October Synaxarion

Days: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
        18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31

This month has thirty-one days with eleven hours of day and thirteen hours of night.

October 1

Memory of the holy Apostle Ananias, one of the Seventy Disciples (First century)

Our venerable Father Roman the Hymnographer (+after 556)

A native of Damascus, Saint Ananias, forewarned by a divine apparition, baptized the Apostle Paul there around the year 37.

Saint Roman was born in Emesa, Syria, and was chosen a deacon of the Church rtrrof the Resurrection in Beirut. He went to Constantinople under Emperor Anastasius I (+518) and lived in the Cyrus district in the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos. He received a charism for composing his Kondakia, of which unquestionably, that of the feast of the Nativity according to the flesh of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ is the most beautiful. He composed numerous canticles for the Lord's feasts and Saints' commemorations. Without doubt he was a priest, as he took part in the synod held under Patriarch Menas, against the Monophysite Anthimos. He died in peace after 556.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 2

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr Cyprian

Memory of the holy virgin Martyr Justina (+304)

Cyprian, a man well versed in false philosophy and magic, used all his skill to unsettle the holy resolution of the virgin Justina. Finally convinced of the treachery of the demon, it is told that he ran to Anthimos, Bishop of a city in the vicinity of Antioch, Syria, and received holy baptism after having burned all his magic books. He was clothed in the monastic habit and, consecrated bishop, he conferred the order of deaconess upon the pious virgin Justina. Seized with her, they were both sent to Nicomedia to Emperor Diocletian, who ordered that they be beheaded around the year 304.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 3

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite (+under Domitian, 81-96)

Saint Dionysius was converted to the Christian faith in the year 53 at the time when Saint Paul preached in Athens. If we are to believe what Eusebius (IV, 23) relates to us according to Saint Dionysius of Corinth, Dionysius the Areopagite was the first Bishop of Athens. It is believed that he suffered for the faith under Emperor Domitian (81-96). Several posterior theological writings were attributed to him, which, by reason of the authority of his name, exercised a great influence.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 4

Memory of our Father among the Saints, Hierotheos, Bishop of Athens

According to the Greek Menaia, Saint Hierotheos "was one of the nine counsellors of the Areopagus." He was instructed by Saint Paul the Apostle and consecrated Bishop of Athens. In his turn he taught the Christian faith to Dionysius the Areopagite. After having led a holy life completely filled by the love of God, and having pleased the Creator by his conduct and good works, he committed his soul into the Lord's hands.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 5

Memory of the holy and glorious Apostle Thomas (First Century)

Thomas, surnamed Didymos, the Twin, was chosen by the Lord as an Apostle. He was not with the other disciples when Jesus appeared to them after His Resurrection. As he had not believed what the others told him concerning this apparition, Jesus appeared to them, all reunited, and said to Thomas: "See my hands... and put your hand into my side, and be not unbelieving, but believing" (John 20:27).

Tradition says that this holy Apostle preached the word of God to the Medians, Parthians, Persians, and Indians. He was seized by King Smidaios for having converted and baptized his son Azanes, his wife Tertia, and his two daughters Migdonia and Marka. He was handed over to five soldiers who led him up a mountain and there, pierced him through with their lances. It is thusly that he committed his soul to God. The foundation of the Malabrese and Malankarese Churches of India is attributed to him.

Fourth Class Feast, follow the general order or Fourth Class Feasts.


