Our Holy Father John
He was a disciple of St Gregory of Decapolis. In the time of the iconoclast heresy, the Emperor Leo the Armenian put John to torture, together with his teacher, Gregory, and Joseph the Hymnographer. When Gregory finished his earthly course, John became abbot of the Decapolite monastery in Constantinople. Becoming abbot, he intensified his asceticism for the sake of the Kingdom of God. He died peacefully in about 820. After his death, St Joseph buried him near the grave of St Gregory.
The Holy Martyr John the New of Ioannina
He was born in Ioannina, the ancient capital of King Pyrrhus. When his poor parents died, the young John went to Constantinople and there continued his trade, for he was a craftsman. The Turks had occupied Constantinople not long before this, and many Christians had, out of fear, denied Christ and accepted Islam. St John had his workshop right in the midst of these men who had become Turks. The more inflamed St John became with love for Christ, the more outwardly apparent this became to these apostates. He began to dispute with them about the Faith, and to reprimand them for their betrayal of Christ. They dragged him before the judge and falsely accused him of having earlier accepted Islam and having returned to Christianity. For this he was tortured - beaten and flogged with iron flails - and then cast into prison. On the second day, which was Easter Day, they brought him out for further torture, and John emerged full of joy and singing: 'Christ is risen from the dead!' He spoke courageously to his torturers, saying: 'Do what you will to me, and send me as quickly as possible from this transient life into life eternal. I am Christ's servant; I follow Christ, and I die for Christ that I may live with Him!' After that, John was bound in chains and taken to the place of burning. Seeing the great flames prepared for him, John ran forward and leapt into them. But his torturers, seeing how he sought death in the fire, pulled him out of it and sentenced him to be beheaded. When they had cut off his head, they threw it and his body into the fire. Later, Christians gathered the ashes and some of his precious and wonderworking relics and buried them in the Great Church in Constantinople. Thus he died a martyr's death and received the glorious wreath of martyrdom on April 18th, 1526.
The Holy Martyrs Victor, Zoticus, Zeno, Acyndius and Severian
They were all martyred under the Emperor Diocletian. They were pagans until they witnessed the martyrdom of St George the Great Martyr. Then, seeing the sufferings and courage of this glorious martyr and the many miracles that were wrought at that time, they embraced the Christian faith. For this Faith they soon suffered, and were crowned with glory.
Venerable Cosmas, bishop of Chalcedon (815-820)
Sainted Kozma, Bishop of Chalcedon, and his companion the Monk Auxentios, lived during the IX Century, at a time when the Iconoclasts oppressed the adherents of Orthodoxy. Saint Kozma while still in his youth had withdrawn to a monastery and accepted monastic tonsure. Afterwards he was ordained to the dignity of bishop of Chalcedon and he zealously defended the Orthodox faith against the Iconoclast heretics. The Monk Auxentios was an helper to the saint in this struggle...
Venerable Auxentius (815-820)
Venerable Euthymius the Enlightener of Karelia (1435)
The Monks Evthymii, Antonii (Anthony) and Felix started their ascetic deeds in the Karelian land in about the year 1410. The Monk Evthymii founded the Karelian Nikolaev monastery. But scarcely had he succeeded in building a church in the name of Saint Nicholas and several cells, when in 1419 Norwegians descended upon the monastery, burnt the church and killed several of the monks. The Monk Evthymii again set about construction...
The Holy Martyr John Kulikos (1526)
The Holy Martyr John Kulikos was born in the Greek district of Epirus, in the city of Ianina. His parents were pious, but he was orphaned at an early age, and he set off to Constantinople. Of the means left him by his parents, he built a small stall in the city bazaar and was occupied with trade...
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