There are four saints considered the youngest in the Orthodox Church. These are St. Valentine, St. Luke, and St. Ursinus. Each of these saints was martyred while young. You can learn more about them in this article. Then, you can choose one to become your patron.
The story of St. Apinianus is a fascinating one. He lived in the third century and was born in Lycia, a small island near the city of Constantinople. His parents were pious Christians and his early years were marked by a deep love for virtue. He abstained from breast feeding every Wednesday and Friday and devoted himself to silence and solitude. Despite being an early saint, there is no written record of him.
After he became a monk, St. Apinianus went into hiding for several years and lived alone in the forests. He was eventually called back by his spiritual children to become an abbot. However, the young monk foresaw his own death and asked his disciples to have his body thrown into a lake. The disciples refused, but the tomb became a source of many miracles in the years to come.
St. Apinianus and his wife, Saint Melania, visited the sick and abandoned, and took in wanderers and indigent people. They also visited the exiled and debtor’s prison and helped widows. Their efforts helped to build monasteries and to help the poor and widows.
Born in a cave on Mount of Olives, the youngest orthodox saint spent fourteen years in prayer. She also became an advisor to Empress Eudocia. At the end of her life, she was ill and died six days later. Her monastery was destroyed by the Persians in 614, but her cave and her relics are still revered.
Melania’s life was a complex one, influenced by her parents’ aristocratic background. She was born a virgin but later married against her will. As a debt for entering wedlock, Melania dedicated her daughter’s virginity to God. In so doing, she ensured that her daughter would not experience the trauma of a divorce.
The life of Melania is a moving story. In her young adulthood, she married Apinianus, who later became the Pope. Their first child, Melania, was born at the same time. During their early marriage, they lived in the city. During their time together, they became very wealthy, and the king’s brother, Severus, became envious. Sadly, Melania’s father passed away. However, the young girl was not able to abandon the world immediately, as she and Apinianus had promised great wealth to Christ.
Luke is the youngest of the Seventy Disciples of Christ. During the time of his ministry, he preached the Gospel in Italy, Dalmatia, Macedonia, and Egypt. He also visited the town of Corinth and helped to strengthen churches on the way to Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, Luke and his companion, Cleopas, walked to the village of Emmaus. They were saddened at the death of their Master and continued on their journey.
In 1995, St. Luke was recognized as a martyr in the Crimea and Krasnoyarsk. He was also named an All-Russian Saint. His other names include Saint Luke the Blessed Surgeon, St. Luke of Simferopol, and St. Luke the Martyr.
Luke was born into the Orthodox Church and received his ordination in 1941. He began working in a military hospital and later became the chief consultant of all the hospitals in his diocese. During World War II, he was asked to serve on the front and received a Stalin Prize. He also donated the money from the prize to orphanages.
Ursinus was the first bishop of Bourges in the third century. His name means “Nathaniel” in the Greek language, and he was a disciple of the apostle Philip, as well as Saint Stephen. The Apostles sent him to preach the gospel in Gaul. During the day, Ursin worked with the poor family and preached about Jesus Christ to them.
After her son died, St. Paulinus and his wife Therasia converted to Christianity. They were assisted by St. Ambrose of Milan, who facilitated baptisms. Eventually, they moved to Jerusalem, where St. Paulinus became a priest and Bishop of Nola. In 439, St. Melania the Elder died in the same city.
The story of St. Ursinus is not an uncommon one. He was raised in a very pious family in Rome. His father was a priest. He served in his father’s church. He was also an assistant to Pope Liberius. The papacy regarded Damasus as the best candidate, but a small group of Romans preferred the antipope, Ursinus. After Damasus became the 37th pope, a controversy broke out between the two candidates. This scandalized the bishops of Italy and forced Damasus and Ursinus to reign together in Rome. They clashed, fought and falsely accused one another of a crime.