Prologue Search

1. The Holy Archangel Gabriel.

This great archangel of God is commemorated on March 26th. On this day his appearances and marvels through the whole history of the salvation of mankind are commemorated. It is reckoned that this observance was first instituted on the Holy Mountain in 982, during the patriarchate of Nicolas Chrysoverges (979-91), and was occasioned by the Archangel's appearing in a cell near Karyes, where, with his finger, he wrote the hymn to the Mother of God: 'It is meet ... '. As a result of this occurrence, the cell was named, and is called to this day, 'It is meet Linked with this, other appearances of the Archangel Gabriel are commemorated, such as his appearing to Moses when he was keeping Jethro's flocks, when he revealed to this great man, chosen by God, how the world was created and all the rest that Moses later wrote down in the Book of Genesis; his appearing to Daniel and the imparting of the mystery of the kingdoms to come and the coming of the Saviour; his appearing to St Anna and the promise of a daughter, the most blessed and pure Virgin Mary; his very brief appearing to the holy Virgin while she was living in the Temple in Jerusalem; his appearing to Zacharias the high priest and the news of the birth of John the Forerunner, and the punishing of the same with dumbness because he did not believe the angel's words; his appearing once again to the holy Virgin in Nazareth, and the annunciation of the conception and birth of the Lord Jesus Christ; his appearing to righteous Joseph, to the shepherds near Bethlehem, to the Lord Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane when he strengthened the Lord, as man, before His Passion: his appearing to the myrrh-bearing women, and his other appearances.

2. St Julian, Bishop of Cenomanis (Le Mans).

Some think that he is none other than that Simon the Leper whom the Lord healed. The Apostle Peter made him bishop and sent him to pagan Gaul, where St Julian endured great privation, but succeeded in bringing many of the people to the Christian faith. When the prince, Defenson, was baptised, many of his subjects embraced the true Faith. By the grace of God, Julian worked many miracles: healing the sick, driving out demons and raising the dead. He departed this life peacefully and, at the time of his death, appeared to Prince Defenson in full daylight, while the latter was at lunch.

3. Our Holy Father Stephen of St Sava's.

Nephew to St John Damascene, he lived in asceticism in the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified, and is therefore known as 'of St Sava's'. He was a great imitator of the life of St Sava and a resplendent star among the monks of Palestine. He entered into rest in the Lord in 794, at the age of sixty-nine.

4. Our Holy Mother Sarah the Egyptian.

She embraced asceticism as a young girl, and thus spent sixty years on the bank of the Nile not far from Alexandria. By her example, she drew many women to the monastic life. She entered into rest in the Lord in 370.


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