May 1/14 Holy Hieromartyr St. Macarius, Metropolitan of Kyiv (1497) St Macarius’s relics were formerly enshrined in St Sophia’s Cathedral. His martyrdom is notable because he was serving the Divine Liturgy when the Tatars attacked his Church. He refused to leave the Altar and was martyred in front of it. The Euchologion of St Peter Mohyla affirms that if a priest or bishop is serving the Divine Liturgy and the place where he is serving it is attacked by enemies, he may try to escape or else remain where he is. Should he be killed in so doing, he would be placed in the calendar as a Martyr.
St Luke, schemamonk of Hlinsk Hermitage (1898). Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Unexpected Joy” (“Neochikuvana Radist”).
St Harasym of Pereyaslav-Zalisski (1554).
May 2/15 Translation of the relics of the Holy Passion-Bearers Sts Boris and Hlib (1015) There was a third martyr who tried to protect St Boris from being stabbed, St Yurij, who wore a beautiful gold necklace Boris gave him as his most trusted servant. Boris’ enemies dragged Yurij out and beheaded him to get at the necklace. St Yurij’s brothers, St Moses and St Ephrem, escaped and later became monastic saints, Moses at the Kyivan Caves Lavra – martyred for purity and faithfulness to his monastic vows – and St Ephrem at Novotorzhok where he was glorified together with his companion, St Arkady).
St Athanasius III, Patriarch of Constantinople and Wonderworker of Lubny (1654) Also known as “Afanassiy Lubensky - Sidyachey, “ he was the chief patron of Poltava. He died in Ukraine on his way to Constantinople and was buried in the sitting position, enthroned, thus “Athanasius the Sitting.” He was glorified by the Metropolitan of Kyiv as a Wonderworker.).
Martyr St Hlib, Prince of Murom (1015).
May 3/16 St Theodosius, Ihumen of the Kyiv Caves and founder coenobitic monasticism in Rus’ (1074). Svinska Pecherska Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Icons of the Mother of God: Pecherska (not made by human hands)' Pecherska with Sts Anthony and Theodosius; Yasninska-Pecherska and the Pecherska Icon of the Dormition.
May 5/18 St Irene the Great-Martyr of Thessalonica (2nd c.). St Barlaam of Serpukhov (1377) and the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos of the “Inexhaustible Cup.” St Barlaam and his holy icon are venerated in Ukraine by those afflicted with the inclination to drinking and also their friends and relatives invoke these on their behalf.
May 6/19 Righteous Job the Long-suffering. Namesday of St Job, abbot and wonderworker of Pochaiv (1651). St Parthenius the Great Martyr, patron saint of Halychyna-Galicia (3rd c., relics enshrined at Zhovkva and he is invoked together with his brother, St Caloherus). Commemoration of Bl. Feofilakt Lopatinsky, Archbishop of Tver, Defender of Orthodoxy (1741).
Saint Volodymyr Monomakh, Sovereign of Kyiv Rus’ (1125).
A great Christian ruler, Monomakh’s Crown or “Cap” epitomized the ruling tradition of Kyivan-Rus’ and was later captured and taken to Moscow where it was used to crown the dukes of Muscovy, who were later known as “tsars.” He taught his children to pray the Jesus Prayer as the “very best of prayers as it invokes the Name of Christ.” The time of his rule is regarded as Kyiv’s Golden Age. He was enshrined, together with St Yaroslav the Wise, in St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv).
May 7/20 New Martyr Pachomius of Usaki (1730). Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God of Zhirovits that was found on a pear tree.
May 8/21 Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian (101 AD)
His popularity in Ukraine and elsewhere was due to his Gospel and the belief that he was taken bodily into heaven upon his repose. On this day, worshippers at the site of his tomb at Ephesus are enveloped with bright particles that rise in the air as a result of a gentle breeze and these particles are miracle-working. On the island of Patmos where St John wrote the Book of Revelation, there is enshrined the Kozak martyr, St Pachomius.
