August 14th (VIII - 27)
Icon of the Prophet Micah
Pre-Feast of Dormition (Uspenie) of the MostHoly Mother of God. Prophet Micah (from the Twelve Minor Prophets, VIII Century B.C.). Monk Theodosii (Feodosii) of Pechersk (Transfer of Relics, 1091). Monk Arkadii of Vyazemsk and Novotorzhsk (XI). PriestMartyr Marcellus, Bishop of Apameia (+ c. 389). Martyr Ursicius in Illyria (+ c. 305-313). Martyr Lucius the Soldier. Martyr Simeon of Trapezund (+ 1653). Icons of the Mother of God: "Conversing" ("Besedna") and of Narva (1558).
The Prophet Micah, the 6th of the Twelve Minor Prophets, was descended from the Tribe of Judah and was a native of the city of Morastha, to the south of Jerusalem, wherefore he was called a Morasthite. His prophetic service began around the year 778 before the Birth of Christ and continued for almost 50 years under the kings of Judah -- Joatham, Akhaz, and Righteous Hezekiah (721-691 B.C., Comm. 28 August).
He was a contemporary of the Prophet Isaiah. His denunciations and predictions were in regard to the separate kingdoms both of Judah and of Israel. He foresaw the misfortunes, threatening the kingdom of Israel before its destruction, and to Judah, during the incursions under the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib. To him belongs a prophecy about the birth of the Saviour of the world: "And thou, Bethlehem, house of Euphratha, though small wilt be in the thousands of Judah, from thee to Me wilt come an eldest, that will be King in Israel, Whose coming forth is from the beginning of days forever" (Mic. 5: 2). From the words of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 26: 18-19), the Jews evidently were afraid to kill the Prophet Micah. His relics were discovered in the IV Century after the Birth of Christ at Baraphsatia, through a revelation to the bishop of Eleutheropolis, Zeuinos.
The Monk Theodisii (Feodosii) of Pechersk --the account about him is located under 3 May.
The Monk Arkadii of Vyazemsk and Novotorzhsk -- the account about him is located under 13 December.
The PriestMartyr Marcellus, Bishop of Apameia, was born of illustrious parents on the island of Cyprus. Having received a fine education, he occupied an high civil office, giving all to marvel at his purity of life, mildness, kindness and eloquence. In about the year 375, having left behind his wife and children, the saint devoted himself to a wilderness-monastic life in Syria. The people of Apameia, having gotten him to come to the city on some practical matter, chose him as bishop. From the account of Theodorit of Cyr it is known about him, that having received permission from the holy emperor Saint Theodosius the Great (379-395) to destroy a strongly built temple of Jupiter at Apameia, the saint was puzzled on how to accomplish this. A certain worker promised to help him. He undermined three of the huge columns, propping them up for the while with olive wood, and then he tried to set them afire, but the wood would not burn. When Saint Marcellus learned about this, he made in church the lesser order of the Blessing of Water, and he commanded that this water be faithfully sprinkled about the wood. After this the wood burned quickly, the columns fell down and the whole pagan temple collapsed in upon itself. When soldiers near Aulona in the Apameia district demolished still another pagan temple, the saint, watching from a distance, was seized by pagans and thrown into a fire (+ c. 389). The killers were found, and the sons of the saint wanted to take revenge, but the Local Council forbade them this, decreeing that it would be wrong to avenge suchlike a death as the saint had received, in that for such one mustneeds give thanks to God.
The "Conversing" ("Besedna") Icon of the Mother of God is so named since it depicts the Mother of God and Saint Nicholas of Myra conversing with the sacristan Georgii. This event occurred soon after the appearance of the Tikhvinsk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God, in 1383, when the MostHoly Mother of God Herself commanded sacristan Georgii to say, that they should place a wooden rather than metal cross over the newly-constructed temple in Her honour at Tikhvin. On the place of this vision was built a chapel in honour of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. The chapel burned several times (the first time was in 1390 simultaneously with the church, in which was housed the Tikhvinsk Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God). In 1515 a wooden church was built and a monastery founded in honour of this holy icon.
The Narva Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God became famous in the year 1558, when the Russian army made their assault on the city of Narva. In one of the houses where earlier Russian merchants had lived, drunken Germans grabbed hold of an icon of the Mother of God that had been left behind. Mocking at the holy thing, they threw it into a fire under a kettle, in which they were brewing beer. Flames shot out from the kettle and engulfed the roof of the house. At this very moment a storm blew up, and the conflagration spread throughout all the city. Taking advantage of the confusion, the Russian army made its assault and took the city. The Wonderworking Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God, and with it an icon of Saint Nicholas, was found amidst the ashes unharmed.
© 2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos