The Holy Martyr Sozon.


From the Prologue

Born in Lycaonia, Sozon was a shepherd and lived by the Law of God, teaching his brothers and sisters, and his friends, his devout faith. He learned in a vision that he would suffer martyrdom for Christ. At that time, there was a great persecution of Christians near the city of Pompeiopolis on the part of Maximian, the governor of Silicia. In the city, there was a golden idol which was worshipped by the pagans. Sozon left his sheep, went to the city, entered the pagan temple and knocked an arm off the golden idol, melting it down and giving the gold to the poor. There was a great outcry in the city because of this, and the pagans began to search for the guilty man. That no-one else should suffer for his action, Sozon went to the governor and declared himself to be a Christian and the performer of that act. The torturers first beat him, then chained him to a tree and flogged him with iron flails. When he was at his last breath, they cast him into the flames, where holy Sozon gave his soul to God. He suffered in about 304. His relics were found to be wonderworking, and a church dedicated to him was built over them.

NAME:The Holy Apostles Euodus and Onesiphorus.

These apostles were among the Seventy. St Ignatius the God-Bearer mentions St Euodus in glowing terms in his Epistle to the Antiochians. Euodus was a disciple of the Apostle Peter, and his successor at his hands as Bishop of Antioch. Euodus wrote a work on the holy Mother of God, in which he expounds how the holy Virgin was taken to the Temple at the age of three, how she stayed there for eleven years and was given into Joseph's keeping at the age of fifteen, and how she gave birth to the Lord at that age. He wrote another work under the titie `The Lighthouse', but both these works were destroyed during a time of persecution of Christians. He was killed for Christ during one of the Emperor Vespasian's visits to Antioch.

St Onesiphorus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul (II Tim. 1:16-18) as his sincere friend and helper. He suffered for Christ in Colophon, where he had been bishop. It is said that he was bound behind wild horses and tom asunder. Thus these faithful soldiers of Christ served with honour on earth and entered into the joy of their Lord.

NAME:The Holy Martyr Eupsychius.

Son of Dionysius, a senator, he was brutally tortured for Christ, whipped and flogged and then flung half-dead into prison, where an angel of God appeared to him and healed him. Freed from prison, he gave away all his possessions, some to the poor and some to his slanderers. Arrested afresh, he was flogged until he gave his soul to God. Milk and water flowed from his wounds in place of blood. He suffered in the time of the Emperor Hadrian (I 17-38).

NAME:St John, Archbishop of Novgorod.

He was first a married priest and then, from 1163, bishop in Novgorod, building seven churches during his lifetime. He had a vision of the holy Mother of God and a rare power over demons, making them obey him, and he once miraculously preserved Novgorod from an attack by seventy-two princes. He suffered from diabolical temptations, but overcame them all by the power of the Cross and by prayer. Retiring to a monastery in old age, he received the Great Habit and entered peacefully into rest in the Lord on September 7th, 1185.

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

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