Saint Maltius, patriarch of Antioch
This great saint was born in a devout noble Christian family in Armenia. He received the best academic, Christian and theological education at his time and was a brilliant student. He was established a bishop in the city of Sabstia. Then, when the Patriarchal Seat in Antioch got vacant, after the death of the saint Anstatius, Maltius was elected to that noble position. This news would deeply trouble the Arians who plotted against saint Maltius before king Costance. In his fight against the Arian heresy, and in standing firm defending the true faith, Saint Maltius suffered harsh exile three times, but never complained about persecution, rather he always thanked God for being found worthy to suffer for the sake of his people. He finally, and after six years in the exile, was turned back to his Patriarchal Seat, under the reign of the Catholic king Gracianos who reestablished all Catholic bishops in their cathedrals. At that, the whole city of Antioch went out to receive back its beloved patriarch. And he resumed his tireless work of serving the spiritual needs of his people, reconciling conflicts, and healing wounded hearts, and guiding souls in the path of holiness.
Patriarch Maltius attended the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople 381, upon receiving a special invitation from the Emperor Theodosius. He suddenly died, in that same year.
He was eulogized by his disciple Saint John Chrysostom, as well by Saint Gregory of Nisis. His body was moved to Antioch, where he rests on the hope of resurrection in its Cathedral. May his prayers be with us, Ameen.
& Saint Alexander the charcoal maker
Saint Alexander the charcoal-maker was born in Pontos in Asia Minor. He studied the sciences of his time and became a great philosopher. He then left the world and its empty promises and settled down in the city of Komana in Cappadocia, where he choose to consecrate himself to serving God in his people as a charcoal maker, spending his time between charity deeds, prayers and praising God and exercising mortifications.
When the bishop of Komana died, the city’s clergy and people could not reach consent to elect a new bishop. Then out of irony, someone said: Let’s elect Alexander the charcoal maker as our bishop, thinking that Alexander, as poor and humble as he is, would be the last one to be thought of as the bishop. Now, the bishop of Caesarea, Gregory, was there and took that statement as a divine inspiration. He then called after Alexander who appeared in his poor used dirty wear. And when the bishop asked him to tell about himself, he spoke that he is originally from a noble family and that he adopted the charcoal making craft in order to be safe from the worldly pride, and able to live a humble and pure life. The bishop was astonished of Alexander’s virtue, and ordained him a deacon right there, then asked him to preach to the crowd. Alexander gave a beautiful homily that surprised all the audience, who cried out: “Here is our bishop”. Then Saint Gregory, bishop of Caesarea, ordained Alexander a priest, and a bishop. Alexander served prudently his church, and with his great zeal converted many to the true Christian faith.
In the year 250, when Caesar Dakius lunched persecutions against Christian, Bishop Alexander was captured, tortured, and burned down a martyr. May his prayer be with us always. Amen.