Thursday, March 24, 2016

St. Iakovos (James) the Venerable Martyr of Kastoria, and St. Theonas, Archbishop of Thessalonica

St. Iakovos (James) the Venerable Martyr of Kastorias, with his Disciples, Sts. Iakovos and Dionysios - Commemorated November 1st (source)
The monastic martyrs James of Kastoria and his disciples, the Deacon James and Dionysius of Prodromou Monastery on Mt. Athos. St James was tonsured on Mt. Athos at the Docheiariou monastery. Transferring to the neglected Georgian skete of St John the Baptist, the monk restored it under the supervision of the Elder Ignatius.
Fulfilling various obediences in the monastery, St James scaled the heights of purity. He was granted heavenly revelations, just like the Apostle Paul, so the saint also saw the mansions of Paradise and the depths of Hades. By a gift from above, St James perceived the heart’s mysteries and the secret thoughts of those who came to him.
The saint also was found worthy of the gift of wonderworking. Visiting with disciples in Aetolia, he worked many miracles, healing the sick and instructing all. The Turkish authorities, fabricated false charges against the monk that he allegedly intended to foment rebellion. In this manner, they attempted to force the saint into renouncing Orthodoxy. But St James and both his disciples, Deacon James and St Dionysius, endured the fiercest of torments over a period of many days. They suffered martyrdom on November 1, 1520.
The relics of the Monkmartyrs, glorified by miraculous healings, were placed in the monastery of St Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions in the small town of Galatista, near Thessalonica. In a short time, the fame of the holy relics attracted about 100 brethren to the monastery under St Theonas (April 4), who himself was a disciple of St James.
St. Theonas lived for some time in the Pantocrator and Simonopetra Monasteries on Mt. Athos. He founded the Monastery of St Anastasia, and was consecrated as Archbishop of Thessalonica. He died in peace.
(source 1 and 2)
St. Theonas, Archbishop of Thessalonica - Commemorated April 4th, and the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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