God is Wonderful in His Saints

Orthodox Saints commemorated in August

August 1
Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord (1164)
First of the three "Feasts of the Saviour" in August. Beginning of the Dormition Fast.
The Procession was established in the time of the Emperor Manuel Paleologos. In Constantinople, the wood of the Cross was brought forth from the Imperial Treasury on July 31 and placed on the altar of the Great Church, where it remained until the Dormition feast, being carried in procession every day for the people's veneration.
Holy Seven Maccabees, their mother Solomonia, and their teacher Eleazar (168 BC)
The story of the Maccabees, and their heroic struggle to free the Hebrew nation from the godless rule of Antiochus Epiphanes, is told in the Old Testament books of the Maccabees. (If your Bible does not contain these books, get one that does!) The wicked king once commanded all the Jews to eat pork, in violation of the Law of Moses. The seven pious youths, together with their teacher Eleazar and their mother Solomonia, were arrested and, when all of them refused to transgress the Law, were subjected to the cruelest tortures. Eleazar died first, by burning, then each of the youths, from the eldest to the youngest. All stood firm in their faith until the end. When Solomonia saw her youngest son, a mere boy, seized for burning, she threw herself into the fire, commending her soul to God. This was in the year 168 BC.
St Nicholas, enlightener of Japan (1912)
Born in Russia in 1836, he became one of the great Orthodox missionaries of modern times. As a boy, he resolved to become a missionary in the far East. With the counsel and blessing of Bishop Innocent of Siberia and Alaska, he went to Japan in 1861 and joined a small Russian mission there. Though the mission's official purpose was to minister to the Russian consular community, the consul-general who invited Hieromonk Nikolai hoped to bring the light of the Orthodox Faith to the Japanese people as well. Realizing that he could only hope to convert the Japanese people if they understood one another well, Fr Nikolai immersed himself in the study of Japanese thought, culture and language. Over the course of his life he translated most of the Bible and most of the Orthodox services into Japanese, and became a fluent speaker of the language. He encountered much resistance: Preaching of Christian doctrine was officially banned in Japan, and a Samurai once approached him with the words "Foreigners must die!" It was this same Samurai who later became his first Japanese priest. In 1880 he was elevated to Bishop of Japan. During the Russo-Japanese war he remained in Japan and labored successfully to overcome nationalist strife that might have harmed or destroyed the Church in Japan. He encouraged all his Japanese faithful to pray for the Japanese armed forces, though he explained that as a Russian he could not do so, and excluded himself from all public services for the duration of the war. He send Russian-speaking Japanese priests to the prison camps to minister to Russian prisoners of war. At the time of his repose in 1912, after forty-eight years in Japan, St Nikolai left a Cathedral, eight churches, more than 400 chapels and meeting houses, 34 priests, 8 deacons, 115 lay catechists, and 34,110 Orthodox faithful. The Church of Japan is now an autonomous Orthodox Church under the care of the Moscow Patriarchate.
August 2
Translation of the relics of the Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen (428)
After the First Martyr Stephen was stoned to death, his body was left for the dogs; but his teacher Gamaliel had his body secretly taken to a place outside Jerusalem and buried by night. About the year 427, a Fr Lucian, the parish priest near the place, was told in a dream where the relics of the Protomartyr were buried. He told Patriarch John of Jerusalem, and they went together to the place revealed. Digging there they found a box labeled with the word "Stephen" in Aramaic letters. They took the sacred relics to Jerusalem in solemn procession.
Hieromartyr Stephen, Pope of Rome (257), and those with him
As Bishop of Rome from 254 to 257, he battled the Novatian heresy. By his prayers he once healed Lucilla, the daughter of the Roman tribune Nemesius; for this both father and daughter were baptized into Christ. Saint Stephen and twelve of his priests were beheaded during a celebration of the Liturgy, during the reign of Valerian.
Blessed Basil of Moscow, fool-for-Christ (1552)
At the age of sixteen, he took up the podvig of folly for Christ, in which he continued for seventy-two years, living to the age of eighty-eight. He was homeless, barefood and dressed in tatters, wandering the streets of Moscow. Though mocked by many, he spoke to strangers of their secret sins, rebuked nobles for their hard-heartedness, and slowly became known as a Saint. Tsar Ivan and the Metropolitan of Moscow attended his funeral. He was buried in the church in Moscow that now bears his name.
August 3
Sts Isaac, Dalmatus and Faustus, ascetics of the Dalmatian Monastery, Constantinople (5th c.)
St Isaac is also commemorated May 30; see his life there. St Dalmatus was a soldier in the Imperial army, but along with his son Faustus left all to become a monk at the monastery founded by St Isaac. He was present at the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431; there he labored zealously for the Orthodox faith against Patriarch Nestorius. He was made Archimandrite of all the monasteries in Constantinople, and reposed in peace, having lived for more than eighty years.
Holy Myrrh-bearer Salome
She was the mother of the Apostles James and John, the wife of Zebedee, and the daughter of Joseph the Betrothed, who was a widower when he became betrothed to the Mother of God. She was a disciple of the Lord and one of the Myrrh-bearing women who first brought tidings of the Resurrection to the world.
Our Holy Father Antony the Roman (1148)
He was born in Rome in 1086 to wealthy and pious parents. When the Roman Church broke away from the Orthodox around that time, those who continued to uphold Orthodoxy, Antony among them, were persecuted. Antony gave away his worldly possessions and fled to a small rocky island in the sea, where he spent fourteen months in asceticism. During this time, the island miraculously floated like a ship to Novgorod. There, Archbishop Nikita received the young monk and helped him to build a church to the holy Theotokos, which in time became a monastery. St Anthony served there as abbot for many years, reposing in peace in 1148.
August 4
Holy Seven Youths (the "Seven Sleepers") of Ephesus (250 & 5th c.)
During a persecution of Christians under the Emperor Decius, these seven Christian youths hid themselves in a cave outside Ephesus. When they were discovered, their persecutors sealed them in the cave to die; but God instead sent them a miraculous, life-preserving sleep. There they rested for about two hundred years. In the time of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450), a heresy that denied the bodily Resurrection of the dead began to trouble the people. The Emperor prayed God to reveal the truth to the people. At this time, some shepherds removed the stones blocking the cave in order to build a sheep-pen. They discovered the seven youths, who awoke in full health and told their miraculous story. The miracle was told throughout the empire, and the Emperor himself came to Ephesus and spoke with the youths. A week later, they again fell asleep, this time in death.
