Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Христос Воскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»
Synaxarion From the Menaion.
On May 26 we commemorate the holy and glorious Apostle Carpus, one of the Seventy Apostles (1st century).
On this day the holy Apostle Alphaeus died in peace (1st century)
Saint Abercius, son of the Apostle Alphaeus, died after he was laid naked on beehives and was stung by bees (1st century).
Saint Helen, Abercius’ sister, died by stoning (1st century).
Our righteous and God-bearing Father Synesius, Bishop of Carpasia in Cyprus (c. 5th century).
Our righteous Father Macarius of Kalyazin, the recovery of whose holy relics we commemorate.
Saint Alexander the neo-martyr of Thessaloniki, the former Dervish, witnessed in Smyrna and died by the sword (1794).
Translation of the relics (1534) of New Martyr George of Kratovo and Sofia Bulgaria (1515)
New Hieromartyrs Milan Banjac and Milan Golubovic, of Drvar, Serbia (1941-1945)
Our righteous Father Macarius of Saharna the Confessor (April 23, 1969)
The Icon of the Mother of God of Seligersk-Vladimir (16th century)
Apostle Carpus of the Seventy
Carpus was one of the Seventy Apostles. He was a follower and companion of the Apostle Paul by whom he was appointed as bishop of Varna in Thrace. He also preached the Gospel on Crete where he received St. Dionysius the Areopagite in his home. St. Dionysius testifies that Carpus was a man with an exceptionally pure mind, meekness and innocence and that the Lord Jesus, with His angels, appeared to him in a vision and that he never began the Divine Liturgy that he did not have a heavenly vision beforehand. Enduring many assaults for the Name of Christ, he finally suffered at the hands of the unbelieving Jews and was killed and, with his soul, took up habitation in the kingdom of God to delight eternally gazing upon the Lord in glory.
The The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
The Vision of Carpus (Letter VIII)
by St. Dionysius the Areopagite
When I was once in Crete, the holy Carpus [2 Tim. 4:13] entertained me, a man, of all others, most fitted, on account of great purity of mind, for Divine Vision. Now, he never undertook the holy celebration of the Mysteries, unless a propitious vision were first manifested to him during his preparatory devout prayers. He said then, when some one of the unbelievers had at one time grieved him (and his grief was, that he had led astray to ungodliness a certain member of the Church, whilst the days of rejoicing were still being celebrated for him); that he ought compassionately to have prayed on behalf of both, and taking God, the Savior, as his fellow-helper, to convert the one, and to overcome the other by goodness [Rom. 11:21], and not to have ceased warning them so long as he lived until this day; and thus to lead them to the knowledge of God, so that the things disputed by them might be clearly determined, and those, who were irrationally bold, might be compelled to be wiser by a judgment according to law.
Now, as he had never before experienced this, I do not know how he then went to bed with such a surfeit of ill-will and bitterness. In this evil condition he went to sleep, for it was evening, and at midnight (for he was accustomed at that appointed hour to rise, of his own accord, for the Divine melodies) he arose, not having enjoyed, undisturbed, his slumbers, which were many and continually broken; and, when he stood collected for the Divine Converse, he was guiltily vexed and displeased, saying that it was not just that godless men, who pervert the straight ways of the Lord, should live. And, whilst saying this, he besought Almighty God, by some stroke of lightning, suddenly, without mercy, to cut short the lives of them both.
But whilst saying this, he declared that he seemed to see suddenly the house in which he stood, first torn asunder, and from the roof divided into two in the midst, and a sort of gleaming fire before his eyes (for the place seemed now under the open sky) borne down from the heavenly region close to him; and the heaven itself giving way, and upon the back of the heaven, Jesus, with innumerable angels, in the form of men, standing around Him. This indeed he saw above, and himself marvelled; but below, when Carpus had bent down, he affirmed that he saw the very foundation ripped in two, to a sort of yawning and dark chasm, and those very men, upon whom he had invoked a curse, standing before his eyes, within the mouth of the chasm, trembling, pitiful, only just not yet carried down by the mere slipping of their feet; and from below the chasm, serpents, creeping up and gliding from underneath, around their feet, now contriving to drag them away, and weighing them down, and lifting them up, and again inflaming or irritating with their teeth or their tails, and all the time endeavouring to pull them down into the yawning gulf; and that certain men also were in the midst, co-operating with the serpents against these men, at once tearing and pushing and beating them down. And they seemed to be on the point of falling, partly against their will, partly by their will; almost overcome by the calamity, and at the same time resigned.
And Carpus said, that he himself was glad, whilst looking below, and that he was forgetful of the things above; further, that he was vexed and made light of it, because they had not already fallen, and that he often attempted to accomplish the fact, and that, when he did not succeed, he was both irritated and cursed.
