Prologue Search

1. St Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neocaesarea.

Here is a man of God and a mighty wonderworker, who was called a second Moses! Born of wealthy and eminent pagan parents, Gregory at first studied Hellenic and Egyptian philosophy, but, seeing its barrenness and insufficiency, he turned to Christian teachers, particularly Origen of Alexandria, with whom he studied for several years and by whom he was baptised. Pure in soul and body, he desired to consecrate himself utterly to Christ, to which end he withdrew to the desert, where, in painful asceticism, he spent many years. His fame spread abroad everywhere, and Phaedimus, the bishop of Amasea, wanted to make him Bishop of Caesarea. The discerning Gregory was warned of Phaedimus's intention, and hid in the wilderness from those sent to find him, so that they failed in their quest. Finally, Phaedimus consecrated him by devious means, and Gregory had to accept the work of a shepherd. The most holy Mother of God appeared to him, together with St John the Theologian, and, at her command, St John gave him the Creed that is known by Gregory's name.* Who can enumerate the miracles of this second Moses? He commanded evil spirits, commanded mountains and waters, healed every sort of pain and ill, became invisible to his persecutors and had insight into both distant events and men's thoughts. He finished his earthly course in the year 270, in great old age. When he arrived in Caesarea as bishop, the whole town was composed of pagans, with just seventeen Christians. When he departed this life, the whole town was Christian, with just seventeen pagans. He therefore received a wreath of glory from his Lord in the heavenly Kingdom.

*The Nicene Creed, that Gregory was instrumental in establishing at the Second Ecumenical Council in 381 - Tr.

2. Our Holy Father Nikhon of Radonezh.

He was a disciple of St Sergius of Radonezh, and followed him as abbot. When the barbarians fell on Russia, he prayed to God to preserve the Russian people from this misfortune. St Sergius appeared to him, together with St Peter and St Alexis, the departed Metropolitan of Moscow, and told him not to be downcast, for the invasion was by God's permission for the good of the people, but that it would pass and peace would reign once more. He entered into rest on November 17th, 1426.

3. Our Holy Father Gennadius of Vatopedi.

A monk of Vatopedi, he had the obedience of steward. By his agency, a dry well was miraculously filled with oil. This miracle was ascribed to the most holy Mother of God, to whom the monastery is dedicated, and to an icon of hers that stood nearby.


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