Clicking here goes to information on the icon.Welcome to the St. Luke Web Page.
Search the site.Listen to Father Borichevsky's restored radio programsSee What St. Luke Orthodox Church has planned.Visit and sign our guest book.Contact the St. Luke Orthodox Church Web Development Team.
Find something on the site in a hurry.
St. Lukes Orthodox Church Home PageDonate Now!Shop for Orthodox goods from your Computerchurchdirectory Pages that deal with St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church. What's the news at St. Lukes.View all the previous and current Evangelist newsletters.View the Sunday bulletin.Information about St. Luke Orthodox Church including the Mission and Vision statements. Pages for 'keeping in touch' with God. Information on prayers and prayingView the prayer of the week and all other previos prayers of the week.Need to pray for something? What is the Orthodox Church and how/why do Orthodox Christians worship? What is the Orthodox Church of America?Who were the Saints, and why do we honor them?Find and explore many different liturgical texts we have available, including the Divine LiturgyWhat is Pascha?  See what it's like at St. Luke's.How is Orthodoxy playing a role in the present times?Learn what are icons and how are they used in the Orthodox Church today.BellsSee what we have to offer!Current Issues Pages for Organizations of St. Lukes. Christian Education, Youth Group, Music, Church Resource Center, Adult Education, and Junior Olympics.Maintenance, New Building, Strategic Planning, Cell Phone Tower, Inventory, Cemetery/Memorial Book, and Historian.Outreach, Charities, Internet, Evangelist Newsletter, Media, Prison, Sanctity of Life, and Mission.Liturgical, Altar Servers, Bell Ringers, Cemetery, Readers, Greeters, Choir, and Vestments.Fellowship, Supply Coordinator, Prayer, Women's Ministry, New Americans, Sunshinem, Flowers, and Vestments. Some stuff Study the bibleSearch the bibleOrthodoxy on the lighter side...Words of Wisdom...If you've got the taste for great Orthodox foods, this is the place to be.Children friendly section of the pageMessages



March 4th (III - 17)

Icon of the saint of the day.

Icon of St. Gerasimos of Jordon

Monk Gerasimos at Jordan (+ 475). Monk Gerasim of Vologda (+ 1178). MonkMartyrs Joasaph of Snetnogorsk and Vasilii of Mirozhsk, Pskov (+ 1299). Nobleborn Prince Vasilii (Vasil'ko) of Rostov (+ 1238). Nobleborn Prince Georgii (George, Yurii) Vsevolodovich (+ 1238). Nobleborn Prince Daniel (Daniil) of Moscow (+ 1303). Martyrs: Paul, his sister Juliania, Quadratus, Acacius and Stratonicus (+ c. 273). Monk James the Faster (VI). Transfer of Relics of Nobleborn Prince Vyacheslav of Czechia (+ 938). Sainted Gregory, Bishop of Assa (+ 1150). Sainted Gregory, Bishop of Cypriot Constantium.

The Monk Gerasimos was a native of Lycia (Asia Minor). From his early years he was distinguished for his piety. Having then accepted monasticism, the monk withdrew into the depths of the Thebaid wilderness (in Egypt). Thereafter, in about the year 450, the monk arrived in Palestine and settled at the Jordan, where he founded a monastery.

For a certain while Saint Gerasimos was tempted by the heresy of Eutykhios and Dioskoros, which acknowledged in Jesus Christ only the Divine nature, but not His human nature (i.e. the Monophysite heresy). The Monk Euthymios the Great (Comm. 20 January) helped him to return to the true faith.

At the monastery the Monk Gerasimos established a strict monastic rule. He spent five days of the week in solitude, occupying himself with handicrafts and prayer. On these days the wilderness dwellers did not eat cooked food, nor even kindle a fire, but rather ate only dry bread, roots and water. On Saturday and Sunday all gathered at the monastery for Divine Liturgy and to commune the Holy Mysteries of Christ. In the afternoon, taking with them a supply of bread, tubers, water and an armload of date-palm branches for weaving into baskets, the wilderness dwellers returned to their own cells. Each had only old clothes and a mat, upon which he slept. In exiting their cells, the door was never secured, so that anyone coming by could enter, and rest, or take along necessities.

