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  • Prophet Jeremiah
    All day
    01-05-2017-29-04-2018

    Jeremiah the Prophet

    The great Prophet of God, Jeremiah, who loved his brethren and lamented for them greatly, who prayed much for the people and the Holy City, was the son of Helkias of the tribe of Levi, from the city of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. He was sanctified from his mother’s womb, as the Lord Himself said concerning him, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; and before you came forth from the womb, I sanctified you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5). He prophesied for thirty years, from 613 to 583 BC. During the last captivity of the people in the reign of Sedekias, when only a few were left behind to cultivate the land, this Prophet remained with them by the permission of Nabuzardan, the captain of the guard under Nabuchodonosor. He wept and lamented inconsolably over the desolation of Jerusalem and the enslavement of his people. However, even the few that remained behind transgressed again, and fearing the vengeance of the Chaldeans, they fled into Egypt, forcibly taking with them Jeremiah and Baruch his disciple and scribe. There he prophesied concerning Egypt and other nations, and he was stoned to death in Taphnas by his own people about the year 583 BC, since they would not endure to hear the truth of his words and his just rebukes. His book of prophecy is divided into fifty-one chapters, and his book of lamentation into five; he is ranked second among the greater Prophets. His name means “Yah is exalted”.

    Dismissal Hymn (Second Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    O blessed Jeremiah, being chosen of God from thy mother’s womb, in your compassion, you sorely mourned for the falling away of Israel, and in Egypt, O Prophet, you were murdered by stoning for your most just rebukes by them that understood not to cry with you: Alleluia.

     

    Saint Tamara (Tamar), Queen of Georgia

    Saint Tamara was the only child of King George III. Upon his death in 1184, she became Queen at the age of twenty-four. Despite her youth, she ruled the country with such wisdom and godliness – leading it to unprecedented military triumphs over the neighbouring Moslem countries in defence of her kingdom, fostering arts and letters, and zealously strengthening Orthodoxy – that her reign is known as the Golden Age of Georgia. After her coronation, she convoked a local council to correct disorders in church life. When the bishops had assembled from all parts of her kingdom, she, like Saint Constantine at the First Ecumenical Council, honoured them as if she were a commoner, and they Angels of God; exhorting them to establish righteousness and redress abuses, she said in her humility, “Do away with every wickedness, beginning with me, for the prerogative of the throne is in no wise that of making war against God.” Saint Tamara called herself “the father of orphans and the judge of widows,” and her contemporaries called her “King” instead of “Queen.” She herself led her army against the Moslems and fearlessly defeated them; because of the reverence that even the enemies of Georgia had for her, entire mountain tribes renounced Islam and were baptized. She built countless churches and monasteries throughout her kingdom, and was benefactress also to the Holy Land, Mount Athos, and holy places in Greece and Cyprus. She has always been much beloved by her people, who have memorialized her meekness, wisdom, piety, and obedience, and peace loving nature in innumerable legends, ballads, and songs; the poem written in her honour by Shota Rustaveli, “The Knight in the Panther Skin,” is the masterpiece of Georgian literature. The great Queen Tamara departed the earthly kingdom for the heavenly in the year 1212.

    Apolytikion of Tamara, Queen of Georgia in the Third Tone

    Let the mountain-tops and vales of Georgia sound with songs of praise to laud Tamara as the vessel of wisdom, the smiling sun, the sword of truth, the conversion of infidels, the most harmonious reed-pipe of Jesus Christ, and our fervent intercessor before the King of Kings, entreating Him to grant great mercy unto us.

    Kontakion of Tamara, Queen of Georgia in the Fourth Tone

    O Thou whom thy people called a king in justice and truth, the father of orphans and the judge of widows, thou sun which shone on the Georgian land, thou who spentest all thy strength defending thy kingdom, rise up, O Tamara, and defend us now also, and by thine intercessions with Christ, save us from sufferings.

     

    Synaxis of the Three New Righteous Martyrs of the Holy Mountain: Euthymius, Ignatius, and Acacius

    Of the three newly-shining luminaries of the Holy Mountain, the New Martyr Euthymius, who was from Demetsana of the Peloponnesus, won the crown of martyrdom when he was beheaded on Palm Sunday, March 22, 1814. Saint Ignatius, who was from Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, was martyred by hanging on October 8, 1814. Saint Acacius, who was from Neochorion of Thessalonica, was beheaded on May 1, 1815. All three had denied Christ in the foolishness of youth, and repented with great fervour; all became monks in the Skete of the Venerable Forerunner on the Holy Mountain; all had the revered elders Nicephorus and Acacius as their spirtual fathers; all were martyred in Constantinople; all were about twenty years of age; and the holy relics of all three are treasured in the aforementioned Athonite Skete of the Forerunner.

    Apolytikion of Ignatius and Euthymius the New Martyrs in the First Tone

    Ye who are equal in number to the unoriginate Trinity stand now with the choirs of the Angels and hosts of Martyrs in boundless joy before the thrice-resplendent throne of the Godhead; wherefore, O most wise ones, ye partake of the beams from that awesome majesty, and grant unto the faithful the divine enlightenment from on high, unending well-springs of healings, and the pardon of our grievous sins. O divine Euthymius, Martyr of Christ, with the wise Ignatius, and God inspired Acacius, ye ever entreat the Lord God in behalf of all.

