Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!
Saint Isidore the Great Martyr of Chios and Saint Isidore the Fool-For-Christ and Wonderworker of Rostov
Commemorated May 14
During the reign of Decius, Isidore was drafted by force from the island of Chios into military service. From childhood, Isidore adhered to the Faith of Christ and spent his entire life in fasting, prayer and good works. But when in the army Isidore declared himself a Christian, the commander seized him, required of him an answer and counseled him to deny Christ and offer sacrifices to the idols. The saint replied: “Even if you kill my body, you have no authority over my soul. I possess the True, Living God, Jesus Christ Who now lives in me and after my death, He will be with me and I am in Him and will remain in Him and I will never cease to confess His Holy Name as long as my soul is in my body.” First, the commander ordered that Isidore be whipped with oxen tails and after that they cut out his tongue. Even without his tongue, Isidore, by the Spirit of God, spoke and confessed the Name of Christ. Meanwhile, the punishment of God came upon the commander and he, suddenly, became mute. Finally, the mute commander gave the sign to behead Isidore. Isidore was elated at this sentence and after praising God went to the scaffold where he was beheaded in the year 251 A.D. His companion, Ammon buried his body and following that also suffered and received the martyr’s wreath.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date May 14, and New Calendar date May 27.
Later on Ammonios himself accepted a martyr’s death in the city of Kyzikos (Comm. 4th of September).” (taken from: http://www.stlukeorthodox.com/html/saints/may/14th.cfm)
When the torturers had beheaded Isidore, the courageous Myrope secretly took his body, censed it, and honorably buried it in a special place. The villainous prince Numerian heard that the martyr’s body had been stolen and wanted to kill the guards. Learning that innocent men would suffer for her good deed, blessed Myrope appeared before the authorities and acknowledged that she had taken the martyr’s body and buried it. By order of the prince, the entire body of Christ’s holy virgin was severely whipped, and finally she was cast into prison covered with wounds. But the Lord did not leave His martyr comfortless. At midnight a heavenly light illumined the prison, and many angels, with St. Isidore in their midst, appeared to her. “Peace be to you, Myrope,” St. Isidore said to her. “Your prayer has reached God, and soon you will be with us and will receive the wreath prepared for you.” The holy martyr rejoiced and at that moment surrendered her soul to her God. A sweet fragrance issued from her body, filling the entire prison. One of the guards, seeing all of this and sensing the fragrance, believed in Christ, was baptized, and soon received a martyr’s death. St. Myrope took up her habitation in eternity in the year 251 A.D.[on December 2nd].
(taken from: http://www.westsrbdio.org/en/prologue/711-december-2)
And finally, there is a very touching local tradition that in the place where St. Isidore was martyred, the mastic trees shed fragrant tears at the suffering of the Holy Martyr of Christ. The tradition holds that the mastic, which is a major product of the island of Chios, can only be gathered and prepared from the trees in the area of the Saint’s martyrdom. Thus the masticha, or mastic, is a divine gift, and a blessing to the people of Chios (taken and translated from: http://www.matia.gr/7/72/7203/7203_2_21.html)
Troparion Saint Isidore the Martyr of Chios— Tone 4
Enlisted by the King of the Ages, you spurned the earthly king and his army to boldly preach Christ our God. Therefore, you have completed your contest and shine forth as His glorious martyr. Entreat Him to save our souls, for we honor you, blest Isidore.
Saint Isidore the Fool-For-Christ and Wonderworker of Rostov
Isidore was a German by descent. Having come to Rostov, he fell in love with the Orthodox Faith and, not only became a communicant of the Orthodox Church, but assumed the difficult life of asceticism as a “Fool for Christ.” He walked around completely in rags. Pretending insanity through his madness, he spent the entire day teaching men and at night, he spent in prayer. He spent nights in a hut made of branches which he had built in a muddy terrain. Great and awesome were the miracles which this saint performed both during life and after death. To a merchant, who was thrown from a boat and was drowning in the sea, Isidore appeared walking upon the water and led him to the shore. When the servants of the Prince of Rostov refused Isidore a glass of water that he asked for and drove him away from the door, then all the vessels with wine dried up. When Isidore died in his hut on May 14, 1484 A.D., the whole of Rostov smelled from a wonderful aroma. The merchant whom the Blessed Isidore saved from the sea, erected a church in his honor over the spot where his hut was located.