15 June 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Hieromartyr Erazmo of Ohrid
This saint was born in Antioch and lived in the reigns of Diocletian and Maximian. He lived in strict asceticism on Mount Lebanon, and was endowed by God with great wonderworking gifts. As a bishop, he set out to preach the Gospel. Arriving at the city of Ohrid, he restored the son of a man called Anastasius to life by his prayers, and baptised him. At this time, Erazmo baptised many other pagans and tore down the idolatrous altar in Ochrid. For this he was denounced to the Emperor Maximian, who was at that time staying in Illyria. The Emperor brought him before the copper image of Zeus, and ordered him to bring sacrifices and worship the idol. St Erazmo, by his power, caused a terrible dragon to come out of the statue, which terrified all the people. The saint then worked another wonder, and the dragon died. Then the saint preached Christ and baptised 20,000 souls. The furious Emperor commanded that all 20,000 be beheaded, and put Erazmo to harsh torture, before throwing him into prison. But an angel of God appeared to him, as once to the Apostle Peter, and led him out of the prison. After that, this servant of God went to Campania, where he preached the Gospel to the people, then returned again to the town of Hermelia, where he withdrew to a cave and lived in asceticism for the rest of his days. At the time of his death, he prostrated three times towards the East and, with upraised hands, prayed to God to forgive and give eternal life to all those who would, with faith, call upon his name. At the end of his prayer, a voice was heard from heaven: `Let it be as thou hast asked; My little healer Erazmo!’ The saint looked up once more to heaven with great joy and saw a wreath of glory descending upon him, and a choir of angels, prophets, apostles and martyrs waiting to receive his holy soul. He finally cried: `Lord, receive my spirit!’, and breathed his last, in about the year 303. The cave and chapel of St Erazmo stand to this day not far from Ohrid, and from there is proclaimed to this day the great power of the man of God, Erazmo the hieromartyr.
Legend says Vitus was the son of a pagan Sicilian senator named Hylas. Converted to Christianity at age twelve by his tutor Saint Modestus and his nurse Saint Crescentia. His father showed his objection by having the three arrested and scourged. Freed from prison by angels, they fled to Lucania, then Rome. There he freed Emperor Diocletian’s son of an evil spirit. When Vitus would not sacrifice to the pagan gods in celebration, his cure was attributed to sorcery, and he and his household were arrested again. Tortured, and condemned to death, they were thrown to the lions; the lions would not touch them, so they were thrown into boiling oil At the moment of their deaths, a immense storm destroyed several pagan temples in the region, hence the protection against stormy weather. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Died c.303 in Lucania, Italy.