The month of August is a great time to consider the many orthodox saints. The list includes those who were martyred, such as St. Romanus, as well as those who were deacons or shepherds. If you’re in the southern U.S., this month will be a particularly important one for you. Read on to learn more about these saints and the reasons why they are important to Orthodox Christians.
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St. Cyriacus was a deacon
In the 4th century, St. Cyriacus was a holy deacon in Rome. He served under the popes Marcellinus and Cyriacides and was martyred in 303, along with twenty other christian Christians. His body was translated into the farm of Lucina.
His life is recorded in the book of Revelations. He was a disciple of Origen, who was the first Bishop of Alexandria. The orthodox church celebrates St Hierotheos on August 16 as the patron of Alexandria. Origen served the whole Church with compassion, and St Cyriacus was his student after Paul. He also visited Rome, and mediated a dispute between St Cyprian (September 16) and the Pope.
St. Romanus was a martyr
Romanus was a Roman soldier during the time of St. Laurence’s martyrdom, and it is thought that his conversion to Christianity was inspired by the faith of St. Laurence. He was executed one day before Saint Laurence, but the two were not martyred on the same day. Both were martyred in Rome under the reign of Diocletian.
During the persecution of St. Benedict in Rome, St. Romanus helped him in his task. He was accused of being a Christian and refused to offer sacrifices to idols. He was later a representative of St. Benedict, and later founded a small monastery at Dryes-Fontrouge. He died around 550. His feast day is 8 October. His relics were later translated to Auxerre.
St. Oswald was a martyr
Saint Oswald was a Christian who died during the 7th century. He was a prince of the kingdom of Northumbria who returned to his native land to drive away pagan usurpers. Before the battle, he erected a large wooden cross to pray for victory. In a vision, he saw St. Columba of Iona who encouraged him to go on and conquer the pagans. He was able to conquer the pagans and was able to take his kingdom, which he reclaimed in 633.
His life and martyrdom have left a significant mark on English Christian culture. Today, there are over sixty churches dedicated to him in England. Several holy wells are named after him. On June 20, he is commemorated with the Transfer of His Relics.
St. Zephyrinus shepherded the flock
According to Eusebius, St. Zephyrinus was the Pope from 199 to 217. During his pontificate, he helped his flock endure persecutions under the rule of Septimius Severus. He also shepherded the Church through various heresies, such as Montanism and Sabellianism. Zephyrinus is buried in the same cemetery where he was martyred.
In the year 248, St. Dionysius the Great was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He studied under the great philosopher and theologian Origen at a catechetical school. Afterwards, he succeeded him and encouraged him to teach in the catachetical school. He also became the Patriarch of Alexandria, defending the faith and the Church’s teachings.
St. Aidan ministered to slaves
The monk St. Aidan lived on the monastic island of Iona during the time when Christianity was just starting to take root in England. Many people were resisting the Christian message, and there was a lack of knowledge about the Gospel in many parts of the country, including Northumbria. In this situation, missionary work was difficult. It was rare for people to become Christians in these lands, and the only Christian church was in Iona.
Aidan preached poverty and the manumission of slaves, and he made his teachings acceptable through his practice. Unfortunately, he lost one of his closest friends and patrons, Oswald. In 651, St. Oswin was killed at Gilling, and Aidan was killed within a week after Oswin’s death. His body was buried in Lindisfarne, which explains why the saint’s feast day is celebrated on 31 August.
The Church celebrates the feast day of St. Cyprian on August 12. He was a Christian who was devoted to the welfare of his flock and clergy. His life and example inspired many others to emulate him. His diocese was so successful that even bishops from other sees consulted him for advice and direction.
Cyprian lived a rigorous life and devoted himself to the salvation of human souls. The devil had inspired pagans to malign him in front of the governor of the eastern region. They said that he put the gods to shame.
St. Maximus was a monothelite
Maximus was a monk who lived during the time of the Early Church. His theological views were consistent with those of the Chalcedonian Church. He was exiled for his beliefs and later died. However, his theology was later vindicated by the Third Council of Constantinople. As a result, Maximus is revered in Western and Eastern Christianity. He is commemorated on August 13 in Western Christianity and January 21 in Eastern Christianity.
Maximus’ piety earned him great respect from the Christian world. His followers regarded him as a martyr. His death was a painful ordeal. He was wrongfully accused of treason by the Muslims and was exiled from Constantinople. But he stood his ground and was later proclaimed a saint. The Orthodox Church of America’s website has a biography of Maximus.