God is Wonderful in His Saints
Orthodox Saints commemorated in October
290) These two holy ones were brother and sister, living the city of Aegea in Cilicia. When their parents died, they gave all their possessions to the poor. Zenobius, a physician, gave his healing services for free to all who came to him, often relying more upon the holy Name of Jesus than upon medicines. In time, he became Bishop of Aegea. During the persecutions under the Emperor Diocletian, Zenobius was arrested and brought before the governor Lysias, who demanded that he deny Christ and worship the idols. When Zenobius refused, he was subjected to torture. Zenobia, hearing of this, rushed to be with him and openly rebuked the governor. The two were then tortured together and finally beheaded, faithful to their Lord to the end. Holy Apostle Cleopas He is numbered among the Seventy. On the day of the Resurrection, Cleopas and St Luke were walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus when the Risen Christ appeared to them, as recounted in the twenty-fourth chapter of St Luke’s Gospel.
The Gospel account does not name St Cleopas’ companion, but the holy tradition of the Church tells us that it was St Luke himself, and thus that the story is a first-hand account. St Joseph I, Patriarch of Constantinople (1283) Once a married priest, he entered monastic life when his wife died, and became the spiritual father of the Emperor Michael VIII Paleologus, during whose reign he was elevated to the Patriarchate. Despite this patronage, St Joseph’s integrity was inviolable: At his first Divine Liturgy as Patriarch, he required the Emperor publicly to confess and repent of several sins before admitting him to Communion. He fiercely opposed the Emperor’s expedient policy of union with Rome, and was therefore deposed, retiring once more to monastic life. In old age, he was restored to the Patriarchal throne upon the death of Emperor Michael, but died a few months later. Holy Martyr Hermengild, Prince of the Visigoths (486) He was the son and appointed heir of Leuvgild, King of the Visigoths, who had embraced the Christianity of the Arian heretics. But through the teaching of Bishop Leander of Seville (February 27), Hermengild was converted to the fullness of the Orthodox faith, for which his father the King had him thrown in prison. On the day of Pascha 486, the King sent one of his priests to give his son communion. But Hermengild refused, proclaiming that to commune with heretics is to assent to their belief and to sink into their error; going further, he told the priest that the heretics’ communion was nothing but bread and wine, for the Body and Blood of Christ are found only in the Offering made by the Church. The enraged King sent soldiers, who at his orders put his own son to death. Later, the King repented of this inhuman deed and asked Bishop Leander to instruct his youngest son Recared in the Orthodox faith. Thus the Visigoth people was brought into the Faith. Holy Hieromartyr John Kochurov, First Hieromartyr of the Russian Revolution (1917) He was born in Russia in 1871, and as a young priest was sent to America as a missionary. There he worked zealously (he was instrumental in the building of the Orthodox cathedral in Chicago) until he was called back to Russia just before the October Revolution in 1917. Only six days after the Bolsheviks seized power, he was beaten to death in the street by a gang of Bolshevik sailors in Tsarskoye Selo near St Petersburg. Thus he became the first of countless Priest-Martyrs of Russia’s atheist yoke. October 31 Holy Apostles Stachys, Apelles, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus and Aristobolus. They are numbered among the Seventy. All six are mentioned by St Paul in the sixteenth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. Stachys was appointed Bishop of Byzantium by the Apostle Andrew, and reposed in peace in AD 54. Apelles became Bishop of Heraclea in Asia Minor. Amplias and Urban were made Bishops in Macedonia by St Andrew; both died as Martyrs. Narcissus became Bishop of Athens and died a Martyr. Aristobulus became Bishop of Britain, where he reposed in peace. New Martyr Nicholas of Chios (1754) Raised in piety, he worked as a stone-mason until an acc >Synaxarion tells how a thick darkness fell on the whole island of Chios. When the dismayed Turks burned the Martyr’s body to be rid of this miracle, they were further dismayed when a heavenly scent rose from the flames, revealing the Saint’s entry into eternal glory.
† Indicates a Saint or day whose commemoration is at least “Doxology rank” (Great Doxology sung at Matins); there is generally some dispensation from fasting when these days fall on fast days.
Assembled by John Brady. The opinions and errors contained herein are his own.
Lives are compiled mostly from: The Synaxarion published by Ormylia Monastery;
The Prologue from Ochrid by St Nikolai of Zika (Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic);
and the Great Horologion, published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery.