Lives of all saints commemorated on June 20

Postfeast of Pentecost — Day of the Holy Spirit

On the day after every Great Feast, the Orthodox Church honors the one through whom the Feast is made possible. On the day following the Nativity of the Lord, for example, we celebrate the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos (December 26). On the day after Theophany, we commemorate Saint John the Baptist (January 7), and so on.

Today we honor the all-Holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, Who descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost in the form of fiery tongues in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to send the Comforter to His disciples (JN 14:16). That same Holy Spirit remains within the Church throughout the ages, guiding it “into all truth” (JN 16:13).

One of the hymns at Vespers on Saturday evening tells us that the Holy Spirit “provides all things. He gushes forth prophecy, He perfects the priesthood, ... He holds together the whole institution of the Church.”

At Vespers on the day of Pentecost, we hear that the Holy Spirit is “the Fountain of goodness, through Whom the Father is known, and the Son is glorified.” He is “the living Fountain of spiritual gifts” Who “purifies us from our sins.” It is by the Holy Spirit that “the prophets, divine Apostles, and martyrs are crowned.” He is the source of life and of sanctification.

In the services of this day, we sing the same hymns as on Pentecost, except the Canon of the Holy Spirit, which is sung at Compline. The Vigil is not prescribed for the eve of today’s feast. We sing the Great Doxology at Matins, but not the Polyeleos. The Irmos of the Ninth Ode (“Hail, O Queen, glory of mothers and virgins...”) is sung in place of the Song of the Theotokos (“My soul magnifies the Lord...”).

At the Liturgy, the priest or deacon chants the Entrance Verse (“Be exalted in Thy strength, O Lord. We will sing and praise Thy power.”) as on the day of Pentecost. “Holy God” replaces “As many as have been baptized....” The dismissal of Pentecost is also used.

This whole week is fast-free, and the Leave-taking of Pentecost occurs on Saturday.

Hieromartyr Methodius, Bishop of Patara

The Hieromartyr Methodius, Bishop of Patara (Lycia in Asia Minor), was distinguished for his genuine monastic humility. Calmly and with mildness he instructed his flock, but he firmly defended the purity of Orthodoxy and he energetically contended against heresies, especially the widespread heresy of the Origenists. He left behind him a rich literary legacy: works in defense of Christianity against paganism, explications of Orthodox dogmas against the heresy of Origen, moral discourses, and explanations of Holy Scripture.

St Methodius was arrested by the pagans, steadfastly confessed before them his faith in Christ, and he was sentenced to death by beheading in the year 312.

Blessed Prince Gleb Andreevich, son of Saint Andrew Bogoliubsky

Holy Prince Gleb of Vladimir, named George in holy Baptism, was a younger son of the holy Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky (July 4). Under the influence of his pious parents he grew up with a deep faith, and from twelve years of age he led a solitary spiritual life. The parents did not hinder their son and even assisted him in spiritual growth. The prince especially loved the reading of holy books, he esteemed the clergy and he was charitable to all. Despite his young age, he chose for himself the exploit of strict fasting and prayerful vigilance. Prince Gleb died in the year 1174, at age nineteen.

His incorrupt relics were preserved and glorified by miracles. In the year 1238, during the time of the incursion of Batu upon the Russian Land, the Tatars burned the cathedral at Vladimir. In this conflagration perished Bishop Metrophanes, Great-princess Agatha, wife of Great-prince George Vsevolodovich (+ 1238), and many inhabitants of the city of Vladimir, who were locked in the cathedral church. The fire, however, did not even touch the tomb of Saint Gleb. Years later, in July 1410, Tatars again descended upon Vladimir. In plundering the city, they began to sack the cathedral church treasury, having murdered the door-keeper Patrick. Supposing that treasure was hidden in the saint’s tomb, they set about to break it open. Just as the Tatars touched the stone crypt of Saint Gleb, flames shot forth from it, and the Tatars fled the city in terror.

Through the prayers of the holy prince the city was saved from an incursion of Polish-Lithuanian plunderers in 1613.

The celebration of Saint Gleb was established in the year 1702, and then also a service was written to him, and somewhat later, a Life. His relics rest in the Dormition cathedral in Vladimir. In the year 1774 the south chapel of the cathedral was dedicated to him. Prince Gleb is revered as the special patron and defender of the city of Vladimir.

