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Venerable Macarius The Great

Macarius was an Egyptian and one of the younger contemporaries of Anthony the Great. His father was a priest. Out of obedience to his parents, Macarius married. However, his wife died shortly thereafter and he withdrew into the wilderness where he spent sixty years in labor and struggle, both internally and externally for the Kingdom of Heaven. When they asked him: "Why is he so thin when he eats and when he does not eat?" He responded: "From the fear of God." So much did he succeed in cleansing his mind of evil thoughts and his heart of evil desires that God bestowed upon him the abundant gift of miracle-working so that he even raised the dead from the graves. His humility amazed both men and demons. A demon once said to him: "There is only one thing in which I am unable to overpower you. It is not in fasting; for I do not eat anything. It is not in vigils; for I never sleep." "But, what is it?" asked Macarius. "Your humility" answered the demon. Macarius often spoke to Paphnutius, his disciple: "Do not judge anyone and you will be saved." Macarius lived to be ninety-seven years old. Nine days before his death, St. Anthony and St. Pachomius appeared to him from the other world and informed him that he would die within nine days, which happened. Also, before his death, Macarius had a vision in which a cherubim revealed to him the blessed heavenly world, commended his effort and his virtue and said to him that he was sent to take his soul into the Kingdom of Heaven. He died in the year 390 A.D.

Venerable Marcarius Of Alexandria

Macarius was born in Alexandria and, at first, was a fruit vendor. He was baptized at age forty and as soon as he was baptized, he immediately withdrew to lead a life of asceticism. At first, he, together with Macarius the Great, was a disciple of St. Anthony. After that, he became the abbot of the Monastery called the Cells, located between Nitria and Skete. He was somewhat younger than Macarius the Great and also lived longer. He lived to be more than a hundred years old. Tormented by demonic temptations, especially the temptation of vanity, he humbled himself by the most rigorous labors and ceaseless prayer, uplifting his mind constantly toward God. Once, a brother saw him fill a basket with sand, carry it uphill and empty it. Astonished, the brother asked him, "What are you doing?" Macarius answered, "I am tormenting my tormentor," i.e. the devil. He died in the year 393 A.D.

Saint Arsenius, Bishop Of Corfu

Arsenius augmented and structured the Rite of the Sacrament of Holy Unction [Anointing with Oil] to its present form. He died in the year 959 A.D. His relics repose in the cathedral church in Corfu.

Saint Mark, Archbishop Of Ephesus

Mark was famous for his courageous defense of Orthodoxy at the Council of Florence (1439 A.D.) in spite of the emperor and the pope. He died peacefully in the year 1452 A.D. On his death bed, Mark implored Gregory, his disciple, and later the glorious Patriarch Genadius, to be careful of the snares of the West and to defend Orthodoxy.

Blessed Theodore, "Fool For Christ" From Novgorod

Prior to his death, Theodore ran up and down the streets shouting to everyone: "Farewell, I am traveling far away!" He died in the year 1392 A.D.


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