The holy Apostles Erastus, Sosipater (April 28), Quartus and Tertius (October 30) were disciples of Saint Paul. The Apostle to the Gentiles speaks of them in the Epistle to the Romans, “And Erastus, the city treasurer, greets you, and Quartus, a brother” (Rom 16: 23).
The Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Olympas, Erastus, Rodion, Sosipater, Quartus and Tertius lived during the first century.
Saint Olympas was mentioned by the holy Apostle Paul (Rom 16:15). He was also a companion of the Apostle Peter. He was beheaded on the very day and hour when Saint Peter was crucified.
Saint Rodion, or Herodion (April 8), was a kinsman of the Apostle Paul (Romans 16:11), and left the bishop’s throne at Patras to go to Rome with the Apostle Peter. Saint Olympas was also a companion of the Apostle Peter. Saints Rodion and Olympas were beheaded on the very day and hour when Saint Peter was crucified.
The holy Apostles Sosipater (April 28), Erastus, Quartus and Tertius (October 30) were disciples of Saint Paul.
Saint Sosipater, a native of Achaia, was Bishop of Iconium, where also he died. Saint Paul mentions him in Romans 16:21.
The holy Apostles Quartus, Erastus, Sosipater (April 28), and Tertius (October 30) were disciples of Saint Paul. The Apostle to the Gentiles speaks of Saint Quaratus in the Epistle to the Romans “And Erastus, the city treasurer, greets you, and Quartus, a brother” (Rom 16: 23).
Saint Quartus endured much suffering for his piety and converted many pagans to Christ, dying peacefully as a bishop in the city of Beirut.
The holy Apostles Tertius (October 30) Erastus, Sosipater (April 28), and Quartus were disciples of Saint Paul. Saint Tertius is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, “ I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord” (Rom 16:22).
Saint Tertius, to whom Saint Paul dictated the Epistle to the Romans, was the second Bishop of Iconium, where also he died.
The Martyr Orestes the Physician of Cappadocia lived at the end of the third century in the city of Tyana in Cappadocia in the time of the emperor Diocletian (284-311). He was an illustrious and capable soldier, and from childhood Saint Orestes was truly a good Christian.
By order of the emperor, the military officer Maximinus was sent to Tyana to deal with Christianity, which then had spread widely throughout Cappadocia. Orestes was among the first brought to trial to Maximinus. He bravely and openly confessed his faith in the Crucified and Risen Lord, Jesus Christ. The prosecutor offered the saint riches, honors and renown to renounce God, but Saint Orestes was unyielding.
At the order of Maximinus, they took Orestes to a resplendent pagan temple and again demanded that he worship idols. When he refused, forty soldiers took turns one after the other, beating the holy martyr with lashes, with rods, with rawhide, and then they tormented him with fire. Saint Orestes cried out to the Lord, “Establish with me a sign for good, let those who hate me see it and be put to shame” (Ps. 85/86:17). And the Lord heard His true servant. The earth began to tremble, and the idols fell down and were smashed. Everyone rushed out of the temple, and when Saint Orestes came out, the very temple tumbled down.
Infuriated, Maximinus ordered the holy martyr to be locked up in prison for seven days giving him neither food nor drink, and on the eighth day to continue with the torture. They hammered twenty nails into the martyr’s legs, and then tied him to a wild horse. Dragged over the stones, the holy martyr departed to the Lord in the year 304. His relics were thrown into the sea.
In 1685, when Saint Demetrius, later the Bishop of Rostov, (October 28) was preparing the Life of Saint Orestes to be printed by the Kiev Caves Lavra, he became tired and fell asleep. The holy martyr Orestes appeared to him in a dream. He showed him the deep wound in his left side, his wounded and severed arms, and his legs which had been cut off. The holy martyr looked at Saint Demetrius and said, “You see, I suffered more torments for Christ than you have described.” The humble monk wondered whether this was Saint Orestes, one of the Five Martyrs of Sebaste (December 13). The martyr said, “I am not that Orestes, but he whose Life you have just finished writing.”
The Hieromartyr Milus, Bishop of Babylon, and his disciples Euores the Presbyter and Seboes the Deacon, lived during the fourth century. The holy Martyr Milus was banished from the city of Suza, where his bishop’s throne was situated. By his pious and ascetic life he was granted gifts of prophecy and healing. He returned to Suza after long wanderings and brought many to Christ.
