Prologue Search

1. St Basil of Ostrog.

Basil was born in Popovo Selo in Herzegovina, of simple and devout parents. From his youth he was filled with love for the Church of God, and when he grew up he went to the monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God at Trebinje, and became a monk. As such, he quickly became known for his serious and rare ascetic life, for he loaded himself with ascetic practices, each harder than the last. He was later chosen and consecrated as Bishop of Zahum and Skenderia, much against his will. As a bishop, he first lived in the monastery at Tvrdog, whence, as a good pastor, he confirmed his flock in the Orthodox faith, keeping it from the cruelty of the Turks and the guile of the Latins. But when he was too pressed-upon by his enemies, and when Tvrdos* was destroyed by the Turks, Basil moved to Ostrog, where he lived in strict asceticism, protecting his flock by his unceasing and loving prayers. He went peacefully to the Lord in the 16th century, leaving his whole and healing body, uncorrupt and wonderworking, to the present day. The miracles at the grave of St Basil are without number. Both Christians and Moslems hasten to his relics and find healing of the gravest sicknesses and sufferings. A great national gathering takes place there every year at Pentecost.

*Author's Note: A new church, on the ruins of the old Tvrdos, has been built in our day by Nikolai Runjevac, from the village of Poljica near Trebinje - a wonderful foundation in the sight of God and His people.

2. The Nine Holy Martyrs of Cyzicus.

These nine courageous martyrs, burning with love for Christ, refused to offer sacrifice to idols or to deny Christ the Lord, for which they were harshly tortured and finally beheaded. In the time of the Emperor Constantine, a church was built in Cyzicus in honour of these martyrs, and their uncoffupt relics were laid there. Their names were: Theognis, Rufus, Antipater, Theostoichus, Artemas, Magnus, Theodotus, Thaumasilas and Philemon. They all scorned the temporal for the sake of the eternal, and the corruptible for the incorruptible. Therefore the Lord brought them into His eternal family and crowned them with wreaths of unfading glory. They suffered with honour and were glorified in the 3rd century.

3. Our Holy Father Memnon the Wonderworker.

From his youth, Memnon gave himself to fasting and prayer, and purified himself so greatly that he became a dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. He cured incurable illnesses and worked many other miracles. He appeared during storms at sea and saved boats from destruction. He entered peacefully into rest in the Lord in the second century, and went to His heavenly courts.

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