The Holy Apostle Aquila
One of the Seventy, he was a Jew living in Italy with his wife Priscilla. When the Emperor Claudius decreed the exile of all Jews from Rome and Italy, Aquila moved to Corinth, where the Apostle Paul first made his acquaintance, staying eighteen months in his house and baptising him and his wife. Burning with zeal for the Christian faith, Aquila and Priscilla accompanied Paul to Ephesus and helped him in his apostolic work. From Ephesus, Paul wrote his first Epistle to the Corinthians, in which he says at the end: "Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house" (16:19). After the death of Claudius, Jews were permitted to return to Italy, and Aquila and Priscilla went back to Rome. Writing the Epistle to the Romans from Corinth after this, the Apostle sends greetings to his old friends and fellow-workers: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus, who have for my life laid down their own necks, unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house" (16:3-5). We later see Aquila again in Ephesus, where he is working with St Timothy. In chains in Rome, Paul wrote to Timothy in Ephesus: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila" (II Tim. 4:19). As a bishop, Aquila baptised many and consecrated them to the Faith, destroyed idols, built churches, made priests and spread among the people the glory of the incarnate Son of God. He was finally murdered by wicked pagans, and went to the Kingdom of Christ.
Our Holy Father Hellius
An Egyptian monk of the fourth century, he devoted himself from early youth to monastic asceticism in the desert. He made monks and lay-folk marvel by his life and great miracles, and, although he fled from human praise, he could not hide himself. He had fierce struggles with diabolical delusion, most especially during a long fast. The devil set before him sometimes honey and sometimes delicious apples, but he would not be enticed. He had insight into the hearts o men, revealing their passions and thoughts, and this not to make a parade of his inner knowledge but to set them on the right path.
Martyr Justus at Rome (1st c.)
The Holy Martyr Justus was a Roman pagan-soldier. The Life-Creating Cross of the Lord appeared to him in a vision. Justus believed in Christ and gave away his possessions to the poor. By decree of the official of Magnesia, Justus as a Christian was taken to trial. After various tortures the holy martyr was thrown into a bon-fire and therein gave up his soul to God, but the flames did not harm his body.
Venerable Nicodemus of Mt. Athos, spiritual writer (1809)
He is best known for his collections of Orthodox writings, most importantly the Philokalia, a five-volume compendium of writings on asceticism and prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer, by the holy Fathers of the Church. (The first four volumes have been translated into English). He produced an Orthodox edition of Unseen Warfare, originally by Lorenzo Scupoli, a Roman Catholic. (This was further revised by St Theophan the Recluse). He also edited the Pedalion (Rudder), a collection of the canons of the Orthodox Church with his commentary. Note: The English edition of the Rudder needs to be read with care, since it includes additional comments by the translator, not clearly distinguished from those of the Saint.
Venerable Onesimus, of Magnesia (4th c.)
He suffered for the name of Christ during the reign of Diocletian. He died in Magnesia (in Asia Minor), where he founded a monastery.
St. Joseph the Confessor, archbishop of Thessalonica
He was the brother of St Theodore the Studite (November 11), and is also sometimes called Studite. He is one of the inspired composers of the canons in the Lenten Triodion, many of which bear the title "by Joseph". (He should not be confused with St Joseph the Hymnographer, who is commemorated April 3.) As Archbishop of Thessalonika, he suffered greatly for his zealous defense of the holy icons: he was imprisoned, and was exiled three times.
Venerable Stephen, abbot of Makhrishche (Vologda) (1406)
The Monk Stefan of Makhrisch was a native of Kiev. He accepted monasticism at the Pechersk monastery, where he spent several years in deeds of obedience and prayer. The oppressions by the Papists compelled him to journey on to Moscow, where GreatPrince Ivan II (1353-1359) graciously received him, permitting him to settle in the locale of Makhrisch not far from Gorodisch, 35 versts from the Sergeev wilderness-monastery...
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