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Lives of the Saints - an Information Only Thread

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Fr. George:
I want to start a location where we can post lives of the Saints, for people's edification, and to help bolster the resource material here on


Below is a list of the Saints whose stories & sayings are in this thread, in order of posting.  A * indicates a duplicate entry (the first entry will not have the *).

If you are considering posting a new entry, please scan this list before you post.  You can use the search function of your browser to expedite the process, but remember that there may be alternate spellings (e.g. -us instead of -os) for the Saint's name.

Please include at least the name & feastday of the Saint, and a link to where the information comes from.

St. Nicholas of Myra (Dec 6)
St. George (Apr 23)
All Saints of Britain and Ireland
St. Dympna of Gheel (May 15)
St. Peter of Alexandria (Hatour 29)
St. Kosmas Aitolos
Sts. Justinian & Theodora (Nov 14)
St. John of Damascus (Dec 4)
St. John of Otzoon
St. Lucy  (Dec 13)
Sts. Hermagoras and Fortunatus (Jul 12)
St. Juliana of Lazarevo
St. Savas the Sanctified (Dec 5)
Sts. Constantine & Helen (May 21)
St. Photios the Great (Feb 6)
St. Mark of Ephesus (Jan 19)
Sts. Rufus and Zosimus (Dec 18)
St. Sebastian & his companions
St. Elias the Cave-dweller (Sep 11)
St. Vrtanes
St. Krikoris
St. Husig
St. Patrick (Mar 17)
St. Sebastian of Rome (Dec 18)*
St. Laurence of Rome (Aug 10)
St. Maria Skobtsova (Jul 20)
St. Aristakes
St. Martin the Confessor (Apr 14)
St. Peter the Aleut (Sep 24/Dec 12)
St. Philothei (Feb 19)
St. Agatha of Palermo (Feb 5)
St. Ambrose of Milan (Dec 7)
Sts. Nicholas, Raphael, and Irene
St. Herman of Alaska (Aug 9 / Dec 13)
St. Hilary of Poitiers (Jan 13)
St. Martin of Tours (Nov 11)
St. Genevieve of Paris (Jan 3)

St. Catherine (Nov 24)
St. Mary of Egypt (Apr 1)
St. Anastasia (Dec 22)
St. Sylvester (Jan 2)
St. Ammon (Dec 20)
St. Hripsime & St. Gayane & their companions
St. Ignatius (Dec 20)
St. Anastasios XII (Dec 21)
St. Moses
Sts. Sergius & Bacchus (Oct 7)
St. Juliana & her companions (Dec 21)
St. Zeno (Dec 22)
St. Chaeromon (Dec 22)
The Uncondemning Monk (Mar 30)
Sts. Emiliana & Tarsilla (Dec 24)
St. Stephen (Dec 27)
Sts. Gaspar & Balthasar (Dec 25)
10 Martyrs of Crete (Dec 23)
St. Matrona of Moscow (April 19)
St. John the Evangelist
St. Theodore the Confessor
St. Aileran (Dec 29)
Sts. Sarkis & Mardiros
St. Nicholas Planas (Mar 2)
Sts. Anysia & Anysios (Dec 30)
St. Sabinus (Dec 30)
St. Liberius (Dec 30)
St. Sylvester (Dec 31)
St. Melania (Dec 31)
St. Zoticos (Dec 31)
St. Aidan (Aug 31)
10 Martyrs of Crete (Dec 23)
St. Basil the Great (Jan 1)
St. Gregory Nazianzus
St. Aquilinus (Jan 4)
St. Rigobert (Jan 4)
St. Mavilus (Jan 4)
Sts. Theopemptos & Theonas (Jan 5)
St. Syncletica (Jan 5)
St. Syncletiki (Jan 5)
St. Oswald (Aug 5)
St. Athelm (Jan 8 )
St. Foellan (Jan 9)
St. Julian & companions (Jan 9)
St. Marcian (Jan 10)

