Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
  • Circumcision of Jesus Christ
    Basil the Great
    All day
    01-01-2018-29-12-2018

    Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ

    Since the Mosaic Law commands that if a woman give birth to a male child, he should be circumcised in the foreskin of his flesh on the eighth day (Lev 12:2-3), on this, the eighth day from His Nativity, our Saviour accepted the circumcision commanded by the Law. According to the command of the Angel, He received the Name, which is above every name, Jesus that means Saviour (Matt 1: 21; Luke 1: 31 and 2: 21).

    Dismissal Hymn of the Feast

    While Gabriel was saying

    Our human form you have taken on yourself without change, O greatly compassionate Master, though being God by nature; fulfilling the Law, You willingly received circumcision in the flesh, that you might end the shadow and roll away the veil of our sinful passions. Glory be to You goodness unto us. Glory be to your compassion. Glory, O Word, to your inexpressible condescension.

    Kontakion of the Feast

    On this day the Virgin

    Now the Lord of all that is has undergo circumcision, in His goodness cutting off the sins and failings of mortals. He this day gives salvation unto the whole world; and the hierarch and bright Daystar of the Creator now rejoice in the highest, Basil the wise and divine initiate of Christ.

     

    St Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea, Cappadocia

    Basil_The_GreatSt Basil the Great was born about the end of the year 329 AD in Caesarea of Cappadocia, to a family renowned for their learning and holiness. His parent’s names were Basil and Emily. His mother Emily (commemorated July 19) and his grandmother Macrina (January 14) are Saints of the Church, together with all his brothers and sisters: Macrina, his elder sister (July 19), Gregory of Nyssa (January 10), Peter of Sebastia (January 9), and Naucratius. Basil studied in Constantinople under the sophist Libanius, then in Athens, where also he formed a friendship with the young Gregory, a fellow Cappadocian, later called “the Theologian”. Through the good influence of his sister Macrina, he chose to embrace the ascetical life, abandoning his worldly career. He visited the monks in Egypt, in Palestine, in Syria, and in Mesopotamia, and upon returning to Caesarea, he departed to a hermitage on the Iris River in Pontus, not far from Annesi, where his mother and his sister Macrina were already treading the path of the ascetical life; here he also wrote his ascetical homilies.

    About the year 370 AD, when the bishop of his country reposed, he was elected to succeed to his throne and was entrusted with the Church of Christ, which he tended for eight years, living in voluntary poverty and strict asceticism, having no other care than to defend holy Orthodoxy as a worthy successor of the Apostles. The Emperor Valens, and Modestus, the Eparch of the East, who were of one mind with the Arians, tried with threats of exile and of torments to bend the Saint to their own confession, because he was the bastion of Orthodoxy in all Cappadocia, and preserved it from heresy when Arianism was at its strongest. However, he set all their malice at nought, and in his willingness to give himself up to every suffering for the sake of the Faith, showed himself to be a martyr by volition. Modestus, amazed at Basil’s fearlessness in his presence, said that no one had ever so spoken to him. “Perhaps”, answered the Saint, “you have never met a bishop before”. The Emperor Valens himself was almost won over by Basil’s dignity and wisdom.

    When Valens’ son fell gravely sick, he asked St Basil to pray for him. The Saint promised that his son would be restored if Valens agreed to have him baptized by the Orthodox; Valens agreed, Basil prayed, the son was restored. However, afterwards the Emperor had him baptized by Arians, and the child died soon after. Later, Valens, persuaded by his counsellors, decided to send the Saint into exile because he would not accept the Arians into communion; but his pen broke when he was signing the edict of banishment. He tried a second time and a third, but the same thing happened, so that the Emperor was filled with dread, and tore up the document, and Basil was not banished. The truly great Basil, spent with extreme ascetical practices and continual labours at the helm of the Church, departed to the Lord on the 1st of January, in 379 AD, at the age of 49.

    His writings are replete with wisdom and erudition, and with these gifts he set forth the doctrines concerning the mysteries both of the creation (see his Hexaemeron) and of the Holy Trinity (see ‘On the Holy Spirit’). Because of the majesty and keenness of his eloquence, he is honoured as “the revealer of heavenly things” and St Basil is also celebrated on January 30 with St Gregory the Theologian, and St John Chrysostom.

    Dismissal Hymn of the St Basil

    You sound has gone forth into all the earth, which has received your word. Thereby you have divinely taught the Faith; you have made manifest the nature of all things that be; you have adorned the ways of man. O namesake of the royal priesthood, our righteous Father Basil, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of the St Basil

    On this day you have appeared

    For the Church you are in truth a firm foundation, granting an inviolate lordship unto all mortal men and sealing it with what you have taught, O righteous Basil, revealer of heavenly things.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Gregory, Bishop of Nanzianzos, Father of Gregory the Theologian
    • Peter the New Martyr of the Peloponnesos
    • Theodotos the Martyr
    • Righteous Theodosios of Triglia
    • Emmelia, Mother of Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Makrina, and Peter of Sebaste
    • Telemachos the Martyr
    • Fulgentius, Bishop of Ruspe
  • Luke 24:36-53
    Colossians 2:8-12
    Luke 2:20-2:52
    All day
    01-01-2018-29-12-2018

    Matins Gospel Reading

    Sixth Orthros Gospel

    The Gospel according to Luke 24:36-53

    At that time, Jesus, having risen from the dead, stood in the midst of his disciples and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

    Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.”

    Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.

     

    St Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 2:8-12

    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, see to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 2:20-21, 40-52

    At that time, the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days, they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.

  • Fast Free
    All day
    01-01-2018

    No additional detail for this event.

2
  • Forefeast of Epiphany Begins
    Pope Sylvester
    Seraphim of Sarov
    All day
    02-01-2018-30-12-2018

    Forefeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Apolytikion of Forefeast of Epiphany Begins in the Fourth Tone

    Be thou ready, Zabulon; prepare thyself, O Nephthalim. River Jordan, stay thy course and skip for gladness to receive the Sovereign Master, Who cometh now to be baptized. O Adam, be thou glad with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in Paradise. Seeing you naked, He hath appeared now to clothe you in the first robe again. Christ hath appeared, for He truly willeth to renew all creation.

    Kontakion of Forefeast of Epiphany Begins in the Fourth Tone

    In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.

     

    Sylvester, Pope of Rome

    Saint Sylvester was a native of Rome. Because of his exceeding virtue, he succeeded Saint Miltiades as Pope in 314. Since he himself was unable to be present at the First Ecumenical Council in 325, he sent delegates of his own Roman clergy to represent him in Nicaea. He reposed in the year 325.

    Apolytikion of Pope Sylvester 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. Sylvester, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

    Kontakion of Pope Sylvester in the Fourth Tone

    As a companion of the holy ascetics, thou O God-bearer, hast been worthily shown forth as a true priest of priests before our King and God. Wherefore, thou rejoicest now with the choirs of the Angels, filled with gladness and delight in the Heavens, O Father. Renowned Sylvester, famed shepherd of Rome, save them that honour with love thy memorial.

     

    Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sarov

    Saint Seraphim was born in the town of Kursk in 1759. From tender childhood he was under the protection of the most holy Mother of God, who, when he was nine years old, appeared to him in a vision, and through her icon of Kursk, healed him from a grave sickness from which he had not been expected to recover. At the age of nineteen he entered the monastery of Sarov, where he amazed all with his obedience, his lofty asceticism, and his great humility. In 1780 the Saint was stricken with a sickness which he manfully endured for three years, until our Lady the Theotokos healed him, appearing to him with the Apostles Peter and John. He was tonsured a monk in 1786, being named for the holy Hieromartyr Seraphim, Bishop of Phanarion (Dec. 4), and was ordained deacon a year later. In his unquenchable love for God, he continually added labours to labours, increasing in virtue and prayer with titan strides. Once, during the Divine Liturgy of Holy and Great Thursday, he was counted worthy of a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who appeared encompassed by the heavenly hosts. After this dread vision, he gave himself over to greater labours.

    In 1794, Saint Seraphim took up the solitary life in a cell in the forest. This period of extreme asceticism lasted some fifteen years, until 1810. It was at this time that he took upon himself one of the greatest feats of his life. Assailed with despondency and a storm of contrary thoughts raised by the enemy of our salvation, the Saint passed a thousand nights on a rock, continuing in prayer until God gave him complete victory over the enemy. On another occasion, he was assaulted by robbers, who broke his chest and his head with their blows, leaving him almost dead. Here again, he began to recover after an appearance of the most holy Theotokos, who came to him with the Apostles Peter and John, and pointing to Saint Seraphim, uttered those awesome words, “This is one of my kind.”In 1810, at the age of fifty; weakened with his more than human struggles, Saint Seraphim returned to the monastery for the third part of his ascetical labours, in which he lived as a recluse until 1825. For the first five years of his reclusion, he spoke to no one at all, and little is known of this period. After five years, he began receiving visitors little by little, giving counsel and consolation to ailing souls. In 1825, the most holy Theotokos appeared to the Saint and revealed to him that it was pleasing to God that he fully end his seclusion; from this time the number of people who came to see him grew daily. It was also at the command of the holy Virgin that he undertook the spiritual direction of the Diveyevo Convent. He healed bodily ailments, foretold things to come, brought hardened sinners to repentance, and saw clearly the secrets of the heart of those who came to him. Through his utter humility and childlike simplicity, his unrivalled ascetical travails, and his angel-like love for God, he ascended to the holiness and greatness of the ancient God-bearing Fathers and became like Anthony for Egypt, the physician for the whole Russian land. In all, the most holy Theotokos appeared to him twelve times in his life. The last was on Annunciation, 1831, to announce to him that he would soon, enter into his rest. She appeared to him accompanied by twelve virgins-martyrs and monastic saints-with Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Theologian. With a body ailing and broken from innumerable hardships, and an unspotted soul shining with the light of Heaven, the Saint lived less than two years after this, falling asleep in peace on January 2, 1833, chanting Paschal hymns. On the night of his repose, the righteous Philaret of the Glinsk Hermitage beheld his soul ascending to Heaven in light. Because of the universal testimony to the singular holiness of his life, and the seas of miracles that he performed both in life and after death, his veneration quickly spread beyond the boundaries of the Russian Empire to every corner of the earth. See also July 19.

    Kontakion of Seraphim of Sarov in the Second Tone

    Having left the beauty of the world and what is corrupt therein, O Saint, thou didst settle in the Monastery of Sarov. And having lived there an angelic life, thou wast for many the way unto salvation. Wherefore, Christ hath glorified thee, O Father Seraphim, and hath enriched thee with the gift of healing and miracles. And so we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Seraphim, our holy Father.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Cosmas, Archbishop of Constantinople
    • Juliana the Righteous
    • Theagenes the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Parios
    • Theopemptos
    • Theodota, the Mother of the Holy Anargyroi
    • Righteous Mark the Deaf
    • Basil the Martyr of Ankyra
    • Sergios
    • Theopistos the Martyr
    • George the New Martyr of Georgia
    • Nilos the Sanctified
    • Sylvester of the Kiev Caves
  • Fast Free
    All day
    02-01-2018

    No additional detail for this event.

3
  • Prophet Malachi
    Martyr Gordios
    All day
    03-01-2018-31-12-2018

    Holy Prophet Malachias (Malachi)

    Prophet Malachias (“messenger of God”) is the last of the twelve minor Prophets, and also of all the Prophets of the Old Testament. He prophesied in the days of Nehemias, a wise man among the Hebrews, who also held a high and powerful position in the court of Artaxerxes the Long-armed, King of the Persians, who reigned from 465 to 424 BC. Malachias’ book of prophecy is divided into four chapters; he foretold the coming of Christ as the Sun of Righteousness (4:2).

    Dismissal Hymn of the Prophet (Second Tone)

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

    Kontakion of the Prophet (Fourth Tone)

    On this day You have appeared

    Since the gift of prophecy dwelt in you richly, you, O Prophet, clearly foretold the coming of Christ God and the salvation of the entire world, which is enlightened through grace by His shining forth.

     

    Gordios the Martyr of Caesarea

    gordiosThe Martyr Gordios who was from Caesarea of Cappadocia, was a centurion by rank. Unable to bear the impiety of the heathen, he withdrew to the wilderness to purify himself through prayer and fasting. After he perceived that his ascetical training had prepared him sufficiently, he came down from the mountains when a certain pagan festival was held in Caesarea, attended by all, and presented himself before the multitude. Although the spectacles of the festival continued, no one paid them any heed, but all eyes were turned upon him. From his sojourn in the mountains, his look was wild, his beard was long, his raiment squalid, his body like a skeleton; yet a certain grace shone round about him. He was recognized, and a loud shout and tumult was made as his fellow Christians rejoiced, and the enemies of the truth cried out for his death. He boldly professed his faith before the Governor, and after torments was beheaded, in the reign of Licinius in the year 314. Saint Basil the Great delivered a homily on Saint Gordios, mentioning that some of those in his audience had been present at the saint’s martyrdom (PG 31:497).

