Lives of all saints commemorated on October 30


Hieromartyr Zenobius of Aegae in Cilicia

The Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr’s death in the year 285 in Cilicia. From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian Faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their inherited wealth giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.

As bishop, St Zenobius zealously spread the Christian Faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobius was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius. “I shall only speak briefly with you,” said Licius to the saint, “for I propose to grant you life if you worship our gods, or death, if you do not.” The saint answered, “This present life without Christ is death. It is better that I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him for the sake of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in Hades.”

By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The bishop’s sister, seeing him suffering, wanted to stop it. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ before the governor, therefore, she also was tortured.

By the power of the Lord they remained alive after being placed on a red-hot iron bed, and then in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. The priest Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs in a single grave.

St Zenobius is invoked by those suffering from breast cancer.


Martyr Zenobia of Aegae in Cilicia

The Hieromartyr Zenobius, Bishop of Aegea, and his sister Zenobia suffered a martyr’s death in the year 285 in Cilicia. From childhood they were raised in the holy Christian Faith by their parents, and they led pious and chaste lives. In their mature years, shunning the love of money, they distributed away their inherited wealth giving it to the poor. For his beneficence and holy life the Lord rewarded Zenobius with the gift of healing various maladies. He was also chosen bishop of a Christian community in Cilicia.

As bishop, St Zenobius zealously spread the Christian Faith among the pagans. When the emperor Diocletian (284-305) began a persecution against Christians, Bishop Zenobius was the first one arrested and brought to trial to the governor Licius. “I shall only speak briefly with you,” said Licius to the saint, “for I propose to grant you life if you worship our gods, or death, if you do not.” The saint answered, “This present life without Christ is death. It is better that I prepare to endure the present torment for my Creator, and then with Him live eternally, than to renounce Him for the sake of the present life, and then be tormented eternally in Hades.”

By order of Licius, they nailed him to a cross and began the torture. The bishop’s sister, seeing him suffering, wanted to stop it. She bravely confessed her own faith in Christ before the governor, therefore, she also was tortured.

By the power of the Lord they remained alive after being placed on a red-hot iron bed, and then in a boiling kettle. The saints were then beheaded. The priest Hermogenes secretly buried the bodies of the martyrs in a single grave.

St Zenobius is invoked by those suffering from breast cancer.


Apostle Tertius of the Seventy

St Tertius was the second bishop (after St Sosipater) in Iconium, where he converted many pagans to Christ, and ended his life as a martyr. The Apostle Paul mentions him in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:22).


Apostle Mark of the Seventy

Saint Mark, also called John, (Acts 12:12), was a nephew of St Barnabas, and was Bishop of Apollonia (Col. 4:10). It was in the house of his mother Maria that the persecuted disciples found shelter after the Ascension of the Lord.


Apostle Justus of the Seventy

St Justus, called Barsaba, a son of St Joseph the Betrothed, was chosen with Matthias to replace Judas. He was a bishop and died a martyr’s death at Eleutheropolis.


Apostle Artemas of the Seventy

St Artemas was bishop of Lystra, Lycia. He died in peace.


Hieromartyr Marcian the Bishop of Syracuse

The Holy Hieromartyr Marcian, Bishop of Syracuse, a disciple of the Apostle Peter, was sent to Sicily. Here he settled in a cave near the city of Syracuse and successfully spread the faith in Christ. He died a martyr. His relics are in the Italian city of Gaeta. (The Hieromartyr Marcian is the same person as St Marcellus, Bishop of Sicily, commemorated on February 9).


Martyr Eutropia of Alexandria

The Martyr Eutropia suffered for Christ in Alexandria in about the year 250. Often visiting Christians locked up in prison, she encouraged them to endure suffering with patience. For this, the saint was arrested. At her trial she firmly confessed her faith in Christ. As she was being burned with candles, a man appeared beside her and soothed her sufferings. He bedewed her so that she did not feel the heat of the flames. She died after these grievous tortures.


