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

24 October / 6 November

The Holy Martyr Arethas

Icon of St. ArethasThis holy martyr suffered for the Christian faith with more than four thousand other Christians: priests, monks and nuns, townsmen and women and children. Arethas was the local governor of the town of Negran, in the land of Omir in southern Arabia, and was ninety-five years old when he suffered. The land of Omir was governed by a Jew called Dunaan, a vicious persecutor of Christians. Resolving to exterminate Christianity completely in his land, he laid siege to the Christian town of Negran and told the citizens that, if they did not deny Christ, he would put them all to death. The citizens closed the gates, and Dunaan attacked the city wall for a long time without success. Then the iniquitous governor swore to the citizens that he would do nothing to them if they opened the gate for him to enter and take the tribute owing to him, saying that he would then go away at once. The Christians believed him, and opened the gates. Then the bloodthirsty Jew summoned the aged Arethas to him, along with his clergy and other eminent citizens, and slew them all with the sword, and then indulged in a riot of butchery through the town. Hearing of this, the Byzantine Emperor, Justin, was greatly distressed and wrote a letter to the Ethiopian Emperor Elesbaan, urging him to set out with an army against Dunaan and avenge the Christian blood that had been spilled. Elesbaan obeyed Justin, attacked the governor of Omir, overcame him, slaughtered his entire army and put him to the sword. A devout man called Abramius was installed as ruler of Omir by God's revelation and, as archbishop, also by God's revelation, St Gregory (see Dec. 19th). In Negran, the Christians rebuilt the Church of the Holy Trinity that Dunaan had burned, and built a church to the holy martyr Arethas and the other martyrs of that city. They suffered and received wreaths of martyrdom from the Lord in 523. St Elesbaan, Emperor of Ethiopia.

The Icon of the Holy Theotokos, Joy of All Who Sorrow

Icon of the Holy Theotokos, Joy of All Who Sorrow This name is given to one of the wonderworking icons of the Most-holy Theotokos. On this day the icon is celebrated for the miraculous healing in Moscow, of Euphemia, the sister of Patriarch Joachim, in the year 1688. Euphemia had a serious wound in the side and as the doctors failed in their treatments, she prayed with tears to the Most-holy Theotokos. Then, she heard a voice: "Euphemia, go to the Church of the Transfiguration of my Son; there you will find the icon, 'Joy of All Who Sorrow.' Have the priest pray for you before this icon and you will be healed." Euphemia did so, and was immediately made well.

Prayer (praise to the Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos, "Joy of All Who Sorrow"): O Most-holy Mother of God, "Joy of All Who Sorrow," Grant thy mercy to us sinners. Thy Son now sits on the throne of the Eternal Kingdom, And all our troubles thou seest; thou knowest them as they occur. Thou hast always prayed to Christ God for the faithful, And hast relieved much pain and misery of the sorrowful. O Holy Virgin, never cease, to the end of time, To pray for the salvation of our race. God hast made thee even more glorious than the Seraphim: O hasten to us, O Joy of all who sorrow!

St. Maglorius, abbot of Sark - Died 586

Abbot Maglorius of Lammeur, Brittany, was born in south Wales and educated under Saint Illtyd. He was a cousin of Saint Samson, with whom he crossed over to Brittany, where they became abbots of two monasteries. St. Samson became bishop of Dol, and on his death he is said to have been succeeded by St. Maglorius, who finally retired to the Channel Islands and built an abbey on Sark, where he died. He is represented in art giving Holy Communion to an angel and is sometimes shown with Saint Samson of Dol. Venerated at Sark.

On the same day: St. Elesbaan, Emperor of Ethiopia; The Icon: Joy of all who Sorrow; Our Holy Father Arethas of the Kiev Caves; Our Holy Father Arethas of the Kiev Caves

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