Lives of all saints commemorated on November 7


33 Holy Martyrs of Melitene

The Holy Martyr Hieron of Melitene and Those with him The holy martyr Hieron was born in the city of Tiana in great Cappadocia. Raised by a pious mother, he was a kindly and good Christian.

The co-ruling emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (284-305)sent a large military detachment headed by Lysias to Cappadocia to eradicate Christianity there, and also to conscript healthy and strong men into the imperial army. Among those pressed into service, Lysias also ordered his men to draft Hieron, who was distinguished by his great physical strength and dexterity. But Hieron refused to serve emperors who persecuted Christians. When they attempted to seize him by force and bring him to Lysias, he took a stick and started beating the soldiers who had been sent to bring him. The soldiers scattered, ashamed of being defeated by a single man. Hieron then hid himself in a cave with eighteen other Christians. Lysias would not risk losing his soldiers by storming the cave.

Upon the advice of Cyriacus, one of Hieron’s friends, Lysias lifted the siege of the cave and withdrew his detachment. Then Cyriacus persuaded Hieron not to offer resistance to the authorities. He and the other new conscripts and accompanying soldiers were sent to the nearby city of Melitene.

Soon Hieron had a vision in his sleep, in which his impending martyrdom was foretold. Lysias told the soldiers gathered at Melitene to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Hieron and another thirty-two soldiers refused to do this, and openly confessed their faith in Christ. Then the persecutor gave orders to beat the martyrs, and to cut off Hieron’s arm at the elbow. After cruel tortures they threw the martyrs into prison barely alive, and they beheaded them four days later.

A certain rich and illustrious Christian by the name of Chrysanthus ransomed Hieron’s head from Lysias. When the persecutions finally ceased, he built a church on the place where they executed the holy martyrs, and he placed the venerable head in it. The bodies of all the executed saints were secretly buried by Christians. In reign of the emperor Justinian, during the construction of the church of Hagia Eirene (Holy Peace), the venerable relics were uncovered and found incorrupt.

The other martyrs are: Hesychius, Nicander, Athanasius, Mamas, Barachius, Callinicus, Theogenes, Nikon, Longinus, Theodore, Valerius, Xanthius, Theodoulus, Callimachus, Eugene, Theodochus, Ostrychius, Epiphanius, Maximian, Ducitius, Claudian, Theophilus, Gigantius, Dorotheus, Theodotus, Castrichius, Anicletus, Themelius, Eutychius, Hilarion, Diodotus and Amonitus.


Martyr Hieron of Melitene

The Holy Martyr Hieron of Melitene and Those with him The holy martyr Hieron was born in the city of Tiana in great Cappadocia. Raised by a pious mother, he was a kindly and good Christian.

The co-ruling emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (284-305)sent a large military detachment headed by Lysias to Cappadocia to eradicate Christianity there, and also to conscript healthy and strong men into the imperial army. Among those pressed into service, Lysias also ordered his men to draft Hieron, who was distinguished by his great physical strength and dexterity. But Hieron refused to serve emperors who persecuted Christians. When they attempted to seize him by force and bring him to Lysias, he took a stick and started beating the soldiers who had been sent to bring him. The soldiers scattered, ashamed of being defeated by a single man. Hieron then hid himself in a cave with eighteen other Christians. Lysias would not risk losing his soldiers by storming the cave.

Upon the advice of Cyriacus, one of Hieron’s friends, Lysias lifted the siege of the cave and withdrew his detachment. Then Cyriacus persuaded Hieron not to offer resistance to the authorities. He and the other new conscripts and accompanying soldiers were sent to the nearby city of Melitene.

Soon Hieron had a vision in his sleep, in which his impending martyrdom was foretold. Lysias told the soldiers gathered at Melitene to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Hieron and another thirty-two soldiers refused to do this, and openly confessed their faith in Christ. Then the persecutor gave orders to beat the martyrs, and to cut off Hieron’s arm at the elbow. After cruel tortures they threw the martyrs into prison barely alive, and they beheaded them four days later.

A certain rich and illustrious Christian by the name of Chrysanthus ransomed Hieron’s head from Lysias. When the persecutions finally ceased, he built a church on the place where they executed the holy martyrs, and he placed the venerable head in it. The bodies of all the executed saints were secretly buried by Christians. In reign of the emperor Justinian, during the construction of the church of Hagia Eirene (Holy Peace), the venerable relics were uncovered and found incorrupt.

