Prologue of Ohrid


June 5


Dorotheus was Bishop of Tyre from the time of Diocletian to the time of Julian the Apostate, under whom he was tortured and suffered for the Orthodox Faith. He lived on earth for one hundred seven years and, pleasing God, took up his habitation in life eternal in the year 361 A.D. Dorotheus was a very educated man and wrote many instructive works in Greek and Latin. Especially well known is his Greek-Latin Syntagma.


Theodore was a miracle-worker. Purifying his spirit through a long life of asceticism in the wilderness of Jordan, Theodore received from God the gift of working miracles. Traveling by boat to Constantinople, it happened that the boat wandered off course and they ran out of drinking water. All the travelers on the boat were at the point of death from thirst. Theodore raised his hands to heaven, prayed to God and traced the sign of the Cross over the sea water. After that, he told the boatmen to draw water from the sea and drink. When they drank it, the water was sweet. When they all began to bow down before Theodore, he beseeched them not to thank him but to thank the Lord God, Who had worked this miracle because of His love for mankind. Theodore died peacefully in the year 583 A.D.


Anoub was one of the great Egyptian monks. He suffered much for the True Faith. Prior to his death, three aged hermits visited him and he, "a discerner of the thoughts of man," revealed all the secrets of their hearts to them. Anoub died peacefully in the second half of the fifth century.


Igor was the Prince of Chernigov and Kiev. Persecuted by his kinsmen, he withdrew from the world and was tonsured a monk. The inhabitants of Kiev, dissatisfied with the Olgovitch dynasty, wanted to exterminate it. They charged the monastery, captured the young and innocent Schemamonk Igor and slew him. Many were the misfortunes that befell the inhabitants of Kiev as a result of this crime. But over the grave of this blessed monk candles were seen to light by themselves on several occasions, and a fiery pillar was seen over the church where he was buried. This occurred in the year 1147 A.D.


Peter was born in the village of Koriš, beyond the Monastery of St. Mark near Prizren. (According to another tradition he was from a village near Peć.) As a young man, he plowed with a one-eyed ox. Peter was exceptionally meek and mild tempered. He withdrew at an early age to lead a life of asceticism, as did his sister Helen. He was very strict and persistent in his ascetic labors. In difficult combat with demonic temptations, Peter proved himself victorious. He was a teacher to the many monks who gathered around him. Fleeing the glory of men, he hid himself for a period of time by the Black River, where St. Janićije of Devič later lived in asceticism. Peter died in old age in his cave at Koriš. On the night he died, a light from many candles was seen in his cave and angelic singing was heard. This wondrous saint probably lived in the thirteenth century. Over his miracle-working relics Tsar Dušan built a church, which was a dependency (metochion) of Hilandar. In more recent times the remains of the relics of St. Peter were secretly translated to the Black River where they repose today.


In the days of Blessed Prince Igor, when there was great quarreling and confusion among the Russian princes, there was also disorder in the Church and frequent changes on the thrones of the hierarchs. Thus, after the death of Metropolitan Michael of Kiev, Prince Izyaslav brought in the famous and learned monk Klim as metropolitan without seeking the blessing of the patriarch of Constantinople, contrary to the age-old tradition. The patriarch sent Metropolitan Constantine to investigate the matter. Constantine removed Klim and deposed all those clerics that he had ordained. Because of this the people were divided: some adhered to Klim and others adhered to Constantine. Then, according to the wishes of the Russian princes, the patriarch sent a third, Theodore, and both Klim and Constantine were removed. When Constantine died, in the year 1159 A.D. they opened his will, and in it he had requested that he not be buried but that his body be thrown in a field to be consumed by dogs, because he considered himself to have been the culprit responsible for the confusion in the Church. Not daring to disobey his testament, but nevertheless with great fear, men took the body of the metropolitan and threw it into a field, where it lay for three days. For three days there was a terrible thunder over Kiev, lightening flashed all around and struck, and the earth quaked. Eight men perished from the lightning. Three fiery pillars appeared over Constantine's lifeless body. Seeing all of this, the prince of Kiev ordered that the body of Constantine be taken and honorably buried in the church where the tomb of Igor was located. Immediately afterward a calm ensued in nature. Thus God justified His humble servant.



"Anoub, in just three dark nights,

To God you will go for reckoning.

Give us a profitable word!"

Three elders asked him, the three together.

Anoub to the elders replied:

"To persecution, I was exposed

For the honorable Cross and for the True Faith.

To the Lord I wanted to offer my head,

But from that, the Lord turned me;

The martyr's wreath, He did not want to give me.

Never, the earthly, seek from God.

With every good the Lord has eased me.

Radiant angels, to me, have appeared;

Heavenly food have they brought me.

Whatever I asked of God I received.

Many mysteries I saw and comprehended;

I saw the heavens and the faces of angels,

Apostles, saints, martyrs,

Holy and joyful, heavenly faces.

And Paradise wondrous, wondrous and sweet.

I saw Hades and the torments of sinners,

And all the dark satanic hosts.

A lie from my lips, never issued forth;

All earthly delights I renounced.

The face of Christ, for me, shines greater than the sun.

Forgive me, Elders, Anoub the sinner!"


Do not ever violate the fast on Wednesday and Friday. This fast is commanded by the Church and is well founded. If you have ever in your life violated this fast, pray to God that He forgive you, and sin no more. Pious men do not consider themselves exempt from this fast when traveling, or even in sickness. St. Pachomius met some men carrying a corpse and he saw two angels in the funeral procession. He prayed to God to reveal to him the mystery of the presence of the angels at the burial of this man. What good did this man do that the holy angels of God accompanied him in procession to the grave? According to God's providence, both angels approached Pachomius and explained this to him: "One of us is the angel of Wednesday and the other is the angel of Friday. Seeing how this man always, even until death, fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays, we are honorably accompanying his body. As he kept the fast until death, so are we glorifying him."


To contemplate the miraculous healing of the paralytic: And, behold they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy: 'Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.'  (St. Matthew 9:2):

1. How the good Lord restored health to the paralytic saying to him: Arise and walk! (St. Matthew 9:6);

2. How the Church brings my palsied [paralytic] soul before the Lord, that the Lord might restore it to health, if only I desire it.


About the justification of almsgiving

"Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it" (Proverbs 3:27).

Do not ever say: "These beggars annoy me!" So many millions of men live on earth, and all are beggars before the Lord; emperors as well as laborers, the wealthy as well as servants, all are beggars before the Lord. And the Lord never says: "These beggars annoy me!" O man, give thanks to God that someone seeks something good from you, be it material or spiritual! This means that you are a man of God's trust: God has entrusted some of His goods to you, for all goods belong to God. Show yourself worthy of this trust; show yourself worthy in lesser things so that you may be entrusted with greater things.

O Lord most rich, soften our hearts and enlighten our understanding, that we may be merciful in the goods that You, the All-merciful, have entrusted to us.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
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