Lives of all saints commemorated on October 22


St Abercius the Bishop and Wonderworker of Hieropolis, Equal of the Apostles

Saint Abercius, Bishop and Wonderworker of Hieropolis lived in the second century in Phrygia. The city of Hieropolis was inhabited by many pagans and very few Christians. The saint prayed to the Lord for the salvation of their souls and that they might be numbered among God’s chosen flock. An angel appeared and bade St Abercius to destroy the idols in the pagan temple. He fulfilled the command of God with zeal. Hearing that the idol-worshippers wanted to kill him, the saint went to the place where the people had gathered and openly denounced the failings of the pagans. The pagans tried to seize the saint.

At this moment three demon-possessed youths in the crowd cried out. The people were dumbfounded, as the saint expelled the devils from them by his prayers. Seeing the youths restored to normal, the people of Hieropolis asked St Abercius to instruct them in the Christian Faith, and then they accepted Holy Baptism.

After this the saint went to the surrounding cities and villages, healing the sick and preaching the Kingdom of God. With his preaching he made the rounds of Syria, Cilicia, Mesopotamia, he visited Rome and everywhere he converted multitudes of people to Christ. For many years he guarded the Church against heretics, he confirmed Christians in the Faith, he set the prodigal upon the righteous path, he healed the sick and proclaimed the glory of Christ. Because of his great works, St Abercius is termed “Equal of the Apostles.”

St Abercius returned home to Hieropolis, where he soon rested from his labors. After his death, many miracles took place at his tomb. He wrote his own epitaph, and it was carved on his tombstone, which is now in the Lateran Museum.


7 Holy Youths “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

The Seven Youths of Ephesus: Maximilian, Iamblicus, Martinian, John, Dionysius, Exacustodianus (Constantine) and Antoninus, lived in the third century. St Maximilian was the son of the Ephesus city administrator, and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The youths were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited anyone who disobeyed. The seven youths were denounced by informants, and were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the young men confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius permitted them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The youths fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

The youngest of them, St Iamblicus, dressed as a beggar and went into the city to buy bread. On one of his excursions into the city, he heard that the emperor had returned and was looking for them. St Maximilian urged his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the youths into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meantime, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied that there would be a general resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had passed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, the youth was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained, as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the young man, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop found the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the saints alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was demonstrating to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the young men in the cave. Then the holy youths, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection.

The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but they appeared to him in a dream and said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian PROLOGUE (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep for the second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they first fell asleep on August 4, and woke up on October 22.

There is a prayer of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in the GREAT BOOK OF NEEDS (Trebnik) for those who are ill and cannot sleep. The Seven Sleepers are also mentioned in the service for the Church New Year, September 1.


St Maximilian, one of the “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

St Maximilian, one of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, was the son of the city administrator, and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The young men were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited those who disobeyed. Denounced by those currying the emperor’s favor, the seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the saints confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius allowed them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The young men fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

Hearing that the emperor had returned and sought them to bring them to trial, St Maximilian exhorted his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave to be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the saints into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meanwhile, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had elapsed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, he was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop took out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the youths in the cave. Then the saints, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in a dream, the holy youths said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep a second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they fell asleep first on August 4, and woke up on October 22. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year, September 1.


St Iamblicus, one of the “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

St Iamblicus and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The young men were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited those who disobeyed. Denounced by those currying the emperor’s favor, the seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the saints confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius allowed them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The young men fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

Hearing that the emperor had returned and sought them to bring them to trial, St Maximilian exhorted his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave to be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the saints into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meanwhile, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had elapsed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, he was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop took out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the youths in the cave. Then the saints, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in a dream, the holy youths said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep a second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they fell asleep first on August 4, and woke up on October 22. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year, September 1.


St Martinian, one of the “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

St Martinian and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The young men were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited those who disobeyed. Denounced by those currying the emperor’s favor, the seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the saints confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius allowed them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The young men fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

Hearing that the emperor had returned and sought them to bring them to trial, St Maximilian exhorted his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave to be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the saints into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meanwhile, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had elapsed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, he was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop took out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the youths in the cave. Then the saints, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in a dream, the holy youths said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep a second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they fell asleep first on August 4, and woke up on October 22. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year, September 1.


St John, one of the “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

St John and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The young men were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited those who disobeyed. Denounced by those currying the emperor’s favor, the seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the saints confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius allowed them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The young men fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

Hearing that the emperor had returned and sought them to bring them to trial, St Maximilian exhorted his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave to be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the saints into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meanwhile, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had elapsed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, he was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop took out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the youths in the cave. Then the saints, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in a dream, the holy youths said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep a second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they fell asleep first on August 4, and woke up on October 22. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year, September 1.


