Prologue Search

1. The Holy Martyrs Eulampius and Eulampia.

They were brother and sister from Nicomedia. At the time of a vicious persecution of Christians by the Emperor Maximian (286-305), some of the faithful of Nicomedia fled the city and hid. The young Eulampius was sent into the city for bread. Entering it, he saw the imperial decree on the persecution and killing of Christians stuck onto a wall, and, laughing at it, took it down and tore it up. He was immediately brought to trial for this. When the judge urged him to deny Christ, Eulampius began in return to urge the judge to deny the false idols and accept Christ as the one, living God. Then the judge ordered that he be flogged until the blood flowed, and tortured in other ways. Hearing of the torture of her brother, the maiden Eulampia ran to join him in suffering for Christ, and she was likewise beaten till the blood flowed from her nose and mouth. After that, they were thrown into boiling pitch then into a red-hot furnace, but they, by the power of the sign of the Cross and the name of Christ, rendered the fire harmless. Finally, St Eulampius was beheaded, but St Eulampia breathed her last before the same could be done to her. Two hundred other Christians, who had come to faith in Christ by seeing the power and miracles of St Eulampius and his sister, were slaughtered. All were crowned with wreaths of martyrdom and entered into their immortal, heavenly home.

2. The Holy Martyrs of Zographou.

When the Emperor Michael Palaeologus contracted the ill-famed Union of Lyons with the Pope, to receive his help against the Bulgars and Serbs, the monks of the Holy Mountain sent the Emperor a protest against this Union, and urged him to set it aside and return to Orthodoxy. The Pope sent an army to Michael's aid, and this Latin army went onto the Holy Mountain and set about such barbarism as the Turks never perpetrated in five hundred years. Hanging the members of the Council and slaughtering many of the monks in Vatopedi, Iviron and other monasteries, the Latins attacked Zographou. The blessed Abbot Thomas told the brethren by inspiration that those who desired to save themselves from the Latins should flee the monastery, and those who desired a martyr's death should stay. Twenty-six men stayed: twenty-two monks with their abbot and four laymen who worked for the monastery. They all shut themselves in the monastery tower. When the Latins arrived, they set the tower alight, and these twenty-six heroes found a martyr's death in the flames. While the tower was burning, they sang hymns and the Akathist to the Mother of God, and gave their holy souls into God's hands on October 10th, 1282. In December of the same year, the dishonourable Emperor Michael died in poverty, the Serbian King Milutin having risen up against him in defence of Orthodoxy.

3. Our Holy Father Theophilus the Confessor.

By birth a Macedonian Slav from somewhere near Strumica, he became a monk very young and built himself a monastery. He suffered much for the sake of the holy icons in the time of Leo the Isaurian, and would have been killed then if he had not been able to convince the judge Hypaticus, governor of the area, of the principle and necessity of the veneration of icons. The governor freed him, and he returned to his monastery, where he died peacefully and entered into the joy of his Lord.

4. The Holy Martyr Theotecnus.

He was a Roman officer in Antioch in the time of Maximian (286-305). When the Emperor pressed him to offer sacrifice to idols, he replied: 'I believe in Christ my God, and shall offer myself to Him as a living sacrifice.' After terrible torture, he was drowned in the sea with a stone around his neck and, suffering with honour for Christ, he was crowned with the wreath of martyrdom.

5. Our Holy Father Bassion.

In the time of the devout Emperor Marcian, in 450, this saint came from Syria to Constantinople. His asceticism was great, and the power that he received from God was great and miraculous. He had about three hundred disciples, among whom was St Matrona. The Emperor Marcian build a church in his honour, which remains to this day.


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