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Then he would tear her apart with his teeth. The father of a girl chosen to be a sacrifice was praying with deep sighs and tears to God and the holy Forerunner to free his country from such a bitter killer. As he was praying, he came up with an idea as it often happens with people in need.
He was going to attempt such an endeavour. He asked to venerate the holy hand of the Forerunner and, as he was kissing it, he secretly cut with his teeth the thumb. When he got what he wanted he came out of the church.
When the day on which his daughter was expected to be sacrificed arrived, all the people of the city gathered to watch the sacrifice. In front of them all the father holding his daughter approached the dragon. When he saw the dragon opening his mouth to devour his daughter, the threw into its throat the holy finger of the Forerunner and, what a miracle!
The dragon was immediately killed. When this had happened, the father received his daughter alive and went back home rejoicing and relating the miracle. The gathered crowds of the people seeing this miraculous event were amazed. So, they gave thanks to God and the holy Forerunner and built a great church in his name. Therefore, having contested for the truth, you rejoiced to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades: The Jordan accepted your presence in the flesh and reversed its course in fear.
John, fulfilling the spiritual ministry, fell back in awe. The ranks of Angels, seeing you in the flesh, baptised in the river, were amazed, and all who were in darkness were filled with light, praising you who appeared and enlightened all. Apolytikion of Afterfeast of the Theophany in the First Tone. Lord, when You were baptised in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words.
Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world. St George the Chozebite was born on the island of Cyprus toward the end of the sixth century. After the death of his parents, he went to Palestine to worship at the holy places. Here he entered into the monastic community of Hozeva between the River Jordan and Jerusalem, and he later became head of this monastery. St George presented the monks example in fasting, vigil and physical efforts.
Having lived as an angel upon the earth, he died in peace. You proved to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O George, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer obtained heavenly gifts, and you heal the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to you with faith.
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Glory to Him that has given you strength. Glory to him that has crowned you. Glory to Him that works healings for all through you. Saint Domnica was from Carthage. During the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the Great, she came with four other virgins to Constantinople, where she was baptized by Nectarius, the Patriarch of Constantinople. She remained in Constantinople and became known for her extreme asceticism, the miracles that she worked, and the grace of prophecy that adorned her.
She lived until the days of the Emperors Leo and Zeno, reposing in peace about the year Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. Kontakion of Afterfeast of the Theophany in the Fourth Tone. You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: Our Father among the Saints Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, was born in AD of noble family, and served for a time in the royal court.
While still a young man, he secretly left Moscow and entered Solovki Monastery in the north, about the year AD, a little over a hundred years after its founding. Because of his spiritual stature, he was chosen against his will to succeed Abbot Alexis in AD.
As abbot, Philip was a great builder and beautifier of Solovki Monastery. He laid the foundations for the Cathedral of the Transfiguration, constructed cells, hermitages, and a hospital for the monks and for pilgrims, established a cattle yard on one of the islands, drained swamps and connected waterways by a series of canals and dams, built a mill and various workshops, and even invented ingenious machines and implements to help the monks in their work.
Tsar Ivan the Terrible revered Philip, even as Herod had revered St John the Baptist, and he had been a generous benefactor of Solovki Monastery, but because the Tsar had established the Oprichnina, a state within a state, giving power to the Oprichniki, who used it to oppress and rob the innocent.
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Philip told him that he could not be Metropolitan if the Tsar suffered the oprichniki to continue in power. However, as the horrors committed by the oprichniki grew worse, including thefts, false accusations, murders, and all manner of injustice and rapacity, with the knowledge of the Sovereign, St Philip could not remain silent.
He rebuked the Tsar once and again for the reign of terror that he had brought upon his own people. The Tsar warned him to hold his peace and bless him to do as he wished.
The Metropolitan answered that his silence brought sin upon the Sovereign. The Tsar threatened him with his wrath, and told him to resign his throne if he were not willing to comply. The more the Tsar threatened Philip with his wrath, the more the holy Hierarch stood fast and threatened the Tsar with the judgment of God; Philip alone had the courage to rebuke the Tsar openly and oppose his iniquity. Finally the Tsar, finding false witnesses against Philip in his own monastery on Solovki, held a council against him in early November, AD; the Saint had to endure the persecution of the Tsar who had torn him from his beloved monastery, the betrayal of his fellow Hierarchs, and the slanders of his own spiritual children.
He was imprisoned in Moscow, but because of the love of the people for him, the Tsar feared him even in prison, and he was transferred to a monastery in Tver, where he spent a year in great hardships and continual prayer. St Philip told him to do that which he came to do, then raised his hands in prayer to God. In AD his relics were transferred to Solovki, and in AD to the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow; many miracles were wrought through his holy relics.
Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for you received as the prize the crowns of perfection and life from you, our immortal God. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since you are merciful.
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O successor of first prelates, pillar of Orthodoxy, champion of truth, new confessor, St Philip, you laid down thy life for thy flock. Wherefore, since you have boldness with Christ, pray for us and them that worthily honour you holy memory. Let us praise most wise Philip, guide and teacher of Orthodoxy, herald of truth, emulator of Chrysostom, lamp of Russia, who fed his children spiritually with the food of his words; for by chanting praise with his tongue, he taught us to chant with our lips as an initiate of the grace of God.
Saint Polyeuctus, a soldier in rank, contested during the reign of Valerian, in the year He was from Melitene, a city in Armenia. Apolytikion of Theophany Afterfeast in the First Tone. His brother St Basil was encouraged by their elder sister St Macrina to prefer the service of God to a secular career. St Gregory was moved in a similar way by his godly mother St Emily, who, when Gregory was still a young man, implored him to attend a service in honour of the holy Forty Martyrs at her retreat at Annesi on the River Iris.
The Forty Martyrs then appeared to him in a dream, threatening him and reproaching him for his slothfulness. After this, he repented and became very diligent in the service of God.
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He attended the Local Synod of Antioch, which sent him to visit the churches of Arabia and Palestine, which had been defiled and ravaged by Arianism. Having lived some 60 years and left behind many remarkable writings, he reposed about the year AD. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who has appeared and has enlightened the world, glory be to You.
O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Your gentleness; take not You mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace. Saint Dometian lived in the years of the Emperor Justin II, who reigned from to , and the Emperor Maurice, who reigned from to Born of pious parents named Theodore and Eudocia, he received a thorough education in both secular and sacred knowledge.
After he had lived in lawful wedlock a short time, his wife died, and he, for his virtue was made Bishop of Melitene in Armenia at the age of thirty. As a kinsman and trusted friend of the Emperor Maurice, he received from him great largesse, which he spent on the building of churches and the help of the poor; he was entrusted with the dealings of Byzantium with Persia.
While in Constantinople, he reposed in peace in the year O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: St Theodosius had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from to AD. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery, wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While St Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, St Theodosius was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch.
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Together with St Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites. The heresy was championed by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defence of the Holy Synod of Chalcedon. Having lived for years, he reposed in peace. With the streams of thy tears, you cultivated the barrenness of the desert; and by thy sightings from the depths, you beared fruit a hundredfold in labours; and you became a luminary, shining with miracles upon the world, O Theodosius our righteous Father.
Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved. A being planted in the courts of Christ thy Lord and God, with holy virtues thou delightfully didst blossom forth and multiplied your children amid the desert, who were watered with the showers of thy fervent tears, O chief shepherd of the godly sheepfold of our God. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
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