Prodromitissa Icon of the Mother of God; Martyrs Proclus and Hilarion; Venerable Michael of Maleinus; St. Veronica; Ven. Paisius the Hagiorite

The Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilarion were natives of the village of Kallippi, near Ancyra, and they suffered during the time of a persecution under the emperor Trajan (98-117). Saint Proclus was put under arrest first. Brought before the governor Maximus, he fearlessly confessed his faith in Christ. The governor decided to compel the saint to submit himself to the emperor and offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. During his tortures, the martyr predicted to Maximus that soon he himself would be compelled to confess Christ as the true God.

They forced the martyr to run after the chariot of the governor, heading towards the village Kallippi. Exhausted, Saint Proclus prayed that the Lord would halt the chariot. By the power of God the chariot halted, and no force could move it from the spot. The dignitary sitting in it became petrified. The martyr told him that he would remain unmoving until such time as he would sign a document with a confession of Christ. Only after this could the chariot continue on its way with the governor.

The humiliated pagan took fierce revenge on Saint Proclus. He commanded that Proclus be led out beyond the city, tied to a pillar and shot with arrows. The soldiers, leading Saint Proclus to execution, told him to give in and save his life, but the saint said that they should follow their orders.

Along the way to the place of execution, they met Hilarion, the nephew of Saint Proclus, who with tears embraced his uncle and also confessed himself a Christian. The soldiers seized him, and he was thrown into prison. The holy Martyr Proclus prayed for his tormentors and surrendered his soul to God beneath a hail of arrows.

Saint Hilarion was brought to trial and, with the same courage as Saint Proclus, confessed himself a Christian. After tortures he was sentenced to death. They tied the martyr’s hands and dragged him by his feet through the city, wounded and bloody, and then they beheaded him three days after the death of his uncle, the holy Martyr Proclus. Christians buried them together in a single grave.

Saint Michael Maleinus was born about the year 894 in the Charsian region (Cappadocia) and at Baptism he received the name Manuel. He was related to the Byzantine emperor Leo VI the Wise (886-911). At age 18 Manuel went off to Bithynia, to the Kyminas monastery under the guidance of the Elder, John Heladites, who tonsured him into monasticism with the name Michael. Fulfilling a very difficult obedience in spite of his illustrious lineage, he demonstrated an example of great humility.

After the passage of a certain time, he was found worthy of the grace of the priesthood. Constantly studying the Holy Scripture, Saint Michael showed how the priesthood ought to be properly conjoined with monasticism, he attained to a high degree of dispassion and acquired the gift of perspicacity. He was very compassionate and kindly towards people, he could not let remain without help and consolation those who were in need and in sorrow, and by his ardent prayer he accomplished many miracles.

After much monastic effort under the guidance of the Elder John, Saint Michael asked his blessing to live in a cave as a hermit, Five days of the week he spent at prayerful concentration, and only on Saturday and Sunday did he come to the monastery for participation in the divine services and to partake of the Holy Mysteries.

By his example of sublime spiritual life the holy hermit attracted many seeking salvation. In a desolate place called Dry Lake, the venerable Michael founded a monastery for the brethren gathering around him, and gave it a strict monastic rule. When the monastery was secure, Saint Michael went to a still more remote place and built there a new monastery. By the efforts of the holy abba, the whole mountain of Kyminas was covered with monastic communities, where constantly prayers were raised up for all the world to the Throne of the Most-High.

About the year 953, the youth Abraham entered the brotherhood, flourishing under the guidance of Saint Michael, who gave him the name Athanasius. Later, Saint Athanasius (July 5) founded the renowned Great Lavra, the first cenobitic monastery on Mount Athos. In the building of the Lavra great help was given to Saint Athanasius by Saint Michael’s nephew, the future Byzantine emperor Nicephoros Phocas (963-969), who met Athanasius while visiting his uncle. After fifty years of ceaseless monastic struggle, Saint Michael Maleinos went peacefully to the Lord in the year 962.

According to Tradition, Saint Veronica was the woman with the issue of blood, who received healing by touching the hem of Christ’s robe (Mt. 9:20).

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