Lives of all saints commemorated on October 4


Hieromartyr Hierotheus the Bishop of Athens

The Hieromartyr Hierotheus, the first Bishop of Athens, was a member of the Athenian Areopagos and was converted to Christ by the Apostle Paul together with St Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3).

The saint was consecrated by the Apostle Paul to the rank of bishop. According to Tradition, Bishop Hierotheus was present with St Dionysius at the funeral of the Most Holy Theotokos.

St Hierotheus died a martyr’s death in the first century.


Uncovering of the relics of St Gurias the First Archbishop of Kazan

The Uncovering of the relics of Saint Gurias, First Archbishop of Kazan, and Saint Barsanuphius, Bishop of Tver in 1595, occurred at Kazan in the year 1595. During the construction of a new stone church in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord at the Savior-Transfiguration monastery, which had been founded by St Barsanuphius, graves with the bodies of the holy hierarchs in the altar-wall were uncovered beneath the former wooden church. The unusual aspect of incorrupt graves filled St Hermogenes (February 17) with a pious desire to open the graves before a large crowd of the people.

St Hermogenes described this event, “We beheld a marvel we had not hoped for. The coffin of the saint was full of fragrant myrrh, like pure water, and the relics of St Gurias were above the myrrh, like a sponge. God gave his venerable and hard-working body incorruption, as is now seen by all. Decay touched only very little of the upper lip, his other limbs were whole, and nothing has disappeared. We touched his burial robe and it held up very firm. Then we opened up the coffin of St Barsanuphius and we looked upon the relics of St Barsanuphius which were blessed by God with little corruption. Decay had touched the feet of the monk, however the bones were not destroyed, and held up quite well. There was no other sign of corruption in the condition of the rest of his relics, the same was for the relics of St Gurias. The burial robe of both saints was strong and like new.”

Many sick were healed, having been anointed with the holy myrrh flowing from the relics of St Gurias.

There is a description of the saints in the Iconographer’s Manual under October 4: “In appearance Gurias is grey and bearded, like Basil of Caesarea, with a mitre, omophorion, holding a Gospel in his hands, and dressed in the robes of a hierarch. Barsanuphius is grey and bearded like Gurias, but his is parted at the end. He wears a mitre, the robes of a hierarch, an omophorion and carries the Gospel.”

The Life St Gurias is found on December 5; and the Life of St Barsanuphius on April 11.

In the correspondence from a report of the Archbishop of Cheboksarsk and Chuvash Benjamin (Novitsky), + 14 October 1976, His Holiness Pimen, Patriarch of Moscow gave a blessing to commemorate the Synaxis of all the Kazan hierarchs on the first Sunday after October 4th.


Uncovering of the relics of St Barsanuphius the Bishop of Tver

The Uncovering of the relics of Saint Gurias, First Archbishop of Kazan, and Saint Barsanuphius, Bishop of Tver in 1595, occurred at Kazan in the year 1595. During the construction of a new stone church in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord at the Savior-Transfiguration monastery, which had been founded by St Barsanuphius, graves with the bodies of the holy hierarchs in the altar-wall were uncovered beneath the former wooden church. The unusual aspect of incorrupt graves filled St Hermogenes (February 17) with a pious desire to open the graves before a large crowd of the people.

St Hermogenes described this event, “We beheld a marvel we had not hoped for. The coffin of the saint was full of fragrant myrrh, like pure water, and the relics of St Gurias were above the myrrh, like a sponge. God gave his venerable and hard-working body incorruption, as is now seen by all. Decay touched only very little of the upper lip, his other limbs were whole, and nothing has disappeared. We touched his burial robe and it held up very firm. Then we opened up the coffin of St Barsanuphius and we looked upon the relics of St Barsanuphius which were blessed by God with little corruption. Decay had touched the feet of the monk, however the bones were not destroyed, and held up quite well. There was no other sign of corruption in the condition of the rest of his relics, the same was for the relics of St Gurias. The burial robe of both saints was strong and like new.”