Repose of Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh (2003) (July 22 OC)
August 5
Forefeast of the Transfiguration
Martyr Eusignius of Antioch (362)
He was a soldier in the Imperial army beginning under the pagan Emperor Maximian. He was a general under Constantine, and saw the Cross that appeared to the Emperor. After sixty years of military service, he retired to his home town and devoted himself to prayer, fasting and good works. A townsman, angry with a judgment that Eusignius had made to settle a dispute, denounced him to Julian the Apostate as a Christian. Summoned before Julian, he vigorously rebuked the Emperor for his apostasy from the Faith; for this he was beheaded, in advanced old age, in 362.
Holy Hieromartyr Fabian, Pope of Rome (250)
He was born in Rome and became a humble village priest; but when he was attending the election of a new Pope, a white dove was seen to descend on him and he was chosen to be Pope. Though humble and gentle, he was fearless for the faith, gathering the bodies of the martyrs, giving them burial, and building churches and shrines over their relics. According to the Prologue, he baptized the Emperor Philip and his son, also named Philip, as well as the senator Pontius; thus there were Christian emperors before St Constantine the Great. When Decius became Emperor, the persecution of Christians returned with terrible force, and Fabian was beheaded.
Righteous Nonna (374), Mother of St Gregory the Theologian
In her own lifetime she was a wonderworker through her holy prayers. She brought her husband back from idolatry to Christian faith; he later became bishop of Nazianzus. Her son Gregory's profound and devout writings bespeak the Christian upbringing she gave him. By her prayers she once saved St Gregory from perishing in a storm. She was a deaconess, and reposed in peace in 374.
August 6
The Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ
Second "Feast of the Saviour" in August.
Read the account of Christ's holy Transfiguration (Metamorphosis in Greek) in Matthew ch. 17, Mark ch. 9, and Luke ch. 9. Appearing clothed in Light on Mt Tabor, the Savior fulfilled his promise to His disciples that "there are some standing here who shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom" (Mt 16:28). Christ's Transfiguration is the image of the future state of the righteous, of which He spoke when He said "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun" (Mt 13:43). According to the Church's tradition, the Transfiguration occurred forty days before His Crucifixion; for this reason the Transfiguration is celebrated forty days before the Exaltation of the Cross.
August 7
Martyr Dometius of Persia (363) and two disciples
"Born a pagan in Persia in the time of the Emperor Constantine, he came to know the Christian faith as a young man, forsook his paganism and received baptism. He was so enchanted with the true Faith that he left all worldly things and became a monk in a monastery near the town of Nisibis. He lived among the brethren for some time, then withdrew into silence, going to Archimandrite Urbel, of whom it is said that, for sixty years, he never ate anything cooked. Urbel made him a deacon, but, when he wanted to make him a priest, Dometius fled to a distant mountain and settled in a cave there. He attained such perfection through fasting, prayer, vigils and meditation that he was able to heal the sick. When Julian the Apostate came to that place, he heard of Dometius and sent men to wall him up alive in the came, with two of his disciples. Thus died this saint of God, in 363, and went to the Kingdom of God." (Prologue). The Great Horologion says that Dometius and his disciples were stoned to death.
Holy Martyrs Marinus the Soldier and Asterius the Senator (260)
Marinus was a soldier in the Roman army, serving in Caesarea in Palestine. During a persecution under the Emperor Gallienus, he was arrested and beheaded for his Christian faith. The senator Asterius, also a Christian, was present at his execution. Asterius took off his senatorial toga, wrapped the martyr's body in it, and carried the holy body away to bury it. For this he too was beheaded.
Our Holy Father Or (Horus) of the Thebaid (390)
He was a native of Egypt; his name is that of one of the Egyptian gods. He fled to the desert to live as a hermit, but after many years he became a well-known spiritual guide and founded several monastic communities. A first-hand account of him, by Rufinus, says 'In appearance he is like an angel of God; an old man of ninety with a long snow-white beard. The impression left by his presence is delightful. His gaze is imbued with more-than-human radiance.' He received communion every day. So detached was he from the world that his disciples once had to remind him that Pascha had come. Hearing this, he went outside, raised his hands to heaven and prayed without ceasing for three days. When he had done he said to his disciples 'This is the monk's celebration of Pascha: the lifting up of the mind to unity with God. He reposed in peace at a great age.
Our Holy Father Pimen the Much-Ailing (1110)
"He was sickly from his youth, and from his youth desired monasticism. Brought to the Monastery of the Caves for healing, he remained there till his death. He prayed more for sickness than for health. On night, angels appeared to him and tonsured him as a monk, telling him at the same time that he would be sick until his death, and would be healed at that moment. And so it was; he lay sick for twenty years, working wonders even during his lifetime and being possessed of a rare gift of discernment. At the time of his death, he got up from his bed completely healed, immediately prepared his grave and entered into rest in the Lord, in the year 1110." (Prologue)
August 8
St Emilian the Confessor, bishop of Cyzicus (820)
He was one of the bishops summoned by the Patriarch Nikephoros to defend the veneration of the holy icons against the Emperor Leo the Armenian. For this reason he was sent into exile around 815, and after many sufferings for his faithful confession, reposed in exile in 820.
St Myron the Wonderworker, Bishop of Crete (350)
He was a widowed farmer who, though poor, shared the produce of his farm freely with the needy. Once he found some thieves stealing his grain. Without saying who he was, he helped the thieves fill their sacks and make their escape. His virtue became known, and he was ordained to the priesthood, then consecrated bishop. In his own lifetime he was known as a great wonderworker. He reposed in peace.
St Gregory of Sinai (Mt Athos) (1346)
One of the great ascetics, hesychasts and spiritual teachers of the Church, he did much to restore the knowledge and practice of Orthodox hesychasm. He became a monk at Mt Sinai. He traveled to Mt Athos to learn more of Orthodox spiritual prayer and contemplation, but found that these were almost lost even on the Holy Mountain. The only true, holy hesychast he found there was St Maximos of Kapsokalyvia (Maximos the hut-burner, January 13). Maximos lived a life of reclusion in crude shelters; from time to time he would burn his hut and move to a new one, so as not to become attached even to that poor earthly dwelling. For this, he was scorned as a madman by the other monks. St Gregory upbraided the monks and told them that Maximos was the only true hesychast among them, thus beginning a reform of spiritual life on the Holy Mountain. He spent time teaching mental prayer in all the monasteries of Mt Athos, then traveled around Macedonia, establishing new monasteries. Some of his writings on prayer and asceticism can be found in the Philokalia. He reposed in peace in 1346.
