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Written account of a person's life

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Latest podcast episodes about biographies

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Father Macarius (Makarios)the Great (~390)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2022 3:25


He was born around 300 in Egypt and in his youth was a camel driver. While still living in his village, he withdrew to a small cell to devote himself exclusively to ascesis and prayer. When the people there wanted to make him a priest, he fled to another village. There a young woman who was discovered to be pregnant falsely accused Macarius of being the father. Macarius was seized, reviled and beaten, but made no effort to defend himself; instead he took on more work in order to provide for the mother and her child. When his innocence was finally discovered, the townspeople came to ask his forgiveness; but he fled to the desert of Sketis (now called Wadi Natrun). He was then thirty years old, and for the rest of his life he dwelt in the desert.   His humility and detachment from earthly things were so great that once, when he discovered a thief stealing his few possessions, he helped the man load them onto his camel, even pointing out to him the few things he had missed. Once a demon spoke to him thus: "Everything you do, I do too: you fast, but I never eat; you keep vigil, but I never sleep; you only exceed me in one way: your humility. Because of this I am helpless against you." The Saint said that the demons could be put in two categories: those who arouse passions such as anger, lust and greed; and others, much more dreadful, who deceive us by spiritual illusion, blasphemy and heresy.   Saint Macarius soon became known throughout Egypt, and many visitors came to his isolated home. He welcomed all with joy, judging no one and providing hospitality for all. His compassion extended to all, and he prayed even for the damned. Once he found the skull of a pagan priest, which addressed him, saying, "Each time you have pity on us who are in torment, immersed in fire and darkness, we receive a measure of comfort and are allowed to see the faces of our fellow sufferers."   Saint Macarius became a disciple of St Anthony the Great, and in his turn became the spiritual Father of many who came to live near him in the desert. He is considered the founder of the ancient and venerable monastic community at Sketis. At the age of forty he was ordained a priest at the urging of St Anthony, so that he and his brethren would not have to walk the forty miles of desert to Nitria to go to church.   Knowing that he was soon to die, he visited his disciples one last time, saying to them with tears in his eyes, "Let us weep, brethren, so that our eyes flow ceaselessly with tears, before we go to where our tears will scald our bodies." Soon thereafter he reposed. His relics now rest in the Coptic monastery that bears his name. The collection of fifty Spiritual Homilies attributed to St Macarius is a treasury of Orthodox spirituality.

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Fathers Athanasius the Great (373) and Cyril (444), Patriarchs of Alexandria

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2022 4:32


Saint Athanasius, pillar of Orthodoxy and Father of the Church, was born in Alexandria in 275, to pious Christian parents. Even as a child, his piety and devotion to the Faith were so notable that Alexander, the Patriarch of the city, took Athanasius under his protection. As a student, he acquired a thorough education, but was more interested in the things of God than in secular learning, and withdrew for a time into the desert to sit at the feet of Saint Anthony (January 17), whose disciple he became and whose biography he later wrote. On returning to Alexandria, he was ordained to the diaconate and began his public labors for the Church. He wrote his treatise On the Incarnation, when he was only twenty. (It contains a phrase, still often quoted today, that express in a few words some of the depths of the Mystery of the Incarnation: God became man that man might become god.)   Just at this time Arius, a priest in Alexandria, was promoting his enticing view that the Son and Word of God is not of one essence with the Father, but a divine creation of the Father. This view, which (as Athanasius realized) strikes at the very possibility of mankind's salvation, gained wide acceptance and seemed for a time to threaten the Christian Faith itself. In 325, the Emperor Constantine the Great convoked a Council of the Church at Nicaea to settle the turmoil that the Arian teaching had spread through the Church. Athanasius attended the Council, and defended the Orthodox view so powerfully that he won the admiration of the Orthodox and the undying enmity of the Arians. From that time forth his life was founded on the defense of the true consubstantiality (homoousia) of the Son with the Father.   In 326, not long before his death, Patriarch Alexander appointed Athanasius to be his successor, and Athanasius was duly elevated to the patriarchal throne. He was active in his pastoral role, traveling throughout Egypt, visiting churches and monasteries, and working tirelessly not only to put down the Arian heresy, but to resolve various schisms and moral declines that affected his territory.   Though the Arian heresy had apparently been condemned once and for all at Nicea, Arius had many powerful allies throughout the Empire, even in the Imperial court, and Athanasius was soon subjected to many kinds of persecution, some local, some coming from the Imperial throne itself. Though he was Patriarch of Alexandria for more than forty years, a large amount of that time was spent in hiding from powerful enemies who threatened him with imprisonment or death. Twice he fled to Rome for protection by the Pope, who in the early centuries of the Church was a consistent champion of Orthodoxy against its various enemies. From his various hiding places, Athanasius issued tracts, treatises and epistles which helped to rally the faithful throughout Christendom to the Orthodox cause.   In 366, the Emperor Valens, fearing a revolt of the Egyptians on behalf of their beloved Archbishop, officially restored Athanasius to favor, and he was able to spend the last seven years of his life in peace. Of his forty-seven years as Patriarch, about seventeen were spent in hiding or exile. He reposed in peace in 373, having given his entire adult life, at great suffering, to the defense of the Faith of Christ.

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Godbearing Father Anthony the Great (356)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2022 3:05


'Saint Anthony, the Father of monks, was born in Egypt in251 of pious parents who departed this life while he was yet young. On hearing the words of the Gospel: "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor" (Matt. 19:21), he immediately put it into action. Distributing to the poor all he had, and fleeing from all the turmoil of the world, he departed to the desert. The manifold temptations he endured continually for the space of twenty years are incredible. His ascetical struggles by day and by night, whereby he mortified the uprisings of the passions and attained to the height of dispassion, surpass the bounds of nature; and the report of his deeds of virtue drew such a multitude to follow him, that the desert was transformed into a city, while he became, so to speak, the governor, lawgiver, and master-trainer of all the citizens of this newly-formed city. But the cities of the world also enjoyed the fruit of his virtue. When the Christians were being persecuted and put to death under Maximinus in 312, he hastened to their aid and consolation. When the Church was troubled by the Arians, he went with zeal to Alexandria in 335 and struggled against them in behalf of Orthodoxy. During this time, by the grace of his words, he also turned many unbelievers to Christ.   'He began his ascetical life outside his village of Coma in Upper Egypt, studying the ways of the ascetics and holy men there, and perfecting himself in the virtues of each until he surpassed them all. Desiring to increase his labours, he departed into the desert, and finding an abandoned fortress in the mountain, he made his dwelling in it, training himself in extreme fasting, unceasing prayer, and fierce conflicts with the demons. Here he remained, as mentioned above, about twenty years. Saint Athanasius the Great, who knew him personally and wrote his life, says that he came forth from the fortress "initiated in the mysteries and filled with the Spirit of God." Afterwards, because of the press of the faithful, who deprived him of his solitude, he was enlightened by God to journey with certain Bedouins, until he came to a mountain in the desert near the Red Sea, where he passed the remaining part of his life. Saint Athanasius says of him that "his countenance had a great and wonderful grace. This gift also he had from the Saviour. For if he were present in a great company of monks, and any one who did not know him previously wished to see him, immediately coming forward he passed by the rest, and hurried to Anthony, as though attracted by his appearance. Yet neither in height nor breadth was he conspicuous above others, but in the serenity of his manner and the purity of his soul."   'So passing his life, and becoming an example of virtue and a rule for monastics, he reposed on January 17 in the year 356, having lived together some 105 years.' (Great Horologion)   Speaking of the demonic temptations and struggles with the passions that beset those who seek their salvation, St Anthony said: "All these trials are to your advantage. Do away with temptation and no one will be saved."

Saint of the Day
Veneration of the precious Chains of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Peter.

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 16, 2022 1:25


The story of St Peter's imprisonment and miraculous release by an Angel of God is told in Acts ch. 12. The chains which fell from his hands were collected by Christians and passed down through the generations as precious relics, finally coming to Constantinople and being placed in the Church of St Peter, where they worked many miracles and healings.   There is nothing superstitious about the veneration of clothing and other objects belonging to the Saints; the Acts of the Apostles describes how handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched the Apostle Paul would heal the sick (ch. 19), and that even the shadow of the Apostle Peter healed those on whom it fell (ch. 5). In the twentieth century, a shirt worn by St Nektarios on his death-bed healed a paralyzed man. The sanctity of those united to God extends not only to their bodies but at times to their garments.

