Lives of all saints commemorated on July 16


Hieromartyr Athenogenes the Bishop of Heracleopolis

Hieromartyr Athenogenes and his Ten Disciples suffered for Christ during the persecution of Christians in the city of Sebastea in Cappadocia. The governor Philomachos arranged a large festival in honor of the pagan gods and called upon the citizens of Sebastea to offer sacrifice to the idols. Most of the inhabitants of Sebastea were Christians, and refused to participate in the impious celebration. Soldiers were ordered to kill those who resisted, and so many Christians received a martyr’s crown.

It came to the governor’s attention that Christianity was spreading because of the grace-filled preaching of Bishop Athenogenes. Soldiers were ordered to find the Elder and arrest him. Bishop Athenogenes and ten of his disciples lived in a small monastery not far from the city. The soldiers did not find the bishop there, so they arrested his disciples. The governor ordered that they be bound with chains and thrown into prison.

St Athenogenes was arrested when he came to Sebastea to inform the judge that those who had been jailed were innocent. While in prison, St Athenogenes encouraged his spiritual children for their impending struggle. Led forth to trial, all the holy martyrs confessed themselves Christians and refused to offer sacrifice to idols.

After undergoing fierce tortures, the disciples of the holy bishop were beheaded. After the execution of the disciples, the executioners were ordered to torture the bishop. Strengthened by the Lord, St Athenogenes underwent the tortures with dignity. His only request was that he be executed in the monastery.

Taken to his own monastery, the saint gave thanks to God, and he rejoiced in the sufferings that he had undergone for Him. St Athenogenes asked that the Lord would forgive the sins of all those who would remember both him and his disciples.

The Lord granted the saint to hear His Voice before death, announcing the promise given to the penitent thief: “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” The hieromartyr willingly bent his neck beneath the sword.


10 Martyred Disciples of Athenogenes the Bishop of Heracleopolis

The ten disciples of St Athenogenes suffered for Christ during the persecution of Christians in the city of Sebastea in Cappadocia. The governor Philomachos arranged a large festival in honor of the pagan gods and called upon the citizens of Sebastea to offer sacrifice to the idols. Most of the inhabitants of Sebastea were Christians, and refused to participate in the impious celebration. Soldiers were ordered to kill those who resisted, and so many Christians received a martyr’s crown.

It came to the governor’s attention that Christianity was spreading because of the grace-filled preaching of Bishop Athenogenes. Soldiers were ordered to find the Elder and arrest him. Bishop Athenogenes and ten of his disciples lived in a small monastery not far from the city. The soldiers did not find the bishop there, so they arrested his disciples. The governor ordered that they be bound with chains and thrown into prison.

St Athenogenes was arrested when he came to Sebastea to inform the judge that those who had been jailed were innocent. While in prison, St Athenogenes encouraged his spiritual children for their impending struggle. Led forth to trial, all the holy martyrs confessed themselves Christians and refused to offer sacrifice to idols.

The disciples of the holy bishop were beheaded after undergoing fierce tortures.


Martyr Paul at Caesarea, in Palestine

The Holy Martyrs Paul, Alevtina, and Chione were from Egypt. During the persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian (305-313), they were taken to Palestinian Caesarea. Without the slightest fear they confessed themselves as followers of Christ. In the year 308 the sisters Alevtina and Chione were burned, and Paul was beheaded.


Martyr Chionia (Thea) at Caesarea, in Palestine

The Holy Martyrs Chione, Paul, and Alevtina were from Egypt. During the persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian (305-313), they were taken to Palestinian Caesarea. Without the slightest fear they confessed themselves as followers of Christ. In the year 308 the sisters Alevtina and Chione were burned, and Paul was beheaded.


Martyr Alevtina (Valentina) at Caesarea, in Palestine

The Holy Martyrs Alevtina, Paul, and Chione were from Egypt. During the persecution against Christians under the emperor Maximian (305-313), they were taken to Palestinian Caesarea. Without the slightest fear they confessed themselves as followers of Christ. In the year 308 the sisters Alevtina and Chione were burned, and Paul was beheaded.


Martyr Antiochus the Physician of Sebaste

The Holy Martyr Antiochus, a native of Cappadocian Sebastea, was the brother of the holy Martyr Platon (November 18), and he was a physician. The pagans learned that he was a Christian, and they brought him to trial and subjected him to fierce tortures. Thrown into boiling water, the saint remained unharmed. He was then given over to be eaten by wild beasts, but they did not harm him. Instead, the beasts lay peacefully at his feet.

Through the prayers of the martyr many miracles were worked and the idols crumbled into dust. The pagans beheaded St Antiochus. Seeing the guiltless suffering of the saint, Cyriacus, a participant in the execution, was converted to Christ. He confessed his faith in front of everyone and was also beheaded. They buried the martyrs side by side.


Virginmartyr Julia of Carthage

The Virgin Martyr Julia was born in Carthage into a Christian family. While still a girl she was captured by the Persians. They carried her off to Syria and sold her into slavery. Fulfilling the Christian commandments, St Julia faithfully served her master. She preserved herself in purity, kept the fasts and prayed much to God. No amount of urging by her pagan master could turn her to idolatry.

Once the master set off with merchandise for Gaul and took St Julia with him. Along the way the ship stopped over at the island of Corsica, and the master decided to take part in a pagan festival, but Julia remained on the ship. The Corsicans plied the merchant and his companions with wine, and when they had fallen into a drunken sleep, they took Julia from the ship. St Julia was not afraid to acknowledge that she was a Christian, and the savage pagans crucified her.

An angel of the Lord reported the death of the holy martyr to the monks of a monastery, located on a nearby island. The monks took the body of the saint and buried it in a church in their monastery.

In about the year 763 the relics of the holy Martyr Julia were transferred to a women’s monastery in the city of Breschia (historians give conflicting years of the death of the saint: as either the fifth or seventh century).


New Martyr John of Trnovo

No information available at this time.


Icon of the Mother of God of Chirsk-Pskov

The Chirsk (Pskov) Icon of the Mother of God was initially in the Chirsk village church of the Pskov diocese. On July 16, 1420, during the time of Great Prince Basil Dimitrievich, Archbishop Simeon of Novgorod and Pskov, and Prince Theodore Alexandrovich were present in Pskov. In a time of a deadly pestilence, tears flowed from the eyes of the Chirsk Icon of the Mother of God. This was reported to authorities in the city of Pskov. Priests and devout men carried the wonderworking icon to Pskov. A church procession was formed to meet the icon, which was placed in the cathedral church of the Holy Trinity.

On the reverse of the icon are depicted the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, and St Theodosius of the Kiev Caves.