29 September 2020 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Holy and Great Martyr Euphemia
There are two days of the year on which the Holy and Great Martyr Euphemia is commemorated. On 11th July we commemorate the miracle wrought by her precious relics at the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon (451 AD), and on 16th September we commemorate her Martyrdom (303 AD). St. Euphemia was born in Chalcedon in the latter part of the third century AD Her father was the senator Philophronus, and her mother’s name was Theodorisia, both were devout Christians. Euphemia was both Physically and Spiritually beautiful. When the Proconsul, Priscus, celebrated a festival of sacrifice to Ares in Chalcedon, forty-nine Christians absented themselves form the festivities and hid. But they were discovered and brought before Priscus, holy Euphemia being among them. When the furious Priscus asked them why they had not carried out the imperial command, they replied, “Both the Emperor’s commands and yours must be obeyed if they are not contrary to the God of heaven. If they are, they must not only not be obeyed; they must be resisted.” Then Priscus put them to various tortures for nineteen days. On the twelfth day, he held Euphemia apart from the others and began to flatter her beauty, hoping to bring her thus to idolatry. When all of his flattery proved fruitless, he ordered that she be tortured. First, she was put on a wheel, but an angel of God appeared and broke it. Then he had her thrown into a fiery furnace, but she was preserved by God’s power. Seeing this, two soldiers, Victor and Sosthenes came to faith in Christ, for which they were thrown to the wild beasts and thus finished, their earthly course with glory. After that, Euphemia was thrown into a pit filled with water, and all manners of poisonous reptiles. She made the sign of the Cross over the water as she went into the pit, and remained unharmed. She was finally thrown to the wild beasts, and with a prayer of thanksgiving, gave her soul into God’s hands. Her parents buried her body.
St. Michael, the Archangel
St. Michael, the Archangel – Feast day – September 29th The name Michael signifies “Who is like to God?” and was the war cry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as “one of the chief princes,” and leader of the forces of heaven in their triumph over the powers of hell. He has been especially honored and invoked as patron and protector by the Church from the time of the Apostles. Although he is always called “the Archangel,” the Greek Fathers and many others place him over all the angels – as Prince of the Seraphim. St. Michael is the patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness.
St. Gabriel, the Archangel
The name Gabriel means “man of God,” or “God has shown himself mighty.” It appears first in the prophecies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the angel who appeared to Zachariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptist. Finally, he announced to Mary that she would bear a Son Who would be conceived of the Holy Spirit, Son of the Most High, and Saviour of the world. The feast day is September 29th. St. Gabriel is the patron of communications workers.
St. Raphael is one of seven Archangels who stand before the throne of the Lord. He was sent by God to help Tobit, Tobiah, and Sarah. At the time, Tobit was blind and Tobiah’s betrothed, Sarah, had had seven bridegrooms perish on the night of their weddings. Raphael accompanied Tobiah into Media disguised as a man named Azariah. Raphael helped him through his difficulties and taught him how to safely enter marriage with Sarah. Tobiah said that Raphael caused him to have his wife and that he gave joy to Sarah’s parents for driving out the evil spirit in her. He also gave Raphael credit for his father’s seeing the light of heaven and for receiving all good things through his intercession. Besides Raphael, Michael and Gabriel are the only Archangels mentioned by name in the bible. Raphael’s name means “God heals.” This identity came about because of the biblical story, which claims that he “healed” the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels in the apocryphal book of Enoch. Raphael is also identified as the angel who moved the waters of the healing sheep pool. He is also the patron of the blind, of happy meetings, of nurses, of physicians and travelers. His feast day is celebrated on September 29th.