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  • Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord
    Martyr Trypho
    All day
    01-02-2017-30-01-2018

    Forefeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    Apolytikion of Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord in the First Tone

    The Heavens’ choir looked down from the vaults of the Heavens, and gazing on the earth, they beheld with amazement the First-born of all creation brought forth as a suckling babe to the Temple by a pure and virginal mother; and with us, they now do sing a hymn for the Forefeast, astonished and full of awe.

    Kontakion of Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Fourth Tone

    On this day doth Symeon receive with gladness God, the Giver of the Law and he doth cry to Him in fear: Let me depart now, O Master Christ, for I have seen Thee, the Glory of Israel.

    Trypho the Martyr

    st_tryphon_the_martyr-finalSt Tryphon was born in Lampsakon and raised by a very devout Christian family. From a young age he was blessed with the divine power to cure any type of sickness. In the year 239 AD, Gordianos was the ruler of the Roman Empire, and even though he was a pagan he was not a Christian persecutor. The Emperor had an only child, a daughter. Many of the noblemen of the city desired to marry her, therefore her father locked her in a palace tower so that people could not see her. This girl became possessed and tortured by a demon. When her parents saw that she could not be cured, they became distressed. They were informed by the demon that he would not leave the girl’s body unless Tryphon were present.

    The Emperor sent messengers to every city and town of the Empire to find Tryphon. He promised a large reward to the one who brought the Saint to Rome. They arrived in Lampsakon, where Tryphon was watching over his geese. Seeing these noblemen, he knew immediately what their task was and said to them that he was Tryphon, the person they were sent to find. At this time Tryphon was 17 years old. They started immediately for their return to Rome. The demon knew of Tryphon’s arrival three days prior to its occurrence and started to torment the girl even more than before. When Tryphon arrived in Rome, the demon could not look at the Saint and left the girl. Gordianos welcomed Tryphon as the person who had cured his daughter.

    To make certain of Tryphon’s validity, the Emperor asked him to make the demon appear before them so that he could ask him why he had possessed his daughter. The Saint fasted for six days, after which, he prayed to God to give him the power to perform his task. On the seventh day, the citizens of Rome gathered to see the miracle. After praying to God, Tryphon ordered the demon, in the name of Jesus Christ, to appear in front of them so that they may see the epitome of ugliness and sickness. Suddenly, a large black dog appeared in front of them. Tryphon then asked it why it had possessed the girl. The demon responded by saying that his father, Satan, who is the ruler of evil had sent it to torture the girl. The Saint continued his inquiry by asking, who gave the rulers of the underworld the authority to enter the bodies of the workers of God. He responded by saying that they had no authority to do so, but could only possess people who practiced what the demon stood for.

    The people were amazed when they saw and heard this. Gordianos rewarded the Saint with many gifts. Tryphon was accompanied back to his home and after returning, he continued curing those who came to him. After the death of Gordianos, the pious Philip became the ruler of the Roman Empire. He ruled only for a short time due to his death in battle. Decius then became ruler in 250 AD. He had no tolerance for Christians. Those who worshipped the idols were rewarded, those who remained Christians were persecuted.

    The pagans of the Eastern part of the Empire would betray Christians to their ruler, Achilion. A complaint was thus lodged against Tryphon. Achilion sent his envoys to find the Saint and he was taken to Nicaea to stand trial. When the Emperor saw that Tryphon would not deny his beliefs, he ordered his soldiers to hang him on a cross and stab him with their spears. He faced the torture without fear. The Emperor admired this courage and tried to persuade Tryphon to sacrifice to the gods and save himself. Seeing that he could not change the Christian’s opinions, Achilion was extremely angered. He ordered that Tryphon be taken down from the cross. Planning to go on a hunting trip, he decided to take Tryphon with him. Tryphon was tied behind a horse so that he would have to keep up with riding soldiers by walking. The Saint suffered greatly. After several days, Achilion returned to Nicaea and Tryphon walked back to the city in the same manner.

    Again, Achilion tried to persuade Tryphon to change his beliefs and again the Saint stood firm in his convictions. Achilion ordered the Saint’s feet bound in chains and he was taken to the centre of the city to be beaten. Afterwards, Tryphon was burned with torches. During his agony, the martyr prayed to Christ not to forsake him.

    Achilion gave Tryphon his last chance to deny Christ and save himself. If Tryphon refused, the soldiers were to behead him. The Saint looked toward heaven and prayed. So that his death could not be attributed to the tyrant, Tryphon died just before the soldiers beheaded him. Several Christians of Nicaea wanted to bury his body near the city, however, the Saint appeared in their dreams and directed them to bury his body in Lampsakon, where later, many miracles were attributed to him.

    St Tryphon is considered by many farmers to be the protector of fields.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Forefeast (First Tone)

    The Heaven’s choir looked down from the vaults of the Heavens, and gazing on the earth, they beheld with amazement the Firstborn of all creation brought forth as a sucking babe to the Temple by a pure and virginal mother; and with us, they now sing a hymn for the Forefeast, astonished and full of awe.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr (Fourth Tone)

    Be quick to anticipate

    Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received as a prize the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demon’s powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion of the Forefeast (Fourth Tone)

    On this day does Symeon receive with gladness God, the Giver of the Law; and he cries to Him in fear, “Let me depart now, O Master Christ, for I have see You, the Glory of Israel.

    Kontakion of the Martyr (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    As first-fruits of our nature

    By the might of the Trinity you destroyed polytheism throughout the earth, O all-renowned Tryphon. Wherefore you are precious in the Lord, In Christ Saviour prevailing over tyrants, you have now received your martyr’s crown and gifts of Godlike healing, since you truly are invincible.

     

    Bridget of Ireland

    When Ireland was newly converted to the Christian Faith, the Holy Abbess Bridget devoted herself to the establishment of the monastic life among the women of her country, and founded the renowned convent of Kildare-Kil “Cell (or Church)” Dara “of the Oak.” She was especially renowned for her great mercifulness, manifested in her lavish almsgiving and in miracles wrought for those in need. The Book of Armaugh, an ancient Irish chronicle, calls Saint Patrick and Saint Bridget “the pillars of the Irish” and says that through them both, “Christ performed many miracles.” She reposed in peace about the year 525.

    Apolytikion of Bridget of Ireland in the Fourth Tone

    Having learned of things divine by the words of Patrick, thou hast proclaimed in the West the good tidings of Christ. Wherefore, we venerate thee, O Brigid, and entreat thee to intercede with God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Bridget of Ireland in the Third Tone

    At the Church of the Oak, thou didst establish thy sacred monasteries for those that took up the Tree of life, even the Precious Cross, upon their shoulders. And by thy grace-filled life and love of learning, thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold and didst thereby nourish the faithful. O righteous Mother Bridget, intercede with Christ, the True Vine, that He save our souls.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Perpetua & her Companions
    • Timothy the Confessor
    • Our Holy Father Basil, Archbishop of Thessolonica
    • Anastasios the New Martyr of Navplion
    • The Four Martyrs Andrianus, Polyeuktos, Plato and George who contested in Megara
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    01-02-2017-04-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

2
  • PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD
    All day
    02-02-2017-31-01-2018

    The Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    On the 2nd of February, our Holy Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of Christ to the Temple. The Church also refers to this Feast as the Synaxis (or meeting) of our Lord in the temple. In accordance with the Mosaic law, 40 days after the birth of a male child the mother is required to present the child in the tabernacle and offer as a sacrifice either a lamb or a pair of doves or pigeons for her purification. The presentation of a first-born son also signified redemption or buying back, for all first-born creatures (both humans and animals) were considered to belong to God.

    Mary and Joseph obeyed this precept of the law. They brought Jesus to the Temple where he was met and blessed by a very old Holy man. On that day in the Temple, both Simeon and a woman by the name of Anna, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, recognised the infant Jesus as the Messiah and Saviour of the world. Simeon had been promised by God that he would live to witness the coming of the Messiah to the world. These events are the subject of today’s Gospel reading. (Luke 2:22-40)

    Imagine this blessed scene, of an old man – barely able to hold himself upright due to his advanced years- fully attired in the Traditional clothing of the High Priest of the Temple, cradling the infant Jesus in his arms.

    It is the meeting of the Old Testament Priesthood in the Temple with the New Testament Priesthood in Christ. And hence the naming of this Feast day as the “Synaxis” or Meeting of our Lord in the Temple.

    The Church today calls each one of us to make our Soul a Temple of God, where the Holy Virgin can bring her Divine Child. And each one of us should, like Simeon, take the Child in our arms and say to the Father:

    “My eyes have seen your salvation, now let your servant depart in peace”.

    This Prayer of Simeon is used every day in the Vespers services of the Orthodox Church. But this prayer should be more to us than a description of someone who has been allowed to see and hold the Christ child requesting a peaceful departure. It should also mean for us, in particular, that having seen and touched the Saviour, we are released from the hold that sin has on us, and in peace, we can leave the realm of evil.

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    Rejoice, you who are full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, for from you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those in darkness. Rejoice, you also, O righteous Elder, as you received in your arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who also grants to us the Resurrection.

    Kontakion (First Tone)

    You Who sanctified the Virgin’s womb by Your birth, and blessed Symeon’s hands as was proper. Having now come and saved us, O Christ God, grant us peace in the midst of wars on Your commonwealth and strengthen the Hierarchs whom You love, O only friend of man.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Gabriel the New Martyr of Constantinople
    • Jordan the New Martyr
    • Agathadoros the Martyr of Cappadocia
  • Luke 2:25-32
    Hebrews 7:7-17
    Luke 2:22-40
    All day
    02-02-2017-31-01-2018

    The Gospel according to Luke 2:25-32

    At that time, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

     

    St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 7:7-17

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

    My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
    Verse: For he has regarded the humility of his servant.

    BRETHREN, it is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. Here tithes are received by mortal men; there, by one whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 2:22-40

    At that time, the parents brought the child Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

    “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

    And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Symeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

3
  • Symeon & Anna
    All day
    03-02-2017-01-02-2018

    The Synaxis of the Holy and Righteous Symeon the God-Receiver and the Holy Prophetess Anna

    Yesterday we celebrated the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple; today we honour the righteous Elder Symeon the God-Receiver and Prophetess Anna, who prophesied concerning Him by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and were the first in Jerusalem to receive Him as the Messiah.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Feast

    Rejoice, you who are full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, for from you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those in darkness. Rejoice, you also, O righteous Elder, as you received in your arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who also grants to us the Resurrection.

    Kontakion of the Feast

    You Who sanctified the Virgin’s womb by Your birth, and blessed Symeon’s hands as was proper. Having now come and saved us, O Christ God, grant us peace in the midst of wars on Your commonwealth and strengthen the Hierarchs whom You love, O only friend of man.

     

    Afterfeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    The_Presentation_of_Our_Lord_And_Savior_in_The_Temple-finalApolytikion of Afterfeast of the Presentation in the First Tone

    Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Stamatios, John, & Nicholas, New Martyrs of Spetses
    • Nicholas, Archbishop & Enlightener of Japan
    • Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos Werburga
  • Hebrews 9:11-14
    Luke 2:25-38
    All day
    03-02-2017-01-02-2018

    St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 9:11-14

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    BRETHREN, when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 2:25-38

    At that time, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Symeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

  • Strict Fast
    All day
    03-02-2017-06-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

4
  • Isidore of Pelusium
    All day
    04-02-2017-02-02-2018

    Isidore of Pelusium

    Father Isidore was from Alexandria and was a Disciple of St John Chrysostom. He struggled in asceticism in a monastery at Mount Pelusium, and became Abbot of the monks struggling in that monastery. He wrote a great many Epistles full with divine grace, wisdom, and much profit. Over 2000 of them are preserved; according to some, he wrote over 3000 Epistles, according to others, 10 000. He reposed on February 4, 440 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    In your the image was preserved with exactness, O Father; for taking up thy cross, you followed Christ, and by your deeds you taught us to overlook the flesh, for it passes away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal. Therefore, O righteous Isidore, your spirit rejoices with the Angels.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    On this day Thou hast appeared

    O All Blessed Isidore, the Church has found you as another morning star; and with the lightning of your words she is illumined and cries out, “Rejoice, O venerable Father of godly mind.”

     

    Afterfeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    The_Presentation_of_Our_Lord_And_Savior_in_The_Temple-finalApolytikion of Afterfeast of the Presentation in the First Tone

    Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Nicholas the Confessor
    • Hieromartyr Abramius
    • John the Righteous, Bishop of Irinopolis
    • Theodosios the Righteous
    • Joseph the New Martyr of Aleppo
  • 2 Timothy 2:11-19
    Matthew 24:34-37, 42-44
    All day
    04-02-2017

    St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 2:11-19

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 31.11,1

    Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous.
    Verse: Blessed are they whose transgressions have been forgiven.

    TIMOTHY, my son, the saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.

    Remind them of this, and charge them before the Lord to avoid disputing about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will eat its way like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaios and Philetos, who have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 24:34-37, 42-44

    The Lord said, “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let this house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

     

5
  • Martyr Agatha
    All day
    05-02-2017-03-02-2018

    Afterfeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    Agatha the Martyr

    Saint Agatha, who was from Panormus (Palermo) or Catania of Sicily, was a attractive and chaste virgin. After many exceedingly harsh torments, she gave up her spirit in prison at Catania in 251 AD, because she did not consent to the seductions of Quintian, the Governor of Sicily. At her burial, an Angel placed a stone tablet on her grave inscribed with the words, “A righteous mind, self-determining, honour from God, the deliverance of her fatherland”. The following year this was fulfilled when Mount Etna erupted, spewing forth violent fire from which Catania was manifestly saved by Saint Agatha’s prayers. The holy Martyr Agatha, the protectress and chief patron of Sicily, is, with perhaps the exception of St Agnes of Rome, the most highly venerated Virgin Martyr of the West. Saint Damasus, Pope of Rome, and St Ambrose of Milan both wrote in praise of her.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Feast

    Rejoice, you who are full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, for from you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those in darkness. Rejoice, you also, O righteous Elder, as you received in your arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who also grants to us the Resurrection.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr

    Joseph was amazed

    O Lord Jesus, to You Your lamb cries with a great voice:

    O my Bridegroom, You I love; and seeking You, I now contest, and with Your baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Your sake, that I may reign with You; for Your sake I die, that I may live in You. Accept me offered out of longing to You as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since You are great in mercy.

