Lives of all saints commemorated on August 11


Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of our Lord

The hymns of the fifth day of the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration invite us to acquire the virtues and become radiant so that we may stand upon the holy mountain and behold the Lord’s Transfiguration as He shines with glory, “filling the world with light.”

We are also assured that those who excel in virtue “shall be made worthy of divine glory.”


Martyr and Archdeacon Euplius of Catania

The Martyr Archdeacon Euplus suffered in the year 304 under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311). He served in the Sicilian city of Catania. Always carrying the Gospel with him, St Euplus preached constantly to the pagans about Christ.

Once, while he read and explained the Gospel to the gathered crowd, they arrested him and took him to the governor of the city, Calvisianus. St Euplus confessed himself a Christian and denounced the impiety of idol-worship. For this they sentenced him to torture.

They threw the injured saint into prison, where he remained in prayer for seven days. The Lord made a spring of water flow into the prison for the martyr to quench his thirst. Brought to trial a second time, strengthened and rejoicing, he again confessed his faith in Christ and denounced the torturer for spilling the blood of innocent Christians.

The judge commanded that the saint’s ears be torn off, and that he be beheaded. When they led the saint to execution, they hung the Gospel around his neck. Having asked time for prayer, the archdeacon began to read and explain the Gospel to the people, and many of the pagans believed in Christ. The soldiers beheaded the saint with a sword.

His holy relics are in the village of Vico della Batonia, near Naples.


Martyr Basil of the Kiev Near Caves

The Hieromartyrs Theodore and Basil of the Caves pursued asceticism in the eleventh century in the Near Caves of Kiev. St Theodore distributed his riches to the poor, went to the monastery and settled into the Varangian Cave, adjoining the Caves of St Theodosius. He dwelt here many years in strict temperance.

When the enemy aroused sorrow in him for giving away his possessions, St Basil comforted him: “I implore you, brother Theodore, do not forget the reward. If you want to have possessions, take everything that is mine.” St Theodore repented and dearly loved St Basil, with whom he lived in the cell.

Once, St Basil was on an errand outside the monastery for three months. The devil, having assumed his form, appeared to St Theodore and indicated that there was a treasure hidden somewhere in the cave by robbers. The monk still wanted to leave the monastery to buy possessions to live in the world. When St Basil returned, the demonic illusion disappeared. From that time, St Theodore started to be more attentive to himself. In order not to be distracted by idle thoughts during moments of inactivity, he set up a millstone, and by night he ground grain. Thus, by long and zealous ascetic action he freed himself from the passion of avarice.

A report reached Prince Mstislav Svyatopolkovich that St Theodore had found much treasure in the cave. He summoned the monk to him and commanded him to show him the spot where the valuables were hidden. St Theodore told the prince that indeed he had once seen gold and precious vessels in the cave, but fearing temptation, he and St Basil had buried the treasure, and God took from him the memory of where it was hidden.

Not believing the saint, the prince gave orders to torture him to death. They beat St Theodore so much, that his hair-shirt was wet with blood, and then they hung him head-downwards, lighting a fire beneath him. In a drunken condition the prince commanded them to torture St Basil also, and then to kill him with an arrow. Dying, the martyr Basil threw the arrow at the feet of Prince Mstislav and predicted that he himself would soon be mortally wounded by it. The prophecy was fulfilled on July 15, 1099 during an internecine war with David Igorevich. On the wall of the Vladimir fortress, Prince Mstislav was suddenly struck in the chest by an arrow through an opening in the timbers, and on the following night he died. Recognizing his own arrow, the prince said: “I die because of the monastic martyrs Basil and Theodore.”


Martyr Theodore of the Kiev Near Caves

The Hieromartyrs Theodore and Basil of the Caves pursued asceticism in the eleventh century in the Near Caves of Kiev. St Theodore distributed his riches to the poor, went to the monastery and settled into the Varangian Cave, adjoining the Caves of St Theodosius. He dwelt here many years in strict temperance.

