Prologue Search

1. The Hieromartyr Hypatius, Bishop of Gangra.

Born in Cilicia, he was bishop in the town of Gangra. At the First Ecumenical Council, he was lauded on all sides for his devout life and miracles. The Emperor Constantius ordered a bust of Hypatius to be made in the saint's lifetime, and he kept this bust in his palace as a weapon against every adverse power. Returning once from Constantinople, Hypatius was attacked in a gorge by a heretic, Novatianus, and was pushed off the road into the mud. On top of that, a woman of that company threw a rock at his head, and the saint thus finished his earthly course. But this woman suddenly went insane, and, taking the same rock, began to strike herself with it. When they brought her to the grave of St Hypatius and prayed for her, she was healed by Hypatius's compassionate spirit and spent the rest of her life in repentance and prayer. St Hypatius suffered and went to the eternal Kingdom of Christ our God in 326.

2. St Jonah, Metropolitan of Moscow.

He was born in the province of Kostmor, becoming a monk at the age of twelve and as such living in the Simonov monastery near Moscow. He became Bishop of Ryazan in the time of Metropolitan Photius, and when Photius died, Jonah was chosen as Metropolitan and sent to Constantinople for consecration and confirmation. But, at the same time, a man called Isidore, a Bulgarian by birth, outwitted Jonah, arrived in Constantinople before him and was consecrated as the Metropolitan for Russia. Jonah returned to his seat at Ryazan. But the malicious Isidore ended his reign as Metropolitan in an evil way. He went to the Council of Florence, and only returned to Moscow three years later. He was condemned as an apostate from Orthodoxy and exiled. It is not known where he died. Jonah, the good and wise pastor, came to the Metropolitical throne. He was a great wonder-worker, a seer and a spiritual guide. When the Agarians besieged Moscow, Jonah sent them packing by his prayers. In old age, he desired to experience such illness that he would suffer greatly, and would by his sufferings be completely purified before his departure to the other world. At his prayer, God gave him wounds in his feet, which were foreseen in a vision by a priest, James. The saint died of these wounds and went to join the citizens of heaven on March 31st, 1461. Many miracles were performed through his relics. A dumb man, John, was brought to the saint's relics. John kissed Jonah's hand and, as he related afterwards, the hand grabbed hold of his tongue and he felt a sharp pain. When it let his tongue go, he went back to his friends - and spoke as if he had never been dumb.

3. The Hieromartyr Audas, Bishop of the City of Suza.

He was beheaded for Christ in 418 in Persia by King Yezdegeherd. His deacon, St Benjamin, was released by the torturers on condition that he preach the Gospel no more. He observed this condition for a time, but his heart could not bear it and he began again to spread the truth of Christ among the people. For this he was arrested and killed in 421, three years after St Audas.

4. Our Holy Father Apolionius.

A famous Egyptian hermit, he renounced the world at the age of fifteen and withdrew to a mountain, where he lived for forty years eating only wild plants. After that, he founded a monastery in which he had 500 monks. He entered peacefully into rest in 395.

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