Many sick were healed, having been anointed with the holy myrrh flowing from the relics of St Gurias.

There is a description of the saints in the Iconographer’s Manual under October 4: “In appearance Gurias is grey and bearded, like Basil of Caesarea, with a mitre, omophorion, holding a Gospel in his hands, and dressed in the robes of a hierarch. Barsanuphius is grey and bearded like Gurias, but his is parted at the end. He wears a mitre, the robes of a hierarch, an omophorion and carries the Gospel.”

The Life St Gurias is found on December 5; and the Life of St Barsanuphius on April 11.

In the correspondence from a report of the Archbishop of Cheboksarsk and Chuvash Benjamin (Novitsky), + 14 October 1976, His Holiness Pimen, Patriarch of Moscow gave a blessing to commemorate the Synaxis of all the Kazan hierarchs on the first Sunday after October 4th.


Synaxis of the Hierarchs of Kazan

Today the Church honors the holy hierarchs of Kazan: Bishop Barsanuphius of Tver (April 11 and October 4), Archbishop Herman (June 23, September 25, and November 6), Archbishop Gurias (June 20, October 4, and December 5).


Right-believing Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich the Prince of Novgorod

The holy right-believing Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Novgorod, the Wonderworker, was the eldest son of Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise, and was born in the year 1020. At age fourteen, his father made him administrator of Novgorod. The military commander Vyshata and the holy Bishop MenignusZhidyata (February 10) assisted in guiding the prince.

When he matured, the prince became a brave defender of the land and a pious Christian. St Vladimir built the Sophia cathedral at Novgorod, which was begun in the year 1045 and consecrated on September 14, 1052 by Bishop Luke. The holy prince was not only concerned about the strengthening of the princedom (by his decree a stone fortress was built at Novgorod) but he also zealously instructed himself in the law of the Lord. In 1047 the prophetic books with commentaries were copied out for him.

The holy prince died at age thirty-two on October 4, 1052, twenty days after the consecration of the Sophia cathedral, and his relics were placed in the church he built. His wife, Princess Alexandra, is mentioned in the Novgorod Synodikon. Commemoration of the holy prince Vladimir was established in the year 1439 by St Euthymius, Archbishop of Novgorod (March 11).


Venerable Helladius of the Kiev Near Caves

No information available at this time.


Venerable Onesimus of the Kiev Near Caves

No information available at this time.


Venerable Ammon the recluse of the Kiev Caves

Saints Ammon the Recluse of the Kiev Caves, Far Caves, was given the title “Lover of Labor.” The saint went to Athos and to Jerusalem. Upon his return, he became famous for his exploits, and he was an image of holy life for the brethren. He was buried in the Far Caves. His memory is also celebrated on August 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.


Martyr Gaius of Alexandria

Saint Gaius was a deacon, and the disciple of St Dionysius of Alexandria (October 5). He and St Dionysius were arrested and banished from Alexandria.

St Gaius endured martyrdom during the persecution of Valerian (253-259) .


Martyr Faustus of Alexandria

St Faustus was a deacon of the church of Alexandria, and the disciple of St Dionysius of Alexandria (October 5).

St Faustus was tortured and beheaded in 250, during the persecution of Decius (249-251).


Martyr Eusebius of Alexandria

St Eusebius was a deacon of the church of Alexandria, and the disciple of St Dionysius of Alexandria (October 5).

St Eusebius was tortured and beheaded in 250, during the persecution of Decius (249-251).


Martyr Chaeremon of Alexandria

No information available at this time.


Martyr Peter of Capetolis

Saint Peter was born in Capitolis in Palestine, and was the father of three children.

After the death of his wife, he entered a monastery. Later, he became Bishop of Busra, Hauran.

St Peter was martyred by the Saracens in Damascus. Even after they had cut out his tongue, he continued to speak clearly. His right hand and foot were cut off, his eyes were put out, and finally he was beheaded.


