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1. The Seven Hieromartyrs of Cherson.

Basil, Ephraim, Eugene, Elpidius, Agathodorus, Aetherius and Capito. They were all bishops in Cherson at different times, and all suffered from unbelievers (only Aetherius died peacefully), either Jews or Greeks from Scythia. They had all gone to that savage land as missionaries, sent by the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the light of the Gospel there. They were all tortured and suffered for the sake of their Lord. Basil raised the son of a prince of Cherson to life, which embittered the Jews and they brought charges against him. He was bound by the feet and dragged through the streets of the town until he gave up the ghost. Ephraim was beheaded. Eugene, Elpidius and Agathorodus were beaten with rods and stones until they gave their souls into God's hands. Aetherius lived in the time of Constantine the Great, and so he governed the Church in freedom and peace, built a great church in Cherson and died peacefully. When the last of them, Capito, was sent as bishop, the savage Scythians sought a sign of him, that they might believe. And they suggested to him that he go into a burning furnace, and, if he were not burned up, they would believe. With fervent prayer and hope in God, Capito put on his episcopal pallium and, crossing himself, entered the burning furnace, holding his heart and thoughts directed towards God. He stood in the flames for about an hour, and came out untouched, with no scorch-mark either on his body or his clothing. Then all cried out: 'There is one God, the great and powerful God of the Christians, who keeps His servant safe in the burning furnace!', and the whole town and surroundings were baptised. Many spoke of this wonder at the Council of Nicaea (325), and all glorified God and praised the firm faith of St Capito. But Scythian unbelievers caught Capito by the River Dnieper and drowned him. They all suffered around the beginning of the fourth century.

2. Our Holy Father Enilianus.

He was born in Rome, and committed many grave sins in his youth. When he came to his senses and turned from his sin, he trembled at the thought of the judgement of God. He went to a monastery and there, by fasting, vigils and obedience, subdued and withered his body. He was a model of asceticism to his brethren. Often at night he went out of the monastery to a neighbouring cave to pray. Not knowing where he went, the abbot of the monastery followed him in secret one night. And the abbot saw Emilianus standing in prayer with awe and tears. All at once a heavenly light, brighter than the sun, illumined that hill, and focussed on the cave and on Emilianus. And a voice was heard from heaven: 'Emilianus, thy sins are forgiven thee!' The abbot was amazed and fled back to the monastery. On the following day he revealed all that he had seen and heard the preceding night. And Emilianus was greatly honoured among the brethren, and lived long and entered into rest in the Lord.

Author's Note: Under this date in the Greek Great Synaxarion, St Laurence, founder of the monastery of Phaneromene on the island of Salamis is commemorated. He lived in Megara as a married man with two sons, and was righteous and devout. The holy Mother of God appeared to him in a dream and commanded him to go to the island of Salamis and to restore a church in a certain place. He went and found ruins there, and built a new church. There he became a monk and departed this life on March 7th, 1770. Many miracles were wrought in that monastery over the relics of St Laurence.

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