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Saint Achilles, Bishop of Larissa (15 May)

Saint Achilles, Bishop of Larissa, lived during the fourth century, during the reign of Saint Constantine the Great. Glorified for his holiness of life and erudition, he was made Bishop of Larissa in Thessaly.

Saint Achilles participated in the First Ecumenical Council, where he boldly denounced the heretic Arius. In his city he strove to promote Christianity, destroyed idolatrous pagan temples, and he built and adorned churches.

Saint Achilles had the gift of healing sickness, especially demonic possession, and he worked many miracles. The saint died peacefully in about the year 330. His relics have remained in Prespa, in today’s Republic of Macedonia, since 978.

Ο Άγιος Αχίλλιος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Λαρίσης ο Θαυματουργός και Μυροβλύτης -  Κρητική Αγιολογία

Saint Achillius was one of the 318 God-bearing Fathers who were present at the First Ecumenical Council; after returning to Larissa he cast down many pagan temples, delivered many from the demons, and raised up churches to the glory of God. He reposed about the middle of the fourth century.

Achilles, the great hierarch and miracle-worker, was born in Cappadocia. He participated in the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.], at which he shamed the heretics and commanded great astonishment by his learning as well as by his sanctity. Picking up a rock, St. Achilles shouted to the Arians: “If Christ is a creation of God, as you say, then command oil to flow from this rock.” The heretics remained silent and were amazed at such a request from St. Achilles. Then the saint said: “And if the Son of God is equal to the Father, as we believe, let oil flow from this rock.” And, indeed, oil did flow to the amazement of all. St. Achilles reposed peacefully in Larissa in the year 330 A.D. When the Macedonian King Samuel conquered Thessaly he translated the relics of Achilles to Prespa, to an island in a lake, which even today is called Achilles or Ailus.

Apolytikion of Achillius, Abp. Of Larissa

Fourth Tone

A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Achilles, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion of Achillius, Abp. Of Larissa

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Let us all praise with hymns and songs divine Achillius, the brightly shining and unwaning star of all the world, who is Larissa’s unsleeping and loving shepherd. Let us cry to him: Since thou hast boldness with the Lord, do thou rescue us from every raging storm of life, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Achillius.

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