Lives of all saints commemorated on April 6


3rd Saturday of Great Lent:> Memorial Saturday

Saturday is the day which the Church has set aside for the commemoration of faithful Orthodox Christians departed this life in the hope of resurrection to eternal life. Since the Divine Liturgy cannot be served on weekdays during Great Lent, the second, third, and fourth Saturdays of the Fast are appointed as Soul Saturdays when the departed are remembered at Liturgy.

In addition to the Liturgy, kollyva (wheat or rice cooked with honey and mixed with raisins, figs, nuts, sesame, etc.) is blessed in church on these Saturdays. The kollyva reminds us of the Lord’s words, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).The kollyva symbolizes the future resurrection of all the dead. As St Simeon of Thessalonica (September 15) says, man is also a seed which is planted in the ground after death, and will be raised up again by God’s power. St Paul also speaks of this (I Cor. 15:35-49).

It is customary to give alms in memory of the dead in addition to the prayers we offer for their souls. The angel who spoke to Cornelius testifies to the efficacy of almsgiving, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4).

Memorial services for the dead may be traced back to ancient times. Chapter 8 of the Apostolic Constitutions recommends memorial services with Psalms for the dead. It also contains a beautiful prayer for the departed, asking that their voluntary and involuntary sins be pardoned, that they be given rest with the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles in a place where sorrow, suffering, and sighing have fled away (Isaiah 35:10). St John Chrysostom mentions the service for the dead in one of his homilies on Philippians, and says that it was established by the Apostles. St Cyprian of Carthage (Letter 37) also speaks of our duty to remember the martyrs.

The holy Fathers also testify to the benefit of offering prayers, memorial services, Liturgies, and alms for the dead (St John Chrysostom, St Cyril of Jerusalem, St John of Damascus, etc.). Although both the righteous and those who have not repented and corrected themselves may receive benefit and consolation from the Church’s prayer, it has not been revealed to what extent the unrighteous can receive this solace. It is not possible, however, for the Church’s prayer to transfer a soul from a state of evil and condemnation to a state of holiness and blessedness. St Basil the Great points out that the time for repentance and forgiveness of sins is during the present life, while the future life is a time for righteous judgment and retribution (Moralia 1). St John Chrysostom, St Gregory the Theologian, and other patristic writers concur with St Basil’s statement.

By praying for others, we bring benefit to them, and also to ourselves, because “God is not so unjust as to forget your work and the love which you showed for His sake in serving the saints...” (Heb. 6:10).


St Eutychius the Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Eutychius, Archbishop of Constantinople, was born in a village called “Divine” in the province of Phrygia. His father Alexander was a soldier, and his mother Synesia was the daughter of the priest Hesychius of Augustopolis. St Eutychius received the first rudiments of his education and a Christian upbringing from his grandfather the priest.

Once, while playing a childhood game, the boy wrote his own name with the title of Patriarch. By this he seemed to predict his future service. He was sent to Constantinople at age twelve for further education. The youth persevered in his study of science and realized that human wisdom is nothing in comparison to the study of divine Revelation. Therefore, he decided to dedicate himself to monastic life. St Eutychius withdrew into one of the Amasean monasteries and received the angelic schema. For his strict life he was made archimandrite of all the Amasean monasteries, and in 552 was appointed to the Patriarchal throne.

When the Fifth Ecumenical Council prepared to assemble during the reign of the holy emperor Justinian (527-565), the Metropolitan of Amasea was ill and he sent St Eutychius in his place. At Constantinople the aged Patriarch St Menas (August 25) saw St Eutychius and predicted that he would be the next Patriarch. After the death of the holy Patriarch Menas, the Apostle Peter appeared in a vision to the emperor Justinian and, pointing his hand at Eutychius, said, “Let him be made your bishop.”

