Lives of all saints commemorated on February 10


Hieromartyr Charalampus the Bishop of Magnesia in Thessaly

The Hieromartyr Charalampus, Bishop of Magnesia, the Martyrs Porphyrius and Baptus and Three Women Martyrs suffered in the year 202.

St Charalampus, Bishop of Magnesia (Asia Minor), successfully spread faith in Christ the Savior, guiding people on the way to salvation. News of his preaching reached Lucian, the governor of the district, and the military commander Lucius. The saint was arrested and brought to trial, where he confessed his faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to idols.

Despite the bishop’s advanced age (he was 113 years old), he was subjected to monstrous tortures. They lacerated his body with iron hooks, and scraped all the skin from his body. During this the saint turned to his tormentors, “I thank you, brethren, that you have restored my spirit, which longs to pass over to a new and everlasting life!”

Seeing the Elder’s endurance and his complete lack of malice, two soldiers (Porphyrius and Baptus) openly confessed Christ, for which they were immediately beheaded with a sword. Three women who were watching the sufferings of St Charalampus also began to glorify Christ, and were quickly martyred.

The enraged Lucius seized the instruments of torture and began to torture the holy martyr, but suddenly his forearms were cut off as if by a sword. The governor then spat in the face of the saint, and immediately his head was turned around so that he faced backwards.

Then Lucius entreated the saint to show mercy on him, and both torturers were healed through the prayers of St Charalampus. During this a multitude of witnesses came to believe in Christ. Among them also was Lucius, who fell at the feet of the holy bishop, asking to be baptized.

Lucian reported these events to the emperor Septimus Severus (193-211), who was then at Pisidian Antioch (western Asia Minor). The emperor ordered St Charalampus to be brought to him in Antioch. Soldiers twisted the saint’s beard into a rope, wound it around his neck, and used it to drag him along. They also drove an iron nail into his body. The emperor then ordered them to torture the bishop more intensely, and they began to burn him with fire, a little at a time. But God protected the saint, and he remained unharmed.

Many miracles were worked through his prayer: he raised a dead youth, and healed a man tormented by devils for thirty-five years, so that many people began to believe in Christ the Savior. Even Galina, the daughter of the emperor, began to believe in Christ, and twice smashed the idols in a pagan temple. On the orders of the emperor they beat the saint about the mouth with stones. They also wanted to set his beard on fire, but the flames burned the torturer.

Full of wickedness, Septimus Severus and an official named Crispus hurled blasphemy at the Lord, mockingly summoning Him to come down to the earth, and boasting of their own power and might. The Lord sent an earthquake, and great fear fell upon all, the impious ones were both suspended in mid-air held by invisible bonds, and only by the prayer of the saint were they put down. The dazed emperor was shaken in his former impiety, but again quickly fell into error and gave orders to torture the saint.

And finally, he sentenced St Charalampus to beheading with a sword. During his final prayer, the heavens opened and the saint saw the Savior and a multitude of angels. The holy martyr asked Him to grant that the place where his relics would repose would never suffer famine or disease. He also begged that there would be peace, prosperity, and an abundance of fruit, grain, and wine in that place, and that the souls of these people would be saved. The Lord promised to fulfill his request and ascended to heaven, and the soul of the hieromartyr Charalampus followed after Him. By the mercy of God, the saint died before he could be executed. Galina buried the martyr’s body with great honor.

In Greek hagiography and iconography St Charalampus is regarded as a priest, while Russian sources seem to regard him as a bishop.


Martyr Porphyrius in Thessaly

Saint Porphyrius was a soldier who suffered martyrdom with Sts Charalampus, Bishop of Magnesia, Baptus, Porphyrius, and three women in the year 202.

Seeing the endurance of StCharalampus and his complete lack of malice, two soldiers (Porphyrius and Baptus) openly confessed Christ, for which they were immediately beheaded with a sword.


Martyr Baptus in Thessaly

Saint Baptus was a soldier who suffered martyrdom with Sts Charalampus, Bishop of Magnesia, Porphyrius, and three women in the year 202.

Seeing the endurance of StCharalampus and his complete lack of malice, two soldiers (Porphyrius and Baptus) openly confessed Christ, for which they were immediately beheaded with a sword.


3 Female Martyrs in Thessaly

These three women witnessed the sufferings of St Charalampus and also began to glorify Christ. They were put to death with St Charalampus.


