May Synaxarion

Days: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
        18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31

This month has thirty-one days with fourteen hours of day and ten hours of night.

May 1

Memory of the holy Prophet Jeremia (Sixth century B.C.)

Jeremia was the son of Helcia, the priestly tribe, from the city of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. He was born at the beginning of the Seventh century before Jesus Christ and prophesied for more than forty years, from 625 to about 586. At the time of the last captivity of the Jewish people under Sedecia in 587, a small number of Jews were left in Palestine to work the land. Jeremia remained with them, mourning and bemoaning the unrelenting devastation of Jerusalem and the slavery to which his compatriots had been reduced. This small remnant being again excited and fearing the repression of the Chaldeans, fled to Egypt, dragging Jeremia and Baruch, his disciple and scribe, with them by force.

Jeremia having there prophesied against Egypt and the other nations, his compatriots stoned him to death at Taphanes in witness of an ancient Christian tradition and no longer being able to suffer the truth of his discourses and his just proofs. His prophecies and his Lamentations occupy the second rank in the series of Major Prophets.

Fifth Class Feast.

In the course of the month of May is found the period of the Pentekostarion. The Troparia of the Saints are added to those which are required by the Pentekostarion on weekdays. On Sundays, Fifth Class Feasts are neglected.

May 2

Translation of the relics of our Father among the Saints
Athanasius the Great (295-373)

Saint Athanasius was probably born in Alexandria, around the year 295. He was instructed in profane literature as well as in the knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures. He himself testifies to having been a disciple of Saint Anthony the Great. According to some, he had been ordained a lector by Archbishop Alexander in 312, and a deacon in 318. In 325 he accompanied his Bishop Alexander to the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. Upon Alexander's unexpected death on April 17, 328, he was elected to succeed him on the following June 8. He surpassed all his contemporaries by his zeal and by his doctrine of the Homoousios. Accused by the Arians, he was at first declared innocent in Nicomedia by Emperor Constantine in 322. After the false Synod of Tyre of 335, he was exiled by the same Constantine to Treves in Gaul. He was brought back to his see by Constantius II, the son of Constantine, in 337. Expelled by the intruder Gregory of Cappadocia in 339, he took refuge near Pope Saint Julius I, Bishop of Rome, and was declared innocent for the first time at the synod held in Rome around 340-341, and for the second time at the Synod of Sardica in 342 or 343. At the intruder Gregory's death (345), the Saint remounted his throne in 346, confirming the Orthodox faith in all Egypt. Deposed again in 356 by the Arian Emperor Constantius, he still remained in hiding in Egypt. When Julian the Apostate mounted the imperial throne in 362, he returned to Alexandria to be again exiled by Julian, then again by Valens in 365. He rested from his great afflictions on May 2, 373. He had spent seventeen years, six months, and twenty days in exile.

This Third Class Feast has its occurrence from the Monday of the week of Saint Thomas (Easter on March 22) to the Saturday of the Ascension (Easter on April 25).

During the week of Saint Thomas in general: Typika and Beatitudes. Troparia: of Saint Thomas, of Saint Athanasius the Great, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Sunday of Saint Thomas. Epistle, Gospel, and Kinonikon of Saint Athanasius the Great.

In occurrence with the Saturday of the Closing Day of the week of Saint Thomas: Antiphons of Easter, or the Typika and Beatitudes. Troparia: of Saint Thomas (twice), of Saint Athanasius the Great, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of Saint Thomas. Epistle and Gospel of Saint Athanasius the Great. Hirmos and Kinonikon of Saint Thomas.

In occurrence with the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, nothing from Mid-Pentecost is taken.

In occurrence with Mid-Pentecost or its Pots-festive, the order given for the feast of Saint Mark on April 25 is followed.

In occurrence with the Wednesday of the Closing Day of Easter, the rite of the Easter Liturgy is followed, but after the Hypakoi, the Troparion of Saint Athanasius the Great is said. Kondakion of Easter. Epistle and Gospel of Saint Athanasius the Great.

In occurrence with Ascension Day, the feast of Saint Athanasius the Great is transferred to the following Friday.

In occurrence with the Thursday and Friday after the Ascension: Typika and Beatitudes. In the Isodikon, the ordinary verse, response of the Ascension. Troparia: of the Ascension, of Saint Athanasius the Great, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Ascension. Epistle, Gospel, and Kinonikon of Saint Athanasius the Great. After Communion, Troparion of the Ascension.

