There are many orthodox Greek saints whose stories are inspiring to Christians around the world. Some of them are better known than others. Read on to learn about St. Thekla of Seleucia, St. Demetrios, and St. Varus, and discover why their lives are important to the faith.
St. Thekla of Seleucia
In the early 3rd century, a woman named Thekla was a Christian martyr. She lived for nine years in the mountains and was baptized by the Lord. Her life was threatened by pagans, who became angry when Thekla treated their sick for free. They also suspected that the virgin-goddess Artemis was her special helper. When a pagan sent her followers to kill her, Thekla cried out to Christ the Savior and a rock miraculously split open. Saint Thekla then devoted her life to the Lord, offering up her soul to the Lord.
In Acts 14, St. Paul visits the town of Iconium, a city in Asia Minor. Tradition tells us that young Thekla heard Paul preaching about Christ and came to love the Lord. As a result, she broke off her engagement and became a disciple of the apostle.
Thekla’s mother converted to Christianity and she retired to the mountains. Throughout her life, she converted many people to Christianity. She eventually became an unmercenary healer. Though the pagan doctors who tried to defile Thekla failed in their attempts, the Lord sent a storm to cool the fire. Ultimately, St. Thekla was buried in a cave, and Christians in Seleucia built a church in her honor.
After hearing St Paul preach, St. Thekla converted to Christianity. Alexander sought to marry St Thekla, but she refused. He was enraged and imprisoned. St Thekla was condemned to death for her faith, but a storm swept down and put the fire out.
Demetrios is an orthodox Greek saint. He was tortured by the Roman Emperor Maximian, but he persevered and was ultimately saved. His intercession was rewarded with myron, which was believed to heal those who take it. Demetrios’ intercession was also sought after by those who were afflicted by illnesses.
The Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is looking for contributors to help the Church achieve its mission. The parish is involved in many projects, including the building of a community center. It also works on beautification projects. The parish also needs stewards to help out with its various ministries.
The veneration of Demetrios began in the city of Sirmium, which is now Serbia. In the 4th or 5th century, it spread to Thessaloniki, where the church of Saint Demetrios stands today. Demetrios was a very popular saint in the Eastern Christian world for centuries.
Saint Demetrios was born around 270 AD in Thessaloniki. He was from a wealthy family and was an athletic and heroic man. At a young age, he joined the Roman army and became a high-ranking officer. Many Byzantine icons depict him in a military uniform, but he considered himself a soldier of Christ first, and spent most of his life as a devout missionary. In fact, he converted many pagans to Christianity.
Although he was imprisoned, St. Demetrios persevered and preached the word of God, despite his trials. One of his followers, Nestoras, visited him in jail. He was a small man, who wanted to participate in the upcoming gladiator games. The emperor viewed the gladiator games as a battle between Christianity and paganism. St. Demetrios agreed to take on Leo, the athletic giant.
The fourth century martyr, St. Varus, was the patron saint of youth, the womb, and children. He was also revered in the Orthodox Church, particularly in Russia. A chapel dedicated to him is found in the Archangel Cathedral of the Kremlin in Moscow. His relics are buried on Mt Tabor. It is believed that the saint’s prayers answered Cleopatra’s prayers. According to legend, the woman was so moved that she slept near the relics of St. Varus.
Varus was a devoted disciple of God. He desired to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ. In his time of trial, he spent his nights praying with holy martyrs. During this time, he listened to their teachings, answering the prophetic prophecy Jeremiah 10:11.
Another famous saint of the Eastern Church was St. Cyprian of Alexandria. He studied under St. Gregory the Wonderworker and became the Bishop of Alexandria around 247. He became a great leader of the church, and served the whole Church with great compassion. He also fought against the Novatian schisms. He also sought true reconciliation with the Western Church and worked towards the convocation of an Ecumenical Council.
St. Anthony of Alexandria is another important Greek saint. He was born to pagan parents and raised in Alexandria. He became a monk, was tonsured, and traveled to the Holy Land. The Patriarch Germanus of Jerusalem ordained him to the priesthood. St. Anthony then lived for 40 days in the desert of Jordan, and later, he went on to the Holy Land. During this period, he was a noted hymnographer. He composed the Canon for the Cross and the Canon for the Nativity of Christ.
The Greek Orthodox Church is known for its veneration of the saints. The term saint comes from the Greek language and means “not of this world.” While all Christians are saints, certain Christians are recognized as being sanctified for displaying superhuman strength in the face of tribulation, or for spreading the Gospel with extraordinary zeal. As such, they receive special honors and reverence.
Among the Greek Orthodox saints is St. Gregory, who was a monk at a monastery in Lerins. He was the brother of St. Lupus, Bishop of Troyes. During his lifetime, St. Gregory preached the Orthodox faith to Byzantine Catholics, and also worked in a bakery. Thousands of Christians were converted during his lifetime. His holy relics can now be venerated at St Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
Agios Spyridon was born in Cyprus in 270AD. He was a kind man, and was given the gift of miracles. He later became a Bishop in Tremithus. He was also imprisoned during the persecutions of Emperor Maximian.
Theosevia is also one of the most venerated women in the Church. Her life was filled with prayer and hardships, but she remained unwavering in her faith. Among her nine children, St. George is the most famous. Her sons Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and Peter of Sebaste are among the saints of the Church.
St. Felix III
Saints are an important part of the Greek Orthodox religion. All baptised Greeks are named after a particular saint and their feast day is celebrated instead of their birthday. Saints can be divided into six categories. They are depicted in iconography and dressed in a special manner to evoke their presence. The church uses Hagiology, a branch of Orthodox Greek theology, to study the lives and times of these revered people.
Saints have a special relationship with God. Their goal is to imitate God, to live a deified life. This is a goal that they achieve through the work of the Holy Trinity. Saints were often baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, received the Seal of the Spirit, and frequently attended the Eucharist. Among the Greek Orthodox saints, St. Paul refers to all Christians as saints in the letters he wrote to the churches in Ephesians and Corinthians.
In the sixteenth century, St. Basil was a monk in Antioch. He spent his days praying and studying. He died in peace in 1651. His body was buried nearby. The fragrant myrrh flowing from his body was used to cure many diseases. In spite of his extreme asceticism, St. Basil was eventually ordained to the priesthood.
There are many more Greek Orthodox saints. In addition to the many martyrs, there are many women who are regarded as saints. Here are some of them.
In the Greek Orthodox Church, saints are very important. In fact, all baptized Greeks are named after a Saint, and their name day is celebrated instead of birthdays. Saints can be found in six main categories and are represented in icons. A study of the history and life of saints is called Hagiology, and it can be found in Greek Orthodox theology.
Among the early Greek Orthodox saints, St. Germanos was one of them. He was born in 715 to a pagan father and Christian mother. His father, Emperor Maximian, appointed him as his successor. As a pagan, he rejected Christianity but was converted by Saint Hermolaus, who argued that Christ was a more effective physician than any pagan god. Pantaleon’s charitable deeds included freeing slaves and distributing wealth among the poor. He was persecuted by Diocletian during the persecutions. His edicts restored legal rights for Christians and restored property to them. As a result, many pagan people converted to Christianity.
The early Christians gave great reverence to the relics of martyrs. According to the Church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, martyrs have fellowship with the living God. The Apostolic Constitutions (5:1) call martyrs vessels of the Holy Spirit and brothers of the Lord.