Martyr Domnina with her daughters of Syria

Saint Domnina was a woman with two daughters named Verine (St John Chrysostom calls her Vernike, or Berenice) and Prosdoce. Leaving their home and family, they settled in Edessa on the plain of Mesopotamia.

Berenice’s father and her husband, who were pagans, took the women to Hieropolis in Syria. When the soldiers stopped to rest and eat, they became drunk with wine. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the women fled and were drowned in the river.

According to St John Chrysostom (PG 50, 629-640), Domnina stood in the middle of the river and pulled her daughters under the water with her, for she was afraid that the soldiers were going to rape them. St John praises Domnina for her courage, and Berenice and Prosdoce for their obedience.


Martyr Berenice with her mother of Syria

Saint Berenice was the sister of St Prosdoce and the daughter of St Domnina. Leaving their home and family, they settled in Edessa on the plain of Mesopotamia.

Berenice’s father and her husband, who were pagans, took the women to Hieropolis in Syria. When the soldiers stopped to rest and eat, they became drunk with wine. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the women fled and were drowned in the river.

According to St John Chrysostom (PG 50, 629-640), Domnina stood in the middle of the river and pulled her daughters under the water with her, for she was afraid that the soldiers were going to rape them. St John praises Domnina for her courage, and Berenice and Prosdoce for their obedience.


Martyr Prosdoce with her mother of Syria

Saint Prosdoce was the sister of St Berenice and the daughter of St Domnina. Leaving their home and family, they settled in Edessa on the plain of Mesopotamia.

Berenice’s father and her husband, who were pagans, took the women to Hieropolis in Syria. When the soldiers stopped to rest and eat, they became drunk with wine. Taking advantage of this opportunity, the women fled and were drowned in the river.

According to St John Chrysostom (PG 50, 629-640), Domnina stood in the middle of the river and pulled her daughters under the water with her, for she was afraid that the soldiers were going to rape them. St John praises Domnina for her courage, and Berenice and Prosdoce for their obedience.


Venerable Ammon

Saint Ammon of Egypt was raised in Christian piety. He entered into marriage at the urging of his parents, but by agreement with his spouse preserved his virginity and they lived as brother and sister. The spiritual spouses pursued asceticism in fasting, prayer and joint effort for twenty years. Having matured in piety, the spouses separately continued their ascetic deeds. Ammon’s wife remained home and established a women’s monastery. Ammon went out into the Nitrian desert, where he dwelt for twenty-two years and attained the high spiritual accomplishments of wonderworking and discernment.

St Ammon often came to St Anthony the Great (January 17) for his blessing. At the time of St Ammon’s death, St Anthony saw angels bearing the soul of the righteous one to heaven. St Ammon died in the mid-fourth century.


Venerable Paul the Simple of Egypt

Saint Paul the Simple of Egypt also lived in the fourth century and was called the Simple for his simplicity of heart and gentleness. He had been married, but when he discovered his wife’s infidelity, he left her and went into the desert to St Anthony the Great (January 17). Paul was already 60 years old, and at first St Anthony would not accept Paul, saying that he was unfit for the harshness of the hermit’s life. Paul stood outside the cell of the ascetic for three days, saying that he would sooner die than go from there. Then St Anthony took Paul into his cell, and tested his endurance and humility by hard work, severe fasting, with nightly vigils, constant singing of Psalms and prostrations. Finally, St Anthony decided to settle Paul into a separate cell.

During the many years of ascetic exploits the Lord granted St Paul both discernment, and the power to cast out demons. When they brought a possessed youth to St Anthony, he guided the afflicted one to St Paul saying, “I cannot help the boy, for I have not received power over the Prince of the demons. Paul the Simple, however, does have this gift.” St Paul expelled the demon by his simplicity and humility.

After living for many years, performing numerous miracles, he departed to the Lord. He is mentioned by St John, the Abbot of Sinai (Ladder 24:30): “The thrice-blessed Paul the Simple was a clear example for us, for he was the rule and type of blessed simplicity....”

St Paul is also commemorated on March 7.


