The Holy and Great Martyr Euphemia
Born in Chalcedon, her father was the senator Philophronus and her mother"s name was Theodorisia, both devout Christians. Euphemia was a girl beautiful in both body and soul. When the Proconsul, Priscus, celebrated a festival of sacrifice to Ares in Chalcedon, forty-nine Christians absented themselves from the festivities and hid themselves. But they were discovered and brought before Priscus, holy Euphemia being among them. When the furious Priscus asked them why they had not carried out the imperial command, they replied: "Both the Emperor"s commands and yours must be obeyed if they are not contrary to the God of heaven. If they are, they must not only not be obeyed; they must be resisted." Then Priscus put them to various tortures for nineteen days, from day to day. On the twelfth day, he held Euphemia apart from the others and began to flatter her beauty, hoping to bring her thus to idolatry. When all his flattery proved fruitless, he ordered that she be tortured. First, she was put on a wheel, but an angel of God appeared and broke it. Then he had her thrown into a fiery furnace, but she was preserved by God"s power. Seeing this, two soldiers, Victor and Sosthenes, came to faith in Christ, for which they were thrown to the wild beasts and thus finished their earthly course with glory. After that, Euphemia was thrown into a pit filled with water and all kinds of poisonous reptiles, but she made the sign of the Cross over the water as she went into the pit, and remained unharmed. She was finally thrown to the wild beasts and, with a prayer of thanksgiving, gave her soul into God"s hands. Her parents buried her body. She suffered in the year 303, and entered into eternal joy. (St Euphemia is also commemorated on July 11th).
Our Holy Father Dorotheus
An Egyptian hermit of the fourth century, he lived in asceticism for sixty years in a cell in the Thebaid. He was distinguished by a rare love of labour and by wonderworking power. By day he built cells for the new monks and by night plaited mats, never interrupting his prayer and psalmody.
St Cyprian, Metropolitan of Kiev
Born in Trnovo and given a Serbian upbringing on the Holy Mountain, he devoted himself especially to the translation and writing of books. His patron was Patriarch Philotheos of Constantinople, who came to know him on the Holy Mountain, took him into his service and then sent him to Kiev as Metropolitan. He lived through all this with greatness of soul and, by his fruitful labours, brought much benefit to the Russian Church, spending almost thirty years as Metropolitan. At the time of his death, he wrote a Farewell which was read at his graveside. He entered into rest on September 16th, 1406, and his wonderworking relics are preserved in the Church of the Dormition in Moscow. *Author's note: Metropolitan Philaret writes that Cyprian was a Serb. See his 'Lives'.
The Holy Martyr Ludmilla
The grandmother of the Czech King Vatslav (Wenceslas) and wife of the Czech Prince Borivoy, she was very zealous for the Christian faith and was greatly instrumental in freeing the Church from paganism. Her daughter-in-law hated her, and sent men to kill the aged Ludmilla in Techino in 927. Vatslav buried her in the Church of St George in Prague, and many miracles were wrought over her relics. Holy Vatslav, a great zealot for the Orthodox faith, was murdered by his brother Boleslav.
Venerable Procopius, abbot, of Sazava in Bohemia (1053)
The Monk Procopius was born in Bohemia, in the village of Hotun. In his dignity of priest he toiled much for the propagating of the Christian faith in Czechia. By the River Zasava he founded a monastery in the name of Saint John the Precursor, at which he died in the year 1053.
The Holy Martyress Sebastiana was a student of the holy Apostle Paul. During a persecution against Christians under the emperor Dometian (81-96), she was at trial as a Christian before the governor named Georgios in the city of Marcianopolis in the Mizea region. Saint Sebastiana firmly confessed her faith in Christ and for this she was subjected to cruel tortures. At first they beat her, and then they threw her into a red-hot oven, from which she emerged unharmed...
Martyr Melitina of Marcianopolis (2nd c.)
The Holy Martyress Meletina lived in the city of Marcianopolis during the rule of the emperor Antoninus Pius ((138-161). She was a fervent Christian, and the Lord blessed her with the gift of wonderworking. By the power of prayers she shattered the idols of Apollo and Herakles. Her fiery preaching converted many pagans to Christ: among the converted was the spouse of the governor of the city of Marcianopolis...
New Martyrs Isaac and Joseph, who suffered at Karnu, Georgia (808)
The Holy Martyrs Isaac and Joseph, brothers by birth, were born in the city of Theodosiopolis, or Karna (now Erzerum). Their father was an illustrious Moslem, but their mother – a Christian. The good and pious woman educated her two sons, and also an older one whose name is uncertain, in the Christian faith. Having reached the age of maturity, all three brothers – Joseph alone being married – wanted to depart their Mahometan father in order confess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ without hindrance...
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