St Dionysius, one of the “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

St Dionysius and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The young men were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited those who disobeyed. Denounced by those currying the emperor’s favor, the seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the saints confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius allowed them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The young men fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

Hearing that the emperor had returned and sought them to bring them to trial, St Maximilian exhorted his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave to be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the saints into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meanwhile, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had elapsed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, he was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop took out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the youths in the cave. Then the saints, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in a dream, the holy youths said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep a second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they fell asleep first on August 4, and woke up on October 22. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year, September 1.


St Exacustodian, one of the “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus, (Constantine)

St Exacustodian (Constantine) and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The young men were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited those who disobeyed. Denounced by those currying the emperor’s favor, the seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the saints confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius allowed them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The young men fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

Hearing that the emperor had returned and sought them to bring them to trial, St Maximilian exhorted his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave to be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the saints into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meanwhile, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had elapsed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, he was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop took out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the youths in the cave. Then the saints, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in a dream, the holy youths said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep a second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they fell asleep first on August 4, and woke up on October 22. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year, September 1.


St Antonius, one of the “Seven Sleepers” of Ephesus

St Antoninus and the other six youths were sons of illustrious citizens of Ephesus. The young men were friends from childhood, and all were in military service together.

When the emperor Decius (249-251) arrived in Ephesus, he commanded all the citizens to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Torture and death awaited those who disobeyed. Denounced by those currying the emperor’s favor, the seven youths of Ephesus were summoned to reply to the charges. Appearing before the emperor, the saints confessed their faith in Christ.

Their military belts and insignia were quickly taken from them. Decius allowed them to go free, however, hoping that they would change their minds while he was off on a military campaign. The young men fled from the city and hid in a cave on Mount Ochlon, where they passed their time in prayer, preparing for martyrdom.

Hearing that the emperor had returned and sought them to bring them to trial, St Maximilian exhorted his companions to come out of the cave and present themselves for trial.

Learning where the young men were hidden, the emperor ordered that the entrance of the cave to be sealed with stones so that the saints would perish from hunger and thirst. Two of the dignitaries at the blocked entrance to the cave were secret Christians. Desiring to preserve the memory of the saints, they placed in the cave a sealed container containing two metal plaques. On them were inscribed the names of the seven youths and the details of their suffering and death.

The Lord placed the saints into a miraculous sleep lasting almost two centuries. In the meanwhile, the persecutions against Christians had ceased. During the reign of the holy emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) there were heretics who denied the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of them said, “How can there be a resurrection of the dead when there will be neither soul nor body, since they are disintegrated?” Others affirmed, “The souls alone will have a restoration, since it would be impossible for bodies to arise and live after a thousand years, when even their dust would not remain.” Therefore, the Lord revealed the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead and of the future life through His seven saints.

The owner of the land on which Mount Ochlon was situated, discovered the stone construction, and his workers opened up the entrance to the cave. The Lord had kept the youths alive, and they awoke from their sleep, unaware that almost two hundred years had elapsed. Their bodies and clothing were completely undecayed.

Preparing to accept torture, the youths once again asked St Iamblicus to buy bread for them in the city. Going toward the city, he was astonished to see a cross on the gates. Hearing the name of Jesus Christ freely spoken, he began to doubt that he was approaching his own city.

When he paid for the bread, Iamblicus gave the merchant coins with the image of the emperor Decius on it. He was detained as someone who might be concealing a horde of old money. They took St Iamblicus to the city administrator, who also happened to be the Bishop of Ephesus. Hearing the bewildering answers of the youth, the bishop perceived that God was revealing some sort of mystery through him, and went with other people to the cave.

At the entrance to the cave the bishop took out the sealed container and opened it. He read upon the metal plaques the names of the seven youths and the details of the sealing of the cave on the orders of the emperor Decius. Going into the cave and seeing the youths alive, everyone rejoiced and perceived that the Lord, by waking them from their long sleep, was disclosing to the Church the mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Soon the emperor himself arrived in Ephesus and spoke with the youths in the cave. Then the saints, in sight of everyone, lay their heads upon the ground and fell asleep again, this time until the General Resurrection. The emperor wanted to place each of the youths into a jeweled coffin, but appearing to him in a dream, the holy youths said that their bodies were to be left upon the ground in the cave. In the twelfth century the Russian pilgrim Igumen Daniel saw the holy relics of the seven youths in the cave.

