Prologue Search

1. St Emilian the Confessor, Bishop of Cyzicus.

He was bishop in Cyzicus in the time of the wicked Emperor Leo the Armenian, the iconoclast. Refusing to carry out the imperial directive on the removal of icons from the churches, he was, along with other Orthodox bishops, sent into exile. He spent five years in exile, enduring many ills and much humiliation for the sake of Christ. He died in 820, and joined the company of the citizens of heaven.

2. St Myron the Wonderworker, Bishop of Crete.

He was at first married, and was a Tabourer on the land, sharing the fruits of his farm joyfully and abundantly with the poor. He once caught some unknown thieves on his threshing-floor, stealing corn. Not saying who he was, St Myron helped the thieves to fill their sacks, lift them onto their backs and escape. For his outstanding virtues, he was ordained priest and later consecrated bishop. He was a great wonderworker and did many good and mighty works in the name of the Lord Jesus. He entered into rest in about 350, at the great age of a hundred.

3. Our Holy Father Gregory the Sinaite.

He was named 'the Sinaite' because he became a monk on Mount Sinai. In the time of the Emperor Andronicus Palaeologus, in about 1330, he went to the Holy Mountain to visit the monasteries and discover more about mental prayer and contemplation. But these two spiritual exercises were little known at that time among the monks of the Holy Mountain. The only one who was experienced in them and practised them perfectly was St Maximus of Kapsokalyvia. Gregory spread his teaching on mental prayer through all the cells and monasteries of the Holy Mountain. His most famous pupil was Kallistos, Patriarch of Constantinople, who wrote Gregory's life. After that, Gregory went to Macedonia and to other parts of the Balkans, and founded communities in which the monks engaged in mental prayer, thus helping many to deepen their prayer and come to salvation. His writings on mental prayer and asceticism are found in the Philokalia. Among other things, he wrote the hymn to the Holy Trinity: 'It is meet and right...', which is sung in the Midnight Office on Sundays. He stands among the most famous ascetics and spiritual teachers of the Balkans. He entered peacefully into rest in 1346, after a life of great toil, and went to the Kingdom of Christ.

4. The Holy New Martyrs Triandaphyllos and Spaso.

Triandaphyllos was born in Zagora and Spaso in Radoviste, in the diocese of Strumica. They were both Slavs, both young and simple men. But the love of Christ drew them out of the world and out of this life. They gave their lives, and remained faithful to Christ, suffering under the Turks for their faith: Tryandaphyllos in Constantinople in 1680 and Spaso in Salonica in 1794.

5. The Holy Martyr Gormizdas.

He was a noble at the court of the Persian King Yezdegeherd. As he refused to deny Christ, the king sadly deprived him of his rank and possessions and sent him to look after the animals, being convinced that Gormizdas would soon grieve for his rank and possessions, and would worship idols. Gormizdas peacefully minded the cattle and remained faithful. The king therefore put him to harsh torture, which succeeded only in weakening the body of Christ's martyr without affecting his soul. Finally, Gormizdas was killed, in 418, immediately after the martyrdom of St Abdus the Bishop (see March 31st). He suffered on earth, and was glorified in heaven.


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