Synaxis of All the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

Today we commemorate the uncounted millions of faithful who suffered and died at the hands of the Soviet atheists. These include the Tsar-martyr Nicholas II and the rest of the Russian Royal Family (July 4); Patriarch Tikhon (March 24); Grand Duchess Elizabeth (July 5); thousands of martyrs, both clergy and laity, whose names are known; but also millions upon millions of simple believers whose names have been lost to history. The number of the New Martyrs of Russia far exceeds all those from the «Age of the Martyrs,» the first three centuries of Christianity. May their memory be eternal.

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New Hieromartyr John Karastamatis of Santa Cruz

Fr. John Karastamatis was born in 1937 in the Greek village of Apoika, on the island of Andros. As a boy on the island of Andros, John witnessed many miracles with which God blessed the pious villagers, and thus he was made aware of the closeness of God to the lives of those who seek Him. The heavenly saints, especially the local ones, also manifested their closeness and the power of their intercessory prayer by appearing to and helping the people. John nourished his young soul by learning of the lives of these saints and martyrs, whose unquenchable desire to be faithful to Christ in the face of deprivation, torment and physical death inspired him to also be a servant of God. Although he did not attend any theological school, he wanted to put his faith into practice by someday becoming a priest. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Victims of Radical Islam. Christianity’s Modern-Day Martyrs

Members of the Indonesian Muslim extremist group Laskar Jihad wave their swords during a demonstration in Jakarta in this April 2000 photo. Christians are now considered the most persecuted religious group around the world.

The rise of Islamic extremism is putting increasing pressure on Christians in Muslim countries, who are the victims of murder, violence and discrimination. Christians are now considered the most persecuted religious group around the world. Paradoxically, their greatest hope could come from moderate political Islam. By SPIEGEL staff.

Kevin Ang is cautious these days. He glances around, taking a look to the left down the long row of stores, then to the right toward the square, to check that no one is nearby. Only then does the church caretaker dig out his key, unlock the gate, and enter the Metro Tabernacle Church in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur.
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Ο Άγιος Ευτυχής Ιερομάρτυρας μαθητής του Αγίου Ιωάννη Θεολόγου – Hieromartyr Eutyches the Disciple of St John the Theologian (Commemorated on August 24)

st eutychesΟ Άγιος Ιωάννης ο Ευαγγελιστής, θέλοντας να δείξει τον άνθρωπο που έχει αληθινά πνεύμα Θεού, είπε: «Παν πνεύμα ο ομολογεί Ιησούν Χριστόν εν σαρκί εληλυθότα, εκ του Θεού εστί». Δηλαδή, κάθε άνθρωπος που παρουσιάζεται με χάρισμα Πνεύματος, αν ομολογεί όχι μόνο με λόγια αλλά και με έργα ότι ο Ιησούς Χριστός πράγματι σαρκώθηκε και έζησε σαν άνθρωπος φέροντας την ανθρώπινη φύση, αυτός ο άνθρωπος είναι από το Θεό. Ένας τέτοιος άνθρωπος ήταν και ο Άγιος Ευτυχής. Σαν γνήσιος μαθητής του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Ευαγγελιστή, απέδειξε περίτρανα στη ζωή του ότι είναι πραγματικά άνθρωπος του Θεού. Κήρυξε με ανδρεία το Ευαγγέλιο, γκρέμισε πολλούς ναούς ειδώλων, υπέμεινε δαρμούς και κακοπάθησε πολλά χρόνια δέσμιος μέσα στη φυλακή. Κατόπιν τον έριξαν στη φωτιά και μετά στα πεινασμένα θηρία. Επειδή, όμως, ένα από τα θηρία μίλησε με ανθρώπινη φωνή, αλλά και επειδή στη συνέχεια έμεινε αβλαβής από τα υπόλοιπα μαρτύρια, όλοι εξεπλάγησαν. Εξ’ αιτίας, λοιπόν, αυτών των θαυμάτων, τον άφησαν ελεύθερο να γυρίσει στην πατρίδα του Σεβαστή, όπου ειρηνικά παρέδωσε στον Κύριο το πνεύμα του.

Απολυτίκιο. Ήχος δ’. Ο υψωθείς εν τω Σταυρώ.

Ως φοιτητής των ιερών Αποστόλων, της ευσέβειας υποφήτης εδείχθης, και την του Λόγου σάρκωσιν εκήρυξας τρανώς, όθεν ενδιέπρεψας, μαρτυρίου τοις πόνοις, θαύμασι της πίστεως, βεβαιώσας τον λόγον. Ιερομάρτυς Πάτερ Ευτυχές, Χριστόν δυσώπει, υπέρ των ψυχών ημών.

Hieromartyr Eutyches the Disciple of St John the Theologian

The Hieromartyr Eutyches, a disciple of the holy Apostles John the Theologian and Paul, lived from the first century into the beginning of the second century, and was from the Palestinian city of Sebastea.