May 9/22 Translation of the relics (in 1087) of St Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari.
St Nicholas “the Warm” (“teplij Mykola”) is a church-wide celebration in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Church was, at one time, the only Eastern Church that marked this day. Three festal days are, in fact, celebrated in St Nicholas’ honour in Ukraine: December 6/19 (“Cold Nicholas”), together with the miracle of St Nicholas at the First Ecumenical Council; May 9/22; and the nativity of St Nicholas on July 29/August 10. There are several miraculous icons of St Nicholas in Ukraine, especially that of St Nicholas the Drenched of St Sophia Cathedral – now kept somewhere in New York City, according to some accounts.
St Nicholas is a patron against drowning and any icon of St Nicholas saving people from drowning or where his icon has a small boat placed near it is called “St Nicholas the Drenched.” This title is taken from a miraculous recovery of a child presumed drowned in the Dnipro river where the child was found sleeping on the altar before the icon of St Nicholas, both of which were drenched with water.
St Joseph (Litovkin), monastic Elder of Optina (1911). A Ukrainian, St Joseph was a holy Elder in the tradition of St Paisius Velichkovsky (as were the other 13 glorified holy Elders). The Optina monastery is, in fact, a spiritual fruit of the Ukrainian Paisian spiritual heritage. There are 16 New Venerable Martyrs of Optina of the soviet era, among whom are also Ukrainians. Translation of the relics of child-martyr St Gabriel of Slutsk (1690).
May10/23 St Simon, Bishop of Volodymyr and Suzdal of the Kyiv Caves (1226). Translation of the relics in 1670 of the Martyr St Basili of Mangazea in Siberia (1602) St Sinesius of Irkutsk (1787 – associate and close friend of St Sophrony, bishop of Irkutsk).
May 11/24 Holy Equal to the Apostles Sts Cyril (869) and St Methodius (885), first teachers of the Slavs. Equal to the Apostles St Rostislav, prince of Moravia who received Sts Cyril and Methodius (870). St Sophronius, Recluse of the Kyiv Caves. New Hieromartyr St Alexander (Petrovksy), Archbishop of Kharkiv (1940).
May 12/25 Holy Fathers of Molchansk: Archimandrite St Theodosy (Maslov); Hieromonk St Serapion; Staretz St Sofronius (Batovrin); Monk St Serhij Tikhonov.
May 13/26 Translation of the relics in 1688 of the Holy Hieromartyr St Macarius of Kaniv, Archimandrite of Ovruch (1678). Venerable Martyr St Volodymyr Cherkassky (of Odessa). 103 New Martyrs of Cherkass (20th c.)
May 14/27 St Nikita, recluse of the Kyiv Caves, Bishop of Novhorod (1108). Uncovering of the relics in 1846 of St Tikhon, Bishop of Voronezh, Wonderworker of Zadonsk (1783). St Isidore, Fool for Christ and wonderworker of Rostov (1474). Commemoration of Victor Chornayiv, Archimandrite of the Annunciation Monastery at Nizhyn (1761).
May 15/28 St Isaiah, Bishop and Wonderworker of Rostov of the Kyiv Caves (1090). St Isaiah, wonderworker of the Kyiv Caves (1115). New Hieromartyrs St Pachomius, archbishop of Chernihiv (1938) and his brother St Abercius, archbishop of Zhitomir (1937). Commemoration of Hierarch Pakhomy (Kedrov) Archbishop of Chernihiv (1937).
May 17/30 St Jonah Otamansky, Archpriest of Odessa, Wonderworker (1924) . St Andronik the Grave-Digger of the Kyiv Zverynetsky Caves (1096).
Fr. Jonah, a married priest, did his all-night akathist vigils daily from midnight to daybreak. His prayers cured the blind and cast out demons from the possessed. When Moscow doctors told an Odessa mother they could do nothing for her son who was born blind, St Jonah prayed over his bed all night for nine days and on the morning of the tenth day, the boy could see with 20/20 vision. St Jonah was taken to court by the Bolsheviks but the chief opthilmologist of Moscow came to his defence. A great man of prayer, he is also highly venerated in Romania and elsewhere.
