Dec. 27 The Holy Apostle, First Martyr, and Archdeacon Stephen; Our Venerable Father Theodore the Branded

The holy apostle, proto-martyr, and archdeacon Stephen was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. First of the seven deacons whom the Apostles chose to be fellow-laborers in the ministry, he was also the first of the disciples of the Lord to pour out his own blood at Jerusalem. He provided testimony for […]

Nov. 15 The Holy Martyrs and Confessors Gurias, Samonas, and Habibus

The holy martyrs and confessors Gurias, an ascetic, and Samonas suffered at Edessa in Osrhoene. They were condemned to death under Diocletian the emperor after a lengthy and savage torture, they were then beheaded by sword. Habibus was a deacon who suffered for the faith later. The martyrs endured everything with firmness and Samonas uttered […]

Nov. 6 Our Father among the saints, Paul the Confessor, Archbishop of Constantinople

Our father Paul the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople, was frequently exiled by the Arians because of his adherence to the Nicene faith, and was as often restored to dignity. Finally, he was sent by Constantius the emperor to Cucusum, a small village in Cappadocia. There, it is said, he was strangled in a conspiracy of […]

Sept. 28 Our Venerable Father and Confessor Chariton; Holy Wenceslaus, Prince of the Czechs; The Holy Prophet Baruch

Our venerable father and confessor Chariton was abbot in the Old Lavra near Bethlehem in Palestine during the 4th century. He was diligent in prayer and fasting, and founded many lavras in the desert before his falling asleep in the Lord in 362. The holy martyr Wenceslaus, prince of the Czechs, was the leader of […]

June 2 Our Father among the saints Nicephorus the Confessor

Our venerable father Nicephorus was a dignitary at the court of the Empress Irene (797-802). After embracing monasticism, he became widely known for his piety. He assumed the Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople in 806. He was a zealous defender of the holy icons. In 815, the iconoclast Emperor Leo (813-820) exiled him to Prokonnis, where […]

May 28 Our Venerable Father Nicetas, Bishop of Chalcedon

Our venerable father Nicetas, Bishop of Chalcedon, lived during the second half of the eighth century. He distinguished himself by his charity. He always helped the poor, lodged travelers in his home, cared for orphans and widows, and interceded for those who had been wronged. During the reign of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian […]

May 23 Our Holy Father and Confessor Michael, Bishop of Synnada

Our holy father Michael the Confessor was a monk in a monastery on the coast of the Black Sea before the Patriarch Tarasius (784-806) consecrated him as Bishop of the city of Synnada. He was present at the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicea in 787. St. Michael bravely and openly opposed the iconoclast heresy of […]

March 21 Our Venerable Father and Confessor James, Bishop of Catania

Our venerable father James, Bishop and Confessor, was inclined toward the ascetic life from his early years. St. James left the world and entered the Studite monastery, where he was tonsured. He led a strict life, full of works, fasting, and prayer. Pious and well versed in Holy Scripture, St. James was elevated to the […]

March 8 Our Venerable Father and Confessor Theophylactus, Bishop of Nicomedia

Our venerable father Theophylactus, along with St. Michael (Bishop of Synada) lived an ascetic life at a monastery on the coast of the Black Sea. The zealous ascetics were granted the gift of wonderworking by their God-pleasing labors and intense prayers. During a drought, when the field workers were weakened by thirst, the saints prayed […]