T Nation

Orthodox Christian Saints

This thread is being established to commemorate the Saints of the Orthodox Christian Church according to the Julian (a.k.a. Apostolic) calender. The lives of Saints will be posted according to the days in which the Orthodox Church celebrates their memories. It is my hope that Christians and non-Christians alike appreciate the information being transmitted herein.

Peace be with all.


Martyr Terence and 40 others beheaded at Carthage

The Holy Martyr Terence and his companions suffered under the emperor Decius (249-251). The emperor issued an edict commanding all subjects to offer sacrifice to the pagan idols.

When the governor of Africa Fortunianus received this edict, he gathered the people into the city square, set out cruel instruments of torture and declared that everyone without exception had to offer the sacrifice to the idols.

Many, afraid of torture, complied. However, St. Terence and forty other Christians bravely affirmed their faith in the Savior and ridiculed the idols. Fortunianus was amazed at their boldness and he asked how they as rational people, could confess as God, One Whom the Jews crucified as a malefactor.

St. Terence answered that their belief was in the Savior, Who voluntarily endured death on the Cross and rose on the third day. Fortunianus saw that Terence inspired the others by his example, and so he ordered him to be isolated in prison with his three closest companions: Africanus, Maximus, and Pompeius. Fortunianus was determined to force the rest of the martyrs, including Zeno, Alexander and Theodore, to renounce Christ.

Neither threats nor terrible tortures could sway the holy martyrs. They burned them with red-hot iron, they poured vinegar on the wounds, they sprinkled on salt, and they raked them with iron claws. In spite of their sufferings, the saints did not weaken in their confession of Christ, and the Lord gave them strength.

Forunatian gave orders to lead the martyrs into the pagan temple, and once again he urged them to offer sacrifice to the idols. The valiant warriors of Christ cried out, “O Almighty God, Who once sent down fire on Sodom for its iniquity, destroy this impious temple of idolatry.” The idols fell down with a crash, and then the temple lay in ruins. The enraged governor gave orders to execute them, and the martyrs, glorifying God, bowed their necks beneath the executioner’s sword.

After the execution of the thirty-six martyrs, Fortunianus summoned Terence, Maximus, Africanus and Pompeius before him. He showed them the martyrs’ bodies and again urged them to offer sacrifice to the idols. The martyrs refused. The governor put heavy chains on them, and gave orders to starve them to death. By night, an angel of the Lord removed the martyrs’ chains and fed them.

In the morning, the guards found the saints cheerful and strong. Then Fortunianus ordered sorcerers and conjurers to carry snakes and all kinds of poisonous creatures into the prison. The guards looked into the cell through an opening in the ceiling and saw the martyrs unharmed, praying, and the snakes crawling at their feet. When the sorcerers opened the door of the prison cell, the snakes bit them. The furious Fortunianus gave orders to behead the holy martyrs. Christians took up their holy bodies and buried them with reverence outside the city.

Just so you know, there are several Orthodox Christian priests who lurk and are members of T-nation.

Just FYI.

have a fruitful Holy Week.

Not being a christian, I’m curious about how you react to “images”. Like the stain on a Kennedy Expressway overpass in Chicago that resembles the virgin mary. I was amazed at the number of people waiting for hours to get a glimpse. What’s your take on this?

[quote]Prester John wrote:
Just so you know, there are several Orthodox Christian priests who lurk and are members of T-nation.[/quote]
I guess that’s a surprise because they haven’t introduced themselves as such or haven’t stepped up to the plate to defend the Orthodox Christian Faith in the various religious threads that keep sprouting up. Then again, I doubt Orthodox Christian priests have adequate time to wage battles in these forums.

[quote]
have a fruitful Holy Week.[/quote]
And you as well. :slight_smile:

[quote]gassy wrote:
Not being a christian, I’m curious about how you react to “images”. Like the stain on a Kennedy Expressway overpass in Chicago that resembles the virgin mary. I was amazed at the number of people waiting for hours to get a glimpse. What’s your take on this?[/quote]

Although I haven’t observed this image, I’d have to warn you to be cautious about such manifestations. Not that miracles from God no longer occur, but that sometimes deceivers create portraits to trick unbelievers and even the faithful. There’s also the phenomenon of people innocently reading into things to find that which they desperately seek. The Orthodox Christian Church alerts her followers to be cautious of such “miracles”.

stellar

I will say ahead of time–Thank You for all of the work you are about to put in.
I will be an interested reader and student.

