July 6: Orthodox saints

The Holy Martyrs Isaurios the Deacon, Innocent, Felix, Hermias, Basil, Peregrinus, Ruphus, and Ruphinus were martyred in the Macedonian city of Apollonia under the emperor Numerian (283-284). Notes:


Emperor Numerian

The Holy Quintus came from Phrygia, a Roman province of Asia Minor, in a Christian family. When he came to Neolida, he did many charitable acts and, by prayer, healed those possessed by unclean spirits. When Ruphus, the governor of the district, demanded that Quintus offer pagan sacrifice to idols, Ruphus fell into a seizure. Quintus healed him in the Name of Christ, and shaken-up and grateful Ruphus released him.

Quintus went to Pergamum, but along the way he was seized by pagans from the city of Cimum, who began to torture him, but the Lord Himself intervened: a strong earthquake destroyed the pagan temple. The frightened pagans stopped the torture, but left Quintus in chains until the arrival of the new governor Klearchos. Klearchos tortured Quintus, but, by the grace of God, Quintus was healed and lived 10 years more in the service of his neighbours, and working many miracles. He died in the year 283.


(information about)

Map of Phrygia
(large image, but detailed)

The Monk Sisoi the Great (+ 429) was an hermit-monk, who lived in the Egyptian wilderness in a cave previously occupied by the Monk Anthony the Great (commemorated 17 January). During his 60 years in the wilderness, the Monk Sisoi was given the gift of wonderworking, so that by his prayer he once returned a dead boy to life.

The Monk Sisoi was very merciful and compassionate to those nearby and he received everyone with love. When a visiting monk asked how might he attain to a constant mindfulness of God, Sisoi answered: "That is still not of much consequence, my son, but more important is this -- to account oneself below everyone else, because such disparagement assists in the acquisition of humility." Asked by the monks, whether one year is sufficient for repentance in having fallen into sin against a brother, the Monk Sisoi said: "I believe in the mercy of God the Lover-of-Mankind, and if a man repent with all his soul, then God will accept his repentance in the course of three days."

When the Monk Sisoi lay upon his death-bed, his students saw his face shining, so they asked him what he saw. Sisoi answered, that he saw the prophets and apostles.

His students then asked, with whom was he talking? He said that Angels had come for his soul, and he had entreated them to give him a short bit of time yet for repentance.

"You, father, have no need for repentance," replied the students.

But the Monk Sisoi, with his great humility, answered: "I do not know for sure whether I have even begun to make my repentance."

After these words his face shone so brightly, that the students could not look at him.

Finally, Sisoi told them that he saw the Lord Himself, then his holy soul went up to the Heavenly Kingdom.


Egyptian monasticism

News from 2001: Egyptian monk revives monestary

The Holy Martyrs Marinus, Martha, Audifax, Avvakum (Habbakuk), Cyrenus, Valentine the Presbyter, Asterius and many others with them at Rome:

During the reign of the emperor Claudius II (268-270), Marinus and Martha and their sons Audifax and Avvakum journeyed from Persia to Rome to pray at the graves of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

During this time, the Church in Rome was under heavy persecution. Marinus and Martha and sons began to aid Christians locked up in the prisons, and also to request the bodies of executed martyrs. At one of these jails they met a prisoner named Cyrenus and with love they helped him.

However, the persecution spread and more Christians were arrested.

Two-hundred sixty Christians, among whom was the Tribune Vlastus, were sentenced to dig ground along the Salerian Way, and there were executed by bowmen. Marinus and Martha their family, together with the presbyter John went by night to take up the bodies of the martyrs for burial in the catacombs.

Returning later to the prison where Cyrenus was locked up, they discovered that he had been executed the day before and his body thrown into the Tiber River. They removed Cyrenus' body from the river and committed it to earth.

While in Rome, Marinus and Martha were among Christians who continued secretly to make the Divine-services under the lead of Bishop Callistus.

Eventually, however, they were captured and executed along with Confessor Valentine (Valentinus) the Presbyter, and the imperial gardener Asterius who had been converted by him, and others.


Emperor Claudius II

Persian empire map

Tiber River image


The Holy Martyrs Lucy, Rexus, Anthony, Lucian, Isidor, Dion, Diodorus, Cutonias, Aron, Capicus and Satyrus:

Saint Lucy, a native of the Italian district of Campania, from the time of her youth dedicated herself to God and lived austerely and chastely.

While still quite young, she was taken captive by Rexus, leader of one of the Germanic tribes. Rexus at first tried to compel Lucy to make the pagan rituals but, seeing her firmness of faith and readiness to accept torture for the Name of Christ, he was inspired with profound respect for her and even permitted her and her servants the use of a separate house, where they lived in solitude, spending the time in unceasing prayer.

After 20 years Saint Lucy, having learned that the emperor Diocletian had started up a persecution against Christians, entreated Rexus to send her back to Italy.

Rexus had accepted Christianity, so leaving behind his retinue and family, he set off to Rome with Lucy.

They were captured and sent to execution by the Roman prefect Aelius, along with the holy martyrs Anthony, Lucian, Isidor, Dion, Diodorus, Cutonias, Aron, Capicus and Satyrus (+301).


Campania (location in Italy)

The Germanic Tribes

Emperior Diocletian

Rome, official website
(mostly in Italian, with odds bits of English here and there, but interesting even to non-Italian speakers)