Saint of the Day
Saint Ita of Kileedy, Ireland (570)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 15, 2022 1:13


The gentle and motherly St. Ita was descended from the high kings of Tara. From her youth she loved God ardently and shone with the radiance of a soul that loves virtue. Because of her purity of heart she was able to hear the voice of God and communicate it to others. Despite her father's opposition she embraced the monastic life in her youth. In obedience to the revelation of an angel she went to the people of Ui Conaill in the southwestern part of Ireland. While she was there, the foundation of a convent was laid. It soon grew into a monastic school for the education of boys, quickly becoming known for its high level of learning and moral purity. The most famous of her many students was St. Brendan of Clonfert (May 16). She went to the other world in great holiness to dwell forever with the risen Lord in the year 570.  —from the 2003 Saint Herman Calendar

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Father Sava (Sabbas), Enlightener and first Archbishop of Serbia (1236)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2022 2:46


This best-loved Saint of the Serbian people was born in 1169, the son of Stephen Nemanja, Grand Prince of Serbia. He was named Rastko by his parents. At the age of fifteen he was appointed governor of the province of Herzegovina, but worldly power was of no interest to him, and he began to wish to give himself more fully to God. He secretly left home and traveled to Mount Athos, where he became a novice at the Monastery of St Panteleimon. His father learned where he had gone and sent soldiers to bring him back, but before the soldiers could claim him, he was tonsured a monk with the name of Sabbas (Sava), after St Sabbas the Sanctified (December 5).   In time, under the influence of his son, Stephen Nemanja abdicated his kingship, and in 1196 he became a monk under the name of Symeon, traveling to the Holy Mountain to join his son. Symeon was quite old, and unable to endure all the ascetic labors of long-time monks, so his son redoubled his own ascetical struggle, telling his father, "I am your ascesis." The two monks together founded the Chilander Monastery, which became the center of Serbian piety and culture. Saint Symeon reposed in 1200, and his body soon began to exude a miracle-working myrrh; thus he is commemorated as St Symeon the Myrrh-streaming (February 13).   Saint Sava retired to a hermit's life in a cell on the Holy Mountain, but was compelled to return to the world: his two brothers were at war with one another, causing much bloodshed in Serbia. The Saint returned home with his father's holy relics, mediated between his brothers, and persuaded them to make peace with one another over their father's tomb, restoring peace the Serbian land. At the pleas of the people, St Sava remained in Serbia thereafter. He persuaded the Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople to grant autocephaly to the Church in Serbia. Against his will, he was ordained first Archbishop of his land in 1219. He labored tirelessly to establish the Orthodox Faith, for, though his father had been a Christian, many of the people were still pagan. In old age he resigned the episcopal throne and went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While returning from his pilgrimage, he fell asleep in peace in 1236.

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Father Maximos Kavsokalybites (the Hut-burner) (1365)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2022 2:42


A native of Lampsacus on the Hellespont, he became a monk at the age of seventeen. When his spiritual Father died, he went on pilgrimage to Constantinople, where he took up the ascesis of folly for Christ, pretending madness in order to conceal his virtues and struggles from the world. He then went to the Great Lavra of St Athanasius on Mount Athos, where he lived as a simple monk in complete obedience. One day, he was told in a dream to go to the summit of Athos to receive (like Moses) the tablets of the spiritual law. He prayed continuously atop the Holy Mountain for three days, after which the Mother of God appeared to him surrounded by angels. She gave him a miraculous loaf for his sustenance and told him to live in solitude on the wild slopes of Mount Athos. Henceforth he lived apart, barefoot in all weather. He would build himself crude shelters of branches and brush; after living in one for a short time he would burn it and move to a new place. Thus he received the name Kavsokalybites "the Hut Burner" from the other monks, who dismissed him as a madman.   Saint Gregory the Sinaite (April 6), one of the great Hesychasts, heard of St Maximos, and hurried to meet him. When they met, St Maximos put aside his usual silence at St Gregory's pleading, and they discoursed together for many hours. Saint Gregory was astonished at the wonders that God had accomplished in St Maximos, at his depth of spiritual understanding and his eloquence. Returning to the nearby monks, he said "He is an angel and not a man!" He begged St Maximos to give up his nomadic life and his pretended madness, and to live among his fellow monks for their edification. This St Maximos did. He settled in one of his crude huts, living on bread miraculously provided from heaven and on sea-water, which was made sweet by his prayer. He received and counseled any monks who sought him out, and over the years was visited by two Emperors and by the Patriarch of Constantinople. In his last years he returned to a small cell in his Lavra, where he reposed in peace at the age of ninety- five. The monks of Mt Athos immediately venerated him as a Saint.

Saint of the Day
Venerable Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth (689-690)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2022 1:19


He came from a noble Northumbrian family in Britain, and was tonsured a monk in 653 at Lerins in Gaul. In 669 he was made Abbot of the Monastery of Saints Peter and Paul in Canterbury. He traveled to Rome in 671 to be instructed in monastic practice according to the Rule of Saint Benedict (of Nursia). Returning to Northumbria he established two new monasteries, the first to follow St Benedict's Rule in the British Isles. He went to Rome once again in 678-679, this time bringing back the archcantor of St Peter's, who taught the monks of St Benedict's monasteries the chant and liturgical practices used in Rome.   Under the holy abbot's guidance, these monasteries became flourishing centers of Christian worship, scholarship and art. The Venerable Bede (May 26) was one of his disciples. Saint Benedict reposed in peace in 689 or 690, having greatly strengthened the Church and the Christian faith in Britain.

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Father Theodosius the Cenobiarch (519)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2022 1:20


This Saint had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While Saint Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, Saint Theodosius was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch. Together with Saint Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites, which was championed by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defence of the holy Council of Chalcedon. Having lived for 103 years, he reposed in peace." (Great Horologion)

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Father Theophan the Recluse (1894)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2022 3:55


This modern-day Church Father was born in Chernavsk in central Russia. The son of a priest, he entered seminary at a young age, then completed the four-year course in theology at the Academy of Kiev. Though he distinguished himself as a student, his heart turned increasingly toward the monastic life, and he was tonsured a monk and ordained a priest upon completion of his studies. During his time at the Academy he often visited the Lavra of the Caves, and there became a spiritual child of Father Parthenius (March 25).   His desire for monastic life was not fulfilled immediately, for the Church felt need of his intellectual gifts. He served as a professor at the Theological Academy in St Petersburg, then worked for seven years in the Russian Mission to the Near East, mostly in Palestine. During this time he gained a perfect mastery of Greek and studied the works of the Church Fathers in the original languages. Returning to Russia, he was soon consecrated a bishop; but after seven years of episcopal service, he at last achieved his heart's desire, resigning as bishop and retiring to a small monastery at Yvschen, where he spent the rest of his days.   After taking full part in the liturgical and communal life of the monastery for several years, he took up the life of a recluse in 1872. He lived in two small rooms, subsisting almost entirely on bread and tea, visited only by his confessor and the abbot of the monastery. He celebrated the Divine Liturgy every day in his cell. All of his time not taken up by inner prayer was devoted to translating the works of the Fathers into Russian and, increasingly, to writings of his own. Most importantly, he prepared a Russian-language edition of the Philokalia which had a deep impact upon Russian spiritual life.   Though he received no visitors, St Theophan entered into correspondence with many earnest Christians who sought his counsel, and so in time became the spiritual father of many believers throughout Russia. He reposed in peace in 1894.   In addition to the Philokalia, St Theophan produced (among other works): a Spiritual Psalter of selections from St Ephraim the Syrian; The Path to Salvation, an exposition of Orthodox Spirituality written in clear, plain language for those living in the world; collections of his letters to spiritual children; and Unseen Warfare, a treatise on prayer and the ascetical life. This last has an unusual history. In its original form it was written by Lorenzo Scupoli, an Italian Roman Catholic priest. St Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, recognizing the book's merit, produced a Greek edition in which he corrected various deviations from Orthodoxy in the original. St Theophan in turn revised the Greek edition extensively, removing some material and adding passages of his own; so that the Italian, Greek and Russian versions are in fact three substantially different books. Many of St Theophan's works (including Unseen Warfare) are available in good English translations. They are almost unique in presenting the undiluted hesychastic spirituality of the Orthodox Church in plain, straightforward language accessible to most people.

Saint of the Day
Holy Martyr Polyeuctus (~250)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 9, 2022 1:58


Polyeuctus and Nearchus were fellow-officers and close friends, serving in the Roman army at Miletene in Armenia. Nearchus was a Christian. Polyeuctus, though abundant in virtues, was still imprisoned in idol- worship. When the Emperor Decius' persecution broke out (239-251), an edict was issued requiring all soldiers to show their loyalty by making public sacrifice to the gods. Nearchus sadly told Polyeuctus that because of the decree they would soon be parted. But Polyeuctus, who had learned about the Christian faith from his friend, answered that Christ had appeared to him in a vision, exchanging his military uniform for a shining garment and giving him a winged horse. Polyeuctus took the vision as a sign that he was to embrace the Faith, and that he, with Nearchus, would soon be lifted up to heaven. Almost immediately, he first tore down the Emperor's edict in front of a startled crowd, then smashed the idols being carried in a pagan procession. He was quickly arrested and subjected to beating and scourging for sacrilege, but he only proclaimed more forcefully that he was a Christian. When the persecutors saw that Polyeuctus' patient endurance was bringing other idolaters to the faith, they condemned him to death.   Polyeuctus walked to the place of execution with the expression of a slave walking toward freedom, calling encouragement to the Christians who accompanied him. Fearlessly extending his neck to receive the sword, he received baptism in his own blood and received the martyr's crown.

