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June 26th (VII - 9)

Icon of the saint of the day.

Icon of the Monk David of Thessalonika

Tikhvinsk Icon of the Mother of God (1383). Monk David of Soluneia (Thessalonika, + c. 540). Sainted Dionysii, Archbishop of Suzdal' (+ 1385). Uncovering of Relics of Monk Tikhon of Lukhovsk and Kostroma (1569). Monk John, Bishop of the Goths (VIII). Monk Anthyonos. Saint Pherapont. Martyred Brothers Peter and Paul, and Gallicanus, of Rome (IV). Nyametsk (1399), Sedmiezerna (XVII) and Lydda (Roman) Icons of the Mother of God.

The Tikhvonsk Icon of the Mother of God, according to tradition, is one of the icons written by the holy Disciple and Evangelist Luke. In the V Century it was transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople, where the Blakhernae church was built for it. In the year 1383, 70 years before the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, the icon disappeared from the church, and re-appeared amidst a radiant light over the waters of Lake Ladoga. Miraculously taken from place to place, it then remained near the city of Tikhvin. At the place of the appearance of the icon was built a wooden church in honour of the Uspenie-Dormition of the Mother of God. Through the zeal of GreatPrince Vasilii Ivanovich (1505-1533), in place of the wooden church was built a stone church. In 1560 by order of tsar Ivan the Terrible a men's monastery was established nearby the church, and enclosed by a stone wall. During the years 1613-1614 the Swedish army, having seized Novgorod, more than once tried to destroy the monastery, but by the intercession of the Mother of God the monastery was saved. Thus, one time, in sight of the nearby Swedish army, the monks decided to flee from the monastery taking with them the wonderworking icon, but they were not able to remove it from its place. This miracle halted the dispirited, and they remained at the monastery, hoping on the intercession of the Mother of God. The insignificant number of defenders of the monastery successfully repulsed the numerically greater enemy. The invading Swedes them encountered a numerous Russian army, coming from Moscow, like some heavenly host, and they turned to flight. Imperial emissaries arrived at the monastery after the miraculous victory over the Swedes. Taking along a copy of the wonderworking icon, they set off to the village of Stolbovo, 50 versts from Tikhvin, where on 10 February 1617 peace was concluded with the Swedes. The primary pledge of peace from the Russian side was on the transferred copy of the wonderworking icon. Afterwards this copy was taken to Moscow and placed in the Uspensk cathedral, and then at the request of the people of Novgorod, involved then in war with the Swedes, it was sent off to Novgorod and placed in the Sophia cathedral. The All-Russian feast of the Tikhvinsk Icon of the Mother of God, glorified by innumerable miracles, was established by the Church in memory of its miraculous appearance and the vanquishing of enemies through the intercession of the Mother of God.

The Monk David of Soluneia (Thessalonika) pursued asceticism at the monastery of the holy Martyrs Theodore and Mercurios. Afterwards, having settled near the city of Soluneia, he built himself an hut under an almond tree and lived in it for 70 years, being in constant prayer, keeping strict fast, and enduring heat and cold. The Monk David received from God the gift of wonderworking, and he healed many from sickness. The holy ascetic gave spiritual counsel to all who came to him. Having attained to passionlessness, he was like an angel in the flesh, and without harm he was able to take into his hands the hot coals for the incensing. The monk died in about the year 540.