May 3

Memory of the holy Martyrs Timothy and Maura (+304)

A native of a town of Thebes called Penapeon, in the ranks of the clergy Saint Timothy occupied the office of interpreter of the Holy Scriptures. He was married to Saint Maura for some twenty years. He was brought before Arianus, the Governor of Thebais, who enjoined him to surrender the Holy Scriptures to him to be thrown in the fire. The Saint refused this and suffered many cruel tortures...Saint Maura also declared herself to be a Christian. After diverse tortures, they were both crucified and remained nine days on the cross, mutually exhorting themselves not to give way. Thus they committed their souls into God's hands in a saintly manner.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 4

Memory of the holy Martyr Pelagia (?)

Saint Pelagia suffered martyrdom under Diocletian at the beginning of the Fourth century. Having heard of the Christian faith and sincerely desiring to know what it taught, one night she saw a bishop in a dream in the process of baptizing. The next day her mother having allowed her to go visit her nurse, she went straightway to the bishop who, forewarned by a heavenly apparition, received and baptized her...Informed of this, Emperor Diocletian summoned her before him but was not successful in making her renounce Christ's faith. He then had her thrown into the mouth of a red-hot ox caldron. She expired there and obtained the palm of martyrdom.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 5

Memory of the holy and renowned Martyr Irene (?)

The king's daughter, Saint Irene, was converted to the faith by Saint Timothy, Saint Paul's disciple. Emperor Justinian had a splendid basilica built in her honor in Constantinople.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 6

Memory of the holy and Just Job, the severely tried

The Book of Job tells the story of Job, a native of the land of Us, which without doubt is presently Hauran, who was of the lineage of Esau, the fifth generation after Abraham. The Lord having rendered this witness to him that he was just, irreproachable, and surpassing all the inhabitants of the land, the devil put him to the test. He stripped him of all his goods and struck him with a horrible incurable ulcer. The devil went away confused for this just man had shown himself firm and of invincible constancy. God put an end to these trials and gave him back double all that he had lost.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 7

Memory of the Apparition of the Sign of the Cross
in the sky over Jerusalem, under Constantius,
the son of Constantine the Great (351)

On May 7, 351, the Tuesday before the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, at the third hour of day, the Venerable and Life-giving Cross appeared to all the people in Jerusalem. Resplendent with light, it extended from Golgotha to the Mount of Olives. Its brilliancy surpassed the sun's rays. Consequently all the people, young and old, children and infants, hastened into the church, where, in a superabundance of joy, they glorified and gave thanks to God with contrition for this marvelous wonder. Saint Cyril, the Bishop of Jerusalem and author of the catecheses, wrote concerning it to Emperor Constantius, the son of Constantine the Great, to confirm him in the Orthodox faith.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 8

Memory of the holy and renowned
Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, the Beloved and Virgin,
who reposed on the breast of the Master (First century)

Our venerable Father Arsenios the Great (+445)

A native of Bethsaida, Galilee, Saint John was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of Saint James the Greater. A fisherman by profession, he became a disciple of Saint John the Baptist, an Apostle, and then the Beloved Disciple of Jesus Christ. He reclined at Jesus' right hand. He was the only one among the disciples to follow Him to the Cross. There the Master entrusted His holy Mother to him, as if he was Mary's son and Jesus' brother. The Death of Saint John is commemorated on September 26, where, according to ancient ecclesiastical tradition, the Synaxarion of the day relates the last years of his life and explains the meaning of the eagle which serves as his symbol.

Saint Arsenios was born of a patrician family in Rome. He occupied an important position in the imperial court. Detesting the tumult of business as well as the society of the powerful of this world, but enamored with solitude and inflamed with the Heavenly King's love, around the end of the Fourth century he went to Egypt and withdrew to the desert of Skete. Expelled from there by a barbarian invasion around 411, he withdrew to Canopus, near Alexandria, with his friend Theophilos, the Archbishop of this great city. He slept in the Lord at an advanced age, at an uncertain date, no doubt around 445.

This Third Class Feast occurs from the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women (Easter on March 22) to the Friday of the Closing Day of the Ascension (Easter on April 25).