St. Nicanor (Jan 10)
St. Peter Urseolus (Jan 10)
St. Alexander (Jan 11)
St. Theodosius (Jan 11)
St. Theodosius Cenobiarch (Jan 11)
St. Hyginus (Jan 11)
St. Mary Magdalene (Jul 22)
St. Nicholas of Japan (Feb 3)
Sts. Cyril & Methodius (May 11)
St. Tikhon (Apr 7)
St. Andrew of Crete (Jul 4)
St. John Climacus (Mar 18)
St. Simeon the New Theologian (Mar 12)
St. Moses the Black (Aug 28)
St. Christopher (May 9)
7 Youths of Ephesus (Aug 4)
St. Simeon the New Theologian
St. Barbara (Dec 4)
St. Olaf (July 29)
St. Finnian of Clonard (Dec 12)
Sts. Sergius and Herman of Valaam
St. Anna of Novgorod
St. Gabriel the Youngling (Apr 20)
St. Gregory Peradze (Dec 6)
St. Euphrsyne of Polotsk (May 23)
St. Basil Martysz (Apr 21)
St. David of Wales (Mar 1)
St. Myrope of Ephesus and Chios (Dec 2)
St. Brigid
St. Benedict of Nursia (Mar 14)
St. Enda of Arranmore (Mar 21)
The Holy Orthodox Popes of Rome
St. Bishoy (Jul 15)
St. Anthony of Supraƛl (Feb 4)
St. Cyril of Turov (Apr 28)
St. Maxim of Gorlice (Sep 6)
St. Sophia, Dutchess of Slutsk (Mar 19)
St. Matthew the Far-Sighted (Oct 5)

St. Vladimir (Jul 15)
St. Benedict of Nursia (Mar 14)
St. Januarius (Apr 21)
St. Dionysios (Dec 17)
St. John Maximovich (Jul 2)
St. Athanasius of Brest (Sep 6)
St. Ignatius of Jableczna (Jul 28)
St. Finnian of Clonard (Dec 12/ 25)
St. Stylianus (Nov 26)
St. Manach of Lemonaghan (Jan 24)
St. Anthony the Great (Jan 17)
St. Adalbert the Hieromartyr, the Enlightener of Prussia (Apr 23)
St. Paul the Hieromartyr and St. Joanna the Martyr (Aug 15)
"Some Irish Saints of March"
St. Alexios, the Man of God (Mar 17)
St. James the Confessor (mar 21)
St. Anatole of Optina (Jul 30)
St. Rupert of Salzburg (Mar 14)
The Pre-Schism Orthodox Saints Who Evangelized Western Europe & The Scandinavian Lands
St. Irene the Great Martyr (May 5)
St. Anthony the Roman of Novgorod (Jan 17)
St. Attracta  (Aug 11)
St. Nicholas of Alma-Ata and Kazakhstan (Oct 12)
St. Barnabas the New Confessor (Oct 30)
34 Holy Martyrs of Valaam Monastery (Feb 20)
St. Frumentius
St. Ninian
St. Bruno of Querfurt (Feb 14)
St. Claudia (Aug 7)
Saints Benedict, John, Matthew, Isaac and Christian, the Protomartys of Poland (Nov 12)
St. Patrick (Mar 17)

Fr. George:
The Life of St. Nicholas of Myra

St Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
Commemorated on December 6

Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia is famed as a great saint pleasing unto God. He was born in the city of Patara in the region of Lycia (on the south coast of the Asia Minor peninsula), and was the only son of pious parents Theophanes and Nonna, who had vowed to dedicate him to God.

As the fruit of the prayer of his childless parents, the infant Nicholas from the very day of his birth revealed to people the light of his future glory as a wonderworker. His mother, Nonna, after giving birth was immediately healed from illness. The newborn infant, while still in the baptismal font, stood on his feet three hours, without support from anyone, thereby honoring the Most Holy Trinity. St Nicholas from his infancy began a life of fasting, and on Wednesdays and Fridays he would not accept milk from his mother until after his parents had finished their evening prayers.