The Monk Gerasimos himself attained an high level of asceticism. During Great Lent he ate nothing until the very day of the All-Radiant Resurrection of Christ, when he communed the Holy Mysteries. Going out into the wilderness for the whole of Great Lent, the Monk Gerasimos took along with him his beloved disciple Blessed Kyriakos (Comm. 29 September), whom the Monk Euthymios had sent off to him.

At the time of the death of Saint Euthymios the Great, the Monk Gerasimos saw how Angels carried up the soul of the departed off to Heaven. Taking Kyriakos with him, the monk immediately set off to the monastery of Saint Euthymios and consigned his body to earth.

The Monk Gerasimos himself died peacefully, wept over by brethren and disciples. Before his death, a lion had aided the Monk Gerasimos in his tasks, and upon the death of the elder it too died at his grave and was buried nearby. And therefore the lion is depicted on icons of the saint, at his feet.

The Monk Gerasim, First Vologda Wonderworker, accepted monastic tonsure on the day of 4 March at the Kiev Gniletsk Uspenie monastery, having been attracted to the place of the caves, where the Monk Theodosii (Feodosii, Comm. 3 May) secluded himself during the time of Great Lent.

Out of obedience to the brethren, the Monk Gerasim accepted the dignity of priestmonk. In imitation of the exploits of the fathers of old, the monk felt the pull to Northern Rus' and he arrived at the River Vologda (19 August 1147), on the right bank of which he blessed the emerging settlement, "foretelling that here would be a great city". The saint chose for his dwelling place the dense virgin forest, separated from the settlement by the not large Kaisarova creek. There the monk built himself an hut and in the tranquil solitude he gave himself over to contemplation of God, unceasing prayer and work. He built a church in the Name of the MostHoly Trinity, and under him there came to be the first monastery in the North, named for the MostHoly Trinity. The monastery served in the spiritual enlightening of the surrounding peoples.

The monk reposed peacefully to the Lord on 4 March 1178, on the same day as his monastic tonsure and his monastic name-day in common with the Monk Gerasimos.

The Holy MonkMartyrs Vasilii of Mirozhsk and Joasaph of Snetnogorsk suffered under the Germans at two of the most ancient of the Pskov monasteries, during the XIII Century. The Monk Vasilii directed the Saviour-Transfiguration Mirozhsk monastery, co-founded in about the year 1156 by Sainted Nyphontii, Bishop of Novgorod (Comm. 8 April), and by the Monk Avraamii (Abraham) of Mirozhsk (Comm. 24 September). The Monk Joasaph was hegumen (and according also to some Pskov Saint-accounts, the founder) of the monastery in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God on Mount Snatna. Much work and worry had been exerted by the ascetics for both the outer and inner welfare of the monasteries. In accord with the strict rule of monastic common-life, introduced into his monastery by the Monk Joasaph, the life of the monks was filled with prayer, abstinence and work. (Almost 90 years after the death of the Monk Joasaph, his monastic rule was re-introduced in the new monastic ustav (rule) of the Snetnogorsk monastery by the Suzdal' archbishop Dionysii). The Snetnogorsk monastery traced its origins from the efforts of the Monk Evphrosyn of Pskovsk (Comm. 15 May) and the Monk Savva of Krypetsk (Comm. 28 August).

Both these monasteries were situated outside the city walls and did not have any defenses. On 4 March 1299, the Germans fell upon Pskov and burned the Mirozhsk and Snetnogorsk monasteries. During the time of the conflagration of the churches, the Monks Vasilii and Joasaph accepted an agonising death together with the other monks. There was then at that time much suffering in the city and for the monks of other monasteries, and also for the women and children, -- remarks the chronicler, -- but "through the prayers of the holy monk-martyrs, the Lord preserved the fighting-men". Under the lead of the Pskov prince, Saint Dovmont-Timothei (Comm. 20 May), they came out against the enemy and at the banks of the Pskova River, near the church of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, they defeated the invaders.