At the very beginning of his patriarchal service, St Eutychius convened the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553), at which the Fathers condemned the heresies cropping up and anathematized them. However, after several years a new heresy arose in the Church: Aphthartodocetism [asartodoketai] or “imperishability” which taught that the flesh of Christ, before His death on the Cross and Resurrection, was imperishable and not capable of suffering.

St Eutychius vigorously denounced this heresy, but the emperor Justinian himself inclined toward it, and turned his wrath upon the saint. By order of the emperor, soldiers seized the saint in the church, removed his patriarchal vestments, and sent him into exile to an Amasean monastery (565).

The saint bore his banishment with meekness, and lived at the monastery in fasting and prayer, and he worked many miracles and healings.

Thus, through his prayer the wife of a devout man, Androgenes, who had given birth only to dead infants, now gave birth to two sons who lived to maturity. Two deaf-mutes received the gift of speech; and two grievously ill children were restored to health. The saint healed a cancerous ulcer on the hand of an artist. The saint also healed another artist, anointing his diseased hand with oil and making over it the Sign of the Cross.

The saint healed not only bodily, but also spiritual afflictions: he banished the devil out of a girl that had kept her from Holy Communion; he expelled a demon from a youth who had fled from a monastery (after which the youth returned to his monastery); he healed a drunken leper, whostopped drinking after being cleansed of his leprosy.

During the Persian invasion of Amasea and its widespread devastation, they distributed grain to the hungry from the monastery granaries on the saint’s orders, and by his prayers, the stores of grain at the monastery were not depleted.

St Eutychius received from God the gift of prophecy. He revealed the names of two of Emperor Justinian’s successors: Justin (565-578) and Tiberias (578-582).

After the death of the holy Patriarch John Scholastikos, St Eutychius returned to the cathedra in 577 after his twelve year exile, and he again wisely ruled his flock.

Four and a half years after his return to the Patriarchal throne, St Eutychius gathered together all his clergy on Thomas Sunday 582, blessed them, and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord.


St Methodius, Equal of the Apostles and Archbishop of Moravia, Enlightener of the Slavs

Saint Methodius, Archbishop of Moravia, died on April 6 in the year 885. His Life is found on May 11, when he is commemorated with St Cyril, Teacher of the Slavs.


St Platonida (Platonis) of Nisibis, Syria

Saint Platonida was at first a deaconess, but afterwards withdrew into the Nisibis desert, where she organized a women’s monastery.

The Rule of her monastery was distinguished for its strictness. The sisters partook of food only once a day. When they were not praying, they spent their time in monastic labors and various obediences.

On Fridays, the day commemorating the sufferings of Christ the Savior on the Cross, all work stopped, and the monks were in church from morning until evening, where between services they read from Holy Scripture and from commentaries on it.

St Platonida was for all the sisters a living example of strict monastic asceticism, meekness, and love for neighbor. Having reached a great old age, St Platonida died peacefully in the year 308.


120 Martyrs of Persia

The Holy 120 Martyrs suffered under the Persian emperor Sapor. They were taken into captivity during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Constantios (337-361). They were consigned to the flames after firmly confessing their faith (c.344-347). St Shandulios (November 3) concealed their relics from desecration by the pagans. Among the holy martyrs were ten virgins, who had dedicated themselves to the service of God.


Martyr Jeremiah

The Holy Martyrs Jeremiah and the Priest Archilius (Alchimius) suffered martyrdom in the third century. St Gregory Dialogus (March 12) mentions them.


Martyr Archilias the Presbyter

The Holy Martyrs Jeremiah and the Priest Archilius (Alchimius) suffered martyrdom in the third century. St Gregory Dialogus (March 12) mentions them.


Venerable Gregory the Byzantine

Saint Gregory was a native of Constantinople, and pursued an ascetic life on Mt. Athos in the Lavra of St Athanasius (July 5). He was the spiritual guide of St Gregory Palamas (November 14).


Monkmartyr Gennadius of Dionysiou on Mt Athos

No information available at this time.