St Ephraim, Patriarch of Antioch (545)
“During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius, Ephraim was governor of the eastern regions. He was famed for his great piety and compassion, and was much esteemed for these virtues. When the rebuilding of Antioch, which had been destroyed by earthquake and fire, was put in hand, the Emperor ordered Ephraim to oversee the work. Ephraim performed this work with dilegence and love. There was among the ordinary workers a certain bishop who had left his see for unknown reasons and was working as a labourer. Not a soul knew that the man was a bishop. One day he lay down to take a rest from the exhausting work with the other labourers, and fell asleep. Ephraim glanced at him, and saw a flaming pillar rising above the man and reaching up to heaven. Amazed and frightened, Ephraim summoned him and bound him under oath to reveal who he was. The man hesitated a long time, but finally admitted that he was a bishop and foretold that Ephraim whould shortly be consecrated Patriarch of Antioch (the patriarchal throne having been empty since the old Patriarch, Euphrasius, perished in the earthquake). Ephraim was indeed elected and consecrated as Patriarch. For his goodness, purity and zeal for Orthodoxy, a great gift of wonderworking was given him by God. Once, in order to convince some heretic that Orthodoxy is the true Faith, he placed his omophor in the flames and prayed to God. The omophor remained unharmed in the fire for three hours. When the heretic saw this, he was afraid and cast his heresy aside. Ephraim entered peacefully into rest in 546.” (Prologue)
Our Holy Mother Melania the Elder (410)
She was a wealthy and noble lady, born in Spain. Her husband and two of her children died and, seeing the vanity of worldly things, she travelled to Egypt to visit the monks at Nitria. She gave away most of her great wealth to the needy, and to Egyptian Christians being persecuted by the Arians. It is said that in three days she fed some 5,000 people. When the Orthodox in Egypt were exiled to Palestine, she went with them to Jerusalem, where she built a convent for virgins; she entered the convent herself, and reposed there in 410. Her grand-daughter, Melania the Younger, is commemorated on December 31.
St Zosimas, monk, of Phoenicia (Syria) (6th c.)
He labored in asceticism at a monastery near Tyre. Through his exceptional purity of life, he was granted the gift of prophecy. He foresaw the destruction of Antioch by earthquake and, like Abraham pleading for Sodom, prostrated himself on the ground and prayed that the city not be completely destroyed. Once he was traveling in a remote place and a lion attacked and killed his mule. He commanded the lion to serve him in the mule’s place; the lion immediately took up Zosimas’ pack and carried it to Caesarea, where Zosimas released it. St Zosimas reposed in peace.