    Kontakion of the Feast

    You Who sanctified the Virgin’s womb by Your birth, and blessed Symeon’s hands as was proper. Having now come and saved us, O Christ God, grant us peace in the midst of wars on Your commonwealth and strengthen the Hierarchs whom You love, O only friend of man.

    Kontakion of the Martyr

    On this day You have appeared

    Let the Church be clad today with royal purple in a splendid covering dyed in the chaste and hallowed blood of Martyr Agatha, and let it now cry, “Rejoice, O you boast of Catania.”

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Polyeuktos, Partriarch Of Constantinople
    • Antonios the New Martyr of Athens
    • Theodosios, Archbishop of Chernigov
    • Theodosios of Antioch
  • Sunday of the Publican & Pharisee
    All day
    05-02-2017

    The Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee: Triodion Begins Today

    The Pharisees were an ancient and outstanding sect among the Jews known for their diligent observance of the outward matters of the Law. Although, according to the word of our Lord, they “did all their works to be seen of men” (Matt. 23:5), and were hypocrites (ibid. 23: 13, 14, 15, etc.), because of the apparent holiness of their lives they were thought by all to be righteous, and separate from others, which is what the name Pharisee means. On the other hand, Publicans, collectors of the royal taxes, committed many injustices and extortions for filthy lucre’s sake, and all held them to be sinners and unjust. It was therefore according to common opinion that the Lord Jesus in His parable signified a virtuous person by a Pharisee, and a sinner by a Publican, to teach His disciples the harm of pride and the profit of humble-mindedness.

    Since the chief weapon for virtue is humility, and the greatest hindrance to it is pride, the divine Fathers have set these three weeks before the Forty-day Fast as a preparation for the spiritual struggles of virtue. This present week they have called Harbinger, since it declares that the Fast is approaching; and they set humility as the foundation for all our spiritual labors by appointing that the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee be read today, even before the Fast begins, to teach, through the vaunting of the Pharisee, that the foul smoke of self-esteem and the stench of boasting drives away the grace of the Spirit, strips man of all his virtue, and casts him into the pits of Hades; and, through the repentance and contrite prayer of the Publican, that humility confers upon the sinner forgiveness of all his wicked deeds and raises him up to the greatest heights.

    All foods are allowed the week that follows this Sunday.

    Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    From on high didst Thou descend, O Compassionate One; to burial of three days hast Thou submitted that Thou mightest free us from our passions. O our Life and Resurrection, Lord, glory be to Thee.

    Seasonal Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

    Let us flee from the boasting of the Pharisee and learn through our own sighs of sorrow the humility of the Publican. Let us cry out to the Savior, “Have mercy on us, for through You alone are we reconciled.”

  • John 21:14-25
    2 Timothy 3:10-15
    Luke 18:10-14
    All day
    05-02-2017

    The Gospel according to John 21:14-25

    At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, “Follow me.”

    Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” So, the word went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die; but Jesus did not say to him that he would not die. He said, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

     

    St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 3:10-15

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 4.
    Psalm 75.11,1

    Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
    Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.

    TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings, what befell me at Antioch, at lconion, and at Lystra, what persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

    The Gospel according to Luke 18:10-14

    The Lord said this parable, “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

     

6
  • Photios the Great
    Bucolosof Smyrna
    Barsanuphius & John of Gaza
    All day
    06-02-2017-04-02-2018

    Photius the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople

    St Photios (later known as Photios the Great – Patriarch of Constantinople) was born around 820 AD to holy parents, who were confessors of the Faith. His parents were persecuted for defending icons against the iconoclasts and were exiled from Constantinople. His greatness was not only due to his defence of Orthodoxy against heretical papal practices, but also connected to his love and meekness. He vigorously opposed the addition of the filioque clause to the Nicene – Constantinopolitan Creed, and wrote On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit to preserve “the purity of our religion” and to hinder “those who chose to promote any other definition of dogma than the unanimous and common faith of the pious”. This treatise became the pattern for all subsequent Byzantine anti-Latin polemics.

    The filioque doctrine, espoused by Western Christians, has its source from Augustine of Hippo (359-432 AD). Augustine had a fertile imagination, who could not shake off the Platonic influence of his youth. The doctrine of a ‘double procession of the Holy Spirit’ was first adopted in the West at the Synod of Toledo (447 AD), which appears to have followed Augustine’s teachings. This addition was forbidden by the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451 AD). Here is the origin of the problem that was to agitate the Church for a thousand years. Contentions that the filioque has Biblical foundations have yet to be demonstrated.

    St Photios was forced to become Patriarch of Constantinople, however he took his calling seriously and at once set to work as a man of God. One of his activities was to correct the error of pope Nicholas of Rome who enslaved the people of the West with threats of condemnation to hell for disobedience to the pope. Holy Photios wrote to Nicholas “Nothing is dearer that the Truth”. In the same letter he noted “It is truly necessary that we observe all things, but above all, that which pertains to matters of Faith, in which but a small deviation represents a deadly sin”.

    As a Father of the Church, St Photios was also known for his brilliance and for his missionary zeal. He blessed St Cyril in his work of developing an alphabet for the Slavonic people, and for the later work of St Cyril and his brother St Methodios as missionaries to the Slavonic people.

    On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit That, even as the Son is proclaimed by the Sacred Oracles to be begotten of the Father alone, so also is the Holy Spirit proclaimed by theology to proceed from this same and only cause. He is, however, said to be of the Son, since he is of one essence with Him and is sent through Him.

    St Photios reposed in the Lord in 891 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Since you was of like ways with the Apostles, and a teacher of the world, O Photios, entreat the Master of all, that peace be granted to the world and great mercy to our souls.

    Another Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of First Tone)

    Let us worship the Word

    As a radiant beacon of wisdom hid in God, and a defender of Orthodoxy revealed from on high, O great Photios, blessed adornment of the Patriarchs, you refuted the innovations of boastful heresy, O light of the holy churches, which you keep from all error, O luminary of the Dayspring on high.

    Kontakion (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    To you, the Champion Leader

    Let that replendent and far-shining star of Christ God’s Church, let that divinely given guide of all Orthodox, be now crowned with beautiful garlands of songs and praises; the Good Conforter’s divinely sounding harp of truth and the steadfast adversary of all heresy; let us cry to him, “Rejoice, O Photios most venerable”.

     

    Bucolus, Bishop of Smyrna

    Saint Bucolus was ordained by John the Evangelist; having made many pagans to be sons of the day through holy Baptism, he left Polycarp as his successor to the bishopric of Smyrna, and reposed in peace.

    Apolytikion of Bucolus, Bp. Of Smyrna in the Fourth Tone

    A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Bucolos, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

    Kontakion of Bucolus, Bp. Of Smyrna in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    We all acclaim thee as a hierarch of the Church of Christ and a disciple of His ven’rable disciples’ choir, but especially of him that was His belov’d one. O wise Father, pray the Saviour for us lauding thee, that He save us from all need and all adversity; for we cry to thee: Rejoice, O thrice-blessed Bucolus.

     

    Barsanuphius the Great and John of Gaza

    Saint Barsanuphius the Great, who was from Egypt, and his disciple, Saint John the Prophet, struggled in very strict reclusion during the sixth century at the monastery of Abba Seridus at Gaza of Palestine, and were endowed with amazing gifts of prophecy and spiritual discernment. They are mentioned by Saint Dorotheus of Gaza, their disciple, in his writings. Many of the counsels they sent to Christians who wrote to them are preserved in the book which bears their names. Once certain of the Fathers besought Saint Barsanuphius to pray that God stay His wrath and spare the world. Saint Barsanuphius wrote back that there were “three men perfect before God,” whose prayers met at the throne of God and protected the whole world; to them it had been revealed that the wrath of God would not last long. These three, he said, were “John of Rome, Elias of Corinth, and another in the diocese of Jerusalem,” concealing the name of the last, since it was himself.

    Apolytikion of Barsanuphius & John of Gaza in the First Tone

    Divine and tuneful harps of the Holy Spirit’s myst’ries, sounding forth sweet hymns of discernment which soothe all those in sorrows: ye moved men to cast off passion’s yoke and trample upon Satan’s loathsome head. Wherefore, Godlike Barsanuphius and wise John, deliver us who now cry out: Glory to Him that hath given you grace. Glory to Him that hath blessed you. Glory to Him that hath saved many through your sacred words of counsel.

    Kontakion of Barsanuphius & John of Gaza in the Third Tone

    O Great Barsanuphius and John, thou marvellous Prophet, all the hidden secrets of men and God’s dispensation brightly shone in the clear mirrors of your most pure hearts; and with beams of grace divine, ye cast out sin’s shadows from the souls of men; O Fathers, lights of discernment, entreat the Lord for us all.

    Afterfeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    The_Presentation_of_Our_Lord_And_Savior_in_The_Temple-finalApolytikion of Afterfeast of the Presentation in the First Tone

    Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Aprionus of Cyprus
    • Ilyan of Homs
  • John 10:1-9
    Hebrews 7:26-8:2
    John 10:9-16
    All day
    06-02-2017-04-02-2018

    The Gospel according to John 10:1-9

    The Lord said to the Jews who had come to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

     

    St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 7:26-28; 8:1-2

    Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
    Psalm 48.3,1

    My mouth shall speak wisdom and the meditation of my heart shall bring forth understanding.
    Verse: Hear this all you nations.

    Brethren, it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself. Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever. Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord.

    The Gospel according to John 10:9-16

    The Lord said, “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.”

  • Fast Free
    All day
    06-02-2017-11-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

7
  • Parthenios of Lampsacos
    Luke the Rightous
    All day
    07-02-2017-05-02-2018

    Parthenios, Bishop of Lampsacos

    Saint Parthenios was born in Melitopolis on the Hellespont, the son of a Deacon named Christopher. Because of the miracles, that he wrought even as a young man, he was ordained Priest and then Bishop of Lampsacos in the days of St Constantine the Great, from whom he received great gifts and authority both to overturn the altars of the idols and to raise up a church to the glory of Christ. Working many miracles throughout his life, he reposed in peace an old man and full of days.

    Apolytikion of Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus in the Fourth Tone

    O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

    Kontakion of Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus in the Third Tone

    Since thou hadst received God’s grace to work ineffable marvels, godly-wise Parthenius, thou sacred worker of wonders, thou didst wholly cleanse the faithful of all their passions, casting wicked spirits out, O God-bearing Father; for this cause we sing thy praise as a great initiate of the divine grace of God.

     

    Luke the Rightous of Greece

    St_Luke_Steiriotes-finalSt Luke was the descendant of a family from Aegina which, because of the frequent invasions of the Saracens, left Aegina and dwelt in Phocis, where the Saint was born in 896 AD. From his earliest childhood Luke ate neither flesh, nor cheese, nor eggs, but gave himself over with his whole soul to hardship and fasting for the love of heavenly blessings, often giving away his clothing to the poor, for which his father punished him. After his father’s death he secretly left home to become a monk, but the Lord, inclining to the fervent prayers of his mother, made him known, and he returned to her for a time to care for her. For many years he lived as a hermit, moving from place to place; he spent the last part of his life on Mount Stirion at Phocis, where there is a city named Stiris. The grace of God that was in him made him a wonderworker, and his tomb in the monastery of Hosios Loukas, famous for its mosaics, became a source of healing and place of pilgrimage for the faithful. According to some, he reposed in the year 946; according to others, in 953 AD.

    Apolytikion of Luke the Righteous in the First Tone

    O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

    Kontakion of Luke the Righteous in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    God, Who by judgments known to Him chose thee ere thou wast formed that thou, O Luke, mightest be right well-pleasing unto Him, from the womb made thee His own and He sanctified thee; as His own true faithful servant hath He shown thee forth and hath set aright thy footsteps, ever guiding thee as the Friend of man; thou rejoicest before Him now.

     

    Afterfeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    The_Presentation_of_Our_Lord_And_Savior_in_The_Temple-finalApolytikion of Afterfeast of the Presentation in the First Tone

    Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Theopemptos the Martyr and his Companions
    • George the New Martyr of Crete
    • Richard, King of Wessex
  • Fast Free
    All day
    07-02-2017-12-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 2 Peter 2:9-22
    Mark 13:14-23
    All day
    07-02-2017

    St. Peter’s Second Universal Letter 2:9-22

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    Beloved, the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgement, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

    Bold and wilful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a reviling judgement upon them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, reviling in matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them, suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, revealing in their dissipation, carousing with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

    These are water-less springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved. For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.

     

    The Gospel according to Mark 13:14-23

    The Lord said to his disciples, “When you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by Daniel the prophet, set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything away; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that it may not happen in winter. For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be. And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. And then if any one says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.”

     

8
  • Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates
    Prophet Zachariah
    All day
    08-02-2017-06-02-2018

    Theodore the Commander & Great Martyr

    The Holy Martyr Theodore was from Euchaita of Galatia and dwelt in Heraclea of Pontus. He was a renowned commander in the military, and the report came to the Emperor Licinios that he was a Christian and abominated the idols. Licinios therefore sent certain men to him from Nicomedia, to honour him and ask him to appear before him. Through them, however, St Theodore sent back a message that it was necessary, for various reasons that Licinios come to Heraclea. Licinios, seeing in this a hope of turning St Theodore away from Christ, did as was asked of him.

    When the Emperor came to Heraclea, St Theodore met him with honour, and the Emperor in turn gave Theodore his hand, believing that through him he would be able to draw the Christians to the worship of his idols. Seated upon his throne in the midst of the people, he publicly bade Theodore offer sacrifice to the gods. However, Theodore asked that the Emperor entrust him with the most venerable of his gods, those of gold and silver, that he might take them home and himself attend upon them that evening, promising that the following day he would honour them in public. The Emperor, filled with joy at these tidings, gave command that Theodore’s request be fulfilled.