    Apolytikion of Martyr Gordios in the Fourth Tone

    Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

    Kontakion of Martyr Gordios in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    The whole earth hast thou watered with thy sweat and toils, O glorious one, and hast made all the world glad with thy precious blood, O godly-minded Gordios. By thine earnest entreaties, O famed Martyr, save all them that sing thy praise in faith and worthily revere thee as one that hath truly suffered much.

     

    Forefeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    baptismApolytikion of Forefeast of the Theophany in the Fourth Tone

    Be thou ready, Zabulon; prepare thyself, O Nephthalim. River Jordan, stay thy course and skip for gladness to receive the Sovereign Master, Who cometh now to be baptized. O Adam, be thou glad with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in Paradise. Seeing you naked, He hath appeared now to clothe you in the first robe again. Christ hath appeared, for He truly willeth to renew all creation.

    Kontakion of Forefeast of the Theophany in the Fourth Tone

    In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Righteous Genevieve of Paris
    • Righteous Peter of Atroas
    • Righteous Akakios the Wonderworker
    • Righteous Thomais of Lesbos
  • Fast Free
    All day
    03-01-2018

    No additional detail for this event.

4
  • Synaxis of the 70 Apostoles
    Theoctistos of Sicily
    All day
    04-01-2018-01-01-2019

    Synaxis of the Seventy Apostoles

    In Luke 10:1, the Lord appointed seventy men to go out as missionaries – as apostles. Though not so prominent as the Twelve, the Seventy carried out their missions with fervor and enthusiasm.

    Church tradition confirms that the Seventy remained true to the Lord and their calling, fulfilling a vital role in the spread of the gospel. These were not random choices or accidental: volunteers but true disciples, true apostles, whose labours carried the message of their Lord throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.

    Though lists of the Seventy vary somewhat, all are remembered in the calendar of the Church. One day, January 4, is set aside to remember them all, and the record of their work is preserved in accounts handed down through the centuries from place to place, especially in those locations where they laboured.

    To tell the stories passed down in the Church concerning all of the Seventy would fill a book of considerable size, but the compromise of telling the stories of a few, both prominent and relatively obscure members, will relate the conviction and faith of this illustrious body.

    Barnabas, a Jew of the tribe of Levi, was born in Cyprus of wealthy parents. He is said to have studied under Gamaliel with Saul of Tarsus, who was to become Paul the Apostle. Originally named Joseph, he was called Barnabas (Son of Consolation) by the apostles (Acts 4:36) because he had a rare gift of comforting the hearts of people, He who sought out Paul when everyone else was afraid of him, bringing him to the apostles. And it was Barnabas who was first sent by the apostles to Antioch to find out what was going on there (Acts 11:22).

    Barnabas sought out Paul to work with him, and their long association was broken only when Barnabas was determined to take his cousin Mark, whom Paul did not trust just then, on a missionary journey. The mutual relationships among the three were later healed (Col 4:10).Many ancient accounts say Barnabas was the first to preach in Rome and the first in Milan, but he was martyred in Cyprus, and then buried by Mark at the western gate of the city of Salamis.

    Among the more prominent of the Seventy was the Apostle Titus, whom Paul called his. Brother (2 Cor. 12:18) and his son (Titus 1:4). Born Crete, Titus was educated in Greek philosophy, but after reading the Prophet Isaiah he began to doubt the value of all he had been taught. Hearing the news of the coming of Jesus Christ, he joined some others from Crete who went to Jerusalem to see for themselves. After hearing Jesus speak and seeing His works, the young Titus joined those who followed.

    Baptised by the Apostle Paul, he worked with and served the great apostle to the Gentiles, traveling with him until Paul sent him to Crete, making him bishop of that city. It is said that he was in Rome at the time of the beheading of St Paul and that he buried the body of his spiritual father before returning home.

    Back in Crete, he converted and baptised many people, governing the Church on that island until he entered into rest at the age of ninety-four.

    There are many less prominent among the Seventy who also laboured for Christ unto death, Aristarchus, whom Paul mentions several times (cf. Acts 19:29; Col 4:10; Philemon 24), calling him a “fellow labourer”, became bishop of Apamea in Syria. Sosthenes (Acts 18:17; 1 Cor 1:1) became Bishop of Caesarea, and Tychicus (Acts 20:4; Eph 6:21; Col 4:7; 2 Tim 4:12; Titus 3:12) succeeded him in that city. Simeon (Matt 13:55; Mark 6:3), son of Cleopas (who was the brother of Joseph the betrothed of the Virgin Mary), succeeded James as bishop of Jerusalem. Aristobulus (Rom 16:10), the brother of the Apostle Barnabas, preached the Gospel in Britain and died peacefully there.

    The lives of these few are quite representative of the Seventy who were instrumental in helping to plant the Church throughout the world. Many became bishops, but the names of all are numbered in heaven. In the Book of Life, as faithful servants of the Lord, apostles and foundations of the Church.

    Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    With hymns let us praise the chorus of the Seventy Disciples of Christ, you faithful ones; and in godliness, let us keep a feast, for we learned through them to worship the Trinity, Who is indivisibly one; for they are the lamps of our most godly Faith.

     

    Our Righteous Father Theoctistus, Abbot of Cucomo in Sicily

    Saint Theoctistus, Abbot of the Monastery of Cucomo in Sicily, reposed in peace in the year 800.

    Apolytikion of Theoctistus the Righteous 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 Theoctistus, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

    Kontakion of Theoctistus the Righteous in the Fourth Tone

    Thou didst rise out of the West, O Theoctistus, mystically illumining the Church of Christ like a bright sun with the resplendent and sacred rays of thine ascetical labours, O righteous one.

     

    Forefeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    theophnyApolytikion of Forefeast of Theophany in the Fourth Tone

    Be thou ready, Zabulon; prepare thyself, O Nephthalim. River Jordan, stay thy course and skip for gladness to receive the Sovereign Master, Who cometh now to be baptized. O Adam, be thou glad with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in Paradise. Seeing you naked, He hath appeared now to clothe you in the first robe again. Christ hath appeared, for He truly willeth to renew all creation.

    Kontakion of Forefeast of Theophany in the Fourth Tone

    In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Zosimos the Monk and Athanasios the Notary
    • Righteous Apollinaria the Senator
    • Martyrs Chrysanthos and Euphemia
    • Righteous Euthymios the Younger
    • New Martyr Onuphrios
    • Righteous Euthymios of Vatopedi
    • Righteous John Scholarios
    • Eustathios Archbishop of Serbia
    • Nikephoros the Leper
  • 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
    John 1:18-28
    All day
    04-01-2018-01-01-2019

    St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16

    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, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honour, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labour, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

     

    The Gospel according to John 1:18-28

    No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

    And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” They said to him then, “Who are you? let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, ” I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

    Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Then why are you baptising, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordon, where John was baptising.

  • Fast Free
    All day
    04-01-2018

    No additional detail for this event.

5
  • Eve of Epiphany
    Martyrs Theopemptos and Theonas
    All day
    05-01-2018-02-01-2019

    The Eve of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Apolytikion of Eve of Epiphany in the Fourth Tone

    River Jordan was turned back by Elisseus’ mantle once, when the fiery man of zeal Elias had been taken up; then were its waters divided hither and thither. The running streams became dry passage unto him, truly as a sign and type of Baptism, whereby we pass to the other side of the shifting stream of this fleeting life. Christ hath appeared in the Jordan River, to sanctify the waters.

    Kontakion of Eve of Epiphany in the Fourth Tone

    In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.

     

    The Holy Martyrs Theopemptos and Theonas. Our Righteous Mother Syncletiki

    When the persecution of Diocletian broke out in 290 AD, St Theopemptos, a Bishop, was taken for his confession of Christ, and convicted Diocletian to his face for his error and ungodliness. Remaining unhurt after cruel tortures, he was given poison to drink, which a sorcerer named Theonas had prepared. Protected by divine grace from this also, he drew Theonas to Christ, and after other torments, was beheaded. St Theonas was cast into a pit and buried alive.

    St Syncletiki was from Alexandria in Egypt. She lived eighty three years in virginity and asceticism, and became the leader and teacher of many nuns. What St Anthony the Great was to men, she became to women: a model of mortification of the flesh, of patience in afflictions, and of wise instruction; for this, she is known as “Amma,” a title corresponding to “Abba.” Towards the end of her long life, she was stricken with an exceedingly painful disease, which she endured with faith and magnanimity. She reposed in the middle of the fourth century. It is said of St Syncletiki that she was the virgin who hid St Athanasius from the Arians for more than a year in the environs of Alexandria, and it is to St Athanasius that her life is ascribed.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Forefeast (Fourth Tone)

    Joseph was amazed

    River Jordan was turned back by ‘Elisseus’ mantle once, when the fiery man of zeal Elias had been taken up; then were its waters divided hither and thither. The running streams became dry passage unto him. Truly as a sign and type of Baptism, whereby we pass to the other side of the shifting stream of this fleeting life. Christ hath appeared in the Jordan River, to sanctify the waters.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Martyrs (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.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Righteous One (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    In you, the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother; for taking up you cross, you followed Christ, and by your deeds you teach to overlook the flesh, for it passes away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal. Wherefore, O righteous Syncletiki, your spirit rejoices with the Angels.

    Kontakion of the Forefeast (Fourth Tone)

    On this day you have appeared

    In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all cries to John, “Be not afraid and do not hesitate to baptize me, for I have come to save Adam, the first-formed man”.

    Kontakion of the Martyrs (Second Tone)

    As a righteous priest of the ineffable mysteries and godly minister of grace, in the contest of martyrdom thou didst initiate the glorious Theonas into the God inspired Faith, O Theopemptos. And together with him, you cried out in the stadium, “Christ is the strength of the Martyrs”.

    Kontakion of the Righteous One (Third Tone)

    On this day the Virgin

    O Divine Syncletiki, our righteous God bearing Mother, you shined forth as a lamp bright with unquenchable virtues, laying bare the dark devices of the deceiver; and your light guided a multitude of wise virgins to the heavenly bridal chambers; together with them, pray that we all may be saved.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Apollinaria of Egypt
    • Gregory of Akrita
  • 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
    Luke 3:1-18
    All day
    05-01-2018-02-01-2019

    St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 9:19-27

    Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
    Psalm 26.1,2

    The Lord is my light and my savior.
    Verse: The Lord is the defender of my life.

     

    BRETHREN, though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law – though not being myself under the law – that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law – not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ – that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 3:1-18

    In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness; and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” He said therefore to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” And the multitudes asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than is appointed you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, “I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.

6
  • HOLY EPIPHANY
    Theophan the Recluse
    All day
    06-01-2018-03-01-2019

    The Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    After Pascha and Pentecost, the Feast of the Theophany (or Epiphany) of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest feast of the Orthodox Church. Here Our Lord Jesus Christ is baptized by John in the waters of the Jordan, this being the first public display of God the Word Incarnate to the world.

    About the beginning of our Lord’s Jesus Christ’s 30th year, John the Forerunner, who was six months older than our Saviour according to the flesh, and had lived in the wilderness since his childhood, received a command from God and came into the parts of the river Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”. The Holy Scriptures continue, “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.’” Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around the waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and the entire region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matt 3:1-6). Further on, John said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt 3:11).

    Then on the next day our Saviour also came from Galilee to the Jordan, and sought and received baptism, though He was the Master and John was but a servant. Seeing Him, John said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me” (John, 1:29-30).

    John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me? But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt 3:14-16). “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the Heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3:17). On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated.

    From these events the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the great mystery of the Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the feast is called “Theophany”, that is, the divine manifestation, God’s appearance among men. The Father revealed Himself to the sense of hearing, the Spirit to the sense of sight and the Son, further beyond these, to the sense of touch. The Father gave His testimony of the Son, the Son was baptized in the waters and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, hovered over the waters. And when John the Baptist bore witness of Christ and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and when he immersed the Lord in the Jordan and baptized Him, there were thus revealed both the mission of Christ in the world and the path of our salvation. About this St Cyril of Jerusalem said, ‘The beginning of the world – water; the beginning of the Gospel – the Jordan”.

    The Feast of the Epiphany reminds us of our own Baptism in the hymn sung just before the reading of the Epistle at the Divine Liturgy, “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia!” For in the waters of Baptism, we put off the Old Man and put on the New, that is Jesus Christ, and strive to acquire the humility shown by the Lord Himself when He, the Creator, bowed His head under the hand of John, the creature, in the waters of the Jordan River. That is, Christ takes upon Himself the sin of the whole human race. He dies under it (the immersion) and rises again (the coming up out of the water), and we must die to the old, sinful man and rise again, cleansed, renewed and re-born.