And, when with difficulty he raised himself, he saw the heavens again, as he saw it before, and Jesus, moved with pity at what was taking place, standing up from His super celestial throne, and descending to them, and stretching a helping hand, and the angels, co-operating with Him, taking hold of the two men, one from one place and the other from another, and the Lord Jesus said to Carpus, whilst His hand was yet extended, “Strike against Me in future, for I am ready, even again, to suffer for the salvation of men; and this is pleasing to Me, provided that other men do not commit sin. But see, whether it is well for thee to exchange the dwelling in the chasm, and with serpents, for that with God, and the good and philanthropic angels.”
These are the things which I heard myself, and believe to be true.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
We should not desire the death of a sinner, but his repentance. Nothing grieves the Lord more, Who suffered on the Cross for sinners, then when we pray to Him for the death of a sinner and thereby to remove him from our path. It happened that the Apostle Carpus lost his patience and began to pray that God send down death upon two sinful men; one a pagan and the other an apostate from the Faith. Then the Lord Christ Himself appeared to Carpus and said: “Strike me; I am prepared to be crucified again for the salvation of mankind.” St. Carpus related this event to St. Dionysius the Areopagite and he wrote it down and gave it to the Church as a lesson to all, that prayers are needed for sinners to be saved and not for them to be destroyed, “for the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
Troparion — Tone 3
Holy Apostles Carpus and Alphaeus, entreat the merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.
Apolytikion of St Alexander Plagal Tone 1
In lawful contest O Martyr you were valiant, you were wounded after prevailing against the enemy, and you are seen Alexander as a companion of Martyrs. Therefore as its holy offshoot, Thessaloniki honors you, and with longing it proclaims to you: Do not cease interceding for the mercy of those who honor you.
Apolytikion of St Synesius Tone 1
The boast of Karpasia and the ornament of Cyprus, you showed yourself to be a wonderworker, our Hierarch Father Synesios; for through your heavenly miracles you showed, blessed one, that you heal the sick, and the souls of those who run to you with faith. Glory to Him who gave you strength, Glory to Him who crowned you, Glory to Him who works through you healings for all.
Kontakion — Tone 4
Podoben: “Today You have shown forth…” The Church ever sees you as a shining star, Apostle Carpus. Your miracles have brought her great enlightenment. Save those who in faith honor your memory.
Kontakion of St Alexander Tone 3
The city of Thessaloniki celebrates today your holy memory, Alexander Neomartyr; you are its own divine offspring and offshoot; you contested in Smyrna with brave resolve for love of the Lord; therefore entreat Him that He may save us all.
Kontakion of St Synesius Plagal Tone 4
As an invincible champion and fervent support, the faithful flee to you, Father Synesios, redeeming them from sorrows and dangers; but as one having boldness towards the Lord, save us all from disasters that we may cry out: Rejoice Father Synesios.
Sessional Hymn, in Tone III: Spec. Mel.: “Of the divine Faith …”:
Receiving the divine effulgence of the Comforter, O most wise Carpus, thou didst illumine those darkened by ignorance; and having passed over to the kingdom on high, thou standest before the King of all, ever entreating Christ God, that He grant us great mercy.
Irmos: He Who was nailed to the Cross in the flesh, * hath shown it to be a weapon for our salvation, * O ye children, supremely exalt Christ our God throughout the ages.
Ministering unto the wise Paul, thy guide in divine journeys, O holy hierarch, thou didst impart the doctrines of salvation unto all the saved.
Thou wast shown to be a radiant dawn illumining the whole world with light, O right wondrous one, and as a herald thou hast driven away the profound darkness of ignorance.
Working miracles through the invocation of the Father, the Spirit and the incarnate Word, O wise one, thou didst convince the wise Greeks to worship the One Essence in three Hypostases.
Theotokion: O Birthgiver of God, thou hast been revealed to be a heaven which hath shone forth upon us the Sun of righteousness, illumining us all to the comprehension of divine knowledge.
Irmos: Thy birthgiving was revealed to be incorrupt, * God came forth from thy womb, * and He appeared upon earth in mortal flesh * and dwelt among mankind; * Wherefore we all magnify thee, O Theotokos.
Seeing God ascending into the highest in the flesh with glory, O Carpus, thou wast numbered among the seven disciples and didst depart with them, showing thyself to be a divine preacher.
Thou wast sent like a lamb among wolves, O Carpus, turning them to an understanding of salvation by the word of truth, and transforming their character to piety, O divinely eloquent one.
Thou wast shown to be a converser with the angels, the apostles and the martyrs, who reposed wondrously in piety, O divinely eloquent Apostle Carpus. And joining with them in gladsome chorus, be thou mindful of us.
Treading the earth, O Carpus, thou didst sanctify it, proclaiming the Holy Gospel with faith, and leading souls to the life-bestowing Word. Wherefore, He giveth thee a heavenly inheritance.
Theotokion: We offer unto thee the cry of Gabriel, O Virgin, crying out: Rejoice, O light cloud! Rejoice, O un-ploughed earth which hath produced the comely Grain, the Nurturer of all creation!