Lives of all saints commemorated on December 8


Venerable Patapius of Thebes

Saint Patapius was born at Thebes into a pious Christian family. Reaching the age of maturity, he scorned the vanities of the world and so went into the Egyptian desert where he became known for his ascetic deeds. Though he wished to dwell in silence, people began to come to him for advice.

He went eventually to Constantinople, where he obtained a cell at the city wall, near the Blachernae church. But here, too, he quickly became known. The sick began to throng about, and he having been vouchsafed the gift of healing, began to help all the needy.

After a life adorned with virtue and miracles, Saint Patapius fell asleep in the Lord and was buried in the church of Saint John the Baptist.


Venerable Cyril, Abbot of Chelma Hill

Saint Cyril of Chelma Hill, Enlightener of the Chudian People, was born in the city of White Lake. He was tonsured at the monastery of Saint Anthony the Roman, where for six years he passed through various obediences. Then, after wandering through the wilderness for three years, he settled in a wild region of Kargopolsk. And here, by a command from on high, he chose Chelma Hill for his constant abode. Many of the afflicted from the Chud people came to see Saint Cyril, whose luminous ascetic life and kindly preaching moved many to accept holy Baptism.

Toward the end of his life, Saint Cyril established a monastery and church in honor of the Theophany of the Lord. The monk dwelt upon Chelma Hill for fifty-two years, and died at the advanced age of 82.


Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, Caesar, and Onesiphorus

Saints Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, Caesar, Onesiphorus, Apostles of the 70 were chosen and sent by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to preach. They were chosen some time after the selection of the Twelve Apostles (Luke 10:1-24).

Saint Sosthenes, before accepting Christianity, was head of the Jewish synagogue at Corinth. During a riot against the Apostle Paul, he too suffered a beating. He was converted by Paul to faith in Christ and afterwards became bishop at Caesarea.

Saint Apollos (September 10) was a native of Alexandria and was a man of erudition. The chief place of his service was at Corinth. He toiled there for a long time and converted many to Christ. Towards the end of his life he preached on the island of Crete and was Bishop of Caesarea.

Saint Cephas was bishop at Colophon, Pamphylia.

Saint Tychicus, a native of Asia Minor, was a disciple and companion of the holy Apostle Paul. During Saint Paul’s first imprisonment, he delivered the Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians. He replaced Saint Sosthenes on the episcopal throne at Caesarea.

Saint Epaphroditus, one of the Apostle Paul’s closest assistants and companions, was bishop of the Thracian city of Adriaca.

Saint Caesar preached at and was bishop of Dyrrhachium, a district of the Peloponnesos in Greece.

Saint Onesiphorus was bishop at Colophon (Asia Minor), and later at Corinth. He died a martyr in the city of Parium (not far from Ephesus) on the shores of the Hellespont, where he had gone to proclaim Christ among the local pagans.

All of these saints are also commemorated on March 30. The Church also remembers Saint Onesiphorus (September 7) with them.


Martyr Anthusa at Rome

The Holy Martyr Anthusa, the wife of a Roman official, was baptized by Saint Ambrose of Milan (December 7). When the city prefect’s wife Sunilda suggested that Saint Anthusa be baptized by an Arian, she refused. So she was committed to the fire, and received the crown of martyrdom.


362 Martyrs of Africa (62 Clergy and 300 Laypeople)

These faithful servants of Christ suffered martyrdom during the reign of Emperor Zeno (474-491). Guneric, the ruler of the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa, began a savage persecution of the Orthodox, at the instigation of the Arian bishops Cyril and Balinard─ôs.

The faithful had gathered secretly in one of the churches for the Divine Liturgy, when suddenly barbarian soldiers burst into the church. Some of the worshippers fled, but 300 remained voluntarily, and so they were tortured and beheaded. Of the 62 clergy, two were burnt alive, and sixty had their tongues cut out. By the miraculous power of God, they continued to preach and to refute the Arian heresy. Among them were old men, young men, and heads of families, but all of them remained faithful to Christ and His Holy Church. They were beheaded in the year 477.

In Slavic usage, these holy martyrs are commemorated on December 8; while in Greek usage, they are commemorated on December 7.