August 9
Apostle Matthias (1st c.)
He was numbered among the Seventy. Then, when Judas who betrayed Christ had taken his own life, The disciples (120 men and women) convened to choose one who would take his place among the Twelve. They nominated two, Joseph (called Barsabas or Justus) and Matthias, then cast lots. The lot fell to Matthais, who henceforth was numbered among the Twelve (See Acts ch. 1). Accounts of his Apostolate after this vary. According to some, he preached the Gospel in Ethiopia and met his martyrdom there. According to others, after visiting Ethiopia he returned to Judea, where he was tried and condemned by Ananias the High Priest, and stoned to death, then beheaded.
Holy Martyr Anthony (2nd c.)
A native of Alexandria, he was brought before the pagan governor and tortured for his faith, but would not renounce Christ. Finally he was burned alive, but from the flames he called out: 'My beloved brethren, do not be enslaved by your bodies, but give thought to your souls, given to you by God and kin to God and to the heavenly powers.'
August 10
Holy Martyrs Archdeacon Laurence, Pope Sixtus, and others with them (258)
"This Saint, who was born in Spain, was the Archdeacon of the Church of Rome, caring for the sacred vessels of the Church and distributing money to the needy. About the year 257, a harsh persecution was raised up against the Christians by Valerian. Pope Sixtus, who was from Athens, was commanded to worship the idols, and refused; before his martyrdom by beheading, he committed to Laurence all the sacred vessels of the Church. When Laurence was arrested and brought before the Prefect, he was questioned concerning the treasures of the Church; he asked for three days' time to prepare them. He then proceeded to gather all the poor and needy, and presented them to the Prefect and said, "Behold the treasures of the Church." The Prefect became enraged at this and gave command that Laurence be racked, then scourged with scorpions (a whip furnished with sharp iron points — compare II Chron. 10:11), then stretched out on a red-hot iron grill. But the courageous athlete of Christ endured without groaning. After he had been burned on one side, he said, "My body is done on one side; turn me over on the other." And when this had taken place, the Martyr said to the tyrants, "My flesh is now well done, you may taste of it." And when he had said this, and had prayed for his slayers in imitation of Christ, he gave up his spirit on August 10, 258." (Great Horologion). His icon shows him stretched on the grill.
August 11
Holy Martyr and Archdeacon Euplus of Catania (304)
He was a deacon from Catania in Sicily during the reign of Diocletian. During a persecution of Christians there, Euplus presented himself to the governor and proclaimed himself a Christian. While he was being tortured on the rack, the governor ordered him to worship Mars, Apollos, and Aeculapius, but he answered that he worshipped the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He was beheaded in 304. His wonderworking relics are preserved in the village of Vico della Batonia near Naples.
The Holy Martyr Susanna the Virgin, and those with her (295-296)
She was the daughter of Gavinius, a Christian priest in Rome, and the niece of Pope Gaius. The Emperor Diocletian's adopted son Maximian wished to marry Susanna, but she had no desire to marry any one, least of all a pagan. The patricians Claudia and Maxima were sent to Susanna by the Emperor to present Maximian's suit; but instead she turned both of them, and all their households, to the Faith. The enraged Emperor had Claudia, Maxima and their families executed, then had Susanna herself beheaded. The Emperor's wife, Serena, was a secret Christian, and took Susanna's body secretly and buried it. Soon after this Susanna's father Gavinius and her uncle Pope Gaius also met martyrdom.
Saint Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople (1508)
He was born in Greece and became a monk at a young age, spending many years in asceticism on the Holy Mountain. Against his desire, he was made Bishop of Thessalonika, then Patriarch of Constantinople. He was banished by the Sultan (the Prologue does not say why), served as archbishop in Wallachia for a time, then returned to Dionysiou monastery on the Holy Mountain, where he reposed at the age of ninety. He composed the 'Prayer at Departing' used in the funeral service.
Repose of Fr Georges Florovsky (1979) (July 29 OC)
August 12
Martyrs Anicetas and Photius of Nicomedia (305)
These holy martyrs suffered victoriously in the year 305 (Prologue) or 288 (Great Horologion), during the reign of Diocletian, who visited Nicomedia to stir up a persecution of Christians there. Anicetas, one of the city governors, presented himself before the Emperor, boldly confessed his Christian faith, and denounced the worship of the idols. Anicetas was subjected to a series of cruelties: his tongue was cut out, but he miraculously continued to speak; he was thrown to a lion, but it refused to attack him; then he was savagely beaten with rods until his bones showed through his wounds. His nephew Photius, seeing his endurance of all these trials, ran forward, embraced his uncle, and declared to the Emperor that he too was a Christian. The Emperor ordered that he be beheaded immediately, but the executioner, raising his sword, gave himself such a wound that he died instead. After many tortures, the two were put in prison for three years, then brought out anc cast into a fiery furnace, where they died, though their bodies were brought out of the flames intact.
  Saint Anicetas is counted as one of the Holy Unmercenaries.
Hieromaryr Alexander, Bishop of Comana (3rd c.)
