Prologue Search

1. St Eudocimus.

He was born in Cappadocia of devout parents, Basil and Eudocia. In the time of the Emperor Theophilus (829-842), Eudocimus was a young army officer. Even as a soldier, he endeavoured with his whole heart to live according to the precepts of the Gospel. He kept his purity unstained and avoided converse with any woman except his mother. He was liberal to the poor, assiduous in the reading of holy books and yet more assiduous in prayer to God. He fled vain chatter and idle talk. 'Among all the chaos and vanity of the world, he was like a lily among thistles, and like gold in the furnace.' For his rare virtues, the Emperor made him military governor of Cappadocia. In this high state, Eudocimus strove to be righteous before God and man. By God's providence, he died early, at the age of thirty-three, and his relics were found to have healing power. An insane man touched his tomb and was healed, and a paralytic child stood upright and was made whole. After eighteen months, his mother opened his coffin, and found his body as though still alive, with no mark of corruption - and a wonderful fragrance arose from the saint's body. His relics were later translated to Constantinople and buried in the new church of the holy Mother of God, built by Eudocimus's parents.

2. The Holy Martyr Julitta.

From Caesarea in Cappadocia, she was involved in a quarrel with her neighbour over some land. The neighbour went to the judge and denounced her as a Christian, which put her at that time outside the protection of the law. St Julitta was more willing to give up her land than her faith. But the wicked pagans were not willing even then to leave her in peace, but tortured her and finally burned her, in the year 303. Thus this handmaid of Christ sacrificed both her lands and her body for the sake of the eternal salvation of her soul.

3. St Joseph of Arimathea.

Noble Joseph, a rich man, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin and a secret follower of Christ (Matt. 27.57- Jn 19:38)-took Christ's body down from the Cross together with Nicodemus, and laid it in his own new tomb. For this, he was fettered by the Jews and cast into prison. The risen Lord appeared to him and brought him to belief in His Resurrection. The Jews then released him from prison and drove him from his fatherland. He travelled around the world, preaching the Gospel of Christ, and took this Good News to England, where he entered into rest in the Lord.

4. St John the Exarch.

A well-known Bulgarian priest and theologian in the time of the Emperor Simeon (893-927), he translated Basil's 'On the Six Days of Creation' and Damascene's 'Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith' into Slavonic. He entered peacefully into rest in the Lord.

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