Translation of the relics of Saint Gurias, Archbishop of Kazan

The Transfer of Relics of Saint Gurias, Archbishop of Kazan, from the Savior-Transfiguration monastery to the cathedral church of the city of Kazan occurred in the year 1630.

His Life is recorded under December 5, the day of his repose.

Martyrs Inna, Pinna, and Rimma, disciples of Apostle Andrew in Scythia

The transfer of the relics of Saints Inna, Pinna, and Rimma to Alushta took place during the first-second centuries. These holy martyrs are also commemorated on January 20.

Martyrs Aristocles the Presbyter, Demetrian the Deacon, and Athanasius the Reader, of Cyprus

The Holy Martyrs Aristocles the Presbyter, Demetrian, and Athanasius suffered for the Christian Faith during the persecution under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311).

The presbyter Aristocles, a native of the Cypriot city of Tamasa, served in the cathedral church during the time of the persecution against Christians. He became terrified of the tortures, and he left the city and hid in a mountain cave. Once during prayer a light shone upon him, and he heard a command from the Lord to return to the island of Cyprus and suffer for Christ. Saint Aristocles obediently set out to return, and on the way he visited the church of the holy Apostle Barnabas (June 11), where he met Deacon Demetrian and Athanasius the Reader. He told them of his vision, and Saints Demetrian and Athanasius decided to endure martyrdom together with him.

Having arrived in the city of Salamis, all three began to preach to the people about the Lord Jesus Christ, and denounced the folly of idol-worship. The pagans arrested them, and the governor, seeing that they were steadfast in their faith in Christ, gave orders to behead Saint Aristocles, and to burn Saints Demetrian and Athanasius. But even in the fire, the martyrs remained unharmed. After this they were beheaded by the sword in the year 306.

In Greek usage, these saints are commemorated on June 23.

Saint Leucius, Bishop of Brindisi

Saint Leucius the Confessor was born in the city of Alexandria of pious parents named Eudykius and Euphrosyne. They gave their son the name Eutropius. The mother died when the lad was 11 years old, and his father took monastic tonsure at the monastery of Saint Hermias, taking along his son with him to the monastery. The boy was raised under the spiritual guidance of the Igumen Nicetas and also experienced monastic elders. The boy showed himself to be very capable, and assiduously he studied Holy Scripture. Eutropius grew up into a quiet, meek and obedient lad. When he reached age 18, the Igumen Nicetas died.

The brethren of the monastery unanimously chose Eutropius as Igumen, even though he was not yet tonsured into monasticism. Reckoning himself unworthy to guide monks when he was not a monk himself, Eutropius refused. For seven years the monastery of Saint Hermias remained without a head. During these years Eutropius, struggling at monastic labors, attained to an high degree of spiritual life.

One time Eutropius set off on the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God to visit all the churches of the Dormition around the city of Alexandria. At the celebrations Hellius, Bishop of Heliopolis, presided together with his clergy. At the same time he visited the monastery headed by the Igumen Theodore. It was at this monastery that both father and son then remained. By night the father Eudykios had a revelation about his own approaching end, and also that his son would become a bishop and enlighten with the light of the Christian Faith the city and region of Brundisium (now Brindisi in Calabria-Apuleia) in Italy.

And in this same vision a new name for Eutropius was revealed: Leucius, meaning “the Spirit of the Lord is come upon him.” And it was on the feast of the Dormition in the church of the Mother of God that Bishop Hellius heard a voice from Heaven, blessing Leucius for archpastoral service, and he directed the archdeacon to enquire of those praying who it was that bore this name. Then with love he blessed Saint Leucius and his father.

The monks of the Hermias monastery earnestly besought the bishop to install Saint Leucius as Igumen of the monastery. Although the ascetic initially refused, considering himself unworthy, he then submitted himself to the bishop and was ordained to the priesthood and was made Igumen.

From this time Saint Leucius intensified his efforts, and God granted him the grace of working miracles, and casting out demons. Once a devil assumed the form of an immense serpent, and killed many in the nearby villages. The holy ascetic hastened to come to the aid of the villagers and he delivered them from the power of the devil. Seeing this, about three thousand pagans in the vicinity accepted Baptism.

