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October 28th (XI - 10)

Icon of the saint of the day.

Icon of the Martyrs Terence and Neonilla and their child Eunicius

Sainted Dimitrii, Metropolitan of Rostov (+ 1709). Monk Job, Hegumen of Pochaev (+ 1651).Martyress Paraskeva, named also Piatnitsa (III). Sainted Arsenii, Archbishop of Serbia (+ 1266). Monk Stephanos Savvaites, Composer of Canons (IX). Martyrs Terence and Neonilla and their children: Sarbilus, Fotus, Theodulus, Hierax, Nitus, Vilus and Eunicius (III). Martyrs Africanus, Terence, Maximus, Pompius and 36 others (III). PriestMartyr Kyriakos, Patriarch of Jerusalem (+ 363). Monk John Khozebites, Bishop of Caesarea (VI). PriestMartyr Neophytes, Bishop of Urbnissa (VI). Martyress Anna (+ 363). Monks Firmilian, Archbishop of Caesarea, and Melchion the Presbyter (III). Saint Febronia (+ 632). Martyrs Angelios, Manuel, George, Nicholas (+ 1824). Saint Nathanael. Sainted Athanasias, Patriarch of Constantinople.

Sainted Dimitrii, Metropolitan of Rostov (in the world Daniil Savvich Tuptalo), was born in December 1651 in the locale of Makarovo, not far from Kiev. He was born into a pious family a grew up a deeply believing Christian. In 1662, soon after his parents resettled to Kiev, Daniil was sent to the Kievo-Mogilyansk college, where the gifts and remarkable abilities of the youth were first discovered. He successfully learned the Greek and Latin languages and the whole series of classical sciences. On 9 July 1668 Daniil accepted monasticism with the name Dimitrii, in honour of the GreatMartyr Demetrios of Soluneia (Thessalonika). Prior to the Spring of 1675 he progressed through the monastic obediences at the Kiev Kirillov monastery, where he began his literary and preaching activity. The Chernigov archbishop Lazar (Baranovich) ordained Dimitrii as priestmonk on 23 May 1675. Over the course of several years Priestmonk Dimitrii asceticised and preached the Word of God at various monasteries and churches in the Ukraine, Lithuania and Belorus. For a certain while he as hegumen of the Maksimovsk monastery,and later the Baturinsk Nikol'sk monastery, from where in 1684 he was summoned to the Kievo-Pechersk Lavra. The head of the Lavra, archimandrite Varlaam (Yasinsky), knowing the high spiritual disposition of his former student, his education, his proclivity for scientific work, and also his undoubted literary talent, -- entrusted to the Priestmonk Dimitrii the organising of the Chetii Minei (Lives of the Saints, Meneion) for the whole year.

From this time, all the further life of Saint Dimitrii was devoted to the fulfilling of this ascetic work, grandiose in its scope. The work demanded an enormous exertion of strength, since it necessitated the gathering and analysing of a multitude of various sources and to expound them in a fluent language, worthy of the lofty subject of exposition and at the same time accessible to all believers. Divine assist did not abandon the saint over the course of his twenty year labour. According to the testimony of Saint Dimitrii himself, his soul was filled with impressions of the saints, which strengthened him both in spirit and body, and they encouraged faith in the felicitous completion of his noble task. And at the same time as this, the Monk Dimitrii was head of several monasteries (in succession).

The works of he ascetic brought him to the attention of Patriarch Adrian. In 1701, by ukaz-decree of tsar Peter I, Archimandrite Dimitrii was summoned to Moscow, where on 23 March at the Uspensky-Dormition cathedral of the Kremlin he was ordained Metropolitan to the Siberian cathedra-seat of the city of Tobol'sk. But after a certain while, because of the importance of his scientific work and the frailty of his health, the saint received a new appointment to Rostov-Yaroslavl', whither on 1 March 1702 he arrived in the capacity of Metropolitan of Rostov.

Just as before, he continued to be concerned about the strengthening of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, weakened by the Old Ritualist schism.

