On this day we celebrate the memory Porphyrios,
Bishop of Gaza.
Porphyrios came from the city of Thessalonica. He was the son of noble and rich parents and lived during the reign of king Arcadios in 396. He left his home city and went to a hermitage (skete) in Egypt, where he became a monk. Five years later he went to Jerusalem, where he enlightened many unbelievers with his teaching. This is why he was ordained presbyter by Praylios, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Later on he was consecrated Bishop of Gaza by John, Archbishop of Caesaria-in-Palestine. After he had been ordained Bishop, he worked many wondrous things and brought many unbelievers to the knowledge of God. Then, seeing that the Christians of his diocese suffered injustice by those in power at Gaza, who were idolaters and heretics, Porphyrios went to Constantinople to help those who had been wronged. He met that great man John the Chrysostom, who was then Patriarch of Constantinople, and related to him the wrongs done by the rulers of Gaza, which had made him come to Constantinople. So, the saint was introduced by divine Chrysostom to Amantius, the king's Cubicularius.
Queen Eudoxia heard about the saint and his case by the Cubicularius, received him favourably and reported everything about him to the king as well as the Porphyrios' prophesy about the boy, which they were to have, i.e. little Theodosios. When the king heard this, he was glad and thanked God. After the queen gave birth to Theodosios, she invited Porphyrios and was blessed by him and she promised to satisfy all his requests about which she had talked to the king. At the beginning, however, the king hesitated saying that it was impossible to send the idolaters and heretics away from Gaza, because they were very useful and helpful. But the Queen answered him that although it was very difficult to satisfy this request, it was even more difficult to turn it down. This is why the king agreed to satisfy the Porphyrios' requests. So, royal orders were immediately sent and the heretics and idolaters were driven out of Gaza.
Then, after blessed Porphyrios had received two centenaria of gold to build churches as well as two hundred coins for expenses, he returned to his diocese. There he demolished the temples of the idols and persecuted the heretics. He also burnt the temple of Marnas, who is one of the gods of the Greeks, and built a church over it according to the plan which Queen Eudoxia had given him. So, this divine father shone in his diocese, performed many miracles and after twenty-four years, eleven months and eight days he departed to the Lord.