    When the Saint had taken the idols home, he broke them in pieces and distributed the gold and silver to the poor by night. The next day a centurion named Maxentios told Licinios that he had seen a pauper pass by carrying the head of Artemis. St Theodore, far from repenting of this, confessed Christ boldly. Licinios, in an uncontrollable fury, had the Saint put to many torments, then crucified. While upon the cross, the holy Martyr was further tormented: his privy parts were cut off, he was shot with arrows, his eyes were put out, and he was left on the cross to die. The next day Licinios sent men to take his corpse and cast it into the sea; but they found the Saint alive and whole. Through this, many believed in Christ. Seeing his own men turning to Christ, and the city in an uproar, Licinios had Theodore beheaded, about the year 320 AD. The Saint’s holy relics were returned to his ancestral home on June 8, which is also a feast of the Great Martyr Theodore.

     

    The Holy Prophet Zacharias (Zachariah)

    Zacharias the ProphetThe Prophet Zachariah was the son of Barachias, and a contemporary of the Prophet Aggeus (commemorated December 16). In the days of the Babylonian captivity, he prophesied, as it says in the book of Ezra, “to the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem” (Ezra 5:1); he aided Zorobabel in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. In the book of Ezra he is called “Zachariah the son of Addo (or Iddo)”, but in his own prophetic book he is called more fully “Zachariah, the son of Barachias, the son of Addo the Prophet” (Zach 1:1). When the captivity returned from Babylon, he came to dwell in Jerusalem in his old age. His book of prophecy is divided into 14 chapters and has the 11th place among the books of the minor Prophets; his name means “Yah is renowned”. Sozomen reports that under the Emperor Honorios, Zachariah’s holy relics were found in Eleutheropolis of Palestine. The Prophet appeared in a dream to a certain Calemeros, telling him where he would find his tomb, and his body was found to be incorrupt.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr (Fourth Tone)

    You were raised up

    In truth enlisted with the King of the Heavens, you become for Him a noble commander, O trophy bearer, and Great Martyr Theodore. With the weaponry of faith, you armed yourself wisely and utterly destroyed all the hordes of the demons, as a triumphant athlete of the Lord; wherefore we ever do faithfully call you blest.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Prophet (Second Tone)

    As we celebrate the memory of Your Prophet Zachariah, O Lord, through him we beseech You to save our souls.

    Kontakion of the Martyr (Second Tone)

    You sought the heights

    In courage of soul, and furnished with the arms of faith, you took in hand the word of God as though a spear and put your foe to flight, you great boast of Martyrs, O Theodore; now together with them, O Saint, cease not to entreat Christ God for all of us.

    Kontakion of the Prophet (Fourth Tone)

    On this day You have appeared

    As a brightly shining lamp that was illumined with the Spirit’s fiery beams, O Zachariah most renowned, you prefigured with clarity the Saviour’s great and untold condescension toward us.

     

    Afterfeast of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    Apolytikion of Afterfeast of the Presentation in the First Tone

    Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Nicephoros & Stephanos the Martyrs
    • Cuthman of Steyning
  • Ephesians 2:4-10
    Matthew 10:16-22
    All day
    08-02-2017-06-02-2018

    St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 2:4-10

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 67.35,26

    God is wonderful among his saints.
    Verse: Bless God in the congregations.

    BRETHREN, God who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God: not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 10:16-22

    The Lord said to his disciples, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”

  • Fast Free
    All day
    08-02-2017-13-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

9
  • Martyr Nicephoros
    Hieromartyrs Markellos, Philagrios, & Pankratios
    Pancratios Bishop Of Tauromenia Sicily
    All day
    09-02-2017-07-02-2018

    Nicephoros the Martyr of Antioch


    Saint Nicephoros, who was from Antioch in Syria, contested during the reign of Gallienos, about the year 260 AD. Through the working of the evil one, his friendship with a certain Christian Priest named Sapricios was turned to bitter hatred. Nicephoros, repenting of his enmity, tried both through intermediaries and in person to be reconciled with Sapricios, but to no avail. Later, when the persecution broke out under Valerian and Gallienos, Sapricios was seized as a Christian. When St Nicephoros learned that the pagans had arrested Sapricios and as enduring torments for Christ, he sent intermediaries to Sapricios, begging his forgiveness; but Sapricios would not forgive him. Later, as Sapricios was being taken to beheading, Nicephoros, hoping that Sapricios, at his end, in such a holy hour, would at last forgive him, met him on the way, fell before him, and fervently asked his forgiveness; but Sapricios forgave him not. For this reason, though Sapricios had passed through many suffering, and the crown of martyrdom was now awaiting him, because he disdained the chief commandments of love and forgiveness, the grace of God, which had been strengthening him in his torments, departed from him, and he told his executioners he would sacrifice. Nicephoros immediately confessed Christ before them, and being himself beheaded, took the crown that Sapricios had cast away. Should the Apodosis of the Feast of the Meeting in the Temple fall on this day, the service to St Nicephoros is chanted on February 8.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Saint (Fourth Tone)

    Be quick to anticipate

    Your Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for You received as the prize the crowns of perfection and life from You, our immortal God. For since he possessed Your strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion of the Saint (First Tone)

    The soldiers standing guard

    Bound fast with chains of love, you mightily broke apart the wickedness of hatred with manifest courage; and hence, O Nicephoros, when the sword had cut off your head, you was shown to be a godly Martyr of Jesus, our Incarnate Saviour; pray Him for us who honour your glorious memory.

     

    Leavetaking of the Presentation of Our Lord and Savior in the Temple

    The_Presentation_of_Our_Lord_And_Savior_in_The_Temple-finalApolytikion of Apodosis of the Presentation in the First Tone

    Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

    Kontakion of Apodosis of the Presentation in the First Tone

    Your birth sanctified a Virgin’s womb and properly blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and saved us O Christ our God, give peace to Your commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom You love, as only the loving One.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Markellos, Philagrios, & Pankratios the Hieromartyrs
    • Teilo, Bishop of Llandaff
  • Fast Free
    All day
    09-02-2017-14-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 1 John 1:8-10; 2:1-6
    Mark 13:31-37: 14:1-2
    All day
    09-02-2017

    St. John’s First Universal Letter 1:8-10; 2:1-6

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    Brethren, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

     

    The Gospel according to Mark 13:31-37: 14:1-2

    The Lord said to his disciples, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Watch therefore — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning — lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.” It was now two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth, and kill him; for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult of the people.”

10
  • Hieromartyr Charalambos
    All day
    10-02-2017-08-02-2018

    Saint Charalambos was a priest in the city of Magnesia, near Smyrna in Asia Minor. About 198 AD, Sevirus, the Emperor of the Roman Empire had appointed Loucius to govern Asia Minor. Many Christians were persecuted under his reign. At this time Charalambos was in Magnesia and openly taught the Christian religion. When Loucius discovered this, he captured Charalambos for trial. Asked why he condemned the idols and disobeyed the laws of the Empire, Charalambos informed Loucius that he adhered to the laws of Jesus Christ and no others. He maintained that Christ offered eternal life to his followers. The governor commanded Charalambos to sacrifice to the gods and forsake Christ, or else undergo fierce tortures. The Saint refused to deny his beliefs.

    Saint Charalambos was stripped of his clothing and his body was ripped with iron claws. He withstood the torture with courage. One of the dukes became enraged that he took the iron claw and began to rip Charalambos’ flesh with more fervour than his soldiers. At this point the first miracle occurred. The Duke’s hands became paralysed. Screaming, he asked Loucius to help him. Seeing the Duke’s plight, the governor spat in the Saint’s face. Immediately the pagan’s head twisted in an awkward position, where it remained. The onlookers were terrified and begged the Saint to pray to Christ to save them. Charalambos beckoned them to pray and ask forgiveness for their sins. The Duke pleaded with Charalambos to pray to Christ to recover the use of his hands. When the Saint finished praying, the Duke’s hands were healed. He was then baptised and became a devout Christian.

    After these events, many people from Magnesia and other parts of Asia came to Charalambos, confessed their sins and were baptised. The Saint performed many miracles by curing the faithful of many illnesses. When Sevirus heard of this he was greatly angered and sent soldiers to Mangnesia to find the Saint, drive nails into his back, and then drag him from Magnesia to Antioch. The soldiers found Charalambos and carried out the order. They tied a rope to his beard and dragged him behind a horse, but a voice told them to leave this man alone for God was with him. Frightened, they took Charalambos to Antioch without further torture.

    Sevirus, informed of what had happened, sent another group of soldiers to torture the Saint. They tied a skewer to his chest and gathered wood so that they could burn him. He was turned on the skewer with the fire burning him for several hours. Through Divine Help the Saint was not hurt. Sevirus ordered that the Saint be brought before him. He asked the Saint what his age was and was told that he was 113 years old.

    A young man had died in the city and Sevirus ordered the Saint to resurrect him to show the strength of his God. After praying several hours, God, through Charalambos, performed the miracle. Many pagans converted to Christianity when they saw this, however, an eparch named Crispos asked Sevirus to execute the Saint because he had performed this miracle through the use of magic. Sevirus asked Charalambos to sacrifice to the gods to save himself but he refused, therefore, Sevirus ordered his soldiers to hit the Saint’s jaws with rocks and burn his face and beard with torches. The fire reflected off the Saint’s face and burned the bystanders. Sevirus was amazed at this time and was curious to know who Christ was. Crispos said to him that a harlot named Mary had borne Him. A man named Aristarchos warned Crispos not to blaspheme. A fit of madness overcame Sevirus and as he shot arrows towards the sky, he ordered Christ to come and fight him. Suddenly, the earth quaked and a fierce storm arose. Sevirus and Crispos begged the Saint to save them. Sevirus’ daughter Galinee, came into the room and warned her father to believe in Christ. She asked the Saint to forgive her father and to pray to God to end this calamity. The Saint prayed and the acts of God stopped.

    After 30 days, Sevirus again told Charalambos to sacrifice to the gods, but Charalambos refused. He then ordered that a bridle be placed in the Saint’s mouth and that he be taken throughout the city in the same manner as a horse. Galinee begged her father to stop these tortures or else he would be condemned to eternal damnation. Sevirus was angered by his daughter’s words and ordered her to sacrifice to the gods. In the Temple of Zeus she told the priests that she cursed the gods, then she prayed to the true God. The statues of all the gods were destroyed. Sevirus ordered more statues to be made and placed in the temple so the people would not mock the gods. Once again, Galinee went to the temple, prayed to God and the statues were destroyed.

    To insult Charalambos, he was driven to a widow to be guarded. When he arrived at her home, he leaned against a dry wooden beam. This beam was transformed into a tree. The woman was so frightened that she asked the Saint to leave her home since it was not worthy of his presence. He told her to have faith in God and she would have nothing to fear. The next day the neighbours saw the tree in her garden and upon asking, they learned of the miracle. They sat with the Saint and discovered Christianity. The pagans told Sevirus about these happenings and the eparch advised Sevirus to have Charalambos beheaded. The Saint was captured, but before his execution, he prayed to Christ. He died in peace before the soldiers could behead him. Galinee took his body and placed it in a golden coffin.

    Saint Charalambos guarded his people much as a shepherd would guard his flock, therefore, he is considered to be the protector of shepherds and their flocks. The body of Saint Charalambos is now in the Monastery of Saint Stephen in the Meteora, Greece, where it performs miracles to this day.

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Haralambos in the Fourth Tone

    O wise Charalambos, you were proven an unshakable pillar of the Church of Christ; an ever-shining lamp of the universe. You shone in the world by your martyrdom. You delivered us from the moonless night of idolatry O blessed one. Wherefore, boldly intercede to Christ that we may be saved.

    Kontakion of Hieromartyr Haralambos in the Fourth Tone

    O Priest-martyr, athlete, champion Charalambos, your relics are a priceless treasure of the Church. Wherefore she rejoices, glorifying the Creator.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Anastasios, Patriarch of Jerusalem
    • Porphyrios & Baptos the Monk-martyrs
  • Fast Free
    All day
    10-02-2017-15-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 2 Timothy 2:1-10
    John 15:17-27; 16:1-2
    All day
    10-02-2017

    St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 2:1-10

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    TIMOTHY, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.

    Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.

     

    The Gospel according to John 15:17-27; 16:1-2

    The Lord said to his disciples: “This I command you, to love one another. If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’

    But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”

     

11
  • Hieromartyr Blasios of Sebaste
    Theodora the Empress
    All day
    11-02-2017-09-02-2018

    Blasios the Holy Martyr of Sebastia

    St Blasios was born in Cappadocia during the 3rd century AD. He was meek and God-fearing from childhood, and was chosen for his virtues as Bishop of Sebaste. He was a great spiritual and moral light in that pagan town during a period of violent persecution of Christians, who healed the diseases of both humans and beasts, and especially infants. St. Blasios encouraged his flock and visited Christians in prison, amongst whom was St Eustratios. Later St Blasios collected St Eustratios’ relics and executed his last will and testament.

    When Sebaste was left denuded of Christians, after some were killed and others fled, St Blasios went to the mountains of Argeos and lived there in a cave. Ferocious beasts would come to him to feed him as he cared for them like a human flock. The Roman persecutors eventually found the Saint and as they were taking him away to be judged he healed a boy who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The cruel judges had the Saint tortured and flogged. While he was being tortured, his steadfastness in the Christian faith brought many unbelievers to the faith. Seven women and two children were thrown into prison with him. The women were slain first, and then Blasios and the two children were beheaded in c. 316 AD at the order of Agricolaus, prefect of Armenia under Emperor Licinius.

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Blasios in the Fourth Tone

    As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, thou foundest discipline to be a means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr Blasios. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Hieromartyr Blasios in the Second Tone

    O Unfading bloom, thou Godly shoot and fruitful branch of Christ God the Vine, O holy and God-bearing Blasios, do thou fill with thy joy them that with faith observe thy memorial; and unceasingly intercede with Christ our Redeemer that we all be saved.

     

    Theodora the Empress

    theodoraAs for the renowned Empress Theodora, she was from Paphlagonia and was the daughter of a certain Marinus, the commander of a military regiment. While being the wife of the Emperor Theophilus, the last of the Iconoclasts, she adorned the royal diadem with her virtue and piety; as long as her husband Theophilus lived, she privately venerated icons, despite his displeasure. After his death, she restored the holy icons to public veneration; this is commemorated on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the First Sunday of the Great Fast. She governed the Empire wisely for fifteen years, since her son Michael was not yet of age. But in 857 she forsook her royal power and entered a certain convent in Constantinople called Gastria, where she finished the course of her life in holiness and reposed in the Lord. Her sacred incorrupt remains are found in Corfu, in the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Cave, in the capital city of the island (see also Dec. 12).

