The Holy Martyr Callistratus.


From the Prologue

Born in Carthage, he was a Christian from his birth, as his father and grandfather were. One of his forbears, Neochorus, served as a soldier in Jerusalem under Pontius Pilate at the time of the Passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Seeing the many miracles that were wrought at the time of Christ's death, Neochorus came to believe in Him, and was taught the Faith and baptised by the apostles. Returning home, Neochorus took his Christian faith to his own people, like a precious pearl. So, in time, St Callistratus was born, baptised and brought up a Christian. When he went into the army, there was no other Christian in his regiment. One of his companions, seeing holy Callistratus get up at night and pray to God, reported him to the commander, Persentinus, as a Christian - and Persentinus was a harsh torturer of Christians. When he was convinced that Callistratus was indeed a Christian, the commander ordered him to offer sacrifice to idols, which Callistratus immediately refused to do. Then Callistratus was harshly beaten and thrown into the sea, but God's power preserved him, and he emerged from the sea unharmed. Seeing Callistratus's endurance and his miracles, forty-nine soldiers came to believe in Christ the Lord, and they were beaten and thrown into prison along with him. In prison, St Callistratus instructed his companions in the Faith and encouraged them. They showed great courage in suffering, and the Lord showed great power through them. The wicked torturer sent soldiers to the prison at night, and they slew Callistratus and the other forty-nine. They suffered for the truth in 304, and a church was later built over their relics.

NAME:The Holy Apostles Mark, Aristarchus and Zenas.

They were of the Seventy. St Mark was also called John. The apostles gathered together for prayer at the house of his mother, Mary, in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). He preached the Gospel with the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, and was after that bishop in Byblos. St Aristarclius, a companion of the Apostle Paul on his travels (Acts 16:29), was Bishop in Syrian Apamea. St Zenas, spoken of as a lawyer by the Apostle Paul (Titus 3:13), was bishop in Palestinian Lydda. They shone like stars in the darkness of paganism and brought many to the Christian faith, and now they shine like stars in the Kingdom of Christ their Beloved.

NAME:The Holy New Martyr Aquilina.

From the village of Zaklivera in the diocese of Jedrene, she was a girl of eighteen. Her father embraced Islam and put pressure on his daughter to do the same, but her mother inclined her to the Christian faith. After much torture, all wounded and bloodied, she breathed her last in her mother's arms and received the wreath of martyrdom on September 27th, 1764.

NAME:Our Holy Father Sabbatius of Solovetz.

Sabbatius is commemorated together with St Zossima on April 17th. He entered into rest in the Lord on September 27th, 1435.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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