       Sas


St. John of the Ladder

Saint John of the Ladder is honored by the Orthodox Church as a great ascetic and author of the renowned spiritual book called “The Ladder of Divine Ascent” from which he is named St. John of the Ladder, or St. John Climakos in Greek. There is almost no information about St. John’s origins. One tradition suggests that he was born in Constantinople around the year 570, and was the son of Sts. Xenophon & Maria.

John went to Sinai when he was sixteen, submitting to Abba Martyrios as his instructor and guide. After four years, St. John was tonsured a monk. Abba Strategios, who was present at his tonsure, predicted that St. John would become a great luminary in the Church of Christ.

For nineteen years St. John progressed in monasticism in obedience to his spiritual Father. After the death of Abba Martyrios, St. John embarked on a solitary life, settling in a wild place called Thola, where he spent forty years laboring in silence, fasting, prayer, and tears of penitence.

It is not by chance that in “The Ladder of Divine Ascent” St. John speaks about tears of repentance, “Just as fire burns and destroys the wood, so pure tears wash away every impurity, both external and internal.” His holy prayer was strong and efficacious, as may be seen from an example from the life of the God-pleasing saint.

St. John had a disciple named Moses. Once, the saint ordered his disciple to bring dung to fertilize the vegetable garden. When he had fulfilled the obedience, Moses lay down to rest under the shade of a large rock, because of the scorching heat of summer. St. John was in his cell in a light sleep. Suddenly, a man of remarkable appearance appeared to him and awakened the holy ascetic, reproaching him, “John, why do you sleep so heedlessly, when Moses is in danger?” St. John immediately woke up and began to pray for his disciple. When Moses returned in the evening, St. John asked whether any sort of misfortune had befallen him. The monk replied, “A large rock would have fallen on me as I slept beneath it at noon, but I left that place because I thought I heard you calling me.” St. John did not tell his disciple of his vision, but gave thanks to God.

St. John ate the food which is permitted by the monastic rule, but only in moderation. He did not sleep very much, only enough to keep up his strength, so that he would not ruin his mind by unceasing vigil. “I do not fast excessively,” he said of himself, “nor do I give myself over to intense all-night vigil, nor lay upon the ground, but I restrain myself…, and the Lord soon saved me.”

The following example of St. John’s humility is noteworthy. Gifted with discernment, and attaining wisdom through spiritual experience, he lovingly received all who came to him and guided them to salvation. One day some envious monks reproached him for being too talkative, and so St. John kept silent for a whole year. The monks realized their error, and they went to the ascetic and begged him not to deprive them of the spiritual profit of his conversation.

Concealing his ascetic deeds from others, St. John sometimes withdrew into a cave, but reports of his holiness spread far beyond the vicinity. Visitors from all walks of life came to him, desiring to hear his words of edification and salvation. After forty years of solitary asceticism, he was chosen as abbot of St. Catherine’s Monastery when he was seventy-five. St. John governed the holy monastery for four years.

*Anyone can perform a quick internet search to pick up a copy of “The Ladder of Divine Ascent”
http://www.light-n-life.com/shopping/order_product.asp?ProductNum=LADD100

Hieromartyr Antipas
Bishop of Pergamum and disciple of St. John the Theologian

The Hieromartyr Antipas, a disciple of the holy Apostle John the Theologian, was bishop of the Church of Pergamum during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68). During these times, everyone who would not offer sacrifice to the idols lived under threat of either exile or execution by order of the emperor. On the island of Patmos (in the Aegean Sea) the holy Apostle John the Theologian was imprisoned, he to whom the Lord revealed the future judgment of the world and of the Holy Church.

“And to the angel of the Church of Pergamum write: the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you live, where the throne of Satan is, and you cleave unto My Name, and have not renounced My faith, even in those days when Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells” (Rev 2:12-13).

By his personal example, firm faith and constant preaching about Christ, St. Antipas began to turn the people of Pergamum from offering sacrifice to idols. The pagan priests reproached the bishop for leading the people away from their ancestral gods, and they demanded that he stop preaching about Christ and offer sacrifice to the idols instead.

