St Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus
He was born a Jew, but, seeing the power of the Christian faith, was baptised together with his sister, Callithrope. He became a monk at the age of twenty-six, in the monastery of St Hilarion. He later founded a monastery of his own, and became famed throughout Palestine and Egypt for his asceticism, his spiritual wisdom and the wonders he worked. Fleeing the praise of men, he went off to Egypt. On the way, he met Paphnutius the Great, who prophesied that he would be a hierarch on the island of Cyprus. And indeed, many years later, by God's providence, Epiphanius came to Cyprus, where he was unexpectedly chosen as bishop. He became bishop of the town of Salamis at the age of fifty, and governed the Church of God for thirty-six years. In all, he lived nearly ninety years on this earth, and entered into rest from this life to live eternally in the Kingdom of Christ. Before his death, he was invited to Constantinople by the Emperor Arcadius and his wife, Eudoxia, for the Council of Bishops which was forced, at the desire of the Emperor and Empress, to condemn St John Chrysostom. Arriving in Constantinople, he came to the Emperor's court, where the Emperor and Empress talked with him at great length, endeavouring to make him declare against Chrysostom. The citizens and Chrysostom heard that Epiphanius had agreed with the Emperor against him. Chrysostom therefore wrote him a letter: 'My brother Epiphanius, I hear that you have advised the Emperor that I should be banished: know that you will never again see your episcopal throne.' To this, Epiphanius wrote in return: 'John, my suffering brother, withstand insults, but know that you will not reach the place to which you are exiled.' And these two prophecies of the two saints soon came about. Refusing to agree with the Emperor on the exile of Chrysostom, Epiphanius took ship and set off for Cyprus,. but died on the voyage. The Emperor sent Chrysostom into exile in Armenia, but the saint died on the road. Saint Epiphanius entered into rest in the year 403. Of his many writings the best-known is his 'Medicine Chest', in Greek, in which he explains and refutes eight heresies.
St Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople
He was the son of the head of the imperial senate, who was killed by the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus. This same wicked Emperor castrated the senator's son, this Germanus, and drove him by force into a monastery . As a monk, Germanus shone like a star by his life of good works. Because of this, he was chosen first as Bishop of Cyzicus and then, when Anastasius 11 became Emperor in 715, as Patriarch of Constantinople. As Patriarch, he baptised the infamous Copronymos who, at the time of his baptism, fouled the water with filth, and the Patriarch prophesied that, when he became Emperor, he would bring some foul heresy into the Church. And this came to pass. When Copronymos became Emperor, he restored the iconoclast heresy. Leo 11 the Isaurian, Copronymos's father, began the persecution of icons and, when Patriarch Germanus opposed him, the furious Leo cried: 'I am Emperor and priest!', then deposed Germanus from his throne and sent him into exile to a monastery, where the saint spent ten further years until God called him to Himself in the Kingdom of heaven, in 740.
The Holy Martyr Pancratius (Pancras)
He came from Phrygia to Rome, where, as a boy of fourteen, he was martyred for Christ in 304. This saint is much revered in the West. There is a church in Rome dedicated to his name, and his holy relics are preserved there.
St. Sabinus, archbishop of Cyprus (5th c.)
Sainted Sabinos, Bishop of Cyprus, was born in the Phoenician city of Lyceia. Having learned of the reknown ascetic, – the Monk Epiphanios of Cyprus, Sabinos journeyed to him and took monastic vows. During the course of five years he pursued asceticism with the Monk Epiphanios in the wilderness. Afterwards he wrote about the life and doings of Saint Epiphanios. When Sainted Epiphanios was elevated to the Cypriot cathedra (bishop's chair), he then ordained Saint Sabinos to the dignity of presbyter. After the death of his ordaining-bishop and spiritual guide, Sainted Sabinos became his successor upon the Cyprus cathedra. The sagacious archpastor zealously fulfilled a new obedience, defending the Church from heretics. He died in his declining years in the mid‑V Century.
St. Polybius of Cyprus, bishop of Rinokyr in Egypt (5th c.)
Sainted Polybios was from his youthful years a disciple of Saint Epiphanios of Cyprus; he accompanied him on all his journeys and he wrote down about the life and miracles of his teacher. Saint Polybios accompanied Saint Epiphanios when he was returning from Constantinople, – not wanting to take part in the council condemning Saint John Chrysostomos. Dying, Saint Epiphanios instructed Saint Polybios: "Go to Egypt, and after death I shall concern myself about thee". Saint Polybios with humility fulfilled the bidding of his teacher and, not waiting for the burial of the body, he set out to Egypt, where he was made bishop of the city of Rinocyreia. For his virtuous ascetic life, Saint Polybios was granted the gift of wonderworking. Thus, the Lord once through his prayer sent rain during a time of drought and made abundant the harvest upon the fields. Saint Polybios reposed to God in old age in the V Century.
Venerable Theodore of Cythera, monk
Martyr John of Wallachia, at Constantinople (1662)
The Holy Martyr John Vlakhos, born of a boyar, at age fifteen fell into captivity to the Turks and was taken to Constantinople. For his refusal to violate Christianity and accept Islam, he was hung by the Turks after fierce tortures on 12 May 1662 at Parmak‑kapi.
Venerable Dionysius, archimandrite of St. Sergius' Lavra (1633)
The Monk Dionysii of Radonezh, – in the world David Zobninovsky, was born about 1570 in the city of Rzhev. A novice, and then head of the Staritsk Uspenie monastery, – during the time of the Time of Troubles he was the foremost helper of Sainted Ermogen, Patriarch of Moscow. From 1611 the Monk Dionysii was archimandrite of the Trinity-Sergiev Lavra. Under him, in the monastery environs was opened an house and hospice for the suffering, the injured and those left homeless during the time of the Polish-Lithuanian incursion. During time of famine under his direction the brethren of the Lavra ate oat bread and water, in order to save the wheat and the rye bread for the sick...
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