The Venerable Xenophont And Maria And Their Sons John And Arcadius
They were prominent and wealthy citizens of Constantinople. Xenophont and his wife Maria lived a God-pleasing life and dedicated all their attention to the Christian upbringing of their sons. When their sons reached majority, they were sent to study in Beirut; but it so happened that a storm capsized their boat. By the Providence of God, John and Arcadius were somehow saved. They were tossed ashore by the waves but in two different places so that each thought the other was drowned. Out of grief for each other, they both became monks in two different monasteries. After two years, their grieving parents came to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to pay homage before the holy shrines. There, with the help of the "discernment" of a spiritual father, first the brothers met and, after that, the parents with their children. Out of gratitude to God, Xenophont and Maria distributed their entire estate to the poor and both of them were tonsured. The history of these four souls is touching and it shows how the Lord wonderfully guides the fate of those who believe in Him; how He permits pain and sorrow upon them that they may, later on, be strengthened in faith, in order to lead them into still greater joy. They lived and died in the Lord in the fifth century.
Venerable Simeon The Old One [Vetni]
Simeon was a companion and friend of St. Paladius. From his early youth until his death, Simeon lived a life of asceticism in a cave. He established two monasteries and died in the Lord in the year 390 A.D. He is called the Old One or Vetni to distinguish him from Simeon the Stylite who, lived an ascetical life much later.
Saint David, Emperor Of The Georgians (1089-1130 AD.)
David renewed and strengthened the State of Georgia. As a great zealot for the Christian Faith, he built many new churches and restored the old ones throughout Georgia. David is considered as the regenerator of the Orthodox Faith in Georgia.
Abbot of the monastery of Saint Stephanos in Jerusalem (ca. 490)
Martyrs Ananias the Presbyter, Peter the prison guard, and seven soldiers
The Holy Martyrs Ananias the Presbyter, Peter the prison guard, and seven soldiers suffered in Phoenicia in the year 295. During a persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), St Ananias was brought before Maximus the governor of Phoenicia. He had been arrested for confessing Christ and refusal to worship idols. He was beaten with hammers, burnt with fire, and salt was sprinkled on his scorched body. After his terrible sufferings, a temple and the idols standing in it were destroyed through the prayers of St Ananias.
Two Martyrs of Phrygia
Venerable Clement of Mt. Sagmation
St. Ammon, of Egypt, disciple of St. Anthony the Great
Saint Ammonas was a disciple of Saint Antony the Great and became his successor at the head of the hermits of the outer mountain of Pispir, after having spent fourteen years at Scetis in ceaseless prayer to the Lord to be granted victory over anger. He was afterwards consecrated bishop, probably by Saint Athanasius the Great. He possessed impassibility to the extent of being as though ignorant of the existence of evil, and incapable of passing judgment on anyone. "One day some people came to ask him to settle a difference among them. The Saint responded by pretending to be insane, and answered a woman who treated him as a madman: 'You don't realize how much trouble I've given myself in the desert to acquire this madness and I have lost it today because of you!' On another occasion when he was taken to visit a brother with a bad reputation, he sat on the barrel where his concubine was hiding while his accusers searched his cell in vain. Then, taking his leave of the unfortunate man, he simply said: 'Brother, have a care for yourself!' "When he was asked which deeds of ascesis are most pleasing to God, he replied: 'Just sit in your cell and eat a little every day, always keeping the prayer of the Publican in your heart (Luke 18:13), and you can be saved.' He also said that the fear of God begets moans and tears and these cause joy to arise in the soul, filling it with divine strength to do what is pleasing to God, and that this power from on high establishes us in the company of the Angels. Raised thus from height to height as we humbly pray to be delivered from sin, we shall (he said) receive as if of itself, revelation of the mysteries of God.
Saint Joseph, Archbishop of Thessalonica
Saint Joseph, Archbishop of Thessalonica, was brother of St Theodore the Studite (November 11), and together they pursued a life of asceticism under the guidance of St Platon (April 5) in the monastery at Sakkudion, Bithynia. Because of his ascetic life, St Joseph was unanimously chosen archbishop of the city of Thessalonica. He and his brother opposed the unlawful marriage of the emperor Constantine VI (780-797), for which he was tortured then banished to a barren island. The emperor Michael Rangabes (811-813) freed St Joseph from imprisonment. Under the emperor Leo V the Armenian (813-820) the holy hierarch and his brother St Theodore suffered once more for their veneration of holy icons. Though they subjected him to torture, he remained steadfast in his faith. The iconoclast emperor ordered him to sign the iconoclast confession of faith, and when he refused they threw him into an even more foul prison. Under the emperor Michael the Stammerer (820-829) St Joseph was set free, together with other monks who had suffered for their veneration of icons. He spent his final years at the Studion Monastery, where he died in 830. St Joseph is renowned as a hymnographer. He composed triodia for Holy Week, several stikhera of the LENTEN TRIODION, a Canon for the Sunday of Prodigal Son (which is filled with the spirit of profound repentance), and other hymns. He wrote several sermons for feastdays, of which the best known is the Sermon on the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord.
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