Saint of the Day
Our Venerable Mother Domnica (Domnina) (~474)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2022 2:06


She was born in Rome and reared in the love of Christ. She secretly left her parents' house and traveled by ship to Alexandria, where she found lodging with four virtuous pagan maidens. By her example and counsel these four were in time led to abandon idolatry and embrace Domnica's faith. The five then sailed to Constantinople, where it is said that the Patriarch Nectarius (October 11) was notified of their coming by an angel and met them at the dock. The Patriarch baptized the four maidens himself, giving them the names Dorothea, Evanthia, Nonna and Timothea, then settled them and Domnica in a monastery.   Soon the fame of Domnica's pure life, wise teaching, and wondrous healings spread throughout the city, and even the Emperor Theodosius, with the Empress and his court, came to see her. Soon the crowds made it impossible for her and her sisters to live the heavenly life for which they had entered the monastery; so they relocated the monastery to a remote, demon-haunted location where executions had once commonly been performed, since everyone avoided the area. Here a new monastery was built by order of the Emperor, and the sisters found peace.   Saint Domnica's fame continued, and she became not only a healer but an oracle for the city of Constantinople, prophesying the death of the Emperor Theodosius and the unrest which followed it. She reposed in peace, having first entrusted the care of the monastery to Dorothea. At the moment of her death, the whole monastery was shaken, and those present saw Saint Domnica dressed as a bride, being borne heavenward escorted by a company of white-clad monks and nuns.

Saint of the Day
New Martyr Athanasius of Attalia (1700)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2022 1:04


A native of Attalia, he lived in Smyrna. Once he unguardedly spoke the opening words of the Muslim confession of faith, "There is no god but God." Hearing this, some Turks immediately surrounded him and took him to the court, claiming that he had embraced Islam. This he vehemently denied, assuring them that he was a Christian and that the words he had spoken would be unremarkable to any Christian. He was thrown into prison as an apostate and, after a sham trial, beheaded. His body was thrown to the dogs, but the usually voracious animals refused to touch his body, and it was removed by some pious Christians and given honorable burial.

Saint of the Day
The Holy Theophany of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2022 2:51


'About the beginning of our Lord's thirtieth year, John the Forerunner, who was some six months older than our Saviour according to the flesh, and had lived in the wilderness since his childhood, received a command from God and came into the parts of the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins. Then our Saviour also came from Galilee to the Jordan, and sought and received baptism though He was the Master and John was but a servant. Whereupon, there came to pass those marvellous deeds, great and beyond nature: the Heavens were opened, the Spirit descended in the form of a dove upon Him that was being baptized, and the voice was heard from the Heavens bearing witness that this was the beloved Son of God, now baptized as a man (Matt. 3:13 17; Mark 1:9 11; Luke 3:1 22). From these events the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Chist and the great mystery of the Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the present feast is called "Theophany," that is, the divine manifestation, God's appearance among men. On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated; henceforth also began the saving preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven.' (Great Horologion)   When Thou was baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world, glory be to Thee. — Troparion of Theophany   'But Christ's descent into the river has also a further significance. When Christ went down into the waters, not only did he carry us down with Him and make us clean, but He also made clean the nature of the waters themselves... The feast of Theophany has thus a cosmic aspect. The fall of the angelic orders, and after it the fall of man, involved the whole universe. All God's creation was thereby warped and disfigured: to use the symbolism of the liturgical texts, the waters were made a "lair of dragons". Christ came on earth to redeem not only man but through man the entire material creation. When He entered the water, besides effecting by anticipation our rebirth in the font, he likewise effected the cleansing of the waters, their transfiguration into an organ of healing and grace.' Bishop Kallistos, "Background and meaning of the Feasts" in the Festal Menaion.   The western feast of Epiphany, also on this day, commemorates not Christ's baptism but the adoration of the Magi.

Saint of the Day
Our Venerable Mother Syncletike (4th c.)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2022 2:39


She was the daughter of wealthy and devout parents in Alexandria. Though much desired as a bride for her great beauty, intelligence and wealth, she showed no interest in any worldly attraction and, when her parents died, gave away all of her large fortune. She then fled with her blind sister to the desert, where she became the foundress of monastic life for women in the Egyptian desert, just as St Anthony had for men. At first she attempted to struggle in solitude, hiding her ascetic labors from all and keeping strict silence before all people. But in time her holiness became known, and a company of young women formed around her, seeking to emulate and share in her way of life. At first she kept her silence even with them, but at last was forced out of love to give way to their pleas and reveal to them the wisdom that had been implanted in her. A settled monastic community grew around her, and she became known to all as Amma, the feminine form of the title Abba.   At the age of eighty-five, she was stricken with an agonizing cancer that slowly destroyed and putrefied her body. She bore these heavy trials with patience and thanksgiving, and told her disciples: "If illness strikes us, let us not be distressed as though physical exhaustion could prevent us from singing God's praises; for all these things are for our good and for the purification of our desires. Fasting and ascesis are enjoined on us only because of our appetites; so if illness has blunted their edge, there is no longer any need for ascetic labors. To endure illness patiently and to send up thanksgiving to God is the greatest ascesis of all."   Eventually her illness deprived her even of the power of speech, but it was said that the sight of her joyful and serene countenance amid her sufferings was better than any other teaching, and the faithful continued to flock to her to receive a blessing. After a three-month martyrdom, she departed this life, having predicted the day of her death.   It is said that St Syncletike was the virgin who sheltered St Athanasius the Great when he was driven into hiding for more than a year by the Arians. Her biography, which the Synaxarion calls "one of the basic texts of Orthodox spirituality," is attributed to St Athanasius.

Saint of the Day
Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022 0:47


In addition to the Twelve Apostles, our Lord appointed seventy disciples to go forth and bring the Good News to the world (see Luke ch. 10). Others were later added to this company by the Holy Apostles, so that their number in fact exceeds seventy, though all are still referred to as "of the Seventy."   On this day we also commemorate the company of those who have been sent forth by the Holy Spirit through the centuries to proclaim the joyous Gospel of Christ.

Saint of the Day
Holy Martyr Gordius of Caesarea (4th c.)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2022 1:34


"The Martyr Gordius, who was from Caesarea of Cappadocia, was a centurion by rank. Unable to bear the impiety of the heathen, he withdrew to the wilderness to purify himself through prayer and fasting. After he perceived that his ascetical training had prepared him sufficiently, he came down from the mountains when a certain pagan festival was held in Caesarea, attended by all, and presented himself to the multitude. Although the spectacles of the festival continued, no one paid them any heed, but all eyes were turned upon him. From his sojourn in the mountains, his look was wild, his beard was long, his raiment squalid, his body like a skeleton; yet a certain grace shone round about him. He was recognized, and a loud shout and tumult was made, as his fellow Christians rejoiced, and the enemies of the truth cried out for his death. He boldly professed his faith before the Governor, and after torments was beheaded, in the reign of Licinius in the year 314. Saint Basil the Great delivered a homily on Saint Gordius, mentioning that some of those in his audience had been present at the Saint's martyrdom." (Great Horologion)

Saint of the Day
St Seraphim of Sarov (1833)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 2, 2022 3:32


"Saint Seraphim was born in the town of Kursk in 1759. From tender childhood he was under the protection of the most holy Mother of God, who, when he was nine years old, appeared to him in a vision, and through her icon of Kursk, healed him from a grave sickness from which he had not been expected to recover. At the age of nineteen he entered the monastery of Sarov, where he amazed all with his obedience, his lofty asceticism, and his great humility. In 1780 the Saint was stricken with a sickness which he manfully endured for three years, until our Lady the Theotokos healed him, appearing to him with the Apostles Peter and John. He was tonsured a monk in 1786, being named for the holy Hieromartyr Seraphim, Bishop of Phanarion (Dec. 4), and was ordained deacon a year later. In his unquenchable love for God, he continually added labours to labours, increasing in virtue and prayer with titan strides. Once, during the Divine Liturgy of Holy and Great Thursday he was counted worthy of a vision of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who appeared encompassed by the heavenly hosts. After this dread vision, he gave himself over to greater labours.   "In 1794, Saint Seraphim took up the solitary life in a cell in the forest. This period of extreme asceticism lasted some fifteen years, until 1810. It was at this time that he took upon himself one of the greatest feats of his life. Assailed with despondency and a storm of contrary thoughts raised by the enemy of our salvation, the Saint passed a thousand nights on a rock, continuing in prayer until God gave him complete victory over the enemy. On another occasion, he was assaulted by robbers, who broke his chest and his head with their blows, leaving him almost dead. Here again, he began to recover after an appearance of the most Holy Theotokos, who came to him with the Apostles Peter and John, and pointing to Saint Seraphim, uttered these awesome words, 'This is one of my kind.'   "In 1810, at the age of fifty, weakened by his more than human struggles, Saint Seraphim returned to the monastery for the third part of his ascetical labours, in which he lived as a recluse, until 1825. For the first five years of his reclusion, he spoke to no one at all, and little is known of this period. After five years, he began receiving visitors little by little, giving counsel and consolation to ailing souls. In 1825, the most holy Theotokos appeared to the Saint and revealed to him that it was pleasing to God that he fully end his reclusion; from this time the number of people who came to see him grew daily. It was also at the command of the holy Virgin that he undertook the spiritual direction of the Diveyevo Convent. He healed bodily ailments, foretold things to come, brought hardened sinners to repentance, and saw clearly the secrets of the heart of those who came to him. Through his utter humility and childlike simplicity, his unrivalled ascetical travails, and his angel-like love for God, he ascended to the holiness and greatness of the ancient God-bearing Fathers and became, like Anthony for Egypt, the physician for the whole Russian land. In all, the most holy Theotokos appeared to him twelve times in his life. The last was on Annunciation, 1831, to announce to him that he would soon enter into his rest. She appeared to him accompanied by twelve virgins martyrs and monastic saints with Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Theologian. With a body ailing and broken from innumerable hardships, and an unspotted soul shining with the light of Heaven, the Saint lived less than two years after this, falling asleep in peace on January 2, 1833, chanting Paschal hymns. On the night of his repose, the righteous Philaret of the Glinsk Hermitage beheld his soul ascending to Heaven in light. Because of the universal testimony to the singular holiness of his life, and the seas of miracles that he performed both in life and after death, his veneration quickly spread beyond the boundaries of the Russian Empire to every corner of the earth. See also July 19." (Great Horologion)   July 19 is the commemoration of the uncovering of St Seraphim's holy relics, which was attended by Tsar Nicholas II.   Saint Seraphim's life became a perpetual celebration of Pascha: in his later years he dressed in a white garment, greeted everyone, regardless of the season, with "Christ is Risen!" and chanted the Pascha service every day of the year.