"He lived in the town of Comana near Neocaesarea as a simple charcoal-burner. When the Bishop of Comana died, St Gregory of Neocaesarea, the Wonderworker (Nov. 17), was invited to preside over the Council to choose a new bishop. At the Council there were both clergy and laymen. They were unable to come to agreement on one person, estimating the candidates they selected according to their outward worth and behaviour. St Gregory told them that they must not give so much weight to the outward impression as to the soul and the spiritual aptitude. Then some wag called out mockingly: 'Then let's choose Alexander the charcoal-burner as bishop!', and there was general laughter. St Gregory asked who this Alexander was. Thinking that his name would not have come up before the Council except by the providence of God, he commanded that he be brought. Being a charcoal-burner, he was black with soot and in rags, and his appearance provoked further mirth in the Council. Then Gregory took him aside and asked him to tell the truth about himself. Alexander told him that he had been a Greek philosopher, enjoying great honour and position, but that he had set it all aside, demeaned himself and made himself as a fool for Christ from the time that he had read and understood the Holy Scriptures. Gregory commanded that he be bathed and clad in new clothes, then went into the Council with him and, before them all, began to examine him in the Scriptures. All were filled with amazement at the wisdom and grace of Alexander's words, and were quite unable to recognize the former charcoal-burner in this wise man. With one voice, they chose him as bishop, and he received the love of his flock for his holiness, his wisdom and his goodness. He died a martyr for Christ under Diocletian." (Prologue)
August 13
Leavetaking of Transfiguration
St Maximos the Confessor (662)
He was from a noble family in Constantinople, and became the private secretary of the Emperor Heraclius and his grandson Constans. But when the Monothelite heresy (that Christ possesses one divine will, rather than a divine and a human will) took hold in the Imperial court, the Saint could not bear to be surrounded by this error and left the court for the Monastery at Chrysopolis, where in time he became the abbot. From the monastery he continued to speak and write in defense of Orthodox belief. The Emperor Constans ordered him either to accept Monothelite belief or to cease speaking against it, but St Maximos would do neither. For this, his tongue was torn out, his right hand was cut off, and he was sent into exile, where he reposed in 662. He is also commemorated on January 21; see that day for a slightly fuller account.
St Tikhon of Zadonsk (1783)
He is one of the best-loved Saints of the Russian people. He was born into a very poor family in Novgorod province and received the baptismal name of Timothy. He went to seminary in Novgorod, where he excelled, later teaching Greek and other subjects. He was tonsured a monk at the age of thirty-four, receiving the monastic name of Tikhon. As his ascesis and wisdom became known, he quickly became eminent in the Church and in 1761 was made a bishop. In 1763 he was consecrated Bishop of Voronezh. After serving as bishop for about seven years, he retired to the monastery of Zadonsk, where he spent the remainder of his life. He devoted his "retirement" to prayer and the writing of books, producing a huge collection of writings that have earned him the name "the Russian Chrysostom." He reposed in peace in 1783 at the age of fifty-nine. Many miracles were wrought by him after his death, and he was soon proclaimed a Saint by the people. When his body was exhumed in 1845 (over sixty years later) to make way for a new church in Zadonsk, his relics were found to be whole and incorrupt; even his vestments were free from decay. He was officially glorified in 1863; some three hundred thousand pilgrims attended his glorification.
Holy Martyr Hippolytus of Rome and 18 Martyrs with him (258)
He was the pagan jailkeeper who guarded St Laurence (see August 10); seeing his prisoner's holiness and the wonders wrought by him, Hippolytus was convinced of the truth of the Faith and became a Christian. When St Laurence baptized him, he was granted a vision of heaven and said 'I see innocent souls in great joy.' He took Laurence into his own home, and his entire household were baptized, nineteen in all.
  When St Laurence was martyred, Hippolytus retrieved his body by night and buried it. He was detected and brought before the Emperor Valerian on the third day after Laurence's death. Despite severe beatings he would not renounce his faith. The Emperor ordered that he be stripped and flayed but, standing naked before the emperor, Hippolytus said 'You have not stripped me, but have begun to clothe me.' Despite all torments, neither Hippolytus nor any of his household would deny Christ. All of his household were slain, one by one, before Hippolytus. Finally Hippolytus himself was bound behind a wild horse and dragged to death.
Our Holy Mother the Empress Irene (Xenia in Monasticism) (12th c.)
She was the pious wife of the Emperor John II Comnenus (reigned 1118-1143), but retired into monastic life. She founded the Monastery of the Pantokrator in Constantinople.
August 14
Forefeast of the Dormition
Translation of the Relics of St Theodosius of the Kiev Caves
Holy Prophet Micah (8th c. BC)
Read his prophecies (which include the prophecy that Christ would be born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2) in the Old Testament book that bears his name. He was a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah, Amos and Hosea, and is ranked sixth among the "minor" prophets. It was he who prophesied that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem. (This is a different Micah from the one mentioned in 1 Chronicles 22:8, who lived earlier). Micah was buried in his home village of Morasth in the land of Judah; his holy relics were found along with those of the prophet Habbakuk during the reign of St Theodosius the Great — their location was given by a revelation to Zebennus, Bishop of Eleutheropolis.
Hiormartyr Marcellus, Bishop of Apamea (389)
He was born to an eminent family in Cyprus, and was well-educated. He was married and had children, but when his wife died he left his family to live as a monk in Syria. There he became known and loved for his learning, humility and kindness to all, and the people of Apamea chose him as their bishop. As bishop, he worked with evangelical fervor to bring the mostly-pagan people to Christ. When a pagan temple was burned down, some pagans blamed Marcellus, seized him, and threw him into the fire, where he perished.
August 15
The Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
On the Cross, the Lord charged the Apostle John to care for His holy Mother. The Apostle settled her in a house in Jerusalem, where she lived for the rest of her days on earth, praying and offering counsel and encouragement to the Apostles. In her old age, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that in three days' time she would enter into her rest. Giving thanks to God, she hastened to the Mount of Olives where she prayed continually, preparing herself to meet the Lord. Meanwhile, the Apostles, scattered in various parts of the earth, were caught up in clouds and miraculously brought by the holy Angels to Jerusalem, so that they might all be with the Theotokos at her repose. After she had blessed them, she gave up her soul to God. The Apostles buried her with all honor, solemnity and joy at Gethsemane. The Apostle Thomas, who was delayed (again!) by God's providence, arrived on the third day and went to her tomb, intending to honor her. But when the Apostles opened her grave, they found her holy body gone and only the winding-sheet remaining. That evening the Theotokos appeared to them surrounded by angels, and said to them, 'Rejoice: I will be with you always!'. Thus they learned that she had been bodily translated to heaven, anticipating the general resurrection of all. Her age at her repose is not known, but many say that she was about sixty years old.
