Saint Chryse (Zlata) of Meglena-Almopia (today Chrysi, Greece), New Martyr (1796)
Martyrs Carpus, Papylus, Agathadorus, and Agathonike at Pergamus; (251)
Venerable Nicetas the Confessor of Paphlagonia (838)
St. Jacob of Hamatoura the Hieromartyr, and those with him in Tripoli in Lebanon (13th c.)
Repose of Monk Enoch Kapsaliotis the Romanian (1979)
Repose of Father Nikolaos Kogionis of Athens (2006)
Translation to Moscow of the Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1648)
Commemorated on October 13
In torments, O Chryse, thou wast as brilliant
As gold that hath been purified by fire.
On the thirteenth, Chryse was torn to pieces.
Abba Evagrius said: “I visited Abba Macarius and said to him, ‘Tell me a word so I may live.’
He said to me, ‘If I speak to you, will you listen and do it?’
I said to him, ‘My faith and my love are not hidden from you.’
Abba Macarius said to me, ‘Truly I lack the adornment of virtue; you, however are good. But if you cast of the pridefulness of this world’s rhetoric and clothe yourself in the humility of the tax collector, (Luke 18:9-14), you will live.’”
An old man said, “I would rather be taught than teach. Don’t teach before you are ready, otherwise the whole tenor of your life will be diminished intellectually.”
One old man when asked about humility said that this great and godlike work consisted in undertaking bodily labour, remembering that you are a sinner, and considering yourself to be the least of people in that you pay no attention to the sins of others but be aware of your own and pray to God without ceasing.”
A brother asked an old man if he could given him one precept which he could keep and live by. And the old man said, “It is a great thing above all if you can put up with suffering insults.”
There were two monks living together who were brothers according to the flesh, and the devil wanted to separate them. Once when the younger of the two lit the lamp and put it on the lampstand a demon intervened and knocked it over. The elder brother was angry and struck him but he apologised and said, “I’m sorry, brother. I’ll light it again.” And the presence of God came down among them and tormented that demon till morning. When the demon reported to his master what had happened he was overheard by a pagan priest who immediately went out and became a monk. And from the beginning of his conversion he grasped hold of humility, saying, “Humility overcomes all the power of the devil, for I have overheard them saying, ‘When we stir up strife among monks and one of them apologises all our power is as naught.'”
Humility, once firmly established, makes the foundation for wisdom strong . King Solomon famed for his wisdom said, “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). David the Prophet and King said, “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making the wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7), “the simple” referred to here being the humble. In the Holy Book of Sirach we read, “A poor man with wisdom can hold his head high and take his seat among the great” (Sirach 11:1). Again, the poor man in this verse refers to the humble. Why humble? The poor man knows he is poor, is patient when misfortunes strike him, blames himself in everything and does not care about the opinion of others because his aim is simply to please God.
“In the mercy of God, the little thing done with humility will enable us to be found in the same place as the saints who have labored much and been true servants of God.” St. Dorotheos of Gaza
For it is written: Glory will go before those who are humble. (Proverbs 29:23) And again, The wisdom of the humble person lifts high that person’s head. (Sirach 11:1) And again, Whom will I look upon except the person who is humble and gentle and who trembles at my words? (Isaiah 66:2)
And again it is written: The bones of the humble will rejoice with you in every way. (Psalm 50:10) And again, The prayer of a humble person is immediately heard. (Sirach 4:6)
And the Holy Spirit will illumine all your members, and the twelve virtues will dance in the midst of your soul, and the Cherubim and Seraphim will shelter you beneath their wings.
The Synaxary of Hieromartyr Jacob of Hamatoura
“Late in the 13th century, at Our Lady Monastery in Hamatoura, Saint Jacob began his ascetic life. Later, when the monastery was destroyed by the Mamelukes*, he reestablished monasticism along the perimeter of the ruined monastery. In time, he rebuilt the monastery, regenerating and giving renewed vigor to monastic life in the area. His spiritual briskness, vivacity, and popularity among believers drew the attention of the Mamelukes who set their minds to stop his verve and determination and force him to convert to Islam. He [adamantly] refused their relentless pressures.
When the Mamelukes’ horrible coercive attempts failed, they dragged Saint Jacob, along with a number of monks and laymen, from Saint George’s Monastery, situated atop Mount Hamatoura, to Tripoli City (the capital of Northern Lebanon) and handed him to the wali (ruler). For almost a year, he endured tremendous tortures. Nevertheless, he did not give in or renounce his faith despite receiving both adulations and threats from the Mamelukes. Although intimidated by [the uncompromising] Saint Jacob [and his] persistence, finally, as was their custom in punishing their enemies, on October 13th, Saint Jacob was beheaded. In addition, the Mamelukes burned his body to ensure the Church will not give him an honorable burial as a martyr, a burial befitting a saint.
Not long after his death, seeing his sufferings and steadfast faith, our Lord bestowed on him everlasting crowns and graces and today he shines as a martyr as much as he was a beacon during his earthly life; at this time the Church announced Saint Jacob’s holiness and added him to her list of honored Martyr Saints and prayed for his intercession.
