The Holy Martyrs of Zographou.

Commemorated October 10 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

When the Emperor Michael Palaeologus contracted the ill-famed Union of Lyons with the Pope, to receive his help against the Bulgars and Serbs, the monks of the Holy Mountain sent the Emperor a protest against this Union, and urged him to set it aside and return to Orthodoxy. The Pope sent an army to Michael's aid, and this Latin army went onto the Holy Mountain and set about such barbarism as the Turks never perpetrated in five hundred years. Hanging the members of the Council and slaughtering many of the monks in Vatopedi, Iviron and other monasteries, the Latins attacked Zographou. The blessed Abbot Thomas told the brethren by inspiration that those who desired to save themselves from the Latins should flee the monastery, and those who desired a martyr's death should stay. Twenty-six men stayed: twenty-two monks with their abbot and four laymen who worked for the monastery. They all shut themselves in the monastery tower. When the Latins arrived, they set the tower alight, and these twenty-six heroes found a martyr's death in the flames. While the tower was burning, they sang hymns and the Akathist to the Mother of God, and gave their holy souls into God's hands on October 10th, 1282. In December of the same year, the dishonourable Emperor Michael died in poverty, the Serbian King Milutin having risen up against him in defence of Orthodoxy.

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

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