The Prologue of Ohrid: September 7th
1. The Holy Martyr Sozon.
Born in Lycaonia, Sozon was a shepherd and lived by the Law of God,
teaching his brothers and sisters, and his friends, his devout faith.
He learned in a vision that he would suffer martyrdom for Christ. At
that time, there was a great persecution of Christians near the city of
Pompeiopolis on the part of Maximian, the governor of Silicia. In the
city, there was a golden idol which was worshipped by the pagans. Sozon
left his sheep, went to the city, entered the pagan temple and knocked
an arm off the golden idol, melting it down and giving the gold to the
poor. There was a great outcry in the city because of this, and the
pagans began to search for the guilty man. That no-one else should
suffer for his action, Sozon went to the governor and declared himself
to be a Christian and the performer of that act. The torturers first
beat him, then chained him to a tree and flogged him with iron flails.
When he was at his last breath, they cast him into the flames, where
holy Sozon gave his soul to God. He suffered in about 304. His relics
were found to be wonderworking, and a church dedicated to him was built
2. The Holy Apostles Euodus and Onesiphorus.
These apostles were among the Seventy. St Ignatius the God-Bearer
mentions St Euodus in glowing terms in his Epistle to the Antiochians.
Euodus was a disciple of the Apostle Peter, and his successor at his
hands as Bishop of Antioch. Euodus wrote a work on the holy Mother of
God, in which he expounds how the holy Virgin was taken to the Temple
at the age of three, how she stayed there for eleven years and was
given into Joseph's keeping at the age of fifteen, and how she gave
birth to the Lord at that age. He wrote another work under the titie
`The Lighthouse', but both these works were destroyed during a time of
persecution of Christians. He was killed for Christ during one of the
Emperor Vespasian's visits to Antioch.
St Onesiphorus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul (II Tim. 1:16-18) as
his sincere friend and helper. He suffered for Christ in Colophon,
where he had been bishop. It is said that he was bound behind wild
horses and tom asunder. Thus these faithful soldiers of Christ served
with honour on earth and entered into the joy of their Lord.
3. The Holy Martyr Eupsychius.
Son of Dionysius, a senator, he was brutally tortured for Christ,
whipped and flogged and then flung half-dead into prison, where an
angel of God appeared to him and healed him. Freed from prison, he gave
away all his possessions, some to the poor and some to his slanderers.
Arrested afresh, he was flogged until he gave his soul to God. Milk and
water flowed from his wounds in place of blood. He suffered in the time
of the Emperor Hadrian (I 17-38).
4. St John, Archbishop of Novgorod.
He was first a married priest and then, from 1163, bishop in Novgorod,
building seven churches during his lifetime. He had a vision of the
holy Mother of God and a rare power over demons, making them obey him,
and he once miraculously preserved Novgorod from an attack by
seventy-two princes. He suffered from diabolical temptations, but
overcame them all by the power of the Cross and by prayer. Retiring to
a monastery in old age, he received the Great Habit and entered
peacefully into rest in the Lord on September 7th, 1185.