    Apolytikion of Empress Theodora in the Plagal of the First Tone

    As a right worthy namesake of gifts bestowed of God, and a divinely-wrought image of holy wisdom and faith, thou didst make the Church to shine with godly piety; for thou didst demonstrate to all that the Saints in every age have shown honor to the icons, O Theodora, thou righteous and fair adornment of the Orthodox.

    Kontakion of Empress Theodora in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    We sing thy praises as the gem and fairness of the Church, and as a diadem and pattern of all Christian queens, O all-lauded and divinely-crowned Theodora; for in bringing back the icons to their rightful place, thou didst cast usurping heresy out of the Church. Hence, we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Sovereign most ven’rable.

     

    Finding of the relics of Zachariah the Prophet, Father of the Holy Forerunner

    nativitybaptistApolytikion of Relics of Zachariah in the Second Tone

    As we celebrate the memory of Thy Prophet Zachariah, O Lord, through him we beseech Thee to save our souls.

     

    Also Celebrated Today

    • George the Serbian
  • Hebrews 4:14-5:6
    Matthew 10:1, 5:8
    All day
    11-02-2017-09-02-2018

    St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:1-6

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    BRETHREN, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”; as he says also in another place, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 10:1, 5-8

    At that time, Jesus called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.”

  • Fast Free
    All day
    11-02-2017-16-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

12
  • Meletios, Archbishop of Antioch
    All day
    12-02-2017-10-02-2018

    St Meletios was from Melitene of Armenia, and was a blameless man, just, reverent, sincere, and most gentle. Consecrated Bishop of Sebastia in 357 AD, he was later banished from his throne and departed for Beroea of Syria (this is the present day Aleppo).

    After the Arian bishop of Antioch had been deposed, the Orthodox and the Arians each strove to have a man of like-minded man to become the next Bishop of Antioch. Meletios was highly esteemed by all, and since the Arians believed him to share their own opinion, they had him raised to the throne of Antioch. As soon as he had taken the helm of the Church of Antioch, however, he began preaching the Son’s consubstantiality with the Father. At this, the archdeacon, an Arian, put his hand over the Bishop’s mouth; Meletios then extended three fingers towards the people, closed them, and extended one only, showing by signs the equality and unity of the Trinity.

    The embarrassed archdeacon seized his hand, but released his mouth, and Meletios spoke out even more forcibly in defence of the Synod of Nicaea. Shortly after, he was banished by the Arian Emperor Constantios, son of St Constantine the Great. After the passage of time, he was recalled to his throne, but was banished again the third time by Valens. It was St Meletios who ordained St John Chrysostom reader and Deacon in Antioch.

    St Meletios lived until the Second Ecumenical Synod in 381 AD, over which he presided, being held in great honour as a zealot of the Faith and a venerable elder hierarch. The Synod was convoked against Macedonios, Patriarch of Constantinople, the enemy of the Holy Spirit).

    Some time before, when the Emperor Gratian had made the Spanish General Theodosios commander in chief of his armies in the war against the barbarians, Theodosios had had a dream in which he saw Meletios, whom he had never met, putting upon him the imperial robe and crown. Because of Theodosios’ victories, Gratian made him Emperor of the East in Valens’ stead in 379 AD. When, as Emperor, St Theodosios the Great convoked the Second Ecumenical Synod in Constantinople two years later, he forbade that anyone should tell him who Meletios was; and as soon as he saw him, he recognized him, ran to him with joy, embraced him before all the other bishops, and told him of his dream.

    While at the Synod, St Meletios fell ill and reposed a short while after. St Gregory of Nyssa, among others, gave a moving oration at his funeral; bewailing the loss of him whom all loved as a father, he said, “Where is that sweet serenity of his eyes? Where that bright smile upon his lips? Where that kind right hand, with fingers outstretched to accompany the benediction of the mouth?” e lamented, “Our Elias has been caught up, and no Elisseus is left behind in his place”. The holy relics of St Meletios were returned to Antioch and were buried beside St Babylas the Martyr (commemorated September 4), in the Church dedicated to the Martyr that Meletios, in his zeal for the Martyr’s glory, had helped build with his own hands.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things have revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Meletios, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Plagal of second Tone)

    Fearing your spiritual boldness, the apostate Macedonios flees; and as we accomplish the service wherein we seek your intercessions, we, your servants, hasten to you with longing, O Meletios, you equal of the Angels, you fiery sword of Christ our God, which utterly slays all the godless. We praise you, the luminary that illumines all.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Antonius, Archbishop of Constantinople
    • Christos the New Martyr
    • Meletios of Ypseni
  • Sunday of the Prodigal Son
    All day
    12-02-2017

    Through the parable of today’s Gospel, our Saviour has set forth three things for us: the condition of the sinner, the rule of repentance, and the greatness of God’s compassion. The divine Fathers have put this reading the week after the parable of the Publican and Pharisee so that, seeing in the person of the Prodigal Son our own wretched condition — inasmuch as we are sunken in sin, far from God and His Mysteries — we might at last come to our senses and make haste to return to Him by repentance during these holy days of the Fast.

    Furthermore, those who have wrought many great iniquities, and have persisted in them for a long time, oftentimes fall into despair, thinking that there can no longer be any forgiveness for them; and so being without hope, they fall every day into the same and even worse iniquities. Therefore, the divine Fathers, that they might root out the passion of despair from the hearts of such people, and rouse them to the deeds of virtue, have set the present parable at the forecourts of the Fast, to show them the surpassing goodness of God’s compassion, and to teach them that there is no sin — no matter how great it may be — that can overcome at any time His love for man.

  • Matthew 28:16-20
    1 Corinthians 6:12-20
    Luke 15:11-32
    All day
    12-02-2017

    The Gospel according to Matthew 28:16-20

    At that time, the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Amen.”

     

    St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 6:12-20

    Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
    Psalm 32.22,1

    Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
    Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.

    Brethren, “all things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” — and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two shall become one flesh.” But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body and in your spirit which belong to God.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 15:11-32

    The Lord said this parable: “There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry. Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

     

13
  • Martinianos of Palestine
    Symeon the Myrrhbearer
    All day
    13-02-2017-11-02-2018

    Martinianos of Palestine

    St Martinianos, who was from Caesarea of Palestine, flourished about the beginning of the fifth century. He struggled in the wilderness from his youth. After he had passed 25 years in asceticism, the devil brought a temptation upon him through a harlot, who when she heard the Saint praised for his virtue, determined to try his virtue, or rather, to undo it.

    Coming to his cell by night as it rained, and saying she had lost her way, she begged with pitiful cries to be admitted in for the night, lest she fall prey to wild beasts. Moved with compassion and not wishing to be guilty of her death should anything befall her, he allowed her to enter. When she began to seduce him, and the fire of desire began to burn in his heart, he kindled a fire and stepped into it, burning his body, but saving his soul from the fire of Gehenna.

    Brought to her senses by this, she repented, and, following his counsel, went to Bethlehem to a certain virgin named Paula, with whom she lived in fasting and prayer; before her death, she was deemed worthy of the gift of wonderworking. St Martinianos, when he recovered from the burning, resolved to go to some more solitary place, and took ship to a certain island, where he struggled in solitude for a number of years. Then a young maiden who had suffered shipwreck came ashore on his island. Not wishing to fall into temptation again, he departed, and passed his remaining time as a wanderer, coming to the end of his life in Athens.

    Apolytikion of Martinian of Palestine in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Thou didst quench the flame of temptation with the streams of thy tears, O blessed Martinian; and having checked the waves of the sea and the attacks of wild beasts, thou didst cry out: Most glorious art Thou, O Almighty One, Who hast saved me from fire and tempest.

    Kontakion of Martinian of Palestine in the Second Tone

    As is meet, let us praise with hymns the ever-venerable Martinian as a tried ascetic that struggled for piety, as an honorable athlete by deliberate choice, and a resolute citizen and inhabitant of the desert; for he hath trodden upon the serpent.

     

    Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia

    St Symeon (in the world, the ruler Stephen Nemanja), after governing Serbia in piety, wisdom, and justice for many years during the second half of the twelfth century, renounced all rule and earthly glory to become a monk, to struggle in fasting and prayer. Thereafter he went to the Holy Mountain Athos where, together with his son St Sabbas (commemorated January 14), he founded the Monastery of Hilandar. When Stephen Nemanja put on the monastic habit with the name of Symeon, his wife Anna followed his example, receiving the monastic name of Anastasia; she is commemorated as a Saint on June 21. After St Symeon death, fragrant and healing myrrh came forth from his holy relics.

    Apolytikion of Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia in the Third Tone

    Illumined by divine grace, even after death thou dost make manifest the radiance of thy life; for thou pourest forth fragrant myrrh for them that have recourse to the shrine of the relics. Thou didst also guide thy people to the light of the knowledge of God. O our Father Symeon, entreat Christ God that we be granted great mercy.

    Kontakion of Symeon the Myrrhbearer of Serbia in the Plagal of the Second Tone

    Loving the angelic life on this earth, thou didst abandon the world and worldly dominion and didst follow Christ by fasting, O Symeon. In an apostolic manner, thou didst guide unto Christ them that loved thee and didst cry: Love ye the Lord even as He hath loved you.

     

    Aquilla & Priscilla the Apostles

    Apolytikion of Apostles Aquila and Pricilla in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Eulogios, Patriarch of Alexandria
  • 1 John 2:18-29; 3:1-8
    Mark 11:1-11
    All day
    13-02-2017

    St. John’s First Universal Letter 2:18-29; 3:1-8

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.4,1

    Who makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire
    Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God you are very great.

    Brethren, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know that I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

    I write this to you about those who would deceive you; but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.

    And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that every one who does right is born of him.

    See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

    Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

     

    The Gospel according to Mark 11:1-11

    At that time, as Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it. If any one says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” And they went away, and found a colt tied at the door out in the open street; and they untied it. And those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said; and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it. And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!” And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple; and when he had looked round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

     

  • Meatfare
    All day
    13-02-2017-16-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

14
  • Auxentios of the Mountain
    Cyril Apostle of the Slavs
    All day
    14-02-2017-12-02-2018

    Holy Father Auxentius of the Mountain

    St Auxentios, who was from the East, lived during the reign of St Theodosios the Younger. In 442 AD, St Auxentios enlisted in the Fourth Military Company of the Imperial Guard. Afterwards, he became a monk on a certain mountain in Bithynia (which later took his name), not far from Chalcedon. On becoming the Archimandrite of the monastics gathered there, and proving himself most enduring in asceticism and most Orthodox in his faith, he reposed during the reign of the Emperor Leo the Great of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474 AD.

    Apolytikion of Auxentios of the Mountain in the First Tone

    Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Auxentius, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer thou didst obtain heavenly gifts, and thou healest the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him that hath given thee strength. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.

    Kontakion of Auxentios of the Mountain in the Second Tone

    Since thou tookest great delight in abstinence, O godly-minded one, and since thou didst bridle the desires of the flesh, thou didst ever increase in faith; and thou didst blossom forth like the tree in the midst of Paradise, O most sacred Father Auxentius.

     

    Cyril, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Teacher of the Slavs

    Methodios_&_Cyril,_Equal-to-the_Apostles_Illuminators_of_the_SlavsSaint Cyril was born in Thessaloniki in the early 9th century to pious parents. His family was one of only a few Byzantines in Thessaloniki at that time since it was largely populated by Slavs. Growing up in this situation, Cyril learned the Slavonic language, which later in life would serve him and the Church at large. He continued his education in Constantinople with his brother Methodios (see May 11th), each taking to their particular interests: Methodios in politics, and Cyril in philosophy and teaching.

    The two brothers were approached in 850 by Saint Photios the Great (see February 6th) to lead a diplomatic mission to the Khazars, the people who inhabited the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Cyril and Methodios accepted this mission and departed to the North. After the success of this trip, the brothers lived for a time in a monastery on Mount Olympus where Methodios became a monk. At this time the brothers utilized their childhood Slavonic education to develop a written alphabet for the Slavonic language, which to this time had never existed. This alphabet became known as theGlagolithic Alphabet. On their own instigation, the brothers began translating the Gospels and liturgical service books into Slavonic.

    Providentially, Cyril and Methodios were again called upon for a mission, this time to travel to Moravia to spread the Christian faith to King Rostislav (see May 11th) and his people. The brothers departed in 862, bringing with them their Slavonic alphabet and service books. After five years of service, the brothers made their way to Rome in 867 to have members of their company ordained to the priesthood to aid in the missionary journey. The group of missionaries celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Rome in the Slavonic language for the very first time with members of their party being ordained as they intended. While in Rome, Cyril fell deathly ill. He was tonsured a monk and died. His brother Methodios continued their missionary work, utilizing the Glagolthic Alphabet. Cyril and his brother Methodios are commemorated together on May 11th.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Nicholas the New Martyr of Corinth
    • Abraham, Bishop of Carrhes in Mesopotamia
  • Meatfare
    All day
    14-02-2017-17-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 1 John 3:9-22
    Mark 14:10-42
    All day
    14-02-2017

    St. John’s First Universal Letter 3:9-22

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    BRETHREN, no one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, and not be like Cain who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not wonder, brethren, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask.

     

    The Gospel according to Mark 14:10-42

    At that time, Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. And when they heard it they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him. And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?” And he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the householder, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover. And when it was evening he came with the twelve. And as they were at table eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said vehemently, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same. And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

     

15
  • Onesimus the Apostle of the 70
    All day
    15-02-2017-13-02-2018

    Onesimus the Apostle of the 70

    This Apostle, who was from Colossae, was a bond-servant of that Philemon to whom the Apostle Paul addressed his epistle. Onesimus escaped from Philemon and fled to Rome, where he became a disciple of Saint Paul. Saint Paul brought him to the Faith of Christ, and then sent him back to his master, who in turn gave him his freedom and sent him back to Rome again, where he ministered to Saint Paul. Later, he was seized because he was a Christian and was sent to Puteoli, where he was beaten to death with clubs. Saint Onesimus is also commemorated on November 22 with the holy Apostles Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus.

