Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyr Charitina.

Orphaned young, she was adopted by an eminent Christian man called Claudius, who brought her up as his own daughter. Charitina was meek, humble, obedient and silent. She studied the law of God day and night and vowed to live in perpetual virginity as a true bride of Christ. But, Charitina having brought others to the Christian faith, the Emperor Diocletians's governor, Dometius, heard of her and sent soldiers to take her from her foster-father for trial. The judge asked her: 'Is it true, little girl, that you are a Christian, and that you delude others by bringing them to this dishonourable faith?' Charitina courageously replied: 'It is true that I am a Christian, and a lie that I delude others. I lead those in error to the way of truth, bringing them to my Christ.' The wicked judge ordered that her hair be cut off and live coals put on her head, but the maiden was preserved by God's power. They threw her into the sea, but God delivered her from it. She was bound to a wheel which began to turn, but an angel of God stopped the wheel and Charitina remained unharmed. Then the wicked judge sent some dissolute youths to rape her. Fearing this dishonour, St Charitina prayed to God to receive her soul before these dissolute men could foul her virginal body and so, while she was kneeling in prayer, her soul went out from her body to the immortal Kingdom of Christ.

2. The Hieromartyr Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria.

Born in Alexandria of eminent, pagan parents, he was educated in Hellenic philosophy and then studied with Origen. As a young man, he read St Paul's epistles, came to faith in Christ and was baptised by Dimitrios, the then Bishop of Alexandria. He himself became bishop there in 247, and served God and the people of God as a true pastor in very difficult circumstances. The Church was outwardly persecuted by pagans and inwardly split by heretics. There were also the effects of a plague, that weakened the people for several years. He lived for three years outside Alexandria, hidden by the faithful, that he should not be killed before his time. In those three years, he wrote many epistles and other works for his flock, instructing them and encouraging them in the upholding of Orthodoxy. Among his writings are a few canons which were adopted by the Church, and his letter against Novatius is also regarded as a canonical writing. He governed the Church for seventeen years, and entered into rest in 265.

3. Our Holy Father Eudocimus of Vatopedi.

In 1841, when the bone-chapel at Vatopedi was being restored, workmen found the relics of a man kneeling and holding an icon of the Mother of God. Not knowing who this man could have been and when he had lived, the monks gave him the name Eudocimus and transferred his relics to the church, where they are preserved to this day. Many miracles of healing have been performed by them. Today the following words are carved on his coffin: 'This coffin was made for the honoured head of St Eudocimus by the monk Gabriel, whom the saint healed of great sickness.'

4. Our Holy Fathers Damian, Jeremiah and Matthew.

Seers and wonderworkers of the Kiev Caves, they lived in the eleventh century.


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