In his inspired works and preachings many a generation of Russian theologians drew spiritual strength for creativity and prayer. For all Orthodox Christians he remains an example of a saintly, ascetic, non-covetous life. At his death, 28 October 1709, they found with him but few possessions, except for books and manuscripts.

The enumeration of Sainted Dimitrii, Metropolitan of Rostov, to the ranks of the Saints was made on 22 April 1757. Celebration to him is made likewise on 21 September, on the day of the uncovering of relics.

The Monk Job, Hegumen of Pochaev and Wonderworker (in the world named Ivan Zhelezo), was born in the mid XV Century in Pokut'a in Galicia. At age 10 he came to the Transfiguration Ugornitsk monastery, and at age 12 he accepted monasticism. The Monk Job from his youth was known for his great piety and strict ascetic life, and early he was accounted worthy of the priestly dignity. In around the year 1580, at the request of the reknown champion of Orthodoxy prince Konstantin of Ostrozhsk, the Monk Job headed the Cross-Exaltation monastery near the city of Dubno, and for more than 20 years he governed the monastery amidst the setting of the growing persecution of Orthodoxy on the part of the Catholics and Uniates. At the beginning of the XVII Century the Monk Job withdrew to Pochaev hill and settled in a cave not far from the ancient Uspenie-Dormition monastery, famed for its wonderworking Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God. The holy hermit, beloved by the brethren of the monastery, was chosen as their hegumen. The Monk Job zealously fulfilled his duty as head of the monastery, kind and gentle with the brethren, he himself did much of the work, planting trees in the garden, and strengthening the waterworks at the monastery. And in taking an active part in the defense of Orthodoxy and the Russian people, the Monk Job was present at the 1628 Kiev Sobor-Council, convened against the Unia. After 1642, the Monk Job accepted the great schema with the name Ioann.

Sometimes he completely secluded himself within the cave for three days or even a whole week. The Jesus Prayer was an unceasing doing of his gentle heart. According to the testimony of his student and author of the Vita-Life of the Monk Job, Dosithei, once during the time of prayer the cave of the monk was illumined by an heavenly light. The Monk Job reposed in the year 1651, at over age 100, having directed the Pochaev monastery for more than fifty years. On 8 August 1659 occurred the glorification of the Monk Job.

The Holy Martyress Paraskeva, named also Piatnitsa, lived during the III Century at Iconeum in a rich and pious family. The parents of the saint reverenced especially the day of the Passion of the Lord -- Friday (Piatnitsa), and therefore they called their daughter Paraskeva this name, since she had been born on a Friday-Piatnitsa, and the name Paraskeva in Slavic translation from the Greek means also -- Piatnitsa-Friday.

Young Paraskeva with all her heart loved purity and the lofty morality of the virginal life, and she took a vow of celibacy. She wanted to devote all her life to God and to the enlightenment of pagans with the light of the faith of Christ. Upon this righteous path Saint Paraskeva was brought to judgement, bearing in her own name the memory of the day of the terrible Sufferings of Jesus, and she shared in the Passion of Christ also in her own life through her bodily torments. Because of her confession of the Orthodox faith, the pagans in a frenzy seized hold of her and brought her to the city governor. Here they demanded that she offer unholy sacrifice to the pagan idol. With a steady heart, and trusting on God, the saint refused this demand. For this she underwent great torments: having tied her to a tree, the torturers tore at her pure body with iron nails, and then exhausted by the torture, they threw her into prison, all lacerated to the bone. But God did not forsake the holy sufferer, and miraculously healed her torn body. Not heeding this Divine miracle, the executioners continued with their torture of Saint Paraskeva, and finally, they cut off her head.

