The Holy Virgin Martyrs Ennatha, Valentina and Paula suffered in the year 308 under the emperor Maximian II Galerius (305-311). St Ennatha came from the city of Gaza (in the south of Palestine), St Valentina was a native of Palestinian Caesarea, and St Paula was from the region of Caesarea.
St Paula was brought to trial before the governor Firmilian and they subjected her to many torments. With the help of God, however, she endured them with great patience and courage. Before her death Paula gave thanks to the Lord for strengthening her. Bowing to the Christians present, she bent her neck beneath the sword.
Synaxis of the Hierarchs of Novgorod, Buried in the Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in Novgorod
The Synaxis of Novgorod Hierarchs is also celebrated on October 4 and on the third Sunday after Pentecost. On October 4, 1439 St John (September 7) appeared to the presiding hierarch St Euthymius (March 11) and ordered him to serve a special panikhida in memory of those buried at the Sophia cathedral (the Russian princes and Archbishops of Novgorod, and all Orthodox Christians) on the Feast of the Hieromartyr Hierotheus, first Bishop of Athens.
Then the incorrupt relics of St John (September 7) were uncovered. Afterwards, the Synaxis was established to mark the glorification of the Novgorod hierarchs. E. E. Golubinsky says that because these hierarchs remained unknown at the time of their glorification, he determined this date for their common celebration was established in the period between the time of the Moscow Council of 1549 and the time of the formation of the Holy Synod (E. E. Golubinsky, History of the Canonization of Saints in the Russian Church. Moscow, 1903, p. 157).
Included in the Synaxis of Novgorod hierarchs are: St Joachim of Korsun, first bishop of Novgorod (988-1030); St Luke the Jew, bishop (October 15, 1060); St Germanus, bishop (1078-1096); St Arcadius, bishop (September 18); St Gregory, archbishop (May 24, 1193); St Martyrius, archbishop (August 24, 1199); St Anthony, archbishop (October 8, 1231); St Basil the Lame, archbishop (July 3, 1352); St Simeon, archbishop (June 15, 1421); St Gennadius, archbishop (December 4); St Pimen, archbishop (1553-1571); Aphthonius, metropolitan (April 6, 1653).
The relics of these saints were buried or transferred to Novgorod’s Sophia Cathedral (except for St Germanus, St Gennadius and St Pimen) therefore, in some sources their names are not included in the Synaxis.
The October 4 celebration was established in connection with the memory of the holy Prince Vladimir Yaroslavich of Novgorod (+ 1052), and the February 10 Synaxis of the Novgorod hierarchs is celebrated in connection with the holy Princess Anna of Novgorod (+ 1056).
Besides those mentioned, hierarchs who have separate commemorations are: St Nikita the Hermit, bishop (January 31); St Niphon, bishop (April 8); St John, archbishop (September 7); St Theoctistus, archbishop (December 23); St Moses, archbishop (January 25); St Euthymius, archbishop (March 11); St Jonah, archbishop (November 5); St Serapion, archbishop (March 16).
Hieromartyr Charalampus the Bishop of Magnesia in Thessaly
The Hieromartyr Charalampus, Bishop of Magnesia, the Martyrs Porphyrius and Baptus and Three Women Martyrs suffered in the year 202.
St Charalampus, Bishop of Magnesia (Asia Minor), successfully spread faith in Christ the Savior, guiding people on the way to salvation. News of his preaching reached Lucian, the governor of the district, and the military commander Lucius. The saint was arrested and brought to trial, where he confessed his faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to idols.
Despite the bishop’s advanced age (he was 113 years old), he was subjected to monstrous tortures. They lacerated his body with iron hooks, and scraped all the skin from his body. During this the saint turned to his tormentors, “I thank you, brethren, that you have restored my spirit, which longs to pass over to a new and everlasting life!”
Seeing the Elder’s endurance and his complete lack of malice, two soldiers (Porphyrius and Baptus) openly confessed Christ, for which they were immediately beheaded with a sword. Three women who were watching the sufferings of St Charalampus also began to glorify Christ, and were quickly martyred.
The enraged Lucius seized the instruments of torture and began to torture the holy martyr, but suddenly his forearms were cut off as if by a sword. The governor then spat in the face of the saint, and immediately his head was turned around so that he faced backwards.
Then Lucius entreated the saint to show mercy on him, and both torturers were healed through the prayers of St Charalampus. During this a multitude of witnesses came to believe in Christ. Among them also was Lucius, who fell at the feet of the holy bishop, asking to be baptized.
Lucian reported these events to the emperor Septimus Severus (193-211), who was then at Pisidian Antioch (western Asia Minor). The emperor ordered St Charalampus to be brought to him in Antioch. Soldiers twisted the saint’s beard into a rope, wound it around his neck, and used it to drag him along. They also drove an iron nail into his body. The emperor then ordered them to torture the bishop more intensely, and they began to burn him with fire, a little at a time. But God protected the saint, and he remained unharmed.
Many miracles were worked through his prayer: he raised a dead youth, and healed a man tormented by devils for thirty-five years, so that many people began to believe in Christ the Savior. Even Galina, the daughter of the emperor, began to believe in Christ, and twice smashed the idols in a pagan temple. On the orders of the emperor they beat the saint about the mouth with stones. They also wanted to set his beard on fire, but the flames burned the torturer.
Full of wickedness, Septimus Severus and an official named Crispus hurled blasphemy at the Lord, mockingly summoning Him to come down to the earth, and boasting of their own power and might. The Lord sent an earthquake, and great fear fell upon all, the impious ones were both suspended in mid-air held by invisible bonds, and only by the prayer of the saint were they put down. The dazed emperor was shaken in his former impiety, but again quickly fell into error and gave orders to torture the saint.
And finally, he sentenced St Charalampus to beheading with a sword. During his final prayer, the heavens opened and the saint saw the Savior and a multitude of angels. The holy martyr asked Him to grant that the place where his relics would repose would never suffer famine or disease. He also begged that there would be peace, prosperity, and an abundance of fruit, grain, and wine in that place, and that the souls of these people would be saved. The Lord promised to fulfill his request and ascended to heaven, and the soul of the hieromartyr Charalampus followed after Him. By the mercy of God, the saint died before he could be executed. Galina buried the martyr’s body with great honor.
In Greek hagiography and iconography St Charalampus is regarded as a priest, while Russian sources seem to regard him as a bishop.