Sts. Martyrs Thecla, Martha and Maria, St Alexander of Kushta, St. Alexis of Moscow
On 22 of June the Church celebrates the memory of sts. Martyrs Thecla, Martha and Maria, St Alexander of Kushta, St. Alexis of Moscow.
The great ancient saint Ignatius Theophorus, who knew about his martyrdom and consciously was going to confess his holy faith to the pagans, has wrote to Roman Christians: “I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ” (Ad Roman. 4, 4). These words can be related to Saints virgin Martyrs Thecla, Martha and Maria, who lived in Persia in the middle of IV century. They were very rich and gave all their treasures to their Christian teacher – the priest Paul. For confession of Christianity Paul was arrested first, as well as his pupils after. Pagan priest promised to Paul to return his property if he worships the gods and he did it as opposed to the holy virgins. The governor condemned the girls to death penalty and it was made by their own teacher, Paul, who himself was killed in the evening of that day. This happened in 346.
St. Venerable Alexander of Kushta (1371-1439) is founder of the monastery near the Kushta River, not far away of Vologda. The Holy man came to that desert place because of too much attention of inhabitants of Saviour Stone monastery, honored him as an angel. Having achieved the high level of Christian virtues, St. Alexander received from God the gift of sagacity. After St. Alexander’s repose, the church of St. Nikolaos was built above his tomb. For centuries a lot of pilgrims prayed there to Sts. Nikolaos and Alexander, receiving a graceful help.
The life of St. priest Alexis (Mecheff) (1859-1923) was filled of exploits of Christian love. He carried out his pastoral ministry in St. Nikolaos church of Moscow (Maroseika). At one time he received the blessing of St. John of Kronstadt to carry out the exploit of eldership. St. Alexis was a great man of prayer before God and received from Him a gift of sagacity. Despite of difficult times during the wars and revolutions of the first part of previous century, fr. Alexis was able to find approach to the various sectors of society. In 2000 on the Council of Bishops of ROC priest Alexis was glorified among the saints.