In general the order given for the feast of Saint George (April 23) and Saint Athanasius the Great (May 2) is followed. The memory of Saint Arsenios is omitted on the Sundays after Easter and on the other principal feasts. During Post-festive Days, the Troparia: of the Resurrection (or of the Feast), of Saint John, of Saint Arsenios, and of the Church Patron are said. Kondakion of the Pentekostarion.

In occurrence with the Wednesday of the Closing Day of Easter: Liturgy of Easter. After the Hypakoi of Easter, only the Troparion of Saint John is added. Epistle and Gospel of Saint John.

In occurence with Ascension Day: Troparia: of the Ascension (twice), and of Saint John. Kondakion of the Ascension. Epistle of Saint John, Gospel of the Ascension.

In occurrence with the Sunday of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Ascension, of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, of Saint John, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Ascension. Ordinary Hirmos. Kinonikon for the Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, and of Saint John. After Communion, Troparion of the Ascension.

In occurrence with the Friday of the Closing Day of the Ascension, the order of the feast of the Ascension is followed, except for the Epistle and Gospel, which are of Saint John. Kinonikon of the Ascension.

May 9

Memory of the holy prophet Isaia (Eighth century B.C.)

The holy Martyr Christopher (+under Decius, 249-251)

Isaia was the son of Amos. It is believed that he was of the tribe of Juda and a descendent of the royal family. He prophesied from the last year of Ozia's reign in 737, and in the days of Joatham and his successors on Juda's throne, Achaz and Ezechia. He died at an uncertain date, around the beginning of the Seventh century before Our Lord. His prophecies occupy the first rank in the series of Major Prophets.

The holy martyr Christopher suffered for Christ's sake in Lycia under Emperor Decius, 249-251.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 10

Memory of the holy Apostle Simon the Zealot (First century)

Saint Simon was one of the Twelve Apostles. He was called Simon the Cananean by Saint Matthew. Saint Luke calls him Simon the Zealot, a Greek term which correctly translates the meaning of the Aramaic word Cananean. He merited this name by his inflamed zeal for Almighty God. If the tradition is to be believed, he preached the Gospel in Persia and Egypt.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 11

The Foundation and Dedication of Constantinople (330)

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr Mokios
(beginning of the Fourth century)

(Memory of the Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius,
Teachers of the Slavs Ninth century))

This dedication of Constantinople took place on Monday, May 11, 330, in the third Indication. Constantine the Great, the most Christian King, after having chosen Byzantium and enlarged it, changed its name and imposed upon it his own, calling it Constantinople.

A priest of the Church of Amphipolis in Thrace, the holy martyr Mokios was martyred in Byzantium under Emperor Diocletian around the beginning of the Fourth century.

(The two holy brothers Cyril and Methodius were born in Thessalonica. The younger, Constantine, later called Cyril, studied in Constantinople under Photius' direction. His university success merited him the surname of "Philosopher." He replaced his teacher in the headmastership of the University of Constantinople when the latter entered civil service. Before long, renouncing all honors, he received the deaconate and withdrew to a monastery of Olympus of Bithynia. It is from there that Photius called him to send him as an ambassador to the Khazars. In the meantime his elder brother Methodius had been elected hegumen of an important monastery of Olympus.

The ambassador sent by Duke Ratislav of Moravia arrived in Constantinople in 862 to discuss both political and religious affairs. In particular he came to obtain some Byzantine missionaries. Patriarch Photius designated the two brothers Constantine and Methodius for the Moravian mission in 862.

In order to make a Slavonic Bible and Liturgy to the people of Moravia, the two holy brothers invented the Slavonic alphabet, called Cyrillic or Glagolitic. The use of Slavonic in preaching and in the liturgical offices assured the two brothers' success.

During a trip to Rome, when the Roman Pontiff considered conferring the episcopate on him, Constantine fell gravely ill. Before dying, he was clothed in the monastic habit, changing his name to Cyril.

As for Saint Methodius, he was consecrated a bishop in 869-870 with jurisdiction over all ancient Pannonia augmented by the Slav lands to the north and east. This very year, following the downfall of Duke Ratislav, Methodius was imprisoned after having appeared before a synod of Bavarian bishops who reproached him with his infringements on the German Church and his use of Slavonic in the Liturgy. He appealed concerning it to the Roman Patriarchate, which took his defense in 873 while permitting him the use of Slavonic only in preaching. In order to justify himself from accusations unfairly borne against him, he made a second trip to Rome in 880 during which, in particular, he obtained the recognition of Slavonic as a liturgical language. He proceeded to Constantinople in 881 where he was received with great benevolence by Emperor Basil I and Patriarch Photius. On his return to Pannonia, always exposed to all kinds of opposition, he consecrated his last years to translating from Greek to Slavonic the entire Bible, some works of ecclesiastical law, and some patristic writings. He died on April 6, 884).