Synaxis of the Hierarchs of Novgorod, Buried in the Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost. On October 4, 1439 St John (September 7) appeared to the presiding hierarch St Euthymius (March 11) and ordered him to serve a special panikhida in memory of those buried at the Sophia cathedral (the Russian princes and Archbishops of Novgorod, and all Orthodox Christians) on the Feast of the Hieromartyr Hierotheus, first Bishop of Athens.

Then the incorrupt relics of St John (September 7) were uncovered. Afterwards, the Synaxis was established to mark the glorification of the Novgorod hierarchs. E. E. Golubinsky says that because these hierarchs remained unknown at the time of their glorification, he determined this date for their common celebration was established in the period between the time of the Moscow Council of 1549 and the time of the formation of the Holy Synod (E. E. Golubinsky, History of the Canonization of Saints in the Russian Church. Moscow, 1903, p. 157).

Included in the Synaxis of Novgorod hierarchs are: St Joachim of Korsun, first bishop of Novgorod (988-1030); St Luke the Jew, bishop (October 15, 1060); St Germanus, bishop (1078-1096); St Arcadius, bishop (September 18); St Gregory, archbishop (May 24, 1193); St Martyrius, archbishop (August 24, 1199); St Anthony, archbishop (October 8, 1231); St Basil the Lame, archbishop (July 3, 1352); St Simeon, archbishop (June 15, 1421); St Gennadius, archbishop (December 4); St Pimen, archbishop (1553-1571); Aphthonius, metropolitan (April 6, 1653).

The relics of these saints were buried or transferred to Novgorod’s Sophia Cathedral (except for St Germanus, St Gennadius and St Pimen) therefore, in some sources their names are not included in the Synaxis.

The October 4 celebration was established in connection with the memory of the holy Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Novgorod (+ 1052), and the February 10 Synaxis of the Novgorod hierarchs is celebrated in connection with the holy Princess Anna of Novgorod (+ 1056).

Besides those mentioned, hierarchs who have separate commemorations are: St Nikita the Hermit, bishop (January 31); St Niphon, bishop (April 8); St John, archbishop (September 7); St Theoctistus, archbishop (December 23); St Moses, archbishop (January 25); St Euthymius, archbishop (March 11); St Jonah, archbishop (November 5); St Serapion, archbishop (March 16).


St Joachim, First Bishop of Novgorod

Today we commemorate the Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs, which is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Joachim of Korsun, first Bishop of Novgorod (988-1030), does not seem to have a separate commemoration.


St Luke the Bishop of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Luke, Bishop of Novgorod fell asleep in the Lord on October 15, 1058.


St Theodore the Hierarch of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Theodore does not seem to have a separate commemoration.


St Herman the Bishop of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Herman, Bishop of Novgorod (1078-1096), does not seem to have a separate commemoration.

The relics of these saints were buried or transferred to Novgorod’s Sophia Cathedral (except for St Herman, St Gennadius and St Pimen) therefore, in some sources their names are not included in the Synaxis.


St Arcadius the Bishop of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Arcadius, bishop of Novgorod, is commemorated on September 18.


St John, Archbishop of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost. On October 4, 1439 St John (September 7) appeared to the presiding hierarch St Euthymius (March 11) and ordered him to serve a special panikhida in memory of those buried at the Sophia cathedral (the Russian princes and Archbishops of Novgorod, and all Orthodox Christians) on the Feast of the Hieromartyr Hierotheus, first Bishop of Athens.

Then the incorrupt relics of St John were uncovered. Afterwards, the Synaxis was established to mark the glorification of the Novgorod hierarchs. E. E. Golubinsky says that because these hierarchs remained unknown at the time of their glorification, he determined this date for their common celebration was established in the period between the time of the Moscow Council of 1549 and the time of the formation of the Holy Synod (E. E. Golubinsky, History of the Canonization of Saints in the Russian Church. Moscow, 1903, p. 157).

Saint John the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Novgorod, is also commemorated on September 7.


St Gabriel the Bishop of Novgorod

Today we commemorate the Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs, which is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

St Gabriel does not seem to have a separate commemoration.


St Martyrius the Archbishop of Novgorod

Today we commemorate the Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs, which is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Martyrius, Archbishop of Novgorod is commemorated on August 24.


St Anthony the Archbishop of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Anthony, Archbishop of Novgorod is commemorated on October 8.


