Prologue Search

1. Our Holy Father, the Martyr Eustratius of the Kiev Caves.

He was very wealthy, but, moved by the love of Christ, gave away all his goods for His sake, entered the Monastery of the Caves and became a monk. When the Polovtsians conquered Kiev in 1097, they looted the monastery, slew many Christians and monks and gave Eustratius and other of the faithful to a certain Jew in the town of Khorsun as slaves. This Jew mocked the Christian faith and tried to compel the Christians to convert to the Jewish faith. Seeing that they had no other alternative, they all decided to starve to death rather than deny the true Faith. Eustratius encouraged the Christians in this decision. They all perished from hunger, some after three days, some after four and some after seven days. Eustratius, accustomed to fasting, remained the only one alive, and survived fourteen days without food. Infuriated that he had lost the money he had paid for the slaves, the Jew took his revenge by having Eustratius nailed to a cross. But Eustratius gave thanks to God from the cross and predicted an imminent and vicious death for the Jew. Possessed by a furious anger, the Jew stabbed him with a spear. And thus the holy man of God gave his soul to his Saviour. They cast his body into the sea, but it rose to the surface and many were the great miracles performed over it. Soon after this, the Byzantine Emperor commanded that the Jews in Khorsun be punished for their wickedness towards the Christians, and the torturer of the Christians was hanged on a tree and received the wages of Judas.

2. Our Holy Father Mlarion the New, the Confessor.

He was abbot of the monastery of Pelekete near the Hellespont, and was irradiated like the sun with the spirit of God. He healed sicknesses among the people and drove out evil spirits. In the reign of Leo the Isaufian, the Iconoclast persecution began and this man of God suffered during it. He was exiled with his forty monks to a place near Ephesus, died there in prison in 754 and entered into the Kingdom of Christ.

3. Our Holy Father Hesychius of Jerusalem.

A priest and a profound theologian, he was a disciple of St Gregory the Theologian and a contemporary of St Euthymius the Great. He entered peacefully into rest in about 451.

4. The Holy Martyr Boyan.

A prince of Bulgaria, he was the son of Krutogan and grandson of Grubosh. He confessed the Christian faith while his brother, Milomir, remained a heathen, and was slain for the true Faith at the command of his brother in 827.

5. The Miraculous Experience of Taxiotis, a soldier of Carthage.

He spent his entire life in grievous sins, but finally repented, left his military service and adopted a way of life pleasing to God. Once when he had gone with his wife to their property close to the city, he fell into adultery with the wife of his workman, and immediately after this a snake bit him and he died. He lay dead for six hours, and after that he arose and, on the fourth day, broke his silence and related how he had somehow passed through all the toll-houses until he arrived at the toll-house for adultery. There he had fallen into the dark dwelling of the demons, but was then led out by an angel who vouched for him, and had returned to the body to expiate his last sin. He lived in penitence for forty days, going from church to church and striking his head against the doors and thresholds. Weeping incessantly, he spoke of the terrible torments in which sinners lived in that world, and implored people not to sin and to repent of sins already committed. On the fortieth day he went with joy to the Kingdom of the merciful God.


From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
© 1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK