The Service of Resurrection at Saint Luke Orthodox Cathedral in Hong Kong. Christ is Risen!
The Church calls St Constantine (306-337) “the Equal of the Apostles,” and historians call him “the Great.” He was the son o the Caesar Constantius Chlorus (305-306), who governed the lands of Gaul and Britain. His mother was St Helen, a Christian of humble birth.
As recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (16:12-30), Lydia of Philippi was the Apostle Paul’s first convert to Christianity in Europe. Her conversion came after hearing Paul’s words in Philippi proclaiming the Gospel of Christ during his second missionary journey.
Achillius, this great hierarch and miracle-worker, was born in Cappadocia. He participated in the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.] at which he shamed the heretics and, by his learning as well as by his sanctity, he commanded great astonishment.
Saint Pachomius was born of pagan parents in the Upper Thebaid of Egypt. He was conscripted into the Roman army at an early age. While quartered with the other soldiers in the prison in Thebes, Pachomius was astonished at the kindness shown them by the local Christians, who relieved their distress by bringing them food and drink.
The Holy Martyr Isidore lived during the III Century on the Island of Chios, and was a native of Alexandria. During the first year of rule of the emperor Decius (249-251) there was issued an edict to make a census of all those capable to serve in the armies of the Roman empire. Saint Isidore, tall and strong of body, was drafted into the regiment of the military-commander Numerius.
The etymology of his name, which means “Christ-bearer,” has undoubtedly moved iconographers to depict him carrying the infant Jesus on his shoulders; it is completely erroneous, however, to depict him, as some uninformed iconographers do, having the head of a dog, because of a statement in his life that he was dog-faced, by which is meant only that his countenance was exceedingly frightful to look upon.
Antipas is mentioned in the Book of Revelation as, “Antipas, my faithful witness, who was martyred among you, where Satan lives” (Revelation 2:13), i.e., in the city of Pergamum. The inhabitants of this city lived in the darkness of idolatry and in extreme impurity.
THE Emperor Severus, in the year 202, which was the tenth of his reign, raised a bloody persecution, which filled the whole empire with martyrs, but especially Egypt. The most illustrious of those who by their triumphs ennobled and edified the city of Alexandria was Leonides, father of the great Origen. He was a Christian philosopher, and excellently versed both in the profane and sacred sciences.
Theodore of Sykeon (d. 613), monk and bishop of Anastasiopolis in Galatia. His mother, called Mary, kept an inn at Sykeon with her mother and sister; they were also prostitutes. Theodore’s father was a circus artist, whose speciality was acrobatic camel-riding; he seems later to have had nothing to do with his son, whose upbringing was left to his mother.
The biography of this wonderful saint was written by St. Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Once, during the Honorable Fast [Lenten Season], a certain priest-monk (Hieromonk), the Elder Zosimus, withdrew into the wilderness beyond the Jordan, a twenty-day trek.
Suddenly, he caught [...]