Saint of the DayAuthor: Jerome Atherholt and Ancient Faith Radio
17 Feb 2019

Saint of the Day

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Subscribe to hear the story of one of the venerable Saints commemorated each day in the Orthodox Church.

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    Martyrs Pamphilius and those with him, at Caesarea in Palestine (308)

    These twelve holy Martyrs suffered in the reign of Diocletian.   "The first of these, Pamphilius, was priest in the church at Caesarea in Palestine; a learned and devout man, he corrected the mistakes of various copiers in the text of the New Testament. He himself copied this saving Book and gave it to any who desired it. The second was a deacon, Valentine, old in years and white with wisdom. He was a great expert in the Holy Scriptures, knowing them by heart. The third was Paul, a respected and eminent man, who had on a previous occasion been cast into the fire for the sake of Christ. With them were five Egyptians, brothers both in blood and soul, who were returning to their native land from serving a sentence in the mines of Cilicia. As they reached the gate of the town of Caesarea they said that they were Christians, and were therefore brought to trial. When asked their names, they replied: 'We have cast away the pagan names given us by our mother, and are called Elias, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Samuel and Daniel.' when asked where they were from, they replied: 'From Jerusalem that is above.' They were all beheaded, and a young man called Porphyrius, who had searched for their bodies to give them burial, suffered soon afterwards. Him they burned. An officer, Seleucus, who had come up to the martyrs and embraced them before the sword descended on their heads, was also burned, and an old man, Theodulus, a servant of the Roman judge, who had embraced one of the martyrs while they were under escort. Lastly Julian, who had kissed the dead bodies of the martyrs and honoured them, followed them in death. So they exchanged the small for the greater, the tawdry for the precious and death for immortality, and went to the Lord in 308." (Prologue)   The Synaxarion concludes, "After the martyrdom of Pamphilius, the leader of the glorious cohort, the impious governor gave orders that his body and those of his companions should be left where they lay as food for carnivorous animals. However by God's Providence, no animal came near their holy relics, which the Christians were able to lay to rest with due honour." The account of these Martyrs was written by Eusebius of Caeserea, Pamphilius' disciple.

  • Posted on 16 Feb 2019

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    Holy Apostle Onesimos (~109)

    He was a Phrygian by birth, a slave of Philemon, to whom the Apostle Paul addressed his epistle. Onesimos escaped from Philemon and fled to Rome, where he was converted to the Faith by St Paul. St Paul sent him back to his master, who at St Paul's urging gave him his freedom. He served the Church for many years before dying a martyr, beaten to death with clubs.   Saint Onesimos is also commemorated on November 22, with Sts Philemon, Archippus and Aphia; and on January 4 at the Synaxis of the Seventy Disciples.

  • Posted on 15 Feb 2019

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    Our Holy Father Auxentius (470)

    He was of Persian origin, born in Syria. As a young man, he distinguished himself as a member of the court of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger. Seeing the vanity of the world's honors and pleasures, he became a monk in Constantinople; but when the people began to praise his holiness, he fled to Mount Oxeia near Chalcedon, which later became known as Auxentius' Mountain. There he built a small hut and lived in reclusion; but in time he was discovered by some shepherds, and the faithful began to come in increasing numbers for his teaching, blessing, prayers and healing. He performed countless miracles, but such was his humility that he always sought to avoid their being attributed to him. When he was asked to pray for someone's healing, he would try to refuse, saying "I too am a sinful man." But, when he was prevailed on by the pleas of the people, he would call on all of them to pray together for the healing; or he would remind them that God would give according to their faith; or he would say to the sick person "The Lord Jesus Christ heals you." When the Emperor Marcian summoned the Fourth Ecumenical Council to Chalcedon, he ordered that the hermit join the assembly of holy Fathers. Auxentius refused, saying that doctrinal teaching was the province of bishops, not monks. The Emperor's envoys took him by force. He was greeted with honor by the Emperor, and affirmed all the decisions of the Council.   He never returned to Mount Oxeia, but settled in an even wilder and more remote spot on Mount Skopa, which later came to be called Mount St Auxentius. His disciples built him a tiny wooden hut with one small window through which he could converse with his steady stream of visitors. He reposed in peace in 470. A great crowd gathered for his funeral, and his holy relics were taken into the care of a women's monastery whose spiritual Father he had been.   Mount St Auxentius soon became a center of hesychastic life, with seven monasteries.

  • Posted on 14 Feb 2019

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    St Martinian, monk, of Caesarea in Palestine (422)

    "The life of this saint is wonderful beyond measure and is worth reading in full. What did he not endure to fulfil the Law of God? At the age of eighteen, he went off into a mountain in Cappadocia called the Ark and spent 25 years in fasting, vigils and prayer, and struggling with manifold temptations. When a woman came to tempt him and he saw that he would fall into sin with her, he leapt barefoot into the fire and stood in it until the pain brought forth tears from his eyes and he had killed all lust within himself. When other temptations arose, he fled to a lonely rock in the sea and lived there. When, though, in a shipwreck, a woman swam to the rock, he leapt into the sea intending to drown himself. But a dolphin took him upon its back and brought him, by God'd providence, to the shore. He then decided to make nowhere his permanent home but to travel incessantly. Thus he pased through 164 towns in two years, exhorting and advising the people. He finally arrived in Athens, where he died in 422." (Prologue)

  • Posted on 13 Feb 2019

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    St Meletios, archbishop of Antioch (381)

    Our holy father Meletios, an Armenian by birth, became archbishop of Antioch at the height of the Arian controversy. Though he was appointed by influential Arians who thought that he shared their views, as soon as he was raised to the throne he began to preach the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. "At this, the archdeacon, an Arian, put his hand over the bishop's mouth; Meletios then extended three fingers towards the people, closed them, and extended one only, showing by signs the equality and unity of the Trinity. The embarrassed archdeacon then seized his hand, but released his mouth, and Meletios spoke out even more forcibly in defense of the Council of Nicea" (Great Horologion). It was St Meletios who ordained St John Chrysostom reader and deacon in Antioch. He presided at the Second Ecumenical Council in 381. At his repose, St Gregory of Nyssa gave his funeral oration, lamenting: "Our Elijah has been caught up, and no Elisha is left behind in his place."

  • Posted on 12 Feb 2019

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