October 7

Memory of the holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus (+297)

It is said that these holy martyrs lived in the time of Emperor Maximian Galerius. Sergius was first in command, and Bacchus second in command, of the legion of the "Foreigners." Bacchus was so cruelly beaten with ox ligaments that he expired under the beating. Sergius, after having suffered various tortures by order of the commander of the legion, died by the sword around 297.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 8

Memory of our venerable Mother Pelagia (second half of the Fifth century)

Born in Antioch, Syria, in the second half of the Fifth century, it is believed that Pelagia, who led a dissolute life in the city, was delivered over completely to the pleasures of dancing and the theatre. Instructed in the faith by Nonnus, the Bishop of Edessa, she received the baptism of salvation and did penance with a holy ardor on the Mount of Olives. There she committed her soul to God after a holy life.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 9

Memory of the holy Apostle James, son of Alpheus (First century)

Our venerable Father Androsnicos, and his wife Athanasia (Fifth century)

According to the opinion of some Oriental Church Fathers of Saint Epiphanios of Cyprus and Saint Gregory of Nyssa in particular, the Apostle James, the son of Alpheus, was distinct from James, the brother of the Lord, as he is commemorated on a different date.

The brother of John the Evangelist, James was called at the same time that John was the by the Lord and, like him, was a witness of the Transfiguration. Jesus called them both "Boanerges", or "Sons of Thunder." James was the first among the Apostles to shed his blood in witness of Christ in the city of Jerusalem. He is surnamed James the Greater to distinguish him from James the Less, the "brother of the Lord" and first Bishop of Jerusalem.

According to tradition, Saint Andronicos was a native of Antioch, Syria. After having led an ascetic life in company with his wife, Saint Athanasia, he died in Egypt at an old age in the Fifth century.

Fourth Class Feast.


October 10

Memory of the holy Martyrs Eulampios and his Sister Eulampia (beginning of the Fourth century)

According to the Menaia, these Saints lived under Emperor Maximian and President Maximos. Several Christians, hidden in the mountain, one day sent Saint Eulampios to buy bread for them in the city. This Saint went along to the city. He saw there imperial edicts posted on the walls. While he read them, he was seized by the pagans. Interrogated by the Emperor, he courageously confessed that he was a Christian. Having entered the temple of the idols as if to sacrifice to them, he commanded Ares (Mars to fall. Immediately, the idol fell and smashed. While he was being executed, his sister Eulampia arrived unexpectedly and prayed to the Saint to intercede for her that she be martyred with him. Both were thrown into a caldron of boiling water, but suffered no harm. Seeing this, a crowd of two-hundred people believed in Christ and were beheaded at the same time as them.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 11

Memory of the holy Apostle Philip, one of the Seven Deacons (First century)

Our venerable Father Theophanes the Confessor, Metropolitan of Nicaea, the Scarred (778-845)

Saint Philip was born in Caesarea, Palestine. He had four daughters by his marriage who all prophesied. Ordained a deacon by the Apostles at the same time as Stephen and his companions, he announced the word in Samaria. He conferred holy baptism on Simon the Magician who hypocritically feigned conversion. Transported by an angel, he baptized on route the Eunuch of Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia or Nubia.

Saint Theophanes the Hymnographer (778-845) was the brother of Saint Theodore whose feast is celebrated on December 27. Born of pious parents living in Jerusalem, they received a complete education in religious knowledge as well as in profane knowledge. They embraced the monastic life in the year 800 at the laura of Saint Sabbas and were ordained priests. Around 813, they went to Constantinople under Emperor Michael I Rangabe, and were exiled by the iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian to a prison on the Bosphorus. Released in 820 by Michael II the Stammerer, they were thrown into prison for a long time by the impious Emperor Theophilos who, after having heaped beatings upon them, exiled them again in 834 to the island of Aphousia in Propontus. Two years later, the impious Emperor recalled them from prison, had them cruelly whipped, branded their foreheads with satirical verses containing their condemnation, and sent them back to prison. Saint Theodore died at Apamea of Bithynia in 844. As for Saint Theophanes, recalled from exile, after the disappearance of the impious Theophilos, by the pious emperor Michael and Empress Theodora, he was elected Bishop of Nicaea and died in 845.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 11

On Sunday, October 11, or the following Sunday:

Synaxis of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, who joined forces against the iconoclasts under Empress Irene and her son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (787).

