St. George the Pilgrim
St. George the Pilgrim was born in the village of Șugag, in Alba county, in 1846. He married at the age of 24 and was blessed by God with five children. He led an honest Christian life of work, prayer, fasting, and alms.
He went to worship at the Tomb of the Lord in 1884, and remained at the monasteries of the Jordan and Sinai wilderness for over a year. Then, after a year and a half on Mount Athos, he returned to his country. He lived with his family for a few years, and having put his children’s affairs in order, he retired as a pilgrim to the monasteries of Moldavia in 1890.
He established himself permanently in the city of Piatra Neamţ, living in asceticism like a true hermit in the bell tower of Stephen the Great in the middle of the city for 26 years, until his death. There he labored alone in fasting and prayer, summer and winter, without fire, without bed, without a coat, and without shoes on his feet, living in God’s grace.
St. George the Pilgrim reposed on August 15, 1916 and was buried in the town cemetery. In the summer of 1934 his remains were placed in Văratec Monastery, in northeastern Romania. He is known as “Grandpa Gheorge” among the pious faithful. His relics, kept beneath the main church in the monastery, are fragrant.
Martyr Myron was a presbyter in Achaia (Greece), and lived during the third century. He suffered in the year 250 under the emperor Decius (249-251). The presbyter was gentle and kind to people, but he was also courageous in the defense of his spiritual children.
On the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy. The local governor Antipater came into the church with soldiers so as to arrest those praying there and to subject them to torture. Saint Myron began to plead for his flock, accusing the governor of cruelty, and for this the saint was delivered over to be tortured.
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyr, Myron, O Lord, / through his suffering has received an incorruptible crown from You, our God. / For having Your strength, he laid low his adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through his intercessions, save our souls!
They took Saint Myron and struck his body with iron rods. They then threw the presbyter into a red-hot oven, but the Lord preserved the martyr, but about 150 men standing nearby were scorched by the fire.
The governor then began to insist that the martyr worship idols. Saint Myron firmly refused to do this, so Antipater ordered the leather thongs to be cut from his skin. Saint Myron took one of the leather thongs and threw it in the face of his tormentor.
Falling into a rage, Antipater gave orders to strike Saint Myron all over his stripped body, and then to give the martyr to wild beasts to be eaten. The beasts would not touch him, however. Seeing himself defeated, Antipater in his blind rage committed suicide. They then took Saint Myron to the city of Cyzicus, where he was beheaded by the sword.
Martyrs Straton and Cyprian
The Martyrs Straton and Cyprian suffered at Nicomedia. Visiting the circus, they taught people to abandon their idol-worship, and they converted many pagans to Christ. The governor, observing that the people were leaving the circus, summoned to himself the martyrs, who firmly confessed their faith in Christ.
Troparion — Tone 4
Your holy martyrs O Lord, / through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. / For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through their intercessions, save our souls!
For this they were given over to wild beasts to be eaten. The beasts did not touch them, and the martyrs were then tortured and thrown into a fire.