When the enemy aroused sorrow in him for giving away his possessions, St Basil comforted him: “I implore you, brother Theodore, do not forget the reward. If you want to have possessions, take everything that is mine.” St Theodore repented and dearly loved St Basil, with whom he lived in the cell.

Once, St Basil was on an errand outside the monastery for three months. The devil, having assumed his form, appeared to St Theodore and indicated that there was a treasure hidden somewhere in the cave by robbers. The monk still wanted to leave the monastery to buy possessions to live in the world. When St Basil returned, the demonic illusion disappeared. From that time, St Theodore started to be more attentive to himself. In order not to be distracted by idle thoughts during moments of inactivity, he set up a millstone, and by night he ground grain. Thus, by long and zealous ascetic action he freed himself from the passion of avarice.

A report reached Prince Mstislav Svyatopolkovich that St Theodore had found much treasure in the cave. He summoned the monk to him and commanded him to show him the spot where the valuables were hidden. St Theodore told the prince that indeed he had once seen gold and precious vessels in the cave, but fearing temptation, he and St Basil had buried the treasure, and God took from him the memory of where it was hidden.

Not believing the saint, the prince gave orders to torture him to death. They beat St Theodore so much, that his hair-shirt was wet with blood, and then they hung him head-downwards, lighting a fire beneath him. In a drunken condition the prince commanded them to torture St Basil also, and then to kill him with an arrow. Dying, the martyr Basil threw the arrow at the feet of Prince Mstislav and predicted that he himself would soon be mortally wounded by it. The prophecy was fulfilled on July 15, 1099 during an internecine war with David Igorevich. On the wall of the Vladimir fortress, Prince Mstislav was suddenly struck in the chest by an arrow through an opening in the timbers, and on the following night he died. Recognizing his own arrow, the prince said: “I die because of the monastic martyrs Basil and Theodore.”


St Theodosius (Prince Theodore of Ostrog) of the Kiev Caves

Saint Theodore, Prince of Ostrozh, gained fame with the construction of churches and by his defense of Orthodoxy in Volhynia against the enroachment of Papism. He was descended from St Vladimir (July 15), through a great-grandson Svyatopolk-Michael, prince of Turov (1080-1093) and later Great Prince of Kiev (+1113).

The first time the name of the holy Prince Theodore is mentioned is in the year 1386, when the Polish king Jagiello and the Lithuanian prince Vitovt affirmed his hereditary possession of the Ostrozh district, and they augmented the Zaslavsk and Koretsk surroundings.

In 1410 St Theodore participated in the defeat of the Teutonic Knights of the Catholic Order at the Battle of Gruenwald. In 1422 the holy prince, because of sympathy for the Orthodox in Bohemia, supported the Hussites in their struggle with the German emperor Sigismund. Theodore introduced the Hussite formation (i.e., the Taborite, adopted by the Ukrainian Cossacks) into Russian military strategy.

In 1432, after winning a series of victories over the Polish forces, St Theodore compelled Prince Jagiello to guarantee the freedom of Orthodoxy in Volhynia under the law. Prince Svidrigailo, apprehensive of the strengthening of his ally, locked St Theodore into prison, but the people who loved the saint rose up in rebellion, and he was freed.

St Theodore was reconciled with the offender and went to him for help in the struggle against the Lithuanians and the Poles. In 1438, the holy prince took part in a battle with the Tatars. In 1440, with the accession to the Polish throne of Cazimir, youngest son of Prince Jagiello, St Theodore received the rights of administration of the city of Vladimir, Dubno, Ostrog, and he was granted extensive holdings in the best regions of Podolia and Volhynia.

St Theodore left all this behind, together with princely power and fame. After 1441 he entered the Kiev Caves monastery, where he received the monastic tonsure with the name Theodosius, he struggled there for the salvation of his soul until the time of his blessed repose.

