Lives of all saints commemorated on August 3


Venerable Isaac the Ascetic of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople

Saint Dalmatus had served in the army of the holy emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395) and gained his notice. He left the world somewhere between the years 381-383, and went with his son Faustus to the monastery of St Isaac near Constantinople. St Isaac (May 30) tonsured father and son into monasticism, and they both began to lead a strict ascetic life.

Once during Great Lent St Dalmatus did not eat any food for the forty days. Later he regained his strength and was found worthy of a divine vision.

When St Isaac was approaching the end of his earthly life, he named St Dalmatus as igumen of the monastery, which later became known as the Dalmatian Monastery.

St Dalmatus showed himself a zealous proponent of the Orthodox Faith at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus (431), which condemned the heresy of Nestorius.

After the Council the holy Fathers elevated St Dalmatus as archimandrite of the Dalmatian monastery, where he died at the age of ninety (after 446).

St Faustus, like his father, was a great ascetic and particularly excelled at fasting. After the death of his father, Faustus became igumen of the monastery.


Venerable Dalmatus the Ascetic of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople

Saint Isaac (May 30) tonsured Sts Dalmatus and his son Faustus as monks in his monastery near Constantinople.

When St Isaac was approaching the end of his earthly life, he named St Dalmatus as igumen of the monastery, which later became known as the Dalmatian Monastery.


Venerable Faustus the Ascetic of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople

Saint Isaac (May 30) tonsured Sts Dalmatus and his son Faustus as monks in his monastery near Constantinople.

When St Isaac was approaching the end of his earthly life, he named St Dalmatus as igumen of the monastery, which later became known as the Dalmatian Monastery.

St Faustus, like his father, was a great ascetic and particularly excelled at fasting. Following the death of his father, he succeeded him as igumen of the monastery.


Venerable Anthony the Roman and Abbot of Novgorod

St Anthony the Roman was born at Rome in 1067 to rich parents who adhered to the Orthodox Faith, and they raised him in piety. After losing his parents at age 17, he took up the study of the Fathers in the Greek language. Afterwards, he distributed part of his inheritance to the poor, and the other portion he put into a wooden barrel and threw it into the sea. Then he was tonsured at one of the wilderness monasteries, where he lived for 20 years.

A persecution of the Latins against the Orthodox forced the brethren to separate. St Anthony wandered from place to place until he came upon a large rock upon the shore of the sea, where he lived for a whole year in fasting and prayer. On September 5, 1105 a terrible storm tore away the stone on which St Anthony stood, and threw it into the sea. By divine Providence, the stone floated to Novgorod. On the Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, the stone halted 3 versts from Novgorod on the banks of the River Volkhov near the village of Volkhov. This event is testified to in the Novgorod Chronicles.

At this place the monk, with the blessing of St Nikita the Hermit (May 14), founded a monastery in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. In another year, fishermen recovered the barrel containing St Anthony’s inheritance, cast into the sea many years before. The saint recognized his barrel, but the fishermen did not want to give it to him. Before a judge, St Anthony described the contents of the barrel, and it was returned to him. The saint used the money to buy land for the monastery. Spiritual asceticism was combined at the monastery with intense physical labor.

St Anthony was concerned that help should be given to the needy, orphans and widows from monastery funds. In 1117, the saint built a stone church in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. The church, built during the lifetime of St Anthony in the years 1117-1119 by the renowned Novgorod architect Peter, and adorned with frescoes in the year 1125, has been preserved to the present time. In 1131, St Niphon of Novgorod made St Anthony igumen of the monastery. He died on August 3, 1147 and was buried by St Niphon.

St Anthony was glorified in 1597. His memory is also celebrated (uncovering of his relics) on the first Friday after the Feast of the Foremost Apostles Peter and Paul (June 29), and on January 17, on the same day that St Anthony the Great is commemorated. The first Life of St Anthony the Roman was written soon after his death by his disciple and successor as igumen, the hieromonk Andrew. A Life, with an account of the uncovering of the relics, was written by a novice of the Antoniev monastery, the monk Niphon, in the year 1598.


Martyr Razhden of Persia the Georgian

Saint Razhden the Protomartyr was descended from a noble Persian family. When Holy King Vakhtang Gorgasali married the daughter of the Persian king Hormuzd III Balunducht, the queen took Razhden with her to Georgia.

In Kartli Razhden converted to the Christian Faith, and King Vakhtang presented him with an estate and appointed him as a military adviser and commander.

At that time Georgia was under heavy political pressure from Persia. Enraged at King Vakhtang’s clearly Christian convictions, the Persian king Peroz (Son of Yazgard III.)(457-484) attacked Georgia with an enormous army. His accomplishments in this battle earned Razhden his distinction as a brave and virtuous warrior.