On the Sunday which falls between October 11 and 17, the memory is commemorated of the 350 Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, held in Nicaea in 787 against the Iconoclasts.

Third Class Feast. Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, and of the Church Patron. Common Kondakion. Epistle of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. Gospel of the Fourth Sunday after the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-giving Cross. Kinonikon of the Sunday.

Epistle: Titus 3:8-15.

Gospel from the fourth Sunday after the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-giving Cross; Luke 8:5-15.


October 12

Memory of the holy Martyrs Probus, Tarachos, and Andronicos (+304)

Saint Probus was a citizen of the city of Side in Pamphylia. Tarachos was a soldier, a native of Claudiopolis of Isauria, and Andronicos was the descendent of a noble family of Ephesus in Asia. Let to Pompeiopolis (or Scoli), in Cilicia, before President Maximos, under Emperor Diocletian, then to Tarsus and to Mopsuestia, they courageously suffered all sorts of tortures during various questionings and their lives were ended by the sword at Anazarbus in 304.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 13

Memory of the holy Martyrs Carpos, Papylos and Agathonice (+under Decius, 249-251)

Carpos was Bishop of Gordes in Lydia, and Papylos was a deacon of Thyatira. Arrested by the order of the protoconsul of Asia, they were fastened to stakes, tormented, and committed to the fire, at the same time as Saint Agathonice.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 14

Memory of the holy Martyrs Nazarios, Gervasios, Protasios, and Celsios (+64-68, under Nero)

Our venerable Father Cosmas the Hagiopolite, the Poet, Bishop of Maiuma (+760)

It is believed that the holy martyr Nazarios and his companions, Gervasios, Protasios, and Celsios, suffered for the faith under Emperor Nero around 64-68.

Saint Cosmas the Hagiopolite was a native of Jerusalem. Sergius, the father of the Saint John Damascene, welcomed him as a youth into his home and rescued him from extreme poverty. He adopted him, took care of his education, and poverty. He adopted him, took care of his education, and saw to it that he covered the whole cycle of religious and profane learning. Cosmas embraced the monastic life in company with John, in the famous laura of Saint Sabbas. We can see for ourselves the degree of learning and literary elegance which our Saint reached by examining the number of canons and troparia that he carefully composed. In 743, he was made Bishop of Maiuma. He committed his soul to God around 760.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 15

Memory of the Hieromartyr Lucian, Priest of the Church of Antioch (+312)

Saint Lucian, a native of Antioch, lived under Emperor Diocletian. He devoted himself to the study of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Greek versions. He carefully examined some passages found lacking, which on the contrary, had been interpolated. He restored each text to its place in the Scripture and made an edition of the Bible when he was a priest in Antioch. Led to Nicomedia, where Emperor Maximian was at that time, he made an apology for Christian doctrine before his judge. He was thrown into prison and later put to death.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 16

Memory of the holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion (First century)

If the old Menologia are to be believed concerning him, Saint Longinus was a native of Cappadocia, a centurion under the orders of Pilate, the Governor of Judea, in the time of Emperor Tiberius. He received the order to preside at the Passion and Crucifixion, and then to guard Christ's tomb with a detachment of soldiers. A witness of the marvels which took place on this occasion: the earthquake, night replacing the sunlight, the tombs open and the rocks crack, he cried out: "Truly, He was the Son of God." He also threw away the money which he was offered to conceal Christ's Resurrection and withdrew with two soldiers who subsequently suffered martyrdom with him. He therefore left the army, returned to his country, and courageously preached Christ's divinity there. But Pilate accused Longinus before Tiberius of having deserted the army, of having returned to his country, and of preaching Christ's divinity there. By the order of Tiberius, he was immediately beheaded, as were his two companions. His head was sent from Cappadocia to Jerusalem to attest that he had been put to death.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 17

Memory of the holy Prophet Osee (Seventh century B.C.)