From his childhood Nicholas thrived on the study of Divine Scripture; by day he would not leave church, and by night he prayed and read books, making himself a worthy dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Bishop Nicholas of Patara rejoiced at the spiritual success and deep piety of his nephew. He ordained him a reader, and then elevated Nicholas to the priesthood, making him his assistant and entrusting him to instruct the flock.

In serving the Lord the youth was fervent of spirit, and in his proficiency with questions of faith he was like an Elder, who aroused the wonder and deep respect of believers. Constantly at work and vivacious, in unceasing prayer, the priest Nicholas displayed great kind-heartedness towards the flock, and towards the afflicted who came to him for help, and he distributed all his inheritance to the poor.

There was a certain formerly rich inhabitant of Patara, whom St Nicholas saved from great sin. The man had three grown daughters, and in desparation he planned to sell their bodies so they would have money for food. The saint, learning of the man's poverty and of his wicked intention, secretly visited him one night and threw a sack of gold through the window. With the money the man arranged an honorable marriage for his daughter. St Nicholas also provided gold for the other daughters, thereby saving the family from falling into spiritual destruction. In bestowing charity, St Nicholas always strove to do this secretly and to conceal his good deeds.

The Bishop of Patara decided to go on pilgrimage to the holy places at Jerusalem, and entrusted the guidance of his flock to St Nicholas, who fulfilled this obedience carefully and with love. When the bishop returned, Nicholas asked his blessing for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Along the way the saint predicted a storm would arise and threaten the ship. St Nicholas saw the devil get on the ship, intending to sink it and kill all the passengers. At the entreaty of the despairing pilgrims, he calmed the waves of the sea by his prayers. Through his prayer a certain sailor of the ship, who had fallen from the mast and was mortally injured was also restored to health.

When he reached the ancient city of Jerusalem and came to Golgotha, St Nicholas gave thanks to the Savior. He went to all the holy places, worshiping at each one. One night on Mount Sion, the closed doors of the church opened by themselves for the great pilgrim. Going round the holy places connected with the earthly service of the Son of God, St Nicholas decided to withdraw into the desert, but he was stopped by a divine voice urging him to return to his native country. He returned to Lycia, and yearning for a life of quietude, the saint entered into the brotherhood of a monastery named Holy Sion, which had been founded by his uncle. But the Lord again indicated another path for him, "Nicholas, this is not the vineyard where you shall bear fruit for Me. Return to the world, and glorify My Name there." So he left Patara and went to Myra in Lycia.

Upon the death of Archbishop John, Nicholas was chosen as Bishop of Myra after one of the bishops of the Council said that a new archbishop should be revealed by God, not chosen by men. One of the elder bishops had a vision of a radiant Man, Who told him that the one who came to the church that night and was first to enter should be made archbishop. He would be named Nicholas. The bishop went to the church at night to await Nicholas. The saint, always the first to arrive at church, was stopped by the bishop. "What is your name, child?" he asked. God's chosen one replied, "My name is Nicholas, Master, and I am your servant."

After his consecration as archbishop, St Nicholas remained a great ascetic, appearing to his flock as an image of gentleness, kindness and love for people. This was particularly precious for the Lycian Church during the persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Bishop Nicholas, locked up in prison together with other Christians for refusing to worship idols, sustained them and exhorted them to endure the fetters, punishment and torture. The Lord preserved him unharmed. Upon the accession of St Constantine (May 21) as emperor, St Nicholas was restored to his flock, which joyfully received their guide and intercessor.

Despite his great gentleness of spirit and purity of heart, St Nicholas was a zealous and ardent warrior of the Church of Christ. Fighting evil spirits, the saint made the rounds of the pagan temples and shrines in the city of Myra and its surroundings, shattering the idols and turning the temples to dust.

