Choosing a Patron Saint
for the youth of the UOC of USA

With the Blessing of the Council of Bishops, the Offices of Youth & Young Adult Ministry offered the youth of the UOC of the USA the opportunity to prayerfully choose a patron saint for the youth of our church. The program was designed to give our youth the opportunity to learn about teenage saints of the church and use their voice in selecting one of them to intercede on their behalf with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Beginning June 15, 2015 the lives of saints Julianna of Olshansk, Christina of Tyre, Julian of Tarsus and Ihor of Chernihiv were made available on the OYM website. The youth prayerfully considered who should be their patron. Voting was done on-line as well as by the youth attending the summer camping programs held at All Saints Camp. Last day for voting is October 1, 2015.




Icon of St. Christina used with permission from Archangel Icons
Icon of St. Julian with permission from Archangel Icons.
The Martyr Christina lived during the Third Century. She was born into a rich family, and her father was governor of Tyre. By the age of 11 she was very beautiful, and many wanted to marry her. Christina's father, however, envisioned that his daughter should become a pagan priestess. To this end he placed her in a special dwelling where he had set up many gold and silver idols, and he commanded his daughter to burn incense before them.
In her solitude, Christina began to wonder who had created the beautiful world. From her room she was delighted by the stars of the heavens and constantly thought about the Creator of all the world. She was convinced, that the voiceless and lifeless idols in her room could not create anything, since they themselves were created by human hands. She began to pray to the One God, hoping that he would reveal himself to her. Her soul blazed with love for the Unknown God, and she intensified her prayer all the more, and combined it with fasting.

Christina was visited by an angel, who instructed her in the true faith in Christ, the Savior of the world. The angel called her a bride of Christ and told her about her future suffering. St. Christina smashed all the idols standing in her room and threw them out the window. Christina's father, came to visit her, and he asked where all the idols had disappeared. Her father was displeased, and put her in prison with orders to torture St. Christina until she renounced her faith in Christ.

An angel of God appeared each night, healing her wounds and strengthening her with food. Her father, seeing her unharmed, gave orders to drown her in the sea. An angel sustained her while the stone sank down, and Christina miraculously came out of the water and reappeared before her father. In terror, the torturer thought this to be sorcery and he decided to execute her in the morning. He summoned St. Christina and tried to persuade her to renounce Christ, but seeing her unyielding firmness, he subjected her to cruel tortures. St. Christina was in prison for a long time and a lot of people came to visit her. She converted close to 300 people while she while there.

A new governor arrived and resumed her torture. After various torments, he gave orders to throw her into a red-hot furnace and lock her in it. After five days they opened the furnace and found the martyr alive and unharmed. Seeing this miracle take place, many believed in Christ the Savior, and the torturers executed St Christina with a sword.

St. Julian
The Holy Martyr Julian of Tarsus was born in the Asia Minor province of Cilicia. He was the son of a pagan senator, but his mother was a Christian. After the death of her husband, the mother of St Julian moved to Tarsus, where her son was baptized and raised in Christian piety. When Julian reached age 18, a persecution against Christians began under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Among those arrested was St. Julian. They brought him before the governor, Marcian, for trial. For a long time they urged him to reject Christ. Neither tortures, threats, promises of gifts and honors could convince the pious youth to offer pagan sacrifice and deny Christ. The holy confessor remained steadfast in his firm faith.

For a whole year they led the martyr through the cities of Cilicia, everywhere subjecting him to interrogation and tortures, after which they threw him in prison. St Julian's mother followed after her son and prayed that the Lord would strengthen him. In the city of Aegea, she asked the governor to allow her to visit St Julian in prison by saying she would persuade him to offer sacrifice to idols.

St Julian was again brought to stand before the governor. The governor, believing the mother had successfully persuaded him began to praise her. Instead she confessed her belief to Jesus Christ and denounced polytheism(worshipping many gods). They tied the Martyr Julian into a sack, filled with sand and poisonous snakes, and threw it into the sea. The body of the sufferer was carried by the waves to the shores of Alexandria, and with reverence was buried by a certain pious Christian. The martyr's death occurred in about the year 305. Afterwards his relics were transferred to Antioch. St John Chrysostom honored the Holy Martyr Julian with an euology(tribute).

Over 140 youth from across the USA raised their voices to choose a patron saint to intercede on their behalf. The patron saints were unveiled following Great Vespers at St. Peter & St. Paul in Carnegie, PA by His Grace Bishop Daniel and OYM Director Natalie Kapeluck Nixon. With them was OYM intern Justina Mills who coordinated the efforts and several youth from the parishes in the Pittsburgh area.

We would like to thank all of the youth who participated and those who prayed on their behalf, to be guided by the Holy Spirit in this wonderful event in the life of our youth.

The prayers for intercession to St. Christina and St. Julian may be found at the Consistory Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry website - www.uocyouth.org. An icon has been commissioned from iconographer Michael Kapeluck and will be blessed during our camping sessions this summer. Wood mounted reproductions will be made available to the parishes and youth following the blessing in July.

We pray that through the intercessions of St. Christina and St. Julian our youth may grow closer to Christ. Holy St. Christina and St. Julian pray to God for us!

In Him
Natalie Kapeluck Nixon
Director
Consistory Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry
First Prayer of Intercession

Holy Great Martyr Christina and Holy Martyr Julian, you teach us that the hardships we endure are not a curse, but a gift for our salvation, and the salvation of others. Teach us to every day be grateful for the Baptism into Christ, wherein we were buried with Him and raised with Him for eternal life. Help us understand that the gift of Christ received in Baptism and Chrismation is not for our own personal fulfillment, but for the building up of the Body of Christ, the Church. By your example you have taught us that if enemies, peers, friends or even family should stand against us in our Faith, that they stand not against us, but against the Lord, and that we must stand firm in the Faith of Christ, for it is His Faith that He has gifted to us for the life of the world. Strengthen us by your intercessions, that following your example we may bring others to Christ as you did. Help us to remain pure in our walk with Christ, and when our light fails, to offer ourselves as a lamp for His Light, which enlightens the world.
Second Prayer of Intercession

Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, shine within us the light of your Holy Martyrs Christina and Julian. The Evil One and the powers of this world urged You to renounce your Father and to deny us, but instead You carried us unto your death, to the grave, and back again to a renewed Life unto eternity, and made the Mysteries for us to be engrafted into You and share in the Resurrection and the Life. Inspire us with Your Holy Spirit that we, following their example, may not renounce nor deny You, even if others isolate affection for us, promise us gifts and honors that pass away, and even under threat or persecution. Strengthen us to turn away from the idols that promise only things that will be taken from us by the end of our earthly walk, and to invest only in the eternal things that you have laid aside for those who walk with You, that we may inspire others to do the same and bring all who will come with us to the eternal Life that you have prepared for those who love you, for You first loved us. Amen