The holy Hosiomartyr Andrew of Crete (+767)

The holy prophet Osee was of the tribe of Issachar. Having received the gift of prophecy, he reprimanded his fellow citizens for their faults and infidelity. He prophesied against Israel and the nations and announced the marvelous coming of the Lord upon earth (Seventh century B.C.).

Saint Andrew was born in Crete and embraced the monastic life. At the time of the Iconoclast Emperors, he went to Constantinople and died for the faith under Constantine V Corpronymus, in 767. His holy body was thrown in Crisis, the burial-place of evil-doers.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 18

Memory of the holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke (First century)

Born in Antioch, Saint Luke was of pagan origin and a doctor by profession. After the persecution which arose on account of Stephen, Luke became an ardent disciple of Christ. "There were there some natives of Cyprus and Cyrene whom, having come to Antioch, addressed the Greeks and announced the Lord Jesus to them" (Acts 11:19-20). A traveling companion of Saint Paul, he wrote the Gospel which bears his name, as well as the Acts of the Apostles. His symbol is the bull, the third symbolic animal seen by the prophet Ezechiel (Ezechiel 1:10), because his Gospel begins by a scene from the religious life of the Old Testament, where the principle animals immolated in sacrifice were bulls.

Fourth Class Feast, follow the general order of a Fourth Class Feast.

In occurrence with a Sunday: the Epistle and Gospel are from the Menologion; the Epistle and Gospel of the Sunday are read on Monday, October 19.


October 19

Memory of the holy Prophet Joel (Sixth century B.C.). The holy Martyr Varus (+307)

The prophetic ministry of Joel is characterized by his prediction of the famine and cessation of the sacrifices, He also spoke of the Holy Spirit that the Apostles would receive on Pentecost day and of the Last Judgment.

The holy martyr Varus suffered for the faith in Palestine under Emperor Maximian, around 307.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 20

Memory of the holy Megalomartyr Artemios (+330)

A venerable Duke of Alexandria and a Patrician, Saint Artemios was held in great esteem by Constantinople. Under Julius the Apostate, this Blessed One spontaneously presented himself at the conflict in Antioch where the Emperor was persecuting Christians. After several tortures, he died by the sword. The Maronites venerate him under the name of Saint Shallita.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 21

Memory of our venerable Father Hilarion the Great (+371)

Born in Palestine in the market-town of Thabatha, Hilarion lived in Gaza under Emperor Constantine the Great. He went to Alexandria because of his love of learning, and received holy baptism there. Having heard of St. Anthony's life, he became his emulator and spent some time by his side to learn the practice of asceticism. Returning to his country, he withdrew to the desert and merited by the purity of his life to receive the gift of prophecy. He lived eighty years and died in 371.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 22

Memory of Saint Abercius, the Wonderworker Equal-to-the-Apostles, Bishop of Hierapolis, (under Antoninus, he died between 161-180)

The Seven Holy Children Martyrs who fell asleep at Ephesus (ca.250)

Abercius was Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia Salutaris under Emperor Mark Anthony (161-180), and died around the end of the Second century. He had his epitaph engraved during his lifetime, in the symbolic form of the First century Christians: "The citizen of an eminent city, I made this tomb...My name is Abercius. I am the disciple of a chaste shepherd who feeds his flock of ewes on mountains and plains; who has very great eyes which see everything. He taught me the faithful Scriptures. He sent me to Rome to behold the Sovereign City and to see the Queen in golden raiment and golden shoes. There I saw a people who wear a splendid seal..., and everywhere faith led me. Everywhere it served me a fish from the spring, mighty and pure, whom a pure Virgin caught. It gave fish without ceasing to friends to eat. It has a delicious wine which it gives with bread...Let the brother who understands pray for Abercius..." This moment is actually found in Rome, in the Lateran Museum.

It is said that the seven brothers of Ephesus were walled up alive in a grotto around 250 by Optimus, the proto-consul of Asia, under Emperor Decius. The legend says that they were restored to life for a time, three hundred years after their martyrdom. This legend has been taken by the Koran (sourate al-Kahf).