Saint of the Day
The Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2022 0:45


In keeping with the Law of Moses, the Savior's parents had Him circumcised eight days after His birth (see Luke ch. 2). On this day, following Jewish custom, he received the name Jesus (Yeshua, a form of Joshua), meaning "God saves." Thus, on this day, the Covenant of Moses was fulfilled and brought to an end, and the Salvation of God's people was proclaimed to the world.

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Saint of the Day
Our Holy Mother Melania the Younger of Rome (439)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2021 3:23


She was born in 383 in Rome, to a very wealthy family with large estates in Italy, Africa, Spain and even Britain. She was the grand- daughter of St Melania the Elder (June 8) and a pious disciple of Christ from a young age. She was married against her will at the age of fourteen, to a relative named Apinianus. They had two children, both of whom died in early childhood. Henceforth Melania and her husband dedicated themselves entirely to God. They had both dreamed of a high wall that they would have to climb before they could pass through the narrow gate that leads to life, and soon began to take measures to dispose of their wealth. This aroused opposition from some of the Senate, who were concerned that the selling off of such huge holdings would disrupt the economy of the State itself.   With the support of the Empress, though, Melania was able to free 8000 of her slaves and give each a gift of three gold pieces to begin life as freedmen. She employed agents to help fund the establishment of churches and monasteries throughout the Empire, donated many estates to the Church, and sold many more, giving the proceeds as alms. When Rome fell to the Goths under Alaric in 410, Melania and Apinianus moved to Sicily, then to Africa, where they completed the sale of their propery, donating the proceeds to monasteries and to aiding victims of the barbarians.   In Africa Melania, now aged about thirty, took up a life of the strictest asceticism: she kept a total fast on weekdays, only eating on Saturday and Sunday; she slept two hours a night, giving the rest of the night to vigil and prayer. Her days were spent in charitable works, using the remainder of her wealth to relieve the poor and benefit the Church. After seven years in Africa, Melania, her mother and her husband left on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There they founded a monastery on the Mount of Olives, which grew to a community of ninety nuns. Melania's mother died in 431, then her husband and spiritual brother Apinianus ; she buried them side by side.   Save for one visit to Constantinople, Melania continued to live in reclusion in a small cave on the Mount of Olives; she became an advisor to the Empress Eudocia, who sought her expert counsel on her gifts to churches and monasteries.   Melania fell ill keeping the Vigil of Nativity in 439, and fell asleep in the Lord six days later; her last words were 'As it has pleased the Lord, so it has come to pass.' Her monastery was destroyed in 614 by the Persians, but her cave hermitage on the Mount of Olives is still a place of pilgrimage and veneration.

Saint of the Day
Holy Virgin and Martyr Anysia (298)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2021 1:50


She was born to a pious, noble and very wealthy family in Thessalonica. When both her parents died while she was an adolescent, Anysia consecrated herself to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom. She cast off all her jewels and fine clothing, dressing herself as a commoner. She freed all her many slaves, giving each of them a generous sum of money to establish themselves. She gave away all of her inheritance, which included large estates. Thenceforth she spent her days visiting the sick, helping widows and orphans, and, especially, aiding Christians suffering under persecution. She would visit those in prison, bringing them food and water and tending their wounds. All the time not devoted to aiding the poor or oppressed she spent in prayer in a small cell. One of her prayers was that she, like those that she helped, would be granted the crown of martyrdom.   One day, while she was walking to church, an imperial soldier accosted her and roughly questioned her. When she plainly declared herself a Christian, the soldier seized her and dragged her to a temple of the idols, where he commanded her to make sacrifice. In response, she only spat in his face. The enraged soldier drew his sword and thrust it into her side, slaying her. Some pious Christians took her body and buried it outside the city. When the persecutions had ended, a church was built in her honor at the place of her burial.

Saint of the Day
The Holy Infants Killed for Christ's Sake in Bethlehem

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2021 1:07


See Matthew ch. 2. Their number is sometimes put at fourteen thousand. In our own day, the icon of "Rachel weeping for her children" (Matthew 2:18) has come to commemorate also the tens of millions of children who have died through abortion.

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Father Simon the Outpourer of Myrrh, Founder of Simonopetra Monastery, Mt Athos (1287)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2021 2:49


He lived during the years when Constantinople was held in captivity by the Crusaders, and the Imperial government was in exile in Nicaea. Simon fled the world at a young age and traveled to the Holy Mountain, where he submitted himself to a strict but wise Elder for many years. In time, seeking greater seclusion, he moved to a small cave on the western side of Mt Athos, near a cliff that towered a thousand feet above the sea. One night, a few days before the Feast of the Nativity, he saw a star move across the sky and come to rest above the cliff near his cave. Taking this as a demonic delusion, he ignored it; but on the Eve of Nativity, the star once again took its place above the cliff, and Simon heard a voice from heaven saying 'Be in no doubt, Simon, faithful servant of my Son! See this sign, and do not leave this spot in search of greater solitude as you have in mind, for it is here that I want you to establish your monastery, for the salvation of many souls.' Soon afterward, three young monks from wealthy Macedonian families, who had heard of the Saint's holiness, came and laid their wealth at his feet, asking that he accept them as disciples. Simon sent for builders and ordered them to construct a monastery on the very edge of the precipitous cliff. The builders at first refused, saying the work was much too dangerous; but, persuaded by a miracle worked through the Saint's prayers, they were convinced. As soon as the building was finished, the monastic community began to grow rapidly.   In his own lifetime St Simon was the source of many miracles, prophecies and healings. Once the monastery was attacked by Saracen pirates. Simon went to meet them with gifts, hoping to dissuade them from attacking. When the pirates attacked him, they were blinded, and the arm of one of them was paralyzed when he attempted to strike the Saint. All of them were healed when the holy man prayed for them, and at this wonder they all repented, received Baptism and became monks.   Saint Simon reposed in peace. A fragrant, healing balm afterwards flowed from his tomb in great quantities, so that he came to be called Myroblytis, 'Myrrh-gusher' or 'Outpourer of Myrrh.' In subsequent years, the monastery was destroyed and rebuilt more than once, and no trace now remains of the tomb.

Saint of the Day
Holy First Martyr and Archdeacon Stephen

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2021 1:47


A kinsman of the Apostle Paul, the Holy Stephen was one of the seven deacons (with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas) first appointed by the Church to minister to the people; and it pleased God to receive him as the Church's first Martyr for Christ. Read the long, beautiful and edifying account of his witness in the Acts of the Apostles, chapters 6-8. When Stephen, "full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people," (Acts 6:8), some members of a synagogue in Jerusalem came to dispute with him and, enraged by his proclamation of Christ, stoned him to death. In his death St Stephen revealed Christ's erasure of the boundary between heaven and earth, and the new communion between man and God: his face shone with the light of the Transfiguration, and he was granted a vision of Christ enthroned at the Father's right hand. His dying words were "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts 7:60).   According to holy tradition, the martyrdom of St Stephen occurred exactly a year after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. His body was taken and secretly buried by Gamaliel, a member of the Sanhendrin and secretly a Christian.   Saint Stephen's relics were discovered by the priest Lucian in 415 following a vision. They were translated to the church built for them in Jerusalem by the Empress Eudocia, and later taken to Constantinople.   The Saint's missionary speech before his death (like that of the deacon St Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch) reminds us that those appointed to serve the Church materially are not barred, or even excused, from proclaiming the glorious Gospel of Christ.

