Prologue Search

1. The Third Finding of the Head of St John the Baptist.

In the eighth century, during a period of fierce iconoclasm, the head of St John the Baptist was taken to Comana, the place of St John Chrysostom's exile. When the iconoclast persecution ended in 850, in the time of the Emperor Michael and Patriarch Ignatius, the honoured head of St John was taken to Constantinople and placed in the church at the imperial court.

2. The Hieromartyr Therapon, Bishop of Cyprus.

A monk and ascetic on the island of Cyprus, he was worthy of episcopal rank and, during a persecution of Christians, was found worthy of a yet higher crown: that of martyrdom. His body at first rested in a church in Cyprus, but, during the reign of the Emperor Nicephorus, in 806, the Hagarenes fell upon Cyprus. Therapon appeared to the verger, told him that the infidel was about to attack Cyprus and ordered him to have his relics transferred to Constantinople. The verger saw to this at once. When the ship with the casket put to sea, a great storm arose, but the sea around the ship remained calm and a sweet perfume spread from the casket around the whole ship and the surrounding area. Then the verger opened it, and they saw that it was full of myrrh, which flowed from the saint's relics. Many of the sick anointed themselves with this myrrh and were restored to health. A church was built in Constantinople over the relics of the wonderworking saint, which continued to give healing to all who gathered round them with faith. The gravest diseases were healed by St Therapon's relics: paralysis, cancer, haemorrhage, insanity, blindness, tuberculosis and other maladies.

3. The Holy Martyrs Pasicrates, Valentian, Julius and others.

They were Roman soldiers, and suffered for Christ in about 302 in Macedonian Dorostol. When Pasicrates' brother, Papianus (who had apostatised from Christ through fear), came to his brother and tried to persuade him to renounce Christ and stay alive, St Pasicrates replied: 'Get away from me; you are no brother of mine!' Pasicrates and Valentian were beheaded together. At his trial, Julius said: 'I am a war veteran, and have served the Emperor faithfully for twenty-six years. And, having been faithful till now in lesser things, how can I not be faithful, in the things that are greater, to the heavenly Kingdom and its King?' Then Nicanor was brought before the prefect, Maximus. Nicanor's wife encouraged her husband to die for the sake of Christ. 'You stupid old woman', Maximus hurled at her, 'Are you after a better husband?' She replied: 'If you think that of me, give the order to have me killed now, before my husband!' Marcian also perished with Nicanor. His wife came to the place of execution, carrying their son in her arms. Marcian kissed his son and prayed: 'O almighty God, do Thou take care of him!' And they were all then slain and entered into the Kingdom of Christ.


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