Fifth Class Feast.


October 23

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr and Apostle James, Brother of the Lord, first Bishop of Jerusalem (+62)

According to a good many Oriental Church Fathers and the common tradition of the Western Church, James was the nephew of Saint Joseph, consequently the son of Cleopas or Clopas (also called Alpheus), the brother of Saint Joseph, and of Mary the spouse of Cleopas, the sister or more exactly the first cousin of the Holy Virgin. By reason of this relationship, he was called in antiquity "the brother of the Lord," according to the language of Holy Scripture. Thus James, the brother of the Apostles Simon and Jude, is called "the Less" by the Evangelists (Mark 15:40) to distinguish him from Saint Jerome, the eminent commentator on the Holy Scriptures, he suffered and died in 62 under Emperor Nero. He is a distinct from Saint James, the son of Alpheus, who is commemorated on October 9.

Fourth Class Feast, follow the general order of Fourth Class Feasts.


October 24

Memory of the Holy Great martyr Arethas and of his companions (+522-523)

There was in the time of Emperor Anastasius I (491-518) in the country of the Homeirites in Arabia among the Jewish population, a small Christian community in the city of Najran. The King of Ethiopia, Elevsvahan, conquered the country of the Homeirites and placed a garrison at Saphar. Dhounouas, a Jew, revolted against the Ethiopians, massacred the garrison and marched against Najran, which remained under Elesvahan's domination. After having taken the city, he threw priests, levites, monks, and nuns into a furnace, and handed over 427 of them to the fire. He treacherously massacred Arethas, the chief of the tribe, with his soldiers and all the remaining Christians, four thousand in number, in 522-523.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 25

Memory of the Martyrs, the Notaries Marcian and Martyrios (+358)

Marcian and Martyrios were lectors, and served in the office of secretaries to Saint Paul, the Archbishop of Constantinople, under the Arian Emperor Constantius. When Saint Paul was exiled to Armenia, where he was strangled to death by the Arians, these holy martyrs were also beheaded for the same reason in 358. Martyrios was a sub-deacon and Marcian a cantor and lector. Their famous tomb, situated before the walls of Constantinople, became a place of prayer like all the other tombs of the martyrs. It was built by the solicitude of two archbishops of Constantinople, Saint John Chrysostom, who began the work, and Sisinnius, who completed it.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 26

Memory of the holy Great martyr Demetrius, the Myrobilite and Wonderworker (beginning of the Fourth century)

Commemoration of the Great Earthquake at Constantinople in 740, during the reign of Leo the Isaurian

Demetrius, Christ's glorious martyr, a native of Thessalonica, lived under Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, and suffered for the faith around the beginning of the Fourth century. Because of the numerous cures obtained at his tomb by those who, with faith, implored his universally known power, the governor of Illyricum, Leontios, in 412-413 destroyed the small shelter where his body was found and which was situated in the enclosure of the public and the stadium. He purified the place, raised the ground level, and built a church there, thus honoring by the splendor of the edifice and the magnificence of the religious articles, the Saint and citizen of Thessalonica.

The hymnographers relate that during Maximian's passage to Thessalonica, the Saint was seized and thrown into prison. One day Maximian came to assist at the games which were held in the city. A famous gladiator named Lyaios, of barbarian origin and favored by the Emperor, came to boast in the center of the stadium and to provoke the inhabitants of the city into a fight with him. A young man named Nestor, giving in to Saint Demetrius' prayers, went down into the stadium and left the barbarian gladiator stretched out on the ground dead. Maximian was very sad because of it. Having known who was the cause of it, he ordered Demetrius and Nestor killed at one and the same time.

The Great Earthquake took place in Constantinople around 740, under Leo the Isaurian, the first of the Iconoclast Emperors.

Third Class Feast. Typika and Beatitudes. Ordinary Isodikon. Troparia: of the Saint, of the Great Earthquake, and of the Church Patron. Common Kondakion. Epistle and Gospel of the Saint.

