Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyr Codratus of Corinth, and others with him.

In a time of persecution of Christians, many of the faithful fled to the mountains and caves. The mother of this Codratus did so. She was pregnant just at that time, and gave birth to Codratus in a forest, dying almost at once. He was kept safe and fed by the providence of God and his guardian angel. Codratus grew up in solitude with nature. He who gave manna from heaven to the Israelites in the wilderness released a sweet dew from a cloud onto the mouth of the child Codratus. When he was twelve years old, he went down to the town, and there some good people took a fancy to him and educated him. He studied medicine and then began to heal the sick, using both natural medicines and, more importantly, the spiritual power and prayer which had been with him from childhood. When a new persecution arose under Decius, Codratus was taken for trial and thrown into prison. Five of his friends stood beside him and confessed the name of Christ. They were: Cyprian, Dionysius, Anectus, Paul and Crescens. They were all dragged through the streets and struck with sticks and stones by the unbelievers, especially by the children, until they arrived at the scaffold. Here the martyrs prayed to God and were beheaded with the sword. A spring of water gushed out onto the earth at the spot, which to this day is called by Codratus's name and commemorates the heroic death for Christ of the holy six. They suffered with honour for the truth in Corinth in the year 250, in the time of the Emperor Decius and his governor Jason.

2. The Holy Martyr Codratus of Nicomedia.

He was a rich nobleman and also a convinced and baptised Christian. In a time of persecution, when Valerian shut up many Christians in jail, Codratus bribed the warder and went into the prison to bring the captives food and uphold them in their faith. When they were brought before the judge and questioned about their names, place of origin and status, they were silent. Then Codratus appeared behind them and shouted at the top of his voice: 'By name, we are Christians; servants of Jesus Christ the Lord by office and birth, and our city and place of origin is heaven.' After this declaration he was brought to trial, and after long and harsh torture was beheaded along with the others.

3. Our Holy Mother Anastasia.

A patrician, she was a lady-in-waiting at the court of the Emperor Justinian. When she was widowed, and saw that the Empress Theodora could not abide her, she suddenly disappeared from Constantinople and took herself off to the Egyptian desert. A famous spiritual guide, Abba Daniel, tonsured her and presented her as the castrated monk Anastasius, by her wish, so that she might, as a woman under a man's name, more easily evade the imperial searchers. Anastasia shut herself in a narrow cell, where she spent 28 years and where she entered into rest in the year 563. Before her death, the elder Daniel saw her face shining like the sun.


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