In addition to the Scriptures and lives of the saints, the reading of spiritual books is extremely important for our lives as Christians.
Constantly inundated by false ideas and suggestive advertising, it is critical that we nourish our souls with Godly material on a daily basis. Spiritual reading is most effective as part of our daily prayer rule, when our hearts are warm and receptive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
Saints Remembered Today
In the Orthodox Church there are saints commemorated every day.
The Prologue of Ohrid
One of the most accessible collections of these daily lives of saints is called the Prologue of Ohrid. Each day holds a few brief accounts of the saints remembered, a hymn, a homily, and a spiritual reflection. The Prologue is available in the following formats:
Here is the reading from The Prologue for today:
1. Our Holy Father Titus the Wonderworker.
He conceived a love for Christ from his earliest years, and despised the vanities of the world. For His sake, he left the world, went off to a monastery and received the angelic habit. With not a backward glance, he gave himself to the sober and narrow way of monasticism. Through great patience, he attained the two basic virtues of humility and obedience, and in these virtues he exceeded 'not only the brethren, but all men'. He preserved his purity of soul and body right from his youth. In the time of the iconoclast heresy, he was seen to be a steadfast pillar of the Church of God. For his great humility and purity, he was endowed by God with the gift of wonderworking, both in his lifetime and after his death. And when he went to the Lord, he left a large number of disciples behind him. He entered peacefully into rest in the 9th century.
2. The Holy Martyrs Amphianus and Aedesius.
These two young men were brothers from the town of Patara, of eminent but pagan parents. While studying secular learning in Beirut, they were enlightened by the Spirit of God and, understanding the falseness of paganism, came to perceive the truth of Christianity. Then, when they returned home, they could no longer live with their pagan parents and kinsmen, but fled in secret to Caesarea in Palestine, to a priest, Pamphylus, known for his purity and spiritual learning. With Pamphylus, they were instructed in the Law of God day and night and practised Christian asceticism. Of Amphianus it is said that he had a twenty-year-old body but the understanding and greatness of soul of a centenarian. When a persecution arose under Maximian, many Christians fled from the town and hid, while others voluntarily and joyfully gave themselves into the torturers' hands to be able to suffer for the name of the One who first suffered for them. Amphianus was among these last. He came fearlessly into the pagan temple, where the governor, Urban, was offering sacrifice to idols, and, seizing the hand with which the prince was making the offering, cried out to him to leave the service of, and sacrifice to, dead idols and to come to the knowledge of the true God. Some of those who heard his words and saw Amphianus's great courage, repented and embraced the Christian faith. But the enraged prince put him to torture. Among other tortures, his legs were wrapped in cotton which was then ignited. Then, while he was still alive, they threw him into the sea with a stone round his neck. The sea became stormy, and cast the martyr's body ashore in the town.
Aedesius was first sent to a copper mine in Palestine, and then taken to Egypt. In Alexandria, he was filled with holy zeal against Hierocles the governor, who had been buying Christian nuns, virgins and pious women and giving them to the most shameless prostitutes for ridicule. Aedesius, filled with holy zeal, smote the dishonourable prince. For this he was tortured and drowned in the sea like his brother Amphianus. As two innocent lambs were they slain for Christ in about 306, and went to the glorious courts of the Lord.
From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
© 1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK