Prologue Search

1. Commemoration of the Appearing of the Precious Cross over Jerusalem.

In the time of the Emperor Constantius, St Constantine's son, and Patriarch Cyril of Jerusalem, the Precious Cross appeared one day at nine o'clock in the morning above Golgotha, and spread as far as the Mount of Olives. This Cross was brighter than the sun and more beautiful than the loveliest rainbow. The whole people - believers and unbelievers - left their work and watched this heavenly sign in fear and wonder. Many unbelievers were converted to faith in Christ, and also many Arians abandoned their wicked heresy and returned to Orthodoxy. Patriarch Cyril wrote a letter to the Emperor Constantius about this sign, the Emperor himself being inclined towards Arianism. This took place on May 7th, 357. Thus was it demonstrated by this means that the Christian faith does not lie in the worldly theorising of the sensual understanding of men, but in the power of God, shown forth through wonders and signs without number (See also Homily for March 19th).

2. The Holy Martyr Acacius.

This saint was an officer in the Roman army in the time of the Emperor Maximian. Answering at judgement for his faith in Christ, he said that he had inherited a devout faith from his parents, and that he would be steadfast in it, seeing the many miracles of healing that came from the relics of the Christian saints. After harsh torture endured courageously in the Thracian city of Pyrrinthus, Acacius was taken to Byzantium, where he underwent further torture and was finally beheaded with the sword. He suffered with honour and went to the Kingdom of eternal joy in the year 303.

3. Our Holy Fathers of Georgia.

In the sixth century, two hundred years after St Nina had preached the Gospel in Georgia, the most holy Mother of God appeared to John, an ascetic of Antioch, and commanded him to choose twelve of his disciples and go to Georgia, to strengthen the Orthodox faith there. John did so. Reaching Georgia, these twelve missionaries were formally welcomed by the prince of that country and the Catholicos, Eulalius, and immediately began their work with great zeal. The people gathered around them in hordes, and they strengthened them in the Faith with great wisdom and many miracles. The chief of these Christ-loving missionaries was St John of Zedan, and the names of the others were: Abidus, Antony, David, Zeno, Thaddeus, Jesse, lsderius, Joseph, Michael, Pyrrus, Stephen and Shio. With apostolic zeal, they all strengthened the Christian faith in Georgia, founded many monasteries and left many disciples to follow them. Thus they became worthy of glory in heaven and power on earth.

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