Prologue Search

1. The Holy Apostle Jude.

One of the Twelve Apostles, he was the son of Joseph and Salome (not the Salome from Bethlehem, but another), and brother to James the Lord's Brother. Joseph the Carpenter had four sons by Salome: James, Hosea, Simon and Jude. Jude is often called 'Jude the brother of James', to note his relationship with his brother (Lk. 6:16; Acts 1:13). St Jude begins his Epistle: 'Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James'. Although he could call himself the Lord's brother, just as James did, he did not do so. This was out of humility and out of shame, because he did not believe in Christ the Lord at the very beginning. When the aged Joseph desired to give Jesus His portion of the property before his death, just as he was doing for his other children, all of them were against it, including Jude, and only James voluntarily shared out his portion and laid some aside for Jesus. Jude is also called Levi and Thaddeus. There is another Thaddeus, or Jude, one of the Seventy (see August 21st), but this Thaddeus or Jude was one of the Great Apostles. He preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Idumea, Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Armenia. At Edessa, the city of Abgar, he continued and developed the preaching of the other Thaddeus. While he was preaching in the region around Ararat, he was seized by the pagans, crucified and shot through with arrows, that he might reign forever in the Kingdom of Christ.

2. Our Holy Father Paisius the Great.

He was an Fgyptian by birth and by language. After a vision in a dream, his mother dedicated him to the service of God, and he went to St Pambo while still a youth. Pambo accepted him as a disciple, and he was a fellow disciple there of St John the Dwarf, who wrote Paisiu's life. To the joy of his spiritual father, Paisius piled labour upon labour one ascetic feat upon another. The Prophet Jeremiah, whom he especially revered and read frequently, appeared to him often, and also the Lord Christ. 'Peace be to thee, My beloved in whom I am well-pleased!, the Lord said to him. By God's great grace, Paisius had the particular gift of being able to abstain completely from food. He would often not eat bread for a fortnight, even more often for a week, and once, according to the testimony of John the Dwarf, he went for seventy days without tasting a thing. He waged a tremendous war against evil spirits, that sometimes appeared to him in their own form and sometimes as angels of light. But God's servant, filled with grace, never once let himself be deceived and led astray. He was a seer and a wonderworker famed throughout the whole of Egypt. He went to the Lord in the year 400. Isidore of Pelusium took his relics to his own monastery and buried them there.

3. The Holy Martyr Zossima.

A Roman soldier at the time of the Emperor Trajan, he courageously confessed his faith in Christ the Lord and endured many bitter torments. In the midst of his torture. a voice was heard from heaven: 'Be of good cheer, Zossima, and sign yourself with the Cross. I am with you.' Angels of God appeared to him in the prison. After manifold sufferings, he was beheaded with an axe in the year 116.

4. Our Holy Father John the Solitary.

He lived the ascetic life near Jerusalem in the sixth century. His asceticism brought him to a high degree of purity and spiritual power, so that the wild beasts were obedient to him. He entered into rest in the Lord in 586, at a great age.

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