Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyr Julian of Tarsus.

Of a noble senatorial family, he lived in Tarsus in Cilicia and suffered in the reign of Diocletian. Although only eighteen years old when he was taken for trial for the Faith, St Julian was already both educated and resolute in Christian faith and devotion. The imperial governor took him from city to city for a whole year, torturing him all the while and attempting to persuade him to renounce Christ. Julian's mother followed her son at a distance. When the governor seized her and sent her to urge her son to renounce Christ, she spent three days in the prison with him, giving him precisely the opposite advice, teaching him and giving him the strength not to lose heart but to go to his death with courage and gratitude to God. His torturers then sewed Julian into a sack of sand with scorpions and snakes and threw him into the sea, and his mother also died under torture. The waves carried his body onto the shore, and the faithful took it to Alexandria, where they buried it in 290. His relics were later taken to Antioch. St John Chrysostom himself gave an eulogy for the holy martyr Julian: 'A holy voice comes forth from the lips of the martyr, and with this voice is poured out a light brighter than the rays of the sun.' He said further: 'Take whomsoever you will, be he a madman or one possessed, and lead him to the grave of this saint, to the martyr's relics, and you will see the demon immediately jump out and flee as from blazing fire.' It is evident from this speech that many wonders must have been wrought at St Julian's grave.

2. Our Holy Fathers Julius and Julian.

Greek-born brothers, they were brought up from their youth in the Christian faith, and vowed to live in perpetual virginity and the service of the Church. Julius was a priest and Julian a deacon. They received an imperial decree from the Emperor Theodosius the Younger to destroy the idols throughout the whole Empire and build Christian churches. Like two apostles, these two brothers turned pagans into Christians in the East and the West, and built a hundred churches during their lifetime. They entered peacefully into the Lord's rest near Milan, the inhabitants of which city invoke St Julius's help against wolves.

3. The Holy Martyr Archil II, King of Georgia.

He was the son of King Stephen and grandson of the great Georgian King Wachtang. An outstanding Christian and defender of Christianity, King Archil was tortured by the Moslems and beheaded for Christ on March 20th, 744. He was eighty years old when he suffered for the Lord and entered into eternal blessedness.

4. The Holy Martyr Luarsab II, Prince of Kartli.

A prince of Georgia, he was the son of George X, who suffered for the Faith and was poisoned by the King of Persia. Luarsab was then thrown into prison near Shiraz, where he languished for seven years. Then he and his two servants were hanged in the prison yard on the orders of Shah Abbas I, on June 21st 1662. A heavenly light was seen over his grave.

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