Cyrus And John, The Unmercenary Saints And Miracle-Workers
These charitable and glorious saints were not blood brothers but were brothers in the spirit. At first, Cyrus lived in Alexandria, and as a physician he healed people by the power of Christ and by his knowledge of medicine. Learning that sickness mostly befalls man because of sin, Cyrus always directed the sick to purify their souls from sin through repentance and prayer and, thereby restore health to the body. When Diocletion"s persecution against Christians began, Cyrus withdrew to Arabia where he received the monastic tonsure. He became as famous in Arabia as he was in Alexandria, so that people there also resorted to him for assistance. Hearing about Cyrus, John, then a Roman officer in Edessa, came to Arabia to see him. Upon meeting, they loved one another as a brother loves a brother and remained together to live a life of asceticism. At that time, a certain Christian woman named Anastasia, together with her three daughters, was tortured by the persecutors in the town of Canopus. Hearing of this, Cyrus and John came to Canopus to encourage the mother and her daughters not to abandon the Faith. And truly, thanks to the counsel of these saints, Anastasia endured all tortures and, with her daughters, was martyred for Christ. The daughters of Anastasia were named: St. Theoctista, age 15; St. Theodota, age 13; and St. Eudocia, age 11. The tormentors then captured Cyrus and John, who, after imprisonment and torture were beheaded in the year 311 A.D. Numerous miracles were wrought by these martyrs, both during their lives and after their deaths. Their relics were translated to Rome during the reign of Emperor Arcadius. These saints are invoked for assistance during the Blessing of Water, in the Sacrament of Holy Unction and especially by those suffering from insomnia.
The Female Martyr Tryphaena
Tryphaena willingly and courageously endured many tortures for Christ. Because she did not want to deny her Faith, a wild ox was released which gored her to death. This occurred in the first century. St. Tryphaena is invoked by mothers who are unable to breast-feed their children.
The Venerable Nicetas Of The Monastery Of The Caves In Kiev
As a monk Nicetas was disobedient to his superior, left the monastery and closed himself in a cell. Because of his disobedience, God permitted great temptations to befall him. Once, when Nicetas was at prayer, the devil appeared to him under the guise of a radiant angel and said to him: "Do not pray anymore; rather read books and I will pray for you!" Nicetas obeyed and ceased to pray and began to read books. He only read the Old Testament. He was unable even to open the Book of the New Testament, for the power of the devil prevented him from doing so. With the help of the devil, Nicetas prophesied only crimes, thefts, arson and other evil deeds which are known to the devil and in which he [the devil] participates. Finally, the holy fathers of the Caves realized that Nicetas had succumbed to the temptation of the devil, and they began to pray to God for him. Nicetas returned to the monastery, realized the destruction which plagued him, and directed himself on the right path. After prolonged repentance and many tears, God forgave him and bestowed upon him the gift of miracle-working. He died in the year 1108 A.D.
The Holy Martyrs Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudius, Diodorus, Serapion and Papias
The Holy Martyrs Victorinus, Victor, Nicephorus, Claudius, Diodorus, Serapion and Papias suffered at Corinth, in a persecution under the emperor Decius (249-251), in the year 251. Saints Victorinus, Victor and Nicephorus were secured into a stone mortar and died under the crushing of an huge stone pestle. Saint Claudius died after the cutting off of his hands and feet. Saint Diodorus was burnt, Saint Serapion beheaded, and Saint Papias they drowned in the sea.
New Martyr Elias (Ardunis) of Mt. Athos
The MonkMartyr Elias of Ardenysia was a native of Moreia. He was noted for his prudence and goodness of heart. The people of the village loved and esteemed him and often got his advice. Through the temptation of the devil he once renounced faith in Christ, but soon he repented, and wanting to atone his sin, he withdrew to Athos, where for eight years he asceticised as a monk. Constantly torn by awareness of his sin, Saint Elias made a firm resolve to wash away his transgression by his own blood. With the blessing of his spiritual father, he set off to his native land, and in front of a throng of Turks he declared himself a Christian. They fiercely beat him and gave him a trial, which sentenced him to burning. the Lord glorified the holy martyr. He was put upon a bonfire, but the body of the martyr remained unharmed. The fire did not touch even his robe nor his hair, when his soul expired to the Lord (+ 1686). Christians buried his body in the Burkanos monastery.
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