    The Feast of the Theophany is also called the ‘Illuminating’, for in the Jordan there is given to us an illumining, revealing God to us as Trinity, consubstantial and undivided. That is one thing. And the other is that each of us baptized in the water is illumined by the Father of lights, through the merits of the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    When You, O Lord, was baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bares witness to you, and called you His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, Who has revealed yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to you.

    Kontakion

    When you enlightened all things by Your Theophany, the briny sea of unbelief fled, and as Jordan flowed down, it turned back, exalting us to Heaven. Through the intercessions of then Theotokos, preserver us at the height of your divine commandments, O Christ God, and have mercy on us,

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    The Original Melody

    Today you have appeared to the universe, and your light, O Sovereign Lord, has shone on us, who with understanding praise and chant, “You have come and revealed Yourself, O Light Unapproachable!”

  • Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
    Matthew 3:13-17
    All day
    06-01-2018-03-01-2019

    St. Paul’s Letter to Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 117.26,1

    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    Verse: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever.

    TITUS, my son, the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

    But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

    The Gospel according to Matthew 3:13-17

    At that time, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

7
  • Synaxis of John the Forerunner
    Afterfeast of the Theophany
    All day
    07-01-2018-04-01-2019

    Synaxis of John the Holy Glorious Prophet, Baptist, & Forerunner

    On this day we celebrate the Feast of the holy prophet St John the Baptist and Forerunner as well as the coming of his most holy Relic (hand) to Constantinople. We received from above and from the beginning to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Forerunner and Baptist John one day after Holy Epiphany, i.e. January 7th, because he served at the mystery of the Lord’s Baptism.

    For this reason this feast is counted with the rest of the Forerunner’s feasts so that we should not keep silence over his miraculous and supernatural gifts. It happened that on the evening of Epiphany, the arrival of the holy hand of the Forerunner to Constantinople took place.

    St Luke the Evangelist went to the city of Sebaste, in which as they say the holy body of the Forerunner was buried, and, after he had received the right hand of the prophet’s body, he brought it to Antioch, his home city, where it performed a lot of miracles. One of these miracles is the following. Just outside the city of Antioch there lurked a dragon who was raised to the level of a god by the Greeks living in Antioch. They honoured him every year with a sacrifice. The worst part of it was that the victim was human. As time passed the lot fell upon a Christian to give his daughter to the dragon. He would come out of his cave dreadful and horrible to look at and would open his mouth to receive the victim offered to him. Then he would tear her apart with his teeth.

    The father of a girl chosen to be a sacrifice was praying with deep sighs and tears to God and the holy Forerunner to free his country from such a bitter killer. As he was praying, he came up with an idea as it often happens with people in need. He was going to attempt such an endeavour. He asked to venerate the holy hand of the Forerunner and, as he was kissing it, he secretly cut with his teeth the thumb. When he got what he wanted he came out of the church. When the day on which his daughter was expected to be sacrificed arrived, all the people of the city gathered to watch the sacrifice. In front of them all the father holding his daughter approached the dragon. When he saw the dragon opening his mouth to devour his daughter, the threw into its throat the holy finger of the Forerunner and, what a miracle! The dragon was immediately killed. When this had happened, the father received his daughter alive and went back home rejoicing and relating the miracle. The gathered crowds of the people seeing this miraculous event were amazed. So, they gave thanks to God and the holy Forerunner and built a great church in his name.

    Dismissal Hymn (Second Tone)

    The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for you, O Forerunner; for you have proved to be truly even more venerable than the Prophets, since you were granted to baptise in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Therefore, having contested for the truth, you rejoiced to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades: that God has appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Second Tone)

    The Jordan accepted your presence in the flesh and reversed its course in fear. John, fulfilling the spiritual ministry, fell back in awe. The ranks of Angels, seeing you in the flesh, baptised in the river, were amazed, and all who were in darkness were filled with light, praising you who appeared and enlightened all.

     

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Apolytikion of Afterfeast of the Theophany in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptised in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Cedd, Bishop of Scotland
    • Fursey, Abbot of Lagny
  • Acts 19:1-8
    John 1:29-34
    All day
    07-01-2018-04-01-2019

    Acts of the Apostles 19:1-8

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

    In those days, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve of them in all. And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.

     

    The Gospel according to John 1:29-34

    At that time, John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness, “I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

8
  • George of Hozeva
    Domnica of Constantinople
    All day
    08-01-2018-05-01-2019

    Our Righteous Father George of Hozeva

    St George the Chozebite was born on the island of Cyprus toward the end of the sixth century. After the death of his parents, he went to Palestine to worship at the holy places. Here he entered into the monastic community of Hozeva between the River Jordan and Jerusalem, and he later became head of this monastery. St George presented the monks example in fasting, vigil and physical efforts. Having lived as an angel upon the earth, he died in peace.

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    You proved to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O George, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer obtained heavenly gifts, and you heal the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to you with faith. Glory to Him that has given you strength. Glory to him that has crowned you. Glory to Him that works healings for all through you.

     

    Domnica the Righteous of Constantinople

    Saint Domnica was from Carthage. During the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the Great, she came with four other virgins to Constantinople, where she was baptized by Nectarius, the Patriarch of Constantinople. She remained in Constantinople and became known for her extreme asceticism, the miracles that she worked, and the grace of prophecy that adorned her. She lived until the days of the Emperors Leo and Zeno, reposing in peace about the year 474.

     

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    baptismApolytikion of Afterfeast of the Theophany in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

    Kontakion of Afterfeast of the Theophany in the Fourth Tone

    You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: “You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light.”

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Atticus and Cyrus, Holy Patriarchs of Constantinople
    • Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
    • Emilianos the Confessor, Bishop of Cyzikos
    • Gregory of the Kiev Caves
    • Pega the Virgin, Hermitess of Peakirk
9
  • Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
    Martyrs Polyeuctus and Laurentios
    All day
    09-01-2018-06-01-2019

    Saint Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow

    Our Father among the Saints Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, was born in 1507 AD of noble family, and served for a time in the royal court. While still a young man, he secretly left Moscow and entered Solovki Monastery in the north, about the year 1538 AD, a little over a hundred years after its founding. Because of his spiritual stature, he was chosen against his will to succeed Abbot Alexis in 1548 AD. As abbot, Philip was a great builder and beautifier of Solovki Monastery. He laid the foundations for the Cathedral of the Transfiguration, constructed cells, hermitages, and a hospital for the monks and for pilgrims, established a cattle yard on one of the islands, drained swamps and connected waterways by a series of canals and dams, built a mill and various workshops, and even invented ingenious machines and implements to help the monks in their work. His fame spread, and in 1566 AD, by the will of Tsar Ivan the Fourth he was raised to the rank of Metropolitan of Moscow.

    Tsar Ivan the Terrible revered Philip, even as Herod had revered St John the Baptist, and he had been a generous benefactor of Solovki Monastery, but because the Tsar had established the Oprichnina, a state within a state, giving power to the Oprichniki, who used it to oppress and rob the innocent. Philip told him that he could not be Metropolitan if the Tsar suffered the oprichniki to continue in power. This angered the Tsar; he told Philip that it was not for him to interfere in matters of state, and many Hierarchs prevailed upon Philip to accept the Metropolitan’s throne. However, as the horrors committed by the oprichniki grew worse, including thefts, false accusations, murders, and all manner of injustice and rapacity, with the knowledge of the Sovereign, St Philip could not remain silent. He rebuked the Tsar once and again for the reign of terror that he had brought upon his own people. The Tsar warned him to hold his peace and bless him to do as he wished. The Metropolitan answered that his silence brought sin upon the Sovereign. The Tsar threatened him with his wrath, and told him to resign his throne if he were not willing to comply. St Philip answered that he had not sought the Metropolitan’s throne, and it was the Tsar who had deprived him of his hermitage on Solovki; but now that the pastoral burden was upon him, he would not remain silent when the canons of the Church were broken.

    The more the Tsar threatened Philip with his wrath, the more the holy Hierarch stood fast and threatened the Tsar with the judgment of God; Philip alone had the courage to rebuke the Tsar openly and oppose his iniquity. Finally the Tsar, finding false witnesses against Philip in his own monastery on Solovki, held a council against him in early November, 1568 AD; the Saint had to endure the persecution of the Tsar who had torn him from his beloved monastery, the betrayal of his fellow Hierarchs, and the slanders of his own spiritual children. He was imprisoned in Moscow, but because of the love of the people for him, the Tsar feared him even in prison, and he was transferred to a monastery in Tver, where he spent a year in great hardships and continual prayer. On December 23, 1569 AD, a royal messenger came, asking the Metropolitan’s blessing for the Tsar’s expedition to Novgorod. St Philip told him to do that which he came to do, then raised his hands in prayer to God. The Tsar’s messenger fell upon him and suffocated the holy Hierarch with a pillow. In 1591 AD his relics were transferred to Solovki, and in 1652 AD to the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow; many miracles were wrought through his holy relics.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr (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.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Hierarch (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    O successor of first prelates, pillar of Orthodoxy, champion of truth, new confessor, St Philip, you laid down thy life for thy flock. Wherefore, since you have boldness with Christ, pray for us and them that worthily honour you holy memory.

    Kontakion of the Martyr (Fourth Tone)

    On this day You have appeared

    When the Saviour bowed His head within the Jordan, there He crushed the dragons’ heads; as for His trophy-bearing Saint, when Polyeuctos’ head was cut off, he put to shame the deceiver and wily foe.

    Kontakion of the Hierarch (Third Tone)

    Let us praise most wise Philip, guide and teacher of Orthodoxy, herald of truth, emulator of Chrysostom, lamp of Russia, who fed his children spiritually with the food of his words; for by chanting praise with his tongue, he taught us to chant with our lips as an initiate of the grace of God.

     

    Polyeuctus the Martyr of Melitene in Armenia

    Saint Polyeuctus, a soldier in rank, contested during the reign of Valerian, in the year 255. He was from Melitene, a city in Armenia.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Polyeuctus in the Fourth Tone

    Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

    Kontakion of Martyr Polyeuctus in the Fourth Tone

    When the Saviour bowed His head within the Jordan, there He crushed the dragons’ heads; as for His trophy-bearing Saint, when Polyeuctus head was cut off, he put to shame the deceiver and wily foe.

     

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    theophnyApolytikion of Theophany Afterfeast in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

    Kontakion of Theophany Afterfeast in the Fourth Tone

    You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: “You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light.”

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Peter, Bishop of Sebaste, brother of Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa
    • Eustratios the Wonderworker
10
  • Gregory of Nyssa
    Dometian, Bishop of Melitene
    All day
    10-01-2018-07-01-2019

    Saint Gregory of Nyssa

    St Gregory, the younger brother of St Basil the Great, illustrious in speech and a zealot for the Orthodox Faith, was born in 331 AD. His brother St Basil was encouraged by their elder sister St Macrina to prefer the service of God to a secular career. St Gregory was moved in a similar way by his godly mother St Emily, who, when Gregory was still a young man, implored him to attend a service in honour of the holy Forty Martyrs at her retreat at Annesi on the River Iris. St Gregory came at his mother’s bidding, but being wearied with the journey, and feeling little zeal, he fell asleep during the service. The Forty Martyrs then appeared to him in a dream, threatening him and reproaching him for his slothfulness. After this, he repented and became very diligent in the service of God. He became Bishop in 372 AD, and because of his Orthodoxy he was exiled in 374 AD by Valens, who was of one mind with the Arians. After Valens’ death in 378 AD, St Gregory was recalled to his throne by the Emperor Gratian. He attended the Local Synod of Antioch, which sent him to visit the churches of Arabia and Palestine, which had been defiled and ravaged by Arianism. He attended the Second Ecumenical Synod, which was assembled in Constantinople in 381 AD. Having lived some 60 years and left behind many remarkable writings, he reposed about the year 395 AD. The acts of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod call him “Father of Fathers”.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Feast (First Tone)

    When You was baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to You, calling You His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who has appeared and has enlightened the world, glory be to You.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Saints (Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion of the Feast (Fourth Tone)

    On this day, You have appeared to the whole world, and Your light, O Sovereign Lord, is signed on us who sing You praise and chant with knowledge, “You have come, You have appeared, O You Light unapproachable”.

    Kontakion of St Gregory (Second Tone)

    Rejoicing with the Angels and taking delight in the Divine Light, Gregory of Nyssa, the vigilant mind, the God-inspired Hierarch of the Church, and wisdom’s revered hymnographer, intercede unceasingly for us all.

     

    Dometian, Bishop of Melitene

    Saint Dometian lived in the years of the Emperor Justin II, who reigned from 565 to 578, and the Emperor Maurice, who reigned from 582 to 602. Born of pious parents named Theodore and Eudocia, he received a thorough education in both secular and sacred knowledge. After he had lived in lawful wedlock a short time, his wife died, and he, for his virtue was made Bishop of Melitene in Armenia at the age of thirty. As a kinsman and trusted friend of the Emperor Maurice, he received from him great largesse, which he spent on the building of churches and the help of the poor; he was entrusted with the dealings of Byzantium with Persia. While in Constantinople, he reposed in peace in the year 602.