Saint Paraskeva-Piatnitsa has always enjoyed an especial love and veneration amongst the Orthodox people. With her memory is associated many a pious custom and observance. In the ancient Russian mesyatseslovs with Saints-Lives, the name of the martyress is inscribed thus: "Saint Paraskeva, also called Piatnitsa". Churches in the name of Saint Paraskeva in antiquity were given the name Piatnitsa. Small wayside chapels received of old in Rus' the name-form Piatnitsa. The simple Russian people called the Martyress Paraskeva variously Piatnitsa, Piatina, Petka. The icons of Saint Paraskeva were especially venerated and embellished by our forefathers. Russian iconographers usually depicted the martyress as an austhere ascetic, tall of stature, with a radiant crown upon her head. Icons of the saint guard over pious and happy households. By Church belief, Saint Paraskeva -- is protectress of fields and cattle. Therefore on the day of her memory it was the custom to bring fruit to church for blessing, which as a blest object was kept until the following year. Moreover, Saint Paraskeva is prayed to for protection of cattle from disease. Saint Paraskeva is likewise an healer of people from grievous illness of both body and soul.

Sainted Arsenii, Archbishop of Serbia, spent a large part of his life as a monk at the Zhich monastery. Because of his strict ascetic life, in 1223 he was ordained Archbishop of Serbia. After thirty-three years of wisely guiding his flock Saint Arsenii expired to the Lord in the year 1266. His relics rest at the Pech monastery.

The Monk Stephanos Savvaites, Composer of Church Canons, asceticised at the Laura of Saint Sava in Palestine in the IX Century. His memory is celebrated also on 13 July.

The PriestMartyr Neophytes, Bishop of Urbnissa, was formerly a Persian military commander named Omar, and he participated in the invasion of Gruzia (Georgia) by sultan Akhmet. Having made his way with an advance company to the Shiomgvim monastery, Omar saw there through Divine Providence a multitude of Angels over the monastery, and in the midst of them a monastic elder -- Saint Zhio. Struck by the beauty of the Shiomgvim monastery, Omar did not touch the monastery, but he carried away with himself the desire to become a monk there. After some while he actually did return to the Shiomgvim monastery, accepted holy Baptism and was tonsured with the name Neophytes, which means "neophyte, newly-converted".

Saint Neophytes began from this time a fervent ascetic life and acquired many a gift of God. He even became head of the monastery, and the fame of his like-angelic life spread throughout all Gruzia. Katholikos Samuel IV (582-591) summoned him from the monastery and elevated him to the Urbnissa cathedra-seat.

The pagans and fire-worshippers, whose false teachings Saint Neophytes was zealous in uprooting, decided to kill him. Bursting into the bishop's residence, where there came upon Saint Neophytes at prayer, the pagans seized hold of him, dragged him out and gave him a martyr's death by stoning, similar to how at one time pagans had murdered the FirstMartyr Stephen by stoning. This happened in the year 587. The body of the saint a certain while later was conveyed to Shiomgvim monastery and put beneathe the altar-table of the cathedral church.

The Gruzinian Church celebrates the memory of the PriestMartyr Neophytes, Bishop of Urbnissa, likewise on 28 October.

The Monk John Khozebites, Bishop of Caesarea: The account about him is located under 3 October.

The Holy Martyrs Terence and Neonilla and their children: Sarbilus, Fotus, Theodulus, Hierax, Nitus, Vilus and Eunicius suffered a martyr's end during a persecution of Christianity under the emperor Decius ( 249-250). They zealously confessed Christ and denounced idolatry. For this the pagans subjected the entire Christian family to terrible tortures and torments, but failed to get them to renounce the true faith. The holy martyrs finally were beheaded.

The PriestMartyr Kyriakos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was that selfsame Jew, who pointed out to the holy Empress Helen the place where the Life-Creating Cross of Christ lay buried (vide 14 September). Being present at the discovery of the Cross, Kyriakos (before Baptism he had the name Jude) sincerely came to believe in Christ -- the True God, and he became a Christian. Kyriakos later because of his pure and virtuous life was chosen and elevated to be Patriarch of Jerusalem.

During the time of the cruel persecution under Julian the Apostate, in the year 363, Saint Kyriakos accepted suffering for the faith. After prolonged tortures he was killed.

Sainted Athanasias, Patriarch of Constantinople: The account about him is located under 24 October.

© 2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos

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