1. St Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople.
When the blessed Patriarch Alexander was lying on his deathbed, the lamenting faithful asked him whom he would leave to follow him as chief pastor of the flock of Christ. Then the sick Patriarch said to them: 'If you want to have a shepherd who will teach you and whose virtues will illumine you, choose Paul; but, if you want a suitable man as a figurehead, choose Macedonius.' The people chose Paul. This was not acceptable to the Arian heretics, nor to the Emperor Constantius, who was at that time in Antioch, and so Paul was quickly deposed and fled to Rome together with St Athanasius the Great. There, both Pope Julian and the Emperor Constans gave them a warm welcome and upheld them in their Orthodoxy. The Emperor and the Pope sent letters which restored Paul to his episcopal throne, but, after the death of Constans, the Arians raised their heads again and drove the Orthodox Patriarch off to Cucusus in Armenia. While Paul was celebrating the Liturgy one day in exile, he was set on by the Arians and strangled with his pallium. This was in the year 351. In the time of the Emperor Theodosius, in 381, his relics were translated to Constantinople, and, in 1236, to Venice, where they still lie. * His beloved priests and secretaries, Marcian and Martyrius, suffered soon after their Patriarch, on October 25th, 355 (see their lives on that day).
*A small piece of their relics is kept at the Russian Cathedral in London -Tr.
2. Our Holy Father Varlaam of Chutinsk, the Wonderworker.
Born and brought up a Christian in Novgorod the Great, he became a monk on the death of his parents and devoted himself to strict asceticism. He founded a monastery on the bank of the Volkhov river, on a site shown to him by a heavenly light. He was a great wonderworker both during his lifetime and after his death, being able to penetrate human secrets, to drive out unclean spirits and to heal all sicknesses. A servant of Prince Vasilii Vasilievitch was taken seriously ill, and he asked to be carried to the grave of St Varlaam, and further asked that, if he should die on the way, they should take his dead body to the saint. And so it came to pass: he died on the road, and they brought him dead into the monastery, where he was restored to life, stood up and prostrated himself before the tomb of the saint. In 1471, Tsar Ivan the Terrible gave orders that the saint's grave be dug up. As soon as they had begun to uncover it, a flame sprang from the grave and blazed along the walls of the church. The Tsar was so terrified that he fled from the church and, in his haste, forgot his staff, which is kept to this day beside the saint's tomb. In commemoration of this wonder, St Varlaam is also remembered on the Friday after the Sunday of All Saints.
3. Commemoration of the falling of ash from the air.
This occurred in Constantinople in 472 (or 475, according to the Greek Synaxarion), during the reign of the Emperor Leo the Great and Patriarch Gennadius.