St Basil the Archbishop of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

St Basil the Lame, Archbishop of Novgorod is commemorated on July 3.


St Moses the Hierarch of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Moses, Archbishop of Novgorod is commemorated on January 25.


St Simeon the Hierarch of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Simeon, Archbishop of Novgorod is commemorated on June 15.


St Euthymius the Hierarch of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost. On October 4, 1439 St John (September 7) appeared to the presiding hierarch St Euthymius (March 11) and ordered him to serve a special panikhida in memory of those buried at the Sophia cathedral (the Russian princes and Archbishops of Novgorod, and all Orthodox Christians) on the Feast of the Hieromartyr Hierotheus, first Bishop of Athens.

Saint Euthymius the wonderworker, Archbishop of Novgorod, is also commemorated on March 11.


St Aphthonius the Hierarch of Novgorod

The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost.

Saint Aphthonius, Metropolitan of Novgorod is commemorated on April 6.


Princess Anna of Novgorod

The Holy Princess Anna of Novgorod, wife of Great Prince Yaroslav the Wise, gave her children a true Christian upbringing, marked by a strong faith in God, love of work, integrity and learning.

Her son Mstislav later became Great Prince of Kiev, and her daughter the queen of a western European realm. St Anna left the world and went into a monastery, where she ended her days in strict obedience and prayer in the year 1056.


Venerable Prochorus of the Kiev Near Caves

Saint Prochorus of the Caves was a native of Smolensk, and entered the Kiev Caves monastery under the igumen John (1089-1103). He was a great ascetic of strict temperance. In place of bread he ate pigweed (or orach), and so he was called “pigweed-eater.” Every summer, he gathered pigweed and made enough bread from it to last him for a whole year. He also ate prosphora from church now and then, and his only drink was water. Seeing the patience of St Prochorus, God transformed the usual bitterness of the pigweed into sweetness.

During the saint’s lifetime, a famine threatened Russia. Prochorus began to gather the pigweed even more zealously and to prepare his “bread”. Certain people followed his example, but they were not able to eat this weed because of its bitterness. Prochorus distributed his pigweed bread to the needy, and it tasted like it was made from fine wheat. Only the bread given with the blessing of St Prochorus was edible, and even pure and light in appearance. If anyone tried to prepare this bread himself, or take it without the saint’s blessing, it was not fit for consumption. This became known to the igumen and the brethren, and the fame of Prochorus spread far and wide.

After a certain while there was no salt at Kiev, and the people suffered because of this. Then the saint gathered ashes from all the cells, and began to distribute it to the needy. Through his prayers, the ashes became pure salt. The merchants, who hoped to take advantage of this shortage of salt for their own profit, became angry with St Prochorus for distributing free salt to the people.

Prince Svyatopolk confiscated the salt from Prochorus. When they transported it to the prince’s court, everyone saw that it was just ordinary ashes. After three days, Svyatopolk gave orders to discard it. St Prochorus blessed the people to take the discarded ashes, and they were again changed into salt.

This miracle reformed the fierce prince. He began to pray zealously, made peace with the igumen of the monastery of the Caves, and highly esteemed St Prochorus. When the last hour of the saint approached, the prince left his army and hastened to him, even though he was at war.

He received his blessing and with his own hands, carried the body of the saint to the cave and buried him. Returning to his army, Svyatopolk easily gained victory over the Polvetsians, turning them to flight and capturing their supply carts. Such was the great power of the prayer of St Prochorus.

The righteous one died in the year 1107, and was buried in the Near Caves. He is also commemorated on September 28 and on the second Sunday of Great Lent.


Venerable Longinus of Koryazhemsk, Vologda

Saint Longinus of Koryazhemsk first pursued asceticism at the monastery of St Paul of Obnora, and then lived at the Sts Boris and Gleb Solvychegod monastery. From there he settled with his friend Simon near Vychegda, toward the mouth of the Koryazhema river.

Here, deep in the countryside, ten versts from Solvychegod, the ascetics built cells and a chapel. When brethren gathered around them, they built a church named for St Nicholas, and built a monastery in which the saint was igumen. Near the church there was a well, dug out by St Longinus himself.

After his death in 1540 the saint’s body was buried, in accord with his last wishes, near the entrance to the church. Sixteen years later, it was placed inside the church.

The memory of St Longinus is celebrated with a special service, and there is a brief Life, compiled at a later time.