St. Antipas calmly answered that he was not about to serve the demons that fled from him, a mere mortal. He said he worshiped the Lord Almighty, and he would continue to worship the Creator of all, with His Only-Begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit. The pagan priests retorted that their gods existed from of old, whereas Christ was not from of old but was crucified under Pontius Pilate as a criminal. The saint replied that the pagan gods were the work of human hands and that everything said about them was filled with iniquities and vices. He steadfastly confessed his faith in the Son of God, incarnate of the Most Holy Virgin.

The enraged pagan priests dragged the Hieromartyr Antipas to the temple of Artemis and threw him into a red-hot copper bull, where usually they put the sacrifices to the idols. In the red-hot furnace the martyr prayed loudly to God, imploring Him to receive his soul and to strengthen the faith of the Christians. He went to the Lord peacefully, as if he were going to sleep (+ ca. 68).

At night Christians took the body of the Hieromartyr Antipas, which was untouched by the fire. They buried him at Pergamum. The tomb of the hieromartyr became a font of miracles and of healings from various sicknesses.

Martyrs Processus and Martinian

The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian were pagans and they served as guards at the Mamertine prison in Rome. State criminals were held in this prison, among them some Christians. Watching the Christian prisoners and listening to their preaching, Processus and Martinian gradually came to the knowledge of the Savior. When the holy Apostle Peter was locked up at the Mamertine prison, Processus and Martinian came to believe in Christ. They accepted holy Baptism from the apostle and released him from prison.

The jailer Paulinus learned about this, and he demanded that Sts. Processus and Martinian renounce Christ. But they fearlessly confessed Christ, and they spat at the golden statue of Jupiter. Paulinus ordered that they be slapped on the face, and then seeing the resolute stance of the holy martyrs, he subjected them to torture. The martyrs were beaten with iron rods, scorched with fire, and finally, thrown into prison.

A certain illustrious and pious woman, by the name of Lucina, visited them in prison and gave them help and encouragement. The torturer Paulinus was soon punished by God. He fell blind and died three days later. The son of Paulinus went to the city ruler demanding that the martyrs be put to death. Sts. Processus and Martinian were beheaded by the sword (+ ca. 67).

Lucina buried the bodies of the martyrs. Today their tomb is in the south transept of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Saint Zeno, Bishop of Verona

Saint Zeno, Bishop of Verona, was born a Greek and came from Syria. In his youth he became a monk and devoted himself to the study of Holy Scripture. Visiting several monasteries, the saint came to the city of Verona and settled there. The people chose him as bishop of the city.

The emperors Constantius (353-361) and Valens (364-378), were advocates of the Arian heresy, which had been condemned at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in the year 325. Under their patronage the Arians began a persecution against the Orthodox. St. Zeno bravely endured all the oppression from the heretics.

In his sermons and letters he firmly asserted the Orthodox teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ as the Only-Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. St. Zeno wrote sixteen long and seventy-seven short discourses and directives. He died around the year 360.

St. Gregory Dialogos speaks of a miracle in the year 558 on St. Zeno’s Feast day. There were spring floods in Italy. The River Tiber overflowed its banks and inundated the surrounding area. The River Atesis flowing past Verona also flooded. The water reached the church built in honor of the hieromartyr Zeno, and came up to the windows of the church. The doors of the temple were open, but the water did not rush inside. It stopped at the wall, and did not harm the church.


Venerable Acacius the Younger of Mt Athos

Saint Acacius the New was a monk at the Holy Trinity monastery of St. Dionysius of Olympus at Zagora. After visiting several monasteries on Mount Athos, the saint on the advice of his father-confessor, Father Galacteon, settled in the skete monastery of St. Maximus the Hut-Burner who repeatedly appeared to the ascetic.

The exploits of St. Acacius were extremely severe: in place of bread he ate dry grass, which he crushed with a piece of marble. When asked how much a monk ought to sleep, he said that for a true monk half an hour even was sufficient. He said, “In order to conquer the flesh, a monk must practice two virtues: fasting and vigil.” In spite of his age and illness, he was an example of this.

