Lives of all saints commemorated on December 2


Prophet Habakkuk

The Holy Prophet Habakkuk, the eighth of the Twelve Minor Prophets, was descended from the Tribe of Simeon, and he prophesied around 650 B.C.

The Prophet Habakkuk foresaw the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Babylonian Captivity and the later return of the captives to their native land. During the war with the Babylonians the prophet withdrew to Arabia, where the following miracle occurred. When he was bringing dinner to the reapers, he met an angel of the Lord, and instantly by the strength of his spirit he was transported to Babylon, where at the time the Prophet Daniel was languishing in prison. The food intended for the reapers assuaged the hunger of the exhausted Prophet Daniel (Dan. 14:33-37).

After the end of the war with the Babylonians, the Prophet Habakkuk returned to his homeland and died at a great old age. His relics were found at the time of Emperor Theodosius he Younger (408-450), together with the relics of the Prophet Micah (August 14).

The Fourth Ode of the Psalter (“O Lord, I have heard thy report, and was afraid...”) is based on Habakkuk 3:2-19.


Venerable Athanasius “the Resurrected One”, Recluse of the Kiev Near Caves

Saint Athanasius, hermit of the Near Caves of Kiev, was a contemporary of the archimandrite St Polycarp (July 24) of the Kiev Caves. St Athanasius was grievously ill for a long time. When he died, the brethren prepared him for burial, and on the third day the igumen came to bury him. However, they all saw the dead man alive. He was sitting up and weeping. To all their questions he replied only: “Seek salvation, obey the igumen in everything, repent each hour and pray to our Lord Jesus Christ, to His All-Pure Mother and to Sts Anthony and Theodosius, to allow you to end your life here. Do not ask me anything else, for I must pray” (There is a similar story of St Hesychius [October 3] in THE LADDER of St John Climacus, Step 6).

After this he lived for twelve years more in solitude in a cave. During that time he spoke not a word to anyone. He wept day and night, and partook of a little bread and water only every other day. Just before his death, he assembled the brethren, and repeated his earlier words to them, and then he peacefully departed unto the Lord (in about the year 1176).

The monk Babylas, who had suffered illness and an infirmity of the legs for many years, was healed at his relics. “As I lay there,” he told the brethren, “ I cried out in pain. Suddenly, St Athanasius appeared to me and said, ‘Come to me, and I shall heal you.’ I wanted to ask him how and when he had returned here, but he became invisible. I believed his words and asked to be taken to his relics. And indeed, I have been healed.” St Athanasius was buried in the Antoniev Cave. His memory is celebrated also on September 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.


Venerable Athanasius the Recluse of the Kiev Caves

Saint Athanasius, Recluse of the Far Caves of Kiev is mentioned in the Fourth Ode of the general Canon of the Monastic Fathers of the Far Caves. The “Sayings and Lives of the Saints Who Repose in the Cave of St Theodosius,” says that St Athanasius had no need of candles in the cave, since a heavenly light shone for him. He grants healing to all who approach him with faith.

The memory of St Athanasius is celebrated also on August 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.


Martyr Myrope of Chios

The Holy Martyr Myrope was born in the city of Ephesus at the beginning of the third century. She lost her father at an early age, and her mother raised her in the Christian Faith. St Myrope frequently visited the grave of the Martyr Hermione (September 4), daughter of the holy Apostle Philip, took myrrh from her relics, and healed the sick with it.

During the persecution by Decius (249-251), Myrope went with her mother to the island of Chios, where they spent their time in fasting and prayer. Once, by order of the cruel governor of the island, the soldier Isidore (May 14), a man of deep faith and great piety, was martyred. St Myrope secretly removed the body of the martyr and buried it. The soldiers, who had been ordered not to allow the Christians to take Isidore’s body, were sentenced to death.