    Apolytikion of Dometian, Bishop of Melitene 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 Dometian, Bishop of Melitene in the Third Tone

    When divine love made of thee the Holy Spirit’s pure vessel, thou didst shine forth from on high in the august Church of Christ God; eminent in the great grace of the sacred priesthood, thou wast shown to all as ven’rable for thy virtue, O Dometian, thrice blessed, thou fair adornment of worthy high-priests of God.

     

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Apolytikion of Theophany Afterfeast in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

    Kontakion of Theophany Afterfeast in the Fourth Tone

    You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: “You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light.”

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Theosebia the Deaconess, sister of Basil the Great & Gregory of Nyssa
    • Markianos, Priest and Oikonomos of the Great Church
11
  • Theodosius the Cenobiarch
    All day
    11-01-2018-08-01-2019

    Our Righteous Father Theodosius the Cenobiarch

    St Theodosius had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474 AD. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery, wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While St Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, St Theodosius was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch. Together with St Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites. The heresy was championed by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defence of the Holy Synod of Chalcedon. Having lived for 103 years, he reposed in peace.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    With the streams of thy tears, you cultivated the barrenness of the desert; and by thy sightings from the depths, you beared fruit a hundredfold in labours; and you became a luminary, shining with miracles upon the world, O Theodosius our righteous Father. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    To you, the Champion Leader

    A being planted in the courts of Christ thy Lord and God, with holy virtues thou delightfully didst blossom forth and multiplied your children amid the desert, who were watered with the showers of thy fervent tears, O chief shepherd of the godly sheepfold of our God. Hence we cry to you, “Rejoice, O Father Theodosius.”

     

    The Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Apolytikion of Theophany Afterfeast in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

    Kontakion of Theophany Afterfeast in the Fourth Tone

    You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: “You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light.”

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Vitalis of Gaza
    • Nikephoros the New Martyr of Crete
  • Hebrews 13:7-16
    Matthew 11:27-30
    All day
    11-01-2018-08-01-2019

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 13:7-16

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 115.15,12

    Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
    Verse: What shall I render to the Lord for all that he has given me?

     

    Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 11:27-30

    The Lord said to his disciples, “All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

12
  • Martyr Tatiana of Rome
    All day
    12-01-2018-09-01-2019

    Tatiana the Martyr of Rome

    St Tatiana was the daughter of a most distinguished consul of Rome. She became a deaconess of the Church, and for her confession of the Faith of Christ, she endured many torments; as she was suffering, Angels punished her tormentors with the same torments they inflicted on her, until they cried out that they could no longer endure the scourges invisibly brought upon them. She was beheaded during the reign of Alexander Severus (222-235 AD).

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Joseph was amazed

    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 (Fourth Tone)

    On this day You have appeared

    You shined resplendently, Martyr Tatiana, in your sacred sufferings and in the crimson of your blood, soaring to Heaven like a fair dove; hence, ever pray Christ for all them that honour you.

     

    Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Apolytikion of Theophany Afterfeast in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

    Kontakion of Theophany Afterfeast in the Fourth Tone

    You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: “You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light.”

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Martyr Mertios
    • Basil and John the Hieromartyrs
    • Euthasia the Virgin-Martyr
    • Peter of Absalom
    • Benedict
  • Acts 18:22-28
    John 10:39-42
    All day
    12-01-2018-09-01-2019

    Acts of the Apostles 18:22-28

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

     

    IN THOSE DAYS, when Paul had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesos. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

     

    The Gospel according to John 10:39-42

    At that time, the Jews tried to arrest Him, but He escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there He remained. And many came to Him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.

13
  • Hilary of Poitiers
    Martyrs Hermylus & Stratonicus
    All day
    13-01-2018-10-01-2019

    Saint Hilary of Poitiers

    The Holy Hierarch Hilary was born of pagan parents in Gaul, and was trained in philosophy and rhetoric. At a time when paganism was still strong in Gaul, St Hilary understood the falsehood of polytheism, and became a Christian, and a great defender of his new Faith. About the year 350 AD, he was ordained Bishop of Poitiers, when Aries and Milan were in the hands of the Arians and the Arian Constantius was sole Emperor. Like his contemporary St Athanasius, St Hilary’s Episcopate was one long struggle against the Arians. As Bishop of Poitiers, St Hilary foresaw the future greatness of Martin, and attached him to himself. In 355 AD, when required to agree to the condemnation of St Athanasius passed by the Synod of Milan, Hilary wrote an epistle to Constantius convicting the wrongs done by the Arians and requesting, among other things, the restoration of the Orthodox Bishops, including Athanasius. For this, Hilary was banished to Asia Minor, where he wrote his greatest work, On the Trinity. St Hilary returned to his See in 360 AD, where St Martin sought him out again. It was at this time that St Hilary blessed Martin to found a monastery near Poitiers, where Martin remained until being consecrated Bishop of Tours in 371 AD. In his last years, St Hilary strove for the deposition of Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, but by affecting an Orthodox confession Auxentius retained his See. St Hilary reposed in peace about the year 368 AD. Auxentius died in 374 AD and was succeeded by St Ambrose, who continued St Hilary’s battle against Arianism.

    As for the Holy Martyrs of Sinai and Raithu, those of Sinai contested during the reign of Diocletian, about the year 296 AD; those of Raithu were slain about the middle of the fifth century. On both occasions, the perpetrators of these massacres were a barbarian tribe called Blemmyes, from the parts of Arabia and Egypt.

    The Holy virgin Nina (also called Christiana) was from Cappadocia. According to some, her father Zabulon was a friend of the holy Great Martyr George, whose father was a Cappadocian. The conversion of Georgia by St Nina is reported in the Church histories of Rufinus, Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret; Rufinus, writing less than a hundred years after St Nina, said that he heard the history in Jerusalem from a Georgian Prince named Bacurius. St Nina was taken captive by the Georgians Iberians, and while in captivity she lived a very devout life of sobriety and virtue, praying unceasingly night and day; this drew the attention of the Georgians, and to all who asked her about her way of life, she preached the dispensation of Christ. When she healed by her prayer a certain woman’s sick child, whom no one else had been able to help, the report of her came to the ears of the Queen of Georgia, who was herself gravely afflicted with an incurable malady. She asked that the captive woman be brought to her, but St Nina declined out of modesty, so the Queen commanded them to carry her to Nina. St Nina healed her immediately, and the Queen returned home in joy. When she extolled Nina and her Faith to the King, he gave her no heed, although she mentioned it to him often. But while hunting in the forest, he was shrouded with an impenetrable darkness in which he lost his way, became separated from his men, and fell into despair; he made a vow that if Christ should deliver him, he would worship Him alone. The light of day straightway shone again, and the King fulfilled his vow. St Nina instructed him and the Queen in the Faith, and they with the whole Georgian nation became Christ’s. The King also sent an embassy to St Constantine the Great, informing him of their conversion, and requesting that priests be sent to Georgia. St Nina reposed in peace about the year 335 AD. The above-mentioned Church historians speak of her without calling her Nina.

    Dismissal Hymn of St Hilary

    Guide of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and holiness, luminary of the world, God-inspired adornment of Hierarchs, O wise Hilary, by thy teachings thou hast enlightened all, O harp of the Spirit. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of St Hilary

    As first fruits of our nature

    Enduring exile for the Faith delivered to the Church of Christ, you withstood the deceit of the Arians, O holy Hierarch Hilary. By your prayers and your teachings, O defender of Orthodoxy and right belief, convert the Western lands and entreat Christ for us, who honour you.

     

    The Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus

    Saints Hermylus and Stratonicus contested for piety’s sake during the reign of Licinius, in the year 314. Saint Hermylus was a deacon, and Stratonicus was his friend. For his confession of Christ, Hermylus was beaten so fiercely that his whole body was covered with wounds. Stratonicus, seeing him endure this and other torments that left him half dead, wept with grief for his friend. From this he was discovered to be a Christian, and when he had openly professed his Faith and had been beaten, he and Hermylus were cast into the Danube River, receiving the crown of martyrdom.

    Apolytikion of The Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus in the Fourth Tone

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

    Kontakion of The Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus in the Second Tone

    Ye fled from the world’s * confusion and wild turbulence * and passed over to * a state of great tranquility, * crowned with blood of martyrdom and the pains of valiant ascetic deeds. * Hence, ye dwell together with all * the Martyrs and righteous Fathers in the heights.

     

    The Afterfeast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    Apolytikion of Theophany Afterfeast in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

    Kontakion of Theophany Afterfeast in the Fourth Tone

    You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: “You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light.”

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos – Mediatress
    • Kentigern, Bishop of Glasgow
    • Maximos the Righteous of Kapsokalyvia, Mount Athos
  • Galatians 3:23-29; 4:1-5
    Luke 20:1-8
    All day
    13-01-2018-10-01-2019

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 3:23-29; 4:1-5

    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, before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
     

    The Gospel according to Luke 20:1-8

    At that time, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to Him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question; now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know whence it was. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

14
  • Apodosis of Epiphany
    Sava, Archbishop of Serbia
    Fathers slain at Sinai and Raitho
    Nina of Georgia
    All day
    14-01-2018-11-01-2019

    Saint Sabbas (Sava), Archbishop of Serbia

    With their father now gone, Sabba’s brothers, Vukan and Stefan, were at strife over the throne, and because of their discord, the Serbian State, as well as the Orthodox faith, was gravely threatened with extinction.

    In 1204 AD, St Sabbas was compelled to return to Serbia with his father’s relics that he might restore peace between his two brothers, who were struggling over the rule of the kingdom. St Sabbas then entered the Monastery of Studenitza, the endowment of Nemanja, and with the grace of their father’s relics and the mediations of St Sabbas, healed the division between his brothers.

    Following this, he was appointed Superior of the Monastery of Studenitza, instructing and training many of the monks to become Serbian priests and teachers, and in addition, assisting his brother Stefan, in affairs of state, counselling him wisely at all times.

    Realising the necessity for the Serbs to have their own Archbishops and Bishops and an independent Church, St Sabbas, in accord with his brother, King Stefan, departed for the city of Nicea (Asia Minor), where lived the Emperor and Ecumenical Patriarch. After persuading the Emperor in Constantinople and the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant autocephaly to the Serbian Church, the Saint against his will was ordained first Archbishop of his native land in 1219 AD, where he laboured diligently to establish the Orthodox Faith.

    Upon his return to Serbia, St Sabbas, in agreement with his brother Stefan, divided the Serbian land into Bishoprics and appointed Bishops. For himself he chose as his seat the Monastery of Zitcha.

    In 1221 AD at Monastery of Zitcha, St Sabbas with great solemnity crowned his brother Stephen first King of Serbia. Thus, the coronation of the first king of Serbia, Stefan, the First-Crowned, took place in an Orthodox Church, by a Serbian Archbishop. St Sabbas worked especially toward the enlightenment of the Serbian people. Numerous churches and monasteries were erected everywhere, throughout the state. Monasteries in that time served as schools, in which the Serbian youth were taught to read and write. Following completion of their learning, they were appointed priests and teachers.

    In 1234 AD, foreseeing by divine grace his coming departure to the Lord, he resigned the Archiepiscopal throne, named his disciple Arsenios as his successor, and made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Mount Sinai; while returning through Bulgaria as guest of his friend, the Bulgarian Emperor. Celebrating the Divine service of Theophany, on a chilly day, caught cold, became ill and died on January 14 in the year of 1235 AD.

    The Bulgarian Emperor insisted that the body of St Sabbas remain in Bulgaria. Consequently, the Serbian king, Vladislav, nephew of St Sabbas, with great difficulty succeeded in claiming the body of his uncle and interring it in Serbian soil at the Monastery of Mileshevo, an endowment of St Sabbas.

    To the Serbs, the grave of St Sabbas was most sacred. During the time of Turkish dominance, the Serbs came from all sides to his grave, offering prayers to God, and seeking consolation in their suffering, and strength in their hope for liberation. Realising to what extent the Serbs revered their saint, the Turks disinterred the body of the Saint from Mileshevo, taking it to Belgrade at a place called Vrachar, where on a pyre, his body was burned to ashes, in the year of 1594 AD.

    In burning the body of St Sabbas, the Turks believed that the people would forget entirely their great benefactor and enlightener, even that his name would be forgotten, but that was not the case.

    Albeit centuries have passed since the cremation of his remains, there does not exist today, a Serb who is not familiar with his name, nor is there a Serbian school existing which fails to venerate him every year.

