The Prologue of Ohrid: September 13th
1. The Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ.
When the holy Empress Helena found the Lord's Cross in Jerusalem, she
stayed longer in the city and built churches in Gethsemane, in
Bethlehem, on the Mount of Olives and in other places that commemorated
the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. On Golgotha, where she
found the Precious Cross, she began to build an enormous church, under
whose roof would be the places both where the Lord was crucified and
where He was buried, the holy Empress wanting to bring under one roof
the places of His suffering and His glory. But Helena went to the Lord
before this magnificent church was completed. It was finished in the
same year in which Constantine completed thirty years on the throne,
and so the consecration of the church and the Emperor's Jubilee were
fixed for the same day, September 13th, 335. At that time, a local
Council of bishops was meeting in Tyre. These bishops, with many
others, made their way to Jerusalem, to the solemn consecration of the
Church of the Resurrection of the Lord. It was then instituted that
this day, as a day of victory and triumph for the Church of Christ,
should be celebrated every year.
2. The Hieromartyr Cornelius the Centurion.
A Roman and an officer in Palestinian Caesarea, he was baptised by the
Apostle Peter after a heavenly vision (Acts 10:1), and was the first
pagan to enter the Church of God. Until then, some thought that the
Church of Christ was only for the Jews and for those who received
Jewish circumcision. Being baptised, Cornelius left everything and
followed the Apostle Peter. The Apostle later made him bishop and sent
him to the pagan town of Skepseis, where holy Cornelius suffered much
humiliation and pain for the sake of Christ. But, by the power of God,
he destroyed the temple of Apollo and baptised the prince of that town,
Dimitrios, and two hundred and seventy seven pagans. Forewarned by God
of the day of his death, he gathered all the Christians together, gave
them counsel, prayed to God and peacefully went to his Lord full of
years. In time, his grave was forgotten and neglected, but the saint
appeared to Silvanus, the Bishop of Troas, and showed him the
whereabouts of his grave, commanding him to build a church there. The
bishop did so, with the help of a wealthy citizen, Eugenius. Many
miracles have been performed over his relics.
3. The Holy Martyrs Macrobius and Gordian.
From Pamphlagonis, they were at first imperial cup-bearers, but, when
they revealed that they were Christians,, the Emperor exiled them to
Sceta, where they were cast into the flames in a place called New
Danube, in the year 320.
4. The Holy Martyr Ketevana, Queen of Georgia.
She suffered as a Christian under Shah Abbas I, in 1624. By order of
the Shah, a white-hot helmet was placed on her head. Her son Taymuraz,
King of Georgia, laid her relics under the throne in the church at
Alaverdsk in Georgia.
5. Our Holy Father Hierotheos.
Born in the Peloponnese in the village of Kalamata, he lived in
asceticism in the monastery of Iviron on the Holy Mountain. He was
distinguished by great secular learning and by strict monastic
asceticism, and was at pains to fulfill the rule of St Arsenius: 'It is
enough for a monk to sleep one hour out of the twenty-four.' He entered
into rest in 1745 on the island of Varos, and his relics have
wonderworking power. Of these relics, his head is preserved in the
monastery of Iviron. On touching his holy relics in Constantinople, a
blind woman received her sight.