The Hieromartyr Nikon
Born in Naples of a pagan father and a Christian mother, he was an officer in the Roman army in Naples. He was not baptised, although his mother, unbeknown to his father, had instructed him in the Christian faith. Once, when he was setting off with his company to war, his mother advised him, if he were in trouble, to make the sign of the Cross and call on Christ to help him. And so, when Nikon's company was surrounded during the battle and close to final extermination, Nikon made the sign of the Cross and began to call upon Christ. At that moment he was filled with exceptional strength and rushed upon his opponents, killing some and putting the others to flight. Returning home, Nikon could not stop exclaming in wonder: 'Great is the God of the Christians!' After he had brought joy to his mother with his report of the victory by the aid of Christ's Cross, he set sail in secret for Asia, where the Bishop of Cyzicus, Theodosius, baptised him. After his baptism, he shut himself up in a monastery and devoted himself to study and to asceticism. However, Bishop Theodosius had a vision before his death, in which he was told to consecrate Nikon as his successor. The aged Theodosius summoned Nikon immediately and ordained him deacon, and then priest and bishop. By divine providence Nikon came soon after this to Neapolis, where he found his mother still alive. On her death, he went to Sicily with nine disciples, one-time comrades in battle, and there devoted himself to preaching the Gospel. There was a terrible persecution of Christians at that time, and Prince Quintianus seized Nikon and his companions and gave them over to great torture. One hundred and ninety of his disciples and friends were slain. The torturer tied Nikon to the tails of horses, threw him from a high cliff into a ravine, beat him and flayed him, yet Nikon survived all these tortures. He was finally slain with the sword and his body was abandoned in a field for the birds to eat, but a shepherd boy, possessed by a raging evil spirit, fell on the dead body of Christ's martyr, took hold of it, and was immediately healed. He spread the news about Nikon's body, and Christians came and buried it. St Nikon suffered and went to the Lord in the reign of the Emperor Decius.
Our Holy Father Nikhon of the Kiev Caves
Nikhon was a friend of St Antony of the Caves and the spiritual father of our holy father Theodosius. After the tonsuring of the Boyar Varlaam and the eunuch Ephraim he was threatened by Prince lz'aslav, but the princess turned the prince's anger to godly fear and holy Nikhon was left in peace. Desiring to beautify the Church with icons, Nikhon prayed for assistance, and through his prayers some Greek iconographers suddenly arrived in Kiev from Constantinople, St Antony and St Theodore having appeared to them in a vision and sent them to Nikhon in Kiev. He was glorified for his daring asceticism and his spiritual wisdom. He became abbot of the Monastery of the Caves against his will in old age, and went to the Lord in 1066. His incorrupt relics are preserved in the Kiev Caves. Author's note: In the Greek Synaxarion and the Athonite Patrology the New Martyr Luke from Jedren is commemorated on this day. He was taken to Constantinople by the Turks as a child and circumcised. He was greatly troubled in his conscience because of this, regarding his circumcision as the devil's seal upon him, which he could destroy only by suffering martyrdom for Christ. He became a monk on the Holy Mountain and went with his staretz, Vissiarion, to Mitylene, being murdered there by the Turks on March 23rd, 1802. Hanging in the air, the martyr's body gave forth a fragrant myrrh.
Martyrs Philetas the Senator, his wife Lydia, and others (125).
Martyrs Philetos, his wife Lydia, their sons Macedonos and Theoprepios, together with Cronides and Amphylokios: Saint Philetos was an illustrious dignitary at the court of the emperor Adrian (117-138), a persecutor of christians. For openly confessing his faith in Christ the Saviour, Saint Philetos – together with his wife Saint Lydia and their sons Macedonos and Theoprepios – was brought to trial...
Venerable Luke the New of Mytilene, Mt. Athos (1802
Martyr Dometius the Persian, under Julian the Apostate (ca. 360-361)
St. Basil of Mangazea in Siberia (1600)
The Holy Martyr Vasilii (Basil), Mangazeia Wonderworker, – was the first saint glorified in the Siberian land. He accepted a martyr's death on 4 April 1600, and from the mid-XVII Century he is deeply venerated for manifold manifestations of grace in help of infirmities, in sorrow and in desperate straits...
Venerable Pachomius, abbot of Nerekhta (1384)
The Monk Pakhomii of Nerekhtsk, in the world Yakov, was born into the family of a priest at Vladimir on the Klyaz'ma. At age 7 he was sent for schooling, since from childhood he well knew the Holy Scriptures. Finding burdensome the bustle of the perishing world, he accepted tonsure at the Vladimir Nativity monastery and without murmur at the monastery he progressed through the various obediences...
Saint Ipomoni - holy and right believing Empress Helen Dragas Palaiologos
Helena was born to Constantine Dragaš of the noble House of Dejanović . Constantine was a Serbian provincial lord, ruling one of the principalities that emerged after the breakup of the Serbian Empire , centered at Velbăžd ( Kyustendil ). Her mother was Constantine's unnamed first wife (not his second wife, Helena's stepmother Eudokia of Trebizond ). Her stepmother was a daughter of Alexios III of Trebizond and Theodora Kantakouzene , and the widow of Tadjeddin Pasha of Sinop , Emir of Limnia . Her father died in 1395 at the battle of Rovine , while fighting for his overlord Sultan Bayezid I of the Ottoman Empire against the rebel Mircea I of Wallachia .
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