Arrival of St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch to Egypt
On this day we commemorate the arrival of St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, to Egypt. That was in the days of Eustinos the Emperor who adopted the non-orthodox doctrine of the Council of Chalcedon. Queen Theodora, his wife, was Orthodox and she loved St. Severus because of his Christian virtues and his true faith.

The Emperor called him one day and they argued about the Emperor's faith, and the Emperor would not turn away from his wrong belief. The Emperor issued an order to kill St. Severus. The Queen besought the Saint to escape to save himself but he refused saying, "I am ready to die holding the Orthodox faith". However, as the Queen and the God loving brethren insisted, he and some brethren left to Egypt.

When the Emperor sought for St. Severus and did not find him he sent soldiers after him. However, God hid him and they could not find him though he was close to them. When he arrived in Egypt he went disguised from place to place and from monastery to monastery, and God made many signs and wonders by his hands.

One day he went to the Desert of Scete, at Wadi El-Natroun, and entered the church in a uniform of a monk and a great miracle happened. After the priest had placed the bread (Korban) on the altar, gone around the church raising incense, and after the reading of the Epistles and the Gospels, he lifted up the Ebrospharin (altar covering) and did not find the Korban on its plate.

The priest was disturbed and wept and he turned towards the worshippers saying: "My brethren, I did not find the Korban on its plate, and I know not whether this thing has happened because of my sin or because of your sin". The people wept; and right away the angel of the Lord appeared to the priest and told him: "This has happened not because of your sin nor because of the sin of the worshippers but because you offered the Korban in the presence of the Patriarch. The priest replied: "And where is he, my Lord?" The angel pointed towards St. Severus.

St. Severus was standing in a corner of the church and the priest recognized him by the grace of the Holy Spirit. When the priest came to Abba Severus he commanded him to continue the Liturgy after they brought him to the altar with great honor. When the priest had gone up to the altar he found the offering (Korban) on the paten as before. They all praised God and glorified His Holy Name.

St. Severus left that place and went to the City of Sakha where he dwelt with a noble, righteous man named Dorotheus, and he remained there until his departure.

The Holy Martyrs Karpos, Bishop of Phiatirea, Deacon Papila, Agathodoros and Agathonika the sister of Papila, suffered during a time of persecution against Christians under the emperor Decius in the III Century. The governor of the district where the saints lived became aware, that Karpos and Papila did not celebrate the pagan feasts. He gave orders to arrest the transgressors and first to try to persuade them in the veracity of the Roman pagan-religion. The saints answered, that it would be improper to worship false gods. The judge then ordered them to be bound and led through the city in iron chains, and then to be tied to horses and dragged to the nearby city of Sardis. Agathodoros and Agathonika voluntarily followed after Karpos and Papila. In Sardis they choked Agathonika to death with ox sinews, and beheaded Karpos, Papila and Agathodoros. Saint Papila during life was known for his gift of treating the sick; after his martyr's death, he invariably gives healing to all who have recourse to him with faith.

The Monk Veniamin (Benjamin) of Pechersk lived during the XIV Century and before accepting monasticism was "an important merchant." Once at the time of Divine services Saint Veniamin felt deeply in his heart the words of the Saviour: how difficult it is for the rich to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 19: 23). Having given off his wealth to the needy, Saint Veniamin became a monk, "pleasing the Lord by fasting and prayers even unto death." He was buried in the Theodosiev Cave. His memory is also on 28 August and the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.

The Holy Martyr Florentius was a native of the city of Soluneia (Thessalonika). Zealous for the glory of God, he fearlessly unmasked the darkness of idol-worship and led many to the light of true knowledge of God; he taught faith in Christ and fulfilled the will of God. For this the pagans subjected him to cruel tortures, and then burnt him (+II).

The Holy Martyr Benjamin the Deacon converted many pagan Persians to Christianity, and for his zeal and evangelic preaching he suffered in Persia during the V Century.

The Monk Nikita the Confessor was situated at the imperial court, during the reigns of the empress Irene and her son Constantine.

Renouncing all positions and honours, Nikita decided to take monastic vows. At the request of the emperor, he did not set off into the wilderness, but rather remained in a monastery in the capital. When the Iconoclast Theophilus occupied the imperial throne, the monk Nikita was banished from the monastery by the heretics for opposing the heresy. The monk wandered for a long time throughout the country.

He died at age 75 in about the year 838. During his life and after his death the monk worked many miracles.

The Holy GreatMartyress Zlata (Chrysa or Golda) of Moglensk was born and lived in the Bulgarian village of Slatino, Moglensk diocese (+1795). Bulgaria at this time was under the Turkish Yoke.

From her youth Zlata displayed an unusually strong character, a firm faith in Christ, and was both chaste and beautiful. The local Turks attempted repeatedly to seduce the maiden and force her to accept Islam. But neither by persuasion, nor by threats, nor by monstrous torturing continued in prison for many months, did they break the spirit of the glorious confessor of Christ.