    Due to his meritorious and holy life, and being a national hero of Serbia and an invincible bulwark strengthening the Orthodox Faith, the Moslem Turks burned his incorrupt relics in the year 1594 AD. The Church celebrates him as their greatest saint and enlightener.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Feast (First Tone)

    When You, O Lord, was baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bares witness to You, and called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, Who has revealed Yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to You.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Saint (Third Tone)

    You were a guide of the way that leads to life, and a first prelate and teacher; you were the first to enlighten your fatherland, O St Sabbas, having given it rebirth in the Holy Spirit. You planted your sanctified children like olive trees in the spiritual Paradise. Wherefore, as we honour you as an equal of the Apostles and Holy Hierarchs, we implore you to pray to Christ God to grant us great mercy.

    Kontakionof the Feast (Fourth Tone)

    Today You have appeared to the universe, and Your light, O Sovereign Lord, has shone on us, who with understanding praise and chant, “You have come and revealed Yourself, O Light Unapproachable!”.

    Kontakion of the Saint (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    The Church of your people glorified you as her first great prelate and a companion of the Apostles, O Saint, but since you have boldness with Christ God, by your prayers save us from all harm, that we may cry to you “Rejoice, O divinely wise Father Sabbas”.

     

    The Holy Fathers Slain at Sinai and Raitho

    As for the holy Martyrs of Sinai and Raithu, those of Sinai contested during the reign of Diocletian, about the year 296; those of Raithu were slain about the middle of the fifth century. On both occasions, the perpetrators of these massacres were a barbarian tribe called Blemmyes, from the parts of Arabia and Egypt.

    Because of the Apodosis of the Feast of Holy Theophany also on the 14th of January, the liturgical services to the Holy Fathers slain at Sinai and Raitho are transferred to January 13th.

    Apolytikion of Holy Fathers Slain at Sinai and Raitho 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 Holy Fathers Slain at Sinai and Raitho in the Second Tone

    Ye fled from the world’s * confusion and wild turbulence * and passed over to * a state of great tranquility, * crowned with blood of martyrdom and the pains of valiant ascetic deeds. * Hence, ye dwell together with all * the Martyrs and righteous Fathers in the heights.

     

    The Holy Virgin Nina of Georgia

    nina_of_georgiaThe holy virgin Nina was from Cappadocia. According to some, her father Zabulon was a friend of the holy Great Martyr George, whose father was a Cappadocian. The conversion of Georgia by Saint Nina is reported in the Church histories of Rufinus, Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret: Rufinus, writing less than a hundred years after Saint Nina, said that he heard the history in Jerusalem from a Georgian Prince named Bacurius. Saint Nina was taken captive by the Georgians (whom the Greek accounts call Iberians), and while in captivity she lived a very devout life of sobriety and virtue, praying unceasingly night and day; this drew the attention of the Georgians, and to all who asked her about her way of life, she preached the dispensation of Christ. When she healed by her prayer a certain woman’s sick child, whom no one else had been able to help, the report of her came to the ears of the Queen of Georgia, who was herself gravely afflicted with an incurable malady. She asked that the captive women be brought to her, but Saint Nina declined out of modesty, so the Queen commanded them to carry her to Nina. Saint Nina healed her immediately, and the Queen returned home in joy. When she extolled Nina and her faith to the king, he gave her no heed, although she mentioned it to him often. But while hunting in the forest, he was shrouded with an impenetrable darkness in which he lost his way, became separated from his men, and fell into despair; he made a vow that if Christ should deliver him, he would worship him alone. The light of day straightway shone again, and the king fulfilled his vow. He and the Queen were instructed in the Faith by Saint Nina, and they with the whole Georgian nation became Christ’s. The King also sent an embassy to Saint Constantine the Great, informing him of their conversion, and requesting that priests be sent to Georgia. Saint Nina reposed in peace in about the year 335. The above-mentioned Church historians speak of her without calling her Nina. She is celebrated in the Roman Martyrology on December 15 under the name Christina.

    Because of the Apodosis of the Feast of Holy Theophany also on the 14th of January, the liturgical services to Saint Nina are transferred to January 13th.

    Apolytikion of Nina of Georgia in the Fourth Tone

    O handmaid of the Word of God, who in preaching hast equaled the first-called Apostle Andrew, and hast emulated the other Apostles; O enlightener of Iberia and reed-pipe of the Holy Spirit, holy Nina, equal to the Apostles: Pray to Christ God to save our souls.

    Kontakion of Nina of Georgia in the Second Tone

    O come ye all today and let us sing praise to the chosen one of Christ, the equal of the Apostles, the preacher of God’s word, the wise bearer of good tidings, who hath brought the people of Kartalina to the path of life and truth; she is the disciple of the Mother of God, our zealous intercessor and unwearying guardian, the most praised Nina.

     

    Leavetaking of the Theophany of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

    theophnyApolytikion of Apodosis of Epiphany in the First Tone

    Lord, when You were baptized in the Jordan, the veneration of the Trinity was revealed. For the voice of the Father gave witness to You, calling You Beloved, and the Spirit, in the guise of a dove, confirmed the certainty of His words. Glory to You, Christ our God, who appeared and enlightened the world.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Agnes the Virgin-martyr
    • Plato the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Tallini and all Estonia, and the Priest Martyrs
    • Michael and Nicholas
  • Acts 2:38-43
    Luke 4:1-15
    All day
    14-01-2018-11-01-2019

    Acts of the Apostles 2:38-43

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

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

     

    IN THOSE DAYS, Peter said to the people, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

    The Gospel according to Luke 4:1-15

    At that time Jesus returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command the stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

     

    And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

15
  • Paul of Thebes
    John the Hut-Dweller
    Martyr Pansophios of Alexandria
    All day
    15-01-2018-12-01-2019

    Saint Paul of Thebes

    St Paul, first among hermits, was born about 227 AD in the Thebaid of Egypt. In 250 AD, he fled into the wilderness because of the persecution raging at that time under Decius. Having lived a solitary life in a certain cave for 91 years, he reposed in 341 AD, at the age of 114 and was buried by St Anthony the Great, who had been directed their by God several days before the Saint’s repose.

    Dismissal Hymn of St Paul (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    With the streams 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, shining with miracles upon the world, O Paul our righteous Father. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of St Paul (Fourth Tone)

    O faithful ones, let us all laud the divine Paul, the bright luminary that shone at the virtues’ lofty height; and let us joyously cry aloud, “O Christ, You are the rejoicing of all the Saints”.

     

    John the Hut-Dweller

    john_the_hut-dwellerSaint John, who was from Constantinople, was the son of illustrious parents — Eutropius the Senator and Theodora. At twelve years of age he departed secretly from his home and went to the Monastery of the Unsleeping (see Dec. 29). Aflame with longing for his parents, he returned after six years to his father’s home in the guise of a pauper and beggar. Living in a small hut at the gates of his parents’ house (wherefrom he is called “hut-dweller”), he remained unknown therein for many years, and suffered mockery at the hands of those who had been his own servants. Foreknowing his death, he revealed himself to his parents, and within a few moments reposed, about the year 450.

    Apolytikion of John the Hut-Dweller in the Fourth Tone

    Since thou hadst with fervour longed after the Lord from thy youth, * thou leftest the world with its delights and nobly didst strive in valiant ascetic deeds. * Thou didst pitch thy hut before the gates of thy parents; * thou didst break the demons’ snares, O all-blessed Father. * And therefore, as is meet, hath Christ God glorified thee, O John.

    Kontakion of John the Hut-Dweller in the Second Tone

    Since thou didst desire a poverty like unto Christ’s, O wise Father John, thou didst forsake thy parents’ wealth; and while holding in thy hands the most holy Gospel, O righteous one, thou didst follow after Christ God while ceaselessly praying to Him for us all.

16
  • Peter, the Apostle
    Makarios of Kalogeras
    All day
    16-01-2018-13-01-2019

    Veneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy and Apostle Peter

    Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great and king of the Jews, grew wroth against the Church of Christ, and slew James, the brother of John the Evangelist. Seeing that this pleased the Jews, he took Peter also into custody and locked him up in prison, intending to keep him there until after the feast of the Passover, so that he could win the favour of the people by presenting him to them as a victim. However, the Apostle was saved when he was miraculously set free by an Angel (Acts 12:1-19). The chains wherewith the Apostle was bound received from his most sacred body the grace of sanctification and healing, which is bestowed upon the faithful who draw nigh with faith.

    That such sacred treasures work wonders and many healings is witnessed by the divine Scripture, where it speaks concerning Paul, saying that the Christians in Ephesus had such reverence for him. His handkerchiefs and aprons, taken up with much reverence, healed the sick of their maladies, “So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them” (Acts 19:12). However, not only the Apostles’ clothing (which certainly touched the bodies of the sick), but even their shadow alone performed healings. On beholding this, people put their sick on stretchers and beds and brought them out into the streets that, when Peter passed by, his shadow “might overshadow some of them” (Acts 5:15). From this, the Orthodox Catholic Church has learned to show reverence and piety not only to the relics of their bodies, but also to the clothing of God’s Saints.

    Dismissal Hymn

    Without leaving Rome, you came to us by the precious chains, which you wore, O foremost of the Apostles. Commemorating them with faith, we pray, “By your intercessions with God, grant us great mercy”.

    Kontakion

    Now Christ God, the Rock, does glorify the rock of faith illustriously, in calling all to celebrate the dread wonders of the most precious chains of Peter, the first and chief of the disciples of Christ our God, Who grants forgiveness of sins to all.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Righteous Hierodeacon Makarios of Kalogeras
    • Romilo the Monk of Mount Athos
    • Nicholas the New-Martyr of Mytilene
    • Peusippos, Elasippos, and Mesippos the siblings, and their grandmother Neonilla
  • Acts 12:1-11
    John 21:14-25
    All day
    16-01-2018-13-01-2019

    Acts of the Apostles 12:1-11

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

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

     

    ABOUT THAT TIME, Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church.

     

    The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Wrap your mantle around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him. And Peter came to himself, and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
     

    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.

17
  • Anthony the Great
    All day
    17-01-2018-14-01-2019

    Saint Anthony the Great

    St Anthony was born in the year 251 AD in Egypt of very pious parents. His education was limited, however he attended church with his parents and intensely observed the services, wanting to enrich his spiritual growth.

    His parents died when he was 18 years old. He lived with his sister and took care of family affairs. One day when he attended the liturgy, he heard the words that Jesus had said to a wealthy young man, “If wilt be perfect, go sell all that thou hast and give it to the poor and come follow me…”

    He was so impressed by these words that he decided to do as Christ had told the young man. He sold off his plots of farmland, gave the money to the poor and entrusted his sister to a Christian home for virgins for at this time there were no monasteries. Those who wanted to meditate would build cells a short distance from the city and live there. This is what Anthony did.

    In the area lived an old hermit. Anthony followed his example by praying, meditating and fasting in order to overcome the many temptations which are common to young men. He drilled himself by remaining awake days at a time, eating once a day, sometimes once every two days and sleeping on the ground. The philosophy behind his actions was that young men should torture their bodies as much as possible so that their resistance to physical and spiritual sickness would be higher.

    The years passed, To further his spiritual struggle, at the age of 35 he departed for the desert where he found a derelict fortress in which he barricaded himself. Completely isolated, but for a good Christian who bought him food every six months or so, he pursued with greater severity his ascetic way of life, constantly battling Satan’s temptations.

    As the years passed many men came to him, expressing the desire to follow his example by living the life of a hermit and undergoing spiritual struggles. He taught his brothers to prefer their love for Christ over everything else. Even though Saint Anthony lacked education, his words were full of faith and divine wisdom. His reputation and ascetic figure added a heavenly charm to his teachings.

    In time this became the first monastery, established in 305 AD. It is for this reason that Saint Anthony is generally known as the Father of Monasticism. From this one brotherhood many more sprouted throughout the known world. Rules were soon established which were to be followed by all hermit monks.

    During the time of the persecutions under Emperor Maximianos, Anthony and several other monks travelled to Alexandria to encourage and comfort the many suffering Christians. In 325 AD, Anthony and his monks helped defeat the Arian heretics at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea.

    Many miracles are attributed to this religious father. His fame reached even Constantinople. Constantine the Great and one of his sons would write letters to Saint Anthony asking for his blessing and advice.

    Saint Anthony died in 356 AD at the age of 105. He instructed two of his monks to bury him secretly. This they did, and his resting place is still unknown.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    O Father Anthony, you imitated the zealous Elijah. You followed the straight paths of the Baptist and became a desert dweller. By prayer you confirmed the universe. Therefore, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    Forsaking the uproars of life O venerable one, you completed your life in quiet, fully imitating the Baptist. Therefore, we honour you with him, O Anthony, Father of Fathers.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Anthony the New of the Berropas Skete
    • George the New Martyr of Ioannina
    • Theodosius the Emperor
18
  • Athanasios & Cyril, Patriarchs of Alexandria
    Martyr Zenia
    All day
    18-01-2018-15-01-2019

    Saints Athanasios and Cyril, Patriarchs of Alexandria

    In the half-century after the First Ecumenical Synod held in Nicaea in 325 AD, if there was one man whom the Arians feared and hated more intensely than any other, as being able to lay bare the whole error of their teaching, and to marshal, even from exile or hiding, the beleaguered forces of the Orthodox, it was St Athanasios the Great.

