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The Hieromartyr Charalampus.

This great saint was bishop in Magnesia, and suffered for Christ at the age of 11When a violent persecution broke out under the Emperor Septimus Severus, the aged Charalampus did not hide from his persecutors, but freely and openly preached the Christian faith. He endured all tortures as though not in the body, and when they flayed the living flesh from him, the godly saint said to the Emperor's soldiers: 'Thank you, my brethren, for scraping off the old body and renewing my soul for new and eternal life.' He performed many wonders and brought many to the Faith. Even the Emperor's daughter, Gallina, repudiated the paganism of her father and became a Christian. Condemned to death and led to the place of execution, St Charalampus raised his arms to heaven and prayed for all men, that God would give them bodily health and salvation of soul, and that He would grant them the fruits of the earth in abundance: 'Lord, Thou knowest that men are flesh and blood; forgive them their sins and pour out Thy blessing on all.' After praying thus, the saintly elder gave his soul to God before the executioner had laid his sword to his neck. He suffered in 20Gallina took his body and buried it.

Our Holy Father Prochorus the Orach-Eater.

A wonder-worker of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, he w named the Orach-eater because the whole time he lived in t monastery, he never tasted bread but fed himself on orach prepared according to his own particular method as a sort of bread When he gave someone some of this bread with his blessing, it w as sweet as honey, but if anyone stole some, it was as bitter wormwood.

At one time, when there was a dearth of salt in Russia, Prochorus distributed ashes to the people for salt. The ashes that distributed with his blessing became salt; ashes, however, anyone took for himself remained ordinary ashes. Prince Svyatopol ordered that all the ashes from Prochorus' cell be brought to t court without his permission, let alone his blessing. When the ash were brought there, it was obvious to everyone that they were ash and not salt. Then Prochorus told all the people who came to him salt to go to the prince's court, and, when the prince threw the ash away, to take them and use them as salt. This they did, and the ash again became salt. The prince himself, learning of this, was filled with a deep respect and love for him and, when Prochorus died in 1107, placed him with his own hands in a grave near the great Russian Saints, Antony and Theodorius.


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