Saint of the Day
The Flight into Egypt of the Holy Family

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2021 1:25


See Matthew ch. 2. Though St Matthew's account may leave the impression that the flight into Egypt was almost immediate, it would have been at least forty days after Christ's birth, following His Presentation in the Temple (Luke ch. 2). Christ, his holy Mother and his adoptive father St Joseph probably remained in Egypt for several years, until the death of Herod the Great.   St Nikolai Velimirovic (in the Prologue) relates the following tale: the holy family, fleeing into Egypt, were accosted by robbers, one of whom, seeing the Christ Child, was amazed at his supernatural beauty and said 'If God were to take human flesh Himself, He would not be more beautiful than this child!'. The robber told his companions to take nothing from the family. In gratitude the Mother of God told him 'This Child will reward you richly for having

Saint of the Day
The Nativity according to the Flesh of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 25, 2021 2:43


The Synaxarion's account includes this tradition from the Protoevangelium of James: "When Joseph had found a place for Mary in Bethlehem, he went out to look for a midwife. On his way, he noticed that the whole of nature had suddenly become utterly still as though seized with astonishment: the birds hung motionless in mid-air, men and beasts stopped in their tracks, and the waters ceased flowing. The continuous movement that leads everything from birth to death and imprisons it in vanity (cf Pss. 38:6-7; 102:15. Eccles. 1) was suspended, for at that moment the Eternal entered within the heart of time. The pre-eternal God became a newborn child. Time and history now took on a new dimension."

Saint of the Day
Holy Virgin and Martyr Eugenia and her companions

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2021 2:02


"This Martyr was the daughter of most distinguished and noble parents named Philip and Claudia. Philip, a Prefect of Rome, moved to Alexandria with his family. In Alexandria, Eugenia had the occasion to learn the Christian Faith, in particular when she encountered the Epistles of Saint Paul, the reading of which filled her with compunction and showed her clearly the vanity of the world. Secretly taking two of her servants, Protas and Hyacinth, she departed from Alexandria by night. Disguised as a man, she called herself Eugene [Eugenios -ed.] while pretending to be a eunuch, and departed with her servants and took up the monastic life in a monastery of men. Her parents mourned for her, but could not find her. After Saint Eugenia had laboured for some time in the monastic life, a certain woman named Melanthia, thinking Eugene to be a monk, conceived lust and constrained Eugenia to comply with her desire; when Eugenia refused, Melanthia slandered Eugenia to the Prefect as having done insult to her honour. Eugenia was brought before the Prefect, her own father Philip, and revealed to him both that she was innocent of the accusations, and that she was his own daughter. Through this, Philip became a Christian; he was afterwards beheaded at Alexandria. Eugenia was taken back to Rome with Protas and Hyacinth. All three of them ended their life in martyrdom in the years of Commodus, who reigned from 180 to 192." (Great Horologion)

Saint of the Day
Our Venerable Father Paul, Archbishop of Neocaesarea (4th c.)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2021 1:17


This holy bishop was so revered that he was summoned by the Emperor Licinius himself, who attempted to turn him from the Faith. When this failed, the Emperor ordered that molten metal be poured on the bishop's hands, which left them paralyzed and horribly disfigured. Years went by, Christianity was legalized by Constantine the Great and, when the Council of Nicaea was summoned, St Paul was among those bishops who were called to attend. Many of the bishops who attended bore in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus (Gal. 6:17): noses, ears or eyes lost, scars and burns from their trials for Christ. At the Council, the Emperor Constantine knelt before St Paul and kissed his hands as holy relics, saying 'I will never tire of kissing these hands which have lost their life for the sake of my Christ.' After the Council, the holy bishop served in Neocaesarea for several more years, then reposed in peace.

Saint of the Day
Holy Great Martyr Anastasia the Widow, the Deliverer from Potions (290)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 2:49


She was born in Rome to a wealthy and prominent family. Though her father Pretexatus was a pagan, her mother Fausta instructed her in the things of God. Her father married her against her will to Publius, a prodigal and impious man lacking in Christian or pagan virtue. Anastasia was in the custom of dressing herself as a poor working woman and going out by night to visit and comfort the many Christians in prison (this was the time of Diocletian's persecution). When Publius discovered this, he was furious that his wife was demeaning herself by consorting with the despised Christians, and had his wife locked in the house with so little food that she came close to death by starvation. She was able to get a letter to her spiritual father Chrysogonus, who was also in prison, and their correspondence helped to sustain her through her ordeal. After three months her husband died in a shipwreck and she regained her freedom. Immediately she redoubled her work for the suffering Christians and their families, devoting all her time and wealth to their comfort and care.   One day Diocletian declared that all Christians in his prisons should be slain, and his command was carried out in one night. The next day Anastasia came to visit her beloved companions and, learning that all were dead, fell sobbing by the gate, no longer caring to conceal her Christian faith from anyone. Almost immediately she was arrested and brought before the authorities, who subjected her to every form of abuse. One prefect offered to marry her if she would bow to the idols, but to have her tortured to death if she would not. When she was unmoved, he attempted to rape her, but was struck blind and died miserably. She then briefly escaped to Nicaea and found refuge with the pious St Theodota, but was seized again along with Theodota and her children. After further trials and torments Anastasia, Theodota and her children, and others who had been converted to Christ through Anastasia's example, were executed.   Saint Anastasia's relics were taken to Rome, where a church was built in her honor. The relics were later translated to Constantinople and placed in another church bearing her name, where they worked many miracles. Because she has healed many through her prayers from the effects of poisons and potions, she is called Pharmocolytria, "Deliverer from Potions."

Terrible Happy Talks
#138 - Kirk Jenkins: Repeat after me, "I am free".

Terrible Happy Talks

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2021 106:12


https://terriblehappytalks.com/Instagram @terriblehappytalksUnapologetically himself, opinionated, creative, and fiercely talented, its difficult not to love Kirk Jenkins...Albeit, at times, his raw authenticity can feel overwhelming, and sometimes even uncomfortable. For me, however, spending time with Kirk seems to highlight my own personal insecurities and the self-protection mechanism that I've built over years of social-conditioning and conformity. As we approach another year of uncertainty, as we witness our civil liberties continue to erode,  it's no coincidence that this episode with Kirk is the first one for 2022. The term "free spirit" gets thrown around a lot these days, so my use of it in this instance is well considered. Kirk is a "free sprit". How you exactly define "free", I'll leave that for you to decide, but I see a freedom in Kirk that I don't see in others. I'm not talking about an inconsiderate anarchist, radical, extremist type. I'm talking about a person who is kind, empathetic, law abiding and allows a sincere vulnerability to express them self openly, without fear of judgement or ridicule, without guilt, shame or remorse.Repeat after me, "I am free".Happy New Year,ShanCOMPANIES THAT SUPPORT THIS PODCAST:Use the THT code!!!KingPin Skate ShopCode: THT(Get 15% Discount)Best Skateshop in Australia!Best shoe range ever: Vans, Nike, Adidas, Lakai, Fallen, Etnies (and more).Rad clothes (To many to mention)Best skateboard brands: Baker, Girl, Chocolate, FA, Hockey, Antihero, Passport (and way more).Australian owned and operated. Best dudes ever! Get on dat code.KRUSH ORGANICS - CBD oils and topicalsCode: THT(Get a HUGE 40% Discount...shipping is WORLDWIDE and fast).Purveyors of the finest CBD oils and topicals. I think long and hard about who I want to be affiliated with, and I'm stoked to embark on a new affiliation with Krush Organics and advocate for the use of CBD products for supplementary use. Do the research yourself, the health benefits are unquestionable. It's done so much for me, especially during times of stress and anxiety, it's improved the quality of my sleep and sped up my recovery time especially post workouts. And it's all natural.Write a review on Apple Podcasts and give a 5 star rating.Thanks for listening!ShanSupport the show (https://terriblehappytalks.teemill.com)

Saint of the Day
Holy Martyr Juliana of Nicomedia and those with her (304)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2021 1:57


She was the daughter of a prominent family in Nicomedia during the reign of the persecutor Maximian (286-305). Her parents betrothed her to a nobleman named Eleusius, but without his knowledge, or that of her parents, she had already committed her life to Christ, and consecrated her virginity to him. To put off her suitor, she told him that she would not marry him until he became Prefect. Eleusius went to work using his fortune to bribe and influence those in power, and succeeded in being appointed Prefect of Nicomedia. When he went to Juliana to claim her as his wife, she was forced to confess herself a Christian, saying that she would never marry him unless he gave up the worship of idols and embraced the faith of Christ. For her confession, she was arrested and taken before the Prefect: Eleusius, her once-ardent suitor. He was now filled with an ardent rage toward her and, when she would not renounce her faith, had her subjected to the most sadistic tortures imaginable. Miraculously, she endured these without harm. Witnessing this wonder, 500 men and 130 women from among the pagans confessed Christ. The enraged Prefect had all of them beheaded immediately, followed by Juliana herself. She was eighteen years old when she won the Martyr's crown.