The Monks Vasilii and Joasaph were buried with their co-ascetics beneathe crypts at the churches of their monasteries. The venerable head and part of the relics of the Monk Joasaph were preserved in the open in a special reliquary in the temple of the Snetnogorsk monastery. Holy Prince Dovmont "from his rightful inheritance" built at the Snetnogorsk monastery a stone church in place of the one that had burned, and he much facilitated the restoration of monastic life at the ruined monasteries.

Soon after the martyrs end of the Monks Vasilii and Joasaph followed their churchly glorification at Pskov. On the parchment Pskov Prologue of the XIV-XV Centuries, their memory is set under 5 March. But in the Pskov Chronicle and old Pskov synodikons (Saint-lists), the day of the blessed death of the holy monk-martyrs is indicated as 4 March, and on this day is made their memory at present. Suffering together with them, the chronicle names also the presbyter Joseph, and the Prologue -- the presbyter Konstantin.

Holy Nobleborn Prince Vasilii (Vasil'ko) of Rostov belonged in lineage to the Suzdal' Monomashichi, famed in Russian history. The saint's great-grandfather was Yurii Dolgoruky, and his grandfather was Great-prince Vsevolod III "Bol'shoe Gnezdo" ("Big?Nest", + 1212), brother to Saint Andrei Bogoliubsky (+ 1174, Comm. 4 July), who had been heir to and continuer of Saint Andrei Bogoliubsky's work. From Vladimir-on-Klyazma, which became the capital of the old Rostovo-Suzdal' principality, Vsevolod "Big-Nest" single-handedly set the course of affairs of the whole of Great Rus'. The "Lay of Igor's Campaign" ("Slovo o polku Igoreve") says of him, that he could "splash the Volga with oars, and the Don with helmets bail out".

Saint Vasil'ko -- was the oldest of the fledglings of the "Big Nest". The oldest grandson of Vsevolod from his oldest son Konstantin, -- Saint Vasil'ko (Vasilii, Basil) was born on 7 December 1208 in Rostov, where his father ruled as prince. He spent there his childhood, and in 1216, when Konstantin Vsevolodovich became Great-prince of Vladimir, Rostov was apportioned to Vasil'ko (he was then eight years old) as his princely appanage-realm to rule himself.

Military valour, sacred duty of service to country, the sense of justice and the heeding of one's elders -- all these are traditional features of a Russian princely defender of the land, and all were present in Vasil'ko. The saint's father, Great-prince Konstantin, died on 2 February 1218, when Vasil'ko was not yet ten years of age. The guide of the young Rostov prince then became his uncle -- the Vladimir Great-prince Saint Yurii (+ 1238, Comm. 4 February). For twenty years Prince Yurii ruled the Vladimir land, and for all these years Vasil'ko was his closest friend and confidant. The chronicles take note of the vibrantly handsome figure of Vasil'ko, his bright and majestic glance, his daring in the trapping of wild game, his beneficence, his mind and deep studiousness, together with his mildness and good-naturedness in relations with the boyar-nobles: "For whoever occasioned to serve him, whoever ate his bread and drank the cup with him, that one moreover could never be the servant of another prince". In the year 1219 Vasil'ko participated in a campaign of the Vladimir-Suzdal' forces against the Volga Bulgars, and in 1221 -- in a campaign to the mouth of the River Oka, where Nizhni Novgorod then held Saint Yurii hostage.

In 1223 the first Tatars (Mongols) appeared on the Southern steppes, "an unknown people", coming out of the depths of Asia. Their first victims were the Polovetsians allied with Rus'. The Russian princes, conjointly with the Polovetsian khans (many of whom had accepted Holy Baptism), decided to give resistance to the plunderers of the steppes before they reached the Russian Land. Saint Vasil'ko headed an auxiliary detachment, sent by Great-prince Yurii for participation in the All-Russian steppe campaign. The enemy showed up sooner than they expected. And the centuries old division of appenage principalities proved itself incapable of effective conjoint action in large scale war. The detachment of Vasil'ko was not in time for the decisive battle, and from Chernigov came the sad news of the destruction of the Russian forces at the River Kal'ka on 16 June 1223. This was a bad omen, and from the East loomed the storm. Vasil'ko with his company returned to Rostov.