The year of St Theodore’s death is unknown, but it is probable that he died in the second half of the fifteenth century at a great old age (S. M. Soloviev in his HISTORY OF RUSSIA gives the year of his death as 1483). The saint was buried in the Far Caves of St Theodosius (He is also commemorated on the Synaxis of the Monastic Fathers of the Far Caves, August 28). His glorification apparently took place at the end of the sixteenth century, since in the year 1638 the hieromonk Athanasius Kal’nophysky testified that “St Theodore rests in the Theodosiev Cave, where his body was discovered incorrupt.”


Virginmartyr Susanna

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


Martyr Gaius the Pope of Rome

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


Martyr Gabinus the Presbyter

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


Martyr Maximus the Brother of Gabinus and Father of Susanna

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


Martyr Claudius and his wife and children at Rome

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


Martyr Praepedigna and her husband and children at Rome

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


Martyr Alexander

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


Martyr Cutias

The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin was the daughter of Presbyter Gavinius and a niece of the Holy Bishop Caius of Rome (283-296). She was raised in strict Christian piety and in her youthful years dedicated herself to God. The family of the saint was related to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), who heard reports of her virtue and beauty.

Having decided to give St Susanna in marriage to his co-emperor Maximian (305-311), Diocletian sent his own kinsman, the dignitary Claudius, to the priest Gavinius, and then his own brother Maximus. Both of them, together with the wife of Claudius Prepedigna and her sons Alexander and Cythius, accepted Baptism after conversation with the pious family. Having learned that the entire family of his relatives had been converted to Christianity, Diocletian sent them into exile.

Soon they burned the martyrs at Ostia, not far from Rome, and threw the ashes into the sea. They took the holy virgin Susanna to the palace, and the empress tried to persuade her to submit. But the empress, secretly a Christian, supported the martyr in her intention to preserve her virginity for the sake of the Lord. She explained to the emperor about the virgin’s unwillingness to enter into marriage with a pagan. Diocletian gave permission to his co-ruler to defile the holy virgin, but an angel defended her.

Macedonius began to urge the martyr to offer sacrifice to the idols. “I offer myself in sacrifice to my Lord,” she answered. Then Macedonius cut off the martyr’s head. The empress secretly buried the body of the saint. The room where the murder occurred was consecrated into a church by the holy Bishop Caius. Soon the father of St Susanna, Presbyter Gavinius, accepted a martyr’s end, as did St Caius in the year 296.


St Niphon the Patriarch of Constantinople of Mt Athos

Saint Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople, was a native of Greece, and accepted monasticism at Epidauros. After the death of his Elder Anthony, he went to Athos, where he occupied himself by the copying of books. The saint was later chosen Metropolitan of Thessalonica, and still later occupied the Patriarchal throne in Constantinople and was primate of Valachia.

Banished under accusation, the saint went to Athos, at first to the Vaptopedi monastery, and then to the monastery of St John the Forerunner (Dionysiou). He concealed his rank and held the lowest position. By God’s providence, his rank was revealed to the brethren of the monastery. Once, when the saint was returning from the forest where he had gone for firewood, all the brethren went out towards him on the way and solemnly greeted him as Patriarch. But even after this, the saint shared various tasks with the brethren. He died on August 11, 1460 at 90 years of age.


Icon of the Mother of God of Constantinople

In the Constantinople Icon of the Mother of God, the child Christ is naked to the waist, and is carried in His Mother’s right hand. Her left hand rests on His knees.


St Passarion

Saint Passarion pursued asceticism in the first half of the fifth century. He founded a monastery in Jerusalem. He was “chorepiskopos” [vicar-bishop] of Palestine, and a converser with St Euthymius the Great (January 20).


St Mary Synclitica

Saint Mary Syncletica [i.e., of Senate Rank] was healed by the Icon of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hands, which appeared during the reign of the emperor Tiberias (578-582).