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November 3rd (XI - 16)

Icon of the saint of the day.

Icon of the Martyrs Acepsimas, St. Aeithalas, St. Joseph, St. George (new martyr) and St. George the Hiermartyr.

Martyrs Akepsimos the Bishop, Joseph the Presbyter and Haiphal the Deacon (IV). Restoration of Church of Holy GreatMartyr George at Lydda (IV). Martyrs Atticus, Agapius, Evdoxius, Caterius, Istucharius, Pactovius, Niktopolion and their companions Marinus, Oceanus, Evstratius (+ c. 320). Monk Akepsimos (IV). Righteous Snandulia (IV). Monk Theodore the Confessor, Bishop of Ancyra, and the Holy Martyrs Dasias, Sebiros, Androna, Theodotos and Theodota. Monk Ilias (IV). Saint Akhmenid the Persian and Confessor (IV). WomenMartyrs Perpetua, Dictorina, Fotinia. Holy 9 Martyrs. Holy 28 Martyrs. Monastic and Princess Anna Vsevolodovna (+ 1112).

Bishop Akepsimos headed the Christian Church in the Persian city of Naesson. His flock devotedly loved their hierarch for his ascetic life and tireless pastoral work. The emperor Sapor gave orders to seek out and kill Christian clergy. Saint Akepsimos also was arrested, being then already an eighty year old man. They took him to the city of Arbela, where he came before the judge Ardarkh -- a pagan-priest of the sun-god. The holy elder refused to offer sacrifice to the Persian gods. For this he was fiercely beaten and thrown into prison, where on the following day they threw in with him, after fierce beatings, the seventy year old Presbyter Joseph and Deacon Haiphal. For three years the saints were held in confinement, and worn down by hunger and thirst.

Emperor Sapor came to the temple of the god of fire, located not far from Arbela, and wanted to take a look at the three holy martyrs. Exhausted and covered with festering wounds, the saints were brought before the emperor and at his demand they again firmly refused to worship the pagan gods, instead confessing their faith in Christ. The holy bishop was beheaded, but the presbyter and deacon were sent off within the city and there to be stoned.

The execution of the presbyter Joseph was prolonged for several hours. A guard was placed near the place of execution, so that Christians would not take the body of the holy martyr. On the fourth night a strong windstorm raged near the city, -- lightning killed the guard, the wind threw about stones, and the body of Saint Joseph disappeared.

The deacon Haifal was taken to the village of Patrias and there he was stoned. Christians secretly buried his body. On the grave of the saint there grew a tree, the fruit of which brought healings.

The Monk Akepsimos (IV) dwelt for sixty years in the wilderness, not far from Cairo. He concerned himself with fasting, silence and prayer. At the command of the patriarch, he came out of solitude and was ordained a bishop. He died in extreme old age.

The Holy Princess Anna Vsevolodna was daughter of the Kiev GreatPrince Vsevolod Yaroslavich (1078-1093) whose wife was daughter of the Greek emperor Constantine Monomachos. She did not wish to marry, and as a maiden she took monastic vows in 1082 at the Andreev Yanchinov monastery built for her at Kiev, later destroyed under the Tatar invasion. The monastic and nobleborn princess Anna journeyed to Constantinople, from whence she returned in the company of the newly ordained metropolitan John the Eunuch. She died in the year 1112.

© 1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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