Martyr Anastasia of Thessalonica

Saint Anastasia lived in the second half of the third century during the persecutions of Decius, Gallus, Valerian, and Diocletian. She was executed in Rome between 256-259 after enduring many tortures.


St Stephen Miliutin of Serbia

Saint Stephen was the younger son of King Stephen Urosh I, and grandson of First-Crowned King St Stephen (September 24). He ruled Serbia from 1275 to 1320. Stephen Milutin received the throne from his elder brother Dragutin, a true Christian, who after a short reign transferred power over to his brother, and he himself in loving solitude withdrew to Srem, where he secretly lived as an ascetic in a grave, which he dug with his own hands. During his righteous life, St Dragutin toiled much over converting the Bogomil heretics to the true Faith. His death occurred on March 2, 1316.

St Stephen Milutin, after he became king, bravely defended, by both word and by deed, the Orthodox Serbs and other Orthodox peoples from their enemies. St Stephen did not forget to thank the Lord for His beneficence. He built more than forty churches, and also many monasteries and hostels for travelers. The saint particularly concerned himself with the Athonite monasteries.

When the Serbian kingdom fell, the monasteries remained centers of national culture and Orthodoxy for the Serbian nation. St Stephen died on October 29, 1320 and was buried at the Bansk monastery. After two years his incorrupt relics were uncovered.


Venerable Dragutin (Theoctistus in Monasticism) of Serbia

Saint Dragutin was the brother of St Stephen Milutin, the son of King Stephen Urosh I, and the grandson of First-Crowned King St Stephen (September 24). Dragutin, a true Christian, after a short reign, abdicated in favor of his brother Stephen. He withdrew to Srem, secretly living as an ascetic in a grave which he dug with his own hands. During his righteous life, St Dragutin toiled much over converting the Bogomil heretics to the true Faith. He surrendered his soul to God on March 2, 1316.


St Helen of Serbia

Saint Helen, a pious mother to her sons Stephen Milutin and Dragutin, devoted her whole life to pious deeds after the death of her husband. She built a shelter for the poor, and a monastery for those who wished to live in purity and virginity. Near the city of Spich, she built the Rechesk monastery and endowed it with the necessities.

Before her death, St Helen received monastic tonsure and departed to the Lord on February 8, 1306.


Icon of the Mother of God of Ozerianka

The Ozeryanka Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is from an area near Kharkov, and is of the Hodigitria type.


St Jotham Zedgenidze

In 1446 George VIII was crowned ruler of a united Georgian kingdom. Filled with every virtue, the valiant warrior and God-fearing king dedicated the twenty years of his reign to a ceaseless struggle for the reunification of his country. He was constantly warding off foreign invaders, surmounting internal strife, and suffering the betrayal of his fellow countrymen.

One of the separatists was the ruler of Samtskhe, the atabeg Qvarqvare Jakeli II (1451-1498). In 1465 King George led his troops toward southern Georgia to attack the rebellious atabeg.

Near Lake Paravani the traitors dispatched assassins to the king’s camp.

Among those who served in the royal court was a certain Jotham Zedgenidze, a man deeply devoted to his king. He heard about the dreadful conspiracy and warned the king, but the noble and fearless George did not believe that such a loathsome betrayal could ever take place.

Desperate to convince the king of the very real and imminent danger, the devoted Jotham told him, “Allow me to spend this night in your bed and prove the truth of my words!”

Certain that his beloved courtier was mistaken and that his unmeasured love and dedication were the reasons for his suspicions, King George permitted him to spend the night in the royal bed.

The next morning King George entered his tent and found his beloved Jotham lying in a pool of blood. Immediately he began weeping bitterly over his error. He arrested and executed the conspirators and buried his faithful servant with great honor.

The Georgian Church numbers Jotham Zedgenidze among the saints for his devotion to God’s anointed king.