Once, when St. Acacius had come on a Sunday to the skete church, the igumen Neophytus handed him his own staff and said, “Father, take the staff, and be the Superior for all these brethren until your last breath.” St. Acacius kissed the hand of the igumen, and accepted the staff with all humility. Although previously he had walked with a staff because of his age, from that time forward the righteous one no longer held a staff in his hand.

For his exalted exploits St. Acacius was granted the gifts of unceasing mental prayer and divine revelations. He fell asleep in the Lord on April 12, 1730, being nearly a hundred years old.

Venerable Athanasia the Abbess of Aegina

Saint Athanasia was abbess of a monastery on the island of Aegina in the ninth century. She was born into a pious Christian family, and her parents were named Nicetas and Marina. Already at seven years of age the girl studied the PSALTER, which she read constantly and with feeling. Once, while working at the weaver’s loom, St. Athanasia saw a shining star coming down to her from above, which touched her bosom and lightened all her being, and then disappeared. From that moment, the maiden was illumined in soul and she firmly resolved to enter a monastery. When St. Athanasia reached the age of sixteen, her parents entreated her to marry. She consented, but after sixteen days her husband was killed by barbarians who invaded Aegina.

St. Athanasia decided to take advantage of her unexpected freedom and dedicate herself to God. Then the emperor Michael the Stammerer (820-829) issued a decree ordering all young widows and virgins to take husbands. Therefore, St. Athanasia was forced to marry again. It is said that her second husband was a Moslem, whom she converted by her holy way of life. She led a pious and virtuous life. She did housework, helped the sick and those in need, and took in wanderers. On Sundays and feastdays she invited family and acquaintances to her home and read the Holy Scriptures to them. Under her influence, her husband entered a monastery, and progressed in virtue and holiness. Soon, he departed to the Lord.

The saint gave away her property, became a nun, and founded a women’s monastery in a remote place. After four years, the sisters asked St. Athanasia to become the abbess of the small community. In spite of her position, the saint surpassed all the others in meekness and humility. She asked about the infractions of the sisters with love, not anger. Although St. Athanasia had the title of abbess, she regarded herself as the least of the sisters and always had in mind the commandment of the Savior: “Whoever would be first among you, let him be your servant” (Mt. 20:27). The saint never permitted the sisters to wait on her, not even to pour water over her hands.

St. Athanasia wore a hair-shirt, and over it clothes of coarse sheep’s wool. She slept very little, and prayed most of the night. By day she labored together with the sisters. On most days she ate only bread and water, and that in moderation, and only after the ninth hour of the day. She never ate cheese or fish except on Pascha and on the twelve Great Feasts. During Lent, she did not eat bread or drink water. She would only eat some vegetables every other day.

On the island of Aegina lived a certain monk named Matthew, who had been an igumen. Each night he read the whole PSALTER, and also read prayers. The saint slept sitting up and only for a short time. He could not refrain from tears when the Psalms were chanted, while reading prayers, or offering the Bloodless Sacrifice. He wore only a coarse hair-shirt, and through his temperance and struggles his body became completely withered. He had a special love for St. John the Theologian. Once, during the the Divine Liturgy he saw the Apostle standing by the altar table.

The saint healed a paralytic with his mantle; by making the Sign of the Cross he corrected the face of a man distorted by the actions of the devil; he cast out demons and worked many other miracles. St. Matthew blessed St. Athanasia to go to a more isolated place with her sisters. She built a monastery on a desolate hill of the island near an ancient church of the Protomartyr Stephen.

St. Athanasia was granted the gift of healing by God. After she healed a man afflicted with a malady of the eyes, a crowd of people began to flock to her in order to receive healing from their infirmities of soul and body. From the abundant gifts brought to the monastery, she built three churches at the monastery: one dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos, another to the holy Prophet John the Forerunner, and the third to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. Her increasing celebrity distressed the saint, and she took the two sisters closest to her in spirit (Maria and Eupraxia) and went secretly to Constantinople. There, as a simple nun, she entered one of the women’s monasteries, where she lived for seven years.

Again, her holy life attracted attention. The sisters of the Aegina monastery learned where their abbess had gone, and they went to her imploring her to return. Submitting to the will of God, she returned to the monastery she founded. Soon after this she had a vision of two radiant men, giving her a document which said: “Here is your freedom, take it and rejoice.”