Fifth Class Feast.

Troparia: of the Foundation and Dedication of Constantinople, of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Feast.

May 12

Memory of our Fathers among the Saints Epiphanios,
Bishop of Cyrus (ca. 315-403), and Germanus,
Archbishop of Constantinople (+733)

Saint Epiphanios was born around 315 in Besanduc, a small market town of Palestine, not far from Eleutheropolis (Beit-Djibrin). He embraced monastic life under Saint Hilarion's direction, who was then in Egypt. He founded a monastery where he grouped many disciples under his direction. He learned Hebrew, Coptic, Syriac, Greek, and Latin. This is why he was surnamed the "Pentaglot." Around 367 he was elected Bishop of Constantia, ancient Salamis, on the island of Cyprus. He preached in Jerusalem against Origenism in 394. Deceived by Theophilus, the Archbishop of Alexandria, he went to Constantinople but, having there brought petty annoyances upon Saint John Chrysostom, was obliged to immediately embark for Cyprus. He committed his soul to God during the journey, on May 12, 403. Of all his works, the most valued is unquestionably the "Panarion" or "The Remedy Box" containing the demonstration of truths of the faith and the refutation of eighty heresies.

Saint Germanus was born in Constantinople under Emperor Heraclius (610-641). His father, the patricius Justinian, was a famous man who had occupied some high political offices in the empire. He was put to death by Heraclius' grandson under the pretext that he desired the imperial crown. His son Germanus was mutilated and placed among the clergy of the Great Church in 668. By his good conduct the Saint merited to be consecrated Metropolitan of Cyzicus around 705-706. In 715 he was promoted to the see of Constantinople. Seeing Emperor Leo the Isaurian eager to destroy the Holy Icons and after having tried in vain by his words and exhortations to turn him from his heresy, the Saint placed his omophorion on the Holy Table and withdrew to his private home in 730. He died around 733, in old age, having lived ninety-one years. He was also an hymnographer, as witnessed by numerous stichera idiomela signed by him.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 13

Memory of the holy Martyr Glyceria (+under Antoninus, 138-161)

Saint Glyceria suffered martyrdom in Heraclea of Thrace under Emperor Antoninus (138-161). One day while the Prefect Sabinus offered a sacrifice to the idols, she made the sign of the Cross and presented herself to him, declaring that she was a Christian and a servant of Christ. The Prefect urged her to sacrifice to the gods. She went into the pagan temple and, addressing a prayer to Christ, broke all the idols which were found therein. She was then suspended by the hair and her body was rasped with steel combs. She was thrown into prison... Finally delivered over to the beasts, she was lightly touched by one of them and, without injury or any bruises, committed her soul to God.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 14

Memory of the holy Martyr Isidore of Chios (+250)

A soldier and a native of Alexandria, Saint Isidore suffered martyrdom under Emperor Decius around the year 250. He served in the legion of Option. Having disembarked to the island of Chios on the military ships under the centurion Julius that: "He adores Christ and does not sacrifice to our gods." The Saint courageously confessed Christ. Seeing his unshakeable steadfastness, Numerius ordered that he be beheaded. In this manner he obtained the crown of martyrdom.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 15

Memory of our venerable Fathers Pachomios the Great (292-346),
and Achillios the Wonderworker,
Archbishop of Larissa (Fifth-Sixth century?)

Saint Pachomios was born of pagan parents around 292 in Egypt in Upper Thebais. He became a soldier in his youth. The virtues which he admired in Christians led him to Christ's faith. He became a disciple of a hermit named Palamon. He was so renowned in virtue that he filled the island of Tabennisia in the Nile with monasteries and ascetics (about 325). Pachomios became the head of seven thousand monks. He was the first to have written a rule of monastic life in Coptic. He died in 346.