Saint of the Day
Holy Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-bearer, Bishop of Antioch (107)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2021 3:36


There is a tradition that it was the young boy Ignatius whom Christ took upon his knee to explain to His followers that they must become as children to enter the Kingdom. He knew the holy Apostles personally and, with St Polycarp (February 25) was a disciple of St John the Evangelist. He succeeded Evodus as second Bishop of Antioch, the capital of Syria and at that time one of the largest cities in the world. Here, during the persecutions of Domitian, he strengthened the faithful, brought many pagans to Christ, and prayed that he himself would be granted the crown of martyrdom. His flock called him the Godbearer, a title that he did not refuse, for he said that all Christians after their Baptism are truly Bearers of Christ, clothed in the Holy Spirit.   When peace was restored to the Church for awhile, the holy Bishop devoted himself to organizing the young Church on strong foundations at a time when the last of the Apostles had only recently passed away. He established the principle that the Grace imparted to the Apostles at Pentecost was handed down to the bishops appointed by them, and so on through the generations: the Apostolic Succession.   The Emperor Trajan, passing through Syria to make war in Armenia, spent some time in Antioch and initiated a persecution of Christians. Rejoicing that the time of martyrdom had at last arrived, Ignatius presented himself before the Emperor and eloquently declared his faith in Christ.   "So you are a disciple of the one crucified under Pontius Pilate?" asked the Emperor.   "I am the disciple of Him who has nailed my sin to the Cross, and has trodden the Devil and his devices underfoot."   "Why do you call yourself the Godbearer?"   "Because I carry the living Christ within me!"   "Therefore, let the bearer of the Crucified One be taken in chains to Rome, there to be fed to the lions for the amusement of the people."   And so it was. During the long and difficult journey to Rome, cruelly mistreated by his guards, the Saint wrote a series of letters to the young churches which remain one of the treasures of the Church. In Smyrna, he was able to meet with his fellow-disciple Polycarp and entrust to him the care of the churches whose shepherd he had been. As Trajan had ordered, In Rome he was taken to the amphitheater and, as the Synaxarion says, "entered the arena as though approaching the holy altar to serve his last Liturgy in the presence of the faithful, who were crowded among pagans on the steps of the amphitheatre." In a few moments he was completely devoured by the lions, save for a few bones. These were gathered by the faithful and returned to Antioch.   In his Letter to the Romans, the holy Bishop wrote to some who wished to rescue him from his martyrdom: "I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found to be the pure bread of God."

Saint of the Day
Holy Martyr Boniface (290)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2021 2:52


He lived in Rome during the reign of Diocletian. He was slave to Aglais, the daughter of a Senator, and served as steward of her household and her large fortune. He also lived in fornication with her, and was addicted to drink. Despite these sins, he was kind, hospitable to strangers, and generous toward the needy.   In time, Aglais became troubled in her conscience over her way of life, and began to think of the account that she would have to give to God for her sins. Some Christians told her of the holy Martyrs and, moved by their accounts, she ordered Boniface to travel to Tarsus and bring back relics of these holy ones. Boniface, still deaf and blind to the things of God, said jokingly, "And will you honor me as a Saint if I bring back my own body to you as a relic?"   Boniface traveled to Tarsus with a large escort, well supplied with gold. He went straightaway to the Amphitheater, where he beheld a number of Martyrs being subjected to awful torments for the pleasure of the crowd, but bearing them all with patience and serenity. At the sight, the dissolute steward was touched by grace and felt his heart melt within him. He ran to the Martyrs, fell at their feet and kissed their chains, and loudly declared that he too was a disciple of Christ. So he too was put in chains, subjected to frightful tortures, and finally beheaded, rejoicing and praising God.   Boniface's escort, mystified by his long absence, made inquiries and were astonished to discover that their godless and sinful companion had met a Martyr's death the day before. They paid fifty pounds in gold for his body and brought it back to Rome, thus fulfilling Boniface's own unwitting prophecy.   An angel of the Lord appeared to Aglais and said, "Arise and go to meet him who was once your servant and companion in sin, but has now become our brother. Receive him as your master for, thanks to him, all your sins are to be forgiven." Rejoicing, Aglais received her former lover's holy relics and built a church in his honor, where many miracles were wrought. Aglais gave away her fortune, devoted herself to ascesis and prayer, and was herself granted the grace to work miracles. She reposed in peace thirteen years later, assured that the sins of her past had been effaced through the intercessions of the holy Boniface.

Saint of the Day
Holy Martyr Sebastian and those with him (287)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 18, 2021 3:07


He grew up in Milan and became an army officer, where he distinguished himself so well that the Emperor Diocletian made him captain of the Praetorian Guard not suspecting that Sebastian was a Christian. In Rome, while fulfilling the duties of a courtier, he used his position to comfort and encourage his imprisoned fellow-Christians. By his labors and example he brought many to faith in Christ, including Chromatius, the Prefect in charge of persecuting the Roman Christians.   Sebastian had upheld two brothers, Mark and Marcellinus, who were awaiting execution for their faith. When the day of execution came, their father Tranquillinus, who had been a pagan but through Sebastian's example had converted, presented himself to Chromatius and announced that he too was a Christian. His testimony was so powerful that the hard heart of the Prefect was melted, and he himself resolved to become a Christian.   Caius, Bishop of Rome, gathered the new brethren (both men and women — not all of Sebastian's converts have been mentioned here) to embrace them and baptize them, but also to warn them of their coming Martyrdom. He instructed some to flee the city and others, headed by Sebastian, to remain in Rome, devoting their days to fasting, prayer and thanksgiving as they awaited their death. As the "company of Martyrs" did this, many came to them and were healed of ailments, and many joined them in confessing Christ.   When the time of martyrdom came, each member of the company was subjected to imaginatively cruel tortures before his execution. Sebastian himself was made to witness the deaths of all his companions, then to endure his own trial. He serenely confessed his unshaken faith before Diocletian himself before being taken to the place of execution. There he was tied to a post and made the target of a band of archers until his body bristled with arrows like the quills of a porcupine. He was left for dead, but when Irene, widow of St Castulus, came to bury him, she found him alive and tended his wounds. Amazingly, he recovered, and presented himself once again to the Emperor. Astonished and outraged, the tyrant ordered that Sebastian be beaten to death with clubs and thrown into the city's sewer. That evening, a pious Christian woman was told in a vision to retrieve his body and bury it in the catacombs. After St Constantine brought peace to the Church, Pope Damasus built a church over the site in the Saint's honor. For hundreds of years, many miracles were worked there through St Sebastian's intercessions.

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Father Dionysius the New of Zakinthos (1624)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 2:24


He was born to pious and wealthy parents on the island of Zakinthos. Early in life he renounced his wealth and worldly honors to enter monastic life. His virtue became so well known that he was appointed Archbishop of Aegina, where he served for many years. In time, in order to retire to a life of solitude and struggle, he resigned and returned to his homeland where he entered a monastery in the mountains. Here he received the grace of performing miracles, and worked many healing and saving wonders among the people of Zakinthos.   A story from the Synaxarion reveals his character as one truly united to Christ: "He excelled above all in love of neighbour and in meekness. One day the murderer of the Saint's own brother, fleeing the law and the members of his victim's family, arrived at the monastery and begged Dionysius for asylum, little knowing to whom he was speaking. On gathering the reason for his flight and that his own brother was the victim, the man of God resisted with all his strength his natural grief and the temptation to avenge the crime. Imitating Christ, who pardoned his enemies and prayed for his persecutors, he received the fugitive with compassion, comforted him, exhorted him to repent and hid him in an out-of-the-way cell. When his pursuing kinsmen reached the monastery with the dreadful news, the Saint did not reveal that he knew it already, but did his best with words of peace to allay the wrath of his relatives and their desire for vengeance. As soon as they moved off, he let out the murderer (who was amazed and terror-struck before such superhuman goodness) and having provided him with victuals and money for his journey, he sent him away to work freely at the salvation of his soul."   The holy bishop reposed in 1622 after a long and painful illness. He has continued to work signs and miracles and to appear from time to time to the people of Zakinthos, who venerate him as their protector and patron.

Comic Book Breakdown
Breakdown Biographies - Bob Kane & Bill Finger

Comic Book Breakdown

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2021 86:00


Batman owes his existence to two men - but one of them has long languished in the shadows of Gotham City. Explore the hidden history of Batman's fathers.

Saint of the Day
Holy Prophet Haggai (~520 BC)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2021 1:07


He was born in Babylon, of the priestly tribe of Levi, during the captivity of the Jews. After their return to Jerusalem, the Jews began to rebuild the Temple and to worship there according to the Law, but were discouraged by opposition from the local population (many of them Jews who had not gone into captivity). So God raised up the holy Prophets Haggai and Zechariah (February 8) to stir the people to complete their sacred work. Haggai's prophecies reveal that the drought that the Hebrews were suffering was brought about by their failure to complete the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and would only end when they rededicated themselves to their work. He is ranked tenth among the minor Prophets.

Saint of the Day
Holy Hieromartyr Eleutherius, Bishop of Illyria, and those with him (126)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2021 2:31


His name is a form of the Greek word for "freedom." He was a native of Rome whose father died at a young age, leaving him to be brought up by his mother Anthia, a Christian who reared him in the fear of God and the love of holiness. His virtue and ability were so evident that he was ordained a priest at the age of seventeen and at twenty was made Bishop of Illyria, a large see roughly comprising modern-day Serbia.   The young bishop's pastoral and evangelistic work was so successful that many pagans were converted to the Faith through him. His growing reputation drew the attention of the Emperor Hadrian, who sent one of his senior officers named Felix to arrest the holy bishop. But when Felix saw and heard Eleutherius, he was captivated by his teaching, believed in Christ, and was baptized. He and the St Eleutherius returned and presented themselves together before the Emperor, fearlessly confessing their faith.   Eleutherius was subjected to brutal torture, during which the city prefect Coremonus, who had suggested some of the tortures, was enlightened through the Saint's prayers for his enemies, and proclaimed Christ. He was baptized by Eleutherius and later beheaded. After a time, when it became clear that fire and torture would not move the holy bishop, he was taken to the amphitheater and beheaded. At the moment of his death, his mother Anthia rushed forward and took his body in her arms. There she also was beheaded by the executioners.   Pregnant women call on St Eleutherius that they may have a safe delivery.

