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1. The Holy Martyr Glykeria.

The daughter of a governor of Rome, she became poor after her father's death and went to live in Trajanopolis in Thrace. In the time of the wicked Emperor Antoninus, Glykeria was brought to offer sacrifice to the idol of Zeus. She traced the Cross on her forehead and, when the governor asked her where was her lamp (for they all carried lamps in their hands), Glykeria indicated the Cross on her forehead and said: 'This is my lamp!' At her prayers, the idol was struck by lightning and broken into pieces. The governor was furious with her and commanded that she be thrown into prison. He sealed the door of the prison, intending to starve the maiden to death, but an angel of God appeared to Glykeria and gave her heavenly food. After a certain time, when the governor reckoned that the maiden must have died of hunger, he opened the prison and was astounded to see her in good health, bright and merry. The warder, Laodicius, seeing this marvel, himself confessed Christ the Lord and was at once beheaded. After that Glykeria was thrown into a burning furnace, but she remained untouched by the flames. Standing in the midst of the fire, she praised the Lord, commemorating the wonder with the Three Children in the burning fiery furnace in Babylon. Finally, she was thrown to the lions and, praying to God, this holy maiden gave her soul into the hands of the Lord for whom she had heroically suffered much torture. She suffered with honour in the year 141. A healing myrrh flowed from her relics, which healed the sick of the gravest illnesses.

2. The Holy Martyr Alexander.

He was a Slav, an eighteen-year-old soldier in the army of the Emperor Maximian. He refused to obey the imperial order to offer sacrifice to the Roman idols, because of which it fell to Captain Tiberian to tell him either to deny Christ or be tortured and killed. As all this advice was in vain, Tiberian arrested him and took him through Macedonia to Constantinople, whither he himself had an errand. In every place, the young Alexander was harshly tortured, but in every place also, Christians came out to him, begging his blessing and encouraging him in his sufferings. His mother, Pimenia, followed him. In the course of this journey, Alexander was many times visited by an angel of God, who eased his pains and encouraged him. In one place called Carasura, the martyr worked a miracle by his prayers: when the soldiers who were escorting him were tormented by thirst, he made a spring of cold water come out of a dry place. On the bank of the river Ergina, Tiberian ordered that the executioner behead Alexander and throw his body into the river. When the executioner swung his axe above Alexander's head, he saw angels of God around him, resplendent with light, and was afraid and stayed his hand. Alexander asked him why he had done this, and he said that he had seen some young men in a nimbus of light surrounding him. Desiring to die and so be united with the Lord, Alexander prayed to God to take the angels away, so that the executioner would not be afraid. And so the executioner completed his work, in 298. Pimenia retrieved the body of her son and gave it burial. There were many hearings at the martyr's grave. After his death, he appeared to his mother and gave her tidings of her own imminent departure to the other world.

3. Our Holy Fathers John, Euthymius, George and Gabriel of Iviron.

They were the founders of the famous Iviron (Georgian) monastery on the Holy Mountain. St John lived in asceticism first in the Lavra of Athanasius, and then founded his own monastery, Iviron. He entered into rest in 998. Euthymius and George translated the Holy


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