August 16
Translation of the Image Not-Made-By-Hands of our Lord Jesus Christ from Edessa to Constantinople (944)
The Third "Feast of the Savior" in August
While the Lord was preaching in Palestine, his fame reached a king Avgar of Edessa, who suffered from leprosy. Avgar sent a messenger named Ananias to ask whether the Lord could heal his illness. The king also charged Ananias, if he was unable to bring back Jesus Himself, to bring back a likeness of Him. When Ananias found Jesus, the Lord told him that he could not come to Edessa since the time of His passion was at hand. But he took a cloth and washed His face, miraculously leaving a perfect image of His face on the cloth. Ananias brought the holy image back to the king, who reverently kissed it. Immediately his leprosy was healed, save for a small lesion that remained on his forehead. Later the Apostle Thaddeus came to Edessa, preaching the gospel, and Avgar and his household were baptized, at which time his remaining leprosy vanished. The king had the holy likeness mounted on wood and displayed above the city gate for all to revere. But Avgar's grandson returned to idolatry, and the Bishop of Edessa had the image hidden in the city wall to prevent it from being defiled. Many years later, when the Persian king Chosroes besieged Edessa, the Bishop Eulabius was told in a vision to find the sealed chamber, whose location had been forgotten. The holy icon was found, completely incorrupt, and by its power the Persian army was driven off. In the year 944 the image was brought to Constantinople and enshrined in the Church of the Theotokos called the Pharos. This is the event commemorated today.
Martyr Diomedes the Physician of Tarsus in Cilicia (298)
He is one of the Holy Unmercenary Physicians, a physician who practiced in Tarsus during the reign of Diocletian. Around 288 he came to Nicaea, where he healed many bodies by his medical arts and many souls through his preaching of the Gospel of Christ. The Emperor Diocletian sent men to arrest him, but when they arrived they found that he had already reposed. They cut off his head to take it back to the Emperor, and for this abomination were all struck blind. When Diocletian saw St Diomedes' head, he ordered the men to return it to the body from which they had taken it. As soon as they had done so, their sight was restored.
August 17
Martyr Myron of Cyzicus (250)
He was a priest in Achaia In the time of the Emperor Decius,when Antipater was governor of Achaia, the persecutors entered the church on the Feast of the Nativity, dragged Myron away from the service and put him to torture. He endured many horrible tortures, but would not worship the idols. Finally he was thrown to wild beasts. When Antipater saw the beasts greeting Myron affectionately, the persecutor seized a sword and slew himself. The Saint was then sent to Cyzicus, where he was beheaded by the proconsul.
Holy Martyr Patroclus (late 3rd c.)
He was born to wealthy parents in Trychasia (now Troyes) in Gaul. Despite his high station he used his wealth to give daily alms to the poor and ate only once a day after sunset. Such was his holiness that he became a wonderworker, known widely for his healing power. When the Emperor Aurelian visited Gaul, he ordered Patroclus brought before him. The Saint freely confessed Christ and told the Emperor: 'If, O King, you desire some of my goods, I will give them to you, for I can see your wretchedness.' The astonished Emperor asked how he could call the ruler of the entire Empire wretched. Patroclus replied, 'You have earthly, transitory riches, but you are wretched, for you do not possess yourself, since you have no faith in Christ in your heart.' The saint was condemned to death and beheaded. Two beggars, to whom he had given alms, found his body and gave it honorable burial.
August 18
Martyrs Florus and Laurus of Illyria (2nd c.)
"Brothers in both the flesh and the spirit, they were both zealous Christians, and stonemasons by craft. They lived in Illyria. Some pagan prince set them to build a pagan temple. It happened during the course of their work that a fragment of stone splintered off and flew into the eye of the pagan priest's son, who was watching the building work with curiosity. Seeing his son blinded and bleeding, the priest shouted at Florus and Laurus and tried to thrash them. Then the holy brothers told him that, if he would believe in the God in whom they believed, his son would be restored to health. The priest promised. Florus and Laurus prayed to the one, living Lord with tears and made the sign of the Cross over the child's stricken eye. The child was healed instantly and his eye became whole as it had been before. Then the priest, Merentius, and his son were baptised, and they both very soon suffered for Christ in the flames. But Florus and Laurus, when they had finished the temple, put a Cross on it, called together all the Christians, and consecrated it in the name of the Lord Jesus with an all-night vigil of hymns. Hearing of this, the governor of Illyria burned many of these Christians by fire and had Florus and Laurus thrown alive into a well, which was then filled with earth. Their relics were later discovered and taken to Constantinople. These two wonderful brothers suffered for Christ, and were glorified by Him, in the second century." (Prologue)
Our Holy Father John, Abbot of Rila (946)
He was born near Sophia in Bulgaria during the reign of the Emperor Boris. When his parents died he withdrew from the world to a cave high in the mountains, where he gave himself to the ascetical struggle. There the Prologue says that he 'endured many assaults both by demons and men, from robbers and from his kinsmen.' In time he moved to the mountain of Rila, where he lived in a hollow tree, eating only the wild herbs and fruits there. On Rila he saw no human being for many years, but was eventually discovered by a shepherd, after which his fame spread quickly: many came to him for counsel and for the healing of diseases, and Peter King of Bulgaria visited him for advice. Many people seeking their salvation settled near him, and soon a church and monastery developed around him. St John reposed in 946 and appeared to his disciples after his death. His relics are venerated at the monastery of Rila, which has for centuries been a lighthouse of Orthodox spirituality in Bulgaria.
August 19
Martyr Andrew Strateletes and 2,593 soldiers with him in Cilicia (~289)
"He was an officer, a tribune, in the Roman army in the time of the Emperor Maximian. A Syrian by birth, he served in his native land. When the Persians attacked the imperial Roman army, this Andrew was entrusted with the command in the battle against the enemy — whence his title: commander, strateletes. A secret Christian, although as yet unbaptised, Andrew commended himself to the living God, and, taking only the cream of the army, went to war. Before the battle, he told his soldiers that, if they all called upon the aid of the one, true God, Christ the Lord, their enemies would become as dust scattered before them. All the soldiers, fired with enthusiasm by Andrew and his faith, invoked Christ's aid and attacked. The Persian army was utterly routed. When the victorious Andrew returned to Antioch, some jealous men denounced him as a Christian and the imperial governor summoned him for trial. Andrew openly proclaimed his steadfast faith in Christ. After harsh torture, the governor threw Andrew into prison and wrote to the Emperor in Rome. Knowing Andrew's popularity among the people and in the army, the Emperor ordered the governor to set Andrew free, but to seek another occasion and another excuse (not his faith) to kill him. By God's revelation, Andrew came to know of this imperial command, and, taking his faithful soldiers (2,593 in all) with him, went off to Tarsus in Cilicia, where they were all baptised by the bishop, Peter. Persecuted here also by imperial might, Andrew and his companions withdrew deep into the Armenian mountain of Tavros. There in a ravine, while they were at prayer, the Roman army came upon them and beheaded them all. Not one of them would recant, all being determined on death by martyrdom for Christ. On the spot where a stream of the martyrs' blood flowed down, a spring of healing water sprang forth, healing from every disease. The bishop, Peter, came secretly with his people and buried the martyrs' bodies in that same place. They all suffered with honour at the end of the third century and were crowned with wreaths of eternal glory, entering into the Kingdom of Christ our God." (Prologue)
August 20
Holy Prophet Samuel (11th c. BC)
He was the last of the Judges of Israel, and was appointed by God to anoint the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. Read the Old Testament book 1 Samuel for his story. Many believe that he is the author of the books of Judges, Ruth and the first 24 chapters of I Samuel.