In 1227 (or 1228) Vasil'ko Konstantinovich married, taking as his wife Maria -- daughter of Saint Michael of Chernigov (+ 1246, Comm. 20 September). Vasil'ko's uncle, Saint Yurii, had earlier married the sister of this prince, Saint Michael [i.e. Vasil'ko's uncle Yurii had married Maria's aunt]. In 1231 was born Vasil'ko's oldest son, Boris.

Over Rus' the storm-clouds thickened. On 3 May 1230, wrote the chronicler, "the earth did shake during Liturgy", and famine and pestilence that year came upon Rus'. In 1232 the Tatars made winter camp, having barely just reached the capital of the Volga Bulgars. Life took its course, and Prince Yurii in 1236 married off his sons Vladimir and Mstislav, and Vasil'ko made merry at their weddings. All of them however had little more than a year yet to live -- the Tatars having already taken the Volga-Bulgarian land.

In 1237 the Tatar whirlwind broke upon Rus'. In December Ryazan fell under the blows of Batu. Prince Yurii had decided not to throw his forces over to aid it, since he was faced with the difficult defense of the Vladimir land. The Tatars offered him peace, and he was prepared to negotiate. But the conditions of the peace -- tribute and vassal dependence under the khan, were unacceptable. "A glorious fight, -- decided the prince, -- is better than a shameful peace". The first battle with the Tatars was at Kolomna, and Vsevolod Yur'evich commanded the troops, but they were cut to pieces. The enemy turned then towards Moscow, which they then captured and burned. Another son of Yurii, Vladimir, leading the defense of Moscow, fell captive.

Saint Yurii and his faithful companion Saint Vasil'ko were resolute to fight "for the Orthodox Christian faith" against the "godlessly vile Tatars". Having organised his defenses and leaving at Vladimir his sons Vsevolod and Mstislav, Prince Yurii went off beyond the Volga to gather new troops to replace those annihilated by Batu.

With him were his nephews -- Saint Vasil'ko of Rostov and his company and his brothers, Vsevolod and Vladimir Konstantinovich. The great-prince awaited the arrival of his brothers -- Yaroslav and Svyatoslav with their forces.

On Meatfare Saturday, 3 February 1238, quickly and without hindrance upon the wintry roads, the Tatar army came nigh to Vladimir. Despite heroic defense, the fate of the city was sealed. Bishop Mitrophan for spiritual strength tonsured into the angelic form all the princes and princesses remaining in the city. On 7 February the city fell. The final outpost of the Vladimirites became the Uspenie cathedral, repository of the chief most holy thing in the Russian Land -- the wonderworking Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. The Tatars piled wood and kindling around the cathedral and made a tremendous blazing bon-fire. In the fire and in the smoke, together with the thousand defenseless women and children, perished also Bishop Mitrophan and all the family of holy Prince Yurii: his wife Agathia, daughter Theodora, daughters-in-law Maria and Christina, and the infant grandson Dimitrii. His sons Vsevolod and Mstislav, together with the earlier captured Vladimir, were subjected to tortures and then slaughtered "before the eyes of the khan". (In several of the old Mesyatseslav Saint-accounts, -- all these are listed among the Saints).

Saint Yurii had been with his forces near Yaroslavl'. Learning about the destruction of the capital and the death of those near and dear to him, in the words of the chronicle, "he did lament in a loud voice with tears, bewailing as becometh the Orthodox Christian faith and Church". "Better were I dead, than to live yet in this world, -- said he, ?- since I alone do remain". Saint Vasil'ko, arriving timely with the Rostov company, encouraged him to continue on with the military effort.

On 4 March 1238 occurred the decisive battle at the River Sita. The Tatars managed in an unexpected manner to encircle the Russian army. A slaughter ensued. Few Russian warriors came out alive from this terrible battle, but the enemy paid an expensive price for its victory. Saint Yurii was cut down in distinguished combat, and the wounded Vasil'ko they brought to the headquarters of Batu.