Although St Eutyches is not one of the 70 Apostles, he is called an Apostle because of his labors with the older Apostles, by whom he was made bishop. After hearing about Christ the Savior, St Eutyches first became a disciple of the Apostle John the Theologian. Later he met the Apostle Paul, and preached together with him on the early journeys.

St Eutyches underwent many sufferings: they starved him with hunger, beat him with iron rods, they threw him into the fire, and then to be devoured by wild beasts. Once, a lion was let loose upon the saint, which astonished everyone because it praised the Creator with a human voice. The hieromartyr Eutyches completed his labors in his native city, where he was beheaded with a sword at the beginning of the second century.

Πηγή: Συναξαριστής και OCA

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (feast day 23 August)

A modern-day Byzantine Orthodox icon of St Irenaeus.

A modern-day Byzantine Orthodox icon of St Irenaeus.

Information as to his life is scarce, and in some measure inexact. He was born in Proconsular Asia, or at least in some province bordering thereon, in the first half of the second century; the exact date is controverted, between the years 115 and 125, according to some, or, according to others, between 130 and 142. It is certain that, while still very young, Irenaeus had seen and heard the holy Bishop Polycarp (d. 155) at Smyrna. During the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, Irenaeus was a priest of the Church of Lyons. The clergy of that city, many of whom were suffering imprisonment for the Faith, sent him (177 or 178) to Rome with a letter to Pope Eleutherius concerning Montanism, and on that occasion bore emphatic testimony to his merits. Returning to Gaul, Irenaeus succeeded the martyr Saint Pothinus as Bishop of Lyons. During the religious peace which followed the persecution of Marcus Aurelius, the new bishop divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary (as to which we have but brief data, late and not very certain) and his writings, almost all of which were directed against Gnosticism, the heresy then spreading in Gaul and elsewhere. In 190 or 191 he interceded with Pope Victor to lift the sentence of excommunication laid by that pontiff upon the Christian communities of Asia Minor which persevered in the practice of the Quartodecimans in regard to the celebration of Easter. Nothing is known of the date of his death, which must have occurred at the end of the second or the beginning of the third century. In spite of some isolated and later testimony to that effect, it is not very probable that he ended his career with martyrdom. His feast is celebrated on 28 June in the Latin Church, and on 23 August in the Greek. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St Elessa of Kythera – feast day August 1 (in English and Greek)

An Orthodox icon of St Elessa of Kythera from Mount Athos.

A Greek Orthodox icon of St Elessa of Kythera from Mount Athos (1956).

St Elessa came from the Peloponnese and was the daughter of a rich Greek, named Elladios. Her mother Eugenia was a devout Christian and was barren. So through prayer she had Elessa miraculously, whom she raised according to the dictates of the Gospel and under the difficult situations caused by her pagan husband. At the age of 14 years, Elessa was orphaned by her mother and was thus left the lady of her father’s rich house. Countless were her beneficences and charities for the deprived and suffering fellow people. Sometime, though, her father induced her to marry a pagan ruler, but she refused. So when one day her father left for a trip, Elessa divided all her belongings to the oor and with her most loyal of servant-girls, escaped to the island of Kythera. There through prayer, she did many miracles. But when her father returned from the trip and learned what had happened, he was very angry, and upon discovering where Elessa was, he left to bring back. But Elessa’s opinion was contrary to that of her pagan father. Then he, after he tortured her mercilessly, he finally decapitated her and she thus all-worthily obtained the crown of martyrdom. (The memory of this Saint is not mentioned anywhere in the «synaxaristes»: we find her as a martyr only at Kythera).
Καταγόταν από την Πελοπόννησο και ήταν κόρη ενός πλούσιου Έλληνα, που ονομαζόταν Ελλάδιος. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »


Saints Panteleimon and Hermolaus. Byzantine wall-painting of the late 13th century at the Church of Panagia Olympiotissa at Elassona, Greece.

Saints Panteleimon and Hermolaus. Byzantine wall-painting of the late 13th century at the Church of Panagia Olympiotissa at Elassona, Greece.

Pantaleon was born in Nicomedia of a Christian mother and a pagan father. His mother was called Eubula and his father Eustorgius. As a young man he studied the science of medicine. The priest, Hermolaus, invited Pantaleon to be with him and taught him the Faith of Christ and baptized him. Pantaleon miraculously cured a blind man whom the other doctors treated in vain; he cured him by the power of Christ and baptized him. Out of envy the doctors accused Pantaleon of being a Christian and he went before the Emperor Maximian to stand trial. «He stood before the earthly king in body but in thought he stood before the heavenly King.» Before the emperor, he freely declared that he was a Christian and, before the eyes of the emperor, he healed a paralytic of a long-standing illness.

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