In the year 325 St Nicholas was a participant in the First Ecumenical Council. This Council proclaimed the Nicean Symbol of Faith, and he stood up against the heretic Arius with the likes of Sts Sylvester the Bishop of Rome (January 2), Alexander of Alexandria (May 29), Spyridon of Trimythontos (December 12) and other Fathers of the Council.

St Nicholas, fired with zeal for the Lord, assailed the heretic Arius with his words, and also struck him upon the face. For this reason, he was deprived of the emblems of his episcopal rank and placed under guard. But several of the holy Fathers had the same vision, seeing the Lord Himself and the Mother of God returning to him the Gospel and omophorion. The Fathers of the Council agreed that the audacity of the saint was pleasing to God, and restored the saint to the office of bishop.

Having returned to his own diocese, the saint brought it peace and blessings, sowing the word of Truth, uprooting heresy, nourishing his flock with sound doctrine, and also providing food for their bodies.

Even during his life the saint worked many miracles. One of the greatest was the deliverance from death of three men unjustly condemned by the Governor, who had been bribed. The saint boldly went up to the executioner and took his sword, already suspended over the heads of the condemned. The Governor, denounced by St Nicholas for his wrong doing, repented and begged for forgiveness.

Witnessing this remarkable event were three military officers, who were sent to Phrygia by the emperor Constantine to put down a rebellion. They did not suspect that soon they would also be compelled to seek the intercession of St Nicholas. Evil men slandered them before the emperor, and the officers were sentenced to death. Appearing to St Constantine in a dream, St Nicholas called on him to overturn the unjust sentence of the military officers.

He worked many other miracles, and struggled many long years at his labor. Through the prayers of the saint, the city of Myra was rescued from a terrible famine. He appeared to a certain Italian merchant and left him three gold pieces as a pledge of payment. He requested him to sail to Myra and deliver grain there. More than once, the saint saved those drowning in the sea, and provided release from captivity and imprisonment.

Having reached old age, St Nicholas peacefully fell asleep in the Lord. His venerable relics were preserved incorrupt in the local cathedral church and flowed with curative myrrh, from which many received healing. In the year 1087, his relics were transferred to the Italian city of Bari, where they rest even now (See May 9).

St Nicholas is the patron of travelers, and we pray to him for deliverance from floods, poverty, or any misfortunes. He has promised to help those who remember his parents, Theophanes and Nonna.

St Nicholas is also commemorated on May 9 (The transfer of his relics) and on July 29 (his nativity).

Fr. George:
Life of St. George the Great Martyr and Trophy-Bearer

Greatmartyr, Victory-bearer and Wonderworker George
Commemorated on April 23

The Holy Great Martyr George the Victory-Bearer, was a native of Cappadocia (a district in Asia Minor), and he grew up in a deeply believing Christian family. His father was martyred for Christ when George was still a child. His mother, owning lands in Palestine, moved there with her son and raised him in strict piety.

When he became a man, St George entered into the service of the Roman army. He was handsome, brave and valiant in battle, and he came to the notice of the emperor Diocletian (284-305) and joined the imperial guard with the rank of comites, or military commander.

The pagan emperor, who did much for the restoration of Roman might, was clearly concerned with the danger presented to pagan civilization by the triumph of the Crucified Savior, and intensified his persecution against the Christians in the final years of his reign. Following the advice of the Senate at Nicomedia, Diocletian gave all his governors full freedom in their court proceedings against Christians, and he promised them his full support.

St George, when he heard the decision of the emperor, distributed all his wealth to the poor, freed his servants, and then appeared in the Senate. The brave soldier of Christ spoke out openly against the emperor's designs. He confessed himself a Christian, and appealed to all to acknowledge Christ: "I am a servant of Christ, my God, and trusting in Him, I have come among you voluntarily, to bear witness concerning the Truth."

"What is Truth?" one of the dignitaries asked, echoing the question of Pontius Pilate. The saint replied, "Christ Himself, Whom you persecuted, is Truth."

Stunned by the bold speech of the valiant warrior, the emperor, who had loved and promoted George, attempted to persuade him not to throw away his youth and glory and honors, but rather to offer sacrifice to the gods as was the Roman custom. The confessor replied, "Nothing in this inconstant life can weaken my resolve to serve God."