    Apolytikion of Onesimus of the 70 in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostle Onesimus, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion of Onesimus of the 70 in the Fourth Tone

    Thou didst shine upon the world as a bright sunbeam, shining with the rays of Paul, the sun of most resplendent light, who hath enlightened the world entire. Thus, we all honour thee, blessed Onesimus.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Our Righteous Father Anthimus the Elder of Chios
    • Eusebius the Righteous of Syria
    • Onesimos, Patriarch of Constantinople
    • Maïor the Martyr
  • Meatfare
    All day
    15-02-2017-18-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Philemon 1:1-25
    Mark 14:43-72; 15:1
    All day
    15-02-2017

    St. Paul’s Letter to Philemon 1:1-25

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    PAUL, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker, and Apphia our sister and Archippos our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is ours in Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you – I, Paul, an ambassador and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus – I appeal to you for my child, Onesimos, whose father I have become in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel; but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will. Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back for ever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand, I will repay it – to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping through your prayers to be granted to you. Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchos, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

     

    The Gospel according to Mark 14:43-72; 15:1

    At that time, while Jesus was speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, “Master!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all forsook him, and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body; and they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked. And they led Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes were assembled. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, and their witness did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” Yet not even so did their testimony agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments, and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows. And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the maids of the high priest came; and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway. And the maid saw him, and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. And after a little while again the bystanders said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate.

     

16
  • Martyr Pamphilios & Companions
    All day
    16-02-2017-14-02-2018

    Saint Pamphilios contested during the reign of Maximian, in 290 AD, in Caesarea of Palestine, and was put to death by command of Firmilian, the Governor of Palestine. His fellow contestants’ names are Valens, Paul, Seleucus, Porphyrios, Julian, Theodulus, and five others from Egypt: Elias, Jeremias, Esaias, Samuel, and Daniel.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Be quick to anticipate

    Your Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for You received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since they possessed Your strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    You Who was raised up

    When fearful instruments of torture were brought forth, the noble athletes of the Lord went with gladness and an undaunted spirit to endure them all; for they set the flesh at naught and did not spare their bodies; now they have inherited glory lasting forever; and without ceasing, they all intercede for us, who laud the great conflicts they underwent.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Flavianos, Patriarch of Constantinople
    • Romanos the Younger
  • Meatfare
    All day
    16-02-2017-19-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 1 John 4:20-21; 5:1-21
    Mark 15:1-15
    All day
    16-02-2017

    St. John’s First Universal Letter 4:20-21; 5:1-21

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    Beloved, if any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.

    Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

    This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has borne witness to his Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life.

    I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

    We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

    We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.

    And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

     

    The Gospel according to Mark 15:1-15

    At that time, the chief priests, with the elders, and scribes and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered. Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them. And he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

     

17
  • Martyr Theodore of Tyro
    Hermogenes (Germogen) of Moscow
    All day
    17-02-2017-15-02-2018

    The Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro

    Saint Theodore, who was from Amasia of Pontus, contested during the reign of Maximian (286-305 AD). He was called Tyro, from the Latin Tyro, because he was a newly enlisted recruit in the army. When it was reported that he was a Christian, he boldly confessed Christ; the ruler, hoping that he would repent, together with other Christians, was required to renounce Christ and to offer sacrifice to idols. He was given time to consider the matter more completely and then give answer. Theodore gave answer by setting fire to the temple of Cybele, the “mother of the gods”, and for this, he suffered a martyr’s death by fire. His body was buried in the city of Euchaita (in Asia Minor). Later, his relics were translated to Constantinople, to the church named after him; his head is located in Gaeta, Italy.

    About 50 years after the death of Saint Theodore, the Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), desiring to defile the Christian Great Lent, ordered the city governor of Constantinople to sprinkle secretly the provisions sold in the markets with blood from sacrifices to idols each day throughout the first week of the Fast. Saint Theodore appeared in a night vision to Eudoxius, the Archbishop of Constantinople, and ordered him to announce to the Christians that they should not buy the defiled provisions in the markets, but should use boiled wheat with honey as food. In commemoration of this event, the Orthodox Church to this day celebrates the memory of the Great-martyr Theodore the Tyro annually on the first Saturday of Great Lent.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr (Second Tone)

    Great are the achievements of faith! In the fountain of flame, as by the water of rest, the holy Martyr Theodore rejoiced; for having been made a whole-burnt offering in the fire, he was offered as sweet bread unto the Trinity. By his prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.

    Kontakion of the Martyr (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    Having received the Faith of Christ in your heart as a breastplate, you trampled upon the enemy hosts, O much-suffering champion; and you have been crowned eternally with a heavenly crown, since you are invincible.

     

    Hermogenes (Germogen), Patriarch of Moscow

    hermogenes_of_moscowOur Father among the Saints Hermogenes (Germogen), Patriarch of Moscow, was born about 1530 in Kazan. While yet a layman, he lived as a clerk in the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Kazan. In 1569, the year that Metropolitan Philip of Moscow was slain in Tver (see Jan. 9), Saint Barsanuphius, Bishop of Tver, fled to Kazan fearing the wrath of Ivan the Terrible. So Hermogenes became a spiritual son of Saint Barsanuphius. He was made priest of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Kazan, and was a witness of the miracles of the newly-appeared icon of our Lady of Kazan (see July 8). Later he became Abbot of the Monastery of the Transfiguration, and in 1589 was consecrated Metropolitan of Kazan, in which capacity he converted and baptized many pagan Tartars and heterodox.

    In late 1604, the so-called false Dimitry, a pretender to the Russian throne who claimed to be the son of Ivan the Terrible (who had died in 1584), crossed the Russian border, having the support of the Jesuits and King Sigismund III of Poland, who hoped through Dimitry to force Papism upon the Russian people; a few cities, such as Chernigov, soon surrendered to him. Shaken by these calamities, Tsar Boris Gudonov died suddenly, and in June, 1605, the pretender entered Moscow and took the Russian throne. He then declared his intention to marry a Polish woman without her receiving Baptism in the Orthodox Church; when the authorities and the hierarchy remained silent out of fear, it was Metropolitan Hermogenes alone who fearlessly rebuked him and demanded that she renounce Papism and be baptized according to the rites of Orthodoxy. For this, Hermogenes was banished to Kazan. In 1606 Prince Basil Shuisky led the people in the overthrow of Dimitry, and Basil was elected Tsar in Moscow; Hermogenes was made Patriarch of Moscow. The overthrow of Dimitry did not end the endeavours of the Poles to subject Russia to themselves, and in those times of upheavals, treachery, and bloodshed, the valiant Patriarch Hermogenes showed himself to be a great spiritual leader of the people, and, like Saint Philip of Moscow almost half a century before, the conscience of Orthodox Russia in times of betrayal and terror.

    In 1609 King Sigismund succeeded in setting his son upon the Russian throne, and Patriarch Hermogenes again insisted that the new Tsar be baptized in the Orthodox Church, marry an Orthodox Christian, and have no dealings with the Pope. The Poles, together with rebel boyars who supported them, imprisoned Patriarch Hermogenes in an underground chamber of the Chudov Monastery during Holy Week of 1611, where they slowly starved him to death; he gave up his holy soul on February 17, 1612.

    In 1653, his holy relics were found incorrupt; in 1812, when Napoleon captured Moscow, the Saint’s tomb was desecrated in the search for treasure; when the French withdrew, the Patriarch’s holy body was found intact on the floor of the cathedral; in 1883 his holy relics were again found whole. Saint Hermogenes was glorified on May 12, 1913, and added to the choir of holy hierarchs of Moscow, whose feast is celebrated on October 5; at the time of his glorification a multitude of miracles were wrought through his incorrupt relics.

    Apolytikion of Hermogenes Patriarch of Moscow in the Fourth Tone

    O first Hierarch of the Russian land and unsleeping man of prayer for her, having laid down thy life for the Faith of Christ and for thy flock, thou didst make firm the dominion of its sovereigns and didst deliver thy country from godlessness. Wherefore, we cry out to thee: Save us by thy prayers, O Hieromartyr Hermogenes our Father.

    Kontakion of Hermogenes Patriarch of Moscow in the Plagal of the Second Tone

    Though spent by imprisonment and hunger, thou didst abide in the Faith even unto death, O blessed Hermogenes, thereby casting cowardice out of the hearts of thy people and calling all to the common struggle. Hence, thou didst put down the turmoil of the godless and didst make firm the scepter of the kingdom. Wherefore, all cry to thee: Rejoice, O intercessor for the Russian land.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Mariamne, Sister of Apostle Philip
    • Righteous Auxentius
    • The Pious Rulers Marcian and Pulcheria
    • Theodore the New Martyr of Byzantium
  • 2 Timothy 2:1-10
    Luke 20:46-21:4
    All day
    17-02-2017-15-02-2018

    St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 2:1-10

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    TIMOTHY, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.

    Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 20:46-47; 21:1-4

    The Lord said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and love salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.” Having said this, he proclaimed, “He who has ears let him hear.”

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    17-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

18
  • Leo the Great
    All day
    18-02-2017-16-02-2018

    Leo the Great, the Pope of Rome

    According to some, St Leo was born in Rome, but according to others in Tyrrenia (Tuscany), and was consecrated to the Archiepiscopal throne of Rome in 440 AD. In 448 AD, when St Flavian, Archbishop of Constantinople, summoned Eutyches, an Archimandrite in Constantinople, to give account for his teaching that there was only one nature in Christ after the Incarnation, Eutyches appealed to St Leo in Rome. After St Leo had carefully examined Eutyches’ teachings, he wrote an Epistle to St Flavian, setting forth the Orthodox teaching of the person of Christ, and His two natures, and also counselling Flavian that, should Eutyches sincerely repent of his error, he should be received back with all good will. At the council held in Ephesus in 449 AD, which was presided over by Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria. St Leo, in a letter to the holy Empress Pulcheria in 451 AD, was the first to call the council “The Robber Council”. Dioscorus, having military might behind him, did not allow St Leo’s Epistle to Flavian to be read, although repeatedly asked to do so; even before the Robber Council was held, Dioscorus had uncanonically received the unrepentant Eutyches back into communion. Because St Leo had many cares in Rome owing to the wars of Attila the Hun and other barbarians, in 451 AD he sent four delegates to the Fourth Ecumenical Council, where 630 Fathers gathered in Chalcedon during the reign of Marcian, to condemn the teachings of Eutyches and those who supported him. St Leo’s Epistle to Flavian was read at the Fourth Council, and was confirmed by the Holy Fathers as the Orthodox teaching on the Incarnate person of our Lord; it is also called the “Tome of Leo”. The Saint wrote many works in Latin; he reposed in 461 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things have revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Leo, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Third Tone)

    On this day the Virgin

    Seated on the priestly throne, O great and glorious Leo, with the Holy Trinity’s inspired and God-given doctrines you stopped the gaping mouths of spiritual lions and shined upon your flock the light of God-knowledge, and are glorified now as a divine initiate of the sublime grace of God.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Agapetus the Confessor, Bishop of Sinai
    • Flavian the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople
  • Saturday of Souls
    All day
    18-02-2017

    Through the Apostolic Constitutions (Book VIII, ch. 42), the Church of Christ has received the custom to make commemorations for the departed on the third, ninth, and fortieth days after their repose. Since many throughout the ages, because of an untimely death in a faraway place, or other adverse circumstances, have died without being deemed worthy of the appointed memorial services, the divine Fathers, being so moved in their love for man, have decreed that a common memorial be made this day for all pious Orthodox Christians who have reposed from all ages past, so that those who did not have particular memorial services may be included in this common one for all. Also, the Church of Christ teaches us that alms should be given to the poor by the departed one’s kinsmen as a memorial for him.

    Besides this, since we make commemoration tomorrow of the Second Coming of Christ, and since the reposed have neither been judged, nor have received their complete recompense (Acts 17:31; II Peter 2:9; Heb. 11:39-40), the Church rightly commemorates the souls today, and trusting in the boundless mercy of God, she prays Him to have mercy on sinners. Furthermore, since the commemoration is for all the reposed together, it reminds each of us of his own death, and arouses us to repentance.

    Apolytikion of Saturday of Souls in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Only Creator who out of the depths of wisdom lovingly govern all things and upon all bestow what is accordingly best for them, give rest to the souls of Your servants, for they have placed their hope in You, our Author and Maker and God.

    Kontakion of Saturday of Souls in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Give rest, O Christ, among the Saints to the souls of Your servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no grieving, but life everlasting.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
    Luke 21:8-9,25-27,33-36
    All day
    18-02-2017

    St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians 4:13-17

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 24.13; 27.1

    Their souls shall dwell among good things.
    Verse: To you, O Lord, have I cried, O my God.

    But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 21:8-9,25-27,33-36

    The Lord said, “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once. And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.”

     

19
  • Martyr Philothei of Athens
    All day
    19-02-2017-17-02-2018

    Philothei the Righteous Martyr of Athens

    St Philothei was born in Athens in 1522 AD to an illustrious family. Against her will, she was married to a man who proved to be most cruel. When he died three years later, the Saint took up the monastic life and established a convent, in which she became a true mother to her disciples. Many women enslaved and abused by the Moslem Turks also ran to her for refuge. Because of this, the Turkish rulers became enraged and came to her convent, dragged her by force out of the church, and beat her cruelly. After a few days, she reposed, giving thanks to God for all things. This came to pass in the year 1589 AD. She was renowned for her almsgiving, and with Saints Hierotheos and Dionysios the Areopagite is considered a Patron of the city of Athens.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Righteous One

    Let us worship the Word

    The famed city of Athens honours Philothei, the righteous Martyr, whose relics it now revered with joy; for while living in sobriety and holiness, she has exchanged all earthly things for the everlasting life through great contests as a Martyr; and she entreats the Saviour to grant His mercy to all of us.

    Kontakion of the Righteous One in the Third Tone.

    On this day the Virgin

    We all honour Philothei with jubilation of spirit, as this day we reverently worship her venerable relics. For she lived her whole life working kindness and mercy; and the righteous one, receiving a martyr’s ending, is deemed worth to entreat God that all be granted eternal life with the Saints.

