The Holy Martyr Christina
Born in the city of Tyre, she was the daughter of the imperial governor, Urban, an idolater. It is not known why her parents gave her the name Christina, but it carried within itself the mystery of her future following of Christ. She knew nothing of Him until the age of eleven, but, when she reached that age, her father (wanting, because of her beauty, to hide her from the world until she was fully grown) made her live on the top floor of a high tower. He gave her every comfort - slaves and gold and silver idols to which to offer daily sacrifice. But the soul of the young Christina was weighed down and suffocated in this idolatrous atmosphere. Looking out of the window by day at the sun, and by night at the wonderful constellations of shining stars, she came, through her natural understanding, to a firm belief in the one, living God. God, in His great mercy, seeing her yearning for the truth, sent His angel to her, who signed her with the sign of the Cross, named her the bride of Christ and instructed her fully in the things of God. Then Christina smashed all the idols in her rooms, incurring her father"s terrible wrath. He brought her to trial and had her tortured and thrown into prison, intending that she be beheaded on the following day. But that night, Urban, in full health, gave up the ghost and went to the grave before his daughter. After that, two of the governors, Dion and Julian, continued the interrogation of this holy maiden. Christina"s courage in suffering and the marvels which were performed by the power of God brought many of the pagan inhabitants of Tyre to Christianity. During Christina"s torture, Dion suddenly fell dead among the people. His successor, Julian, cut off Christina"s breasts and cut out her tongue. The martyr took her tongue in her hand and threw it into Julian"s face, and he was instantly blinded. Finally, her sufferings for Christ were ended under a sharp sword, but her life went on in the immortal kingdom of the angels. St Christina suffered with honour in the third century.
Our Holy Father Polycarp, Abbot of the Kiev Caves
He was filled with "love for God and his neighbour, joy from a pure conscience, peace from the overcoming of all the passions, patience with the fallen and destitute, gentleness and humility to all, charity to the poor, undoubting faith in the fulfilling of the commandments, truth in the fulfilling of his vows, meekness in freedom from anger, longsuffering and so forth...". He governed the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev so well that no worthy successor could be found after his death (for any who were worthy were prevented by humility from accepting the abbacy), and the brethren were forced to have a secular priest, Basil, as their abbot. St Polycarp entered into rest in the Lord in 1182.
New Martyr Theophilus of Zakynthos (1635)
Born on the Island of Zakinthos, he served on a sea merchant vessel against his will under the Turks. He however did not wish to be known as a Moslem and for his firm confession of Christ after torture he was burnt alive by the Turks on the Island of Chios on July 24, 1635.
New Martyr Athanasius of Nicaea (1670)
Born in the village of Chios, Diocese of Nicaea, slandered as wishing to accept Islam, he was arraigned in Constantinople, and here for his firm confession of Christ was beheaded in 1670.
St. Hilarion of Tvali (11th c.)
Saint Hilarion of Tvali (Tulashvili) served as abbot of Khakhuli Monastery in southwestern Georgia at the beginning of the 11th century. In his work The Life of George of the Holy Mountain, George the Lesser writes that Venerable Hilarion was outstanding in virtue and celebrated for his sermons and ascetic labors...
Holy Martyrs and Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb of Russia
The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Passion-Bearers, Princes of Russia Boris and Gleb, – in Holy Baptism Roman and David: – GreatPrince of Kiev Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054) deeply esteemed his brothers, the holy Martyrs Boris (+ 1015, Comm. 24 July) and Gleb (+ 1015, Comm. 5 September). It was known that the murdered Prince Boris was buried at Vyshgorod near Kiev. And soon the holy relics of noble Prince Gleb were found at Smyadyno, not far from Smolensk, from whence they were conveyed on the Dneipr River to Kiev...
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