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1. Our Holy Father Theodore Trichinas.

A citizen of Constantinople, he was the son of wealthy parents. He left parents, home and riches while still a young man and settled in a remote monastery in Thrace, where he undertook the most rigorous ascetic life. He slept on a stone so that he might have less sleep; he was always bareheaded and dressed in a hair-shirt, from which he was called 'Trichinas' or 'hairy'. Because of his great and self-inflicted sufferings for the sake of his soul's salvation, God granted him the gift of working miracles, both in his lifetime and after his death, and he died peacefully in about 400. Healing myrrh flowed from his relics.

2. Our Holy Father Anastasius of Mount Sinai.

He was abbot of Mount Sinai. He was for a long time a monk under the famous abbot, St John of the Ladder, whom he succeeded on the latter's death. He was also a great ascetic, and an eloquent narrator of the lives of the saints and the author of other instructive works. He fought an intensive battle against the heresy of the Acephalites, which was condemned by the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon. He died in great old age in 685, and went to the Lord whom he had served so faithfully.

3. Blessed Anastasius the Sinaite, Patriarch of Antioch.

He was chosen as Patriarch of Antioch in the reign of the Emperor Justinian while still a monk on Mount Sinai. His virtues, purity of life, great spiritual learning and staunch faith won him the patriarchal throne. But Justinian fell into the heresy of Docetism. Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and Blessed Anastasius reacted sharply against this. The Emperor exiled Eutychius and wanted to exile Anastitsius also, but could find nothing in his life capable of criticism. When Justinian was dying, he repented and returned Eutychius to the patriarchal throne, but Justin, his successor, succeeded in exiling Anastasius on the basis of certain slanders. Anastasius spent twenty-three years in exile and was then returned to the throne of Antioch during the reign of the Emperor Maurice. He governed the Church of God for six further years and finished his earthly course in 599.

4. Blessed Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch.

An Armenian by birth, he was abbot first of the Pharanite monastery and then on Mount Sinai and, when Blessed Anastasius was driven from the patriarchal throne, was, against his will, installed as Patriarch of Antioch. John Moschus writes about him in his 'Meadow', praising him highly. Gregory was particularly distinguished by an outstanding compassion, most especially towards sinners. He entered into rest in the Lord in 593

5. The Holy Apostle Zacchaeus.

He was at first a publican and a sinner, but when the Lord saw him in the tree in Jericho (Lk. 19), He immediately brought Zacchaeus to repentance. Zacchaeus later followed the Apostle Peter, who made him Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, where he served the Gospel in faithfulness and died peacefully.

6. Our Holy Father Athanasius of Meteora.

Born in 1310, he lived in asceticism on the Holy Mountain. He founded a famous monastery in the Meteora in Thessaly. He had great gifts of discernment and wonderworking.

Author's note: Philaret also mentions Gabriel the Child in his 'Lives of the Saints'. He was born in the village of Zvjerka, near the town of Zabludov and was only six years old when, in 1648, on the day when his parents were not at home, he was lured to a lonely place by a Jew named Schutko and there crucified. His body was found uncorrupt thirty years later.

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