     

    The Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon, Apphia, Archippus, and Onesimus

    Philemon, who was from Colossae, a city of Phrygia, was a man both wealthy and noble; Apphia was his wife. Archippus became Bishop of the Church in Colossae. All three were disciples of the Apostle Paul. Onesimus, who was formerly an unbeliever and slave of Philemon, stole certain of his vessels and fled to Rome. However, on finding him there, the Apostle Paul guided him onto the path of virtue and the knowledge of the truth, and sent him back to his master Philemon, to whom he wrote an epistle (this is one of the fourteen epistles of Saint Paul). In this epistle, Paul commended Onesimus to his master and reconciled the two. Onesimus was later made a bishop; in Greece he is honoured as the patron Saint of the imprisoned. All these Saints received their end by martyrdom, when they were stoned to death by the idolaters. Saint Onesimus is also commemorated on February 15.

    Apolytikion of Philemon & Archippus, of the 70 in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostle Archippos, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion of Philemon & Archippus, of the 70 in the Fourth Tone

    Having thee, O Archippus, as her own great star, and enlightened with the rays of thy most wondrous miracles, the Church now crieth aloud to thee: Save them that faithfully honour thy memory.

     

  • Judgement Sunday
    All day
    19-02-2017

    When Thou shalt sit to judge the world, O Judge of All, Count me worthy of Thy summons to Thy right hand.

    On this day we commemorate the inescapable second coming of Christ, ordained by the most divine Fathers to be observed after the second parable of the Prodigal, so that no one who has learned of the love of God for mankind from it will live in laziness saying, “God loves mankind, and when I am separated from Him by sin, all is prepared for my restoration.”

    This fearsome day of judgment has been designated for commemoration at this point in time, that through fear of death and the expectation of future torment, those who live in laziness may be encouraged to the virtues, not trusting only in the love of God, but also realizing that He is the righteous Judge who will judge all men according to their deeds. In other words those souls who have passed over are obliged to undergo judgment.

    And this present feast is a type of symbol of this in that it is presented now as a final celebration just as it will be the last event after our death. For it behooves us to contemplate that as the beginning of the world and Adam’s fall from Paradise are commemorated on the following Sunday, so this day is the end of all days and of the world itself.

    The commemoration is appointed for this day of Meatfare, that in awe of this event we should limit our intake of earthly food, not giving ourselves over to gluttony, and be encouraged to love our neighbor. In other words, since we were banished from Eden, cursed and condemned through eating of the fruit, so the present event has been ordained at this time, as next Sunday we will be banished through Adam, until Christ comes again to raise us up to Paradise.

    It is called the second coming, since Christ appeared to us at His first coming in the flesh and delivered the human race, and He will come again to judge whether that which He commanded us has been observed. And when will this second coming occur? No one knows; for although He mentioned several preceding signs, the Lord concealed it from His Apostles. Before His coming the antichrist will appear. He will live his life after the manner of Christ, performing miracles like those which Christ performed, and raising the dead. Yet all that he does will be an illusion.

    After this suddenly like lightning from heaven the Lord will come, going before His holy Cross, and a river of boiling fire will go before Him, cleansing the earth of its defilement. The antichrist will be seized immediately along with his servants and will be committed to eternal fire.

    And when the angels sound the trumpets, all the nations of mankind will gather from all places and from all the ends of the earth in Jerusalem, for it is the center of the earth. And there the thrones will be set for judgment. Then all souls will be reunited with their bodies and clothed in incorruptible beauty, transformed into one likeness.

    And with one word the Lord will separate the righteous from the sinners. Those who have done good will receive eternal life, and the sinners will be once more sent to eternal and everlasting torment.

    Let it be noted that Christ will not ask who fasted, or who was naked, or who performed miracles, for although these things are good, mercy and compassion are far better. He will question both the righteous and the sinners on six commandment-like virtues, of which everyone is capable: “For I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me. I was sick, and ye visited me. I was in prison, and ye came to me. Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me.” Then all will confess the Lord Jesus Christ in the glory of God the Father.

    Now the torments, according to the Holy Gospel are weeping and the gnashing of teeth, where their worm dies not and the fire is not quenched, and he shall be cast into outer darkness. For all the Church of God will joyfully delight in attaining the Kingdom of Heaven, being close to God in His holy place, and receiving everlasting glory and exaltation. But those who are separated from God through wasting the life of their souls in laziness and temporal nourishment will receive torment and darkness, and be eternally deprived of the divine radiance.

    In Thine ineffable love for mankind, O Christ our God, make us worthy of Thy voice, which we long to hear, number us among those at Thy right hand, and have mercy on us. Amen.

  • Mark 16:1-8
    1 Corinthians 8:8-13; 9:1-2
    Matthew 25:31-46
    All day
    19-02-2017

    The Gospel according to Mark 16:1-8

    When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back, for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.

     

    St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-13; 9:1-2

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 146.5;134.3

    Great is our Lord, and great is his power.
    Verse: Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.

    Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if any one sees you, a man of knowledge, at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.

    Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 25:31-46

    The Lord said, “When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

     

20
  • Leo of Catania
    All day
    20-02-2017-18-02-2018

    Leo, Bishop of Catania

    Saint Leo was from Ravenna in Italy, and lived during the reign of Leo the Wise and his son Constantine Porphyrogenitios (end of the ninth and beginning of the tenth centuries). He struggled especially against the paganism and sorcery still prevalent in those regions.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Leo, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    With songs let us all crown him who was dedicated to the Lord from infancy, and who from his swaddling bands received grace from God, even Leo, the luminary and defender of the Church; for he is her support.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Agathus, Pope of Rome
    • Bessarion the Great
    • Sadok the Bishop and the 128 other Martyrs of Persia
    • Plotinus
  • 3 John 1:1-15
    Luke 19:29-40; 22:7-39
    All day
    20-02-2017

    St. John’s Third Universal Letter 1:1-15

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.4,1

    Who makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire
    Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God you are very great.

    The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

    Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health; I know that it is well with your soul. For I greatly rejoiced when some of the brethren arrived and testified to the truth of your life, as indeed you do follow the truth. No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.

    Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers, who have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey as befits God’s service. For they have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen. So we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth.

    I have written something to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge my authority. So if I come I will bring up what he is doing, prating against me with evil words. And not content with that, he refuses himself to welcome the brethren, and also stops those who want to welcome them and puts them out of the church.

    Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God. Demetrios has testimony from every one, and from the truth itself; I testify to him too, and you know my testimony is true.

    I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink; I hope to see you soon, and we will talk together face to face.

    Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, every one of them.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 19:29-40; 22:7-39

    At that time, when Jesus drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat; untie it and bring it here. If any one asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this, ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their garments on the colt they set Jesus upon it. And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road. As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

    Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying; “Go and prepare the passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.” And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover.

    And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this.

    A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

    You are those who have continued with me in my trials; and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” He said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.”

    And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

    And he came out, and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.

     

  • Cheesefare
    All day
    20-02-2017-24-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

21
  • Zacharias of Jerusalem
    Timothy the Righteous
    Eustathius of Antioch
    All day
    21-02-2017-19-02-2018

    Zachariah, Patriarch of Jerusalem

    St Zacharias succeeding Isaacius (601-609 AD) as Patriarch of Jerusalem during 609-632 AD. According to John Zonaras, the great compiler of the Canons, his tenure lasted twenty-three years; but according to St Nicephorus, it lasted 22 years. The holy Zacharias, in turn, was succeeded by St Modestus. In the life of St Modestus, the following was written concerning his predecessor,

    “History will always remember the imprisoned Patriarch Zacharias, the heroic champion of the Holy Land, with great admiration and respect for refusing to be separated from the most venerable Cross”. Meletius states that at the time of Emperor Heraclius (614 AD), the blessed Zacharias was imprisoned by Chosroes, but he returned to Jerusalem with Heraclius, who had driven out the Persians. Jerusalem, in the meantime, was rebuilt, and the captured Holy Cross was returned and elevated once again by the hands of St Zacharias on the 14th of September, 629 AD. This latter event is commemorated as the Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross, on September 14.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    O God of the Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Your gentleness, take not Your mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide of life in peace.

    Kontakion of St Zacharias (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    To you, the Champion Leader

    Let that replendent and far-shining star of Christ God’s Church, let that divinely given guide of all Orthodox, be now crowned with beautiful garlands of songs and praises; the Good Conforter’s divinely sounding harp of truth and the steadfast adversary of all heresy; let us cry to him, “Rejoice, O Zacharias most venerable”.

     

    Timothy the Righteous

    Saint Timothy took up the monastic life from his youth, became a vessel of the Holy Spirit, and reposed in deep old age.

    Apolytikion of Timothy the Righteous in the Fourth Tone

    O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

    Kontakion of Timothy the Righteous in the Fourth Tone

    Thou didst rise up from the East like a most bright star, shining with the splendour of the virtues of thy miracles within the hearts of all faithful men, O wonder worker of godly mind, Timothy.

     

    Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch

    EustathiosSaint Eustathius, the great defender of piety and illustrious opponent of Arianism, was from Side in Pamphylia. He became Bishop of Beroea (the present-day Aleppo), and in 325 was present at the First Ecumenical Council. From thence he was transferred to the throne of Antioch. But Saint Constantine the Great, led astray by the slanders directed against the Saint by the Arians, banished him to Trajanopolis in Thrace, where he reposed in 337, according to some. Others say he lived until 360.

    Apolytikion of Eustathius of Antioch in the Third Tone

    O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

    Kontakion of Eustathius of Antioch in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Since thou hadst wholly purified thyself with godly deeds, thou wast a notable example of a true high priest, while excelling in divine vision and a pure life. As a pillar and foundation of the Church of Christ, thou withstoodest all temptations with great steadfastness. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Eustathius.

  • Cheesefare
    All day
    21-02-2017-25-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 1 Jude 1:1-10
    Luke 22:39-42, 45-71; 23:1
    All day
    21-02-2017

    St. Jude’s First Universal Letter 1:1-10

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,

    To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

    May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

    Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For admission has been secretly gained by some who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Master and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that the Lord saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgement of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    Yet in like manner these men in their dreaming defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgement upon him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these men revile whatever they do not understand, and by those things that they know by instinct as irrational animals, they are destroyed.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 22:39-42, 45-71; 23:1

    At that time, when Jesus came out, he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.” And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

    While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?” And when those who were about him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

    Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance; and when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a maid, seeing him as he sat in the light and gazing at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

    Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and asked him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they spoke many other words against him, reviling him.

    When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes; and they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” And they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

    Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate.

22
  • Uncovering of Relics at Eugenius
    All day
    22-02-2017-20-02-2018

    The Finding of the Precious Relics of the Holy Martyrs in the Quarter of Eugenius

    During the persecutions against Christians the relics of the holy martyrs were usually buried by the faithful in hidden places. So at Constantinople, near the gates and tower in the Eugenios quarter, the bodies of several martyrs were found when Thomas was Patriarch of that city during 607-610 AD. Their names remain unknown by the Church.

    When miracles of healing began at this spot, the relics of the Saints were discovered and transferred to a church with great honor. It was revealed to a certain pious clergyman, Nicholas Kalligraphos, that among the relics discovered were those of the holy Apostle Andronikos of the Seventy and his helper Junia (commemorated May 17), whom the Apostle Paul mentions in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:7). In the twelfth century, a great domed church was built on the spot where the relics of the holy martyrs were discovered. This work was undertaken by the Emperor Andronikos (1183-1185 AD), whose patron Saint was the holy Apostle Andronikos.

    Apolytikion of Uncovering of Relics at Eugenius in the Fourth Tone

    Your Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for You received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from You, our immortal God. For since they possessed Your strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ powerless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion of Uncovering of Relics at Eugenius in the Fourth Tone

    When you shined forth from the earth like luminaries, you dispersed the gloomy mist of all impiety, O Saints, and you enlightened believing souls, O godly Martyrs who championed the Trinity.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Our Righteous Fathers Thalassius and Baradatus
    • Anthousa the Martyr & her 12 Servants
  • Cheesefare
    All day
    22-02-2017-26-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Joel 3:12-21
    Joel 2:12-26
    All day
    22-02-2017

    Joel 3:12-21

    Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehosh’aphat; for there I will sit to judge all the nations round about.

    Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.

    Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.

    And the Lord roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shake. But the Lord is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel.

    “So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who dwell in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy and strangers shall never again pass through it.

    “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the valley of Shittim.

    “Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to all generations. I will avenge their blood, and I will not clear the guilty, for the Lord dwells in Zion.”

     

    Joel 2:12-26

    “Yet even now,” says the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?

    Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber.

    Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and make not thy heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”

    Then the Lord became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people. The Lord answered and said to his people, “Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.

    “I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land, his front into the eastern sea, and his rear into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things.

    “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things! Fear not, you beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

    “Be glad, O sons of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before.

    “The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.

    “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.”

23
  • Hieromartyr Polycarp
    All day
    23-02-2017-21-02-2018

    Saint Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna and one of the Apostolic Fathers. He was orphaned at an early age, but at the direction of an angel, he was raised by the pious widow Kallista. After the death of his adoptive mother, Saint Polycarp gave away his possessions and began to lead a chaste life, caring for the sick and the infirm. He was very fond of and close to Saint Bucolus, Bishop of Smyrna(commemorated February 6). He ordained Polycarp as Deacon, entrusting to him to preach the Word of God in church. He also ordained him to the holy priesthood. Saint Polycarp was especially close to and a student of Saint John, and sometimes accompanied him on his apostolic journeys. He was also personally acquainted with ‘others who had seen the Lord’. Saint Polycarp served as a link between the Apostolic age and Orthodoxy of the latter part of the second century.

    Shortly before his death, Saint Bucolus expressed his wish that Polycarp be made Bishop of Smyrna. When Saint Polycarp was consecrated as Bishop, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him. Saint Polycarp guided his flock with apostolic zeal, and he was also greatly loved by the clergy. Saint Ignatius the God-Bearer of Antioch (commemorated December 20) also had a high regard for him. Setting out for Rome where execution awaited him, he wrote to Saint Polycarp, “This age is in need of you if it is to reach God, just as pilots need winds, and as a storm-tossed sailor needs a port”.

    Saint Irenaeus of Lyons records to his friend Florinus:

    “I was still very young when I saw you in Asia Minor at Polycarp’s, but I would still be able to point out the place where Blessed Polycarp sat and conversed, and be able to depict his walk, his mannerisms in life, his outward appearance, his speaking to people, his companionable wandering with John. How he himself related, together with other eyewitnesses of the Lord, those things that he remembered from the words of others. He also told what he heard from them about the Lord, His teachings and miracles…Through the mercy of God to me, I then already listened attentively to Polycarp and wrote down his words, not on tablets, but in the depths of my heart. Therefore, I am able to bear witness before God, that if this blessed and apostolic Elder heard something similar to your fallacy, he would immediately stop up his ears and express his indignation with his usual phrase: ‘Good God! That You have permitted me to be alive at such a time!’”