The other martyrs are: Hesychius, Nicander, Athanasius, Mamas, Barachius, Callinicus, Theogenes, Nikon, Longinus, Theodore, Valerius, Xanthius, Theodoulus, Callimachus, Eugene, Theodochus, Ostrychius, Epiphanius, Maximian, Ducitius, Claudian, Theophilus, Gigantius, Dorotheus, Theodotus, Castrichius, Anicletus, Themelius, Eutychius, Hilarion, Diodotus and Amonitus.


Martyr Hesychius of Melitene

Saint Hesychius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Nicander of Melitene

Saint Nicander was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Athanasius of Melitene

Saint Athanasius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Mamas of Melitene

Saint Mamas was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Barachius of Melitene

Saint Barachius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Callinicus of Melitene

Saint Callinicus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Theogenes of Melitene

Saint Theogenes was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Icon of the Mother of God of Melitene

No information available at this time.


Martyr Longinus of Melitene

Saint Longinus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Theodore of Melitene

Saint Theodore was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Valerius of Melitene

Saint Valerius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Xanthius of Melitene

Saint Xanthius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Theodoulus of Melitene

Saint Theodoulus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Callimachus of Melitene

Saint Callimachus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Eugene of Melitene

Saint Eugene was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Theodochus of Melitene

Saint Theodochus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Ostrychius of Melitene

Saint Ostrychius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Epiphanius of Melitene

Saint Epiphanius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Maximian of Melitene

Saint Maximian was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Ducitius of Melitene

Saint Ducitius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Claudian of Melitene

Saint Claudian was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Theophilus of Melitene

Saint Theophilus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Gigantius of Melitene

Saint Gigantius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Dorotheus of Melitene

Saint Dorotheus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Theodotus of Melitene

Saint Theodotus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Castrychius of Melitene

Saint Castrychius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Anicletus of Melitene

Saint Anicletus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Theomelius of Melitene

Saint Theomelius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Eutychius of Melitene

Saint Eutychius was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Hilarion of Melitene

Saint Hilarion was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Diodotus of Melitene

Saint Diodotus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Martyr Amonitus of Melitene

Saint Amonitus was one of the thirty-two soldiers beheaded with St Hieron of Melitene.


Venerable Lazarus the Wonderworker of Mt. Galesius Near Ephesus

Saint Lazarus the Wonderworker of Mt Galesius near Ephesus was born in Lydia, in the city of Magnesium. An educated young man who loved God, Lazarus became a monk at the monastery of St Sava, the founder of great ascetic piety in Palestine. He spent ten years within the walls of the monastery, winning the love and respect of the brethren for his intense monastic struggles.

Ordained to the holy priesthood by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, St Lazarus returned to his native country and settled near Ephesus, on desolate Mount Galesius. Here he saw a wondrous vision: a fiery pillar, rising up to the heavens, was encircled by angels singing, “Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.”

On the place where the saint beheld this vision, he built a church in honor of the Resurrection of Christ and took upon himself the feat of pillar-dwelling. Monks soon began to flock to the great ascetic, thirsting for spiritual nourishment by the divinely-inspired words and blessed example of the saint, and a monastery was established there.

Having received a revelation about the day of his death, the saint told the brethren. Through the tearful prayers of all the monks, the Lord prolonged the earthly life of St Lazarus for another fifteen years.

St Lazarus died at 72 years of age, in the year 1053. The brethren buried the body of the saint at the pillar upon which he had struggled in asceticism. He was glorified by many miracles after his death.

St Lazarus is also commemorated on July 17.


Venerable Zosimas the Abbot of Vorbozomsk

No information available at this time.


Finding of the relics of the Venerable Cyril the Abbot of Novoezersk, Vologda

Saint Cyril of New Lake was born into a pious family. The Lord marked him as one of the chosen even before he was born. Cyril’s mother was praying in church during the Divine Liturgy, and the infant in her womb cried out, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth!”

