Prologue of Ohrid


April 11


Antipas is mentioned in the Book of Revelation as, Antipas, my faithful witness, who was martyred among you, where Satan lives (Revelation 2:13), i.e., in the city of Pergamum. The inhabitants of this city lived in the darkness of idolatry and in extreme impurity. They were slaves to passions. They were slanderers, tyrants, and incestuous people. In other words, they were the servants of Satan. Here among them lived Antipas, "as a light in the midst of darkness, as a rose among thorns and as gold in the mud." In this city, he who captured and killed a Christian was deemed good and just. The totality of their pagan belief consisted of soothsaying, interpretation of dreams, serving demons and extreme perversion. Being frightened of Antipas as of fire, the demons appeared to the soothsayers in a dream and confessed how afraid they were of Antipas--and how, because of him, they had to depart from this city. The pagan priests summoned a large number of people against Antipas and began to interrogate him, trying to force him to deny Christ and worship idols. Antipas said to them: "When your so-called gods, lords of the universe, are frightened of me, a mortal man, and must flee from this city, do you not recognize by this that your faith is a delusion?" The saint spoke to them further about the Faith of Christ as being the One, True, Saving Faith. They became enraged as wild beasts and dragged the aged Antipas to the temple of Artemis, before which stood an ox cast in bronze. They heated the bronzed ox and hurled the servant of God into the red-hot molten ox. From within the molten ox, St. Antipas glorified God with thanksgiving, as once did Jonah in the belly of the whale or the Three Youths in the fiery furnace. Antipas prayed for his flock and for the entire world, until his soul parted from his weakened body and ascended among the angels into the Kingdom of Christ. He died in torments and was crowned with unfading glory in the year 92 A.D.


Processus and Martinian were jailers in the Roman prison where the Apostles Peter and Paul were imprisoned. Hearing the words and witnessing the miracles of the apostles, they were baptized, and released the apostles from prison. The apostles left Rome, but the Lord, on His way to Rome, appeared to Peter who asked Him: "Lord where are you going?" [(Wither goest Thou?--Domine Quo Vadis?)]  The Lord answered: "I am going to Rome, to be crucified a second time." Ashamed, the apostles returned to Rome where they were apprehended and slain. Also slain with the apostles were these two brave martyrs, Processus and Martinian.



In a fiery ox as in a luminous temple,

Antipas, the Christian, does not suffer loneliness:

In his pure heart the Lord abides.

The fire does not burn him, nor is he in horror of it.

The saint, for Christ, patiently endures all,

And his prayers to Christ, from the fire, ascend:

"O All-Powerful Christ, King of all ages,

For these sufferings, a hundred-fold thanks be to You!

All in me that is sinful, let burn with fire,

That I may be more precious according to heavenly worth.

O Savior, I pray to You; my flock protect

In this town, in this awful dung!

May my blood strengthen them in the Faith,

And may their hearts on You be fixed.

And for the heathen, also, O Blessed One, I pray to You:

Tear them away, once and for all, from demonic lies.

I pray for all sinners who ridicule Your law:

Direct them to You, the only One to serve.

Behold, all is in the authority of Your Holy Will.

Finally, I further pray: may it be better for the Church!"


"There can be no rest for those on earth who desire to be saved," says St. Ephrem the Syrian. The struggle is unceasing, be it either external or internal. The adversary acts visibly at times, through men and other things, and at other times invisibly, through thoughts. At times the adversary appears openly and behaves brutally and cruelly like an enemy and, at other times, under the guise of a flattering friend, he seduces by shrewdness. That which occurs in battle between two opposing armies also occurs to every man individually in battle with the passions of this world. Truly, "there can be no rest for those on earth who desire to be saved." When salvation comes, rest also comes.


To contemplate the resurrected Lord Jesus:

1. How Simon Peter and the other disciple ran quickly to the tomb to confirm the news of the Resurrection;

2. How one after the other entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths and the napkin;

3. How they both saw and believed, and, after that, witnessed; and for their witness, they died.


About the two Adams; the Death-creating and the Life-giving

"For just as in Adam all die, so too, in Christ, shall all be brought to life" (1 Corinthians 15:22).

In Adam, life is sown in shame; in Christ, life is raised in glory. Sin is from Adam and justice is from Christ. Weakness and death come from Adam, and strength and life come from Christ. Thus, in Adam we all die. And thus, in Christ we shall all be brought to life.  That one is the earthly man [Adam]; this one is the heavenly man [Christ]. That is the bodily man [Adam] and this is the spiritual man [Christ].

Christ did not resurrect for His sake but for our sake, just as He did not die for His sake but for our sake. If His resurrection does not signify our resurrection, then His Resurrection is bitterness and not sweetness. Where, then, would the love of God be? Where, then, would the meaning of our miserable earthy experience be? What, then, would be the purpose of Christ's coming to earth?

Where Adam ends, Christ begins. Adam ends up in the grave, and Christ begins with the Resurrection from the grave. Adam's generation is the seed underground that rots and decays, that does not see the sun. It does not believe that it can emerge from beneath the earth to blossom into a green plant with leaves, flowers and fruit. Christ's generation is a green field upon which wheat grows, turns green, puts forth leaves, blossoms and bears much fruit.

"In Adam" does not only mean that we will die one day; rather it means that we are already dead--dead to the last one. "In Christ" does not only mean that we will revive one day, but rather that we are already alive--that the seed in the ground has already begun to germinate and to break through to the light of the sun. The complete expression of death is in the grave, but the complete expression of eternal life is in the Kingdom of God.

The mind of the sons of Adam is in accordance with death, reconciled with being in a state of decay, and it sinks even deeper into the ground. The mind of the sons of Christ rebels against death and decay, and strives all the more, so that a man burgeons toward the light, with the help of the Grace of God. O resurrected Lord, sober the minds of all the sons of men, that they would flee from darkness and destruction and reach out toward light and life eternal, which is in You.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
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