Lives of all saints commemorated on March 10


3rd Saturday of Great Lent: Memorial Saturday

Saturday is the day which the Church has set aside for the commemoration of faithful Orthodox Christians departed this life in the hope of resurrection to eternal life. Since the Divine Liturgy cannot be served on weekdays during Great Lent, the second, third, and fourth Saturdays of the Fast are appointed as Soul Saturdays when the departed are remembered at Liturgy.

In addition to the Liturgy, kollyva (wheat or rice cooked with honey and mixed with raisins, figs, nuts, sesame, etc.) is blessed in church on these Saturdays. The kollyva reminds us of the Lord’s words, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).The kollyva symbolizes the future resurrection of all the dead. As Saint Simeon of Thessalonica (September 15) says, man is also a seed which is planted in the ground after death, and will be raised up again by God’s power. Saint Paul also speaks of this (I Cor. 15:35-49).

It is customary to give alms in memory of the dead in addition to the prayers we offer for their souls. The angel who spoke to Cornelius testifies to the efficacy of almsgiving, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4).

Memorial services for the dead may be traced back to ancient times. Chapter 8 of the Apostolic Constitutions recommends memorial services with Psalms for the dead. It also contains a beautiful prayer for the departed, asking that their voluntary and involuntary sins be pardoned, that they be given rest with the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles in a place where sorrow, suffering, and sighing have fled away (Isaiah 35:10). Saint John Chrysostom mentions the service for the dead in one of his homilies on Philippians, and says that it was established by the Apostles. Saint Cyprian of Carthage (Letter 37) also speaks of our duty to remember the martyrs.

The holy Fathers also testify to the benefit of offering prayers, memorial services, Liturgies, and alms for the dead (Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Saint John of Damascus, etc.). Although both the righteous and those who have not repented and corrected themselves may receive benefit and consolation from the Church’s prayer, it has not been revealed to what extent the unrighteous can receive this solace. It is not possible, however, for the Church’s prayer to transfer a soul from a state of evil and condemnation to a state of holiness and blessedness. Saint Basil the Great points out that the time for repentance and forgiveness of sins is during the present life, while the future life is a time for righteous judgment and retribution (Moralia 1). Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Gregory the Theologian, and other patristic writers concur with Saint Basil’s statement.

By praying for others, we bring benefit to them, and also to ourselves, because “God is not so unjust as to forget your work and the love which you showed for His sake in serving the saints...” (Heb. 6:10).


Martyr Quadratus and those with him at Corinth

The Holy Martyr Quadratus (Codratus) and those with him: During a persecution against Christians (in the third century) a certain pious woman named Rufina fled from Corinth to a mountain, to escape from her pursuers. There she gave birth to a son Quadratus, and died soon afterward. By the Providence of God the infant remained alive and was nourished in miraculous manner: a cloud appeared over him, dropping a sweet dew into his mouth.

The childhood and youth of Saint Quadratus were spent in the wilderness. When he was a young man, he chanced upon Christians, who enlightened him with the light of the true Faith. Quadratus studied grammar, and later learned the physician’s art and attained great success in it. But most of all, Quadratus loved the wilderness solitude and he spent the greater part of his time in the hills, in prayer and meditation upon God. Many years passed, and his friends and followers frequently came to the saint to hear his instruction. Among them were Cyprian, Dionysius, Anectus, Paul, Crescens and many others.

By order of the impious emperor Decius (249-251), the military prefect Jason arrived at Corinth to torture and slay Christians. Since Quadratus was the eldest, he spoke for the rest. The saint bravely defended his faith in Christ the Savior, then they began the torture. Saint Quadratus, despite inhuman suffering, encouraged the others, urging them not to be afraid and to stand firmly for the Faith.

Unable to persuade any of them to deny Christ, Jason ordered the martyrs to be thrown to wild beasts to be torn apart. But the beasts did not touch them. They tied the saints to chariots by their feet and dragged them through the city, and many of the crowd threw stones at them. Finally, they condemned the martyrs to beheading by the sword. At the place of execution the martyrs requested for a certain time to pray, and then one after the other they bent their necks beneath the sword.

The remaining disciples of Saint Quadratus also suffered for Christ: Dionysius (another one) was stabbed in the night; Victorinus, Victor and Nicephorus were crushed in a large stone press; Claudius’s hands and feet were cut off; Diodorus was thrown into a fire prepared for him; Serapion was decapitated; Papias and Leonidas were drowned in the sea. Many holy women also went voluntarily to suffer for Christ: Saints Chariessa, Nunechia, Basilissa, Nike, Galla, Galina, and Theodora were among them.


Martyr Quadratus and those with him at Nicomedia

The Holy Martyrs Quadratus of Nicomedia, Saturinus, Rufinus and others suffered during the persecutions of the emperor Decius (249-251) and his successor Valerian (253-259).

Saint Quadratus was descended from an illustrious family. Possessing considerable wealth, the saint did not spare his means in helping fellow Christians, languishing in prison for the faith.

When the envoy of the impious Decius, the proconsul Perennius, arrived in Nicomedia, Saint Quadratus voluntarily appeared before him, in order to strengthen the courage of the imprisoned brethren by his self-sacrificing decision. At first Perennius attempted to lure Quadratus from Christ, promising him rewards and honors. Then, seeing the futility of his attempts, he cast the saint into prison and gave orders to lay him down on a bed of nails and to lay a large stone on him.

