Lives of Saints - The 7 Hieromartyrs of Cherson Christianity - Books
I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.                But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.                Aren't five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God.                But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don't be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.                I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, him will the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God;                but he who denies me in the presence of men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God.               
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The 7 Hieromartyrs of Cherson
   

St. Ephraim came from Amidene and was a count when Justinus the Thracian was reigning in 518. He came to Antioch to rebuild it because it had been destroyed by earthquakes for a second time. By royal command he was consecrated bishop by the people of Antioch in 527 as Meletios writes and as it had happened in times of old with Ambrosios of Mediolana (Milan) and Nectarios of Constantinople. Ephraim was a great enemy of the Monophysites. So, he wrote strongly against them, as Photios says. He heard that there was stylite monk in Hierapolis who was a follower of Severus the monophysite. So, he was moved by holy zeal, went to him and started teaching him the orthodox faith. But he was not at all convinced by his words. He only said: "Let us both get into the fire and whosoever is not harmed by the flame is orthodox and victorious." He said these words in order to scare the Patriarch away. But Ephraim said: "Bring here wood and fire and I shall get into it resting all my courage on omnipotent God. So, you, too, descend from your pillar." But he did not want to come down. Then, the Patriarch took his overcoat off, prayed and threw both himself and his overcoat onto the fire. Miraculously the fire was immediately put out and he and his overcoat remained unharmed and unburnt. When the stylite saw this miracle, he came down from his pillar and anathematized Severus' heresy. Thus, he was united with the catholic Church. These things are told by Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Because Antioch had been ruined by earthquakes for a second time, as we have said above, the fear of earthquake made every Christian write on his homedoor these words: "May Christ stand with us." So, because of this Antioch was called Theoupolis (God's city) as Nicephoros relates in book xvii of his history. Emperor Justinus weeped a lot over the destruction of Antioch. St. Ephraim ministered his flock well and in a way pleasing to God for eighteen years according to Meletios and then departed to the Lord.

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone:
Since Thou hast given us the miracles of Thy holy Martyrs as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strengthen the faith of Orthodox Christians, since Thou alone art good and the Friend of man.

Source: http://www.goarch.org

Read lives of other Saints - http://www.truechristianity.info/en/saints_en.php


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