St. Athanasia spent the twelve days before her death in unceasing prayer. On the eve of the Dormition of the Most HolyTheotokos she summoned the sisters and said that she was able to read the PSALTER only as far as the twelfth Psalm. The saint asked them to continue reading the PSALTER for her in church. The sisters went to church and there fulfilled her request, and then they came to bid the saint farewell. She blessed them and asked them to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos solemnly and joyfully, and also to provide a meal for the poor and destitute. Then, after Divine Liturgy, they could bury her body. With these words, St. Athanasia fell asleep in the Lord on August 14, 860.

The saint predicted that she would receive glory in Heaven forty days after her death. On the fortieth day, two devout sisters were granted to see St. Athanasia and two radiant men standing before the royal doors of the iconostasis. They clothed her with a purple robe embroidered with gold, pearls, and precious stones. They set a crown on her head, handed her a gleaming staff, and led her through the royal doors into the altar.

Before her death, St. Athanasia ordered the nuns to feed the poor for forty days. The sisters, however, did not fulfill her request and set out the memorial meal for only ten days. The saint appeared to some of the sisters and said, "Let everyone know that alms given for a departed soul for forty days after death, and food offered to the hungry, appease God. If the departed souls are sinful, they receive forgiveness from God. If they are righteous, then the good deeds bring God’s mercy on the souls of those who perform them.

Then she thrust her staff into the ground and became invisible. The staff left behind sprouted the next day and became a live tree. A year after the saint’s death, they led a possessed woman to the grave. When they dug up the ground, they then noticed a fragrance and removed the coffin. After she touched it, the demoniac was immediately healed. Then they opened the lid of the coffin and saw the saint’s incorrupt body, from which myrrh flowed.

St. Athanasia looked like she was asleep. Her face shone brightly, her body was preserved incorrupt and soft, and even her hands were supple. The priests decided to place her body in church. When they transferred the body into a new coffin, the nuns removed the hair-shirt from her holy relics and wanted to dress her in silken clothes, but the hands of St. Athanasia were so firmly clasped to her bosom, that the nuns could not dress her in the silken garb. Even in death the saint displayed her love for poverty. Then one of the sisters knelt down and began to pray to the saint, saying, “O lady, hear us as you heard us when you lived with us. Now consent to be dressed in these clothes, our humble gift to you.” St. Athanasia, as though alive, lifted and extended her hands into the clothing.

The holy relics of St. Athanasia were put into a crypt and became a source of healings.

The Life of St. Athanasia is found in Vatican codex 1660, which dates from the year 916.

St. Isaac the Syrian, Abbot of Spoleto

St. Isaac the Syrian lived during the mid-sixth century. He came to the Italian city of Spoleto from Syria. The saint asked permission of the church wardens to remain in the temple, and he prayed in it for two and a half days. One of the church wardens began to reproach him with hypocrisy and struck him on the cheek. Then the punishment of God came upon the church warden. The devil threw him down at the feet of the saint and cried out, “Isaac, cast me out!” Just as the saint bent over the man, the unclean spirit fled.

News of this quickly spread throughout the city. People began to flock to the saint, offering him help and the means to build a monastery. The humble monk refused all this. He left the city and settled in a desolate place, where he built a small cell. Disciples gathered around the ascetic, and so a monastery was formed. When his disciples asked the Elder why he had declined the gifts, he replied, “A monk who acquires possessions is no longer a monk.”

St. Isaac was endowed with the gift of clairvoyance. St. Gregory Dialogos speaks of this in his “Dialogues About the Lives and Miracles of the Italian Fathers.” Once, St. Isaac bade the monks to leave their spades in the garden for the night, and in the morning he asked them to prepare food for the workers. Some robbers, equal to the number of spades, had come to rob the monastery, but the power of God forced them to abandon their evil intent. They took the spades and began to work. When the monks arrived in the garden, all the ground had been dug up. The saint greeted the toilers and invited them to refresh themselves with food. Then he admonished them to stop their thievery, and gave them permission to come openly and pick the fruits of the monastery garden.

Another time, two almost naked men came to the saint and asked him for clothing. He told them to wait a bit, and sent a monk into the forest. In the hollow of a tree he found the fine clothes the travelers had hidden in order to to deceive the holy igumen. The monk brought back the clothes, and St. Isaac gave them to the wanderers. Seeing that their fraud was exposed, they fell into great distress and shame.