St Myrope took pity on the condemned, and she told the soldiers and then the governor what she had done. At the trial she confessed herself a Christian. For this they gave her a fierce beating and then threw her in prison. At midnight, while she was praying, a light shone in the prison. St Isidore appeared surrounded by angels, and St Myrope surrendered her soul to God. The prison was immediately filled with a sweet fragrance. The pagan guard, trembling at the vision, told this to a priest. Later, he accepted Baptism and a martyric death for his confession of Christ.


St John of Egypt

Saint John lived in Egypt in the fourth century, and is mentioned in the Life of St Onuphrius.

After he had buried St Onuphrius, St Paphnutius came upon an oasis which impressed him with its beauty and abundance of fruit-bearing trees. Four youths inhabiting this place came to him from out of the wilderness. The youths told Abba Paphnutius that in their childhood they had lived in the city of Oxyrhynchus (Upper Thebaid) and they had studied together. They had burned with the desire to devote their lives to God. Making their plans to go off into the desert, the young men left the city and after several days’ journey, they reached this place.

A man radiant with heavenly glory met them and led them to a desert Elder. “We have lived here six years already,” said the youths. “Our Elder dwelt here one year and then he died. Now we live here alone, we eat the fruit of the trees, and we have water from a spring.” The youths gave him their names, they were Sts John, Andrew, Heraclemon and Theophilus (Dec. 2).

The youths struggled separately the whole week long, but on Saturday and Sunday they gathered at the oasis and offered up common prayer. On these days an angel would appear and commune them with the Holy Mysteries. This time however, for Abba Paphnutius’ sake, they did not go off into the desert, but spent the whole week together at prayer. On the following Saturday and Sunday St Paphnutius together with the youths was granted to receive the Holy Mysteries from the hands of the angel and to hear these words, “Receive the Imperishable Food, unending bliss and life eternal, the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, our God.”

St Paphnutius made bold to ask the angel for permission to remain in the desert to the end of his days. The angel replied that God had decreed another path for him. He was to return to Egypt and tell the Christians of the life of the desert-dwellers.

Having bid farewell to the youths, St Paphnutius reached the edge of the wilderness after a three day journey. Here he found a small skete, and the brethren received him with love. Abba Paphnutius related everything that he had learned about the holy Fathers whom he had encountered in the desert. The brethren wrote a detailed account of what St Paphnutius said, and deposited it in the church, where all who wished to do so could read it. St Paphnutius gave thanks to God, Who had granted him to learn about the exalted lives of the hermits of the Thebaid, and he returned to his own monastery.

Saint John is also commemorated on June 12 with St Onuphrius.


St Heraclemon of Egypt

Saint Heraclemon lived in Egypt in the fourth century, and is mentioned in the Life of St Onuphrius.

After he had buried St Onuphrius, St Paphnutius came upon an oasis which impressed him with its beauty and abundance of fruit-bearing trees. Four youths inhabiting this place came to him from out of the wilderness. The youths told Abba Paphnutius that in their childhood they had lived in the city of Oxyrhynchus (Upper Thebaid) and they had studied together. They had burned with the desire to devote their lives to God. Making their plans to go off into the desert, the young men left the city and after several days’ journey, they reached this place.

A man radiant with heavenly glory met them and led them to a desert Elder. “We have lived here six years already,” said the youths. “Our Elder dwelt here one year and then he died. Now we live here alone, we eat the fruit of the trees, and we have water from a spring.” The youths gave him their names, they were Sts John, Andrew, Heraclemon and Theophilus (Dec. 2).

The youths struggled separately the whole week long, but on Saturday and Sunday they gathered at the oasis and offered up common prayer. On these days an angel would appear and commune them with the Holy Mysteries. This time however, for Abba Paphnutius’ sake, they did not go off into the desert, but spent the whole week together at prayer. On the following Saturday and Sunday St Paphnutius together with the youths was granted to receive the Holy Mysteries from the hands of the angel and to hear these words, “Receive the Imperishable Food, unending bliss and life eternal, the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, our God.”

