Prologue Search

1. The Holy Apostle Simeon.

One of the Seventy, he was the son of Cleopas, and Cleopas was the brother of Joseph, the betrothed of the most holy Mother of God. Seeing the miracles of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Simeon was converted and included among the Seventy apostles. With great zeal and courage, he preached the Gospel everywhere in Judo. And when the wicked Jews killed James, the Lord's brother and first bishop of the Church in Jerusalem, throwing him down from the top of the Temple and belabouring him round the head with a stick, then this Simeon, Joseph's nephew, was installed as bishop in Jerusalem. He, as the second Bishop of the Holy City, governed the Church of God with wisdom and strength to a great age. He was more than a hundred years old when he suffered, and his sufferings came about as follows: in the time of the Emperor Trajan there was a double persecution begun in Palestine, against the descendants of David and against the Christians. The wicked people condemned Simeon on both counts. St Simeon endured harsh torture and was finally crucified, as had been the Lord whom he had faithfully served on earth.

2. Our Holy Father Stephen, Bishop of Vladimir.

A disciple of St Theodosius of the Kiev Caves, Stephen was at one time abbot of the Monastery of the Caves and laboured greatly in the regulation and Organisation of the monastic life and in the beautifying of the churches. But the enemy inflamed an evil monk against him, and he was not only removed from the abbacy but driven from the monastery. But God, who does not leave the righteous long under the humiliation of the unrighteous, so guided the life of blessed Stephen that he was chosen as Bishop of Vladimir. As God's hierarch, Stephen guided the Church to old age and departed this life in the Lord peacefully in 1094.

3. The Burning of the Relics of St Sava, Archbishop of Serbia.

The body of - St Sava was buried at Mileseva. In the time of the Turkish occupation, the Serbian people gathered together round the relics of their Saint, to seek support and healing. Fearing that a rebellion against the Turks might be stirred up in that place, Sinan Pasha of Belgrade commanded that St Sava's relics be brought to Belgrade and burned there at Vracar. This was done on April 27th, 1594. But, with the burning of the saint's relics, the wicked Pasha did not burn the saint, who remains alive before the throne of God in heaven and in the hearts of his people on earth.

4. Our Holy Father John the Confessor.

He was the abbot of the community 'of the Pure' (the Catharoi). This community was founded near Nicaea during the reign of Justin, in the 6th century. For his veneration of icons during a ban on such veneration, John suffered much at the hands of the Emperors Leo and Theophilus, and died under their persecution in about 832.

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