It happened that a certain man sent his servant to the saint with two beehives. The servant hid one of these hives along the way. The saint said to the servant, “I accept the gift, but be careful when you go back for the beehive that you hid. Poisonous snakes have entered into it. If you stretch forth your hand, they will bite you.” Thus the saint unmasked the sins of people wisely and without malice, desiring salvation for all.

St. Isaac died in 550. This saint should not be confused with the other St. Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah, who lived during the seventh century.

Hieromartyr Artemon the Presbyter of Laodicea in Syria

The Hieromartyr Artemon was born of Christian parents in Laodicea, Syria in the first half of the third century. From his youth, he dedicated himself to the service of the Church. The saint served the Church as a a Reader for sixteen years.

For his zeal in Church services, Bishop Sisinius ordained him deacon. St. Artemon also fulfilled this service with fervor and diligence for twenty-eight years, then he was ordained to the priesthood. In this position, St. Artemon served the Church of God for thirty-three years, preaching Christianity among pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began his fierce persecution against Christians, St. Artemon was already old. The emperor issued an edict ordering Christians to offer sacrifice to idols.

Saint Sisinius, knowing of the impending arrival of the military commander Patricius in Laodicea, went with the priest Artemon and other Christians into the temple of the goddess Artemis. There they smashed and burned the idols, reducing them all to dust.

Afterwards, St. Sisinius and St. Artemon gathered the flock into the church and fervently exhorted the Christians to remain firm in the Faith and not to fear the threats of torturers.

When he arrived in Laodicea, Patricius celebrated a five-day festival in honor of the pagan gods, and then went to the temple of Artemis to offer sacrifice. He learned who had destroyed the temple, and went with a detachment of soldiers to the church where the Christians were praying.

As he approached the church, Patricius suddenly felt a chill, and then developed a fever, which left him barely alive. They carried him home and put him to bed. “The Christians have put a curse on me, and their God torments me,” he said to those about him. Although Patricius prayed to the idols, they did not relieve his sufferings. He sent a messenger to St. Sisinius and asked for his help, promising to set up a gold statue of the bishop in the middle of the city. The saint replied, “Keep your gold, but if you believe in Christ, He will heal you.”

Patricius was afraid of dying, so he declared that he believed in Christ, and the affliction left him. But even this miracle did not affect the obdurate soul of the pagan. Although he did not touch St. Sisinius, he did enforce the imperial edict against other Christians in the city of Caesarea. Along the way he encountered St. Artemon, who was followed by six wild donkeys and two deer.

When Patricius asked how he was able to control these wild beasts, St. Artemon replied that he held them with the Word of Christ.

Patricius learned from the pagans that the old man was the same Artemon who had destroyed the pagan temple of Artemis. He ordered that Artemon be arrested and taken to the city of Caesarea. St. Artemon went with the soldiers without fear, but he ordered the animals to go to St. Sisinius.

Seeing the animals Bishop Sisinius asked, “Why have these animals come here?” A doe received the gift of speech from God and said, “The servant of God Artemon is being held by the impious Patricius, and is being brought to Caesarea in chains. He commanded us to come here to give you this news.” Do not be astonished that the Lord, Who opened the mouth of Balaam’s ass (Num. 22:28), also permits the doe to speak. The bishop sent Deacon Phileas to Caesarea to verify this information.

In Caesarea Patricius brought St. Artemon to trial and tried to force him to offer sacrifice in the temple of Asclepius. In this pagan temple there lived many poisonous vipers. The pagan priest never opened the doors, nor did he place the sacrifice before the idol. But St. Artemon, calling on the Name of Jesus Christ, went into the temple and released the snakes. The pagans fled, but the saint stopped them and killed the snakes by his breath. One of the pagan priests, Vitalius, believed in Christ and asked St. Artemon to baptize him.

Patricius thought that St. Artemon killed the snakes by sorcery, and again he interrogated and tortured him. Then the doe which had spoken arrived in Caesarea. The doe lay down at the feet of the martyr, licking his wounds. By God’s command the doe spoke again, denouncing the impious pagans. Addressing Patricius, the doe predicted that he would be seized by two birds of prey, and dropped into a cauldron of burning pitch. Patricius was enraged because he had been censured by a wild beast. He commanded his soldiers to shoot the doe with arrows, but she escaped. Afraid that the miracles performed by St. Artemon would draw more people to him, Patricius gave orders to execute him.