Saint Achillios lived in the Fifth or the Sixth century.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 16

Memory of our venerable Father Theodore the Sanctified,
Disciple of Saint Pachomios (Fourth century)

Saint Theodore was Saint Pachomios' disciple and emulator in the way of perfection. He died sometime during the Fourth century. He was called the "Sanctified" because of his great virtue. Some maintain that he was called the "Sanctified" because he had been the first or the only one of the monks of Tabennisia to be raised to the priesthood.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 17

Memory of the holy Apostles Andronicos and Junias (First century)

The names of these two Saints have been preserved for us by Saint Paul in his epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:7) where he says: "Greet Andronicos and Junias my kinsmen and my fellow-prisoners, who are distinguished among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."

Fifth Class Feast.

May 18

Memory of the holy Martyrs Peter, Dionysia, Andrew,
Paul, Christina, Heraclius, Paulinos, and Benedimos (?)

Saints Peter, Andrew, Paul, and Dionysia suffered in Lampsacus in Mysia. Saint Christina suffered in Tyre, Phoenicia. Saints Heraclius, Paulinos, and Bonedimos or Monedimos probably suffered in Nobiodunum in Scythia, now called Isaksoa. They all were martyred at an uncertain date.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 19

Memory of the holy Martyr Patricios, Bishop of Brusa,
Akakios (+under Galerius, 305-311), Menander, and Polyenos (?)

According to the witness of tradition, Saint Patricios was Bishop of Brusa and suffered martyrdom at an uncertain date. Saint Akakios is probably the renowned centurion who was beheaded in Byzantium under Galerius around the beginning of the Fourth century. We know nothing definite concerning Menander and Polyenos.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 20

Memory of the holy Martyr Thallelaios (+284)

Saint Theallelaios suffered martyrdom in Aegae in Cilicia under Emperor Numerian in 284. He was a native of Lebanon. His father's name was Berucius and his mother's name was Romylia. He practiced medicine at the time that he was seized while hidden in an olive grove in Anazarba, in Second Sicilia. Led before the Prefect Theodore, he refused to sacrifice to idols. The judge ordered that his temples be pierced and that he be hung up by the head. Through a miraculous intervention of heaven, the executioners, believing to execute the order, were mistaken and pierced a log instead. Believing himself to be mocked by his servants, the judge had them cruelly beaten. He ordered that the Saint be thrown into the sea. Thallelaios came out unhurt, wearing a white habit. He was then delivered over to wild beasts who respected him. Finally, he died by the sword.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 21

Memory of the Holy and Glorious Constantine (280-337) and
Helen (+329), the great Sovereigns and Equals-to-the-Apostles

The holy and great Emperor Constantine was the son of Constantius Chlorus, Caesar of the Western provinces of the Roman empire. He was born around 280 in Naissus, near the Dardanelles. Upon his father's death in 306, he was proclaimed Caesar and his successor on the throne. Learning that Maxentius and Maximin had formed a league against him, he invaded Italy in 312. It is there that, advancing to the head of his troops one afternoon, he saw in the sky a luminous column in the form of a cross beneath the sun with this inscription: "By this you will conquer." He engaged in battle on October 29, near Pons Milvius. Maxentius was conquered and, when pursued, crowned himself in the Tiber River. The next day, Constantine triumphantly entered Rome. The Senate proclaimed him Augustus and Emperor of the West, whereas Licinius remained master of the East. In 313, an edict was promulgated at Milan by the two Emperors allowing full liberty to everyone to render worship to God as he wished. Jealous, Licinius again persecuted the Christians. Constantine, having defeated him on two occasions, had him killed in 324. Thus he was left the sole Emperor of East and West. All persecutions against the Church stopped, and Christianity triumphed. It is at this time that he lay the foundations of Constantinople, the city named after him. It was surnamed "New Rome" because the imperial seat was transferred there from "Old Rome." Desiring to exactly know the true faith, Constantine gathered all the bishops in the land of Nicaea in 325. They confirmed the Orthodox faith and proclaimed the Son consubstantial with the Father, anathematizing Arius, his followers, and their blasphemy. The Council was presided over by Osius, the Bishop of Cordova, Spain, and by Vitus and Vincentius, priests of the Roman Church and legates of Pope Silvester. Saint Constantine sent his mother to Jerusalem in 326 to find the sacred wood upon which Christ our God according to the Flesh was crucified. Helen discovered it in 327. She returned to Constantinople and then went to Rome to die i 329. Constantine fell sick in Nicomedia. He asked for and received holy Baptism and died on May 22, 337. Transported back to Constantinople, his remains were deposited in the Church of the Holy Apostles which he himself had built.

