Prologue Search

1. St Sampson the Hospitable.

This saint was born of rich and eminent parents in ancient Rome, where he studied all the secular wisdom of that time, devoting himself in particular to the study of medicine. Sampson was a compassionate and liberal physician, and gave the sick medicine for both soul and body, counselling each man to fulfill the requirements of the Christian faith. He moved to Constantinople, where he lived in a tiny house from which he distributed alms, comfort, advice, hope, medicine and all possible aid to those suffering in spirit and in body. The Patriarch heard of Sampson's great virtue and ordained him priest. At that time the Emperor Justinian the Great became ill with what his doctors believed to be an incurable disease. The Emperor prayed with great fervour, and God revealed to him in his sleep that Sampson would heal him. When the Emperor summoned Sampson to court, the old man had only to put his hand on the diseased place and the Emperor was healed. When Justinian offered him an immense sum of money, Sampson thanked him but would accept nothing, saying to the Emperor: 'O Emperor. I had silver and gold and other riches, but I left it all for the sake of Christ, that I might gain heavenly and eternal wealth.' When the Emperor insisted on doing something for him, Sampson asked him to build a home for the poor. In that home, Sampson cared for the poor as a father cares for his children. His compassion for the poor and weak was second nature to him. This holy man, filled with heavenly power and goodness, entered peacefully into rest on June 27th. 530. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Martyr Mocius, his kinsman. After his death, Sampson appeared many times to those who called upon him for aid.

2. St Severus the Priest.

He lived in central Italy. A man of rare holiness, he was once called to hear the confession of, and give Communion to, a man at the point of death. He tarried, working in his vineyard, and the news was brought to him there that the sick man had died. Stricken with grief, as if he had himself killed the man, he wept bitter tears over the corpse, and God raised the dead man to life again in response to his fervent prayer. Then Severus confessed him and gave him Communion, preparing him for a Christian leaving of this world, and on the eighth day the man died again.

3. St Joanna the Myrrh-Bearer.

She was the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward (Lk. 8:3). When Herod had John the Baptist beheaded, he cast his head out into an unclean place. Joanna took the head and buried it with honour on the Mount of Olives, on Herod's land. Later, in the reign of Constantine the Great, the head was found. St Joanna is also remembered because she was present at both the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. She died peacefully.


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