Prologue Search

1. The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke.

Born in Antioch, he applied himself in his youth to the study of Greek philosophy, medicine and art. At the time that the Lord Jesus was at work upon earth, Luke came to Jerusalem, where he saw the Saviour face to face, heard His saving teaching and was a witness of His wonderful works. Coming to belief in the Lord, St Luke was included among the Seventy and sent forth to preach the Gospel. Together with Cleopas, he saw the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24). After the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, Luke returned to Antioch and there became a fellowworker with the Apostle Paul, with whom he travelled to Rome, bringing Jews and pagans to the Christian faith. 'Luke the beloved physician salutes you', writes the Apostle Paul to the Colossians (4:14). At the request of the Christians, he wrote his Gospel in about the year 60. After the death by martyrdom of the great Apostle, Luke preached the Gospel all over Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia and elsewhere. He painted three icons of the most holy Mother of God and also icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and is regarded as the founder of Christian iconography. In old age, he visited Libya and Upper Egypt, and thence returned to Greece, where he set himself with great zeal to preach the Gospel and bring men to Christ, disregarding his great age. St Luke wrote both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, and dedicated them both to Theophilus, governor of Achaia. He was eighty-four years old when wicked idol-worshippers put him to torture for the sake of Christ and hanged him from an olive tree in the town of Thebes in Beothia. The wonderworking relics of this wonderful saint were taken to Constantinople in the time of the Emperor Constantius, son of St Constantine.

2. St Peter of Cetinje, Metropolitan of Montenegro.

Born on April 1st, 1749, in the village of Njegusi, he became a monk at the age of twelve. After the death of Metropolitan Sava in 1782, Peter became Metropolitan and Governor of Montenegro. This holy man devoted his whole life to his people. Within Montenegro, he worked with his whole strength to pacify the warring tribes, and externally he defended the land and the people against plundering onslaughts, succeeding in both the one and the other. He is especially famed for his victory over Napoleon's army in Dalmatia. He was strict with himself, and just and humble towards others. He lived in one tiny cell as a simple monk, although he was governor of a people. He entered into rest on October 18th, 1830, and his wonderworking relics are preserved uncorrupt in the monastery of Cetinje. The Lord glorified him in heaven and on earth as His true and patient servant.

3. Ss Julian and Didymus the Blind.

St Julian, called 'the Hermit', was a Persian, an unlettered peasant, and was in the purity of his heart a vessel of the Holy Spirit. He lived in asceticism near the Euphrates in Mesopotamia, and had the gift of insight. At the moment at which Julian the Apostate perished, St Julian saw him in spirit and told his disciples. His contemporary, St Didymus the Blind, living in Alexandria, also saw in his spirit the death of the wicked Emperor. He was at prayer during the night when a voice came to him from heaven: 'Today the Emperor Julian is no more; give these tidings to Patriarch Theophilus.' St Antony the Great valued this wonderful man, the blind Didymus with his gift of insight, very highly, and stayed with him whenever he left the desert for Alexandria, taking the opportunity to pray together with him. Both St Julian and St Didymus, these wonderful servants of God, entered into rest some time after the year 362.


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