Prologue Search

1. The Holy Apostle Bartholomew.

Today is the commemoration of the translation of St Bartholomew's relics, while his main feast falls on June 11th. When this great Apostle was crucified in Ourbanopolis in Armenia, Christians took his body and buried it in a leaden coffin. When numerous miracles had been wrought over the Apostle's grave, especially hearings of the sick - which led to an increase in the number of Christians - the pagans took the coffin containing Bartholomew's relics and cast it into the sea. At the same time, they threw in four other coffins with the relics of four martyrs: Papian, Lucian, Gregory and Acacius. By God's providence, the coffins did not sink, but floated, carried by the waves, to various places: Acacius's to the city of Askalon, Gregory's to Calabria, Lucian's to Messina, Papian's to another place in Sicily and Bartholomew's to the island of Lipara. By some mysterious revelation, the Bishop of Lipara, Agathon, learned of the approach to Lipara of the relics of St Bartholomew. Agathon, with his clergy and people, went out to the shore and awaited the coffin with great joy. On that occasion, many of the sick were healed by the holy Apostle's relics. They were placed in the church of St Bartholomew and lay there until the time of Theophilus the Iconoclast (about 839), then, when the Moslems threatened the Liparites, the Apostle's relics were taken to the town of Benevento. Thus God glorified His apostle by miracles, both during his lifetime and after his death.

2. The Holy Apostle Titus.

One of the Seventy, he was born in Crete and educated in Greek philosophy and poetry. Led by a dream, he read the Prophet Isaiah and came to doubt all Hellenic learning. Hearing of Christ the Lord, he went to Jerusalem with some other Cretans, and himself heard the words of the Saviour and saw His mighty works. His youthful heart clave utterly to Christ. He was later baptised by the Apostle Paul, whom he served in the works of the Gospel as a son serves his father. Paul loved Titus so greatly that he sometimes called him his son (Titus 1:4), and sometimes his brother (II Cor. 12:18). Titus travelled widely with the great Apostle of the people, and was by him made Bishop of Crete. At the time of Paul's suffering in Rome, Titus was there, and buried the body of his teacher and spiritual father. He then returned to Crete, where he had great success in baptising the pagans, and wisely governed the Church to great old age. He entered into rest at the age of ninety-four.

3. The Holy Confessors of Edessa.

They suffered greatly in imprisonment and exile for the Orthodox faith in the time of the Emperor Valens, who held the Arian heresy. They were freed under the Emperor Theodosius.

4. St Menas, Patriarch of Constantinople.

He governed the Church wisely from 536 to 552. Before that, he ran the Home of St Sampson for the poor and needy (see June 27th). Pope Agapetus, who had come to Constantinople at that time to oppose and depose the heretical Patriarch, Anthimus, participated in Menas's consecration as bishop there. It is said that the following marvel came to pass in Constantinople in the time of Patriarch Menas: a Jewish boy went to church with his friends and, following their example, received Holy Communion. The boy's father, a glassblower, when he heard of his son's action, seized him and threw him into the red-hot kiln that he had prepared for the firing of glass. The boy remained shut in this kiln for three days and nights, but, when the kiln was opened, he was found alive and unharmed, preserved by God's providence.

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