    This blazing lamp of Orthodoxy, which imperial power and heretics’ plots could not quench when he shone upon the lamp-stand or find when the people and monks of Egypt hid him, was born in Alexandria about the year 296 AD. He received an excellent training in Greek letters and especially in the sacred Scriptures, of which he shows an exceptional knowledge in his writings. Even as a young man, he had a remarkable depth of theological understanding; he was only about twenty years old when he wrote his treatise on the Incarnation. St Alexander, the Archbishop of Alexandria, brought him up in piety, ordained him his deacon, and, after deposing Arius for his blasphemy against the Divinity of the Son of God, took Athanasios to the First Synod in Nicaea in 3 2 5; St Athanasios was to spend the remainder of his life labouring in defence of this holy Synod. In 3 2 6, before his death, Alexander appointed Athanasios his successor.

    In 325 AD, Arius had been condemned by the Synod of Nicaea; yet through Arius’ hypocritical confession of Orthodox belief, St Constantine the Great was persuaded by Arius’ supporters that he should be received back into the communion of the Church. But Athanasios, knowing well the perverseness of his mind, and the disease of heresy lurking in his heart, refused communion with Arius.

    The heresiarch’s followers then began framing false charges against Athanasios; finally St Constantine the Great, misled by grave charges of the Saint’s misconduct which were completely false had him exiled to Triberis (Treves) in Gaul in 336 AD. When his three sons Constantine II, Constans, and Constantios succeeded St Constantine, in 337 AD, St Athanasios returned to Alexandria in triumph. However, his enemies found an ally in Constantios, Emperor of the East; St Athanasios’ second exile was spent in Rome.

    It was ended when Constans prevailed with threats upon his brother Constantios to restore Athanasios. For ten years St Athanasios strengthened Orthodoxy throughout Egypt, visiting the whole country and encouraging all, clergy, monastics, and layfolk, being loved by all as a father. But after Constans’ death in 350 AD, Constantios became sole Emperor.

    Dismissal Hymn
    Shining forth with works of Orthodoxy, you quenched every false belief and teaching and became trophy bearers and conquerors. In addition, since you made all things rich with true piety, greatly adorning the Church with magnificence, Athanasios and wise Cyril, you both have worthily found Christ God, Who grants great mercy to all.

    Kontakion
    Great high priests of piety and noble champions of the holy Church of Christ keep and preserve all those who chant, “O most compassionate Lord, graciously save those who faithfully honour You”.

  • Hebrews 13:7-16
    Matthew 5:14-19
    All day
    18-01-2018-15-01-2019

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 13:7-16

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Daniel 3.26,27

    Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
    Verse: For you are just in all you have done.

     

    Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 5:14-19

    The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

19
  • Macarios the Great
    Macarios of Alexandria
    Arsenios of Corfu, Mark Eugenicus, Metropolitan of Ephesus
    All day
    19-01-2018-16-01-2019

    St Macarios the Great

    St Macarios the Great was from the Thebaid of Egypt, a disciple, as some say, of St Anthony the Great. He was born about 331 and struggled in asceticism in the desert at Scete. Although young, he was called “the child elder” because of his great wisdom and austere manner of life.He was ordained Presbyter and reposed in 391 AD, at the age of sixty. There are fifty homilies ascribed to him. It is said of St Macarios that he became as a God upon earth, for even as God protects the whole world, so did he cover the faults he saw as if he did not see them.

    Once he came back to his cell to find a thief taking his things and loading them on a camel. Macarios” non-possessiveness was so great that he helped the thief load the camel. When the camel refused to rise, Macarios returned to his cell and brought a small hoe, said that the camel wanted the hoe also, loaded it on, and kicked the camel telling it to get up. The camel obeyed Macarios” command, but soon lay down again, and would not move until everything had been returned to Macarios.

     

    Saint Makarios of Alexandria

    st_macarios_of_alexandriaSaint Macarios of Alexandria, was so called because he came from Alexandria and was therefore of that Greek-speaking colony; while St Macarios the Great is also called “of Egypt”, that is, he belonged to the ancient race native to Egypt, the Copts. Whenever St Macarios of Alexandria heard of a virtue practiced by any man, he strove to practice it even more fully himself. When he was already old, he visited the community of St Pachomios in Tabennisi and, without revealing who he was, asked admittance. St Pachomous, on account of Macarios” age, was reluctant to receive him, but afterwards yielded to his entreaties. Shortly thereafter Great Fast began, and Macarios followed such a severe rule of fasting and prayer that many in the brotherhood complained to Pachomios, asking if he had brought this old man to put them to shame. Learning Macarios” identity in a revelation, St Pachomios thanked him for breaking the pride of his monks, and sent him away in peace.

     

    Arsenios of Corfu

    St Arsenios, who had Palestine as his homeland, was born in 876 AD, the son of devout parents. From childhood, he was consecrated to God and assumed the monastic habit. He studied in Seleucia, where he also received the dignity of the priesthood.

    After he had moved from thence to Constantinople, he was appointed Metropolitan of Corfu. He adorned the throne there by his virtue and instruction. When advanced in age, he returned to Constantinople and appeased the unjust rage of Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos against the leaders of Corfu. Finally, during his journey back to his see, he fell ill at Corinth and reposed in the Lord about the middle of the tenth century.

     

    Mark, Bishop of Ephesus

    mark_of_efesThe great teacher and invincible defender of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, St Mark, was the offspring and scion of the imperial city, Constantinople. Reared by most pious parents, and instructed in secular and spiritual wisdom, he became pre-eminent in both. St Mark lived as an ascetic on the Princes” Islands and later in the monastery of St George Magana in Constantinople. He passed through all the degrees of the priesthood, and was finally advanced to the dignity of Archbishop and the lofty throne of the Metropoly of Ephesus. At the insistence of Emperor John Paleologos, the Saint was sent to the council of the Latin”s in Florence, to unite the churches that had been divided for so many years. He astounded the papal teachers with the divine wisdom of his words, and was the only one who did not sign the blasphemous decree of that false council. Because of this, the holy Church of Christ has ever honoured this great man as a benefactor, teacher, sole defender, and invincible champion of the Apostolic Confession. He reposed in 1443 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn of St Macarios of Egypt

    You proved to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a Wonderworker, O Macarios, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer obtained heavenly gifts, and you healed the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to you with faith. Glory to Him that has given you strength, Glory to Him that has crowned you, and Glory to Him that works healings for all through you.

    Dismissal Hymn of St Arsenios

    The truth of things hath 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 Arsenios, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Dismissal Hymn of St Mark

    All-Laudable and most divine Mark, in you the Church found a great zealot by your confession of the holy and sacred Faith; for you championed the doctrines that the Fathers taught and you cast down darkness” boastful pride. Wherefore pray to Christ God for them that honour you, that we be granted the forgiveness of sins.

    Kontakion of St Macarios of Egypt

    The Lord God established yo, O great ascetic, in the house of abstinence, like an unerring star that lit the farthest regions with guiding light, Father of Fathers, O righteous Macarios.

    Kontakion of St Arsenios

    You was manifested as a righteous hierarch, who served the Most High God like a true Angel on the earth; and now, O Father Arsenios, beseech Him with fervour to save our souls.

    Kontakion of St Mark

    Clad, O godly-minded one, with an invincible armour, you dash to pieces the pride of the Western rebellion; you was brought forth as the champion of Orthodoxy, as the Comforter”s own instrument and pure vessel. For this cause, to you, we cry out, “Rejoice, O Mark, you boast of the Orthodox flock”.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Makarios, Hierodeacon of Kalogera, Patmos
    • Removal of the Honorable Relics of Saint Gregory the Theologian
    • Branwallader, Bishop of Jersey
20
  • Euthymios the Great
    All day
    20-01-2018-17-01-2019

    Righteous Euthymius the Great

    St Euthymios, who was from Melitene in Armenia, was the son of pious parents named Paul and Dionysia. He was born about 377 AD. Since his mother had been barren, he was named Euthymios, which means “good cheer” or “joy”, for this is what his parents experienced at his birth. He studied under Eutroios, the Bishop of Melitene, by whom he was ordained and entrusted with the care of the monasteries of Melitene.

    Then, after he had come to Palestine about the year 406 AD, he became the leader of a multitude of monks. Through him, a great tribe of Arabs was turned to piety, when he healed the ailing son of their leader Aspebetos. Aspebetos was baptized with all his people; he took the Christian name of Peter, and was later consecrated Bishop for his tribe, being called “Bishop of the Tents”.

    St Euthymios also fought against the Nestorians, Eutychians, and Manichaeans. When Eudocia, the widow of St Theodosios the Younger, had made her dwelling in Palestine, and had fallen into the heresy of the Monophysites, which was championed in Palestine by a certain Theodosios. She sent envoys to St Symeon the Stylite in Syria, asking him his opinion of Eutyches and the Synod of Chalcedon, which had condemned him; St Symeon, praising the holiness and Orthodoxy of St Euthymios near whom she dwelt, sent her to him to be delivered from her error (the holy Empress Eudocia is commemorated August 13). He became the divine oracle of the Church, or rather, the vessel of divine utterance,” as a certain historian writes, and he was the instructor and elder of St Sabbas the Sanctified. Having lived for 96 years, he reposed in 473 AD, on January 20.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Be glad, O barren one that has not given birth; be of good cheer, you that has not travailed; for a man of desires has multiplied you children of the Spirit, having planted them in piety and reared them in continence to the perfection of the virtues. By his prayers, O Christ our God, make our life peaceful.

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    As first-fruits of our nature

    Creation found delight and joy in your august nativity and the good cheer of your numberless miracles on your divine memorial. Now bestow thereof richly on our souls and wash clean the stains of our every sin, Euthymios most-righteous, that we may chant: Alleluia.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Zacharias the New Martyr of Patra
    • John the Hieromartyr
  • 2 Corinthians 4:6-15
    Luke 6:17-23
    All day
    20-01-2018-17-01-2019

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

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 149.5,1

    The saints shall rejoice in glory.
    Verse: Sing to the Lord a new song.

     

    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 Luke 6:17-23

    At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said:

     

    “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

21
  • Maximos the Confessor
    Neophytos of Patra
    All day
    21-01-2018-18-01-2019

    Saint Maximus the Confessor

    The divine Maximos, who was from Constantinople, sprang from an illustrious family. He was a lover of wisdom and an eminent theologian. At first, he was the chief private secretary of the Emperor Heraclios and his grandson Constans.However, when the Monothelite heresy became predominant in the royal court, out of hatred for this error the Saint departed for the Monastery at Chrysopolis (Scutari), of which he later became the abbot. When Constans tried to constrain him either to accept the Monothelite teaching, or to stop speaking and writing against it neither of which the Saint accepted to do his tongue was uprooted and his right hand was cut off, and he was sent into exile, where he reposed in 662 AD. At the time only he and his few disciples were Orthodox in the East.

    Dismissal Hymn of the Righteous One (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    Guide of Orthodoxy, teacher of piety and holiness, luminary of the world, God inspired adornment of monastics, O wise Maximus, by thy teachings thou hast enlightened all, O harp of the Spirit. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of the Righteous One (Plagal of Fourth Tone)

    Let us the faithful praise with fitting hymns that lover of the Holy Trinity, great Maximos, who clearly taught the divinely given Faith, that we should give glory to Christ our God, Who, though but one hypostasis, has in very truth two natures, wills, and energies. Let us cry to him, “Rejoice, divine herald of the Faith”.

     

    Neophytos the Martyr of Nicaea

    The Martyr Neophytos, who was from Nicea in Bithynia, was the son of pious parents, Theodore and Florence. Led by grace from his childhood, he took up his dwelling in a cave upon Mount Olympus at the age of nine and lived there in asceticism and prayer. At the age of fifteen, during the reign of Diocletian about the year 290, he presented himself to the local Governor named Decius. Roused to fury by his unexpected boldness, Decius had him scourged, then laid out on a bed of fire. When he had been preserved by grace through these torments, he gave him up to wild beasts. But since the Saint remained unharmed, a certain pagan fell on him with a sword and slew him.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Neophytos in the Fourth Tone

    Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

    Kontakion of Martyr Neophytos in the Fourth Tone

    Thou didst shine forth from the mount like unto lightning and didst glorify Christ God in thy martyric pains and death, O thou Great Martyr Neophytos. Wherefore, thou hast now received the unfading crown.

