April 7th (IV - 20)
Icon of the Marytr Kalliopios and St. Rufinus, Deacon
The Monks George the Confessor, Metropolitan of Mytilene (+ post 830); Serapion the Monastic; Monk Daniel of Pereslavl' (+ 1540). Martyrs Calliopios (+ 304), Rufinus, Acelina, and with them 200 Soldiers (+ c. 310); Procopios and Peter. Byzantine Icon of the Mother of God.
The Monk George, Metropolitan of Mytilene, from his youth led a monastic manner of life, having become especially accomplished in the virtue of wise-humility. In the reign of Leo the Isaurian (716-741) the saint underwent persecution from the iconoclasts and received the appellation Confessor.
During the years of the reign of the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos (780?797) Saint George was elevated onto the archbishopal cathedra of the city of Mytilene, situated on the island of Lesbos. The life of the saint was radiant with prudence and purity and resembled Angelic life. He possessed a gift of wonderworking, cast out unclean spirits and healed incurable diseases. The saint distinguished himself by compassion, and generously he helped all the needy. Towards the end of his life -- in the year 815, during the reign of the iconoclast Leo the Armenian (813-820), the holy archpastor was banished and sent to Chersonesus, where he died after the year 820. In the hour of his death over the city of Mytilene there shone a bright star in the heavens.
The Monk Serapion the Monastic: the account about him is located under 14 May.
The Monk Daniel of Pereslavl', -- in the world Dimitrii, was born about 1460 in the city of Pereslavl'-Zalessk from parents the pious Konstantin and Feodosia (in monasticism Thekla).
From his childhood, Daniel had a love for the pious life and Christian deeds. He took vows in the monastery of the Monk Paphnutii of Borovsk; in spiritual life he matured under the guidance of the Saint Leukii of Volokolamsk (Comm. 17 August). Afterwards in his native land he dedicated himself to the deed of love for neighbour: he buried the neglected, the poor, and those without family. The monk founded on the spot of the cemetery a monastery.
He died 7 April 1540 (his memory is also 30 December and 28 July).
The Holy Martyr Calliopios was born in Pamphylian Pergamum from the pious woman Theoklia, wife of a reknown senator. Theoklia was for a long time childless. She fervently prayed for the bestowing of a son, vowing to dedicate him to God.
Soon after the birth of her son Theoklia was widowed. She raised her son in the Christian faith. When Saint Calliopios reached adolescent age, a fierce persecution against Christians began. Theoklia, learning that a denunciation would be made against her son, dispatched him to Cilicia. When the saint arrived at Cilician Pompeiopolis, there issued forth from the city a celebration in honour of the pagan gods. They invited the youth to take part in the proceedings. He answered a refusal and explained himself to be a Christian. They reported this to the governor of the city Maximus. He summoned Saint Calliopios to him for trial and at first he attempted to persuade him to worship the gods, promising to match him up with his own daughter. After the decisive refusal of the youth, Maximus subjected him to terrible tortures. He gave orders to beat the martyr on the back with tin rods and on the stomach with ox-hide thongs. Finally, the governor gave orders to bind him to an iron wheel and to heat him over a slow fire. After the tortures, they threw the martyr Calliopios, still alive, into prison.
When Theoklia heard about the sufferings of her son, she wrote out a last-will, set free her slaves, distributed her riches to the poor, and hastened off to Saint Calliopios. The brave mother gave money to the guard and got into the prison to her son. There she encouraged him to endure suffering to the end for Christ.
When on the following day the saint at trial refused to renounce Christ, Maximus gave orders to crucify the martyr on a cross. The day of execution co-incided with Great Thursday, when is remembered the Last Supper of the Saviour with the disciples.
Theoklia recognised this and she besought the guard to crucify her son head downwards, since she considered it unworthy for him to be crucified like the Lord. Her wish was granted. The holy martyr hung on the cross until Great Friday and died in the year 304, on the day of remembrance of the death on the Cross of the Saviour.
Upon taking down the martyr from the cross Theoklia gave glory to the Saviour, embraced the lifeless body of her son and gave up her own spirit to God. Christians buried their bodies in a single grave.
The Holy Martyr Rufinus the Deacon, the Martyress Acelina and with them 200 Soldiers suffered in about the year 310 in the city of Sinope on the Black Sea during the reign of the emperor Maximian (305-311). When the holy deacon Rufinus was put into prison for confessing the Christian faith, the martyress Acelina showed concern. For this she was also placed under guard. In prison they converted to Christ by their miracles 200 soldiers, and all of them together were beheaded by the sword.
The Byzantine Icon of the Mother of God appeared on 7 April 732. It was transferred to Russia from Rome.
© 1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.