Saint Milus and his disciples Abrosim and Sinos suffered in the year 341, in their native city of Suza. (trans. note: The discrepancy of these names in the header and in the text is found in the Russian original, and may reflect alternate transcriptions of Persian names in Greek and Russian).
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The 9th century was one of the most difficult periods in Georgian history. The Arab Muslims wreaked havoc throughout the region of Kartli, forcibly converting many to Islam with fire and the sword. Many of the destitute and frightened were tempted to betray the Faith of their fathers.
At that time the valorous aristocrat and faithful Christian, Prince Constantine, was living in Kartli. He was the descendant of Kakhetian princes, hence his title “Kakhi.”
As is meet for a Christian believer, Saint Constantine considered himself the greatest of sinners and often said, “There can be no forgiveness of my sins, except through the spilling of my blood for the sake of Him Who shed His innocent blood for us!”
While on a pilgrimage to the holy places of Jerusalem, Constantine distributed generous gifts to the churches, visited the wilderness of the Jordan, received blessings from the holy fathers, and returned to his motherland filled with inner joy. After that time Constantine would send thirty thousand pieces of silver to Jerusalem each year.
In the years 853 to 854, when the Arab Muslims invaded Georgia under the command of Buga-Turk, the eighty-five-year-old Prince Constantine commanded the army of Kartli with his son Tarkhuj.
Outside the city of Gori an uneven battle took place between the Arabs and the Georgians. Despite their fierce resistance, the Georgians suffered defeat, and Constantine and Tarkhuj were taken captive.
The captive Constantine-Kakhi was sent to Samarra (a city in central Iraq) to the caliph Ja’far al Mutawakkil (847-861). Ja’far was well aware of the enormous respect Constantine-Kakhi received from the Georgians and all the Christian people who knew him. Having received him with honor, he proposed that Constantine renounce the Christian Faith and threatened him with death in the case of his refusal. Strengthened by divine grace, the courageous prince fearlessly answered, “Your sword does not frighten me. I am afraid of Him Who can destroy my soul and body and Who has the power to resurrect and to kill, for He is the true God, the almighty Sovereign, Ruler of the world, and Father unto all ages!”
The enraged caliph ordered the beheading of Saint Constantine-Kakhi. Bowing on his knees, the holy martyr lifted up a final prayer to the Lord. Saint Constantine-Kakhi was martyred on November 10, 852, the day on which Great-martyr George is commemorated. The holy martyr’s body was hung from a high pillar to intimidate the Christian believers, but after some time it was buried.
A few years later a group of faithful Georgians translated Saint Constantine’s holy relics to his motherland and reburied them there with great honor. In that same century the Georgian Orthodox Church numbered Prince Constantine-Kakhi of Kartli among the saints.
Celebrated by the whole Christian world, Great-martyr George was slain by Emperor Diocletian in the year 303.
The holy martyr is appropriately considered the intercessor for all Christians and the patron saint of many. He is regarded with special reverence among the Georgian people, since he is believed to be the special protector of their nation. Historical accounts often describe how Saint George appeared among the Georgian soldiers in the midst of battles.
The majority of Georgian churches (in villages especially) were built in his honor and, as a result, every day there is a feast of the great-martyr George somewhere in Georgia. The various daily commemorations are connected to one of the churches erected in his name or an icon or a particular miracle he performed.
November 10 marks the day on which Saint George was tortured on the wheel. According to tradition, this day of commemoration was established by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino, the Enlightener of Georgia. Saint Nino was a relative of Saint George the Trophy-bearer.
She revered him deeply and directed the people she had converted to Christianity to cherish him as their special protector.
The Founding of the Church of the Great Martyr George in Georgia: Georgia was enlightened with the Christian faith by the holy Equal of the Apostles Nino (January 14), a kinswoman of the holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer (April 23). Therefore, Georgia has special veneration for Saint George as its patron saint.
The name Georgia is derived from George (this name is preserved now in many languages of the world). Saint Nino established a feastday in his honor. It is celebrated in Georgia on November 10, in remembrance of the sufferings of Saint George. In 1891, near the village of Kakha in the Zakatalsk region of the Caucasus, a new church in place of the old was built in honor of the holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer, and many of the heterodox Bogomils came in droves to it.