    Saint Polycarp was a new kind of Christian for his time. He was not a Jew and was not familiar with Old Testament Scriptures; instead, he immersed himself in the Apostolic tradition. This is evident by his writings that weaved together phrases from a wide range of Apostolic writings. Here is a quote from his letter to the Philippians, dated c. 135 AD, that seems appropriate for the Easter period,”Everyone who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an Antichrist; whoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whoever perverts the sayings of the Lord for his own desires, and says that there is neither resurrection nor judgement, such a one is the first-born of Satan. Let us therefore, leave the foolishness and the false-teaching of the crowd, and turn back to the word which was delivered to us in the beginning.

    Let us, then, continue unceasingly in our hope and in the Pledge of our justification, that is, in Christ Jesus, who bore our sins in His own body on the tree, who did no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth; yet, for our sakes, that we might live in Him, He endured everything”.

    Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) of Roman fiercely persecuted Christians. The pagan population demanded that the judge search for Saint Polycarp, who was then an old man, “the father of all the Christians”, and “the seducer of all Asia”. During this time, Saint Polycarp, at the persistent urging of his flock, stayed in a small village not far from Smyrna.

    On the day of his death, when his pursuers found Saint Polycarp, the Saint commanded that his captures be given something to eat and drink. He then asked them to give him an hour to pray; he stood and prayed, full of grace, for two hours in which he remembered everyone he met. Seeing his devotion and love, his captors repented that they had come against so venerable a man. Saint Polycarp was brought by the Proconsul of Smyrna into the stadium and was commanded, “Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, ‘Away with the atheists’”. By atheists, the Proconsul meant the Christians. However, Saint Polycarp, gazing at the heathen in the stadium, waved his hand towards them and said, “Away with the atheists”.

    Saint Polycarp was condemned to be burnt alive, and was seated on a donkey and led into the city (presumably Rome), where he was asked to slander Christ. Saint Polycarp replied, “Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He has never done me wrong. How, then, should I be able to blaspheme my King who has saved me?” This indicates that, even if he was baptised as a child, he must have been born around 69 AD.

    The executioners wanted to nail him to a post, but he declared that God would give him the strength to endure the flames, so they could merely tie him with ropes. The flames encircled the saint but did not touch him, coming together over his head in the shape of a vault. Seeing that the fire did him no harm, the pagans stabbed him with a dagger. So much blood flowed from this wound that it extinguished the flames. The body of the Hieromartyr Polycarp was then cremated.

    Christians later collected and hid his bones. It is traditionally accepted that he was martyred on Saturday 23 February 155 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, you found discipline to be means of ascent to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth, you also contested for the Faith even to blood, O Hieromartyr Polycarp. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (First Tone)

    The soldiers standing guard

    Through godly virtues, you brought forth for the Lord God much spiritual fruit, O you most blessed Hierarch, and so proved worthy of God your Lord, O wise Polycarp. Wherefore, on this day we who have all been enlightened through your holy words extol your praiseworthy memory and glorify Christ the Lord.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today

    • Proterios, Archbishop of Alexandria
    • Gorgonia the Righteous, sister of Gregory the Theologian
    • Damian the New Martyr of Mount Athos
    • Boswell, Abbot of Melrose Abbey
  • Cheesefare
    All day
    23-02-2017-27-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 1 Jude 1:11-25
    Luke 23:1-31, 33, 44-56
    All day
    23-02-2017

    St. Jude’s First Universal Letter 1:11-25

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

    Their voice has gone out into all the earth.
    Verse: The heavens declare the glory of God.

    Beloved, woe to the ungodly, for they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error, and perish in Korah’s rebellion. These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they boldly carouse together, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, carried along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars for whom the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for ever.

    It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgement on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loud-mouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage.

    But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

    Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 23:1-31, 33, 44-56

    At that time, the chief priests, the scribes, and elders of the people brought Jesus before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, “I find no crime in this man.” But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

    When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length; but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then, arraying him in gorgeous apparel, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.

    Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him; neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him; I will therefore chastise him and release him.”

    But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas” — a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city, and for murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus; but they shouted out, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no crime deserving death; I will therefore chastise him and release him.” But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.

    And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

    And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.

    It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, and said, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the multitudes who assembled to see the sight, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance and saw these things.

    Now there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their purpose and deed, and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud, and laid him in a rock hewn tomb, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid; then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.

    On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

     

24
  • Finding of the Head of the Forerunner
    All day
    24-02-2017-22-02-2018

    First & Second Finding of the Venerable Head of John the Baptist

    Saint John the Forerunner (also known as the Baptist) was beheaded at the wish and request of the wicked Herodias, wife of Herod. When John had been beheaded, Herodias ordered that his head should not be buried with his body, for she feared that the terrible prophet would somehow rise from the dead. So she took his head and buried it in some hidden and unworthy place, deep in the earth.

    Her lady-in-waiting was Joanna the wife of Chuza, a courtier of Herod’s, who waa a good and God-fearing woman that could not bear that the head of the godly man should remain in an unworthy place, so she disinterred it secretly, and took it to Jerusalem where she buried it on the Mount of Olives. Not knowing about all this, King Herod, when he heard about Christ and His great miracles, was afraid and said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” (Mark 6:16). After a considerable time, an eminent government official came to believe in Christ, left his position in the world and became a monk. Under the name Innocent, he settled on the Mount of Olives, in precisely the place where the Forerunner’s head had been buried. Deciding to build himself a cell, he dug deep and found an earthen pot containing a head which, it was revealed to him secretly, was that of the Baptist. He venerated it and re-buried it in the same place.

    Saint John’s head was refound during the middle years of the fourth century, through a revelation of the holy Forerunner to two monks, who came to Jerusalem to worship our Saviour’s Tomb. One of them took the venerable head in a clay jar to Emesa in Syria. After his death it went from the hands of one person to another, until it came into the possession of a certain priest-monk named Eustathios, an Arian. Because he ascribed to his own false belief the miracles wrought through the relic of the holy Baptist, he was driven from the cave in which he dwelt, and by dispensation forsook the holy head, which was again made known through a revelation of Saint John, and was found in a water jar, about the year 430 AD, in the days of the Emperor Theodosius the Younger, when Uranios was Bishop of Emesa.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Be quick to anticipate

    The Forerunner’s sacred head, having dawned forth from the earth, sends incorruption’s rays to the faithful, whereby they find healings of their ills. From on high he gathers the choirs of the Angels and on earth he summons the whole race of mankind, that they with one voice might send up glory to Christ our God.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    You sought the heights

    Since we have obtained your head as a most sacred rose from out of the earth, O Forerunner of grace divine, we receive sure healing in every hour, O Prophet of God the Lord; for again, now as formerly, you preach repentance to all the world.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Romanos, Prince of Uglich
    • Boswell, Abbot of Melrose Abbey
    • Cumine the White, Abbot of Iona
  • Cheesefare
    All day
    24-02-2017-28-02-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Luke 7:17-30
    2 Corinthians 4:6-15
    Matthew 11:2-15
    All day
    24-02-2017

    The Gospel according to Luke 7:17-30

    At that time, a report concerning Jesus spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country. The disciples of John told him of all these things. And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”

    When the messengers of John had gone, he began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.’ I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John; but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

     

    St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

    The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
    Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

    Brethren, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

    Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believed, and so we speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 11:2-15

    At that time, when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way before you.’ Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been coming violently and men of violence take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

     

25
  • Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople
    All day
    25-02-2017-23-02-2018

    Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople

    St Tarasios was the son of one of the foremost princes in Constantinople. He was born and raised in Constantinople, where he received a fine education. He was rapidly promoted at the court of the Emperor Constantine VI Porphyrogenitos (780-797 AD) and Constantine’s mother, the holy Empress Irene, and the saint attained the rank of Senator.

    During these times, the Church was troubled by the turmoil of the Iconoclast disturbances. The holy Patriarch Paul, although he had formerly supported Iconoclasm, later repented and resigned his office. He withdrew to a monastery, where he took the schema. When the holy Empress Irene and her son the Emperor came to him, St. Paul told them that the most worthy successor to him would be St Tarasios (who at this time was still a layman). St Tarasios refused for a long time, not considering himself worthy of such high office, but he then gave in to the common accord on the condition, that an Ecumenical Synod (Council) be convened to address the Iconoclast heresy.

    Proceeding through all the clerical ranks in a short while, St. Tarasios was elevated to the Patriarchal throne in 784 AD. In the year 787 AD, the Seventh Ecumenical Council was convened in the city of Nicea, with Patriarch Tarasios presiding, and 367 Bishops attending. The veneration of holy icons was confirmed at the council. The Bishops who repented of their iconoclasm, were again received by the Church. St Tarasios wisely governed the Church for 22 years, during which time he led a strict ascetic life. He spent all his money on charity, feeding and giving comfort to the aged, to the impoverished, to widows and orphans, and on Holy Pascha he set out a meal for them, and he served them himself.

    The holy Patriarch fearlessly denounced the Emperor Constantine Porphyrigenitos when he slandered his spouse, the Empress Maria, the granddaughter of St Philaretos the Merciful (commemorated December 1), so that he could send Maria to a monastery, thus freeing him to marry his own kinswoman. St Tarasios resolutely refused to dissolve the marriage of the Emperor, for which the Saint fell into disgrace. Soon, however, Constantine was deposed by the Empress Irene, his mother.

    St Tarasios died in the year 806 AD, and before his death, it is said that devils examined his life from the time of his youth, and they tried to get the Saint to admit to sins that he had not committed. “I am innocent of that of which you accuse me”, he replied, “and you falsely slander me. You have no power over me at all”. Mourned by the Church, the Saint was buried in a monastery he built on the Bosphorus. Many miracles took place at his tomb.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    The truth of things has revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Tarasios, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Third Tone)

    On this day a Virgin

    You made the Church to shine with your most Orthodox doctrines, teaching all to venerate and worship Christ’s sacred image; so you convicted the godless and hateful doctrine of all them that fought against Christ’s venerable icon; O Tarasios our Father most wise and blessed, to you we all cry, “Rejoice”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today

    • Reginos, Bishop of Skopelos
    • Holy Martyr Alexander of Thrace
    • Markellos, Bishop of Apamea
  • Cheesefare Saturday
    All day
    25-02-2017

    The God-bearing Fathers, after preparing us through the preceding feasts for the stadium of spiritual struggles, now set before us the men and women who have passed their lives in a manner pleasing to God, so that by their example they might make us more eager in the work of virtue and more courageous against the passions. And as experienced generals, when they prepare their soldiers for battle, urge their soldiers on by recalling for them the heroic exploits of excellent men, so that the soldiers take courage and charge wholeheartedly against the enemy; even so the God-bearing Fathers do for our sakes now, by appointing this day as a common memorial and feast of all those Saints who by many labours overcame the passions and became well-pleasing to God; so that we too, looking to the life of the righteous, might imitate them as far as possible in contending courageously against the passions and accomplishing the virtues, having it always in mind that the Saints were of the same nature and of like passions with us.

    Apolytikion of Cheesefare Saturday in the Fourth Tone

    O God of our Fathers, even dealing with according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

    Kontakion of Cheesefare Saturday in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As preachers of true piety who silenced all impiety, Lord, Thou hast made the whole host of God-bearing Saints shine forth with splendour on the world. By their prayers and entreaties, keep all them that extol and sincerely magnify Thee in perfect peace, to chant and to sing to Thee: Alleluia.

  • Galatians 5:22-26; 6:1-2
    Matthew 6:1-13
    All day
    25-02-2017

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 5:22-26; 6:1-2

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 4.
    Psalm 149.5,6

    The saints shall rejoice in glory.
    Verse: The high praises of God shall be in their mouths.

    Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 6:1-13

    The Lord said, “Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

    “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

    Our Father who are in heaven,
    Hallowed be your name,
    Your kingdom come,
    Your will be done,
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    As we forgive those who trespass against us;
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from evil.
    For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever.
    Amen.”

     

26
  • Porphyrios of Gaza
    Photine, the Samaritan Women
    All day
    26-02-2017-24-02-2018

    Porphyrius, the Bishop of Gaza

    Saint Porphyrius had Thessalonica as his homeland. He became a monk in Scete of Egypt, where he lived for five years. He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, after which he spent five years in much affliction in a cave near the Jordan. Stricken with a disease of the liver, he departed to Jerusalem, where he was ordained presbyter and appointed Keeper of the Cross at the age of 45. Three years later he was made Bishop of Gaza. He suffered much from the rulers and pagans of Gaza; but with the friendship of Saint John Chrysostom, and the patronage of the Empress Eudoxia, he razed the temple of the idol Marnas in Gaza and built a great church to the glory of God. He reposed in 450.

    Apolytikion of Porphyrius, Bp. of Gaza in the Fourth Tone

    A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Porphyrios, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

    Kontakion of Porphyrius, Bp. of Gaza in the Second Tone

    Arrayed with a most sacred life, thou wast adorned with the priestly vestment, O all-blessed and godly-minded Porphyrius; and thou art conspicuous for miracles of healing, interceding unceasingly for us all.

     

    The Holy Great Martyr Photine, the Samaritan Women

    Saint Photine was the Samaritan Woman who encountered Christ our Saviour at Jacob’s Well (John 4:1-42). Afterwards she laboured in the spread of the Gospel in various places, and finally received the crown of martyrdom in Rome with her two sons and five sisters, during the persecutions under the Emperor Nero.

    Apolytikion of Photine, the Samaritan Women in the Third Tone

    All illumined by the Holy Spirit, thou didst drink with great and ardent longing of the waters Christ Saviour gave unto thee; and with the streams of salvation wast thou refreshed, which thou abundantly gavest to those athirst. O Great Martyr and true peer of Apostles, Photine, entreat Christ God to grant great mercy unto us.