Our Saint was almost forgotten in the course of history. This was due to the severe sufferings of the Church under various Moslem sultanates that both weakened Christian spiritual life and resulted in a noticeable drop of Christian literacy. Additionally, all manuscripts and data that could have been sent and translated abroad were either forgotten, lost, or destroyed. However, recorded encounters by the Monastery’s pilgrims, upon seeing visions of Saint Jacob, and many others, who sensed his presence, affirmed and authenticated his sainthood. Glorifying the name of Lord, Saint Jacob also healed many.
We have recently discovered a clear mention of Saint Jacob in a manuscript preserved at the Balamand Monastery in a Gerontikon, a hagiography or compilation of biographical short stories of the lives of holy saints. In a Balamand archival manuscript, numbered 149, it clearly indicates that the Church commemorates his memory on October 13th. The Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos – Kousba, Hamatoura, in Lebanon, commemorated his memory, for the first time, on October 13th, 2002, in an all-night prayer vigil (agrypnia). A number of priests, deacons, and believers participated in that memorable day, as the attendees chanted Saint Jacob’s troparion and Akolouthia [service], prepared and edited by the monastery’s monks.
Today, believers and pilgrims are constantly reporting his apparitions, miraculous healings and other Grace-filled deeds. All of this kindled the spiritual fervorness to celebrate the memory of this Saint and give Praise to the Lord, while honoring Saint Jacob of Hamatoura who is still living among us in his monastery performing miraculous deeds, calls, and visitations to believers.
*Mamelukes: are members of a Moslem sultanate, virtual rulers of Egypt (1250-1517). They were defeated by Napoleon in the Battle of the Pyramids (1798), and destroyed by Mohammad Ali (1811). The Mamelukes were originally a mounted military force, recruited from Circassian or Turkish slaves who converted to Islam, and brought up in the courts of Moslem rulers or caliphs.” (http://www.hamatoura.com/swf/Related/StJacob-En.pdf)
He has always been present with the faithful: appearing to some and blessing them, healing others, and he has repeatedly been heard, by monks and visitors, chanting in the church encoraging them go deeper in their spiritual lives. He even asked a faithful woman once to inform the monks that he will show them his grave but they disregarded the subject.
On July 3rd, 2008 while renewing the church floor, human bones were found buried in the chapel with a little grave containing two human skeletons, showing marks of torture and beating, some coagulated blood and some liquid blood on the skull. They also found a part of a 3 year old child’s skull with some of his bones, and 2 other skeletons, according to modern laboratory testing conducted by Naji Saaiby M.D. specialized in legal medicine, date 650 years. One of these last two skeletons shows marks of fire, he was also decapitated and his second neck vertebra was lost, what implies according to the criteria of the Balamand manuscript that it is Saint Jacob’s skeleton who was in his fifties when he was killed, his companion was in his fourties, as for the rest of the skeletons they date to 450 years ago.
May Saint Jacob of Hamatoura intercede for all of us. May he make our way easy in every good work that pleases God. Let us be corrected by Him and let us walk in a way that pleases Him, scorning every lust and every desire that the world offers us, so that we may strip off, as the Lord said, this world, being raised up to His love. Amen.
God never abandons us; ‘Let us commend our whole life to Christ our God.’ This is what trust in God is… and God will do what is best. Saint Paisios the Athonite and Fr Enoch of Kapsala the Romanian and the earthquake
The Turks tortured St. Zlata of golden heart, tormented her to death for Christ the Living God. by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Saint Chryse (Zlata) of Meglena, New Martyr, “As gold in the furnace hath he tried them” Wisdom of Solomon 3:6
Troparion of the Mother of God of PORTAITISSA , in Tone I:
The audacity of those who hate the image of the Lord * and the might of the impious * came godlessly to Nicaea, * and emissaries inhumanly interrogated the widow * who piously venerated the icon of the Mother of God; * but at night, she and her son cast the icon into the sea, crying aloud: * “Glory to thee, O pure one, * for the trackless sea hath given thee its breast! * Glory to thy straight journey, ** O thou who alone art incorrupt!”
Troparion of Holy Martyrs CARPUS & PAPYLUS — Tone 4
In their sufferings, O Lord,/ Thy martyrs received imperishable crowns from Thee our God;/ for, possessed of Thy might,/ they set at nought the tormentors and crushed the feeble audacity of the demons.// By their supplications save Thou our souls.
Apolytikion of St. Jacob of Hamatoura – 3rd Mode “Thy Confession of the true divine faith…”
As a cedar of Lebanon groweth without fear of martyrdom and death, thou didst become a victor, O Father Jacob. Thou didst conquer death in thy body when by humility thou didst control the passions, and when thou wast burnt like incense as a sacrifice. Intercede with Christ to grant us great mercy.
Apolytikion of St. Chryse* ― in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Made golden by the All-holy Spirit, you kept spotless purity for Christ, and struggled beyond nature, O Virgin Martyr Chryse, worthy to be praised.
Simple and chaste in virtue and way of life, immobile in soul, and steadfast in all things, you shone piously. You were seen as a beautiful youth, and a chosen daughter in truth of the King of all, O golden-named virgin. Who could not therefore hymn you, seeing the greatness of your struggles, and the unspeakable love that you had towards the Creator? For after many blows and various trials you were hanged on a tree, and barbarically, your virginal body was violently torn apart, and you were perfectly joined to Christ, O Virgin Martyr Chryse, worthy to be praised.
*Note: The Saint’s name “Chryse” or “Zlata” translates as “Golden”.