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1. St Abercius, Equal to the Apostles.

In the time of the Emperor Antoninus (138-161), St Abercius was bishop in the city of Hierapolis in Phrygia. The great majority of the town's inhabitants were pagans, and St Abercius governed his little flock with a heart greatly saddened by the great number of pagans and idolaters, and with fervent prayer to God that He would bring them to the true Light. At the time of a rowdy idolatrous festival, Abercius became inflamed with godly zeal and went into the temple, smashing all the idols. When the furious pagans tried to kill him, three young madmen fell down before the man of God, foaming at the mouth and bellowing. The man of God drove the demons out of them, and they were healed and became calm. Seeing this, the fury of the pagans turned to marvelling at Christ's wonderworker, and five hundred of them were immediately baptised. Little by little, everyone in the city of Hierapolis came to believe in Christ and was baptised. The proconsul of the region, Publius, had a blind mother whose sight Abercius restored by prayer, and both Publius and his mother came to faith in Christ, along with many other people. In old age, Abercius was summoned to Rome, where he healed the Emperor's mad daughter. The Lord Christ appeared to His faithful follower several times. People from far and near came to him for help in chronic sickness, and the demons not only feared him but were obedient to his commands. At the order of the Lord Himself, he preached the Gospel throughout Syria and Mesopotamia, and went to his beloved Lord in great old age, in the city of Hierapolis at the end of the second century.

2. Our Holy Father Lot.

A great Egyptian ascetic, he was a contemporary of Arsenius the Great and Agathon. He lived in asceticism in his monastery near a lake not far from the town of Arsinoe, and set many brethren on the way of salvation. His closest friend and adviser was Abba Joseph. Lot once said to Joseph: 'Father, I fast as much as I can, keep to prayer and --silence and pondering, and also force myself to keep from evil thoughts. What more can I do?' Then the elder stood up and raised his hands to heaven, and his ten raised fingers sprang to flame like ten candles. He then replied to Lot: 'If this is your desire, you can become all of flame!' Being pleasing to God and putting many onto the way of salvation, St Lot entered peacefully into rest in the fifth century.

3. Commemoration of the Miraculous Deliverance of Moscow from the Lithuanians with the help of the Most Holy Mother of God.

In the time of Prince Vasilii Ivanovitch, Moscow was occupied by the Lithuanians and Russia was in great despair. Then St Sergius of Radonezh appeared to a captured bishop, Arsenius, and promised him that Moscow would, on the following day, be cleansed of Lithuanians by the power and prayers of the Most Pure. And so it came about. The following day, the Lithuanians fled from the city, and the Russian army entered Moscow. The whole people, with tears of joy, glorified God and His most holy Mother.

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