     

    Also Celebrated Today:

    • Martyrs Neophytos, Agnes, Patroclus, Maximus the Greek and Eugene of Trebizond
  • Philippians 1:12-20
    Luke 12:8-12
    All day
    21-01-2018-18-01-2019

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 1:12-20

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 115.15,12

    Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
    Verse: What shall I render to the Lord for all that he has given me?

     
    Brethren, I want you to know that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the praetorian guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 12:8-12

    The Lord said to His disciples, “Every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And every one who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

22
  • Martyr Anastasios the Persian
    Timothy of the 70
    Joseph the Sanctified
    All day
    22-01-2018-19-01-2019

    Anastasios, the Persian Righteous Monk-Martyr

    Saint Anastasius was a Persian by race, the son of a Magus, and a soldier in the Persian army in the days of Chosroes II, King of Persia, and Heraclius, Emperor of New Rome. The Saint’s Persian name was Magundat.

    When Chosroes captured Jerusalem in the year 614 and took the Precious Cross away captive, Magundat heard the report of the miracles that came to pass through the Cross of our salvation. Being of a prudent mind, perplexed that an instrument of torture should be so highly honored by the Christians, yet seized with longing to learn their Faith, he diligently sought out instruction in the whole divine dispensation of Christ: His Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection. When he learned what he sought to know, his soul was filled with wonder and joy. Withdrawing to the Holy City, he was baptized by Saint Modestus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and became a monk, receiving the new name of Anastasius.

    As he read the lives of the Saints and the accounts of the holy Martyrs, his heart was kindled with love for them to such a degree that he prayed to be counted worthy of a martyr’s end like unto theirs. Finally, unable to contain his longing, he left his monastery. Encountering certain Persian Magi at Caesarea, he rebuked them for their delusion. Since Palestine was still held in the captivity of the Persians, he was taken before the Persian ruler, questioned, beaten, and imprisoned. He was then taken with other captives to Persia, where, after many tortures, refusing to espouse again the error of his fathers, he was hanged up by one hand, strangled with a noose, and beheaded. The translation of his holy relics is celebrated on the 24th of this month.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Anastasius the Persian in the Fourth Tone

    Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

    Kontakion of Martyr Anastasius the Persian in the First Tone

    With hymns let us, the faithful, sing Timothy’s praises as Paul’s divine disciple and faithful companion; with him let us also laud Anastasius the godly-wise, who shone forth with splendor like a star out of Persia and doth drive away from us our bodily sickness and spiritual maladies.

     

    Timothy the Apostle of the 70

    timothy_the_-apostle_of_the_70The Apostle Timothy, who was from Lystra of Lycaonia, was born of a Greek (that is, pagan) father and a Jewish mother. His mother’s name was Eunice, and his grandmother’s name was Lois (II Tim. 1:5). He became the disciple of the Apostle Paul when the latter first preached there, and he followed St. Paul during the whole period of the Apostle’s preaching. Afterwards, Timothy was consecrated by him as first Bishop of the church in Ephesus. Under the supervision of John the Evangelist, who governed all the churches in Asia, he completed his life as a martyr in the year 97. He was stoned to death by the heathens, because, as some surmise, he opposed the festival held in honor of Artemis (Diana). The Apostle Paul’s First and Second Epistles to Timothy were written to him.

    Apolytikion of Timothy of the 70 in the Fourth Tone

    Since thou hadst been instructed in uprightness thoroughly and wast vigilant in all things, thou wast clothed with a good conscience as befitteth one holy. Thou didst draw from the Chosen Vessel ineffable mysteries; and having kept the Faith, thou didst finish a like course, O Hieromartyr and Apostle Timothy. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Timothy of the 70 in the First Tone

    With hymns let us, the faithful, sing Timothy’s praises as Paul’s divine disciple and faithful companion; with him let us also laud Anastasius the godly-wise, who shone forth with splendor like a star out of Persia and doth drive away from us our bodily sickness and spiritual maladies.

23
  • Martyr Agathangelus
    Clement of Ancyra
    Dionysius of Olympus
    All day
    23-01-2018-20-01-2019

    Clement, Bishop of Ancyra

    Saint Clement, who was from Ancyra in Galatia, was the son of an unbelieving father, but a believing mother whose name was Sophia. At first he lived as a monk; later, he became the Bishop of his city. He suffered so many things in confession of the Faith of Christ, which the time of his suffering and struggles stretched out over a period of 28 years. Finally he and St Agathangelos (who was from Rome) were beheaded together during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, in the year 296 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn of St Clement

    You blossomed forth for the faithful, O most sacred Clement, as a branch of holiness, a staff of contest, a most sacred flower, and a sweet God-given fruit. However, as a fellow-sufferer of martyrs and a fellow-prelate of hierarchs, intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of St Clement

    An honoured branch of Christ, Who is the True Vine, all-famed Clement, you won your many contests for the Faith, crying with them that had shared your pains: Christ is the Martyrs’ exceedingly radiant joy.

     

    Agathangelus the Martyr

    Saint Agathangelus (who was from Rome) along with Saint Clement, Bishop of Ancyra, were beheaded together during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, in the year 296.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Agathangelus in the Fourth Tone

    Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

    Kontakion of Martyr Agathangelus in the Fourth Tone

    Having blossomed forth from Rome, * the city famed for her Martyrs, * thou didst cause astonishment * unto thy namesakes, the Angels, * when they saw thy steadfast courage * and great endurance * in the torments thou didst suffer for Christ, O Martyr. * Wherefore, thou wast rightly hallowed * and didst receive grace * to work dread wonders and signs.

  • Philippians 3:20-4:3
    Mark 2:23-3:5
    All day
    23-01-2018-20-01-2019

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 3:20-21; 4:1-3

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 115.18,12

    I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
    Verse: What shall I render to the Lord for all that he has given me?

     

    Brethren, our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

     

    The Gospel according to Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-5

    At that time, Jesus was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.”

     

    Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch it out,” and his hand was restored.

24
  • Xenia of Rome
    Xenia of St Petersburg
    All day
    24-01-2018-21-01-2019

    Xenia Deaconess of Rome

    The Divine Apostle, recounting the achievements of the Saints, and setting forth their memorial as an example for us to turn away from earthly things and sin, and emulate their patience and courage in the struggles for virtue, says, “therefore we also are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every burden, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1).

    Guided by the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition, we honour the Saints, who are friends of God who keep His commandments, are shining examples of virtue, and are benefactors of mankind. Of course, we honour the known Saints on their own day of the year. However, many Saints are unknown and their number increases with time, so the Church has appointed that once a year a common commemoration be made of all the Saints on All Saints Day. This is the harvest of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world; it is the “much fruit” brought forth by that “Grain of wheat that fell into the earth and died” (John 12:24); it is the glorification of the Saints as “the foundation of the Church, the Gospel’s perfection, they who fulfilled in deed the sayings of the Saviour” (Sunday of All Saints, Doxasticon of Vespers).

     

    Xenia of St Petersburg, Fool-for-Christ

    xeniapeterborgaOur righteous Mother Xenia of Petersburg was born about the year 1730. She was married to a Colonel named Andrew; when she was twenty-six years old, her husband died suddenly, having been drinking with his friends. Left a childless widow, Xenia gave away all that she had, and vanished from Saint Petersburg for eight years; it is believed that she spent this time in a hermitage, learning the spiritual life. When she returned to Saint Petersburg, she wore her husband’s military clothing, and would answer only to the name Andrew, that is, the name of her late husband. She took up the life of a homeless wanderer, and was abused by many as insane; she bore this with great patience, crucifying the carnal mind through the mockery she endured, and praying for her husband’s soul. She was given great gifts of prayer and prophecy, and often foretold things to come; in 1796 she foretold the death of Empress Catherine II. Having lived forty-five years after her husband’s death, she reposed in peace at the age of seventy-one, about the year 1800. Her grave became such a source of miracles, and so many came to take soil from it as a blessing, that it was often necessary to replace the soil; when a stone slab was placed over her grave, this too disappeared over time, piece by piece. Saint Xenia is especially invoked for help in finding employment, lodging, or a spouse.

    Apolytikion of Xenia of Petersburg in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    In thee, O wandering stranger, Christ the Lord hath given us an ardent intercessor for our kind. For having received in thy life sufferings and grief and served God and men with love, thou didst acquire great boldness. Wherefore, we fervently hasten to thee in temptations and grief, crying out from the depths of our hearts: Put not our hope to shame, O Blessed Xenia.

    Kontakion of Xenia of Petersburg in the Third Tone

    Having been as a wandering stranger on earth, sighing for the Heavenly homeland, thou wast known as a fool by the senseless and unbelieving, but as most wise and holy by the faithful, and wast crowned by God with glory and honor, O Xenia, manly-minded and divinely wise. Wherefore, we cry to thee: Rejoice, for after earthly wandering thou hast come to dwell in the Father’s house.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Vavylas the Holy Martyr
    • Philo the Wonderworker, Bishop of Karpasia in Cyprus
25
  • Gregory the Theologian
    All day
    25-01-2018-22-01-2019

    Saint Gregory the Theologian(of Nazianzus), Archbishop of Constantinople

    St Gregory of Nazianzus, known by the Orthodox Church as St Gregory the Theologian (c. 329 – c. 390 AD), was the son of the Bishop of Nazianzus (Cappadocia).

    St Gregory received the best education available, at the University of Athens, where St Basil, his lifelong friend, and Julian, the future emperor, were fellow-students. In 359 AD he left Athens and became a monk, living a solitary life with St Basil at Pontus. After two years, St Gregory returned home to help his aging father manage his diocese. Against his wishes he was ordained a priest and then fled to St Basil for 10 weeks. He returned to his new duties and wrote an apologia, titled “Defence of the Flight to Pontos”, saying that no one can undertake to shepherd the spiritual flock without becoming a temple of the living God, “a habitation of Christ in the Spirit”. He also said, “It is necessary first to be purified, then to purify; to be made wise, then to make wise; to become light, then to enlighten; to approach God, then to bring others to Him; to be sanctified, then to sanctify”. This treatise became a classic on the nature and duties of the priesthood.

    After St Basil became Archbishop of Caesarea, he had St Gregory consecrated Bishop of Sasima, but St Gregory continued to help his father with his duties. Following the death of his father in 374 AD, St Gregory lived a solitary life in Seleucia until about 380 AD. After the death of the persecuting emperor Valens, peace returned to the Church, but Constantinople was dominated by Arians. Neighbouring Bishops sent for St Gregory to restore Constantinople’s Christian community. Protesting, he moved to Constantinople, where he preached his famous sermons on the Trinity. His reputation spread and his audience increased, but the Arians attacked him by slander, insults, and violence. He persisted in preaching the faith and doctrine of Nicea (later known as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed). In 381 AD, the Council of Constantinople proclaimed the conclusions of Nicea as authentic Christian doctrine. During the council, St Gregory was appointed Bishop of Constantinople and installed in the basilica of St Sophia. Opposition to him, however, continued. He resigned for the sake of peace after restoring Orthodoxy in the capital.

    He returned to Cappadocia, which was still without a Bishop, where he administered the See until a successor was appointed in c. 384 AD. He then retired to his estates and spent his time reading and writing. His writing included religious poetry (later to become Orthodox hymns), his autobiography, epistles, essays and sermons. He died at Cappadocia.

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    The sweet-sounding shepherd’s pipe of your theology overpowered the trumpeting of the orators; for having searched the depths of the Spirit eloquence was also bestowed upon you. Pray to Christ God, Father Gregory, that our souls may be saved.

    Kontakion (Third Tone)

    By words of theology, you unravelled the complex webs of the orators, glorious Gregory, and adorned the Church with the robe of Orthodoxy woven from on high. Wearing it, she cries out with us, her children, “Rejoice, O Father, supreme mind of theology”.

     

    The Synaxis of the New Martyrs of Russia

    On the Sunday that falls nearest to January 25, we commemorate all the faithful throughout the former Russian Empire who died at the hands of the atheists, beginning in the year 1917. Among them are the Royal Family (see July 4), followed by Patriarch Tikhon the Confessor (see Mar. 24), and an innumerable multitude of clergy, monastics, and layfolk who confessed the Name of Christ in the face of every conceivable mockery, torment, and bitter death.

    Apolytikion of The Synaxis of the New Martyrs of Russia in the Third Tone

    In these latter times, a host of Martyrs, * newly crowned with grace, rejoice in Heaven, * glorified with diverse forms of martyrdom; * for having censured the madness of godless foes, * they gained the laurels of triumph and victory. * Hence, they fervently entreat Christ for us unceasingly, * to grant great mercy unto us who sing their praise.