Saint Helen died an octogenarian in 329. She was buried in a prophyry sarcophagus in a round church in Rome, on the so-called Lavicana Way. This sarcophagus is now preserved in the Vatican Palace.

This Third Class Feast has its occurrence from the Saturday of the Paralytic (Easter on March 22) to the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body (Easter on April 25).

The general order for the feast of Saint John the Theologian (May 8) is followed.

In occurrence with the Saturday of the Dead, this feast is transferred to the preceeding Friday and celebrated with the Closing Day of the Ascension.

In occurrence with Pentecost Sunday: Troparia: of Pentecost (twice), and of Saints Constantine and Helen (once). Kondakion of Pentecost.

In occurrence with Pentecost Monday, same Troparia as on Pentecost. Epistle of Saints Constantine and Helen, Gospel of Pentecost Monday. The rest is from Pentecost.

In occurrence with the Post-festive Days: in the Isodikon, ordinary verse, response of Pentecost. Troparia: of Pentecost, of Saints Constantine and Helen, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of Pentecost. Epistle and Gospel of Saints Constantine and Helen. Ordinary Hirmos. Kinonikon of Saints Constantine and Helen.

In occurrence with the Saturday of the Closing Day of Pentecost: as on the feast day, but the Epistle and Gospel are of Saints Constantine and Helen.

In occurrence with the Sunday of All Saints: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of All Saints, of Saints Constantine and Helen, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the feast of the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body. Epistle of Saints Constantine and Helen, Gospel of the Sunday of All Saints. Kinonikon of All Saints.

In occurrence with Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the Pre-festive of the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body: Typika and Beatitudes. Troparia: of the pre-festive, of Saints Constantine and Helen, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the Pre-festive of the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body. Epistle, Gospel, and Kinonikon of Saints Constantine and Helen.

In occurrence with the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body: Troparia: of the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body (twice), and of Saints Constantine and Helen. Kondakion of the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body.

May 22

Memory of the holy Martyr Basiliskos (?)

The nephew of the great martyr Saint Theodore of Tyre, Saint Basiliskos was born in the market town of Choumialos, near Amasia, and suffered martyrdom under Emperor Maximian. He suffered for Christ at the same time as Eutropios and Cleonicos, Saint Theodore's companions in arms. Whereas Eutropios and Cleonicos obtained the palm of martyrdom, he was consigned to prison. With all his heart he desired to crown his sufferings by martyrdom, and earnestly asked God for this grace. As a recompense the Lord appeared to him to encourage him. Returning to his home with his soldier companions, he kissed his mother and brothers as usual, wishing them to persevere in Christ's faith. At that moment, he was seized by soldiers sent by the Prefect Agrippa to arrest him. After many tortures, he was beheaded and his body was thrown into a river.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 23

Memory of our venerable Father and Confessor Michael,
Metropolitan of Synnada (+826)

Saint Michael first took the monastic habit in the monastery of Saint Tarasios of Hieron, at the entrance of the Pontus Euxinus. Becoming Patriarch of Constantinople in 784, Tarasios consecrated him Metropolitan of Synnada in Phrygia. He was one of the Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 787. In 806 he was sent by Emperor Nicephoros I Logothetus to Caliph Harun al-Raschid to negotiate peace between the Roman Empire and the Arab power. In 811 he went to Rome to take the synodical letter of the new Patriarch Nicephoros to Pope Saint Leo III, at the same time that he was sent on behalf of Emperor Michael I Rangabe to Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, to discuss peace and the marriage of the Emperor's son, Theophylaktos. Under the iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian, he was exiled to Eudocia of Phrygia. Pursued from one place to another, after having suffered many long persecutions, he died on Pentecost Wednesday, May 23, 826.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 24

Memory of our venerable Father Simeon of the
Wonderful Mountain (521-596)

Saint Simeon was born in Antioch in 521. He was the son of John, a native of Edessa, and of Martha, a native of Antioch. He left the world while still young. He lived on a mountain for six years and then on a column inside a monastery for eighteen years. He then withdrew to the Wonderful Mountain where he lived ten years in a dwelling in dry rock. Then he spent forty-five years, of which seventy-nine were spent in asceticism and superhuman austerities. He died in 596 and was received among the angels in glory.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 25

Third Finding of the precious Head of the Honored and
Glorious Prophet, Precursor and Baptist John

Hidden in the bowels of the earth for many long years, the venerable head of the Holy Precursor was found again for the third time in 823, not in a clay pitcher as before, but carefully preserved in a silver receptacle and placed in a church. Advised by a divine revelation, the Emperor and faithful people in Constantinople transferred it with great pomp from the city of Comana and placed it in one of the capital's churches.

