Lives of Saints - Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos Christianity - Books
I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.                You shall have no other gods before me.                You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:                you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,                and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.                You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.                Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.                You shall labor six days, and do all your work,                but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;                for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.                Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.                You shall not murder.                You shall not commit adultery.                You shall not steal.                You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.                You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
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Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos
   

Apolytikon
Having contended on Lesvos for the sake of Christ God, you have sanctified the island since the discovery of your sacred relics, O blessed ones; for what reason we honour you, O God-bearing Raphael, together with Nicholas and virgin Irene, as our divine protectors and intercessors with the Lord.

Kontakion
Let all of us honour as our protectors and miracle-workers the holy Martyrs who manifestly contended for Christ. Whose relics were hidden under the earth for many years, and who have manifested themselves to us in wondrous ways, Raphael, Nicholas and Irene, as well as those who contended with them in a godly-minded manner.

Megalynarion
Let us honour with hymns the Hosiomartyrs of Christ, divine Raphael and venerable Nicholas, together with Irene, the guardians of Lesvos, for helping all.

The first and most important lesson for unbelievers is that God,
Whom we venerate and worship,
"... is not the God of the dead, but of the living" (Matthew 22:32)

Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene suffered martyrdom by the Turks on the island of Lesvos (also called Mytilene) on April 9 1463 AD, after the fall of Constantinople. St Raphael was the Abbot of Karyes near the village of Thermi on the island. St Nicholas was a Deacon at the monastery, and St Irene was the 12-year-old daughter of the major of Thermi. The three saints were at the monastery with the village teacher and St Irene’s father when the Turks raided it.

These saints were unknown for about 500 years after their martyrdoms during the Turkish occupation of Lesvos. In 1959 the three saints appeared to the people on Lesvos in dreams and visions. They guided excavations of their own graves, called people to repentance, and cured many kinds of diseases.

The saints revealed how they were cruelly tortured at the monastery, calling it a "second Golgotha" (in the words of St Raphael). St Raphael’s torture ended when his head was sawn off. St Nicholas died of heart failure when he was being tortured. St Irene was tortured in front of her father and burnt alive in a clay cask, where her charred bones were later found. The teacher’s head was cut off and placed between his legs when he was buried. A great deal of blood was shed at the monastery; the saints were martyred for the sake of their Christian faith and Fatherland.

Found amongst these excavation was St Raphael’s round metallic Enkopion with a low relief of Christ Pantocrator on it. Orthodox Bishops wear Enkopions externally on the breast.

Details of the lives of these saints, and miraculous cures and visions can be found in a book by Constantine Cavarnos titled "Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos", Modern Orthodox Saints, vol 10. Published in 1994 (second printing) by the Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 111 Gilbert Road Belmont, Massachusetts 02178 USA.(currently out of print)

Source: http://www.orthodoxchristian.info

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