Martyr Adauctus and His Daughter of Ephesus

Saint Adauctus was from Ephesus in Asia. When the impious emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311) wished to marry his daughter Callisthene, St Adauctus would not give his consent. As a result, St Adauctus was deprived of his wealth and position as eparch, and was sent into exile.

He was beheaded at Melitene, Armenia.


Martyr Callisthene and her father Audactus of Ephesus

The holy martyr Callisthene was born in Ephesus, and her father was the eparch Audactus. She was to marry the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), but her father would not consent to the match because the emperor was a pagan. Therefore, Audactus was deprived of his wealth and position, and was exiled to Melitene, Armenia where he was beheaded.

Callisthene hid for a time in Nicomedia with a certain woman, and healed the woman’s daughter of an eye ailment. After the death of Maximian, Licinius (311-324) became the last pagan emperor. Callisthene became friendly with his Christian wife Constantia, the daughter of St Constantine (May 21). She told Constantia of all that had happened to her, and she helped Callisthene to regain her father’s wealth and possessions. She did not want these things for herself, but gave everything away to the poor.

She also brought her father’s body back to Ephesus and built a church which was dedicated to him.

St Callisthene devoted the rest of her life to Christ, and died in Ephesus in the first half of the fourth century.


St Stephen Stiljianovitch of Serbia

Saint Stephen Stiljianovich of Serbia was born into a pious Christian family in the Serbian city of Zhupa (south of Zakholmya). During this time Serbia was often subjected to invasions by the Turks, who devastated the land. St Stephen defended his native land, did military service in the army of the Serbian ruler. When famine began in the country, the kindly St Stephen distributed his own bread to the hungry.

The patriotic activity of the saintly soldier was indissolubly bound up with his truly Christian life. “In virtue, he lived as an ascetic with charity, purity, prayer, the Orthodox Faith and unhypocritical love of neighbor.”

The saint fell asleep in the Lord on October 4, 1515. After a time, the Turks saw a light shining over his grave. Thinking that they had found a hidden treasure, they opened the grave and found the incorrupt body of St Stephen. Serbian monks ransomed the relics from the Turkish Pasha and transferred them to the Shishatovets monastery on Mount Phrushtsk.

As a glorious righteous defender of his native land, the Serbian Church prays to him, “Glory in the struggles, warrior Stephen Stiljianovich, great healer of those who pray to you in faith.”


Martyr Evdemoz the Catholicos of Georgia

Saint Evdemoz led the Georgian Orthodox Church in the mid-17th century during the reign of King Rostom-Khan (1632-1658), a Georgian who had converted to Islam.

Having murdered King Luarsab II of Kartli and chased out King Teimuraz I of Kakheti, the Persian shah Abbas I had declared Rostom-Khan ruler of a unified Kartli-Kakheti kingdom.

Rostom tried to be accommodating in his policies and protect the beliefs and traditions of both the Persian shah and the Georgian people: he set a standard salary for the Georgian clergy and even

built churches, but society deteriorated rapidly nevertheless. Human vices became commonplace, and sins like those of Sodom and Gomorrah were multiplied. The nation was so overtaken by sin that even the clergy ceased to conduct themselves in a manner befitting their God-given role.

But the chief shepherd of the Georgian nation would not yield to the moral decline of his flock, and he confronted this crisis with conviction and fearlessness. Several times he led his most valiant military leaders in revolt against Persia. Following the example of Catholicos Evdemoz, several Georgian princes rebelled against the pro-Persian policies of Rostom-Khan and cast out the Islamic influence from their territories.

Catholicos Evdemoz resisted the Islamic custom of raising the king’s heirs in the shah’s court from a young age. He was never too intimidated by the king to expose his wrongdoing and tell him at every convenient opportunity: “You are the natural father of the Muslims, but the stepfather of the Christians!”

Evdemoz was the spiritual father of Rostom-Khan’s wife, the faithful Queen Mariam, the daughter of Manuchar Dadiani, Prince of Samegrelo.

