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

9 / 22 November

The Holy Martyrs Onesiphorus and Prophyrius

These two wonderful men were martyred for the name of Christ in the time of the Emperor Diocletian (284-305). They were harshly beaten, and then burned in iron coffins, and after that tied to horses' tails and dragged over stones and thistles. They were thus broken to pieces and gave their holy souls into God's hands. Their relics were buried in Pentapolis. Our Holy Father John the Dwarf.

St. Nectarios (Anastasios Kaphalas), metropolitan ofPentapolis

Born in Greece in 1846. His family was very poor, so he left home at the age of 14 to seek work. He found a job in Constantinople , but he received very low wages and ate poorly nd only wore rags. Seeing that his master received many things by mail, he decided to write a letter for help. He had no friends in the world, and the post did not go to his mother's village. In his childlike faith, he decided to write to Christ to tell him his needs, writing on the envelope: "To the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven". On his way to post it a merchant who knew him saw him and offered to post his letter. Reading the address and being overcome by curiosity, the merchant opened the letter and read taded taking Bartholomew down alive; Philip had already breathed his last. Bartholomew made Stachys bishop for those baptised in the city. Stachys had been cured of blindness and baptised by Philip, having been blind for forty years. St Philip's rels. Then, in his twenties, he entered a monastery, being tonsured in 1875 with the names Lazarus. Because of his virtues and piety he soon became a deacon and then a priest. He left his monastery because of Moslem rule and went to Egypt where he was elected the Metropolitan of Pentapolis. He lived a holy life and because of this was slandered by others, even his brother-bishops in the See of Alexandria. Thus, he was suspended from his diocese. Nevertheless, the saint bore this slandering humbly. When the people, greatly upset by his suspension, began to grow restless, he secretly left for Greece so as not to be the cause of dissension.. He found there, however, that the slanders had travelled ahead of him, and that the Church authorities would not give him a position. Some people who had come to love the Saint very much used their influence to have him appointed Dean of a seminary in Athens. The busy city life was not pleasing to the saint and he looked for a quiet place where he could dedicate himself to prayer. Finding a disused convent on the island of Aegina he rebuilt the church and gathered a few nuns around him. Many came to confess their sins and receive wise counsel.He lived here until is death in 1920. On the day of his repose, the hospital in which he died was filled with a beautiful fragrance. An item of the saint's clothing, placed by a nurse on the bed of a sick man while they prepared the saint's body for burial, was a source of healing. His relics were incorrupt for many years after his repose, even after the impious Archbishop of Athens, Chrysostom, ordered that the relics be exposed to the elements for two days so they would dissolve. A friend of the saint's, a doctor, opened the relics in 1934 and was surprised to find the saint was easily recognisable to any who knew him during his life.

On the same day: Our Holy Mother Matrona of Constantinople; Our Holy Father Euthymius of Docheiariou and his disciple, Neophytus; St. Simon Metaphrastes; Our Holy Mother Theoctista of Paros

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