May 19/June 1 New Hieromartyrs St Onuphrij (Hahaliuk) archbishop of Kursk and Oboyansk; Sts Anthony, bishop of Bilhorod and with him the priests Mitrophan, Alexander, Michael, Matthew, Hippolytus, Nicholas, Basil, Nicholas, maxim, Alexander, Paul and Paul; and Martyrs Sts Michael and Gregory (1938). Synaxis of the all the Hieromartyrs of Kharkiv.
Commemoration of the Holy Elder Cleopas, disciple of St Paisius Velichkovsky (1816). All New Hieromartyrs of Slobozhanschyna.
Hieromartyr St Innocent (Letayev) Archbishop of Kharkiv (1937)
May 20/June 2 St Dovmont-Timothy, Prince of Pskov (1299). Uncovering of the relics in 1431 of St Alexius, Metropolitan of Kyiv (1378). Holy New Venerable Martyr St Olimpiada (Verbetska) of Kozelschansk Monastery.
May 21/June 3 Holy Equals to the Apostles Sts Constantine (337) and Helen (327). These royal saints are invoked at Crownings (wedding ceremonies) and are otherwise very popular saints in Ukraine, especially in connection to the Finding of the True Cross. St Olha of Kyiv took the name “Helen” or “Olena” as her baptismal name after St Helen.
St Constantine (Yaroslav) and his children Sts. Michael and Theodore, Wonderworkers of Murom (12th c.). St Cyril bishop of Rostov (1262) and St Basil, Bishop of Ryazan (1295). Vyshorod (Volodymyr) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
St Irene, Princess of Murom (1129).
May 23/June 5 St Michael the Confessor, Metropolitan of Synnada (826)
A close friend of St Taras, Patriarch of Constantinople, venerated together with him and depicted on the miraculous icon of the Theotokos “Economissa” of Mt Athos which was popular among the Kozaks who became monastics there.
Uncovering of the relics of St Leontius, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov, Ihumen of the Kyiv Zverynetsky Caves (1077). St Euphrosynia, Princess and Abbess of Polotsk (1173)
A descendant of St Volodymyr the Great, St Euphrosynia led a very holy life, dying while in Jerusalem on pilgrimage. Her relics were enshrined in the Kyiv Caves where they were later taken to her native Belarus – a portion of her relics remained in the Kyiv Caves however. Her two-bar blessing Cross has become the national Cross of Belarus.
May 24/June 6 St Nikita Stylites, wonderworker of Pereyaslavl-Zalisski (1186). St Gregory, archbishop of Novhorod (1193). Saint David I, King of Scotland (1153), daughter of St Margaret of Scotland, great grand-son of St Yaroslav the Wise.
May 25/June 7 Third Finding of the Precious Head of St John the Baptist.
Commemoration of Protopresbyter John Labunsky of Nizhyn (1945).
May 26/June 8 St Innocent, Archbishop of Kherson (1857 – a prolific spiritual writer).
May 27/June 9 Translation of the relics of Sts Cyprian, Photius and Jonah, Metropolitans of Kyiv. Saint John the Ukrainian, Confessor, whose relics are on the island of Euboea (1730). A Kozak, St John was taken captive and sold into slavery by the Tatars into a Turkish family. His holiness and miracles inspired that same family to build his church-shrine after his repose. He is very popular in Greece).
May 28/June 10 St Ignatius, bishop and wonderworker of Rostov (1288). St Domnica (Likvinenko) ascetic of Kherson (1967).
May 29/June 11 New Hiero-confessor St Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky) Archbishop of Simferopil (1961) An eye doctor and medical researcher, St Luke entered the Church at a time of great persecution by the communists and won many over to Christ.
May 31/June13 St Philotheus (Leschynsky), Metropolitan of Tobolsk and the Apostle of Siberia (1727).