Hieromartyr Philip, Bishop of Heraklion, and those with him (2nd c.)
He served in Thrace in the time of Diocletian's persecutions. When the pagans were about to burn a Christian church, he came forward and said to them: 'Do you think that God is shut within walls? He lives in men's hearts.' The church was burned and all its clergy were taken to Jedrene where, after long imprisonment and torture, they were drowned in the river Maritsa. The holy bishop Philip, His Priest Severus, His Deacon Hermes, and thirty-eight other Christians all received the martyr's crown.
August 21
Apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy (44)
He was by birth a Jew from Edessa; it was he who instructed king Avgar in the Faith and baptised him (see August 16). According to Eusebius he is not the Thaddeus who was one of the Twelve (Mt 10:3), but was one of the Seventy. After Christ's Resurrection, he preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and ended his life in martyrdom.
Holy Martyrs Bassa and her sons Theognis, Agapios, and Pistis (4th c.)
"Bassa was the wife of a pagan priest, but she was secretly a Christian and brought her sons up in a Christian spirit. Her husband hated her for her faith, and handed her over to the judge for torture, together with her sons. After harsh torture, her sons were beheaded (it is thought, in Edessa in Macedonia). Bassa was filled with joy to see her sons thus gloriously finish their martyr's course for Christ, and herself went with yet greater desire from torture to torture. When she was thrown into the sea, angels appeared to her and took her to an island in the Sea of Marmara, where she was slain with the sword under Maximian. Thus holy Bassa was in a twofold manner made worthy of the Kingdom of Christ: as a martyr and as the mother of martyrs." (Prologue)
Holy Forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
They are also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, before Nativity.
August 22
Martyr Agathonicus of Nicomedia and his companions (4th c.)
He lived in Nicomedia, where he turned many pagans from their idolatry to faith in Christ. For this he and several companions were seized, beaten, bound, and taken to Byzantium. On the way, several of Agathonicus' companions died from their harsh treatment. The survivors, including Agathonicus himself, were taken to Selyvria in Thrace, where they were tortured before the Emperor himself, then beheaded.
Holy Martyr Eulalia of Barcelona (303)
She was born of Christian parents in Barcelona, and dedicated herself to a life of holiness, taking Christ as her bridegroom. When the persecutor Dacian came to Barcelona, Eulalia secretly left her parents' house by night and came before Dacian, denouncing him in front of many witnesses as a murderer of the innocent, and publicly confessing her faith in Christ. The wicked Dacian had her stripped and beaten, then tied to a tree in the form of a cross, and ordered that her flesh be burned with torches. When her torturer mockingly asked 'Where is your Christ to save you?' she answered 'He is here with me; you cannot see Him because of your impurity.' When the holy Eulalia died at last under torture, the people saw a white dove fly from her mouth. An unseasonable snowstorm then covered her naked body like a white garment.
August 23
Leavetaking of Dormition
On the Holy Mountain, the Feast of the Dormition is extended to August 28, thus consecrating almost the entire month of August to the Most Holy Theotokos.
Hieromartyr Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons (202)
He was born in Asia Minor around the year 120, and was a disciple of Saint Polycarp, who was in turn a disciple of St John the Evangelist. He succeeded the martyred St Pothinus as Bishop of Lyons in Gaul (now France). He produced many writings contesting not only against paganism but against Gnostic heresies that were then troubling the Church. When Victor, Bishop of Rome, planned to excommunicate the Christians of Asia Minor for celebrating Pascha on a different date than the Church of Rome, Irenaeus persuaded him to stay his hand and maintain unity and peace in the Church. (This was before the date of Pascha had been set by the Ecumenical Councils). By his efforts Lyons became for centuries a center and bastion of Orthodoxy in the West.
Martyr Lupus (306), slave of St Demetrios of Thessalonica
He was the servant of the Great Martyr Demetrius, and was present at his martyrdom. He dipped the hem of his garment in the martyr's blood, and later worked many miracles with the garment, healing many illnesses. At the order of the Emperor Maximian, he was then himself arrested, tortured and, like his earthly master, beheaded for Christ. It is said that, as his death approached, he prayed to be baptized before his death, for, though a believer in Christ, he had never been able to be baptized. A cloud suddenly poured down a torrent of water upon him, answering his prayer.
Hieromartyr Pothinos, Bishop of Lyons (177)
The Holy Polycarp (February 23) sent Pothinus from Asia Minor to spread the Gospel in Gaul. He brought many there to faith in Christ, and became the first bishop of Lyons. During a persecution of Christians Pothinus, who was then ninety years old, was brought before the proconsul, who asked him 'Who is the Christian God?' Pothinus answered 'You will find out, if you are worthy.' He was beaten fiercely with staves and stones, then thrown in prison, where he died of his injuries.
August 24
Hieromartyr Eutyches (1st c.)
He was a disciple and friend of St John the Theologian, and worked with the Apostle Paul, and is himself named as an Apostle though he is not one of the Seventy. He travelled widely in the ministry of the Gospel of Christ, suffering many imprisonments and tortures. He died in Sebastia, the place of his birth. The Prologue says that he was beheaded, the Great Horologion that he reposed in peace "in deep old age."
New Hieromartyr Kosmas of Aitolia, Equal-to-the-Apostles (1779)
This recent Equal to the Apostles was born in Mega Dendron (Great Tree) in Aetolia. He became a monk on Mt Athos, where he lived and prayed for many years. But he was troubled by the ignorance of the Gospel that had fallen on many of the Orthodox people, living under the oppression of the Ottoman Turks. He went to Constantinople, where he studied the rhetorical arts and received the blessing of Patriarch Seraphim II to preach the Gospel. He travelled throughout Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Albania, preaching at every town he visited. Often not only Greeks but many Muslims would come to hear him, so great was his reputation for holiness. Though he always sought the blessing of the local bishop and the local Turkish governor before he preached in an area, his strong condemnations of dishonest business practices aroused the enmity of Orthodox Christian and Jewish merchants, who falsely accused him to the authorities. He was strangled by the Turks and thrown into a river in Albania, but his wonderworking relics were preserved. He reposed at the age of sixty-five.
