Prologue Search

1. The Holy Apostles Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles

and Aristobulus.

They were of the Seventy. St Stachys was a helper of St Andrew the First-Called, who made him bishop of Byzantium. He built a church in Argyropolis, and governed his flock with faithfulness and zeal. After sixteen years as bishop, he entered peacefully into rest in the Lord. Amplias and Urban were also fellow-workers with St Andrew, and were made bishop by him, Amplias in Lydda and Urban in Macedonia. They both died as martyrs for Christ the Lord. Narcissus was made Bishop of Athens by the Apostle Philip, and holy Apelles was Bishop of Heraklion in Trachis. Aristobulus, the brother of the Apostle Barnabas, preached the Christian faith in Britain and died peacefully there. He is also commemorated on March 16th.

2. The Holy Martyr Epimachus.

Born in Egypt, he lived there in asceticism, and there finished his earthly course a martyr. In imitation of St John the Baptist, he went off as a young man into the desert. In response to his great love for God, the Spirit of God instructed him in all truth and, with no other teacher, taught him how to live the ascetic life. Epimachus discovered how the pagans were torturing and slaughtering the Christians in Alexandria, so, all afire with zeal for the Faith, he went to the city and knocked down the idols. When the pagans began to torture him for this, he cried out: 'Smite me, spit on me, put a crown of thorns on my head and a reed in my hand; give me gall to drink, crucify me and pierce me with a spear. The Lord endured all that, and I want to endure it!' In the vast crowd that was watching the martyrdom of holy Epimachus, there was one woman with a blind eye. She wept bitterly on witnessing the soul-less torture of the man of God, and, when the torturers flayed his holy body, blood spurted from it and a drop fell on her eye. Suddenly she could see, and her blind eye became as whole as the other. Then the woman cried out: 'Great is the God in whom this sufferer believes!' After that, St Epimachus was beheaded and his soul entered into eternal joy, in about 250.

3. The Holy Martyr Nicolas of Chios.

A devout young man and a great zealot for the Christian faith, Nicolas was born in the village of Karyes on the island of Chios. He was tortured and beheaded by the Turks in 1754, and gave his righteous soul into God's hands.

4. Our Holy Fathers Spiridon and Nicodemus.

They were monks and prosfora-makers in the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev. Spiridon was illiterate, but he knew the whole Psalter by heart and worked miracles during his lifetime. He entered into rest in 1148.


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