Our Holy Mother Euphrosyne
The daughter of a rich and eminent man, Paphnutius, from Alexandria, she was besought of God by her childless parents, who brought their daughter up in the Christian faith. Not wishing to marry, the young Euphrosyne, in order to hide from her father, dressed herself in men"s clothing and presented herself to the abbot of a monastery as a eunuch of the Emperor Theodosius with the name of Smaragdus. The abbot receivied her and placed her under the guidance of the monk Agapetus as spiritual father. By her fasting and prayers, Smaragdus quickly outstripped the other monks in the monastery. When she had spent thirty-eight years in strict asceticism, Paphnutius visited the monastery and the abbot placed him in Smaragdus"s care for prayer and counsel. Smaragdus recognised Paphnutius, but Paphnutius did not recognise her. When her father confessed his grief for his lost daughter, Smaragdus told him not to lose hope, for he would see his daughter again once more in this life, and asked him to come again in three days" time. When Paphnutius returned, Smaragdus was on her deathbed. Then the dying monk said to Paphnutius: "I am Euphrosyne your daughter; you are my father." Her father could not for a long time collect himself, for sheer astonishment. Then Euphrosyne breathed her last and her father wept over her. After burying his daughter, Paphnutius remained in the monastery and settled in the cell of his departed, holy daughter. After ten years of asceticism, holy Paphnutius entered into rest in the Lord.
Our Holy Father Sergius of Radonezh
A great ascetic and light of the Russian Church, he was born in 1313 in Rostov of devout parents, Kirif and Maria. After the death of his parents, Barthlomew - for that was his baptismal name - became a monk and founded the community of the Holy Trinity in the forest of Radonezh. A gentle and meek servant of God, occupied only with labour and prayer, he was made worthy of the gifts of wonderworking for the purity of his heart, raising tile dead in the name of Christ. The holy Mother of God appeared to him a number of times. Princes and bishops came to him for counsel, and he gave his blessing to Prince Dimitri of the Don and foretold his victory in Russia"s war of liberation against the Tartars. He had insight into men"s hearts and into distant events. His community became filled with monks during his lifetime, and has served through the ages as one of the chief centres of spiritual life and of God"s miracles. St Sergius entered into rest in 1392. After his death, he appeared a number of times to various people.
Our Holy Mother Euphrosyne of Suzdal
Her baptismal name was Theodula, and she was the daughter of Michael Vsevolodovitch and the betrothed of Menas, Prince of Suzdal. She had never desired marriage, and prayed to God to keep her in virginity till her death. When they took her as a bride to Suzdal, Prince Menas died suddenly. She did not return to her parents but retired to a monastery, where she lived in asceticism till her death. She was endowed by God with wonderworking gifts, and entered into rest in 1250.
Martyr Paphnutius and 546 companions in Egypt (3rd c.)
The Holy Martyr Paphnutios hailed from Egypt and asceticised in the wilderness. During the time of persecution against Christians under Diocletian (284-305), the governor Adrian commanded that Saint Paphnutios be brought to him, but the ascetic, not awaiting those sent for him, himself instead appeared before the governor, confessed his faith in Christ, and was given over for torture. The soldiers involved in his torture, Dionysios and Callimachos, seeing how the power of God preserved the martyr, themselves believed in Christ the Saviour, for which they were then beheaded...
Commemoration of the earthquake in Constantinople in 447
During the reign of the Emperor Theophilus, the city of Constantinople was visited by earthquakes for almost four months. The Emperor, the Patriarch Proclus, and the people joined in a barefoot procession to make prayer to God for their safety. While they were gathered, the tremors increased dramatically, and a young boy was taken up into the sky in the sight of the people, who fearfully cried out Kyrie eleison! ...
Martyrs Paul and Tatta and their children Sabinian, Maximus, Rufus, and Eugene of Damascus
St. Arsenius the Great, Catholicos of Georgia (887)
Saint Arsenius the Great, a pupil and spiritual son of Gregory of Khandzta, was the youngest son of a certain aristocrat, Mirian, from Meskheti in southern Georgia. On their way to Abkhazeti, St. Gregory’s companions Theodore and Christopher stopped in Meskheti at the home of Arsenius’ family. Mirian and his wife, Kravaia, asked the monks to bless their children and, astonished at the fathers’ virtue, they entrusted their youngest son to their care...
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