Translation of the relics of St Peter, metropolitan of Kiev (1479)
See December 21 for his life.
August 25
Holy Apostle Titus of the Seventy
He was a Greek from the island of Crete. Born and raised as a pagan, he came to faith in Christ through the ministry of the Apostle Paul, and labored with the Apostle in preaching the Gospel. St Paul in his epistles calls St Titus both "son" and "brother." He was ordained Bishop of Crete by St Paul, who wrote to him the Epistle that bears his name. He reposed in peace at the age of ninety-four.
Return of the relics of the Apostle Bartholomew from Anastasiopolis to Lipari (6th c.)
The Apostle's main commemoration is on June 11.
August 26
Martyrs Adrian and Natalia and 23 companions of Nicomedia (4th c.)
"Husband and wife, they were both of noble and wealthy families in Nicomedia. Adrian was the governor of the Praetorium and a pagan, and Natalia was a secret Christian. They were both young, and had lived in wedlock for thirteen months in all before their martyrdom. When the wicked Emperor Maximian visited Nicomedia, he ordered that the Christians be seized and put to torture. There were twenty-three Christians hidden in a cave near the city. Someone handed them over to the authorities and they were cruelly flogged with leather whips and staves, and thrown into prison. They wee then taken from prison and brought before the Praetor for their names to be noted. Adrian looked a these people, tortured but unbowed, peaceful and meek, and he put them under oath to say what they hoped for from their God, that they should undergo such tortures. They spoke to him of the blessedness of the righteous in the Kingdom of God. Hearing this, and again looking at these people, Adrian suddenly turned to the scribe and said: 'Write my name along with those of these saints; I also am a Christian.' When the Emperor heard of this, he asked him: 'Have you lost your mind?' Adrian replied: 'I haven't lost it, but found it!' Hearing this, Natalia rejoiced greatly, and, when Adrian sat chained with the others in prison, came and ministered to them all. When they flogged her husband and put him to various tortures, she encouraged him to endure to the end. After long torture and imprisonment, the Emperor ordered that they be taken to the prison anvil, for their arms and legs to be broken with hammers. This was done and Adrian, along with the twenty-three others, breathed his last under the vicious tortures. Natalia took their relics to Constantinople and there buried them. After several days, Adrian appeared to her, bathed in light and beauty and calling her to come to God, and she peacefully gave her soul into her Lord's hands." (Prologue)
Our Holy Father Tithoës of the Thebaid (4th c.)
One of the great Egyptian Desert Fathers, he was a disciple of St Pachomius the Great and served as abbot of Tabennisi. Through his years of struggle in prayer, he attained to such purity of heart that whenever he raised his hands in prayer, his spirit was instantly caught up in pure contemplation of God. When one of the brethren asked him what path leads to humility, he answered 'The path of humility is abstinence, prayer and considering oneself as the least of all creatures.' He reposed in peace.
August 27
Our Holy Father Poemen (Pimen) the Great (450)
"He was an Egyptian by birth and a great Egyptian ascetic. As a boy, he visited various spiritual teachers and gathered proven experience as a bee gathers honey from flowers. Pimen once begged the elder Paul to take him to St Païsius. Seeing him, Païsius said: 'This child will save many; the hand of God is on him.' In time, Pimen became a monk and drew two of his brothers to monasticism. Their mother once came to see her sons, but Pimen would not allow her in, asking through the door: 'Which do you want more: to see us here and now, or in the other world in eternity?' Their mother went away joy-fully, saying: 'If I will see you for certain there, I don't need to see you here.' In the monastery of these three brothers, governed by the eldest, Abba Anoub, the rule was as follows: at night, four hours were passed in manual work, four hours in sleep and four in reading the Psalter. The day was passed, from morning to noon, in alternate work and prayer, from mid-day to Vespers in reading and after Vespers they prepared their meal, the only one in the twenty--four hours, and this usually of some sort of cabbage. Pimen himself said about their life: 'We ate what was to hand. No-one ever said: "Give me something else", or "I won't eat that". In that way, we spent our whole life in silence and peace.' He lived in the fifth century, and entered peacefully into rest in great old age." (Prologue)
  His name means "shepherd". Many of his words can be found in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
Great-martyr Phanurius the Newly Appeared of Rhodes
"Little is known of the holy Martyr Phanurius, except that which is depicted concerning his martyrdom on his holy icon, which was discovered in the year 1500 among the ruins of an ancient church on Rhodes, when the Moslems ruled there. Thus he is called "the Newly-Revealed." The faithful pray to Saint Phanurius especially to help them recover things that have been lost, and because he has answered their prayers so often, the custom has arisen of baking the Phaneropita ('Phanarius-Cake') as a thank-offering." (Great Horologion)
  There is a tradition that his mother was a great sinner, and that he was unable to convert her in her lifetime. After her death he prayed more for her salvation than for his own. As he was being stoned to death, he prayed: 'For the sake of these my sufferings, Lord, help all those who will pray to Thee for the salvation of Phanurius' sinful mother.' So, in Egypt, where he is much revered, many Christians pray 'O Lord, save Phanurius' mother and help me, a sinner.'
August 28
St Moses of Ethiopia (400)
He is also called Moses the Black. He was a slave, but was cast out by his master due to his evil life. He then became the leader of a murderous band of robbers in Egypt. He came to repentance and took up monastic life in the desert under St Isidore of Sketis. For many years he struggled tirelessly, through prayer, fasting and vigils, with lustful and violent thoughts; he was finally freed of them through the prayers of St Isidore. He wa revered by all the brethren for his ascetical life, his wisdom, and his deep humility. Once a brother committed some sin and the monks gathered to judge him. Moses at first refused to go at all, but when they insisted, he filled an old, leaky basket with sand and carried it into the assembly on his back. When the brethren asked him what his action meant, he said "My sins run out behind me, and I do not even see them, and I have come to judge my brother." The monk was forgiven. In time the fame of this humblest of monks spread so far that kings and bishops travelled into the desert to seek his wisdom and his blessing. In his old age, he was warned that a band of brigands was coming to attack the Skete. He refused to leave saying, "It is written: he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." So, mindful that he had slain others by the sword, he willingly awaited his own murder. Six other monks who remained with him were also slain.
