Today's Scripture Readings
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Today's Saints
Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria
Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria

The Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus suffered for their faith in Christ under the emperor Maximian (305-313). Saint Menas was sent by the emperor from Athens to Alexandria to suppress the riots that had arisen between the Christians and the pagans. Distinguished for his gift of…

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Saint Joasaph, Bishop of Belgorod
Saint Joasaph, Bishop of Belgorod

Saint Joasaph was born at Proluka, in the former Poltava governance, on September 8, 1705, the Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. He was descended from the old and venerable Little Russian (Ukrainian) lineage of the Gorlenkovi. At Baptism he was named Joachim. In 1712, his father…

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Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia

The Holy Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia was subjected to cruel tortures for his staunch denunciation of the emperor Juilan the Apostate (361-363) in the city of Ancyra (Galatia). A red-hot iron belt was placed around his waist. Then he was ordered to accompany the impious Julian on his journey.…

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Venerable Thomas of Bithynia

Saint Thomas Dephourkinos was born in Bithynia. From his youth he was fond of monastic life and entered one of the area monasteries. Later in his life, when the Byzantine official Galoliktos had founded a monastery at the River Sagarisa, Saint Thomas was already an experienced monk, and the…

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Righteous King John of Serbia, and his parents Righteous Stephen, Despot of Serbia, and Venerable Angelina of Serbia

Saint Stephen Brankovic (Branković) (October 9 and December 10), the Despot of Serbia, was born in 1417, and belonged to the Branković dynasty. In 1441 he was blinded by order of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II, and so when his father died in 1456, he could not claim the throne; so his younger…

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Venerable Leontios of Achaia
Venerable Leontios of Achaia

Saint Leontios (Leóntios) was born in Monemvasia in the Pelopónnēsos. His parents were Andrew and Theodora, and he received the name Leon at his Baptism. His father was sufficiently wealthy and a prominent man. Emperor Andronikos II Palaiológos (1283 – 1328) gave him an important position in…

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Prologue of Ochrid
December 10th

1. The Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes And Eugraphus.

Both Menas and Hermogenes were born in Athens. They both lived in Byzantium, being held in great honor by the emperor and the people. Menas was known for his great learning and eloquence of speech and, although he acted outwardly as a pagan, he was a convinced Christian in his heart. Hermogenes was Eparch of Byzantium and acted as a pagan both inwardly and outwardly, but he was compassionate and performed many good deeds. When a dispute flared up between the Christians and the pagans in Alexandria, Emperor Maximin dispatched Menas to calm the disturbance and to root out the Christians from the city. Menas went and restored peace, but he declared himself a Christian and converted many pagans to the true Faith by his eloquence and many miracles. Hearing of this, the emperor sent Hermogenes to punish Menas and to smother Christianity. Hermogenes brought Menas to trial, cut off his feet and tongue, gouged out his eyes, and then cast him into prison. In prison, the Lord Jesus Himself appeared to Menas, healing and comforting His suffering servant. Seeing Menas miraculously healed, Hermogenes was baptized. He began to preach the powerful Christian Faith and was consecrated as Bishop of Alexandria. Then the enraged Maximin went to Alexandria himself and subjected Menas and Hermogenes to cruel tortures, which they courageously endured, helped by God's grace. Beholding the bravery of these soldiers of Christ and the miracles of God upon them, Eugraphus, secretary and friend of St. Menas, appeared before the tribunal and cried out to the emperor's face: "I too am a Christian!" The emperor became enraged, drew his sword and beheaded St. Eugraphus. Following this, the evil emperor ordered the executioner to behead St. Menas and St. Hermogenes. Their holy relics, thrown into the sea, miraculously floated to Constantinople, where the bishop, to whom this was revealed in a dream, solemnly met them and honorably buried them.

2. The Venerable Angelina And St. Jovan The Despot.

Angelina was the daughter of the Albanian prince, George Skenderbeg, and the wife of Stefan, Despot of Serbia, who was the son of Despot George. She endured exile with her husband and shared with him all the bitterness of life in Serbia as well as in Albania and Italy. She raised her sons Maxim and Jovan in a truly Christian spirit. Following the death of her husband, she was tonsured a nun, devoting herself entirely to prayer, acts of charity and the building and restoring of holy churches. A faithful wife, an excellent mother and a perfect Christian, she in truth merited the title "Mother Angelina," as the people call her even now. Her miracle-working relics, together with those of her righteous husband Stefan and her devoted sons Maxim and Jovan, rest in the Monastery of Kruedol (although some of the relics were destroyed by the Turks). She entered into rest and took up her habitation in the Immortal Kingdom at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

3. The Holy Martyr Gemellus.

Gemellus was an honorable citizen of Ancyra. When Emperor Julian the Apostate came to this city, Gemellus came before him and openly denounced him for his apostasy. For this, he was tortured and crucified in the year 361 A.D. While in pain on the Cross, he heard a voice from heaven saying: "Blessed are you, Gemellus!"

4. The Venerable Thomas Defourkinos [Of Bithynia].

Thomas was a great ascetic, a conqueror of demons, and a seer. Emperor Leo the Wise wrote him a letter, and he replied without even opening it. He entered into rest in the Lord in great old age in the ninth century.


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