The Tatars demanded that he "follow their vile customs, be subject to their will and fight for them". With anger the holy prince refused the thought of betraying his Rodina ("Native-Country") and Holy Orthodoxy. "In no way can ye take from me the Christian faith", -- said the holy prince, reminiscent of the ancient Christian confessors. "And much they did torture him, and then did kill him, felling him in the Shernsk woods". Thus did holy Prince Vasil'ko commit his soul to God, resembling in death the holy Passion-Bearer Boris, that first of the Rostov princes, whom he had copied in life. And just as with Saint Boris, Saint Vasil'ko was not yet even thirty years of age.

The Rostov bishop Kirill, going out on the field of carnage, gave burial to the fallen Orthodox warriors, and he sought out the body of holy Prince Yurii (they did not succeed in finding his cut-off head in the mass of broken bodies). And he conveyed the venerable remains to Rostov -- to the Uspenie cathedral. The body of Saint Vasil'ko was found in the Shernsk woods by a priest's son and conveyed to Rostov. And there the wife of the prince, his children, bishop Kirill and all the Rostov populace met the body of their beloved prince with bitter wailing, and they buried him beneathe the arches of the cathedral church.

Describing the burial of Prince Vasil'ko, the chronicler characterised him thus: "The multitude of Orthodox people did weep bitterly, in beholding a departed father and nourisher of orphans, a great comforter of the saddened, and for the begloomed -- the setting of a luminous star. For with all the church clergy God did grant him remission in heartfelt eyes, and all the church people, and the poor, and the grieving -- were as with a beloved father... By his martyr's blood was washed away his transgressions together with that of his brethren".

The people saw an especial sign of God's mercy in this, that the two princely comrades-in-arms were buried side by side in the Rostov cathedral church: "For behold the wonder, that in death God hath put together their bodies". (Later on, the relics of holy Prince Yurii were transferred to the restored Vladimir Uspenie cathedral).

The Church venerates Saints Vasil'ko and Yurii as ascetic Passion-Bearers, and heroic defenders of the Russian Land. Their holy example has inspired Russian soldiers in the fight against hostile invaders. The most detailed account about the life and deeds of holy Princes Vasil'ko and Yurii is preserved in the Lavrent'ev (Laurentian) Chronicle, written by the monk Lavrentii with the blessing of Sainted Dionysii, Archbishop of Suzdal', in the year 1377 -- three years before the Kulikovo Pole battle.

Holy Nobleborn Prince Georgii (Yurii) Vsevolodovich: the account is located under 4 February.

Holy Nobleborn Prince Daniel (Daniil) of Moscow was born at Vladimir in the year 1261. He was the fourth son of Saint Alexander Nevsky (Comm. 30 August and 23 November) and Righteous Vassa. Two years after birth he lost his father. The date of his mother's repose is not indicated in the chronicles; it is known only, that she was buried in the church in honour of the Nativity of Christ at the Vladimir Uspenie monastery (the Princess monastery), and the people in the surroundings venerated her as "Righteous" ("Pravedna").

In 1272 holy Prince Daniel received as his allotted portion the city of Moscow with its adjacent lands. The holy prince built on the banks of the River Moskva (Moscow) a church (and alongside it a monastery) in honour of his same-name patron saint, the Monk Daniel the Pillar-Dweller (Comm. 11 December). The Moscow principality was during this period small and unobtrusive. While growing up, holy Prince Daniel strengthened and expanded it, not in manners unjust or coercive, but instead benevolent and peace-loving. In Rus' it was a time of unrest. Fratricidal strife amongst the appanage princes was rife. And often, thanks to holy Prince Daniel, and his incessant striving for unity and peace in the Russian Land, bloodshed was averted. In 1293 his brother, the Great-prince Alexander Alexandrovich, together with Tatars summoned from the Horde and headed by Diuden ("the Diudenev Host"), laid waste to Russian cities: Murom, Suzdal', Kolomna, Dmitrov, Mozhaisk, Tver'. Prince Daniel decided to adjoin them to Moscow, to save their people from perishing. There was not the strength for resistance. Together with his people, the prince braced himself for terrible destruction and pillaging. Standing up for his rights, Saint Daniel was compelled to come out against his brother near a place, called Yur'evo Tolchische ("Yur'evo Threshing-Mill"), but here also the yearning for peace won out in him, and bloodshed was averted.