    Kontakion of Photine, the Samaritan Women in the Third Tone

    Photine the glorious, the crown and glory of the Martyrs, hath this day ascended to the shining mansions of Heaven, and she calleth all together to sing her praises, that they might be recompensed with her hallowed graces. Let us all with faith and longing extol her gladly in hymns of triumph and joy.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Holy Martyr Theocletus
    • John Claphas the new Martyr
  • Forgiveness Sunday
    Cheesefare Sunday
    All day
    26-02-2017

    The Holy Fathers have appointed the commemoration of Adam’s exile from the Paradise of delight here, on the eve of the holy Forty-day Fast, demonstrating to us not by simple words, but by actual deeds, how beneficial fasting is for man, and how harmful and destructive are insatiety and the transgressing of the divine commandments. For the first commandment that God gave to man was that of fasting, which the first-fashioned received but did not keep; and not only did they not become gods, as they had imagined, but they lost even that blessed life which they had, and they fell into corruption and death, and transmitted these and innumerable other evils to all of mankind. The God-bearing Fathers set these things before us today, that by bringing to mind what we have fallen from, and what we have suffered because of the insatiety and disobedience of the first-fashioned, we might be diligent to return again to that ancient bliss and glory by means of fasting and obedience to all the divine commands. Taking occasion from today’s Gospel (Matt. 6:14-21) to begin the Fast unencumbered by enmity, we also ask forgiveness this day, first from God, then from one another and all creation.

    Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    From on high didst Thou descend, O Compassionate One; to burial of three days hast Thou submitted that Thou mightest free us from our passions. O our Life and Resurrection, Lord, glory be to Thee.

    Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone

    O Master, Prudence, Guide of Wisdom, Instruction to the foolish and Defender of the poor, strengthen my heart and grant it discernment. Give me words, Word of the Father, for behold, I shall not keep my lips from crying out to You, “O Merciful One, have mercy on me who has fallen.”

  • Mark 16:9-20
    Romans 13:11-14; 14:1-4
    Matthew 6:14-21
    All day
    26-02-2017

    The Gospel according to Mark 16:9-20

    At that time, Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, and he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

    After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

    Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

     

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 13:11-14; 14:1-4

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 4.
    Psalm 75.11,1

    Make your vows to the Lord our God and perform them.
    Verse: God is known in Judah; his name is great in Israel.

    Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in revealing and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

    As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgement on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgement on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for God is able to make him stand.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 6:14-21

    The Lord said, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

    “And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

     

27
  • Prokopios the Confessor
    All day
    27-02-2017-25-02-2018

    Procopios the Confessor of Decapolis

    St Prokopios the Decapolite lived during the eighth century in the region of Decapolis (Mark 7:31), to the east of Lake Galilee. There he laboured for his salvation, struggling in asceticism. St. Prokopios, his fellow ascetic St. Basil (commemorated February 28), and others zealous for holy Orthodoxy rose up against the Iconoclast heresy of those times. By order of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-741 AD), St Prokopios was arrested, subjected to a fierce scourging and thrown into prison. Here he languished together with St Basil until the very death of the oppressive Emperor, after which the holy confessors were set free. St Prokopios spent the rest of his life in peace, guiding many on the way of virtue and salvation. He died in old age, around the year 750 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    With the rivers of your tears, you cultivated the barrenness of the desert; and by your sighing from the depths, you beared fruit a hundredfold in labours; and you became a luminary, shing with miracles upon the world, O Procopios our righteous Father. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    On this day You have appeared

    O renowned Procopios, having obtained you as a morning star this day, the Church dispelled all the gloom of evil doctrine, while honoring you, O initiate of Heaven and man of God.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Raphael of Brooklyn
    • Stephen the Monk, nurse of the elders
    • Gelasios the Actor and Martyr of Heliopolis
    • Nesios the Martyr
  • Isaiah 1:1-20
    Genesis 1:1-13
    Proverbs 1:1-20
    All day
    27-02-2017

    Isaiah 1:1-20

    The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzzi’ah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezeki’ah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the ass its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people does not understand.”

    Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.

    Why will you still be smitten, that you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and bleeding wounds; they are not pressed out, or bound up, or softened with oil.

    Your country lies desolate, your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence aliens devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by aliens. And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.

    If the Lord of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomor’rah.

    Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomor’rah! “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of he-goats.

    “When you come to appear before me, who requires of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of assemblies — I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.

    “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

     

    Genesis 1:1-13

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

    And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

    And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

    And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

     

    Proverbs 1:1-20

    The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

    That men may know wisdom and instruction, understand words of insight, receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity; that prudence may be given to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth — the wise man also may hear and increase in learning, and the man of understanding acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching; for they are a fair garland for your head, and pendants for your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us wantonly ambush the innocent; like Sheol let us swallow them alive and whole, like those who go down to the Pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with spoil; throw in your lot among us, we will all have one purse” — my son, do not walk in the way with them, hold back your foot from their paths; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird; but these men lie in wait for their own blood, they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of all who get gain by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors.

    Wisdom cries aloud in the street; in the markets she raises her voice.

     

  • Strict Fast
    All day
    27-02-2017-03-03-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

28
  • Basil the Confessor
    All day
    28-02-2017-26-02-2018

    Saints Procopius and Basil, fellow ascetics, lived about the middle of the eighth century, during the reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741), from whom they suffered many things for the sake of the veneration of the holy icons. They ended their lives in the ascetical discipline.

    Apolytikion of Basil the Confessor in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Basil, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

    Kontakion of Basil the Confessor in the Second Tone

    Thou tookest thyself away from worldly turbulence, since thou hadst received God’s revelation from on high; and for living righteously as a monk, thou didst receive might from grace to heal ills and work miracles, O all-blessed Basil, wise in sacred things.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Kyranna the New Martyr of Thessaloniki
    • Jonah the Righteous Martyr of Lerios
  • Strict Fast
    All day
    28-02-2017-04-03-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • John Cassian
    All day
    28-02-2017-27-02-2018

    Note: If it is not a leap year the hymns of Saint John are transferred to the 28th.

    This Saint was born about the year 350, and was, according to some, from Rome, according to others, from Dacia Pontica (Dobrogea in present-day Romania). He was a learned man who had first served in the military. Later, he forsook this life and became a monk in Bethlehem with his friend and fellow-ascetic, Germanus of Dacia Pontica, whose memory is also celebrated today. Hearing the fame of the great Fathers of Scete, they went to Egypt about the year 390; their meetings with the famous monks of Scete are recorded in Saint John’s Conferences. In the year 403 they went to Constantinople, where Cassian was ordained deacon by Saint John Chrysostom; after the exile of Saint Chrysostom, Saints Cassian and Germanus went to Rome with letters to Pope Innocent I in defence of the exiled Archbishop of Constantinople. There Saint Cassian was ordained priest, after which he went to Marseilles, where he established the famous monastery of Saint Victor. He reposed in peace about the year 433.

    The last of his writings was On the Incarnation of the Lord, Against Nestorius, written in 430 at the request of Leo, the Archdeacon of Pope Celestine. In this work he was the first to show the spiritual kinship between Pelagianism, which taught that Christ was a mere man who without the help of God had avoided sin, and that it was possible for man to overcome sin by his own efforts; and Nestorianism, which taught that Christ was a mere man used as an instrument by the Son of God, but was not God become man; and indeed, when Nestorius first became Patriarch of Constantinople in 428, he made much show of persecuting the heretics, with the exception only of the Pelagians, whom he received into communion and interceded for them to the Emperor and to Pope Celestine.

    The error opposed to Pelagianism but equally ruinous was Augustine’s teaching that after the fall, man was so corrupt that he could do nothing for his own salvation, and that God simply predestined some men to salvation and others to damnation. Saint John Cassian refuted this blasphemy in the thirteenth of his Conferences, with Abbot Chairemon, which eloquently sets forth, at length and with many citations from the Holy Scriptures, the Orthodox teaching of the balance between the grace of God on one hand, and man’s efforts on the other, necessary for our salvation.

    Saint Benedict of Nursia, in Chapter 73 of his Rule, ranks Saint Cassian’s Institutesand Conferences first among the writings of the monastic fathers, and commands that they be read in his monasteries; indeed, the Rule of Saint Benedict is greatly indebted to the Institutes of Saint John Cassian. Saint John Climacus also praises him highly in section 105 of Step 4 of the Ladder of Divine Ascent, on Obedience.

    Apolytikion of John Cassian in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy John Cassian, your soul rejoices with the angels.

    Kontakion of John Cassian in the First Tone

    Thy words breathe forth the sweetness of heavenly cassia, dispelling the foul odour of passion and pleasures; but with the sweet fragrance of thy discretion and temperance, they make known the spiritual ascents in the Spirit, leading men on high, O righteous Father John Cassian, divinely-sent guide of monks.

  • Isaiah 1:19-2:3
    Genesis 1:14-23
    Proverbs 1:20-33
    All day
    28-02-2017

    Isaiah 1:19-2:3

    “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

    How the faithful city has become a harlot, she that was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your wine mixed with water. Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Every one loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not defend the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.

    Therefore the Lord says, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: “Ah, I will vent my wrath on my enemies, and avenge myself on my foes. I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”

    Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness. But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. For you shall be ashamed of the oaks in which you delighted; and you shall blush for the gardens which you have chosen. For you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water. And the strong shall become tow, and his work a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with none to quench them.

    The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

     

    Genesis 1:14-23

    And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

    And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

     

    Proverbs 1:20-33

    Wisdom cries aloud in the street; in the markets she raises her voice; on the top of the walls she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?

    Give heed to my reproof; behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you.

    Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, and you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you, when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

    Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.

    Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way and be sated with their own devices.

    For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacence of fools destroys them; but he who listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of evil.”

     

  • More events
    • Basil the Confessor
      All day
      28-02-2017-26-02-2018

      Saints Procopius and Basil, fellow ascetics, lived about the middle of the eighth century, during the reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741), from whom they suffered many things for the sake of the veneration of the holy icons. They ended their lives in the ascetical discipline.

      Apolytikion of Basil the Confessor in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

      With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Basil, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

      Kontakion of Basil the Confessor in the Second Tone

      Thou tookest thyself away from worldly turbulence, since thou hadst received God’s revelation from on high; and for living righteously as a monk, thou didst receive might from grace to heal ills and work miracles, O all-blessed Basil, wise in sacred things.

       

      Also Celebrated Today:

      • Kyranna the New Martyr of Thessaloniki
      • Jonah the Righteous Martyr of Lerios
    • Strict Fast
      All day
      28-02-2017-04-03-2017

      No additional detail for this event.

    • John Cassian
      All day
      28-02-2017-27-02-2018

      Note: If it is not a leap year the hymns of Saint John are transferred to the 28th.

      This Saint was born about the year 350, and was, according to some, from Rome, according to others, from Dacia Pontica (Dobrogea in present-day Romania). He was a learned man who had first served in the military. Later, he forsook this life and became a monk in Bethlehem with his friend and fellow-ascetic, Germanus of Dacia Pontica, whose memory is also celebrated today. Hearing the fame of the great Fathers of Scete, they went to Egypt about the year 390; their meetings with the famous monks of Scete are recorded in Saint John’s Conferences. In the year 403 they went to Constantinople, where Cassian was ordained deacon by Saint John Chrysostom; after the exile of Saint Chrysostom, Saints Cassian and Germanus went to Rome with letters to Pope Innocent I in defence of the exiled Archbishop of Constantinople. There Saint Cassian was ordained priest, after which he went to Marseilles, where he established the famous monastery of Saint Victor. He reposed in peace about the year 433.

      The last of his writings was On the Incarnation of the Lord, Against Nestorius, written in 430 at the request of Leo, the Archdeacon of Pope Celestine. In this work he was the first to show the spiritual kinship between Pelagianism, which taught that Christ was a mere man who without the help of God had avoided sin, and that it was possible for man to overcome sin by his own efforts; and Nestorianism, which taught that Christ was a mere man used as an instrument by the Son of God, but was not God become man; and indeed, when Nestorius first became Patriarch of Constantinople in 428, he made much show of persecuting the heretics, with the exception only of the Pelagians, whom he received into communion and interceded for them to the Emperor and to Pope Celestine.

      The error opposed to Pelagianism but equally ruinous was Augustine’s teaching that after the fall, man was so corrupt that he could do nothing for his own salvation, and that God simply predestined some men to salvation and others to damnation. Saint John Cassian refuted this blasphemy in the thirteenth of his Conferences, with Abbot Chairemon, which eloquently sets forth, at length and with many citations from the Holy Scriptures, the Orthodox teaching of the balance between the grace of God on one hand, and man’s efforts on the other, necessary for our salvation.

      Saint Benedict of Nursia, in Chapter 73 of his Rule, ranks Saint Cassian’s Institutesand Conferences first among the writings of the monastic fathers, and commands that they be read in his monasteries; indeed, the Rule of Saint Benedict is greatly indebted to the Institutes of Saint John Cassian. Saint John Climacus also praises him highly in section 105 of Step 4 of the Ladder of Divine Ascent, on Obedience.

      Apolytikion of John Cassian in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

      The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Father. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy John Cassian, your soul rejoices with the angels.

      Kontakion of John Cassian in the First Tone

      Thy words breathe forth the sweetness of heavenly cassia, dispelling the foul odour of passion and pleasures; but with the sweet fragrance of thy discretion and temperance, they make known the spiritual ascents in the Spirit, leading men on high, O righteous Father John Cassian, divinely-sent guide of monks.

    • Isaiah 1:19-2:3
      Genesis 1:14-23
      Proverbs 1:20-33
      All day
      28-02-2017

      Isaiah 1:19-2:3

      “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

      How the faithful city has become a harlot, she that was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your wine mixed with water. Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Every one loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not defend the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.

      Therefore the Lord says, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: “Ah, I will vent my wrath on my enemies, and avenge myself on my foes. I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”

      Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness. But rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. For you shall be ashamed of the oaks in which you delighted; and you shall blush for the gardens which you have chosen. For you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water. And the strong shall become tow, and his work a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with none to quench them.

      The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

       

      Genesis 1:14-23

      And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

      And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.” So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

       

      Proverbs 1:20-33

      Wisdom cries aloud in the street; in the markets she raises her voice; on the top of the walls she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?

      Give heed to my reproof; behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you.

      Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, and you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you, when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.

      Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.

      Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way and be sated with their own devices.

      For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacence of fools destroys them; but he who listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of evil.”

       

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