They filled an enormous cauldron with boiling pitch, intending to throw the saint into it. Patricius rode up to the cauldron on horseback to see if the pitch was indeed boiling. Then two angels in the form of eagles seized Patricius and threw him into the cauldron. His body was consumed so that not a single bone remained.

Seeing the miracle, everyone ran away except St. Artemon, who blessed and glorified God. When the saint finished his prayer, a spring of water issued from the ground. St. Artemon baptized the pagan priest Vitalius and many pagans, who had come to believe in Christ. On the following morning St. Artemon communed the newly-baptized with the Holy Mysteries.

Many of the baptized were ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, and Vitalius was made Bishop of Palestine. The hieromartyr Artemon, instructed by the voice of God, preached the Gospel in Asia Minor. Then an angel appeared to him and transported him to the place which had been revealed to him, where he converted many to Christ. Pagans seized the saint and beheaded him (+ 303).

Womanmartyr Thomais of Alexandria

The Holy martyr Thomais was born into a Christian family in the city of Alexandria. She was raised in piety, and loved to read spiritual books. When she was fifteen, the girl married a fisherman, who was also a Christian. The young couple lived in the house of her husband’s family, where St. Thomais was loved for her mild and gentle disposition, and for other good traits.

St. Thomais’ father-in-law, at the prompting of the devil, was captivated by her beauty. One night, when his son went out fishing, he attempted to lead his daughter-in-law into sin. Horrified, St. Thomais admonished the senseless old man, reminding him of the last Judgement and the penalty for sin. Infuriated by her steadfastness, he seized a sword and threatened to cut off her head. St. Thomais answered resolutely, “Even if you cut me to pieces, I shall not stray from the commandments of the Lord.” Overcome with passion, the old man cut St. Thomais in two with the sword. The saint received the crown of martyrdom in the year 476.

Divine punishment overtook the murderer. He became blind and could not find the door in order to escape. In the morning, the companions of the saint’s husband came to the door. They saw the body of the saint, and the blind old man covered with blood. The murderer confessed his evil deed and asked to be taken to the judge for punishment. He was beheaded for his crime.

At this time, St. Daniel of Skete happened to be in Alexandria. He told the monks of the Oktodekadian monastery (at the eighteenth mile on the road leading west from Alexandria) to bring the body of the martyr to the monastery and bury her in the cemetery with the departed fathers. Some of the monks were scandalized because he wanted to bury a woman’s body with the monks. St. Daniel replied, “She is a mother to me and to you, because she died for her chastity.”

After the funeral St. Daniel returned to his own skete. Soon one of the young monks began to complain to him that he was tormented by fleshly passions. St. Daniel ordered him to go and pray at the grave of the holy martyr Thomais. The monk did the bidding of the Elder. While he prayed at the grave, he fell into a light sleep. St. Thomais appeared to him and said, “Father, accept my blessing and go in peace.”

When he awakened, the monk felt joy and peace in his soul. After this, he told St. Daniel that he was no longer bothered by the temptations of the flesh. Abba Daniel exclaimed, “Great is the boldness of those who have struggled for chastity.”

Many found both spiritual joy and release from their passions at the grave of St. Thomais. Her holy relics were transferred to Constantinople to one of the women’s monasteries. The Russian pilgrim Archdeacon Zosimas venerated them in 1420.

[quote]stellar_horizon wrote:
Prester John wrote:
Just so you know, there are several Orthodox Christian priests who lurk and are members of T-Nation.

I guess that’s a surprise because they haven’t introduced themselves as such or haven’t stepped up to the plate to defend the Orthodox Christian Faith in the various religious threads that keep sprouting up. Then again, I doubt Orthodox Christian priests have adequate time to wage battles in these forums.[/quote]

Brother,

The blessing of the Lord.

I can only speak for myself in answer to your comments. The reason I have not introduced myself as an Orthodox Priest is because it is not germain to the reason I am here at T-Nation, namely, to find the best information available on exercise & diet. Nothing more. There is a time & a place for religious discussions; this is neither. Besides, I am very much a lurker & rarely post.

