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Saint Symeon the Myrrthbearer

26 February – Martinian of Palestine, Aquilla & Priscilla the Apostles, Eulogios, Patriarch of Alexandria, Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia

Martinian of Palestine

Saint Martinian, who was from Caesarea of Palestine, flourished about the beginning of the fifth century. He struggled in the wilderness from his youth. After he had passed twenty-five years in asceticism, the devil brought a temptation upon him through a harlot, who when she heard the Saint praised for his virtue, determined to try his virtue, or rather, to undo it. Coming to his cell by night as it rained, and saying she had lost her way, she begged with pitiful cries to be admitted in for the night, lest she fall prey to wild beasts. Moved with compassion, and not wishing to be guilty of her death should anything befall her, he allowed her to enter. When she began to seduce him, and the fire of desire began to burn in his heart, he kindled a fire and stepped into it, burning his body, but saving his soul from the fire of Gehenna. And she, brought to her senses by this, repented, and, following his counsel, went to Bethlehem to a certain virgin named Paula, with whom she lived in fasting and prayer; before her death, she was deemed worthy of the gift of wonder-working. Saint Martinian, when he recovered from the burning, resolved to go to some more solitary place, and took a ship to a certain island, where he struggled in solitude for a number of years. Then a young maiden who had suffered a shipwreck came ashore on his island. Not wishing to fall into temptation again, he departed, and passed his remaining time as a wanderer, coming to the end of his life in Athens.

Apolytikion of Martinian of Palestine in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Thou didst quench the flame of temptation with the streams of thy tears, O blessed Martinian; and having checked the waves of the sea and the attacks of wild beasts, thou didst cry out: Most glorious art Thou, O Almighty One, Who hast saved me from fire and tempest.

Kontakion of Martinian of Palestine in the Second Tone

As is meet, let us praise with hymns the ever-venerable Martinian as a tried ascetic that struggled for piety, as an honorable athlete by deliberate choice, and a resolute citizen and inhabitant of the desert; for he hath trodden upon the serpent.

 

Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia

Saint Symeon the MyrrthbearerSaint Symeon (in the world, the ruler Stephen Nemanja), after capably governing Serbia in piety, wisdom, and justice for many years during the second half of the twelfth century, renounced all rule and earthly glory to become a monk, to struggle in fasting and prayer. Thereafter he went to the Holy Mountain Athos where, together with his son Saint Sabbas (see Jan. 14), he founded the Monastery of Hilandar. After his death, a fragrant and healing myrrh came forth from his holy relics. When Stephen Nemanja put on the monastic habit with the name of Symeon, his wife Anna followed his example, receiving the monastic name of Anastasia; she is commemorated as a Saint on June 21.

Apolytikion of Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia in the Third Tone

Illumined by divine grace, even after death thou dost make manifest the radiance of thy life; for thou pourest forth fragrant myrrh for them that have recourse to the shrine of the relics. Thou didst also guide thy people to the light of the knowledge of God. O our Father Symeon, entreat Christ God that we be granted great mercy.

Kontakion of Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia in the Plagal of the Second Tone

Loving the angelic life on this earth, thou didst abandon the world and worldly dominion and didst follow Christ by fasting, O Symeon. In an apostolic manner, thou didst guide unto Christ them that loved thee and didst cry: Love ye the Lord even as He hath loved you.