Our Holy Father John, and those martyred with him from the Community of St Sava the Sanctified near Jerusalem
This famous monastery, both visited by St Sava of Serbia and endowed by various Serbian rulers, is in existence today. Several times fallen to the savage Arabs, plundered and left empty, it has always been restored by the providence of God. In the time of the reign of Constantine and Irene it fell to the Arabs and was plundered. The monks would not flee, but took counsel together with their abbot, Thomas, saying: 'We have fled from the world into this wilderness for the love of Christ; it would be shame to us now to flee from the wilderness from fear of men. If we are killed here, we shall be killed through love for Christ, for whose sake we have come here to live.' And, so deciding, they awaited unarmed the armed Arabs, as lambs before wolves. The Arabs killed some of them with arrows, and others they shut into the cave of St Sava and lit a fire at the entrance to suffocate them in the smoke. And thus many of them died as martyrs for the sake of Christ and went to the Kingdom of Him whom they had loved and for the sake of whose love they had perished. They suffered with honour before Easter in 796, in the time of Patriarch Elias of Jerusalem. But a just punishment quickly fell on their savage destroyers. Returning to their tents, they began to quarrel, and in the ensuing battle killed each other off.
The Holy Martyr Photina
This was that Samaritan woman who had the rare fortune to speak with the Lord Christ Himself at Jacob's Well in Sychar (Jn. 4). Coming to faith in the Lord, she then came to belief in His Gospel, together with her two sons, Victor and Josiah, and five sisters who were called Anatolia, Phota, Photida, Paraskeva and Kyriake. They went to Carthage in Africa. But they were arrested and taken to Rome in the time of the Emperor Nero, and thrown into prison. By the providence of God, Domnina, Nero's daughter, came into contact with St Photina and was brought by her to the Christian faith. After imprisonment, they all suffered for Christ. Photina, who first encountered the light of truth by a well, was thrown into a well, where she died and entered into the immortal Kingdom of Christ.
Seven Virgin-martyrs of Amisus (Samsun)
The Holy Virgin Martyrs Alexandra, Claudia, Euphrasia, Matrona, Juliania, Euphemia and Theodosia were arrested in the city of Amisa (on the coastal region of the Black Sea) during the persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). Under interrogation they confessed their faith and were subjected to cruel tortures for this. The malefactors scourged and beat them with rods, and cut off their breasts. After this, they were suspended and torn with sharp hooks. Finally, the holy virgins were burned alive in a red-hot oven (+ 310).
St. Nicetas the Confessor, bishop of Apollonias in Bithynia (813)
Saint Nikita (Nicetas) the Confessor, Archbishop of Apolloniada, was noted for his profound knowledge of Sacred Scripture, and was as well a pious and kindly man. During the reign of the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820), the saint stood up firmly for the veneration of holy icons, and so was exiled and died imprisoned.
Holy martyrs Anatolia, Photo, Photida, Paraskeva, Kyriakia and Domnina
St Photina and her five sisters Anatolia, Phota, Photis, Paraskeva and Kyriake were sent to the imperial court under the supervision of Nero’s daughter Domnina. St Photina converted both Domnina and all her servants to Christ. She also converted a sorcerer, who had brought her poisoned food to kill her...
Martyrs Victor named Photinos, and Josiah
St Victor was the eldest son of the Holy Martyr Photina (Svetlana) the Samaritan Woman, with whom the Savior conversed at Jacob’s Well (John. 4:5-42)...
St. martyr Sebastian
In an impotent rage Nero gave orders to flay the skin from Saint Photina and to throw the martyress down a well. The Martyrs Sebastian, Photinos and Josiah, had their legs cut off, and were thrown to dogs, and then had their skin flayed off. The sisters of Saint Photina also suffered terrible torments. Nero gave orders to cut off their breasts and then to flay their skin. An expert in cruelty, the emperor readied the fiercest execution for Saint Photida: they tied her by the feet to the tops of two bent-over trees, which when cut loose tore apart the martyress. The emperor ordered the others beheaded. Saint Photina they extracted from the well and locked up in prison for 20 days.
New Martyr Myron of Crete (1793)
The Martyr Myron of Crete suffered under the Turks for his refusal to accept Islam in the year 1793.
Venerable Euphrosynus of Blue-Jay Lake (Valaam) (1612)
The Monk Evphrosyn of Sinozersk (Blue-Lake), in the world Ephrem, was born in Karelia near Lake Ladoga. In his youthful years he lived near the Valaamo monastery, and later he resettled to Novgorod the Great. Having there spent some length of time, the saint then withdrew to one of the Novgorod outskirts – the Bezhetsk "pentary" [a "fifth" of the "Pyatiny Novgorodskiya" – comprising anciently five strategically situated outlying village-districts of Novgorod the Great]...
St. martyr Rodion
St. martyr Emmanuel
St. martyr Aquila the Eparch
St. martyr Longinus
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