I do not “step up to the plate” on any of the religious threads here because I refuse to read them. Long experience with internet forums shows that most religious postings are made by posers, provocatuers & by people with axes to grind or opinions to spout. Few ask serious questions to find serious answers. I have no time for that. And I refuse to be baited. The only questions I take seriously here are about exercise, diet & supplementation.

Finally, I do not do “battle” over the Faith either in public or in private. I think too highly of the Gospel to drag it through the mud of inane debates. There is a time & a place for sober-minded questions & serious inquiry; this is neither.

The only “battle” worth fighting is mentioned in the third verse of St Ephraim’s Prayer. Perhaps you have not learned its lesson yet.

In closing, a few other things. First, a minor point: the only “Apostolic” calendar would be the Jewish one. Really. Think about it.

Second, do you not find it a little incongruous to have pictures of Saints appearing next to the Powerful Image of the day? To see Icons next to some bloated, pro bodybuilding freak or the thong goddess du jour strikes me as inapropos at best, & needless temptation at worst.

Third, if somebody did a Google search on one of the Saints you are presenting here, would a link to this thread show up? Is this the place you want pious folk to come for edification? I can see some innocent soul paging up & finding “Orthodox Christian Saints” listed among the active threads next to the “Best Ass Ever” thread. Frankly, I’m embarrassed by the prospect.

Fourth, does your sp. fr. know you’re here & posting this material?

There is a time & a place for everything. I think you have misjuged the time & the place for the things you are posting.

Please reconsider.

May Paradise consume us.

T-Rev

[quote]T-Rev wrote:
Second, do you not find it a little incongruous to have pictures of Saints appearing next to the Powerful Image of the day? To see Icons next to some bloated, pro bodybuilding freak or the thong goddess du jour strikes me as inapropos at best, & needless temptation at worst.

Third, if somebody did a Google search on one of the Saints you are presenting here, would a link to this thread show up? Is this the place you want pious folk to come for edification? I can see some innocent soul paging up & finding “Orthodox Christian Saints” listed among the active threads next to the “Best Ass Ever” thread. Frankly, I’m embarrassed by the prospect.

Fourth, does your sp. fr. know you’re here & posting this material?

There is a time & a place for everything. I think you have misjuged the time & the place for the things you are posting.

Please reconsider.

May Paradise consume us.

T-Rev[/quote]

i disagree only because this is like saying that Our Lord Jesus Christ did not and should not have walked amongst the sinners and ignorant. As we know He did the opposite. Temptation exists all around us. I am not comparing The Word to stellar just trying to justify his actions. laters pk

T-Rev

Stirring post–right up to the part about this not being the proper forum… For some this may be their only exposure and a chance to learn. I do not find the incongruencies that you suggest. Are you suggesting that if and only if these post are made seperate and away from what you may consider derogatory, that they contain value?

I see churches next to taverns and even strip clubs–does that diminish their standing.

Being lumped in with other forums is simply words next to each other or pictures somewhat close to one another. It has nothing to do with the message. Apparently you feel the flock is eaily lead astray. I choose to believe that thinking individuals can discern for themselves the value of said post. They can reason why the pictures and words must run together.

Have more faith in the followers Rev. Isolating yourself from outside influences will not make you stronger.

Stellar Horizon, prestor John,

Thanks for this thread.

Unfortunately, I think that you are both misguided.

I wanted to introduce you to the TRUTH THE “Djanggawul Sisters”

You can begin your journey of self-actualization ayla.brinkster.net/AmmieAussieGods.asp

Your new TRUTH:

“Daughters of the sun, these Australian goddesses unceasingly brought forth living creatures from their endlessly pregnant bodies.”

Such devotion to humanity!!! They gave up their careers for YOU, FOOL!!!

“Their long vulvas broke off piece by piece with these births, producing the world’s first sacred artifacts.”

Kinky!!!

They were so hot, they were eventually eaten by Galeru.

That selfish prick!!! I feel the same way about Michael Douglas.

Galeru=Michael Douglas. For the ignorant, Catherine Zeta Jones is married to Michael Douglas.

In summary, come to the sisters. They break off their private parts in their benevolence!!! They eventually were eaten FOR YOU!!!

JeffR