The Prologue of Ochrid: September 26th
1. St John the Theologian, Apostle and Evangelist.
John was the son of Zebedee the fisherman
and Salome the daughter of Joseph, the
betrothed of the holy Mother of God.
Called by the Lord Jesus, John immediately left his
father and the fishing nets and followed
Christ with his brother James. From that time, he
was not parted from his Lord until the
end. With Peter and James, he was present at the
raising of Jairus's daughter and at the
Lord's Transfiguration, and laid his head on Jesus'
breast at the Last Supper. When ail the
others had forsaken the crucified Lord, John staved
beneath the Cross with the holy Mother
of God. In obedience to the Lord's wish, he was as
a son to the holy Virgin Mary, caring
for her and serving her, looking after her right up to
her falling-asleep. After her Dormition,
John went off with his disciple Prochorus to preach
the Gospel in Asia Minor, and mainly
lived and worked in Ephesus. By his inspired
preaching and miracles, he brought many
to Christianity and undermined the foundations of
paganism. The vexed pagans bound him
and sent him to Rome to the Emperor Domitian.
He was tortured and flogged before the
Emperor, but, when he was unharmed either by the
strong poison that he was given to drink
or the boiling oil into which he was put, the
Emperor was afraid and, thinking he was
immortal, sent him into exile on the island of
Patmos. On this island, St John brought
many to Christianity by his words and miracles,
and strengthened the Church of God. He
wrote his Gospel and the Revelation there. In the
time of the Emperor Nerva, who gave liberty
to all the captives, John returned to Ephesus,
where he lived for some time, confirming
the work that he had earlier begun. He was over a
hundred years old when he went to the
Lord. When his disciples later opened his grave,
they found that his body was not there.
Every year, on May 8th, a fine, fragrant dust,
endowed with healing power rose from
his grave. After a long and fruitful life of labour
upon earth, this beloved disciple of
Christ and pillar of the Church entered into the joy of
his Lord, to peace and eternal rejoicing.
2. Our Holy Father Nilus of Calabria.
A great ascetic among the Greeks of Calabria,
the founder of several monasteries, a
wonderworker and defender of the purity
of Orthodoxy, he undertook long journeys simply
in order to save another man trouble.
He had a burning love for his neighbour, and entered
into rest in 1005, leaving many disciples
of real worth. The best-known among these is St
Bartholomew, the writer of several Canons,
who died in 1044.