In occurrence with a Sunday: Typika and Beatitudes. Isodikon of the Sunday. Troparia: of the Resurrection, of the Saint, of the Great Earthquake, and of the Church Patron. Common Kondakion. Epistle of the Saint (that of the Sunday will be read the following day) and the Gospel of the Sunday. Kinonikon of the Sunday.


October 27

Memory of the holy Martyr Nestor

The Menaia recount the martyrdom of this saint in this way. While Nestor was young and very strong, his beard had hardly begun to grow. He was in touch with the illustrious martyr Demetrius whom he had seen work several miracles. One day he ran to the place where Saint Demetrius was imprisoned, and falling on his knees, said to him: "Servant of God, Demetrius, I wish to fight Lyaios, but pray for me by invoking the name of Christ." The Saint, signing Nestor with the seal of Christ, said to him: "You will conquer Lyaios, and you will confess Christ." Nestor entered the stadium, under the eyes of Emperor Maximian, and said: "God of Demetrius, come to my aid." Then he began to fight against Lyaios. He pierced his heart through with his lance and killed him. The Emperor was profoundly troubled by it. Upon his order, Saint Demetrius, to whom was imputed Lyaios' death, was pierced with lances, and Saint Nestor was beheaded with his own sword.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 28

Memory of the holy Martyrs Terence and Meonila (?)

Our venerable Father Stephen the Sabbaite, the Poet (Ninth century)

The holy martyrs Terence and Neonila suffered for the faith, probably in Syria, at an unknown date.

According to tradition, Saint Stephen was the nephew of Saint John Damascene. He concluded his austere life in the Ninth century in the monastery of Saint Sabbas from whence comes his surname, Sabbaite. He composed some canons and left us the account of the martyrdom of twenty monks of the Laura, massacred in 797.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 29

Memory of the holy Hosiomartyr Anastasia (Fourth century ?)

Our venerable Father Abramios (Fourth century)

Saint Anastasia, sometimes called the Roman, is not distinct from Saint Anastasia, who is called the "Pharmacolytria," the Healer, commemorated on December 22 (see this day).

If the tradition concerning him is to be believed, Saint Abramios lived in Lampsacus, in Mysia, around the middle of the Fourth century. Married against his will, he soon left his wife to withdraw in solitude and to consecrate himself to God. His brother, in dying, left a young girl who the Saint took in and shut up in a cell next to his. It happened that, by the Devil's hatred, the girl fell into sin, and went among lost women. The Saint, disguised as a soldier, rescued her from it and brought her home.

Fifth Class Feast.


October 30

Memory of the holy Hieromartyr Zenobios and his Sister, Zenobia (beginning of the Fourth century)

Born of pious parents, these holy martyrs lived under Emperor Diocletian. Zenobios was seized and brought before the governor. During his interrogations, his sister Zenobia presented herself. Both struck cruelly and thrown into a chaldron of boiling pitch, were preserved by the grace of Christ. Their lives were terminated by the sword.

Fifth Class Feast.

Sunday of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

On the Sunday which falls between October 30 and November 5, the Gospel of the Fifth Sunday after the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-giving Cross is read: Luke 16:19-31, where the parable of the Rich Man and the just Lazarus is related.


October 31

Memory of the holy Apostles Stachys, Appeles, Amplias, Urban, Aristobulos, and Narcissus of the Seventy Disciples (First century)

The holy Martyr Epimarchos (+250)

Saint Stachys and his companions belonged to Rome's Christian community. Saint Paul addresses a greeting to them at the end of his Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:8-11).

According to Dionysius of Alexandria (reported by Eusebius, VI:41), the holy martyr Epimachos died for the faith in Alexandria, under Emperor Decius. After a long stay in prison where he suffered innumerable tortures, such as the pain of fire and whips, he was thrown into quicklime and died in 250.

Fifth Class Feast.