Virginmartyr Ennatha of Palestine

The Holy Virgin Martyrs Ennatha, Valentina and Paula suffered in the year 308 under the emperor Maximian II Galerius (305-311). St Ennatha came from the city of Gaza (in the south of Palestine), St Valentina was a native of Palestinian Caesarea, and St Paula was from the region of Caesarea.

St Ennatha was the first to be brought to trial before the governor Firmilian, bravely declaring herself a Christian. They beat her, and then they suspended her from a pillar and scourged her.

St Valentina, accused of not worshipping the gods, was led to a pagan temple to offer sacrifice, but she bravely hurled a stone at the sacrifice and turned her back on it. They beat her mercilessly and sentenced her to be beheaded along with St Ennatha.

Last of all, St Paula was brought, and they subjected her to many torments. With the help of God, however, she endured them with great patience and courage. Before her death Paula gave thanks to the Lord for strengthening her. Bowing to the Christians present, she bent her neck beneath the sword.


Virginmartyr Valentina of Palestine

The Holy Virgin Martyrs Ennatha, Valentina and Paula suffered in the year 308 under the emperor Maximian II Galerius (305-311). St Ennatha came from the city of Gaza (in the south of Palestine), St Valentina was a native of Palestinian Caesarea, and St Paula was from the region of Caesarea.

St Ennatha was the first to be brought to trial before the governor Firmilian, bravely declaring herself a Christian. They beat her, and then they suspended her from a pillar and scourged her.

St Valentina, accused of not worshipping the gods, was led to a pagan temple to offer sacrifice, but she bravely hurled a stone at the sacrifice and turned her back on it. They beat her mercilessly and sentenced her to be beheaded along with St Ennatha.

Last of all, St Paula was brought, and they subjected her to many torments. With the help of God, however, she endured them with great patience and courage. Before her death Paula gave thanks to the Lord for strengthening her. Bowing to the Christians present, she bent her neck beneath the sword.


Virginmartyr Paula of Palestine

The Holy Virgin Martyrs Ennatha, Valentina and Paula suffered in the year 308 under the emperor Maximian II Galerius (305-311). St Ennatha came from the city of Gaza (in the south of Palestine), St Valentina was a native of Palestinian Caesarea, and St Paula was from the region of Caesarea.

St Paula was brought to trial before the governor Firmilian and they subjected her to many torments. With the help of God, however, she endured them with great patience and courage. Before her death Paula gave thanks to the Lord for strengthening her. Bowing to the Christians present, she bent her neck beneath the sword.


Icon of the Mother of God “Areovindus”

The origins of this unusual icon, in which the Most Holy Theotokos is depicted without Christ, are unknown. The bright red color of her outer garment inspired the name Areovindus, or “Fire Appearing” (“Fiery Vision”).


St John Chimchimeli the Philosopher

Little information about the life of St. John of Chimchimi has been preserved, but we know that he was a great translator, philosopher, and defender of the Georgian Christian Faith.

John received his education in present-day Bulgaria, at the literary school of the famous Petritsoni (now Bachkovo) Georgian Monastery.

One historian writes: “In his eulogy on the death of St. Demetre the King, John the Philosopher of Chimchimi brilliantly describes the glory, honor, and heroism of this holy man’s life.”

St. John translated many exegetical compositions, including two commentaries on the Book of Ecclesiastes, one by Metrophanes of Smyrna (Metropolitan of Smyrna (857-880). His Commentary on Ecclesiastes is preserved only in Georgian.) and the other by Olympiodorus of Alexandria. (A 6th-century deacon who wrote a series of commentaries on the books of the Bible, not to be confused with the neoplatonist philosopher also of the 6th century.) He also translated An Explanation of the Gospel According to St. Mark and An Explanation of the Gospel According to St. Luke, both by Blessed Theophylactus of Bulgaria.

The works of our Holy Father John of Chimchimi are fundamental to the canon of Georgian theological literature.

In his work Pilgrimage, the eminent eighteenth-century historian Archbishop Timote (Gabashvili) mentions John of Chimchimi among the holy fathers portrayed in the frescoes at the Holy Cross Monastery in Jerusalem.

In the second half of the 19th century the historian Mose Janashvili wrote, in his History of the Georgian Church, that John of Chimchimi directed a literary school in the village of Gremi in Kakheti.

According to Janashvili, students at St. John’s school were instructed in philosophy and theology as well as in the Greek, Syrian, and Arabic languages.