The Priestly-martyr Pancratius [Pancras] The bishop of Taormina

This saint was born in Antioch during the time when the Lord Jesus Christ walked as a man among men on earth.

Hearing about the miracles of Christ, the parents of Pancratius desired to see the Lord, the miracle-worker. Together with Pancratius, they traveled to Jerusalem where they saw Jesus, heard His words and witnessed His miracles. It was in Jerusalem that Pancratius became acquainted with the Apostle Peter. After the Ascension of the Lord, both parents and Pancratius were baptized in Antioch. Pancratius withdrew to a cave in Pontus where the Apostle Peter found him and in agreement with the Apostle Paul he was appointed as the Bishop of Taormina in Sicily. In Taormina, St. Pancratius worked many miracles, destroyed the idols, baptized the unbaptized, strengthened the baptized and governed well the Church of God.

A heathen commander by the name of Aquilinus heard that the entire city of Taormina became Christian and set out with an entire army against this city in order to destroy it. St. Pancratius encouraged the faithful not to be afraid and he, alone, with the clergy went outside the city carrying in his hands the invincible weapon, the Honorable Cross. When the army approached the city, darkness befell them and the soldiers were overcome with great fear. A great confusion then began among them and the attackers turned against one another and pierced and slaughtered each other with their swords. Thus Pancratius, the chosen one of God, saved the city and his flock by the power of his prayer before the Lord. In the end, Pancratius was stoned to death by envious and evil heathens and found rest in the Lord. His holy relics repose in Rome.

Saint Theodore, Bishop of Edessa and others with him

At age twenty, Theodore was tonsured a monk and spent thirty-six years as a monk. During the reign of Emperor Michael and Empress Theodora, Theodore was elected as bishop of Edessa. He died in the year 848 A.D.

Along with him is also mentioned his teacher, St. Theodosius the Syrian Stylite, his brother St. John the Hermit and St. Ader, a wealthy nobleman who left his wife and was tonsured a monk.

Source: Prolog from Ochrid