Uncovering of the Relics of St Job of Pochaev (1651)
For his life see May 6.
Synaxis of the Holy Fathers of the Kiev Caves
Righteous Anna the Prophetess (1st c.)
Righteous Hezekiah, King of Judah (691 BC)
New Hieromartyr Chrysostom, metropolitan of Smyrna (1922)
Repose of Elder Joseph the Hesychast of Mt Athos (1959) (August 15 OC)
Born on the island of Paros in 1898, he entered monastic life in 1921 in response to a heavenly vision. Traveling to Mt Athos he first lived the communal monastic life, but later moved to a Skete for greater solitude. There he received the gift of ceaseless prayer. Elder Joseph and his companion in struggle, Elder Arsenios, moved to St Anne's Skete, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Here a small company of disciples slowly gathered around them. Many of these, like silent Apostles, have spread out through the Orthodox world, contributing much to its spiritual renewal.
August 29
The Beheading of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
The story is told in the Gospels, and cannot be told better here. Today is kept as a strict fast day, on whatever day of the week it falls. Because the holy Forerunner's head was brought to Herod on a platter, it is a pious custom not to eat anything from a plate or platter today.
Our Holy Mother Theodora of Salonica (879)
"A wealthy and devout woman, she lived on the island of Aegina, but, when the Arabs over-ran the island, she moved to Salonica. There, she gave her only daughter to a monastery, where she received the monastic name Theopista. Her husband Theodorinus died very soon, and then Theodora became a nun. She was a great ascetic. She often heard angelic singing, and would say to her sisters: 'Don't you hear how wonderfully the angels are singing in heavenly light?' She entered into rest in 879, and a healing myrrh flowed from her body, which gave healing to many.
August 30
Afterfeast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist
Synaxis of Serbian Hierarchs
On this day are commemorated seventeen holy Serbian hierarchs, beginning with St Sava (Sabbas), first Archbishop of Serbia and Equal to the Apostles. They are:
  • St Sava, first Archbishop of Serbia, Equal to the Apostles
  • Arsenius, his successor
  • Sava II, son of King Stephen the First-Crowned
  • Nicodemus, who lived on the Holy Mountain, was abbot of Hilandar Monastery there and Archbishop of Serbia
  • Joannicius, patriarch from 1346-1349
  • Ephraim, chosen as patriarch against his will in 1376. He crowned Prince Lazar, then renounced the patriarchal throne and retired into solitude
  • Spiridon, his successor (+1388)
  • Macarius, a great restorer of old churches and monasteries; printed many Church books (+1574)
  • Gabriel, a nobleman by birth. the Prologue says that he 'took part in the Moscow Council under Patriarch Nikhon, because of which he was tortured by the Turks for treason and hanged in 1656.'
  • In addition, Eustace, Jacob, Danilo, Sava III, Gregory, John, Maxim and Nikhon.
The vital connection between the Serbian church and the Holy Mountain is obvious here; many of these hierarchs lived and struggled on Mt Athos.
Sts Alexander (340), John (595), and Paul the New (784), patriarchs of Constantinople
St Alexander took part in the First Ecumenical Council as delegate of Patriarch Metrophanes, who was too frail to attend; and succeeded Metrophanes on the Patriarchal throne. By his prayer to God that the Church might be spared the schemings of Arius, Arius was struck dead.
  St John is, by one account, St John the Faster (Sept. 2), who reposed in 595; by another, St John Scholasticus (Feb. 21), who reposed in 577.
  St Paul was Patriarch for five years, then renounced the Patriarchal throne to take the Great Schema.
August 31
The Placing of the Sash of the Most Holy Theotokos (395-408? 886- 912?)
At the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, her sash came into the possession of the Apostle Thomas and after various transfers came to Cappadocia. It was later taken from there to Constantinople, where it was kept in a sealed casket in the Church of the Theotokos at Blachernae, at the time of the Emperor Arcadius (395-408). The casket was not opened until the reign of the Emperor Leo the Wise (886-912), when the Empress Zoe, who was ill, had a vision in which she was told to have the sash placed upon her. The Emperor obtained the blessing of the Patriarch, the sash was placed upon the Empress, and she was immediately healed. Some accounts say that today's feast celebrates the bringing of the sash to Constantinople; others that it commemorates the miraculous healing of the Empress.
Hieromartyr Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (258)
He was born around 190 to pagan parents in North Africa. Before baptism he was distinguished in Carthage as a teacher of philosophy and rhetoric. He came to faith in Christ and was baptized at a young age; as soon as he became a Christian he abandoned his prestigious teacher's position, sold his many possessions and gave all his wealth to the poor. He was ordained presbyter in 247, Bishop of Carthage in 248. He was known for his gentleness and paternal care for his flock, combined with firm opposition to heretics. His extensive writings still guide the Church today.
  For his confession of Christ, he was beheaded under the Emperor Valerian on September 14; since that is the date of the Exaltation of the Cross, his feast is kept today. At the time of his execution he left twenty-five gold pieces (a huge sum) for the executioner who beheaded him.
St Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople (471)
He was known for his gentleness and his ascetical way of life. He would not ordain any man who did not know the Psalter by heart. He presided at a local council in which simony in the Church was anathematized. In his own lifetime he worked miracles, and he was told the time of his death in a vision. The famous monastery of Studion was built in his time, with his blessing. He reposed in peace.
Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne (651)
Around AD 635, Saint Oswald (5 August), King of Northumbria, appealed to the monks of the Monastery of Ionia to send missionaries to his mostly-pagan kingdom. (An earlier mission had ended with the death of St Edwin in 633).) The fathers of the monastery chose St Aidan and consecrated him bishop. He founded a monastery (and his episcopal seat) on the island of Lindisfarne, and undertook missionary journeys, always on foot, throughout the kingdom, with King Oswald often accompanying him and serving as his interpreter. He lived in great poverty, using all the gifts he received as alms for the poor or to buy back captives and slaves. He was the spiritual father of St Hilda (17 Nov.), and founded the first women’s monasteries in Northumbria. He reposed in peace in 651, and was buried at Lindisfarne.
Note: Northumbria was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in what is now northeastern England and southern Scotland.