The Holy Apostle Timothy
Timothy was one of the Seventy Apostles. He was born in Lystra in Lycaonia of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. The Apostle Paul praised his mother and grandmother because of their sincere faith. " I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that, I am confident, lives also in you" (II Timothy 1: 4-5). Timothy first met with the great apostle in Lystra and was himself a witness when Paul healed the one lame from birth. Later, Timothy was an almost constant traveling companion of Paul, traveling with him to Achaia, Macedonia, Italy and Spain. Sweet in soul, he was a great zealot for the Faith, and a superb preacher. Timothy contributed much to the spreading and establishing of the Christian Faith. Paul calls him "my own son in the faith." "Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus, Who is our hope, to Timothy, my own son in the Faith: grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord" (I Timothy 1: 1-2). After Paul"s martyrdom, Timothy had St. John the Evangelist as his teacher. But when the Emperor Domentian banished John from Ephesus to the island of Patmos, Timothy remained in Ephesus to serve as bishop. During the time of an idolatrous feast called Katagogium, the pagans, resentful of the Christians, treacherously and in disguise, attacked Timothy and killed him about the year 93 A.D. Later his honorable relics were translated to Constantinople and interred in the Church of the Twelve Apostles along side of the grave of St. Luke the Evangelist and St. Andrew the First-called.
The Venerable Martyr Anastasius
Anastasius was a Persian by birth. His pagan name was Magundat. When Emperor Heraclius warred with the Persians, Magundat deserted to the Christians, went to Jerusalem where he was baptized and received the name Anastasius. It was not enough for him to be baptized, but, in order to give himself completely to serving the Lord he was also tonsured a monk. Among his other mortifications, Anastasius joyfully read the hagiography of the holy martyrs and in reading them he moistened the book with his tears and ardently yearned for martyrdom. The Lord finally crowned him with the martyr"s wreath. In prison for a long time, he was cruelly tortured, until Emperor Chozroes pronounced the death sentence. After that death sentence, Anastasius was suffocated under water and after being removed from the water, the executioner beheaded him and sent his head to the emperor. He suffered on January 22, 628 A.D., in the town of Bethsaloe near Nineveh.
Martyrs Manuel, George, Peter, Leontius, bishops; Sionius, Gabriel, John, Leontus, Parodus, presbyters; and 377 companions in Bulgaria (814)
These Christians were captured in Thrace by the Bulgars, and were slain in various ways.
Monkmartyr Anastasius the Deacon of the Kiev Near Caves
The Monk Martyr Anastasius, Deacon of the Kiev Caves, lived an ascetical life in the Near Caves. The hieromonk Athanasius the Sooty calls him brother of St Titus the Presbyter (February 27). In the manuscripts of the saints he is called a deacon. In the Service to the Synaxis of the Fathers of the Near Caves, it says that the Monk Martyr Anastasius possessed such steadfastness in God, that he received everything he asked for. His memory is celebrated also on September 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.
Venerable Macarius of Zhabyn the Wonderworker
Saint Macarius of Zhabyn, Wonderworker of Belev, was born in the year 1539. In his early years he was tonsured with the name Onuphrius, and in the year 1585 he founded Zhabyn’s Monastery of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple near the River Oka, not far from the city of Belev. In 1615 the monastery was completely destroyed by Polish soldiers under the command of Lisovski. Returning to the charred remains, the monk began to restore the monastery. He again gathered the brethren, and in place of the wooden church a stone church was built in honor of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple (November 21), with a bell-tower at the gates. The saint spent his life in austere monastic struggles, suffering cold, heat, hunger and thirst, as the monastery accounts relate. He often went deep into the forest, where he prayed to God in solitude. Once, when he was following a path in the forest, he heard a faint moaning. He looked around and saw a weary Polish man reclining against a tree trunk, with his sabre beside him. He had strayed from his regiment and had become lost in the forest. In a barely audible voice this enemy, who might have been one of the destroyers of the monastery, asked for a drink of water. Love and sympathy surged up within the monk. With a prayer to the Lord, he plunged his staff into the ground. At once, a fresh spring of water gushed forth, and he gave the dying man a drink. When both the external and internal life of the monastery had been restored, St Onuphrius withdrew from the general monastic life, and having entrusted the guidance of the brethren to one of his disciples, he took the schema with the name Macarius. For the place of his solitude, he chose a spot along the upper tributary of the River Zhabynka. About one verst separated the mouth of the tributary and the banks of the River Oka. The ascetical struggles of St Macarius were concealed not only from the world, but also from his beloved brethren. He died in 1623 at the age of eighty-four, at the hour when the roosters start to crow. He was buried opposite the gates of the monastery on January 22, the commemoration of St Timothy, where a church was later built and named for him. The Iconographic Originals has preserved a description of St Macarius in his last years: he had gray hair with a small beard, and over his monastic riassa he wore the schema. Veneration of St Macarius was established at the end of the seventeenth century, or the beginning of the eighteenth. According to Tradition, his relics remained uncovered, but by 1721 they were interred in a crypt. In the eighteenth century the monastery became deserted. The memory of his deeds and miracles was so completely forgotten, that when the incorrupt relics of the monastery’s founder were uncovered during the construction of the church of St Nicholas in 1816, a general panikhida was served over them. The restoration of the liturgical commemoration of St Macarius of Belev is credited to Igumen Jonah, who was born on January 22 (the Feast of St Macarius), and who began his own monastic journey at the Optina monastery not far from the Zhabyn monastery. In 1875 Igumen Jonah became head of the Zhabyn monastery. His request to re-establish the Feast of St Macarius was strengthened by the petition of the people of Belev, who through the centuries had preserved their faith in the saint. On January 22, 1888, the annual commemoration of St Macarius of Zhabyn was resumed. In 1889, a church dedicated to St Macarius was built at his tomb. Igumen Jonah, who lived at the monastery and actually participated in the construction, decided that in addition to the building project, the holy relics of St Macarius would also be uncovered. When everything was on the point of readiness, St Macarius appeared to the participants and sternly warned them that they should not proceed with their intention, or they would be punished. The memory of this appearance was reverently preserved among the monks of the monastery. St Macarius of Zhabynsk is also commemorated on September 22.
St. Joseph Samakus the Sanctified of Crete (1511)
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