It is not common for orthodox saints to go marching in parades. This is because they are not required by the Church to do so. However, there are some examples of such people. These include the Panegris of St. Thekla of Seleucia and St. Demetrios of Thessalonica.
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The hymn “When the Saints Go Marching In” has been in popular use for many years, and is often mistaken for “When the Saints Come Marching In.” The tune is easy to sing and has a simple chorus that makes generating new verses easy. In the AABA form, for example, one line in iambic tetrameter can generate an entire verse.
The early Christian church recorded moving accounts of the lives of the saints. These accounts were known as synaxaria, or readings of their lives at church. Saints such as St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain, and Fr. George Poulos wrote synaxaria of the saints in the eighteenth century. Other authors have also written lives of the saints in English, such as Dr. Constantine Cavarnos.
Saint Sophronius was elected Patriarch of Jerusalem in 634 and served for three years. He was zealous in his defense of Orthodoxy against the heresy of the Monothelites. In addition to his zealous defense of Orthodoxy, he also convened a Jerusalem council that condemned heresy and condemned orthodoxy before the Sixth Ecumenical Council. He also traveled to Constantinople to rebuke Emperor Heraclius and Patriarch Sergius.
Panegris of St. Thekla of Seleucia
A panegyris is a gathering of people to commemorate a saint. One such event was held in Asia Minor in the mid-fifth century. Another one occurred in Thessalonica, Greece in the mid-twelfth century. Both of these events were accepted by the Church Fathers. However, the Church warns against commercializing religious festivals.
Saint Thekla was known for her ability to preach the Gospel. She spent many years preaching the Word of God and healing the sick. Her miracles brought many people to Christ. As a result, the church dubbed her an equal of the apostles. She was also credited with bringing a pagan priest to the water of holy baptism. Despite her persecutions, she continued to preach the Word of God and convert people to Christianity.
However, the persecution of Christians in this period did not stop the persecution of Christians in the city. St. Paul was banished, and St. Thekla refused to compromise her beliefs and chose to follow Jesus. Despite the pressure from her mother, St. Thekla of Seleucia persisted in her faith. Her mother eventually persuaded a judge to sentence her to death. However, St Thekla made a sign of the cross over her head as she went to the flames. Eventually, a sudden thunderstorm blew in, which cooled off the fire. It also drove away those who had wanted to kill her.
St. Demetrios in Thessalonica
One of the most popular Orthodox saints is St. Demetrios of Thessalonica, who was martyred in 306 and regarded as the first city protector. His feast day is October 26. He is also known as the Mitar in the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Maximian, the Emperor of the Romans, had appointed Demetrios as his commander in place of his father. However, the Emperor was a staunch opponent of Christianity and had recommended that Christians in Thessalonica be killed. But when Demetrios had openly preached Christ in the city, Maximian became furious and imprisoned him in a basement of the baths.
In addition to his sanctity, Saint Demetrios’ feast day is celebrated by Thessalonians on the day the city was liberated from Ottoman rule. Though the exact date of his death is unclear, he was born in 280 AD in Thessalonica, which was a significant Roman city at the time. The date of his death is also disputed, but the earliest written record of his life dates from the 7th century.
St. Thekla of Seleucia
In the early fourth century, St. Thekla of Seleucia was a Christian woman who had lived a life of asceticism. She converted many pagans to Christianity through her preaching and prayer. In fact, the church referred to her as an Equal-to-the-Apostles. In addition, she brought a pagan priest to a holy baptism. Although the Enemy of Man tried to destroy her, the power of God saved her.
According to one story, St. Thekla of Seleucia was persecuted after refusing to be married to a pagan man. The lioness, meanwhile, approached the young woman, but her steadfastness did not allow her to be seduced. Her mother, the prefect, and the priests tried to bribe her, but she refused. In the end, they forced her to make a sign of the Cross over her body. She was saved by the Savior.
Thekla of Seleucia was born into a wealthy family in A.D. 16. She was engaged to a young man, Thamyris, when Saint Paul arrived in Iconium from Antioch. As St Paul preached the Gospel in her hometown, Thekla’s mother was persuaded by her mother to keep her out of the crowd. Instead, Thekla sat near her bedroom window to hear his preaching. She listened for three days and was particularly moved by his call for chastity.