There is a second commemoration of the seven youths on October 22. According to one tradition, which entered into the Russian Prologue (of Saints’ Lives), the youths fell asleep a second time on this day. The Greek MENAION of 1870 says that they fell asleep first on August 4, and woke up on October 22. The holy youths are mentioned also in the service of the Church New Year, September 1.


St Alexander the Bishop at Adrianopolis

The Martyrs Alexander the Bishop, Heraclius the Soldier, and Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria at Adrianopolis were killed during the third century at Adrianopolis for their confession of Christ. This century is noted as a time of the spread of Christianity among the pagans. Despite the persecutions against the Christians, Bishop Alexander fearlessly converted and baptized many pagans into the holy saving faith.

The governor of the region where the saint lived, ordered his soldiers to use torture to force Bishop Alexander to deny Christ. The saint patiently endured terrible tortures. Struck by this, the soldier Heraclius believed in Christ, for Whom the saint suffered. And after him, the Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria confessed themselves to be Christians.


St Heraclius at Adrianopolis

The Martyrs Alexander the Bishop, Heraclius the Soldier, and Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria at Adrianopolis were killed during the third century at Adrianopolis for their confession of Christ. This century is noted as a time of the spread of Christianity among the pagans. Despite the persecutions against the Christians, Bishop Alexander fearlessly converted and baptized many pagans into the holy saving faith.

The governor of the region where the saint lived, ordered his soldiers to use torture to force Bishop Alexander to deny Christ. The saint patiently endured terrible tortures. Struck by this, the soldier Heraclius believed in Christ, for Whom the saint suffered. And after him, the Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria confessed themselves to be Christians.


St Anna at Adrianopolis

Saint Anna was killed at Adrianopolis during the third century with the martyrs Alexander the Bishop, Heraclius the Soldier, Anna, Theodota, Elizabeth, and Glyceria for their confession of Christ. This was a time when Christianity spread among the pagans. Despite the persecutions against the Christians, Bishop Alexander fearlessly converted and baptized many pagans into the holy saving faith.

The governor of the region ordered his soldiers to use torture to force Bishop Alexander to deny Christ. The saint patiently endured terrible tortures. Struck by this, the soldier Heraclius believed in Christ, for Whom the saint suffered. And after him, the Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria confessed themselves to be Christians.


St Elizabeth at Adrianopolis

Saint Elizabeth was killed at Adrianopolis during the third century with the martyrs Alexander the Bishop, Heraclius the Soldier, Anna, Theodota, and Glyceria for their confession of Christ. This was a time when Christianity spread among the pagans. Despite the persecutions against the Christians, Bishop Alexander fearlessly converted and baptized many pagans into the holy saving faith.

The governor of the region ordered his soldiers to use torture to force Bishop Alexander to deny Christ. The saint patiently endured terrible tortures. Struck by this, the soldier Heraclius believed in Christ, for Whom the saint suffered. And after him, the Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria confessed themselves to be Christians.


St Theodota at Adrianopolis

Saint Theodota was killed at Adrianopolis during the third century with the martyrs Alexander the Bishop, Heraclius the Soldier, Anna, Elizabeth, and Glyceria for their confession of Christ. This was a time when Christianity spread among the pagans. Despite the persecutions against the Christians, Bishop Alexander fearlessly converted and baptized many pagans into the holy saving faith.

The governor of the region ordered his soldiers to use torture to force Bishop Alexander to deny Christ. The saint patiently endured terrible tortures. Struck by this, the soldier Heraclius believed in Christ, for Whom the saint suffered. And after him, the Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria confessed themselves to be Christians.


St Glyceria at Adrianopolis

Saint Glyceria was killed at Adrianopolis during the third century with the martyrs Alexander the Bishop, Heraclius the Soldier, Anna, Elizabeth, and Theodota for their confession of Christ. This was a time when Christianity spread among the pagans. Despite the persecutions against the Christians, Bishop Alexander fearlessly converted and baptized many pagans into the holy saving faith.

The governor of the region ordered his soldiers to use torture to force Bishop Alexander to deny Christ. The saint patiently endured terrible tortures. Struck by this, the soldier Heraclius believed in Christ, for Whom the saint suffered. And after him, the Women Martyrs Anna, Elizabeth, Theodota and Glyceria confessed themselves to be Christians.


