Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyr Myron the Priest.

He was a priest in Achaia, of rich and eminent parents, by nature kind and meek, and loving towards God and man. In the time of the Emperor Decius, on the Feast of the Nativity itself, pagans rushed into the church, dragged Myron away from the service and put him to torture. While he was being tortured by fire, an angel appeared to him and strengthened him. They then cut off his skin in strips from head to foot. The martyr took one of these strips and, with it, struck the torturer on the face. The torturer, as though possessed, took a sword and killed himself. Myron was finally taken to the town of Cyzicus and there killed with the sword, in 250.

2. The Holy Martyr Patroclus.

A citizen of the city of Trychasia, the present-day Troyes in Gaul, he inherited great wealth from his parents and, as a true Christian, used it for daily alms to the poor. He himself lived as an ascetic, taking food only once a day after sunset. For his holiness of life, the Lord gave him healing power, and he became known everywhere as a wonderworking healer. The Emperor Aurelian, coming to Gaul, commanded that Patroclus be brought before him. Holy Patroclus confessed his faith in Christ, concealing nothing. 'If, O King, you desire some of my goods, I will give them to you, for I can see your wretchedness', St Patroclus said to the Emperor. To this, the Emperor replied: 'How do you call me, the Emperor, wretched, having immeasurable wealth?' St Patroclus said: 'You have earthly, transitory riches, but you are wretched, for you are not only not in possession of yourself; you have no faith in Christ in your heart.' He was condemned to death and handed over to the soldiers, with orders that he be taken to a swampy spot and beheaded, his body being left in the mud. But the saint prayed to God that his body should not be left thus in the mud, and, by God's power, he suddenly became invisible to the soldiers and taken across to the other side of the river. After seeking him at some length, the soldiers found him and beheaded him in that dry place. Two beggars, to whom Patroclus had often given alms, came along this way and, recognising the body of their benefactor, buried it. He died at the end of the third century.

3. Our Holy Father Elias of Calabria.

A Greek by birth, he was superior of the monastery of Mellicia in southern Italy. At the time of the iconoclast controversy in the East, many eastern monks fled with their icons to Calabria. In time, the monastic life spread very widely there. The Calabrian monks were distinguished for their learning and the strictness of their lives. At one time, there were so many Orthodox monasteries and monks there that Calabria was likened to Egypt in former times. Orthodox Calabria was later put under the administration of the Archbishop of Ochrid. Our holy father Elias entered into rest in Salonica in the year 903.

4. Our Holy Father Olympius the Iconographer of the Kiev Caves.

Making copies of the faces of the saints on wood, he copied their virtues in his own soul. He healed a man of leprosy, saw an angel of God and died peacefully in the Lord in old age, in 1114.

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