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1. The Hieromartyr Simeon, Bishop in Persia.

In the time of the wicked King Savori, or Sapor, Simeon was tortured for Christ together with two of his priests, Audel and Ananias. The King's eunuch, Ustazan, who had first denied Christ but then, moved by the reprimand of St Simeon, again confessed the true Faith before the King, was executed before they were. A thousand other Christians were also led to execution with St Simeon, who purposely stood a little back so that he should be the last to die, and so be able to encourage the other Christians right to the end and keep them from wavering through fear of death. When the priest Ananias laid his head on the block, he was trembling all over. But the King's clerk, Fusik, who was himself secretly a Christian, began to encourage him, saying: 'Don't be frightened, old man. Shut your eyes and be a man, and you'll see the divine light.' As soon as he had said this, it was seen that he was a Christian and he was denounced to the King. The King wore him down with harsh tortures, and also his daughter, the maiden Askitria. St Simeon was eventually beheaded, after having seen his flock into the other world. The following year, on Great Friday, the King's beloved eunuch, Azat, was slain for Christ, along with another thousand of the faithful. Then the King grieved for his eunuch and gave up killing any more Christians. They all suffered with honour for Christ their King and Lord in about 341.

2. St Acacius, Bishop of Melitene.

He lived in asceticism in his birthplace, the city of Melitene in Armenia. Blessed Otreius, the bishop of that city, who took part in the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, ordained him to the priesthood. After Otreius' death, Acacius was chosen as bishop. He participated in the Third Ecumenical Council in 431, which condemned the Nestorian blasphemy concerning the Mother of God. There he, together with St Cyril of Alexandria, showed great zeal for the purity of the Orthodox faith. St Acacius was endowed with great grace by God, and worked many miracles. After long and zealous service of God, he died peacefully in 435.

3. St Agapetus, Pope of Rome.

He was sent by Theodotus, King of the Goths, to the Emperor Justinian in Constantinople, to dissuade the latter from his campaign against the Goths. On the way, he healed a dumb and blind man. In Constantinople, he helped to uphold Orthodoxy, and died in 536.

4. Our Holy Fathers Sabbatius and Zossima.

These two were the founders of an ascetic community on the island of Solovetz in the White Sea. Many great saints were glorified in this community. St Sabbatius entered into rest in 1435, and St Zossima in 1478.

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