Before long the furious King Peroz ordered that “a certain Persian aristocrat who had converted to Christianity and survived the battle” be taken captive. The Persians surrounded Razhden, bound his hands and feet, and delivered him to their king. Peroz received him with feigned tenderness, saying, “Greetings, my virtuous Razhden! Peace be to you! Where have you been all this time, and for what reason have you turned from the faith of your fathers to confess a creed in which your fathers did not instruct you?”

Razhden fearlessly asserted that Christianity is the only true faith and that Christ is the only true Savior of mankind. King Peroz tried to conceal his anger and cunningly lure Razhden to his side, but his attempt was in vain. Convinced that his efforts were futile, Peroz finally ordered that the saint be beaten without mercy. The expert executioners trampled St. Razhden, battered him, knocked out his teeth, dragged him across jagged cliffs, then chained him in heavy irons and cast him into prison.

When the news of Razhden’s suffering and captivity spread to Mtskheta, the Georgian nobility came to Peroz and requested that he free the holy man. Peroz consented to their request, but made Razhden vow to return.

Razhden arrived in Mtskheta, bid farewell to his family and the beloved king Vakhtang Gorgasali and, despite his loved ones’ admonitions to the contrary, returned to Peroz. The Persian king tried again to return Razhden to the religion of the fire-worshippers. But seeing that he would not be broken, Peroz instead ordered his exile to a military camp at Tsromi in central Georgia. Then he secretly ordered the chief of the Persian camp to turn him away from Christianity and to execute him if he refused. “Your flattery and bribes are insulting to me. With joy I am prepared to endure every suffering for the sake of Christ!”

Razhden replied to his appeals.

“If he hopes in the Crucified One, then he also is fit to suffer crucifixion!”

Such was the Persians’ verdict. They erected a cross, crucified Christ’s humble servant, and prepared to shoot at the pious man with bow and arrow.

“Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit!” were the last words of St. Razhden.

That night a group of Christians stole the Persians’ cross, took the holy martyr’s body down from it, and buried his holy relics in secret. A few years later Vakhtang Gorgasali translated St. Razhden’s relics from Tsromi to Nikozi (in central Georgia) and interred them in a cathedral that he had built there not long before. Holy King Vakhtang later erected churches in honor of Georgia’s first martyr in Ujarma and Samgori in eastern Georgia.


Venerable Cosmas the Eunuch and Hermit of Palestine

St Cosmas the Hermit lived during the sixth century in the Pharan wilderness of Palestine. An account of the Bikaneia presbyter Abba Basil about St Cosmas is located in the book Spiritual Meadow (Ch. 40) compiled by St John Moschus. He was strict of fasting, a firm defender of the Orthodox Faith and Church dogmas, and profoundly knowledgeable in Holy Scripture and the works of the Church Fathers.

St Cosmas particularly revered the works of St Athanasius the Great and told those to whom he spoke: “If you come across a word of St Athanasius and have no paper, write it upon your clothing.” He had the habit to stand at prayer all night Saturday through Sunday.

Having once come to Antioch, he died there, and the patriarch buried his body at his monastery. Abba Basil relates that when he came to venerate the grave of St Cosmas, he found there a beggar, who told him: “It is a great Elder whom you have buried here!” He explained that he had been paralyzed for twelve years, and received healing through the prayers of St Cosmas.


9 Kherkheulidze Brothers with their Mother and Sister and Nine Thousand Martyrs of Marabda

On the Feast of the Annunciation in the year 1625, the Georgians annihilated the army of the Persian shah Abbas I in the Battle of Martqopi. The victory unified Georgia’s eastern provinces of Kartli and Kakheti. It also instilled hope in other enslaved peoples of the Transcaucasus, and

rebellions began to break out everywhere.

Soon the enraged Shah Abbas marched his finest and largest army toward Georgia under the leadership of Isa-Khan Qurchibash. A Georgian army of some twenty thousand men encamped near Kojori-Tabakhmela in preparation for the attack, while the enemy’s army, which numbered in excess of fifty thousand men, encamped at Marabda. According to tradition, the Georgian soldiers received Holy Communion at dawn before the battle.

Bishop Domenti (Avalishvili) of Ruisi prepared to serve the Holy Gifts to the soldiers but they cried out with a single voice: “If you will join us and take up your sword and fight, then do so. We can receive Holy Communion from another!”

Inspired by these words, the bishop joined in, proclaiming, “Today we will fight a battle for faith and for Christ; therefore my blood must be spilled before yours!” With his vestments as armor, the bishop blessed the soldiers and took his place in the front line.

The banner of the Georgian army was entrusted to the nine Kherkheulidze brothers.

