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1. Holy, Righteous and Long-suffering Job.

Job was a descendant of Esau the grandson of Abraham, and lived in Arabia about 2,000 years before Christ. His father's name was Zareth and his mother's Bosora; his full name was Jobab. He was an honourable and God-fearing man, and was very rich. But when he reached the age of seventy-nine, God permitted heavy temptation from Satan to fall on him, as is written in detail in the Book of Job. In one day, Job lost all his great possessions and his sons and daughters. Then a great sickness fell on him, from which his whole body was covered with sores from top to toe, and Job lay on a rubbish heap outside the town and scoured his boils with sherds of broken pottery. But Job did not complain of God, but patiently endured all his sufferings to the end. Therefore the Lord restored his health and gave him riches greater than he had had before, and there were born to him seven sons and three daughters; as many as he had had before. And Job lived for 248 years, glorifying and praising God. Job is regarded as the model of patient endurance of every suffering that God sends us, and is a type of the suffering Christ.

2. The Holy Martyr Barbarus.

Barbarus was a soldier in the time of Julian the Apostate. When the imperial commander Bacchus led the Roman army against the Franks, Barbarus was in that army, a secret Christian. In this battle there appeared a hero on the Frankish side, like the earlier Goliath, and he challenged the Romans to send one of their number out to single combat. The commander told Barbarus to go. Barbarus prayed in his heart to the living Lord, went out and conquered this giant. As a result, the Frankish army was confused and overcome. Then the commander made a great Triumph, and ordered that sacrifice be made to idols. But, at this sacrificing, he noticed that Barbarus was standing to one side. When he asked him why, Barbarus revealed that he was a Christian. The commander informed the Emperor, and the Emperor commanded that Barbarus be put to the harshest torture, which Barbarus endured with rare courage and composure. At the time of his martyrdom, many marvels were seen and many soldiers, seeing them, embraced the Christian faith. Among these was the commander Bacchus himself, with Callimachus and Dionysius. All three of them were beheaded for the name of Christ and, after them, Barbarus, in 362. Their souls went to the Kingdom of Christ the immortal King.

3. St Barbarus the Robber.

After much evil-doing, he repented and punished himself, first by going on all fours for three years and eating with the dogs, and then by living for twelve years in a forest, without clothing or roof, and with no food but grass or leaves. He was told by an angel that his sins were forgiven. Some merchants travelling through the forest saw Barbarus from afar and, thinking that he was a wild beast and not a man, aimed arrows and shot him. Dying, he begged them to tell the local priest about him. The priest came and gave him burial, and from his body there came forth a healing myrrh, which healed all sorts of sicknesses and pains among the people.

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