June 13th (VI - 26)
Icon of Sainted Antipater and Martyr Acelina
Martyrs: Acelina (+ 293); Antonina (+ c. 284-305); Diodoros of Emessa; Eustratios. Sainted Triphyllios, Bishop of Cypriot Leukyssa (+ c. 370). Monks: Andronik (+ 1395) and Savva (XV) of Moscow. Sainted Antipater, Bishop of Arabian Bostra (V). Monastics: James; Anna (+ 826) and her son Saint John.
The Holy Martyress Acelina, a native of the Phoenician city of Byblos, suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Her parents raised her in Christian piety. When the girl was but 12 years of age, she persuaded a pagan friend to convert to Christ. One of the servants of the imperial governor Volusian made a denunciation, that she was teaching her peers not to honour the religion of their fathers. The girl firmly confessed her faith in Christ in front of the governor and said, that she would not renounce Him. Volusian tried by persuasion and by flattery to sway the young confessor, but seeing her assuredness, he then gave orders to hand her over for torture. They struck her upon the face, and then, having been stripped they whipped her. The torturer mockingly asked: "Where then is thy God? Let Him come and take thee out of my hands". The saint answered: "The Lord is invisibly here together with me, and the more I suffer, all the more shalt He give me strength and endurance".
With red-hot rods they drilled at the head of the martyress at the ears. The holy martyress fell down as though dead. The torturer decided that the girl had actually died, and he gave orders to throw out her body outside the city for devouring by dogs. By night an holy Angel appeared to Saint Acelina, roused her and said: "Arise and be well. Go and denounce Volusian, that he himself and his intent are thus come to naught before God". The martyress, offering up praise to God, and having been restored unharmed, went to the court of the governor and stood before Volusian. Seeing Saint Acelina, Volusian in fright called for his servants and ordered them to keep watch over her until morning. In the morning he delivered a death sentence against Saint Acelina on the grounds of being a sorceress and not obeying the imperial decrees. When they led the saint to execution, she prayed and gave thanks to God, for having granted her to suffer for His Holy Name. A voice was heard in answer to her prayer, summoning her to the Heavenly Kingdom, after which the martyress gave up her spirit to God (+ 293). The executioner feared to disobey the orders of the governor, and although already dead, he cut off her head. Christians piously buried the body of the martyress. Later on, her relics were taken to Constantinople and placed within a church named for her.
The Holy Martyress Antonina suffered during the III Century under Diocletian (284-305) in the city of Nicea. They tortured her which way -- they burnt at her with fire, they put her on a red-hot plate, they bored with red-hot rods into her hands and feet and they threw her in prison, where she languished for two days. The torments did not break the spirit of Saint Antonina, and to her very death she confessed her faith in Christ. The threw the holy martyress into the sea.
Sainted Triphyllios, Bishop of Leukyssa, was born in Constantinople, and he received his education at Berit (Beirut, in Lebanon). He was very intelligent and eloquent. In spite of this, the saint chose as his guide a man not bookish nor learned, but of profound holiness -- Sainted Spyridon of Trimiphunteia (+ 348, Comm. 12 December). The emperor Constantine II (337-340) fell grievously ill and, having received no help from the doctors, he turned with fervent prayer to God. In a dream he saw an Angel, directing him to a gathering of saintly hierarchs. Pointing out two of them, the Angel said that only through them could he receive healing. Constantine circulated an imperial edict throughout all the districts, commanding the bishops to gather. Saint Spyridon also received this order. Together with his disciple Saint Triphyllios, he set out to the emperor. The sick one immediately recognised them as the healers pointed out by the Angel. He bowed to them and asked them to pray for his health. Saint Spyridon with a prayer touched the head of the emperor, and he became well. Saint Triphyllios was charmed by the beautiful palace, the majestic figure of the emperor, and the pomp of palace life. Saint Spyridon said to this: "Why art thou astonished? Doth then this lustre make the emperor any more righteous? All of them -- emperors and dignitaries -- will alike die and stand together with the very poorest before the judgement-seat of God. One ought to seek after the eternal blessings and Heavenly glories".
Soon Saint Triphyllios was made bishop of the city of Leukyssa on Cyprus. He often visited with Saint Spyridon. One time they passed together through an area of vineyards and gardens of especial beauty and abundance, named Parimnos. Saint Triphyllios, attracted by the beauty of nature, began to consider how they might explore this land. Saint Spyridon discerned the thoughts of Saint Triphyllios and said: "Why dost thou incessantly think about earthly and transitory blessings? Our habitation and riches art in Heaven, to which we ought to strive". Thus did Saint Spyridon constantly lead his student towards spiritual perfection, which Saint Triphyllios attained through the prayers of his preceptor. Saint Triphyllios had a charitable soul, an heart without malice, right faith and love towards all, and many other virtues.
One time a Council of bishops assembled on Cyprus. The father of the Council requested that Saint Triphyllios, known for his erudition and eloquence, give an edifying speech to the people. Speaking about the healing of the paralytic by the Lord (Mk. 2 : 11). in place of the word "cot" he used the word "bed". Impatient with the imprecise rendering of the Gospel text, Saint Spyridon roused himself and said to Saint Triphyllios: "Art thou better than He that spake "cot", that thou be ashamed of His wording?" -- and abruptly he left the church. Thus did Saint Spyridon give Saint Triphyllios a lesson in humility, so that he would not get puffed up with pride over the talent of eloquence bestown on him. Saint Triphyllios wisely shepherded his flock. From the means left him by his mother, he built a monastery at Leukyssa. The saint died in old age in about the year 370.
At the beginning of the XII Century the Russian pilgrim Hegumen Daniel saw the relics of Saint Triphyllios on Cyprus.
The Nun Anna and her son Saint John lived in Byzantium, and Saint Anna was the daughter of a deacon of the Blakhernae church in Constantinople. After the death of her husband, dressed in men's clothing and using the name Euthymian, together with her son Saint John she began to pursue asceticism in one of the Bythinian monasteries, near Olympos. The Nun Anna died in Constantinople in 826.
Her memory is celebrated a second time on 29 October.
On this day is celebrated also the memory of 10,000 Martyrs, beheaded by the sword for Christ. The year of their death is unknown.
© 1999 by translator Fr S Janos