As a result of the holy labors of Catholicos Evdemoz and Queen Mariam, the Christian soul of the Georgian people was not entirely extinguished. The Georgians built churches, wrote spiritual literature, and gradually regained their national consciousness. Catholicos Evdemoz preached throughout the country and developed and implemented a plan to bring King Teimuraz, who had been driven out by Shah Abbas, back to the throne.

Naturally Rostom-Khan felt threatened by the strong influence Catholicos Evdemoz had on the people. In 1642 he arrested the chief shepherd of the Georgian people and tried to win him over, but neither his feigned tenderness nor his threats could break the firm will of the man who loved Christ and his motherland above all else. After his arrest, St. Evdemoz criticized the king even more harshly and called on the people to rise up against him. Finally Rostom-Khan ordered that

Catholicos Evdemoz be strangled to death in his prison cell, and as a further insult, his body was cast off Nariqala Fortress (in Tbilisi) in the direction of the Turkish baths.

That night, a group of Christians stole the body of the holy hieromartyr Catholicos-Patriarch Evdemoz and buried it in the northwest corner of Anchiskhati Church in Tbilisi.


St Elena of Serbia

No information available at this time.


St Jonah of Kazan

Saints Jonah and Nectarius of Kazan were called John and Nestor Zastolsky before they received monastic tonsure. When St Gurias (December 5 ) was sent to the newly established Kazan diocese, the boyar John Zastolsky went with him. Under the spiritual guidance of St Gurias, John led a virtuous and pious life. He avoided sin, loved truth, and was strictly honest.

John raised his son Nestor in the fear of God. The gentle youth was an ascetic from childhood. He wore a hair-shirt, kept the fasts, and he loved to pray in church. With his father’s consent, Nestor became a monk with the new name Nectarius. He died at a young age, and was buried near the grave of St Gurias.

John was tonsured into monasticism with the name Jonah. Before his death, he left instructions that he also be buried near St Gurias.

At the uncovering of the relics of Sts Gurias and Barsanuphius in 1595, the incorrupt bodies and clothing of Sts Jonah and Nectarius were also found. They were left beneath a crypt in a chapel of the Kazan Savior-Transfiguration monastery. The chapel had been built by Jonah over the grave of St Gurias.

The saints are mentioned in the service to St Gurias, “Two monks, Jonah and Nectarius, ascetics well-pleasing to God, one born of the other, faithfully served you in the world. Upon your death, O Gurias, keeping sincere faith for you, they built a chapel over your grave. These saints are buried here beside you, honored with incorruption from God above. St Gurias, pray with them unto Christ God, to grant us peace and great mercy.”


St Nectarius of Kazan

Saint Jonah and Nectarius of Kazan -- in the world known as John and Nestor Zastolsky. When St Gurias (December 5 ) was sent to the newly established Kazan diocese, the boyar John Zastolsky went with him. Under the spiritual guidance of St Gurias, John led a virtuous and pious life. He shunned sin, loved truth, and was strictly honest. John raised his son Nestor in the fear of God. The gentle youth was an ascetic from childhood: wearing a hair-shirt, keeping the fasts, and he loved to pray in church. With the consent of his father, Nestor became a monk with the name Nectarius. He died at a youthful age. Nestor’s father, John, was tonsured into monasticism with the name Jonah. Before hisdeath he gave final instructions to bury him beside St Gurias, near whose grave Nectarius was buried.

At the uncovering of the relics of Sts Gurias and Barsanuphius in 1595, the incorrupt bodies and clothing of St Jonah and Nectarius were also uncovered. They were left beneath a crypt in a chapel of the Kazan Savior-Transfiguration monastery. The chapel was built by Jonah over the grave of St Gurias.

The saints are mentioned in the service to St Gurias, “Two monks having been well-pleasing ascetics before God, Jonah and Nectarius, one born of the other, faithfully served you in the world. Upon your death, O Gurias, keeping sincere faith for you, they built a chapel over your grave. Here beside you these saints are buried, honored with incorruption from God above. St Gurias, pray with them unto Christ God, to grant us peace and great mercy.”