Saint of the Day
Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucis and Callinicus (250)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2021 0:41


These martyrs contested in Asia Minor during the reign of Decius. Thyrsus and Leucis were executed after horrible torture for confessing themselves as Christians and rebuking the Governor for his slaughter of their brethren. Callinicus was a pagan priest, converted by witnessing the martyrdom and miracles of St Thyrsus; he was beheaded.

Saint of the Day
St Herman, Wonderworker of Alaska (1836)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 4:09


St Herman, for many the Patron of North America, was born near Moscow around 1756 to a pious merchant family, and entered monastic life at the age of sixteen, at the Trinity - St Sergius Lavra near St Petersburg. While there he was attacked by a cancer of the face, but the Mother of God appeared to him and healed him completely. He was tonsured a monk in 1783 with the name of Herman (a form of Germanos), and was received into Valaam Monastery on Lake Ladoga. After some time, he was allowed to withdraw to the life of a hermit in the forest, and only came to the monastery for feast days.   In 1793, in response to a request by the Russian-American Commercial Company for missionaries to Alaska, Valaam Monastery was told to select a company of its best monks to travel to America. Eight were chosen, of whom the hermit Herman was one. The company crossed all of Siberia and , almost a year later, first saw Kodiak Island in September 1794. The missionaries set about their work, and found the native Aleut people so receptive to the Gospel of Christ that in the first year about 7,000 were baptized and 1,500 marriages performed.   Despite severe hardships, the missionaries covered huge distances, on foot and in small boats, to reach the scattered fishing settlements of the Aleuts. In general they found a warm reception, but many of the pagan shamans opposed their message and sometimes stirred up the people against them. It was thus that the Priest-monk Juvenaly was killed in 1796, becoming the First Martyr of North America.   Despite such opposition, the missionaries' major difficulty was with the Russian traders and settlers, who were in the habit of exploiting the Aleuts as they wished, and who had oppressed and disgusted the native people with their immoral behavior. When the missionaries came to the defense of the natives, they were repaid with the opposition of the Russian-American company, whose leadership put countless obstacles in the path of their work. In time, several of the company died at sea, and several more abandoned the mission in discouragement, leaving the monk Herman alone.   He settled on Spruce Island near Kodiak, and once again took up the hermit's life, dwelling in a small cabin in the forest. He spent his days in prayer and mission work, and denied himself every fleshly comfort: he fasted often and lived on a diet of blackberries, mushrooms and vegetables (in Alaska!!). Despite these privations, he founded an orphanage and a school for the natives of the island, cared for the sick in epidemics, and built a chapel where he conducted divine services attended by many. (He was not a priest, but God made up the lack in miraculous ways: at Theophany, Angels descended to bless the waters of the bay, and the Saint would use the holy water to heal the sick). Asked if he was ever lonely or dejected in his solitude, and replied: "I am not alone; God is here as everywhere, and the Angels too. There is no better company."   Saint Herman reposed in peace on Spruce island, at the age of eighty-one, in 1836. At the moment of his departure, his face was radiant with light, and the inhabitants nearby saw a pillar of light rising above his hermitage. His last wish was to be buried on Spruce Island. When some of his well-intended disciples attempted to take his relics back to Kodiak to be buried from the church there, a storm rose up and continued unabated until they had abandoned the plan and buried him as he desired. He was officially glorified in 1970, the first canonized American Saint.   Saint Peter was a young Aleut convert to the Orthodox faith. In 1812 the Russian- American Company set up a post in California, where Russians and Aleuts farmed and traded to supply the needs of the Alaskans; Peter was one of these. The Spanish, who at the time ruled California, suspected the Russians of territorial ambitions, and in 1815 captured about twenty Orthodox Aleuts and took them to San Francisco. Fourteen of these were put to torture in an effort to convert them to the Roman Catholic faith. All refused to compromise their faith, and Peter and a companion were singled out for especially vicious treatment: Peter's fingers, then hands and feet, were severed, and he died from loss of blood, still firm in his confession. The Latins were preparing the same fate for the others when word came that they were to be transferred; eventually they returned to Alaska. When he heard a first-hand account of Peter's martyrdom, Saint Herman crossed himself and said "Holy New Martyr Peter, pray to God for us!" Saint Peter the Aleut is the first recognized Saint of American birth.   St Herman appears several times on the Church's calendar. The Synaxis of St Herman and the American Protomartyrs is celebrated today. St Herman is commemorated on November 15, the day of his repose; but (partly because pilgrimage to Alaska is so difficult in the winter) the day of his glorification, July 27 / August 9 is kept there as his primary feast day.   Following is a fragment of a conversation between St Herman and some officers of a Russian ship, recorded by his disciple Yanovsky; it includes perhaps the most familiar quotation from St Herman.   "But do you love God?" asked the Elder. And all answered: "Of course we love God. How can we not love God?" "And I, a sinner, have tried to love God for more than forty years, and I cannot say that I perfectly love Him," answered Father Herman, and began to explain how one must love God. "If we love someone," he said, "then we always think of that one, we strive to please that one; day and night our heart is preoccupied with that object. Is it in this way, gentlemen, that you love God? Do you often turn to Him, do you always remember Him, do you always pray to Him and fulfill His Holy commandments?" We had to admit that we did not. "For our good, for our happiness," concluded the Elder, "at least let us give a vow to ourselves, that from this day, from this hour, from this minute, we shall strive above all else to love God and to do His Holy Will!"   Saint Herman is also commemorated on December 12.

Saint of the Day
Our Holy Godbearing Father Spyridon the Wonderworker (348)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 12, 2021 3:34


He was a humble shepherd who lived on the island of Cyprus with his wife and his one child, a daughter named Irene. Though he was poor himself, his house and table were always open to travelers and those in need. He kept his money in a box which he left open and available to all, not concerning himself with who took from it or whether they were deserving or not. In time, his wife died and, with less worldly cares, he redoubled his prayers and his almsgiving.   He became so well-loved on the island that, when the bishop of the town of Tremithos died, the faithful unanimously chose Spyridon to succeed him, and he thus became a shepherd of rational sheep as well as the beasts he had tended. Despite his sudden elevation in rank, he kept to his former manner of life, traveling everywhere on foot, tending his animals as before, while fulfilling all the duties of a bishop as well. (To portray this godly humility, his icon shows him wearing bishop's vestments and a peasant's woven straw hat.)   His compassion for others was boundless. Though he was very strict with himself, he would always break a fast to give comfort to a traveler. Once a band of robbers broke into his sheepfold by night, but found themselves confined there by an invisible force. When Spyridon found them in the morning, he freed them, admonished them to live honestly, and gave them two sheep in compensation, he said, for their keeping an all-night vigil.   Pages could be filled with stories of the miracles wrought by the holy bishop for the good of his flock: by his prayers he ended a drought, turned a snake to gold to help a poor man, and even raised the dead son of a poor widow. His radiant virtue touched the consciences of those he met so that many would spontaneously fall at his feet and confess their sins.   When the Emperor Constantine summoned the First Ecumenical Council in 325, Spyridon attended, dressed in his simple peasant's garb. At one of the sessions, a proud Arian philosopher challenged the Orthodox to a debate about the Holy Trinity, and was amazed when the simple Spyridon stepped forward to accept the challenge. He and all the other bishops were far more amazed when the uneducated peasant bishop confounded all the Arian's arguments with his eloquent, Spirit-inspired words. The humbled philosopher admitted that he was convinced, embraced the Orthodox faith, and called upon the other Arians to abandon their human wisdom and embrace the true and life-giving Faith.   The holy bishop always celebrated the Divine Liturgy with joy. Once, serving in a remote, almost empty church, he turned to the invisible congregation and said "Peace be unto all!", and his disciple heard a choir of angels respond "And with thy spirit!"   Saint Spyridon reposed in peace in 348 at the age of seventy-eight. His incorrupt and wonder-working relics poured forth miracles for the people of Cyprus until the seventh century, when they were moved to Constantinople to escape the Arab invasion; when the City fell to the Turks, the relics were again moved to Corfu, where they are venerated to this day. Even after 1,500 years, the holy relics remain incorrupt and work many life-giving wonders. Saint Spyridon is venerated as the Patron of Corfu. St Finian of Clonard (549)

Saint of the Day
Our Venerable Father Daniel the Stylite (490)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 11, 2021 1:20


He was from Samosata in Mesopotamia, and became a monk at the age of twelve. As a young monk he visited St Symeon the Stylite (September 1) to receive his blessing. Years later he moved to the neighborhood of Constantinople at the request of the holy Patriarch Anatolius (July 3), whom he had healed of a deadly ailment through his prayers. For a time Daniel lived in the church of the Archangel Michael at Anaplus, but nine years later St Symeon the Stylite appeared to him in a vision and told him to imitate Symeon's ascesis of living on a pillar. For the remaining thirty-three years of his life the Saint did just that. He stood immovably in prayer regardless of the weather: once after a storm his disciples found him standing covered with ice. He was much loved by several Emperors (including Leo the Great), who sought him out for counsel. He reposed at the age of eighty-four, having lived through the reigns of three Emperors.