Sainted Dionysii, Archbishop of Suzdal', in the world David, was tonsured at the Kievo-Pechersk monastery, from whence with a local blessing of an icon of the Mother of God from the founders Monks Antonii and Theodosii, he arrived at the Volga. Saint Dionysii dug out a cave not far from Nizhni-Novgorod and asceticised in total solitude. Brethren constantly thronged to the holy ascetic and in about the year 1335 he founded a monastery in honour of the Ascension-Voznesenie of the Lord. Among his students of Saint Dionysii were the Monks Evphymii of Suzdal' (Comm. 1 April) and Makarii of Zheltovodsk and Unzhensk (Comm. 25 July). In the year 1352 the holy elder sent twelve men from his brethren to "the upper cities and countryside, whom there God would bless" for the spiritual enlightening of the people and the organising of new monasteries. The monastery of Saint Dionysii exerted a deep charitable influence on the inhabitants of Nizhni-Novgorod. In the year 1371 the saint tonsured into monasticism the forty year old widow of prince Andrei Konstantinovich, an instance of which he accepted into monasticism "dignitaries: women, and widowers, and maidens".

In the year 1374 Saint Dionysii was deemed worthy of the dignity of bishop, and his years of service as bishop occurred during a remarkable period -- Russia was rising to cast off the Mongol-Tatar Yoke. On 31 March 1375 the Tatar military-chief, having been shown to the bishop's court by the enslaved inhabitants of Nizhni-Novgorod, shot off an arrow from his bow at Saint Dionysii. But the Lord preserved his chosen one, and the arrow struck only the bishop's mantle. In 1377, through the blessing and possibly the editorship of Saint Dionysii, there was compiled the Lavrentian Chronicle by the Monk Lavrentii, inspiring Russia in the struggle for freedom.

In 1379, preserving the integrity of the primal-bishop's cathedra, Sainted Dionysii was one of the bishops gathered in Moscow by order of the prince, and he came out against the election as metropolitan of the prince's protegee, the ill reputed archimandrite Mityaya.

In the same year of 1379 Saint Dionysii journeyed to Constantinople with a protest against the choice of Mityaya on grounds of his complicity with the heretical Strigolniki. The saint made a strong impression upon the Greeks by his sublime spiritual frame of mind and his profound knowledge of Holy Scripture. Patriarch Nilos, having termed the saint "a warrior of God and a spiritual man", wrote that he himself viewed him "at fasting and charity, and vigil, and prayers, and tears, and every other virtue". From Constantinople Saint Dionysii sent off to a Sobor-Council at Suzdal' two copies of the Hodegetria Icon of the Mother of God. In 1382 the sainted-bishop received from the patriarch the title of archbishop. Returning to Russia, the saint travelled to Pskov and Novgorod to struggle against the heresy of the Strigolniki. He visited Constantinople a second time in 1383 for discussion with the patriarch on questions about the governance of the Russian metropolitanate. In the year 1384 Saint Dionysii was made by patriarch Nilos "metropolitan for Russia". But upon his return to Kiev the saint was arrested on orders of the Kiev prince Vladimir Ol'gerdovich and subjected to imprisonment, where he died on 15 October 1385. The burial of the saint was in "the Kiev Cave of Great Antonii". The commemoration of Saint Dionysii on 26 June is celebrated because of his name in common with the Monk David of Soluneia, this being the name he carried in the world. In the Synodikon of the 1552 Nizhni-Novgorod Pechersk monastery, Saint Dionysii is called a "wonderworking monk".

The Monk John, Gothic Bishop: Under 19 May is the account about him.

The Holy Martyred Brothers John and Paul, and Gallicanus were illustrious Romans. Gallicanus had twice been chosen consul of Rome. The holy martyrs suffered under Julian the Apostate (361-363).

The Nyametsk Icon of the Mother of God was given as a gift by the Greek emperor Andronikes Paleologos to the Moldavian ruler Alexander the Voevoda, and then placed into the Moldavian Nyametsk Ascension monastery.

At this place afterwards, under the guidance of the Mother of God, were glorified many an ascetic of the Russian Church, under the lead of the great starets-elder, the schema-archimandrite Paisii Velichkovsky (1722-1794).

The Sedmiezerna (Smolensk) Icon of the Mother of God: Accounts about the icon are located under 13 October and 28 July.

The Lydda Icon of the Mother of God: The account is located under 12 March.

© 2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos



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