This Third Class Feast has its occurrence from the Wednesday of the Closing Day of Mid-Pentecost (Easter on March 22) to the Monday after the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body (Easter on April 25). Follow the general orders previously given for Third Class Feasts.

In occurrence with the Saturday of the Dead, the feast of the Precursor is transferred to Friday with the Closing Day of the Ascension.

In occurrence with Pentecost Sunday, it is transferred to Pentecost Monday.

In occurrence with the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body, it is transferred to the next day, Friday.

In occurrence with the Sunday after the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body, of the Precursor, and of the Church Patron. Kondakion of the specifically Melkite Thursday of the Divine Body. Epistle of the Precursor, Gospel of the Sunday. Kinonikon of the Sunday.

May 26

Memory of the holy Apostle Carpos, one of the
Seventy Disciples (First century)

Saint Carpos probably received Saint Paul the Apostle into his home when he passed through Troas. The Apostle wrote of this fact to Timothy: "When you come, bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpos" (II Timothy 4:13). Tradition relates that Saint Paul installed him as Bishop of Beroea in Thrace, and that he was put to death.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 27

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr Helladios (?)

Saint Helladios suffered at an unknown time and in an unknown country. His persecutors chained him in prison. He escaped them and went directly into the arena where he courageously confessed the Christian faith. He was made to suffer many tortures. Christ having appeared to him healed him of all his wounds and strengthened him. His furious persecutors threw him into a fire but he came out of it unharmed, by it winning a large number of pagans to Christ. He finally died during a beating.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 28

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr Eutyches, Bishop of Melitene (?)

According to the Menaia, Saint Eutyches was one of the Apostles' disciples.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 29

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr Theodosia (+307)

This blessed and holy virgin was born in Tyre. Hardly seventeen years old, one day she met some Christians in chains who were being led to punishment. She approached them in the judges' presence and asked them to remember her when they would come before the Lord. Her step betrayed her. She was also brought before Urban, the Prefect of Palestine, who commanded her to sacrifice to idols. Upon her refusal, the cruel President ordered that her sides be torn open until he could see her bones and entrails. After having bravely sustained all these tortures, this holy girl was drowned in the sea. Thus she committed her soul to God in the city of Caesarea, on the day of the Lord's Resurrection, under Emperor Maximin I in 307.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 30

Memory of our venerable Father Isaac,
Hegumen of the Monastery of Dalmaton (+406)

A native of Syria, Saint Isaac took the Lord's yoke upon himself from his youth. He was leading the hermetic life in a small cave near Constantinople when the Arian Emperor Valens started a campaign against the Goths who settled on the Danube. The Saint went out to meet him. He told him with assurance that it was God who was driving the barbarians against him, as he himself had driven tongues to blaspheme against God. He also assured him that if he would cease to fight God by his heresy and would return to Christ's flock its best shepherds, he would win the victory without difficulty. If, on the contrary, he would engage in battle without doing what he said to him and without giving himself to the propitious God, his defeat and that of his army was certain. In a rage the Emperor made war against the barbarians, but he suffered a great defeat and was burned alive in a market town in 378. Becoming the object of world-wide admiration for his prophecy, the Saint built a monastery in Constantinople in 381. It was the first one which was built in the capital, and in a holy manner he directed his companions in asceticism offering them his own example for a rule of monastic life. He died in peace after 406, leaving the patricius Dalmatios as his successor who gave his name to the monastery. Saint Isaac is also commemorated on August 3, at the same time as Saint Dalmatios and Saint Faustos, his son and successor.

Fifth Class Feast.

May 31

Memory of the holy Martyr Hermios
(+under Antoninus, 138-161)

A venerable old man with white hair, Saint Hermios was a soldier by profession and a native of Comana. He suffered martyrdom under Emperor Antoninus (138-161). Seized for Christ's faith, he was led before Sebastian, his army general. Upon his refusal to sacrifice to idols, his jawbone was broken, the skin of his face was torn off, and his teeth were pulled out. He was thrown into a furnace, but came out of it unharmed. He was made to drink poison, but suffered no evil from it. He was finally beheaded.

Fifth Class Feast.