Then by order of the enraged emperor the armed guards began to push St George out of the assembly hall with their spears, and they then led him off to prison. But the deadly steel became soft and it bent, just as the spears touched the saint's body, and it caused him no harm. In prison they put the martyr's feet in stocks and placed a heavy stone on his chest.

The next day at the interrogation, powerless but firm of spirit, St George again answered the emperor, "You will grow tired of tormenting me sooner than I will tire of being tormented by you." Then Diocletian gave orders to subject St George to some very intense tortures. They tied the Great Martyr to a wheel, beneath which were boards pierced with sharp pieces of iron. As the wheel turned, the sharp edges slashed the saint's naked body.

At first the sufferer loudly cried out to the Lord, but soon he quieted down, and did not utter even a single groan. Diocletian decided that the tortured one was already dead, and he gave orders to remove the battered body from the wheel, and then went to a pagan temple to offer thanks.

At this very moment it got dark, thunder boomed, and a voice was heard: "Fear not, George, for I am with you." Then a wondrous light shone, and at the wheel an angel of the Lord appeared in the form of a radiant youth. He placed his hand upon the martyr, saying to him, "Rejoice!" St George stood up healed.

When the soldiers led him to the pagan temple where the emperor was, the emperor could not believe his own eyes and he thought that he saw before him some other man or even a ghost. In confusion and in terror the pagans looked St George over carefully, and they became convinced that a miracle had occurred. Many then came to believe in the Life-Creating God of the Christians.

Two illustrious officials, Sts Anatolius and Protoleon, who were secretly Christians, openly confessed Christ. Immediately, without a trial, they were beheaded with the sword by order of the emperor. Also present in the pagan temple was Empress Alexandra, the wife of Diocletian, and she also knew the truth. She was on the point of glorifying Christ, but one of the servants of the emperor took her and led her off to the palace.

The emperor became even more furious. He had not lost all hope of influencing St George, so he gave him over to new and fiercesome torments. After throwing him into a deep pit, they covered it over with lime. Three days later they dug him out, but found him cheerful and unharmed. They shod the saint in iron sandals with red-hot nails, and then drove him back to the prison with whips. In the morning, when they led him back to the interrogation, cheerful and with healed feet, the emperor asked if he liked his shoes. The saint said that the sandals had been just his size. Then they beat him with ox thongs until pieces of his flesh came off and his blood soaked the ground, but the brave sufferer, strengthened by the power of God, remained unyielding.

The emperor concluded that the saint was being helped by magic, so he summoned the sorcerer Athanasius to deprive the saint of his miraculous powers, or else poison him. The sorcerer gave St George two goblets containing drugs. One of them would have quieted him, and the other would kill him. The drugs had no effect, and the saint continued to denounce the pagan superstitions and glorify God as before.

When the emperor asked what sort of power was helping him, St George said, "Do not imagine that it is any human learning which keeps me from being harmed by these torments. I am saved only by calling upon Christ and His Power. Whoever believes in Him has no regard for tortures and is able to do the things that Christ did" (John 14:12). Diocletian asked what sort of things Christ had done. The Martyr replied, "He gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, healed the lame, gave hearing to the deaf, cast out demons, and raised the dead."

Knowing that they had never been able to resurrect the dead through sorcery, nor by any of the gods known to him, and wanting to test the saint, the emperor commanded him to raise up a dead person before his eyes. The saint retorted, "You wish to tempt me, but my God will work this sign for the salvation of the people who shall see the power of Christ."

When they led St George down to the graveyard, he cried out, "O Lord! Show to those here present, that You are the only God in all the world. Let them know You as the Almighty Lord." Then the earth quaked, a grave opened, the dead one emerged from it alive. Having seen with their own eyes the Power of Christ, the people wept and glorified the true God.

