In the Orthodox Church, the Synaxarion is the classic, abridged, collection of the “Lives of the Saints,” intended for reading in the context of public worship, and to nourish the personal prayer life of the faithful. As the Church continues its journey toward its fulfillment in the Kingdom of heaven, it does not cease to grow through the addition of new saints in every generation. Thus the Synaxarion is a work which continues to be written, no so much with ink, but with the blood of the martyrs, the tears of the ascetics, and the wondrous deeds of those who love God, in every place where the word of the Gospel has resounded forth.
In preparing his modern Greek edition of the Synaxarion of Constantinople, St Nikodemos the Hagiorite (+ 1809) added the memories of a number of saints, most notably the New Martyrs. In the same spirit, this present edition, which is based on the work of St Nikodemos, has enlarged upon his work through recourse to additional sources and historical studies. Thus it includes saints venerated by the different local Orthodox Churches (Russia, Romania, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, etc.), many of whom were canonized after the collapse of the communist regimes. One will also find here many Western saints from the period of the undivided Church, so that the Synaxarion constitutes at present the most complete collection of saints’ lives of the Orthodox Church.