Setting out for Nicea, the proconsul commanded that all the imprisoned Christians be brought after him. In that number was Saint Quadratus. Upon arriving in the city, Saint Quadratus implored that they be led to the pagan temple. As soon as they untied his hands and feet, he began to overturn and destroy the idols. By order of the proconsul, they gave Quadratus over to torture. Enduring terrible torments, the saint held firm in spirit and by his act encouraged the other martyrs, whose wounds were seared with burning candles.

During the suffering of the martyrs, suddenly there shone a brilliant cloud, but the pagans found themselves in total darkness. In the ensuing silence was heard the singing of angels glorifying God. Many of those present confessed themselves Christians. Perennius ascribed the miracle to sorcery, and gave orders to take them to prison.

From Nicea the martyrs walked behind the proconsul to Apamea, then to Caesarea, Apollonia and the Hellespont, where they tortured them in all sorts of ways, hoping to make them deny Christ.

They tied Saint Quadratus into a sack filled with poisonous serpents, and threw it into a deep pit. On the following morning, everyone was astonished to see the martyr whole and unharmed. When they began to beat him mercilessly, two noblemen, Saturinus and Rufinus, were moved with pity for the martyr. This was observed, and Saturinus and Rufinus were beheaded.

Perennius subjected the martyr to even more fierce and refined tortures, but was not able to break his spirit. The saint lost his strength and was hardly able to move. For the last time the proconsul urged the martyr to abjure Christ. Marshalling his strength, the saint firmly replied, “Since childhood I have acknowledged Christ as the one and only God, and I know no other.”

The proconsul gave orders to light the fire, make the iron grate red-hot and throw the martyr on it. Having blessed himself with the Sign of the Cross, Saint Quadratus laid himself down upon the red-hot couch as upon a soft bed, emerging unharmed from the flames. In frustration, the proconsul gave orders to behead Saint Quadratus.


Saint Anastasia the Patrician of Alexandria

Saint Anastasia the Patrician of Alexandria lived in Constantinople and was descended from an aristocratic family. She was an image of virtue, and she enjoyed the great esteem of the emperor Justinian (527-565). Widowed at a young age, Anastasia decided to leave the world and save her soul far from the bustle of the capital. She secretly left Constantinople and went to Alexandria. She founded a small monastery not far from the city, and devoted herself entirely to God.

Several years later, the emperor Justinian was widowed and decided to search for Anastasia and marry her. As soon as she learned of this, Saint Anastasia journeyed to a remote skete to ask Abba Daniel (March 18) for help.

In order to safeguard Anastasia, the Elder dressed her in a man’s monastic garb and called her the eunuch Anastasius. Having settled her in one of the very remote caves, the Elder gave her a Rule of prayer and ordered her never to leave the cave and to receive no one. Only one monk knew of this place. His obedience was to bring a small portion of bread and a pitcher of water to the cave once a week, leaving it at the entrance. The nun Anastasia dwelt in seclusion for twenty-eight years. Everyone believed that it was the eunuch Anastasius who lived in the cave.

The Lord revealed to her the day of her death. Having learned of her approaching death, she wrote several words for Abba Daniel on a potsherd and placed it at the entrance to the cave. The Elder came quickly and brought everything necessary for her burial. He found the holy ascetic still alive, and he confessed and communed her with the Holy Mysteries. At Abba Daniel’s request, Saint Anastasia blessed him and the monk accompanying him. With the words: “Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” the saint died in peace (ca. 567-568).

When the grave was prepared, the Elder gave his disciple his outer garment and ordered him to dress the deceased “brother” in it. As he was putting on the rassa, the monk noticed that she was a woman, but he did not dare to say anything. However, when they returned to the monastery after they buried the nun, the disciple asked Abba Daniel whether he knew the “brother” was a woman, and the Elder related to the young monk the life of Saint Anastasia. Later, the abba’s narrative was written down and received wide acclaim.

The relics of Saint Anastasia were transferred to Constantinople in the year 1200, and put not far from the church of Hagia Sophia.


St. John of Khakhuli the Oqropiri, also called Chrysostom

In the second half of the 10th century King Davit Kuropalates founded Khakhuli Monastery in the historical region of Tao, at the gorge of the Khakhuli River, where it joins the Tortumi River.

Once famed for its holiness and academic activity, today Khakhuli Monastery is a Turkish possession and has become a tourist site. Nevertheless, the Georgian nation continues to be illumined by its grace and the radiance of the Georgian faithful who labored there.

A contemporary of King Bagrat III (975-1014), Saint John of Khakhuli was a highly educated theologian, translator, and calligrapher. He has been called “Chrysostom” since he, like the beloved archbishop of Constantinople, delivered his sermons with extraordinary eloquence.

Some sources claim that Saint John was first consecrated bishop of Bolnisi and later transferred to the Khakhuli diocese. It is generally agreed, however, that he left Khakhuli around the year 1019 and traveled to Mt. Athos with Arsen of Ninotsminda and John Grdzelisdze.

One Georgian manuscript, however, suggests that Saint John was not a bishop at that time, and this has baffled Church historians to this day. In this manuscript it is written: “Pray for the blessed monk John Grdzelisdze and his spiritual son John Chrysostom, who labored to write this holy book.”

While laboring on Mt. Athos, Saint John faithfully assisted Saint Ekvtime of the Holy Mountain, and these spiritual brothers became close friends.

The countless good works he performed from the bishop’s throne, the title “Chrysostom,” and the many important writings accredited to him attest to the piety, wisdom, and patriotism of Saint John of Khakhuli. It is written in The Life of Giorgi of the Holy Mountain that Saint John reposed on Mt. Athos.


St. Michael the New Martyr

No information available at this time.