In 1300, when the Ryazan prince Konstantin Romanovich, having summoned Tatars to his aid, was occupied in secret preparations for a sudden assault on the lands of the Moscow principality, Prince Daniel went with an army to Ryazan, and beating the enemy, he took captive Konstantin and destroyed a multitude of Tatars. This was a first victory over the Tatars, though not a tremendous victory, but it was noteworthy nonetheless -- as a first push towards freedom. Having beaten the Ryazan prince and scattered his confederates the Tatars, holy Prince Daniel did not take advantage of his victory to seize foreign lands or take booty, as was the accepted custom during these times, but rather he displayed an example of true non-covetousness, love and fraternity. The holy prince never resorted to arms to seize the lands of others, nor did he ever snatch away the property of other princes either by force or by treachery. And for this the Lord saw fit to expand the boundaries of his princely realm. Ioann Dimitrievich, prince of Pereslavl'-Zalessk, a nephew of Daniel, was gentle and pious and benevolent towards the poor, and he esteemed and loved his uncle; dying childless in 1302, he bequeathed his principality to Saint Daniel. The Pereslavlsk lands together with Dmitrov were, after Rostov, foremost in number of inhabitants, with corresponding fortification befitting a major city. Pereslavl'-Zalessk was well protected on all sides. But the holy prince remained faithful to Moscow and did not transfer the capital of his princedom to the stronger and more significant seat of the Pereslavl' of this period. This annexation moved Moscow up to be numbered as the most significant principality. And here was set in place the principle of the unification of the Russian Land into a single powerful realm.

How wondrous over the expanse of ages was clearly manifest the Providential Will of God concerning the Russian Land and its destiny!

Grateful in remembrance of the constant Blessing of the Hodegetria ("Way-Guide Mother of God) both in his personal life, and also in the life of the Russian realm, Saint Daniel's father -- Saint Alexander Nevsky, had expressed it in the words: "God is not in might, but in right!".

In 1303 Saint Daniel fell seriously ill. He assumed the monastic great-schema and commanded that he be buried at the Danilov monastery. Through deep humility he wanted to be buried not within the church, but in the common monastery cemetery. The holy prince died on 4 March.

Within the passage of less than 30 years after the repose of holy Prince Daniel, the Danilov monastery founded by him was transformed into the Moscow Kremlin, the church was transformed into a parish church, and the cemetery became non-monastic. During the time of Great-prince Ivan III (1462-1505), the Monk-prince Daniel gave reminders of himself to his forgetful descendents. As a stranger he appeared to a youth attendant on the great-prince and said: "Be not afraid of me -- I was a Christian and the master of this place, my name is Daniel Prince of Moscow, and by the will of God I am here. Tell about me to Great-prince Ioann (Ivan) saying: thou delightest thyself while yet having forgotten me, but God hath not forgotten me". And after this it was that the great-prince established the singing of cathedral panikhidas for his ancestral princes. During the time tsar Ivan the Terrible, at the grave of Saint Daniel was healed the dying son of a barge merchant. The tsar, struck by the miracle, renovated the ancient Danilov monastery and established a yearly church procession, made by the metropolitan to the place of burial of the holy prince, serving there a panikhida.

In 1652 holy Monk-prince Daniel was glorified with the uncovering of his incorrupt relics, which on 30 August were transferred to the church in honour of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh OEcumenical Council.