Commemoration of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and the deliverance from the Poles

The Commemoration of the Deliverance of Moscow From the Poles by the Kazan Icon was established in gratitude for the deliverance of Moscow and all Russia from the incursion of the Polish in 1612. The end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries is known in Russian history as “the Time of Troubles.” The country suffered the onslaught of Polish armies, which scoffed at the Orthodox Faith, plundering and burning churches, cities and villages. Through deceit they succeeded in taking Moscow. In response to the appeal of His Holiness Patriarch Hermogenes (May 12), the Russian people rose up in defense of its native land. From Kazan, the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God was sent to the army headed by Prince Demetrius Pozharsky.

St Demetrius of Rostov (September 21), in his Discourse on the Day of Appearance of the Icon of the Mother of God at Kazan (July 8), said:

“The Mother of God delivered from misfortune and woe not only the righteous, but also sinners, but which sinners? those who turn themselves to the Heavenly Father like the Prodigal Son, they make lamentation beating their bosom, like the Publican, they weep at the feet of Christ, like the Sinful Woman washing His feet with her tears, and they offer forth confession of Him, like the Thief upon the Cross. It is such sinners whom the All-Pure Mother of God heeds and hastens to aid, delivering them from great misfortunes and woe.”

Knowing that they suffered such misfortunes for their sins, the whole nation and the militia imposed upon themselves a three-day fast. With prayer, they turned to the Lord and His All-Pure Mother for help. The prayer was heard. St Sergius of Radonezh appeared to St Arsenius (afterwards Bishop of Suzdal) and said that if Moscow were to be saved, then people must pray to the Most Holy Virgin. Emboldened by the news, Russian forces on October 22, 1612 liberated Moscow from the Polish usurpers. A celebration in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was established in 1649. Even in own day this icon is especially revered by the Russian Orthodox nation.

The Kazan Icon is also commemorated on July 8.


Icon of the Mother of God of Andronicus

The Andronicus Icon of the Mother of God was a family icon of the Byzantine emperor Andronicus III. In 1347 he gave the icon to the Monemvasia monastery at Morea in the Peloponnesos. From here the image was sent to Russia in 1839. In 1877 the holy icon was placed in a temple of the Kazan women’s monastery near Vyshnii Volochek. Other Feast days of this icon are May 1 and July 8.


St Paul of Rostov

Saints Paul and Theodore of Rostov founded a monastery at the River Ust, not far from Rostov, in honor of the holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb (May 2). St Theodore (November 28) first came to the site of the future monastery from the Novgorod region. St Paul came three years later for ascetic struggles.

St Sergius of Radonezh (September 25 and July 5) came to Rostov, his native region, in 1363. Learning of this, Sts Theodore and Paul went to the great ascetic for spiritual counsel. St Sergius visited their wilderness monastery and blessed them to build a church there named for the holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb. Already during the construction of this first church, monks began gathering around the ascetics. The igumen, St Theodore, joyfully accepted all who came. Soon a second temple was built in honor of the Annunciation of the Theotokos.

Setting the Borisoglebsk monastery in order, St Theodore entrusted its direction to St Paul. Then he himself took several disciples and withdrew into the Vologda forest. Here at White Lake, near to the confluence of the River Kouzha into it, he founded a monastery and lived an ascetic life for several years. He built a church dedicated to St Nicholas, set the monastery in order, and appointed an igumen for it.

After receiving a revelation about his impending death, he returned to the Boris and Gleb monastery, where he died on October 22, 1409. St Paul directed the two monasteries for a certain time, then he also died at the Monastery of Sts Boris and Gleb.


St Theodore of Rostov

Saints Theodore and Paul of Rostov founded a monastery at the River Ust, not far from Rostov, in honor of the holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb (May 2). St Theodore (November 28) first came to the site of the future monastery from the Novgorod region. St Paul came three years later for ascetic struggles.

St Sergius of Radonezh (September 25 and July 5) came to Rostov, his native region, in 1363. Learning of this, Sts Theodore and Paul came to the great ascetic for spiritual counsel. St Sergius visited their wilderness monastery and blessed them to build a church there named for the holy Passion-Bearers Boris and Gleb. Already during the construction of this first church, monks began gathering around the ascetics. The igumen, St Theodore, joyfully accepted all who came. Soon a second temple was built in honor of the Annunciation of the Theotokos.

Setting the Borisoglebsk monastery in order, St Theodore entrusted its direction to St Paul. Then he himself took several disciples and withdrew into the Vologda forest. Here at White Lake, near to the confluence of the River Kouzha into it, he founded a monastery and lived an ascetic life for several years. He built a church dedicated to St Nicholas, set the monastery in order, and appointed an igumen for it.

Having received a revelation about his impending death, he returned to the Boris and Gleb monastery, where he died on October 22, 1409. St Paul directed the two monasteries for a certain while, then he also died at the Monastery of Sts Boris and Gleb.