10 July 2020 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
St. Sampson the Hospitable
This saint was born of rich and eminent parents in ancient Rome, where he studied all the secular wisdom of that time, devoting him-self in particular to the study of medicine. Sampson was a com-passionate and liberal physician, and gave the sick medicine for both soul and body, counseling each man to fulfil the requirements of the Christian faith. He moved to Constantinople, where he lived in a tiny house from which he distributed alms, comfort, advice, hope, medicine and all possible aid to those suffering in spirit and in body. The Patriarch heard of Sampson’s great virtue and ordained him priest. At that time the Emperor Justinian the Great became ill with what his doctors believed to be an incurable disease. The Emperor prayed with great fervor, and God revealed to him in his sleep that Sampson would heal him. When the Emperor summoned Sampson to court, the old man had only to put his hand on the diseased place and the Emperor was healed. When Justinian offered him an immense sum of money, Sampson thanked him but would accept nothing, saying to the Emperor: `O Emperor, I had silver and gold and other riches, but I left it all for the sake of Christ, that I might gain heavenly and eternal wealth.’ When the Emperor insisted on doing something for him, Sampson asked him to build a home for the poor. In that home, Sampson cared for the poor as a father cares for his children. His compassion for the poor and weak was second nature to him. This holy man filled with heavenly power and goodness, entered peacefully into rest on June 27, 530. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Martyr Mocius, his kinsman. After his death, Sampson appeared many times to those who called upon him for aid.
Martyrs of Damascus
Towards the end of the XIII century, there lived in Damascus a married Maronite priest named Ya’qoub. This priest lived with his family in “Masback el barrani,” a quarter of Damascus. The Damascenes, who highly respected this “zealous and honorable” priest, gave his descendants the last name of “Massabki,” for the name of the quarter in which he lived. In 1293, Father Ya’qoub was ordained Bishop of Damascus, but persecution forced him to flee the city, along with other Maronite families, and to take refuge in Cyprus where the respected Prelate died, mourning the death of his son Francis, massacred at Zabadani (Syria). In the XV century, his sons and grandsons returned to Damascus where they were known by the name of “Massabki.” On October 7 1926, His Holiness Pirus XI proclaimed the beatification of the three brothers.