From his childhood the saint was fond of solitude and prayer, and he dreamt of monastic life. At fifteen years of age Cyril secretly left his parental home, intending to enter the Pskov Caves monastery. He did not know the way to the monastery, and took nothing from home for the journey. He went his way, putting all his trust in the Lord and His All-Pure Mother. Twenty versts from the city the youth met a magnificent monastic Elder, who led him to the monastery. As he left, he blessed him with the words, “May God bless you, my child, and grant you the angelic schema, and may you be a chosen vessel of the Divine Spirit.” Having said this, the Elder became invisible. The boy realized that this had been a messenger from God, and he gave thanks to the Lord.

The igumen St Cornelius (February 20) saw with his clairvoyant eye the grace manifest in the young man. He provided him with much guidance and tonsured him into the monastic schema with the name Cyril. The fifteen-year-old monk astonished the brethren with his efforts. He emaciated the flesh through fasting and prayer, and zealously fulfilled obediences. Day and night he was ready to study the Word of God. Even then he thought to end his days in solitude in the wilderness.

The boy’s parents mourned him as one dead, but once an Elder of the monastery of St Cornelius came to them and told them about their son and his life at the monastery. The joyful news confirmed in Cyril’s mother her love for God. She spoke with her husband about leaving to the monastery her portion of the inheritance, then left the world and became a nun with the name Elena (Helen). She died in peace a short time later.

The saint’s father came to the monastery, and Igumen Cornelius told Cyril to meet with him. The saint was troubled, but not daring to disobey the igumen, he fell down at his father’s feet, imploring forgiveness for secretly leaving home. The father forgave his son, and he himself remained at the monastery. St Cornelius tonsured him into monasticism with the name Barsanuphius, and gave him to his son for instruction.

Three years later, he peacefully fell asleep in the Lord. His son continued to toil more fervently for the Lord, disdaining his own will, and in was obedient not only to the igumen, but also to the brethren. He thirsted to go about all the Russian land, venerating its holy shrines and to find for himself a wilderness place for a life of silence.

With the blessing of St Cornelius, St Cyril left the monastery in which he had grown strong spiritually, and he went to the coastal regions, roaming through the forests and the wild places, eating tree roots and berries. The saint spent about twenty years in this difficult exploit of wanderer, and he went to the outskirts of Moscow, Novgorod and Pskov, but he never entered any house nor did he accept alms. He wandered about during the day, and spent his nights at prayer on church porches, and he attended the church services.

Once while at prayer, St Cyril saw a heavenly light indicating the direction where he should found a monastery. He set off on his way at once, and having reached the Tikhvin monastery, he spent three days and three nights there in ceaseless prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos. The Mother of God appeared to him in a dream. Showing Her approval of him, She said, “My servant Cyril, pleaser of the Most Holy Trinity, go to the Eastern region of White Lake, and the Lord My Son will show you the place of rest for your old age.”

The saint proceeded to White Lake, weeping copious tears at the miraculous vision. On the lake he saw a small island, from which a pillar of fire rose up to the sky. There, beneath a centuries old spruce tree, St Cyril built a hut, and then set up two cells: one for himself, the other for future brethren. The hermit also constructed two small churches, one in honor of the Resurrection of Christ and the other in honor of the Mother of God Hodigitria. He underwent many temptations from invisible enemies, and from idlers roving about, but he overcame everything by brave endurance and constant prayer. News of his holy life spread everywhere, and brethren gathered around him.

There were many instances of healing through his prayers, and the Lord also granted His saint the gift of foresight. Sensing his impending end, St Cyril summoned the brethren. With tears of humility the saint instructed his spiritual children one last time, until his voice gave out. For a long time then he was silent, but suddenly he cried out with loud sobbing, “I go to the Lord into life eternal, but I entrust you to God the Word and His Grace, bestowing an inheritance and sanctification upon all. May it help you. But I beseech you, do not become lax in fasting and prayers, guard yourself from the snares of the Enemy, and the Lord in His ineffable mercy will not condemn your humility.”

Having said this, the saint gave a final kiss to the brethren, received the Holy Mysteries, signed himself with the Sign of the Cross, and with the words “Glory to God for everything!” he gave up his pure soul to the Lord on February 4, 1532.


Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra

No information available at this time.


Martyr Melasippus with his wife and son at Ancyra

The Martyrs Melasippus and Karina and their son Antoninus, and 40 children converted by their martyrdom at Ancyra suffered during the reign of the emperor Julian the Apostate in the city of Ancyra in Phrygia in the year 363. The holy Martyrs Melasippus and Karina, lacerated by iron hooks and exhausted, died under torture.

