Jeremiah the Prophet
The great Prophet of God, Jeremiah, who loved his brethren and lamented for them greatly, who prayed much for the people and the Holy City, was the son of Helkias of the tribe of Levi, from the city of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. He was sanctified from his mother’s womb, as the Lord Himself said concerning him, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; and before you came forth from the womb, I sanctified you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5). He prophesied for thirty years, from 613 to 583 BC. During the last captivity of the people in the reign of Sedekias, when only a few were left behind to cultivate the land, this Prophet remained with them by the permission of Nabuzardan, the captain of the guard under Nabuchodonosor. He wept and lamented inconsolably over the desolation of Jerusalem and the enslavement of his people. However, even the few that remained behind transgressed again, and fearing the vengeance of the Chaldeans, they fled into Egypt, forcibly taking with them Jeremiah and Baruch his disciple and scribe. There he prophesied concerning Egypt and other nations, and he was stoned to death in Taphnas by his own people about the year 583 BC, since they would not endure to hear the truth of his words and his just rebukes. His book of prophecy is divided into fifty-one chapters, and his book of lamentation into five; he is ranked second among the greater Prophets. His name means “Yah is exalted”.
Dismissal Hymn (Second Tone)
As we celebrate the memory of Your Prophet Jeremiah, O Lord, through him we beseech You to save our souls.
Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
O blessed Jeremiah, being chosen of God from thy mother’s womb, in your compassion, you sorely mourned for the falling away of Israel, and in Egypt, O Prophet, you were murdered by stoning for your most just rebukes by them that understood not to cry with you: Alleluia.
Saint Tamara (Tamar), Queen of Georgia
Saint Tamara was the only child of King George III. Upon his death in 1184, she became Queen at the age of twenty-four. Despite her youth, she ruled the country with such wisdom and godliness – leading it to unprecedented military triumphs over the neighbouring Moslem countries in defence of her kingdom, fostering arts and letters, and zealously strengthening Orthodoxy – that her reign is known as the Golden Age of Georgia. After her coronation, she convoked a local council to correct disorders in church life. When the bishops had assembled from all parts of her kingdom, she, like Saint Constantine at the First Ecumenical Council, honoured them as if she were a commoner, and they Angels of God; exhorting them to establish righteousness and redress abuses, she said in her humility, “Do away with every wickedness, beginning with me, for the prerogative of the throne is in no wise that of making war against God.” Saint Tamara called herself “the father of orphans and the judge of widows,” and her contemporaries called her “King” instead of “Queen.” She herself led her army against the Moslems and fearlessly defeated them; because of the reverence that even the enemies of Georgia had for her, entire mountain tribes renounced Islam and were baptized. She built countless churches and monasteries throughout her kingdom, and was benefactress also to the Holy Land, Mount Athos, and holy places in Greece and Cyprus. She has always been much beloved by her people, who have memorialized her meekness, wisdom, piety, and obedience, and peace loving nature in innumerable legends, ballads, and songs; the poem written in her honour by Shota Rustaveli, “The Knight in the Panther Skin,” is the masterpiece of Georgian literature. The great Queen Tamara departed the earthly kingdom for the heavenly in the year 1212.
Apolytikion of Tamara, Queen of Georgia in the Third Tone
Let the mountain-tops and vales of Georgia sound with songs of praise to laud Tamara as the vessel of wisdom, the smiling sun, the sword of truth, the conversion of infidels, the most harmonious reed-pipe of Jesus Christ, and our fervent intercessor before the King of Kings, entreating Him to grant great mercy unto us.
Kontakion of Tamara, Queen of Georgia in the Fourth Tone
O Thou whom thy people called a king in justice and truth, the father of orphans and the judge of widows, thou sun which shone on the Georgian land, thou who spentest all thy strength defending thy kingdom, rise up, O Tamara, and defend us now also, and by thine intercessions with Christ, save us from sufferings.
Synaxis of the Three New Righteous Martyrs of the Holy Mountain: Euthymius, Ignatius, and Acacius
Of the three newly-shining luminaries of the Holy Mountain, the New Martyr Euthymius, who was from Demetsana of the Peloponnesus, won the crown of martyrdom when he was beheaded on Palm Sunday, March 22, 1814. Saint Ignatius, who was from Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, was martyred by hanging on October 8, 1814. Saint Acacius, who was from Neochorion of Thessalonica, was beheaded on May 1, 1815. All three had denied Christ in the foolishness of youth, and repented with great fervour; all became monks in the Skete of the Venerable Forerunner on the Holy Mountain; all had the revered elders Nicephorus and Acacius as their spirtual fathers; all were martyred in Constantinople; all were about twenty years of age; and the holy relics of all three are treasured in the aforementioned Athonite Skete of the Forerunner.
Apolytikion of Ignatius and Euthymius the New Martyrs in the First Tone
Ye who are equal in number to the unoriginate Trinity stand now with the choirs of the Angels and hosts of Martyrs in boundless joy before the thrice-resplendent throne of the Godhead; wherefore, O most wise ones, ye partake of the beams from that awesome majesty, and grant unto the faithful the divine enlightenment from on high, unending well-springs of healings, and the pardon of our grievous sins. O divine Euthymius, Martyr of Christ, with the wise Ignatius, and God inspired Acacius, ye ever entreat the Lord God in behalf of all.
Kontakion of Ignatius and Euthymius the New Martyrs in the Third Tone
In your zeal to emulate the righteous God-bearing Fathers, ye strove in ascetic deeds, accepting every affliction; having sought the Martyrs’ glory through death by torments, ye are crowned with twofold crowns by the Crown-bestower, O Euthymius most righteous, with Saint Ignatius, and the blest Acacius on high.
We Also Celebrate Today:
New Martyr Maria of Fourna, Mirabella in Crete
Nikiforos the Monk of Chios
Asaph, Bishop of Wales