Prologue Search

1. The Hieromartyr Patrick, Bishop of Brussa, with three priests: Acacius, Menander and Polyenus.

They suffered for the Christian faith in the time of Julian the Apostate in Asian Brussa. The imperial governor, Junius, brought Patrick to a hot water spring and asked him: 'Who created this healing water, if not our gods, Aesculapius and the others, whom we worship?' St Patrick answered: 'Your gods are demons; and this water, like all other water, was created by Christ. our Lord and God.' Then the governor asked: 'And will this Christ of yours save you if I throw you into this boiling water?' The saint replied: 'If He wills, He can keep me whole and uninjured, although I would wish, in this water, to be parted from this temporal life, that I may live eternally with Christ; but let His holy will be done, without which not a hair of a man's head can fall.' Hearing this, the governor ordered that Patrick be thrown into the water. The boiling drops fell on all sides, and scalded many of the onlookers, but the saint remained untouched, as though he were standing in cold water. Seeing this, the governor was wild with shame and commanded that Patrick and three of his priests be beheaded with axes. So these goodly followers of Christ said their prayers and laid their heads under the executioner's axe. When they had been beheaded, their souls were taken merrily to Christ's Kingdom of light, to reign eternally.

2. St John, Bishop of the Goths.

He was bishop in Georgia, but when a local Tartar Khan began to torture the Christians, he went off and spent four years among the Goths in Bessabara (a Gothic diocese formed in the time of Constantine the Great). Hearing of the death of the Khan, he returned to his work and guided his flock with zeal and godliness. Before his death, he said: 'In forty days I shall go to judgement with the Khan' (that is: through death, he was going before the throne of God). And thus it was. On the fortieth day, he passed away and went to the Lord. He entered peacefully into rest in the 8th century.

3. The Holy Prince Ivan of Vologda.

He was a wonderworker. God-fearing and devout from his youth, he was thrown into prison by his uncle, Ivan Vasillievitch, together with his brother Dimitri, spending thirty-two years there. Ivan became a monk before his death, receiving the name Ignatius.

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