Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilarius.

These martyrs were born in Kallippi in Asia, Proclus being Hilarius's uncle. They suffered in the time of Trajan. The judge asked Proclus: 'Of what race are you?' Proclus replied: 'I am of the race of Christ, and my hope is in my God.' When the judge threatened him with torture, he said: 'When you are afraid to transgress the Emperor's commands and risk falling into temporal punishment, how much more do we Christians fear to transgress against God's commands and fall into eternal torment!' While Proclus was being tortured, Hilarius came up to the judge and said: 'I too am a Christian!' After many tortures, the two of them were condemned to death, Proclus being crucified and Hilarius beheaded with the sword. They both entered into the joy of their Lord.

2. Our Holy Father Michael Maleinos.

He was a wealthy man of noble birth. Scorning worldly goods in his youth, he withdrew to Mount Kyminas in Bithynia, where he lived in asceticism, purifying his heart by fasting and prayer. He later had many disciples, of whom the best-known is St Athanasius the Athonite. He died peacefully in the middle of the tenth century.

3. The Holy Martyr Golinduc.

A Persian, she married a Persian noble and lived three years in wedlock. She then had a vision of an angel, who revealed the other world to her: the torment of sinners and unbelievers and the joy of the righteous. She left her husband and received baptism, being given the name Maria. As a result of her husband's persecution, she was condemned to lifelong imprisonment and spent eighteen years in prison, being steadfast in the Faith. She was then thrown into a pit, but was saved by God; then before a venomous snake, but the snake did not harm her. When some wicked youths were sent to her to defile her, God made her invisible to their eyes. Amazed at her sufferings, many Persians were converted to the Christian faith. She visited Jerusalem, where she denounced the Severian heresy which taught that Christ's divinity suffered, and therefore recited the Trisagion in this form: 'Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal, crucified for us, have mercy on us.' Preaching the true Faith up to the end of her life, she died peacefully near the town of Nisibis in 587.

4. St Veronica.

This is the woman with the issue of blood, whom the Lord healed (Matt. 9:20). In gratitude to the Lord her healer, Veronica caused a statue of the Lord Jesus to be made, before which she prayed to God. By tradition, this statue was preserved up to the time of Julian the Apostate, when it was altered to become a statue of Zeus. This is one of the very rare occasions that a holy statue has been used in the Eastern Church. As is known, this later became a common custom in the Western Churches. St Veronica remained faithful to Christ till death, and entered peacefully into rest.

5. The Holy Martyrs Theodore and John.

Father and son, they settled after their baptism in the pagan city of Kiev. The infuriated pagans pulled their house down about their ears, and the two of them perished for the sake of Christ. Their relics are preserved in St Antony's caves. The barren and women who miscarry pray especially to them.

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