Their son Antoninus, whom the persecutor forced to watch the torture of his parents, spat in the face of the apostate emperor. For this he was subjected to cruel tortures, but he remained unharmed, and then he was beheaded. Forty other youths, seeing that the Lord had preserved His confessor Antoninus unharmed by tortures, believed in Christ, and they openly confessed their faith and endured martyrdom..


Martyr Karina with her husband and son at Ancyra

The Martyrs Karina and her husband Melasippus suffered during the reign of the emperor Julian the Apostate in the city of Ancyra in Phrygia in the year 363. They were lacerated by iron hooks and died under torture.


Martyr Antoninus with his parents at Ancyra

Saint Antoninus was the son of Sts Melasippus and Karina. When the persecutor forced him to watch the torture of his parents, he spat in the face of the apostate emperor. For this he was subjected to cruel tortures, but he remained unharmed, and then he was beheaded.


40 Martyred Children converted by the Martyrdom of Melasippus, Karina and Antoninus, at Ancyra

Forty holy children were converted by the martyrdom of Sts Melasippus, Karina and their son Antoninus at Ancyra in Phrygia in the year 363 during the reign of the emperor Julian the Apostate.

The forty youths, seeing that the Lord had preserved St Antoninus unharmed by tortures, believed in Christ, confessed their faith and endured martyrdom.


Martyr Auctus at Amphipolis in Macedonia

Saints Auctus suffered martyrdom with Sts Taurion and Thessalonica, the daughter of a pagan priest. When the impious father learned that his daughter had become a Christian, he ruthlessly beat her and threw her out of the house, with no means of providing for herself. Sts Auctus and Taurion attempted to intercede for the girl, and to reason with the embittered father. The pagan priest denounced them both to the authorities, and they were arrested.

After confessing their faith in Christ before the torturers and undergoing cruel torments, the saints were then beheaded. Soon after their martyric death, St Thessalonica also died. Her body was reverently buried in the city of Amphypolis in Macedonia, together with the holy Martyrs Auctus and Taurion.


Martyr Taurion at Amphipolis in Macedonia

Saints Taurion and Auctus suffered martyrdom with Thessalonica, the daughter of a pagan priest Cleon. When the impious father learned that his daughter had become a Christian, he ruthlessly beat her and threw her out of the house, with no means of providing for herself. Sts Auctus and Taurion attempted to intercede for the girl, and to reason with the embittered father. Cleon denounced them both to the authorities, and they were arrested.

After confessing their faith in Christ before the torturers and undergoing cruel torments, the saints were then beheaded. Soon after their martyric death, St Thessalonica also died. Her body was reverently buried in the city of Amphypolis in Macedonia, together with the holy Martyrs Auctus and Taurion.


Martyr Thessalonica at Amphipolis in Macedonia

Saint Thessalonica was the daughter of the pagan priest Cleon. When the impious father learned that his daughter had become a Christian, he ruthlessly beat her and threw her out of the house, with no means of providing for herself. Sts Auctus and Taurion attempted to intercede for the girl, and to reason with the embittered father. Cleon denounced them both to the authorities, and they were arrested.

After confessing their faith in Christ before the torturers and undergoing cruel torments, the saints were then beheaded. Soon after their martyric death, St Thessalonica also died. Her body was reverently buried in the city of Amphypolis in Macedonia, together with the holy Martyrs Auctus and Taurion.


Icon of the Mother of God “the Joyful”

The “Joyful” (Vzigranie) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos appeared near Moscow on November 7, 1795 . Nothing is known of the history of the icon, except that many miracles have taken place before it.

Icons of this name are found in the Novodevichy Monastery in Moscow, and in the Vatopedi Monastery on Mt Athos. In appearance, the “Joyful” Icon resembles the “Pelagonitissa” Icon, a variant of the Glykophylousa (“Sweet-Kissing”) or Eleousa type.

The Icon is sometimes called “Child Leaping for Joy.”


St Theodotus of Ancyra

Saint Theodotus was an innkeeper. When seven virgins who lived near Corinth were drowned in a lake, he buried their bodies under the cover of night. For this reason, he was tortured and beheaded.