Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyr Boniface.

Martyrdom for Christ makes sinners into saints. This is shown by the example of St Boniface. He was at first servant to a wealthy and dissolute woman, Aglaïs, in Rome, and had unclean and unlawful relations with her. They were both pagans. Aglaïs evinced the desire to have the relics of some martyr in her house as an amulet against evil, so she sent her servant to Asia to find and buy for her what she desired. Boniface took some slaves with him and a fair amount of money and, at the moment of parting, said to Aglaïs: 'If I can't find any martyrs and if they bring you back my body, martyred for Christ, will you receive it with honour? Aglaïs laughed, and called him a drunken old sinner, and so they parted. Coming to the city of Tarsus, Boniface saw many Christians undergoing torture: some were having their legs cut off, some their hands, others their eyes put out, yet others were dying on the gallows and so forth. Boniface's heart was changed, and he repented of his sinful life with tears. He called out among the Christian martyrs: 'I too am a Christian!' The judge took him for interrogation and ordered that he be harshly flogged, then that boiling lead be poured into his mouth and, as this did him no harm, that he be beheaded. The slaves then took his body back to Rome. An angel of God appeared to Aglaïs and said: 'Take him who was at one time your servant, but is now our brother and fellow-servant; he is the guardian of your soul and the protector of your life.' Aglaïs went in wonder to meet them, took Boniface's body, built a church for his relics and placed them there. She then repented, gave away all her goods to the poor and withdrew from the world, living a further fifteen years in bitter penitence. St Boniface suffered in the year 290.

2. St Gregory, Bishop of Omir.

He was at first a deacon in the church in Mediolanum (Milan), and had many visions. By God's providence, he was taken to the city of Alexandria, where Patriarch Proterius, in response to a heavenly revelation, consecrated him bishop of the land of Omir in southern Arabia, which the holy King Elesbaan (Oct. 24th) had already freed from the tyranny of Dunaan the Jew. He was a good shepherd and a great wonderworker. He organised the Church in Omir, with the help of the Christ-loving King Avram, built many churches and baptised a great number of the Jews. He performed great and terrible wonders by his prayers, even bringing about a revelation of Christ the Lord before the unbelieving Jews, which led to their baptism. Having governed the Church for thirty years, he entered peacefully into eternal life in the late fifth century.

3. St Boniface the Merciful, Bishop of Ferentino.

He had a rare compassion from childhood, being scolded for this by his mother. But, helped by prayer, he received a hundredfold from the Lord. He died peacefully in Italy in the sixth century.

4. Our Holy Father Elias of Murom.

He was a monk of the Kiev Caves, and died in 1188. His uncorrupt relics have wonderworking power. Three fingers of his right hand are to this day raised in prayer, whence it is seen that he died at prayer. This is a commentary on those who do not make the sign of the Cross with three fingers.


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