July 22 – Pancratius and Cyril: history, traditions and signs of the holiday


July 22, 2022, 06:02 | Culture

It is not recommended to take on new things today, to start something new – there will be no success.

22 of July — Pancratius and Cyril: history, traditions and signs of the holiday

Most of the Old Slavic holidays have their roots in the pagan past. Even the baptism of Russia could not completely erase them from the people's memory, informs Ukr.Media.

One of the old holidays reworked according to the new church system is Pancratius and Cyril. It is celebrated every year on July 22. In Orthodoxy, on this day, the memory of the bishops of the holy martyr Kirill of Hortyn and Pancratius of Tavromenii is commemorated.

Historical reference

Saint Pancratius lived in the first half of the 1st century. N. e. in Egyptian Antioch. When the fame of the Savior reached his native city, Panratius, together with his parents, went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in order to receive the personal blessing of the Savior. There he personally met the apostle Peter and became even more convinced of Christianity.

After the death of his parents, the young man decided to settle in one of the caves of the Pontic ridge, where he led a hermit life, filled with theological reflections and incessant prayers.

But soon the pious young man was visited by the Apostle Peter and made him one of his disciples. Together they went to Cilicia (now Turkey), where the Apostle Paul was at that time. After a couple of years of missionary activity side by side with the apostles, at their insistence, Pancratius was appointed bishop of Tauromenia (now Sicily).

During his ministry, almost all the surrounding residents accepted Christianity. This greatly angered the local pagan nobility. But fearing popular anger, she did not dare to openly arrest the bishop. Therefore, she hired robbers who, under the guise of robbery, attacked and brutally killed the bishop. Saint Pancratius died as a martyr at the end of the 1st century AD. e.

Saint Cyril lived in the 3rd century. N. e. on the Iberian Peninsula. When the pagan emperors Maximian and Diocletian unleashed mass persecutions against Christians, he and his fellow believers were arrested and thrown into the dungeon to await the court's decision.

Already in prison, an angel came to Kirill in a dream and said that he would soon be freed and, by God's will, should go to Rome to preach. Indeed, Cyril was soon released and, inspired by the sign, he went to the imperial capital with sermons.

He stayed there for a year, and when the threat of arrest arose again, Kirill went to Jerusalem as part of a pilgrimage mission. On the way, an angel appeared to him again and told him to visit Crete. Upon his arrival on the island, Kirill was soon elected a local bishop, where he guided the local pagans on the path of true faith for more than 40 years. But in the 90s of the 3rd century, he was barbarically beheaded during one of the pirate raids.

Folk traditions and rites

On Pancratius and Cyril, cucumbers began to be collected in Russia. Housewives plucked the first and best large cucumber and buried it in a secluded place, watering it with milk or kvass.

At the same time, prayers and conspiracies to thank the sun were necessarily recited. It was necessary to repeat this ritual twice a day at noon and late in the evening, then, according to beliefs, the collected cucumbers will not be bitter, will give a bountiful harvest and strong seeds for planting.

Beliefs and omens

  • If it has rained since the morning, three days will be windless and dry;
  • On the night of July 22, the Moon pale and dimly shining – heavy rains with thunderstorms are expected at the end of the month;
  • Strawberries have overflowed with juices and turned red – the deadlines for sowing fields with oats have passed;
  • No frogs can be heard in the swamp – until the cold weather; if, on the contrary, they croak loudly, the whole week will be hot.


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