Holy Hierarch Niphon, patriarch of Constantinople; Martyr Archdeacon Euplus

Saint Niphon, Patriarch of Constantinople, was a native of Greece, and accepted monasticism at Epidauros. After the death of his Elder Anthony, he went to Athos, where he occupied himself by the copying of books. The saint was later chosen Metropolitan of Thessalonica, and still later occupied the Patriarchal throne in Constantinople and was primate of Valachia.

Banished under accusation, the saint went to Athos, at first to the Vaptopedi monastery, and then to the monastery of Saint John the Forerunner (Dionysiou). He concealed his rank and held the lowest position.

By God’s providence, his rank was revealed to the brethren of the monastery. Once, when the saint was returning from the forest where he had gone for firewood, all the brethren went out towards him on the way and solemnly greeted him as Patriarch. But even after this, the saint shared various tasks with the brethren. He died on August 11, 1460 at 90 years of age.

The Martyr Archdeacon Euplus suffered in the year 304 under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311). He served in the Sicilian city of Catania. Always carrying the Gospel with him, Saint Euplus preached constantly to the pagans about Christ.

Once, while he read and explained the Gospel to the gathered crowd, they arrested him and took him to the governor of the city, Calvisianus. Saint Euplus confessed himself a Christian and denounced the impiety of idol-worship. For this they sentenced him to torture.

They threw the injured saint into prison, where he remained in prayer for seven days. The Lord made a spring of water flow into the prison for the martyr to quench his thirst. Brought to trial a second time, strengthened and rejoicing, he again confessed his faith in Christ and denounced the torturer for spilling the blood of innocent Christians.

The judge commanded that the saint’s ears be torn off, and that he be beheaded. When they led the saint to execution, they hung the Gospel around his neck. Having asked time for prayer, the archdeacon began to read and explain the Gospel to the people, and many of the pagans believed in Christ. The soldiers beheaded the saint with a sword.

His holy relics are in the village of Vico della Batonia, near Naples.

Tr by oca.org

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