1. The Holy and Great Martyr Euphemia.
Born in Chalcedon, her father was the senator Philophronus and her mother's name was Theodorisia, both devout Christians. Euphemia was a girl beautiful in both body and soul. When the Proconsul, Priscus, celebrated a festival of sacrifice to Ares in Chalcedon, forty-nine Christians absented themselves from the festivities and hid themselves. But they were discovered and brought before Priscus, holy Euphemia being among them. When the furious Priscus asked them why they had not carried out the imperial command, they replied: 'Both the Emperor's commands and yours must be obeyed if they are not contrary to the God of heaven. If they are, they must not only not be obeyed; they must be resisted.' Then Priscus put them to various tortures for nineteen days, from day to day. On the twelfth day, he held Euphemia apart from the others and began to flatter her beauty, hoping to bring her thus to idolatry. When all his flattery proved fruitless, he ordered that she be tortured. First, she was put on a wheel, but an angel of God appeared and broke it. Then he had her thrown into a fiery furnace, but she was preserved by God's power. Seeing this, two soldiers, Victor and Sosthenes, came to faith in Christ, for which they were thrown to the wild beasts and thus finished their earthly course with glory. After that, Euphemia was thrown into a pit filled with water and all kinds of poisonous reptiles, but she made the sign of the Cross over the water as she went into the pit, and remained unharmed. She was finally thrown to the wild beasts and, with a prayer of thanksgiving, gave her soul into God's hands. Her parents buried her body. She suffered in the year 303, and entered into eternal joy. (St Euphemia is also commemorated on July 11th).
2. Our Holy Father Dorotheus.
An Egyptian hermit of the fourth century, he lived in asceticism for sixty years in a cell in the Thebaid. He was distinguished by a rare love of labour and by wonderworking power. By day he built cells for the new monks and by night plaited mats, never interrupting his prayer and psalmody.
3. St Cyprian, Metropolitan of Kiev.
Born in Trnovo and given a Serbian* upbringing on the Holy Mountain, he devoted himself especially to the translation and writing of books. His patron was Patriarch Philotheos of Constantinople, who came to know him on the Holy Mountain, took him into his service and then sent him to Kiev as Metropolitan. He lived through all this with greatness of soul and, by his fruitful labours, brought much benefit to the Russian Church, spending almost thirty years as Metropolitan. At the time of his death, he wrote a Farewell which was read at his graveside. He entered into rest on September 16th, 1406, and his wonderworking relics are preserved in the Church of the Dormition in Moscow.
*Author's note: Metropolitan Philaret writes that Cyprian was a Serb. See his 'Lives'.
4. The Holy Martyr Ludmilla.
The grandmother of the Czech King Vatslav (Wenceslas) and wife of the Czech Prince Borivoy, she was very zealous for the Christian faith and was greatly instrumental in freeing the Church from paganism. Her daughter-in-law hated her, and sent men to kill the aged Ludmilla in Techino in 927. Vatslav buried her in the Church of St George in Prague, and many miracles were wrought over her relics. Holy Vatslav, a great zealot for the Orthodox faith, was murdered by his brother Boleslav.