The holy relics were placed in a reliquary "to the glorifying of the Holy Trinity and for the healing of the infirm". The Moscow metropolitan Platon (+ 1812), in the Vita of the holy prince compiled by him, writes: "This original founder laid the foundation of present-day majestic Moscow, going about this with quiet steps upon a small foot-path. And thus as with any edifice, built not with extreme haste but the rather instead with great artifice and skill, doth receive a particular solidity and doth stand indestructible for a long time; and just as a tall tree growing for many a century, and having started first of all with a small sprout, and thickeneth little by little, with its branches spreading about far around, so also was it needful for this city to grow from the small, but solid root, in order that its first glimmer not beshadow the eyes of the envious, and that initially it not be disturbed or felled early on, but rather grow up to its true height. Thus did this founder prepare the great city given him; though small, but shining uninterrupted by any wafting of the wind, he did bequeathe the great glory of its rise to his son Great-prince Ioann (Ivan) Danilovich, called Kalita".

The Holy Martyrs Paul and his sister Juliania were executed under the emperor Aurelian (270-275) in the Phoenician city of Ptolemaida. One time the emperor had occasion to journey to Ptolemaida. Among those meeting him was Paul, who signed himself with the Sign of the Cross, and this was noticed. They arrested him and threw him in prison. On the following day, when they brought him to trial, he openly and boldly confessed his faith in Christ, for which he was subjected to fierce tortures. Juliania, seeing the suffering of her brother, began in front of everyone to denounce the emperor for his injustice and cruelty, for which she was likewise subjected to torture. They beat the martyrs, tore at their bodies with iron hooks, scorched them over red-hot grates, but they were not able to break the wondrous endurance of the Lord's confessors. Three soldiers torturing the saints were struck by the magnanimous spirit of the martyrs, and they in turn believed in Christ. These newly chosen of God were named Quadratus, Acacius and Stratonicus, and they were immediately executed. The tormentor tried to seduce Saint Juliania with a promise to take her in marriage, if she were to renounce Christ, but the saint refused the offer of the tempter and remained steadfast. By order of the emperor they gave the martyress over to an house of ill repute for defiling, but the Lord preserved her there also: anyone who tried to touch the saint lost their sight. Then the enraged emperor commanded that they again burn at the bodies of the saints. The people crowding about and seeing the suffering of the saints began to murmur loudly, and Aurelian gave orders to behead the martyrs immediately. With gladdened face the brother and sister went to execution singing: "For Thou (Lord) hath saved us from the vexatious and hath shamed those hating us" (Ps. 43 [44]: 7).

The Monk James the Faster asceticised not far from the Phoenician city of Porphyrion. For fifteen years he lived in a cave devoting himself to monastic deeds, and he received a gift of wonderworking from the Lord. Under his influence many of the local inhabitants were converted to the Christian faith. News about the ascetic spread everywhere, and then so as not to fall into temptation, the monk went off to another place. Having found himself a new cave, he dwelt at it for thirty years. The devil set terrible traps for the ascetic. James healed a maiden from demonic-possession, but then fell into sin with her. Distraught over this sin, he repented what he had done, and for a long time he hid himself away in the wilderness, bereft of shelter and peace, tormented by the pricks of conscience, and he was on the point of forsaking the monastic life and returning back into the world. But the immeasurable mercy of God, which the sins of this world cannot prevail against and which desireth salvation for all mankind, would not permit the ruin of this soul, sincerely having toiled so many years for its Master. The Lord undid the diabolic intent to destroy the ascetic, and returned him through repentance onto the path of salvation. Wandering about the wilderness, James caught sight of a monastery, and entering it, he confessed his sin in front of the hegumen and the brethren. The hegumen urged him to remain with them, fearing that he would ultimately fall into despair. But James went off and again for a long time he wandered the wilderness. And finally the Omni-Beneficent Providence of God brought upon his path a wilderness-dweller, filled with grace and wisdom. Lifting the repentance from him, the wilderness-dweller suggested that James remain with him. But James would not remain with the elder, though encouraged and given hope by him, and he secluded himself in a cave and there for ten years offered repentance to God, weeping and wailing, and asking forgiveness for the sin committed. The Lord hearkened to the prayers of the penitent monk and returned unto him His mercy: James again found his gift of wonderworking. To his very death he remained in his cave, wherein also he was buried.

The Transfer of the Relics of Holy Nobleborn Prince Vyacheslav of Czechia: the account about him is located under 28 September.

© 2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos



Back to March