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1. St John Chrysostom (the Golden-Tongued), Patriarch of Constantinople.

He was born in Antioch in the year 347, his father's name being Secundus and his mother's Anthusa. Studying Greek philosophy, John became disgusted with Hellenic paganism and turned to the Christian faith as the one and all-embracing truth. John was baptised by Meletius, Patriarch of Antioch, and, after that, his parents were also baptised. After their death, John became a monk and began to live in strict asceticism. He wrote a book: 'On the Priesthood', after which the holy Apostles John and Peter appeared to him, prophesying for him great service, great grace and also great suffering. When the time came for him to be ordained priest, an angel of God appeared at the same time to Patriarch Flavian (Meletius's successor) and to John himself. When the Patriarch ordained him, a shining white dove was seen above John's head. Renowned for his wisdom, his asceticism and the power of his words, John was, at the desire of Emperor Arcadius, chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople. He governed the Church for six years as Patriarch with unequalled zeal and wisdom, sending missionaries to the pagan Celts and Scythians and purging the Church of simony, deposing many bishops who were given to this vice. He extended the Church's charitable works, wrote a rite for the Holy Liturgy, put heretics to shame, denounced the Empress Eudoxia, interpreted the Scriptures with his golden mind and tongue and left to the Church many precious books of sermons. The people glorified him; the jealous loathed him; the Empress twice had him sent into exile. He spent three years in exile, and died on Holy Cross. Day, September 14th, 407, in a place called Comana in Armenia. The holy Apostles John and Peter again appeared to him at the time of his death, and also the holy martyr Basiliscus (see May 22nd), in whose church he received Communion for the last time. 'Glory to God for everything!' were his last words, and with them the soul of Chrysostom the Patriarch entered into Paradise. Of his relics, the head is preserved in the Church of the Dormition in Moscow, and the body in the Vatican in Rome.

2. The Holy Martyrs Antoninus, Nicephorus, Herman and Manetha.

The first three were watching one day how the pagans, at one of their feasts, were worshipping idols with shouts and dancing, and they came out before the crowd and began to preach the one God in Trinity. Firmilian, the governor of Palestinian Caesarea, where this took place, was so enraged at the action of these three Christians that he ordered that they be beheaded forthwith. Manetha was a Christian maiden. She followed the martyrs when they were taken to the scaffold, and was herself seized and burned to death. They all suffered in the year 308, and entered into the eternal joy of God eternal.

3. Our Holy Father, the Martyr Damascene.

Born in Galata in Constantinople, he was first named Diamantis. He led a dissolute life in his youth, even embracing Islam. Then a bitter repentance grew in him, and he went to the Holy Mountain where, as a monk, he lived for twelve years in strict asceticism in the Lavra of St Athanasius. Desiring martyrdom, to cleanse him from his sin, he travelled to Constantinople and went into the mosques, making the sign of the Cross and calling out to the Turks that their faith was false, and that Jesus Christ is God and Lord. He was beheaded before the gateway of the Phanar on November 13th, 1681. His relics are preserved on Halki, in the monastery of the Holy Trinity.

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