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March 16th (III - 29)

Icon of the saint of the day.

Icon of St. Christodoulos of Patmos, the Wonderworker

Martyrs Sabinus (+ 287) and Papas (+ c. 305 - 311). Disciple from the 70 -- Aristoboulus, Bishop of Britanium (Britain) (I). PriestMartyr Alexander, Pope of Rome (+ 119). Martyr Julian of Anazauria (+ c. 305 - 311). PriestMartyrs Trophymos and Phalos, Presbyters of Laodiceia (+ c. 300). Martyrs Romanus and Parius. 10 Martyrs in Phoenicia. Monk John in Ruthianak. Monk Christodoulos the WonderWorker (+ 1111). Saints Emelian, Paul and Dionysius. Monk Patricius (+ 567). Monk Pimen of Salossa, Enlightener of the Lezginians, and his co-worker Antonios Meskhos (XIII) (Gruzia). Sainted Serapion, ArchBishop of Novgorod (+ 1516).

The Holy Martyr Sabinus was governor of the Egyptian city of Hermopolis. During the time of persecution against christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Sabinus hid himself away with like-minded companions in a remote village. But his dwelling-place was revealed for two gold coins given to a certain ungrateful beggar, whom the saint had constantly fed and helped with money. Together with six other christians, Sabinus was seized, and after torture they were all drowned in the Nile (+ 287).

The Holy Martyr Papas lived in the city of Larandum (Asia Minor) during the reign of Maximian (305-311). They arrested and tortured him for belief in Christ, and afterwards, -- in boots with sharp nails hammered inside, they took him for further trial to the city of Diocaesarea and later to Isaurian Seleucia. Saint Papas died bound to a barren tree, which thereupon became fruitful.

The PriestMartyr Alexander, Pope of Rome, occupied the papal throne for ten years. He was burned alive on 3 May of the year 119 by order of the emperor Adrian (117-138).

The PriestMartyr Julian of Anazauria suffered for Christ in Syrian Antioch under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). His relics were glorified by miracles during the time of Sainted John Chrysostomos (+ 407). Sainted John Chrysostom speaks about the martyr in his 47th homily.

The Holy Martyrs Trophymos and Phalos, by birth brothers and presbyters, served in Carian Laodiceia. During the time of a persecution under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) and his co-emperor Maximian (284-305), the brothers were taken under guard and brought before the governor Asclepiodotos. He ordered the holy brothers to be beaten with stones, but the stones, which they threw at the saints, flew back again and struck those that threw them. After a second interrogation the holy brothers were sentenced to crucifixion. Going to execution, they glorified God in that they were found worthy of the Saviour's death on a cross. The wondrous witnesses to God hanging on crosses continued their preaching, and their brave mother stood at the foot of the crosses. A certain Jewess, having bowed to the saints, cried out: "Blessed is the mother, having given birth to such sons". When the martyrs gave up their spirits to God, the prison guard said that he saw the souls of the holy brothers being carried upwards to heaven in the company of three Angels. All night the people stayed with the bodies of the holy martyrs. And in the morning the wife of the torturer Asclepiodotos came to the place of execution with her perfumed bejeweled veil. She told the people, that she saw by night in a dream the holy martyrs and the Angels, sent for the punishment of her husband.

The mother of the martyrs and two christians, by the names of Zosima and Artemon, buried the holy brothers in their native city of Stratonika. The torturer Asclepiodotos soon fell ill and died an horrible death.

The Monk Christodoulos the WonderWorker was a native of Bythnian Nicea. At first he pursued asceticism as a monk on Mount Latra in Bythnia, and afterwards he was hegumen of a monastery on the island of Cos. In the year 1089 the monk requested the emperor Alexis Comnena to grant his monastery the island of Patmos in return for the land on the island of Cos and at the shores of Caria. The monk established a monastery on a mountain near the cave where, according to tradition, the holy Apostle John the Theologian wrote the Apocalypse during the years 68-69. In the year 1110 the monk was forced to flee from Patmos together with his disciples to the island of Eubeios because of raidings by sea robbers. He died there in the year 1111. His disciples took his relics to the island of Patmos.

The Holy Disciple from among the 70 -- Aristoboulus, Bishop of Britanium (Britain), was born on Cyprus. Together with his brother, the holy Disciple from among the 70 -- Barnabus, he accompanied the holy Apostle Paul on his journeys. Saint Aristoboulus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16: 10). The Apostle Paul made Saint Aristoboulus a bishop and sent him to preach the Gospel in Britanium, where he converted many to Christ, for which he suffered persecution by the pagans. Saint Aristoboulus died in Britain. His memory is on 31 October and on 4 January also amidst the Sobor / Assemblage of the 70 Disciples.

Copyright 1997 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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