Our Holy Father Xenophon and our Mother Maria, and their sons John and Arcadius.

Commemorated January 26 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

They were rich and respected citizens of Constantinople. Xenophon and Maria lived godly lives, and made every effort to give their sons a Christian upbringing. When the boys were grown, their parents sent them to Beirut to study, but a storm capsized their ship. By God's providence, both John and Arcadius were somehow saved and thrown onto the shore by the waves; in two separate places, however, so that each thought the other had perished. Out of grief for each other, they became monks in two different monasteries. After two years of mourning, their parents travelled to Jerusalem to venerate the holy places. There, helped by the insight of a holy man, the brothers were first united with each other and then with their parents. Out of gratitude to God, Xenophon and Maria gave away all their goods to the poor and both embraced the monastic state. This touching story of these four holy souls demonstrates clearly how the Lord guides most wonderfully the destinies of those who believe in Him; how He looses on them trials and sorrows, that they may later, yet more greatly strengthened in their faith, experience the greater joy. They lived and died in the fifth century.

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

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