Lives of all saints commemorated on May 25


Sunday of the Blind Man

After the Midfeast (John 7:14), the Lord Jesus Christ came to the Temple again and taught the people who came to Him (John 8:2). After leaving the Temple, He opened the eyes of a man “who was blind from his birth (John 9:1).

The miracle described in today’s Gospel (John 9:1-38) is even more remarkable than it might seem at first. St Basil and other Fathers tell us that this was not just a case of giving sight to a blind man born with eyes that did not function, but to someone who had no eyes at all! The second Exapostilarion for this Sunday says, “Along the way, our Savior found a man who lacked both sight and eyes...”.

The Gospel says, “Since the world began, it was not heard that any man opened the eyes of one who was born blind” (John 9:32). There are examples in the Old (Tobit 2:17) and New (Mark 8:22-26) Testaments of blind people receiving sight, but this is something completely unprecedented.

The Savior placed clay in the man’s empty sockets and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. When he obeyed these instructions, the eyes of clay became living eyes!

In his MENAION, St Demetrius of Rostov calls the blind man St Celidonius (see his account of St Lazarus in the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles on January 4).


Third Finding of the Honorable Head of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

The Third Discovery of the Venerable Head of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John occurred in about the year 850 (see the account of the First and Second Discoveries on February 24). The head of St John the Forerunner was found in the city of Emesia during a time of unrest at Constantinople connected with the exile of St John Chrysostom (November 13).

It was transferred to Komana during the Saracen raids (about 820-820) and it was hidden in the ground during a period of iconoclastic persecution. When the veneration of icons was restored, Patriarch Ignatius (847-857) saw in a vision the place where the head of St John the Forerunner was hidden. The patriarch communicated this to the emperor, who sent a delegation to Komana. There the head was found a third time arond the year 850.

Afterwards the head was again transferred to Constantinople, and here on May 25 it was placed in a church at the court. Part of the head is on Mt. Athos. The Third Discovery of the Head of John the Baptist is commemorated on May 25.


Hieromartyr Therapon the Bishop of Cyprus

The Hieromartyr Therapon, Bishop of Cyprus, lived a life of asceticism in a monastery, and afterwards he served as a bishop on the island of Cyprus. At the time of the persecution under Diocletian (284-305), St Therapon bravely confessed the name of Christ and died a martyric death.

The relics of the hieromartyr were at first located on Cyprus and were glorified by numerous miracles. Later, in the year 806, they were transferred to Constantinople. The relics were moved because of a danger of invasion by the Saracens. As the ship sailed to Constantinople, myrrh began to flow from the relics, and travellers on the ship were miraculously saved during a storm by their prayers to St Therapon.

Upon arrival at Constantinople, the relics of the hieromartyr were placed in a temple built in honor of the Icon of the Mother of God of Eleousa or “the Merciful” (November 12).

In the year 806 the relics were again transferred into a temple built in honor of the Hieromartyr Therapon, myrrh flowed from them, and miracles took place. Through the prayers of St Therapon, those who are seriously ill are healed, and the dying restored to life.


Hieromartyr Urban the Pope of Rome

No information on the life of this saint is available at this time.


Icon of the Mother of God “the Helper of the sinners” from Koretsk

No information on the life of this saint is available at this time.