The Persians panicked upon coming face-to-face with the courage and fortitude of the Georgian soldiers, but the experienced commander Isa-Khan Qurchibash would not yield in battle. Help arrived from Beglerbeg Shaybani-Khan, and with the extra forces the Persians soon gained the advantage over the Georgian army. The Georgian colonel Teimuraz Mukhranbatoni was fatally wounded, and rumors of his death threw the soldiers into a frenzy, since they erroneously believed that the dead man was King Teimuraz I of Kakheti, the commander of their army.

Believing that their leader had fallen, the Georgian soldiers became anxious and their army was enfeebled. Before long they recognized their mistake, but it was too late—the fate of the battle had already been decided.

The military leaders Davit Jandieri, Aghatang Kherkheulidze and Baadur Tsitsishvili and the bishops of Rustavi and Kharchasho all fell in the battle at Marabda. The nine banner-bearing Kherkheulidze brothers were also killed. When the banner that had led their army through the battles at Didgori and Basiani fell from the hands of the youngest brother, their sister grabbed hold of it immediately, and when she also fell, the banner and symbol of Georgian invincibility was raised up again by their mother.

King Teimuraz fought until sunset, when every sword he had held in his hands had been broken. Even his rings were broken in the combat. The uniform of the brilliant military leader Giorgi Saakadze was stained with blood from top to bottom. Atabeg Manuchar of Samtskhe and his sons also fought bravely in this battle.

Utterly exhausted and debilitated by the heat, the Georgians fought heroically to the last moment. But the battle that had begun at dawn finally ended late that night with the defeat of the Georgian

army. Nine thousand Georgians gave their lives for Christ and their motherland on the battlefield at Marabda.


9,000 Martyrs of Marabda with the Nine Kherkheulidze Brothers with their Mother and Sister and

On the Feast of the Annunciation in the year 1625, the Georgians annihilated the army of the Persian shah Abbas I in the Battle of Martqopi. The victory unified Georgia’s eastern provinces of Kartli and Kakheti. It also instilled hope in other enslaved peoples of the Transcaucasus, and

rebellions began to break out everywhere.

Soon the enraged Shah Abbas marched his finest and largest army toward Georgia under the leadership of Isa-Khan Qurchibash. A Georgian army of some twenty thousand men encamped near Kojori-Tabakhmela in preparation for the attack, while the enemy’s army, which numbered in excess of fifty thousand men, encamped at Marabda. According to tradition, the Georgian soldiers received Holy Communion at dawn before the battle.

Bishop Domenti (Avalishvili) of Ruisi prepared to serve the Holy Gifts to the soldiers but they cried out with a single voice: “If you will join us and take up your sword and fight, then do so. We can receive Holy Communion from another!”

Inspired by these words, the bishop joined in, proclaiming, “Today we will fight a battle for faith and for Christ; therefore my blood must be spilled before yours!” With his vestments as armor, the bishop blessed the soldiers and took his place in the front line.

The banner of the Georgian army was entrusted to the nine Kherkheulidze brothers.

The Persians panicked upon coming face-to-face with the courage and fortitude of the Georgian soldiers, but the experienced commander Isa-Khan Qurchibash would not yield in battle. Help arrived from Beglerbeg Shaybani-Khan, and with the extra forces the Persians soon gained the advantage over the Georgian army. The Georgian colonel Teimuraz Mukhranbatoni was fatally wounded, and rumors of his death threw the soldiers into a frenzy, since they erroneously believed that the dead man was King Teimuraz I of Kakheti, the commander of their army.

Believing that their leader had fallen, the Georgian soldiers became anxious and their army was enfeebled. Before long they recognized their mistake, but it was too late—the fate of the battle had already been decided.

The military leaders Davit Jandieri, Aghatang Kherkheulidze and Baadur Tsitsishvili and the bishops of Rustavi and Kharchasho all fell in the battle at Marabda. The nine banner-bearing Kherkheulidze brothers were also killed. When the banner that had led their army through the battles at Didgori and Basiani fell from the hands of the youngest brother, their sister grabbed hold of it immediately, and when she also fell, the banner and symbol of Georgian invincibility was raised up again by their mother.

King Teimuraz fought until sunset, when every sword he had held in his hands had been broken. Even his rings were broken in the combat. The uniform of the brilliant military leader Giorgi Saakadze was stained with blood from top to bottom. Atabeg Manuchar of Samtskhe and his sons also fought bravely in this battle.

Utterly exhausted and debilitated by the heat, the Georgians fought heroically to the last moment. But the battle that had begun at dawn finally ended late that night with the defeat of the Georgian

army. Nine thousand Georgians gave their lives for Christ and their motherland on the battlefield at Marabda.