St. John the Baptist Parish, A Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church, Canberra, Australia

25 September / 8 October

The Repose of Our Holy Father Sergius of Radonezh

A great ascetic and light of the Russian Church, he was born in 1313 in Rostov of devout parents, Kiril and Maria. After the death of his parents, Barthlomew —for that was his baptismal name — became a monk and founded the community of the Holy Trinity in the forest of Radonezh. A gentle and meek servant of God, occupied only with labour and prayer, he was made worthy of the gifts of wonder-working for the purity of his heart, raising the dead in the name of Christ. The holy Mother of God appeared to him a number of times. Princes and bishops came to him for counsel, and he gave his blessing to Prince Dimitri of the Don and foretold his victory in Russia's war of liberation against the Tartars. He had insight into men's hearts and into distant events. His community became filled with monks during his lifetime, and has served through the ages as one of the chief centres of spiritual life and of God's miracles. St Sergius entered into rest in 1392. After his death, he appeared a number of times to various people.

Our Holy Mother Euphrosyne

The daughter of a rich and eminent man, Paphnutius, from Alexandria, she was besought of God by her childless parents, who brought their daughter up in the Christian faith. Not wishing to marry, the young Euphrosyne, in order to hide from her father, dressed herself in men's clothing and presented herself to the abbot of a monastery as a eunuch of the Emperor Theodosius with the name of Smaragdus. The abbot received her and placed her under the guidance of the monk Agapetus as spiritual father. By her fasting and prayers, Smaragdus quickly outstripped the other monks in the monastery. When she had spent thirty-eight years in strict asceticism, Paphnutius visited the monastery and the abbot placed him in Smaragdus's care for prayer and counsel. Smaragdus recognised Paphnutius, but Paphnutius did not recognise her. When her father confessed his grief for his lost daughter, Smaragdus told him not to lose hope, for he would see his daughter again once more in this life, and asked him to come again in three days' time. When Paphnutius returned, Smaragdus was on her deathbed. Then the dying monk said to Paphnutius: 'I am Euphrosyne your daughter; you are my father.' Her father could not for a long time collect himself, for sheer astonishment. Then Euphrosyne breathed her last and her father wept over her. After burying his daughter, Paphnutius remained in the monastery and settled in the cell of his departed, holy daughter. After ten years of asceticism, holy Paphnutius entered into rest in the Lord; Commemoration of the earthquake in Constantinople in 447, when a boy was lifted to heaven and heard the "Trisagion.".

St. Finbar (Barry) bishop of Cork, Ireland (c.633)

Son of an artisan named Amergin and a lady of the Irish royal court. Educated at Kilmacahil monastery, Kilkenny, Ireland. Very light hair, which led to the nickname Fionnbharr, "white hair". Made multiple pilgrims to Rome, visiting Saint David of Wales on one trip. Preached throughout southern Ireland, and possibly in Scotland. Hermit on a small island at Lough Eiroe and at Gougane Barra. Founded a school at Eirce. Founded a monastery on the river Lee; it developed into the city of Cork, Ireland. First bishop of Cork. Extravagant miracles were attributed to him. It is said that the sun did not set for two weeks after his death.

Return to the index or the advanced search page.