Prologue Search

1. St Metrophanes of Constantinople.

His father Dometius, brother of the Roman Emperor Probus, fled from Rome as a Christian during a persecution and went to Byzantium. The Bishop of Byzantium, Titus, ordained Dometius priest and, after Titus's death, Dometius became Bishop of Byzantium. After Dometius's death, his elder son Probus occupied the episcopal throne (Dometius had children from his earlier, pagan days), and Metrophanes succeeded him on his death. When the Emperor Constantine first set eyes on Metrophanes, he loved him as a father. At the time of the First Ecumenical Council, Metrophanes was a very old man and, being unable to take a full part in the Council's deliberations, appointed his assistant bishop, Alexander, as his representative. The Emperor had Metrophanes raised to the rank of Patriarch by the Council, and he thus became the first Patriarch of Constantinople. The Emperor further invited the whole Council to visit the sick and aged hierarch. When the Emperor asked him who he wished to succeed him on the patriarchal throne, Metrophanes named Alexander of Alexandria, after which he said to him: 'My brother, you are my chosen successor!' He also took Archdeacon Athanasius (later Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria) by the hand and praised him before them all. After this prophetic act, he took leave of them all and, ten days later, gave his soul to God, in 325.

2. The Holy Martyr Concordius.

He was a great ascetic and a wonderworker during his earthly life. Arrested as a Christian under the Emperor Antoninus, he was tortured and imprisoned, and led before the stone idol of Zeus to pay it reverence. He spat on the idol, for which he was at once beheaded.

3. The Holy Martyrs Frontasius, Severinus, Severian and Silanus.

They were martyred in France in the time of the Emperor Claudius. When they had been beheaded, they rose to their feet, took their heads in their hands, crossed the river lie and came to the church of the most holy Mother of God, where Bishop Frontanus was at prayer. Entering the church, they laid their heads at the bishop's feet and then lay down and crossed themselves. They were buried there and, at their burial, the singing of an unseen host of angels was heard.

4. Our Holy Father Zossima, Bishop of New Babylon in Egypt.

He lived in asceticism on Mount Sinai. Going to Alexandria in the course of his work, he was consecrated by the venerable Patriarch Apollinarius as Bishop of New Babylon. He was a good pastor of Christ's flock, but when old age and weariness came upon him, he withdrew again to Sinai, where he gave his soul into God's hands and received a wreath of glory among the great hierarchs. He lived and died in the 6th century.

5. The Hieromartyr Astius, Bishop of Dyrrachium.

He suffered under Trajan. First beaten with leaden rods, he was then stripped bare and crucified on a tree. His naked body, smeared with honey, was left for the wasps and hornets to eat. St Astius breathed his last in great torment, praising God, and received a twofold wreath: as a martyr and a hierarch. He suffered at the beginning of the second century.

6. Ss Mary and Martha, the Sisters of Lazarus.

After the Lord's Ascension, Lazarus went about preaching the Gospel, and his sisters helped him in this work. It is not known where they died.


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