Saint Ignatius is called the God-bearer because his whole life was an example of living with God’s love and in obedience to Him. According to tradition, Jesus held him in His arms as He was explaining humility to His Apostles. “Whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus was saying (Matthew 18:4). Later in his life, he became a pupil of Saint John the Theologian and followed the apostles.
He wrote many letters to the Christians strengthening them in their faith and was ordained as Bishop of Antioch. He is credited with introducing in liturgical practice the tradition of antiphonal singing - when two choirs chant liturgical hymns successively. According to Ignatius, the angels had suggested it to him in a vision.
The Church glorified Saint Ignatius as a martyr for Christ. Emperor Trajan of Rome was travelling through Antioch when he met Ignatius and had a conversation with him. He advised him to offer sacrifice to a Pagan idol and promised to make him a Roman senator. When promises of rewards failed, the emperor resorted to threats. Still, Ignatius was adamant.
Then Trajan ordered him to be put in chains and sent him to Rome accompanied by his ten most merciless soldiers. He directed that Saint Ignatius be put in a cage with ten hungry lions upon his arrival in Rome in front of multiple spectators.
Ignatius foresaw his martyrdom, and asked the faithful in Rome not to try to save him from his death: “and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found to be the pure bread of God”. The faithful collected his bones and laid them to rest in Antioch. To this day, Ignatius has worked miracles from the other world to help those who turn to him in prayer.
The spiritual message of the icon revealed itself with time. It promises eventual forgiveness to the Russian people and the return of the supreme power from the Holy Theotokos after a long period of suffering and repentance.
He is remembered for his great modesty and humility, and also for the grace and forgiveness with which he reacted to false accusations of having career ambitions.
On the 8th of July, the Orthodox Church celebrates a very special feast — the day of Saint Peter and Fevronia. These two saints from the 13th century are considered the patron saints of family, love, and fidelity.
Holy Righteous Sophia, Princess of Slutsk, came from an ancient family of Olelkovichs, who reigned in the city of Slutsk since 1395. During their reign, Slutsk was built and fortified.
St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco is one of the most venerated and loved Saints in the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as in other Orthodox Churches all around the world.
Every soul is a mystery. Today we can only guess what really happened… According to the locals, the priest Simeon Kaminsky knew that he was going to be killed. But he preferred to stay and accepted martyrdom for his faith.
February 7 is the birthday of the Venerable Porphyrios Kavsokalivite, one of the most famous Athonite elders of the twentieth century. He reposed in the Lord on December 2, 1991, and was canonised on December 1, 2013.