The Holy Martyr Nicetas
Nicetas was a Goth by birth, and a disciple of Bishop Theophilus of the Goths, who took part in the First Ecumenical Council. When Athenarik, Prince of the Goths, began to persecute the Christians, St Nicetas stood before the prince and denounced him for his paganism and inhumanity. Tormented by terrible tortures, Nicetas the more strongly confessed his faith in Christ, and prayed to God with thanksgiving. His mind was unceasingly lifted up to God and immersed in Him, and in his hand beneath his robe he held an icon of the holy Mother of God with the pre-eternal Christ Child standing and holding the Cross in His hands. St Nicetas carried this icon because the holy Mother of God had appeared to him and comforted him. Finally, the torturer threw Christ"s martyr into the flames, in which St Nicetas breathed his last; but his body remained untouched by the fire. His friend Marianus took his body from the land of the Goths (Wallachia and Bessarabia) to Cilicia, to the town of Mopsuestia, where he built a church dedicated to St Nicetas and placed the wonderworking relics of the martyr in it. Nicetas suffered and was glorified in 372.
Our Holy Father Philotheus
He was from the village of Myrmix or Mravin in Asia Minor. His mother had the same name the other way round - Theophila. He was a priest,, and a wonderworker even during his lifetime. On one occasion, he turned water into wine, and on another multiplied bread. He entered into rest in the Lord in the tenth century, and myrrh was found to flow from his relics.
The Holy Martyr Porphyrius
An actor, he first mocked at Christians before Julian the Apostate. On one occasion, when he was mimicking the Christian mystery of Baptism, he was dipped into the water, pronouncing the words: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." When he emerged from the water, he cried out: "Now I am a Christian!" Everyone thought that this was in jest, as always, but he held firm to it, stopped mocking Christians and finally suffered for Christ. He was beheaded in 361, and entered into the Kingdom of Christ.
The Holy Martyrs Theodotus, Asclepidote and Maximus
Nobles of Trachis, they suffered for Christ near Philipopolis in the village of Saltis, some time between 305 and 311, and entered into the Kingdom of heaven.
St Vissarion (Bessarion), Archbishop of Larissa, the Wonderworker
He founded the Monastery of the Saviour in the diocese of Larissa, and was glorified by his miracles both during his lifetime and after his death. He lived in the sixteenth century.
The Holy New Martyr John of Crete
He suffered for the Christian faith under the Turks in the city of Ephesus in 1811.
St Joseph, Bishop of Alaverdsk
One of the twelve Syrian fathers (see May 7th), who were sent to the Caucasus area to preach the Gospel, St John went peacefully to the Lord in 570. His wonderworking relics are preserved in the Cathedral in Alaverdsk.
St. Bessarion II (1540), metropolitan of Larissa
St. Joseph the New of Partos, metropolitan of Timisoara (1656)
Saint Joseph the New of Partos was born in 1568 in Raguza of Dalmatia (today Dubrovnik, Croatia), from a Wallachian Christian family, and was baptized as Jacob. His father was a Venetian named Giovanni Fusco, and his mother, Aikaterina, was originally from Limnos, a Greek island. More precisely, she had Morlach ancestry, which is another name for "Mavro-Vlachos" (Black Wallachian), one of the different Romanian populations spread throughout the entire Balkan peninsula, south of the Danube....
Venerable Gerasimus, abbot, of Sourvia (1740)
The Monk Gerasimos founded a monastery in honour of the Holy Trinity near Makrinitsa in Zagora (Mizia). This monastery received the name Zurvia (Survias).
Uncovering of the relics of the Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen (415
The Holy Disciple (from the Seventy) First-Martyr and ArchDeacon Stephen was the eldest among the Seven Deacons, established by the Apostles themselves, and therefore he is called "archdeacon". He was the Christian First-Martyr, and he suffered for Christ at about age 30. In the words of Asterias, he was "the starting-point of the martyrs, the instructor of suffering for Christ, the foundation of righteous confession, in that Stephen was first to shed his blood for the Gospel". Being filled of the Holy Spirit, Saint Stephen with daring persuasively preached the Christian teaching and defeated Jewish teachers of the Law in disputation. For this the Jews maligned Saint Stephen, saying that he had uttered blasphemy against God and against Moses. Under such charges, Saint Stephen came before the Sanhedrin and the high-priest. He spoke a fiery speech, in which he expounded the history of the Jewish nation, and he boldly denounced the Jews for persecuting the prophets and also the execution by them of the awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ. During the time of his speaking, Saint Stephen suddenly saw the heavens opened and Jesus Christ in glory, standing at the right side of God. He exclaimed loudly about this. Then the Jews, covering over their ears, rushed upon him, dragged him out of the city and stoned him, but the holy martyr prayed for his murderers. Afar off on the heights stood the Mother of God with the holy Apostle John the Theologian, and She prayed fervently for the martyr. Before death Saint Stephen uttered: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, wherein O Lord, impute this not to them in sin", – and then with joy he gave up his pure soul to Christ. The body of the holy First-Martyr Stephen, left for devouring by beasts, was secretly taken up by the illustrious Jewish teacher Gamaliel and his son Habib, and given burial on his estate. And afterwards these both believed in Christ and accepted holy Baptism.
Uncovering of the relics of St. Acacius the Confessor, bishop of Melitene (257)
St. Acacius was subjected to severe torture for his confession of Christ and then was imprisoned from which he was later released, and died in peace. He should not be confused with the Ven. Acacius remembered on April 17.
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