Hieromartyr Haralambos (Charalampus), bishop of Magnesia (202)
“This great saint was bishop in Magnesia, and suffered for Christ at the age of 113. When a violent persecution broke out under the Emperor Septimus Severus, the aged Charalampus did not hide from his persecutors, but freely and openly preached the Christian faith. He endured all tortures as though not in the body, and when they flayed the living flesh from him, the godly saint said to the Emperor’s soldiers: ‘Thank you, my brethren, for scraping off the old body and renewing my soul for new and eternal life.’ He performed many wonders and brought many to the Faith. Even the Emperor’s daughter, Gallina, repudiated the paganism of her father and became a Christian. Condemned to death and led to the place of execution, St Charalampus raised his arms to heaven and prayed for all men, that God would give them bodily health and salvation of soul, and that He would grant them the fruits of the earth in abundance: ‘Lord, Thou knowest that men are flesh and blood; forgive them their sins and pour out Thy blessing on all.’ After praying thus, the saintly elder gave his soul to God before the executioner had laid his sword to his neck. He suffered in 202. Gallina took his body and buried it.” (Prologue)
The Great Horologion puts his age at 103.
St Scholastica of Italy, sister of St Benedict (543)
She was the twin sister of St Benedict, patriarch of monasticism in the West (March 14), and his constant fellow-laborer in the vineyard of Christ. They lived in neighboring monasteries; though they loved one another dearly, they met only once a year, spending the day in prayer and spiritual conversation, then parting after sharing a simple meal. At their meeting in 543, she prevailed on her brother (and the monk who accompanied him) to break his own monastic rule and stay with her in vigil through the night. Three days later, as Benedict looked out his cell window, he saw his sister’s soul in the form of a dove ascending to heaven.
Recommended: The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica, a beautifully illustrated children’s book about the two Saints; by Kathleen Norris, illustrated by Tomie dePaola.
Our Venerable Father Prochorus of the Kiev Caves (1107)
“A wonder-worker of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, he was named the Orach-eater because the whole time he lived in the monastery, he never tasted bread but fed himself on orach [a kind of wild spinach] prepared according to his own particular method as a sort of bread. When he gave someone some of this bread with his blessing, it was as sweet as honey, but if someone stole some, it was as bitter as wormwood.
“At one time, when there was a dearth of salt in Russia, Prochorus distributed ashes to the people for salt. The ashes that he distributed with his blessing became salt; ashes, however, that anyone took for himself remained ordinary ashes. Prince Svyatopolk ordered that all the ashes from Prochorus’ cell be brought to the court without his permission, let alone his blessing. When the ashes were brought there, it was obvious to everyone that they were ashes and not salt. Then Prochorus told all the people who came to him for salt to go to the prince’s court, and, when the prince threw the ashes away, to take them and use them as salt. This they did, and the ashes again became salt. The prince himself, learning of this, was filled with a deep respect and love for him and, when Prochorus died in 1107, placed him with his own hands in a grave near the great Russian saints, Antony and Theodosius.” (Prologue).