Lives of all saints commemorated on June 23


Martyr Agrippina of Rome

The Holy Martyr Agrippina, was by birth a Roman. She did not wish to enter into marriage, and totally dedicated her life to God. During the time of persecution against Christians under the emperor Valerian (253-259) the saint went before the court and bravely confessed her faith in Christ, for which she was given over to torture. They beat the holy virgin with sticks so severely that her bones broke. Afterwards they put St Agrippina in chains, but an angel freed her from her bonds.

The holy confessor died from the tortures she endured. The Christians Bassa, Paula and Agathonike secretly took the body of the holy martyr and transported it to Sicily, where many miracles were worked at her grave. In the eleventh century the relics of the holy Martyr Agrippina were transferred to Constantinople.


Righteous Artemius of Verkola

Holy Righteous Artemius of Verkola was born in the village of Dvina Verkola around the year 1532. The son of pious parents, Artemius was a child who was courageous, meek and diligent for every good deed. On June 23, 1545 the twelve-year-old Artemius and his father were taken by surprise in a field by a thunderstorm. A clap of thunder broke right over their heads, and the child Artemius fell dead. People thought that this was a sign of God’s judgment, therefore they left the body in a pine forest without a funeral, and without burial.

Some years later, the village reader beheld a light over the place where the incorrupt body of the Righteous Artemius lay. Taken to the church of St Nicholas in 1577, the holy relics were shown to be a source of numerous healings. In this village a monastery was later built, called the Verkola. In 1918, the impious Soviets chopped the holy relics into pieces and threw them into a well. The memory of St Artemius is also celebrated on October 20.


Second Translation of the relics of St Herman the Archbishop of Kazan

Today we commemorate the second translation of the relics of Saint Herman, Archbishop of Kazan, in 1714.

St Herman is also commemorated on November 6 (his repose) and on September 25 (transfer of his relics in 1595).


Martyr Eustochius of Ancyra

The Holy Martyrs Eustochius, Gaius, Probius, Lollia and Urban suffered for Christ during the time of a persecution under the emperor Maximian (286-310).

St Eustochius was a pagan priest, but seeing the unyielding courage of the Christian martyrs, and the miracles worked by them, he converted to Christ. He went to Bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, was baptized by him, and was ordained to the priesthood. In the city of Lystra St Eustochius converted his nephew Gaius and all his household, among which included the children Probus, Lollias and Urban. Soldiers of the emperor arrested St Eustochius and took him for trial, but tortures could not turn Eustochius from his faith. They then sent the saint to the governor Agrippinus in the Galatian city of Ancyra. The newly-converted Gaius was also sent with him with his household. All of them, even the women and children, underwent fierce torture, but the martyrs did not deny Christ and so were beheaded.


Martyr Gaius of Ancyra

The Holy Martyrs Gaius, Eustochius, Probius, Lollia and Urban suffered for Christ during the time of a persecution under the emperor Maximian (286-310).

St Eustochius was a pagan priest, but seeing the unyielding courage of the Christian martyrs, and the miracles worked by them, he converted to Christ. He went to Bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, was baptized by him, and was ordained to the priesthood. In the city of Lystra St Eustochius converted his nephew Gaius and all his household, among which included the children Probus, Lollias and Urban. Soldiers of the emperor arrested St Eustochius and took him for trial, but tortures could not turn Eustochius from his faith. They then sent the saint to the governor Agrippinus in the Galatian city of Ancyra. The newly-converted Gaius was also sent with him with his household. All of them, even the women and children, underwent fierce torture, but the martyrs did not deny Christ and so were beheaded.


Martyr Probus of Ancyra

Saint Probus was the son of St Gaius, and suffered for Christ during the persecution under the emperor Maximian (286-310).

St Eustochius was a pagan priest, but seeing the unyielding courage of the Christian martyrs, and the miracles worked by them, he converted to Christ. He went to Bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, was baptized by him, and was ordained to the priesthood. In the city of Lystra St Eustochius converted his nephew Gaius and all his household, among which included the children Probus, Lollias and Urban. Soldiers of the emperor arrested St Eustochius and took him for trial, but tortures could not turn Eustochius from his faith. They then sent the saint to the governor Agrippinus in the Galatian city of Ancyra. The newly-converted Gaius was also sent with him with his household. All of them, even the women and children, underwent fierce torture, but the martyrs did not deny Christ and so were beheaded.


Martyr Lollia of Ancyra

Saint Lollia was the daughter of St Gaius, and suffered for Christ during the persecution under the emperor Maximian (286-310).

Gaius and his children Lollia, Probus, and Urban were converted by his uncle St Eustochius. Soldiers of the emperor arrested St Eustochius and took him for trial, but tortures could not turn Eustochius from his faith. They then sent the saint to the governor Agrippinus in the Galatian city of Ancyra. The newly-converted Gaius was also sent with him with his household. All of them, even the women and children, underwent fierce torture, but the martyrs did not deny Christ and so were beheaded.


Martyr Urban of Ancyra

Saint Urban was the son of St Gaius, and suffered for Christ during the persecution under the emperor Maximian (286-310).

St Eustochius was a pagan priest, but seeing the unyielding courage of the Christian martyrs, and the miracles worked by them, he converted to Christ. He went to Bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, was baptized by him, and was ordained to the priesthood. In the city of Lystra St Eustochius converted his nephew Gaius and all his household, among which included the children Probus, Lollias and Urban. Soldiers of the emperor arrested St Eustochius and took him for trial, but tortures could not turn Eustochius from his faith. They then sent the saint to the governor Agrippinus in the Galatian city of Ancyra. The newly-converted Gaius was also sent with him with his household. All of them, even the women and children, underwent fierce torture, but the martyrs did not deny Christ and so were beheaded.


Synaxis of the Saints of Vladimir

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Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in memory of Saving of Moscow from the Invasion of Khan Achmed

Today the church celebrates the miracle of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, which led to the saving of Moscow from the invasion of Khan Achmed in 1480.

The Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is also commemorated on May 21 and August 26.


Icon of the Mother of God “Tenderness” of the Pskov Caves

The “Tenderness” Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God was found in the monastery of the caves in 1521, and was transferred to the city of Pskov by the pious Christians Basil and Theodore. The Icon is particularly renowned for the deliverance of Pskov and the Pskov Caves monastery from the army of Stephen Bathory (1533-1586) in 1581. It is commemorated on May 21, June 23, August 26, October 7, and on the Seventh Sunday of Pascha.

The Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God is of the Eleousa (Umilenie) type, and is regarded as the patroness of the city of Pskov.

The October 7 commemoration was established in thanksgiving for the deliverance of Pskov from the invading army of Napoleon in 1812. The Pskov Caves Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, named the “Tenderness” (1542), is famous particularly for the defense of Pskov and the Pskov Caves monastery from the army of Stephen Bathory in 1581. Its celebration is also on May 21, August 26 and October 7.

The Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God of the Pskov Lavra of the Caves is of the Eleousa (Umilenie) type.


Martyr Aristocleus the presbyter with his companions, Demetrian the deacon, and Athanasius the reader of Cyprus

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Martyr Demetrian the deacon with his companions, Aristocleus the presbyter, and Athanasius the reader of Cyprus

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Martyr Athanasius the reader with his companions, Aristocleus the presbyter, and Demetrian the deacon of Cyprus

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