January 3rd (I - 16)
Icon of the Prophet Malachi and Martyr Gordius
Prophet Malachi (400 B.C.). Martyr Gordias (IV). Martyress Irene. Saints Indicus and Paula the Virgin.
The Holy Prophet Malachi lived 400 years before the Birth of Christ, during the time of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity. Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets, wherefore the holy fathers call him "the sealing-shut of the prophets". Manifesting himself an image of spiritual goodness and piety, he astounded the nation and was called Malachiei, i.e. an angel or messenger. In the Canon of Scriptural Books is included also his prophetic book, in which he upbraids the Jews, foretelling the coming of Jesus Christ and His Forerunner, and also the Last Judgement (Mal. 3: 1-5; 4: 1-6).
The Martyr Gordias was born at the end of the III Century in the city of Caesarea Cappadocia into a Christian family. Coming of age, he entered military service, and having displayed valour and military skill, he was made a centurion. During the time of persecution of Christians at the beginning of the IV Century, he left the world and settled in the wilderness, so as to prepare himself for the good deed of confessing the Name of Christ the Saviour. In the year 320 Gordias openly came forward before the prefect of the city in defense of Christians. They arrested him and after terrible torments they beheaded him.
© 1998 by translator Fr S Janos