    Kontakion of The Synaxis of the New Martyrs of Russia in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    The choirs of Martyrs who contested in the ancient times * welcome the hosts of victors newly crowned by Christ our God, * and they form one common festival in divine joy. * For these ranks which fought for faith throughout the Russian land * set at nought the wicked schemes of godless tyranny. * Hence, we cry to them: * Rejoice, ye Passion-bearers of the Lord.

     

    We also celebrate today:

    • Kastinos, Archbishop of Constantinople
  • Hebrews 7:26-8:2
    John 10:9-16
    All day
    25-01-2018-22-01-2019

    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.”

26
  • Xenophon & Companions
    All day
    26-01-2018-23-01-2019

    Saint Xenophon, a wealthy nobleman of Constantinople, was filled with piety toward God. He had two sons, Arcadius and John, whom he sent to Beirut to study law. But they were shipwrecked during their voyage; barely saved, they forsook all things and departed for Palestine. Saint Xenophon and his wife Mary, ignorant of what had happened, went in search of their sons. On finding them in Jerusalem, dressed in the habit of monks, they also took up the monastic life. And thus, having completed their lives in holiness, they departed for the Lord about the beginning of the sixth century. Saint Xenophon and his sons reposed at Saint Sabbas Monastery, and Mary at the Monastery of Saint Theodosius.

    Apolytikion of Xenophon & his Companions 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 Xenophon & his Companions in the Fourth Tone

    With thy yoke-mate and thy sons didst thou keep vigil in the courts of Christ thy Lord and thou didst cheerfully disperse thy wealth to paupers, O blessed one. Hence, ye have all now inherited joy divine.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Hieromartyr Ananias
    • Symeon the Elder of Mount Sinai
27
  • Relics of John Chrysostom
    All day
    27-01-2018-24-01-2019

    Removal of the Relics of John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

    St John Chrysostom’s removal of the relicts took place on January 27 in 438 AD, when St Theodosios the Younger had been Emperor for 30 years; he was the son of Arcadios and Eudoxia, who had exiled St John. The Archbishop of Constantinople at that time was Proclos, who had been the Saint’s disciple.

    Dismissal Hymn

    Grace shining forth from thy mouth like a beacon hath illumined the universe, disclosed to the world treasures of non-covetousness, and shown us the heights of humility; but whilst instructing us by your words, O Father John Chrysostom, intercede with the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls.

    Kontakion

    The holy and august Church is mystically gladdened today on the translation of your holy relics. Though She had kept them hid in concealment like precious gold, by thine intercessions She unceasingly grants to them that praise you, the divine grace of healing, O Father John Chrysostom.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Peter the Righteous of Egypt
    • Demetrios the New Martyr of Constantinople
  • John 10:1-9
    Hebrews 7:26-8:2
    John 10:9-16
    All day
    27-01-2018-24-01-2019

    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.”

28
  • Ephraim the Syrian
    James the Righteous
    Palladios the Hermit of Antioch
    All day
    28-01-2018-25-01-2019

    Ephraim the Syrian

    St Ephraim was born in Nisibis of Mesopotamia some time about the year 306 AD, and in his youth was the disciple of St James, Bishop of Nisibis, one of the 318 Fathers at the First Ecumenical Council. Ephraim lived in Nisibis, practicing a severe ascetical life and increasing in holiness, until 363 AD, the year in which Julian the Apostate was slain in his war against the Persians, and his successor Jovian surrendered Nisibis to them. Ephraim then made his dwelling in Edessa, where he found many heresies to do battle with. He waged an especial war against Bardaisan; this gnostic had written many hymns propagating his errors, which by their sweet melodies became popular and enticed souls away from the truth. St Ephraim, having received from God a singular gift of eloquence, turned Bardaisan’s own weapon against him, and wrote a multitude of hymns to be chanted by choirs of women, which set forth the true doctrines, refuted heretical error, and praised the contests of the Martyrs.

    Of the multitude of sermons, commentaries, and hymns that St Ephraim wrote, many were translated into Greek in his own lifetime. Sozomen, a famous historians of the early Church, says that Ephraim “surpassed the most approved writers of Greece”, observing that the Greek writings, when translated into other tongues, lose most of their original beauty, but Ephraim’s works “are no less admired when read in Greek than when read in Syriac”. St Ephraim was ordained Deacon, some say by St Basil the Great, whom Sozomen said “was a great admirer of Ephraim, and was astonished at his erudition”. St Ephraim was the first to make the poetic expression of hymnody and song a vehicle of Orthodox theological teachings, constituting it an integral part of the Church’s worship; he may rightly be called the first and greatest hymnographer of the Church, who set the pattern for those who followed him, especially St Romanus the Melodist, because of this he is called the “Harp of the Holy Spirit”. St Jerome of says that his writings were read in some churches after the reading of the Scriptures, and adds that once he read a Greek translation of one of Ephraim’s works, “and recognized, even in translation, the incisive power of his lofty genius”.

    Shortly before the end of his life, a famine broke out in Edessa, and St Ephraim left his cell to rebuke the rich for not sharing their goods with the poor. The rich answered that they knew no one to whom they could entrust their goods. Ephraim asked them, “What do you think of me?” When they confessed their reverence for him, he offered to distribute their alms, to which they agreed. He himself cared with his own hands for many of the sick from the famine, and so crowned his life with mercy and love for neighbour. St Ephraim reposed in peace, according to some in the year 373 AD, according to others, 379 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn of St Ephraim

    With the streams 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, shining with miracles upon the world, O Ephraim our righteous Father. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of St Ephraim

    At all times you foresaw the hour of reckoning, and pricked in your heart, you continuously lamented with tears; and, O righteous Ephraim, you was a mighty teacher in works and deeds. Hence, O Father for the entire world, you roused the slothful unto change of heart.

     

    Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah

    isaacsyriaThe great luminary of the life of stillness, Saint Isaac, was born in the early seventh century in Eastern Arabia, the present-day Qatar on the Persian Gulf. He became a monk at a young age, and at some time left Arabia to dwell with monks in Persia. He was consecrated Bishop of Nineveh (and is therefore sometimes called “Saint Isaac of Nineveh”), but after five months received permission to return to solitude; he spent many years far south of Nineveh in the mountainous regions of Beit Huzaye, and lastly at the Monastery of Rabban Shabur. He wrote his renowned and God-inspired Ascetical Homilies toward the end of his long life of monastic struggle, about the end of the seventh century. The fame of his Homilies grew quickly, and about one hundred years after their composition they were translated from Syriac into Greek by two monks of the Monastery of Mar Sabbas in Palestine, from which they spread throughout the monasteries of the Roman Empire and became a guide to the hesychasts of all generations thereafter.

    Apolytikion of Isaac the Syrian in the Plagal of the First Tone

    He that thundered on Sinai with saving laws for man hath also given thy writings as guides in prayer unto monks, O revealer of unfathomable mysteries; for having gone up in the mount of the vision of the Lord, thou wast shown the many mansions. Wherefore, O God-bearing Isaac, entreat the Saviour for all praising thee.

    Kontakion of Isaac the Syrian in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    As an ascetic and God-bearer great in righteousness and an instructor of monastics do we honour thee, thou revealer of things sacred, and our protector. But, O Isaac, since thou hast great boldness with the Lord, intercede with Him for all of us who sing thy praise and who cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father most wise in God.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • James the Righteous
    • Palladios the Hermit of Antioch
    • Theodosius of Totma
    • Grace the Martyr
  • Galatians 5:22-6:2
    Luke 6:17-23
    All day
    28-01-2018-25-01-2019

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

    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, 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 fulfill the law of Christ.

     

    The Gospel according to Luke 6:17-23

    At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

29
  • Relics of Ignatius the Godbearer
    All day
    29-01-2018-26-01-2019

    Translation of the Sacred Relics of Ignatius Bishop of Antioch

    St Ignatius was a Disciple of St John the Theologian, and a successor of the Apostles, and he became the second Bishop of Antioch, after Evodus. He wrote many epistles to the faithful, strengthening them in their confession, and preserving for us the teachings of the holy Apostles. Brought to Rome under Trajan, he was surrendered to lions to be eaten, and so finished the course of martyrdom about the year 107 AD. The remnants of his bones were carefully gathered by the faithful and brought to Antioch. He is called God-bearer, as one who bare God within himself and was aflame in heart with love for Him. Therefore, in his Epistle to the Romans (chapter 4), imploring their love not to attempt to deliver him from his longed-for martyrdom, he said, “I am the wheat of God, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found to be the pure bread of God”.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    As sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles, O inspired of God, you found discipline to be a 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 Ignatius. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Dawning from the East this day, divine Ignatius, that God-bearer praised of all, has made the whole creation bright with his wise teachings of piety and is adorned with the beauty of martyrdom.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Laurence the Recluse of the Kiev Caves
    • Ignatius and Nicandrus of Sinai
    • Gildas the Wise
30
  • Three Hierarchs
    All day
    30-01-2018-27-01-2019

    The Synaxis of The Ecumenical Teachers Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom

    This common feast of Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom was instituted a little before the year 1100 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Alexis I Comnenus, because of a dispute and strife that arose among the notable and virtuous men of that time. Some of them preferred Basil, while others preferred Gregory, and yet others preferred John Chrysostom, quarrelling among themselves over which of the three was the greatest. Furthermore, each party, in order to distinguish itself from the others, assumed the name of its preferred Saint; hence, they called themselves Basilians. Gregorians, or Joannites. Desiring to end the contention, the three Saints appeared together to the saintly John Mauropos, a monk who had been ordained Bishop of Euchaita, a city of Asia Minor; they revealed to him that the glory they have at the throne of God is equal, and told him to compose a common service for the three of them, which he did with great skill and beauty. St John of Euchaita (celebrated October 5) is also the composer of the Canon to the Guardian Angel, the Protector of a Man’s Life. In his old age, he retired from his Episcopal See and again took up the monastic life in a monastery in Constantinople. He reposed during the reign of the aforementioned Emperor Alexis Comnenus (1081-1118 AD).

    Dismissal Hymn (First Tone)

    The three most great luminaries of the Three-Sun Divinity have illumined all of the world with the rays of doctrines divine and true. They are the sweetly flowing rivers of wisdom, who with godly knowledge have watered all creation in clear and mighty streams; the great and sacred Basil, and the Theologian, wise Gregory, together with the renowned John, the famed Chrysostom of golden speech. Let us all who love their divinely wise words come together, honouring them with hymns; for ceaselessly they offer entreaty for us to the Trinity.

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    You have taken to Yourself, O Lord, the sacred and God-proclaiming heralds, the crown of Your teachers, for the enjoyment of Your blessing and for repose; for You have accepted their suffering and labours above all sacrifice, O You Who alone glorifies Your Saints.

     

    Also Celebrating Today:

    • Hippolytos, Pope of Rome
    • Athanasia the Martyr & her 3 daughters
  • John 10:9-16
    Hebrews 13:7-16
    Matthew 5:14-19
    All day
    30-01-2018-27-01-2019

    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.”

     

    St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews 13:7-16

    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, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

     

    The Gospel according to Matthew 5:14-19

    The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

31
  • Unmercenaries Cyrus & John
    All day
    31-01-2018-28-01-2019

    Wonderworking Unmercenaries Cyrus and John

    Sts Cyrus and John lived during the years of Diocletian. St Cyrus was from Alexandria, and St John was from Edessa of Mesopotamia. Because of the persecution of that time, Cyrus fled to the Gulf of Arabia, where there was a small community of monks. John, who was a soldier, heard of Cyrus’ fame and came to join him. Henceforth, they passed their life working every virtue, and healing every illness and disease freely by the grace of Christ; hence their title of “Unmercenaries”.

    They heard that a certain woman, named Athanasia, had been apprehended together with her daughters Theodota, Theoctiste and Eudoxia, and taken to the tribunal for their confession of the Faith. Fearing lest the tender young maidens be terrified by the torments and renounce Christ, they went to strengthen them in their contest in martyrdom; therefore they too were seized. After Cyrus, John, and those sacred women had been greatly tormented, all were beheaded in the year 292 AD. Their tomb became a renowned shrine in Egypt, and a place of universal pilgrimage. It was found in the area of the modern day resort near Alexandria named Abu Kyr.

    Dismissal Hymn

    Since You have given us the miracles of Your holy Martyrs as an invincible battlement, by their entreaties scatter the counsels of the heathen, O Christ our God, and strengthen the faith of Orthodox Christians, since You alone are good and the Friend of man.

    Kontakion

    From divine grace, you received the gift to work awesome marvels; thus, O Saints, throughout the world ye ever work signs and wonders; and you cut out all our passions and all our suffering with an invisible surgery, for you truly are divinely wise physicians, O godly Cyrus, and John, beloved of God.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    • Holy Women Martyrs Theodote, Theoktiste and Eudoxia
    • Our Righteous Father Arsenius of Parus
    • Elias Ardounis the New Righteous-Martyr of Mount Athos
    • Aed from Ferns
February
February
February
February