Emperor and said to him: 'Why are you so inhumanly torturing these innocent and dedicated men, and why are you putting pressure on them to turn back from the Orthodox faith?' He also prophesied to the Emperor that his end was near. The furious Emperor sent the two priests into exile in Arabia, where they soon died, and stripped Artemius of his military rank, ordering that he be flogged and whipped. All wounded and covered with blood, Artemius was thrown into prison, where the Lord Christ Himself appeared to him, healing and comforting him. After that, the Emperor ordered that he be laid on a flat stone and that another stone be put on him, so crushing his body like a board. Finally, he was beheaded, in 362. The Emperor Julian then went out against the Persians and perished in a dishonourable way, as St Artemius had foretold.
2. Holy and Righteous Artemius.
Born in 1532, he was the son of Russian peasants, Cosmas and Apollinaria, from the village of Verkol near Dvinsk. Even at age of five, he was different from other children in his rare piety and meekness. When he was thirteen years old, he went with his father through a great forest, and died there of exposure. His grieving father, unable to dig a grave, covered the body with branches and went on his way. Twenty-eight years later, a man saw a strange light in the forest, went over to it and found the body of Artemius, whole and uncorrupt. It gave healing to many of the sick when they touched it. His holy relics are preserved in a monastery near Pinega, not far from Archangel.
3. Our Holy Father Gerasim the New.
From Trikala in the Peloponnese, of the Notaras family, he was born in 1509. He lived in asceticism on Athos and then in Palestine, where he once fasted for forty days. He then settled on the island of Kephallenia, where he founded a monastery for women. He brought rain by his prayers, healed the sick and had insight into the future. He entered into rest in the Lord on August 15th, 1579, being a wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death.
4. Our Holy Father, the New Martyr Ignatius.
From Zagora in Bulgaria, that famous Zagora that has given the Church so many holy ascetics and martyrs, he lived in asceticism in the skete of St John the Forerunner on Athos. He voluntarily put himself into the hands of the Turks to be tortured for Christ, and was hanged in Constantinople on October 8th, 1814. His relics have wonderworking power, and his head is preserved in the monastery of St Panteleimon.