St Paphnutius made bold to ask the angel for permission to remain in the desert to the end of his days. The angel replied that God had decreed another path for him. He was to return to Egypt and tell the Christians of the life of the desert-dwellers.

Having bid farewell to the youths, St Paphnutius reached the edge of the wilderness after a three day journey. Here he found a small skete, and the brethren received him with love. Abba Paphnutius related everything that he had learned about the holy Fathers whom he had encountered in the desert. The brethren wrote a detailed account of what St Paphnutius said, and deposited it in the church, where all who wished to do so could read it. St Paphnutius gave thanks to God, Who had granted him to learn about the exalted lives of the hermits of the Thebaid, and he returned to his own monastery.

Saint Heraclemon is also commemorated on June 12 with St Onuphrius.


St Andrew of Egypt

Saint Andrew lived in Egypt in the fourth century, and is mentioned in the Life of St Onuphrius.

After he had buried St Onuphrius, St Paphnutius came upon an oasis which impressed him with its beauty and abundance of fruit-bearing trees. Four youths inhabiting this place came to him from out of the wilderness. The youths told Abba Paphnutius that in their childhood they had lived in the city of Oxyrhynchus (Upper Thebaid) and they had studied together. They had burned with the desire to devote their lives to God. Making their plans to go off into the desert, the young men left the city and after several days’ journey, they reached this place.

A man radiant with heavenly glory met them and led them to a desert Elder. “We have lived here six years already,” said the youths. “Our Elder dwelt here one year and then he died. Now we live here alone, we eat the fruit of the trees, and we have water from a spring.” The youths gave him their names, they were Sts John, Andrew, Heraclemon and Theophilus (Dec. 2).

The youths struggled separately the whole week long, but on Saturday and Sunday they gathered at the oasis and offered up common prayer. On these days an angel would appear and commune them with the Holy Mysteries. This time however, for Abba Paphnutius’ sake, they did not go off into the desert, but spent the whole week together at prayer. On the following Saturday and Sunday St Paphnutius together with the youths was granted to receive the Holy Mysteries from the hands of the angel and to hear these words, “Receive the Imperishable Food, unending bliss and life eternal, the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, our God.”

St Paphnutius made bold to ask the angel for permission to remain in the desert to the end of his days. The angel replied that God had decreed another path for him. He was to return to Egypt and tell the Christians of the life of the desert-dwellers.

Having bid farewell to the youths, St Paphnutius reached the edge of the wilderness after a three day journey. Here he found a small skete, and the brethren received him with love. Abba Paphnutius related everything that he had learned about the holy Fathers whom he had encountered in the desert. The brethren wrote a detailed account of what St Paphnutius said, and deposited it in the church, where all who wished to do so could read it. St Paphnutius gave thanks to God, Who had granted him to learn about the exalted lives of the hermits of the Thebaid, and he returned to his own monastery.

Saint Andrew is also commemorated on June 12 with St Onuphrius.


St Theophilus of Egypt

Saint Theophilus lived in Egypt in the fourth century, and is mentioned in the Life of St Onuphrius.

After he had buried St Onuphrius, St Paphnutius came upon an oasis which impressed him with its beauty and abundance of fruit-bearing trees. Four youths inhabiting this place came to him from out of the wilderness. The youths told Abba Paphnutius that in their childhood they had lived in the city of Oxyrhynchus (Upper Thebaid) and they had studied together. They had burned with the desire to devote their lives to God. Making their plans to go off into the desert, the young men left the city and after several days’ journey, they reached this place.

A man radiant with heavenly glory met them and led them to a desert Elder. “We have lived here six years already,” said the youths. “Our Elder dwelt here one year and then he died. Now we live here alone, we eat the fruit of the trees, and we have water from a spring.” The youths gave him their names, they were Sts John, Andrew, Heraclemon and Theophilus (Dec. 2).