The sorcerer Athanasius, falling down at the feet of St George, confessed Christ as the All-Powerful God and asked forgiveness for his sins, committed in ignorance. The obdurate emperor in his impiety thought otherwise. In a rage he commanded both t Athanasius and the man raised from the dead to be beheaded, and he had St George again locked up in prison.

The people, weighed down with their infirmities, began to visit the prison and they there received healing and help from the saint. A certain farmer named Glycerius, whose ox had collapsed, also visited him. The saint consoled him and assured him that God would restore his ox to life. When he saw the ox alive, the farmer began to glorify the God of the Christians throughout all the city. By order of the emperor, St Glycerius was arrested and beheaded.

The exploits and the miracles of the Great Martyr George had increased the number of the Christians, therefore Diocletian made a final attempt to compel the saint to offer sacrifice to the idols. They set up a court at the pagan temple of Apollo. On the final night the holy martyr prayed fervently, and as he slept, he saw the Lord, Who raised him up with His hand, and embraced him. The Savior placed a crown on St George's head and said, "Fear not, but have courage, and you will soon come to Me and receive what has been prepared for you."

In the morning, the emperor offered to make St George his co-administrator, second only to himself. The holy martyr with a feigned willingness answered, "Caesar, you should have shown me this mercy from the very beginning, instead of torturing me. Let us go now to the temple and see the gods you worship."

Diocletian believed that the martyr was accepting his offer, and he followed him to the pagan temple with his retinue and all the people. Everyone was certain that St George would offer sacrifice to the gods. The saint went up to the idol, made the Sign of the Cross and addressed it as if it were alive: "Are you the one who wants to receive from me sacrifice befitting God?"

The demon inhabiting the idol cried out, "I am not a god and none of those like me is a god, either. The only God is He Whom you preach. We are fallen angels, and we deceive people because we are jealous."

St George cried out, "How dare you remain here, when I, the servant of the true God, have entered?" Then noises and wailing were heard from the idols, and they fell to the ground and were shattered.

There was general confusion. In a frenzy, pagan priests and many of the crowd seized the holy martyr, tied him up, and began to beat him. They also called for his immediate execution.

The holy empress Alexandra tried to reach him. Pushing her way through the crowd, she cried out, "O God of George, help me, for You Alone are All-Powerful." At the feet of the Great Martyr the holy empress confessed Christ, Who had humiliated the idols and those who worshipped them.

Diocletian immediately pronounced the death sentence on the Great Martyr George and the holy Empress Alexandra, who followed St George to execution without resisting. Along the way she felt faint and slumped against a wall. There she surrendered her soul to God.

St George gave thanks to God and prayed that he would also end his life in a worthy manner. At the place of execution the saint prayed that the Lord would forgive the torturers who acted in ignorance, and that He would lead them to the knowledge of Truth. Calmly and bravely, the holy Great Martyr George bent his neck beneath the sword, receiving the crown of martyrdom on April 23, 303.

Irish Hermit:
Russian Church Institutes Feastday of All Saints of Britain and Ireland

(in English)
(in Russian)

Moscow, August 21, 2007, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church instituted a holiday to honour Christians who lived on the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and were canonized before the 1054 schism that divided Christendom into the Western Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The holiday will be an annual event observed on the third Sunday after Pentecost in the Julian Calendar.

The Synod, which met on Tuesday, also ordered that these saints' names be included in the Menology after their Christian exploits have been studied.

The Synod's decision follows an appeal of March 3, 2007, in which the diocese of Sourozh, a Russian Orthodox diocese having the islands of Great Britain and Ireland for its territory, asked the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, and its Holy Synod to institute a holiday for pre-1054 British and Irish saints.

All Saints of Britain and Ireland pray to God for us.

Irish Hermit:
I'd like to post some Lives of the Celtic Saints as their feastdays come along through the year.  But there are about 15,000 - too many to post all of them!

I put out a daily e-mail via Yahoo! with their Lives if anyone is interested in subscribing.

Lives of the Celtic Saints  - by daily e-mail


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