3 March 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon and Apphia
Archippus was one of the Seventy. The Apostle Paul mentions him in his Epistles to the Colossians (4:17) and to Philemon (2), calling him his fellow-soldier in the battle. The Christians’ gathering-place for prayer in the town of Colossae was in the house of Philemon. The Apostle Paul, writing to Philemon, calls this `the Church in thy house’. This was in the time when the apostles were consecrating their disciples to the episcopate – some to permanent sees and others as missionaries, travelling to various places. Philemon was one of these latter. Apphia, Philemon’s wife, remained to serve the house-church with fasting. At the time of a feast of the pagan goddess Artemis, all the faithful in Colossae were, as was their custom, gathered at prayer in the house of Philemon. The pagans came to hear of this gathering, rushed in on them and seized all the Christians. They flogged Archippus, Philemon and Apphia as their lead-ers, then buried them up to the waist in the ground and stoned them. Philemon and Apphia died of this, but they took Archippus out of the hole barely alive and left him for the children to play with. They took knives and stabbed him all over, and thus this fellow-soldier of Paul’s in the battle made a good end of his earthly road.
The father of St. Cunegundes was Sigfrid, first Count of Luxembourg. After a pious education, she was married to St. Henry, Duke of Bavaria, who, upon the death of Emperor Otto III, was chosen King of the Romans. St. Cunegundes was crowned at Paderborn in 1002. In 1014 she went with her husband to Rome and became Empress, receiving together with him the imperial crown from the hands Pope Benedict VIII. Though married, she lived in continence, for, with her husband’s consent, she had made a vow of virginity before marriage. Calumniators accused her of scandalous conduct, but Divine Providence signally vindicated her innocence, as she walked over pieces of flaming irons without injury, to the great joy of the Emperor. Her husband, Henry II, died in 1024, leaving his widow comparatively poor, for she had given away nearly all her wealth in charitable works. In 1025, on the anniversary of his death, and on the occasion of the dedication of a monastery which she had built for Benedictine nuns at Kaffungen, she clothed herself with a poor habit, adopted the veil, which she received from the hands of the Bishop, and entered that same monastery. Her occupations consisted in prayer, reading, and manual labour, and thus she spent the last fifteen years of her life. She died in 1040, and her body was carried to Bamberg, where it was laid near that of her husband, St. Henry.