The youths struggled separately the whole week long, but on Saturday and Sunday they gathered at the oasis and offered up common prayer. On these days an angel would appear and commune them with the Holy Mysteries. This time however, for Abba Paphnutius’ sake, they did not go off into the desert, but spent the whole week together at prayer. On the following Saturday and Sunday St Paphnutius together with the youths was granted to receive the Holy Mysteries from the hands of the angel and to hear these words, “Receive the Imperishable Food, unending bliss and life eternal, the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, our God.”

St Paphnutius made bold to ask the angel for permission to remain in the desert to the end of his days. The angel replied that God had decreed another path for him. He was to return to Egypt and tell the Christians of the life of the desert-dwellers.

Having bid farewell to the youths, St Paphnutius reached the edge of the wilderness after a three day journey. Here he found a small skete, and the brethren received him with love. Abba Paphnutius related everything that he had learned about the holy Fathers whom he had encountered in the desert. The brethren wrote a detailed account of what St Paphnutius said, and deposited it in the church, where all who wished to do so could read it. St Paphnutius gave thanks to God, Who had granted him to learn about the exalted lives of the hermits of the Thebaid, and he returned to his own monastery.

Saint Theophilus is also commemorated on June 12 with St Onuphrius.


St Jesse, Bishop of Tsilkan in Georgia

Saint Jesse of Tsilkani arrived in Georgia in the 6th century with the other Syrian fathers and companions of St. John of Zedazeni.

At the recommendation of St. John of Zedazeni, Catholicos Evlavios of Kartli consecrated St. Jesse as bishop of Tsilkani. The holy father traveled throughout his diocese preaching the Holy Gospel. Passing from city to city, from valley to mountain and back, the kind shepherd worked wonders, healed the infirm, cleansed lepers, cast out demons and raised those who were confined

to their beds.

Once, with the blessing of his teacher St. John of Zedazeni, St. Jesse performed a miracle to strengthen the people in their Faith. He descended to the bank of the Ksani River, followed by Fr. John and a multitude of people. He made the sign of the Cross over the river, touched his staff to the water and commanded: “In the name of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, I command you, river: follow me!” Immediately the river reversed its current and began to flow backwards, following

in St. Jesse’s footsteps right up to Tsilkani Church.

Those living near Mtskheta and Tsilkani who witnessed this miracle glorified the Lord Jesus Christ for bestowing upon one of His children the gift of wonder-working.

When the Lord made known to the saint the day of his repose, he gathered his disciples and church servitors, bade them farewell, blessed them, partook of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, and reposed in peace. His last words were “Lord, into Thy hands I commit my spirit!”

St. Jesse of Tsilkani is buried in the Tsilkani Church of the Most Holy Theotokos.


St Stephen Urosh, King of Serbia

Saint Stephen Urosh, King of Serbia, was son of King Dushan Nemany, and was born in the year 1337. In 1346 he was crowned king. Dushan sought the daughter of the French king for his son, but the Roman Pope insisted that the princess not change from the Latin confession. Dushan did not want to see a Catholic in his family, and because of this St Stephen Urosh entered into marriage with the daughter of Vlad, Prince of Walachia.

Upon the death of his father (+ 1355), St Stephen Urosh became the independent and actual ruler of Serbia. He was faithful to the Lord, like a father he provided for widows and orphans, he pacified quarrels and maintained peace, he was charitable to the poor, and defended the downtrodden.

In the interests of peace in Serbia and indeed for the preservation of his own life, St Stephen was obliged to flee to his kinsman, Prince Lazar. St Stephen’s uncle, Vulkashin, immediately seized the throne, but his fear of rivals gave him no peace. Through his sister, St Stephen’s mother, he invited his nephew to come to the city of Skopje, on the pretext of a reconciliation. Greeting him with honor, as Tsar, he invited him to go hunting. When St Stephen, weary from the hunt, went off with his horse to a well and bent over to take a sip of water, Vulkashin struck him a mortal blow on the head with a mace.


Venerable Joannicius of Devic

No information available at this time.