Saint of the Day
Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes and Eugraphus (235)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 2:18


Menas was an Athenian, a courtier of the Emperor Maximinus, and a secret Christian. Once there was an outbreak of civil unrest in Alexandria, brought about by various political factions, and by the increasing success of Christian missionaries in turning the Alexandrian people from the idols. The Emperor sent Menas to reconcile the parties and settle the dispute. On his arrival, Menas quickly resolved the political troubles and restored peace to the city; but instead of putting down Christianity as the Emperor had desired, he did everything in his power to protect the Christians and encourage the spread of the Gospel. When word of this came to the Emperor, he sent another trusted courtier, Hermogenes, to re-establish Imperial authority and to execute Menas if he would not renounce Christ. Hermogenes followed these orders scrupulously: he subjected the godly Menas to various horrid tortures in the public arena. But Menas was miraculously preserved through them all, and when he finally appeared in the arena, flanked by two shining Angels, Hermogenes repented and confessed Christ. He in turn became such a fervent advocate for the Gospel that he was soon made a Bishop (!). Finally the Emperor decided that the only solution was to come to Alexandria himself. There he had both Menas and Hermogenes cruelly tortured to death in secret, lest they perform any public miracles; but when the Emperor presented himself before the people at the arena the following day, the two Saints, miraculously preserved, appeared there also, causing the people to cry out "Christ is the only true God!" At the sight, Menas' scribe Eugraphus declared himself a Christian, leaped into the arena and publicly demanded the honor of dying with them. All three were beheaded. Their precious relics were later taken to Constantinople, where they worked many miracles.

Saint of the Day
St Hannah (Anna), the Prophetess, the mother of the Prophet Samuel (12th c. BC)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2021 1:03


Her story opens the First Book of Samuel. Though barren, she kept all the commandments and prayed with fervor that her reproach might be taken from her, vowing that if God granted her a son she would dedicate him to God's service. When her prayers were answered, she brought her child Samuel to live with Eli the High Priest as soon as he was weaned. Her beautiful song of praise and thanks (1 Sam. 2:1-10) has become the third Biblical Ode of the Matins Canon; today it is only sung in full in monasteries during Lent. Despite her age, God granted her three sons and two daughters. She reposed in peace.

Saint of the Day
Our Venerable Father Patapius (6th or 7th c.)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 1:48


He was born at Thebes in Egypt, and at a young age left his pious parents, his inheritance and his acquaintances to dwell in the Egyptian desert, devoting himself to ceaseless prayer. After many years, he reputation spread and, despite his desire for solitude, throngs of pilgrims would seek him out for his prayers and counsel. To escape the attentions of men, he did a surprising thing: he abandoned the desert and moved to Constantinople, settling in the Blachernae district, where, amid the bustle of the city, he was able to pass unnoticed, more secure in his solitude than he had been in the caves of Egypt.   As he grew in obedience to the commandments of Christ, the grace of working miracles grew in him, and once again he gradually became known. Once a blind man cast himself before Patapius on the street, and the Saint cured him instantly by calling on the name of Christ. Once he healed a man crippled by dropsy, anointing him with the oil from a vigil lamp and signing him with the Cross.   After blessing the Church for many years with his prayers and miracles, St Patapius fell asleep in peace, and was buried in the church of the Monastery of the Egyptians near Constantinople. In 1904 his precious and incorrupt relics were uncovered in the course of some building at a small monastery near Corinth. From that time the monastery has been dedicated to St Patapius, and many miracles are worked there.

Saint of the Day
St Hieron and his thirty-three Companions, martyred at Melitene (290)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 1:02


Hieron was a farmer from Tyana in Cappadocia, known for his great bodily strength as well as purity of soul. Hearing of his prowess, imperial soldiers came to draft him into the army. Knowing that he would be required to make sacrifice to the idols, Hieron drove them off with only a wooden stave, then hid in the wilderness. Later, however, he went to the Governor voluntarily and openly confessed his faith in Christ. For this his right hand was cut off and he was imprisoned with thirty-two other believers. As they awaited their end, Hieron strengthened the others in the Faith. All were beheaded together outside Melitene in Armenia.

Saint of the Day
Our Father among the Saints Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra (345)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 3:43


Our beloved holy Father Nicholas is, along with St George (and second to the All-holy Theotokos), probably the best-loved Saint of the Church. His numberless miracles through the ages, on behalf of the countless Christians who have called on him, cannot be told.   He was born in Lycia (in Asia Minor) around the end of the third century, to pious Christian parents. His love of virtue, and his zeal for observing the canons of the Church, were evident from his infancy, when he would abstain from his mother's breast every Wednesday and Friday until the evening. From early youth he was inclined to solitude and silence; in fact, not a single written or spoken word of the Saint has come down to us. Though ordained a priest by his uncle, Archbishop Nicholas, he attempted to withdraw to a hermit's life in the Holy Land; but he was told by revelation that he was to return home to serve the Church publicly and be the salvation of many souls.   When his parents died, he gave away all of his inheritance to the needy, and thereafter almsgiving was his greatest glory. He always took particular care that his charity be done in secret. Perhaps the most famous story of his open-handedness concerns a debt-ridden man who had no money to provide dowries for his daughters, or even to support them, and in despair had resolved to give them into prostitution. On three successive nights the Saint threw a bag of gold into the window of the man's house, saving him and his daughters from sin and hopelessness. The man searched relentlessly to find and thank his benefactor; when at last he discovered that it was Nicholas, the Saint made him promise not to reveal the good deed until after he had died. (This story may be the thin thread that connects the Saint with the modern-day Santa Claus).   God honored his faithfulness by granting him unparalleled gifts of healing and wonderworking. Several times he calmed storms by his prayers and saved the ship that he was sailing in. Through the centuries he has often done the same for sailors who call out to him, and is considered the patron of sailors and all who go to sea.   He was elected Bishop of Myra not long before the great persecutions under Diocletian and Maximian (c. 305), and was put in prison, from which he continued to encourage his flock in the Faith. When the Arian heresy wracked the Church not long after Constantine came to the throne, St Nicholas was one of the 318 Bishops who gathered in Nicea in 325. There he was so incensed at the blasphemies of Arius that he struck him on the face. This put the other bishops in a quandary, since the canons require that any hierarch who strikes anyone must be deposed. Sadly, they prepared to depose the holy Nicholas; but in the night the Lord Jesus and the most Holy Theotokos appeared to them, telling them that the Saint had acted solely out of love for Truth, not from hatred or passion, and that they should not act against him.   While still in the flesh, he sometimes miraculously appeared in distant places to save the lives of the faithful. He once saved the city of Myra from famine by appearing to the captain of a ship full of grain, telling him to take his cargo to the city. He appeared in a dream to Constantine to intercede for the lives of three Roman officers who had been falsely condemned; the three grateful soldiers later became monks.   The holy bishop reposed in peace around 345. His holy relics were placed in a church built in his honor in Myra, where they were venerated by throngs of pilgrims every year. In 1087, after Myra was conquered by the Saracens, the Saint's relics were translated to Bari in southern Italy, where they are venerated today. Every year, quantities of fragrant myrrh are gathered from the casket containing his holy relics

Saint of the Day
Our Venerable, Godbearing Father Sabbas the Sanctified (533)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2021 1:14


"This Saint was born in 439 in Moutalaska, a small village of Cappadocia. He entered the arena of the monastic life from childhood and was under that master trainer of monastics, Euthymius the Great, the teacher of the desert. He became the spiritual father of many monks and an instructor for the monasteries in Palestine, and was appointed leader (archimandrite) of the desert-dwellers of Palestine by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. In his old age he went to Constantinople, to the Emperors Anastasius and Saint Justinian the Great, in behalf of the Orthodox Faith and the dogmas of the Council of Chalcedon. Having lived ninety-four years, he reposed in 533. The Typicon for the ecclesiastical services had its beginning in the monastery established by this righteous one." (Great Horologion)

Saint of the Day
Holy Great Martyr Barbara (290)

Saint of the Day

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2021 1:39


'Saint Barbara was from Heliopolis of Phoenicia and lived during the reign of Maximian. She was the daughter of a certain idolater named Dioscorus. When Barbara came of age, she was enlightened in her pure heart and secretly believed in the Holy Trinity. About this time Dioscorus began building a bath-house; before it was finished he was required to go away to attend to certain matters, and in his absence Barbara directed the workmen to build a third window in addition to the two her father had commanded. She also inscribed the sign of the Cross with her finger upon the marble of the bath-house, leaving the saving sign cut as deeply into the marble as if it had been done with an iron tool. When the Synaxarion of Saint Barbara was written, the marble of the bath-house and the cross inscribed by Saint Barbara were still preserved, and many healings were worked there. When Dioscorus returned, he asked why the third window had been added; Barbara began to declare to him the mystery of the Trinity. Because she refused to renounce her faith, Dioscorus tortured Barbara inhumanly, and after subjecting her to many sufferings he beheaded her with his own hands, in the year 290.' (Great Horologion)