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1. The Holy Apostles Silas, Silvanus, Crescens, Epaenetus and Andronicus.

These are all among the Seventy. St Silas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch with Paul and Bamabas, to settle a quarrel among the faithful concerning circumcision: namely, whether or not it was necessary to circumcise pagans who had embraced Christianity (Acts 15:22). After that, Silas travelled with Paul around Asia and Macedonia, and was installed as Bishop of Corinth, where he died peacefully. Silvanus helped the two greatest apostles (I Pet. 5:12; II Cor. 1:19). As bishop in Salonica, he laboured much and suffered much, until he exchanged the earthly life for the heavenly. Crescens was a fellow-worker with the Apostle Paul (II Tim. 4: 10), and then bishop in Galatia and a missionary in Gaul, where he died a martyr for Christ under Trajan. St Epaenetus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul (Rom. 16:5), and became Bishop of Carthage. Andronicus (Rom. 16:7), Bishop of Pannonia, is also commemorated separately on May 17th.

2. The Hieromartyr Valentine.

He was bishop in the Italian town of Interamna. He healed the brother of the Roman tribune Frontanus of an illness. When Cherimon, the son of the eminent philosopher Craton, fell ill, Craton, at Frontanus's advice, asked Bishop Valentine to come to Rome. Cherimon was all cramped-up, so that his head was caught between his knees. Valentine shut himself in the room with the sick boy and spent the whole night in prayer. 'Me following day, he brought Cherimon out in full health, and gave him to his father. Then Craton was baptised, with his whole household and those of his pupils. Cherimon left his father's house and went with Valentine. Then Abundius, son of the Roman Eparch, was baptised. Infuriated by this, the Eparch took Valentine and, after torturing him, had him beheaded. Three pupils of Craton: Proclus, Abibus and Apollonius, were beheaded at the same time. Abundius took their bodies and buried them. They all suffered in 273, and became citizens of the heavenly Kingdom.

3. The Hieromartyr Polychronius, Bishop of Babylon.

When the Emperor Decius conquered Babylon, he arrested Polychronius, together with three priests, two deacons and two baptised princes, Eudin and Senis. Polychronius would make no reply before the Emperor, but kept silent, while St Parmenius, one of the priests, spoke for them all. The Emperor took the bishop and priests to Persia, to the city of Kordoba, and had them beheaded with an axe, but he took the princes with him to Rome, threw them first to the wild beasts and then had them slain with the sword. They all suffered with honour in 251.

4. St John the Soldier.

He was a secret Christian. Sent by Julian the Apostate to slaughter Christians, he did not kill them but helped them to hide. Julian had him thrown into prison in Constantinople. When the wicked Emperor perished, John gave himself to the ascetic life, living in purity and holiness. He entered peacefully into rest in old age. After his death, he appeared to various people who needed his help. His prayers are of aid in the tracking-down of thieves.

5. Our Holy Mother Angelina.

Wife of a Serbian despot, her relics lie in the monastery of Krusedol (see her life on December 12th).

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