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Hieromartyr Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon († 200)

Irenaeus was the second bishop of Lyon and a disciple of the hieromartyr Polycarp of Smyrna. Fighting Gnosticism, he was one of the first systematic theologians of his time, exerted a strong influence on the entire Occident with his theological works. Irenaeus is numbered among the great fathers of the church. He was the first to mention the presence of Christians in what is now Switzerland. Starting in Lyon, the population along the Rhone Valley - from Geneva to Sitten - was christianized in several waves. His memorial day is August 23 (5 September).

Troparion (Tone 4): By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, you became a successor to their throne. Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God; by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood. Hieromartyr Irenaeus entreat Christ God to save our souls.

Hierarch Ambrose, Bishop of Milan († 397)

Ambrose was elected bishop of Milan in 374. He was considered a kind-hearted pastor, a benefactor for the poor, great in prayer and a defender of orthodoxy against Arianism. He wrote numerous theological writings and hymns. Ambrosius is one of the most important Church Fathers in the West. Ticino belonged to the diocese of Milan before Ambrose founded the diocese of Como. It is thus also a child of this great saint. His feast day is December 7th (20th).

Troparion (Tone 4): The truth of things revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Through humility, you attained the heights; and through poverty, riches. O Father and Hierarch Ambrose, intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.


Hierarch Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria († 373)

The archbishop of Alexandria, Athanasius the Great, was one of the great campaigners against Arianism ever since he had attended the First Ecumenical Council as a deacon. Tradition ascribes the Athanasian creed to him. An Easter epistle of Athanasius contains a list of New Testament writings that corresponds exactly to today's 27 canonical books. He was banished a total of five times by various emperors, several times to Trier. On the way to banishment, he crossed the Alps and what is now Switzerland. However, even during his exile he continued his work. His feast day is January 18 (31) and May 2 (15).

Troparion (Tone 3): You were a pillar of Orthodoxy, Hierarch Athanasius, supporting the Church with divine doctrines; you proclaimed the Son to be of one Essence with the Father, putting Arius to shame. Righteous Father, entreat Christ God to grant us His great mercy.

 

Hierarch Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours († 397)

At popular urging, Martin was elected bishop of Tours. He was the most famous student of St. Hilarius of Poitiers. His people St. Martin for his constant concern for the poor, the oppressed and the persecuted, as well as for his ascetic life and miracles. Martin of Tours is considered the oldest witness to the martyrdom of the soldiers of the Theban Legion, from whom he received relics in 388 and whose veneration he promoted. He is commemorated on November 11 (24).

Troparion (Tone 4): In signs and in miracles you were renowned throughout Gaul. By grace and adoption you are a light for the world, O Martin, blessed of God. Almsgiving and compassion filled your life with their splendors, teaching and wise counsel were your riches and treasures, which you dispense freely to those who honour you.

Hieromärtyr Germanus, abbot of Münster-Granfelden († 676)

Germanus came from a noble, Romanesque family of Trier. At the age of 17, he decided to lead a hermit's life. Later he entered first the monastery in Remiremont, then in Luxeuil. In the year 640, the monastery of Moutier-Grandval  was founded in the Bernese Jura, of which Germanus was abbot for 35 years. Due to arguments with Duke Eticho about the monastery property,  Germanus and his companion Randoald were murdered. His abbot's staff has been preserved to this day and is the oldest decorated crosier in the world. It is in the Musée Jurassien in Delémont, together with the shoes of Germanus. His feast day is February 21st (March 6th).


Troparion (Tone 5): As monks sent from Luxeuil to Grandval, you have both grown in prayer and ascetic labours. You bravely stood up to a tyrant who abused your sheep and sowed the seeds of death. By his hand, you insidiously suffered martyrdom. Holy Germanus and holy Randoald, pray to God for us!

Place of pilgrimage: Delémont

Martyr Gaudentius († 6th century)

Gaudentius settled in a hermitage in Casaccia in today's Graubünden and preached the gospel in Churraetia. He converted many pagans and Arians. When soldiers came to kill him, he met them without fear; peacefully, he laid his head on the block. A church was built over his tomb in Casaccia in the 10th century. In the Middle Ages, it was known as a place of pilgrimage but was destroyed along with its tomb during the Reformation. The church ruins are now a monument and have been restored since 2009. His feast day is May 7th (20th).

Troparion (Tone 3): You looked after your flock of sheep in Grisons before you became a shepherd for the kingdom, you announced the good news to the Bergell heathen. On the day of Ascension, you died a martyr's death and gave your life for your spiritual flock. Holy Gaudenz, pray to God to save our souls.

Place of pilgrimage: Casaccia

Hieromartyr Randoald († 676)

Randoald was prior in the monastery of Munster-Granfelden. Together with the abbot Germanus he was murdered by the followers of Etichus. His feastday is February 21 (March 6).

Troparion (Tone 5): As monks sent from Luxeuil to Grandval, you have both grown in prayer and ascetic labours. You bravely stood up to a tyrant who abused your sheep and sowed the seeds of death. By his hand, you insidiously suffered martyrdom. Holy Germanus and holy Randoald, pray to God for us!

Place of pilgrimage: Delémont