During this period the Philip, Bishop of Alexandria, died a martyr, and Saint Leucius was chosen in his place. Seeing that Saint Leucius was converting many pagans to Christianity, the eparch Saturninus decided to kill him. Wishing to defend their archpastor, some of the Christians wanted to kill the eparch. Learning of this, the saint forbade them to cause the eparch any harm. Saint Leucius told his flock that the Lord had commanded him to go to a pagan land and to enlighten with the light of the Christian Faith the city of Brundisium and its surrounding region.

The holy archpastor established a worthy bishop in his place, and he then took with him the deacons Eusebius and Dionysius and five students, and they hastened onto a ship sailing for Italy. Along the way they were joined by the priests Leon and Sabinus. On their journey to Brundisium the saint met up with the tribune Armaleon and his 67 soldiers, all whom he converted to Christianity. In the city he began to preach to the people about Jesus Christ. The head of the city, named Antiochus, learned that the tribune Armaleon had converted to Christianity, and so he summoned him and questioned him about the Christian teaching for a long time. Learning about Saint Leucius, the governor wished to meet him.

At the meeting the governor said: “If you want us to believe in the God that you preach, beseech Him to send down rain upon our land, which we have not seen for two years already.” The saint summoned his clergy and all the newly-baptized Christians, and made fervent supplication. Then rain poured down in abundance, soaking the parched earth. Seeing this miracle, Antiochus and all the city of Brundisium (27,000 people) accepted Baptism. In memory of this event, a church was built in honor of the Mother of God, and at the place where the people were baptized, a second church in honor of Saint John the Baptist.

Soon the saint fell ill, and it was revealed to him in a vision that he would die of the sickness. Summoning his spiritual son Antiochus, Saint Leucius gave final instructions to bury him at the place where the ship carrying him from Alexandria had landed. Antiochus fulfilled the request of the archpastor and built a church dedicated to Saint Leucius. The relics of the saint were transferred to it, and numerous miracles occurred there.

Saint Callistus, Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Callistus I, Patriarch of Constantinople, at first struggled on Athos under the spiritual guidance of Saint Gregory of Sinai (August 8), whose Life he wrote. In 1350, he was elected as Patriarch of Constantinople, serving in that position during the reign of the emperors John Kantakuzenos (1341-1355) and John Paleologos (1341-1376).

In 1354, he withdrew to live in silence at the monastery he had built in honor of Saint Mamas at Tenedos. Later, he was elevated to the Patriarchal throne once again (1355-1363). The holy Patriarch Callistus reposed in the year 1363 in Serbia, where he had travelled with an embassy of Emperor John Paleologos. Saint Callistus is also known as a spiritual writer, and his edifying works appear in the PHILOKALIA with the writings of his close friend Ignatius of Xanthopoulos.

Icon of the Mother of God “the Directress” from the Monastery of Xenophontos on Mount Athos

This icon of the Mother of God is of the Hodigitria type, and is found in the Xenophontos Monastery on Mount Athos.

Saint Menas, Bishop of Polotsk

Saint Menas, Bishop of Polotsk led an ascetical life at the Kiev Caves monastery. On December 13, 1105 he was consecrated Bishop of Polotsk. The name of Saint Menas is mentioned in the service of the Holy Fathers of the Kiev Caves, since prior to his elevation to the episcopate, he was a monk at the monastery. Remembrance of him is contained in the Kiev Caves PATERIKON. Saint Menas is renowned as one of the first Russian archpastors, continuing the spreading of the grace of faith in Christ after the Baptism of Russia.

Saint Nicholas Cabasilas

No information available at this time.

Saint Nahum of Ochrid, disciple of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Equals of the Apostles

Saint Naum of Ochrid, a Bulgarian by descent, was one of the disciples of the holy Equals of the Apostles Cyril and Methodius (May 11), and he accompanied Saint Clement of Ochrid (July 27) when he preached the Gospel in Bulgaria. When Saint Clement set off to the southwestern regions, Saint Naum remained in the then capital city of Plisk. Afterwards Saint Naum succeeded Saint Clement in a monastery on the shores of Lake Ochrida, where he labored for ten years.

Saint Naum reposed on December 23, 910, and his relics were glorified by numerous miracles, especially healings of spiritual infirmities. The memory of the saint is also celebrated on December 23.