    Kontakion of Ignatius and Euthymius the New Martyrs in the Third Tone

    In your zeal to emulate the righteous God-bearing Fathers, ye strove in ascetic deeds, accepting every affliction; having sought the Martyrs’ glory through death by torments, ye are crowned with twofold crowns by the Crown-bestower, O Euthymius most righteous, with Saint Ignatius, and the blest Acacius on high.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    New Martyr Maria of Fourna, Mirabella in Crete
    Nikiforos the Monk of Chios
    Asaph, Bishop of Wales

  • Third Monday after Pascha
    All day
    01-05-2017

    Apolytikion of Third Monday after Pascha in the Second Tone

    When You descended to death, O Immortal Life, then, the light of Your divinity destroyed Hades. When You raised the dead from the depths of darkness, all the heavenly powers cried out, “Glory to You our Christ, the Giver of Life.”

  • Acts 6:8-15; 7:1-5, 47-60
    John 4:46-54
    All day
    01-05-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 6:8-15; 7:1-5, 47-60

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.4,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, arose and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated men, who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place, and will change the customs which Moses delivered to us.” And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

    And the high priest said, “Is this so?” And Stephen said: “Brethren and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Depart from your land and from your kindred and go into the land which I will show you.’ Then he departed from the land of the Chaldeans, and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living; yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him in possession and to his posterity after him, though he had no child.

    “But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool. What house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’

    “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”

    Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

     

    Third Monday after Pascha

    The Gospel according to John 4:46-54

    At that time, there was an official whose son was ill. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was living. So he asked them the hour when he began to mend, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live”; and he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

     

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  • Martyr George the Great
    Relics of Athanasios
    All day
    02-05-2017-30-04-2018

    George the Great Martyr and Triumphant

    George, this truly great and glorious Martyr of Christ, was born of a father from Cappadocia and a mother from Palestine. Being a military tribune, or chiliarch (that is, a commander of a thousand troops), he was illustrious in battle and highly honoured for his courage. When he learned that the Emperor Diocletian was preparing a persecution of the Christians, Saint George presented himself publicly before the Emperor and denounced him. When threats and promises could not move him from his steadfast confession, he was put to unheard-of tortures, which he endured with great bravery, overcoming them by his faith and love towards Christ. By the wondrous signs that took place in his contest, he guided many to the knowledge of the truth, including Queen Alexandra, wife of Diocletian, and was finally beheaded in 296 in Nicomedia.

    His sacred remains were taken by his servant from Nicomedia to Palestine, to a town called Lydda, the homeland of his mother, and then were finally transferred to the church which was raised up in his name. (The translation of the Saint’s holy relics to the church in Lydda is commemorated on November 3; Saint Alexandra the Queen, on April 21.)

    Apolytikion of Great Martyr George in the Fourth Tone

    Liberator of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings, O trophy-bearer, Great Martyr George, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Great Martyr George in the Fourth Tone

    Cultivated by God, you became manifest as an honorable tiller gathering for yourself the sheaves of virtue. For you sowed with tears but reaped with gladness; in the contest you competed with your blood and came away with Christ. By your intercessions, O Holy One, all are granted forgiveness of sins.

     

    Removal of the Relics of Saint Athanasius the Great

    Removal_of_the_Relics_of_St._Athanasios_the_GreatIn the half-century after the First Ecumenical Council held in Nicaea in 325, 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 Saint Athanasius the Great. This blazing lamp of Orthodoxy, which imperial power and heretics’ plots could not quench when he shone upon the lampstand, nor find when he was hid by the people and monks of Egypt, was born in Alexandria about the year 296. 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. Saint 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 Athanasius to the First Council in Nicaea in 325; Saint Athanasius was to spend the remainder of his life labouring in defence of this holy Council. In 326, before his death, Alexander appointed Athanasius his successor.

    In 325, Arius had been condemned by the Council of Nicaea; yet through Arius’ hypocritical confession of Orthodox belief, Saint Constantine the Great was persuaded by Arius’ supporters that he should be received back into the communion of the Church. But Athanasius, 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 Athanasius; finally Saint Constantine the Great, misled by grave charges of the Saint’s misconduct-which were completely false-had him exiled to Tiberius (Treves) in Gaul in 336. When Saint Constantine was succeeded by his three sons Constantine II, Constans, and Constantius, in 337, Saint Athanasius returned to Alexandria in triumph. But his enemies found an ally in Constantius, Emperor of the East; Saint Athanasius’ second exile was spent in Rome. It was ended when Constans prevailed with threats upon his brother Constantius to restore Athanasius (see also Nov. 6). For ten years Saint Athanasius 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, Constantius became sole Emperor,and Athanasius was again in danger. In the evening of February 8, 356, General Syrianus with more than five thousand soldiers surrounded the church in which Athanasius was serving, and broke open the doors. Athanasius’ clergy begged him to leave, but the good shepherd commanded that all the flock should withdraw first; and only when he was assured of their safety, he also, protected by divine grace, passed through the midst of the soldiers and disappeared into the deserts of Egypt, where for some six years he eluded the soldiers and spies sent after him.

    When Julian the Apostate succeeded Constantius in 361, Athanasius returned again, but only for a few months. Because Athanasius had converted many pagans, and the priests of the idols in Egypt wrote to Julian that if Athanasius remained, idolatry would perish in Egypt, the heathen Emperor ordered not Athanasius’ exile, but his death. Athanasius took ship up the Nile. When he learned that his imperial pursuers were following him, he had his men turn back, and as his boat passed that of his pursuers, they asked him if he had seen Athanasius. “He is not far,” he answered. After returning to Alexandria for a while, he fled again to the Thebaid until Julian’s death in 363. Saint Athanasius suffered his fifth and last exile under Valens in 365, which only lasted four months because Valens, fearing a sedition among the Egyptians for their beloved Archbishop, revoked his edict in February, 366.

    The great Athanasius passed the remaining seven years of his life in peace. Of his fifty-seven years as Patriarch, he had spent some seventeen in exiles. Shining from the height of his throne like a radiant evening star, and enlightening the Orthodox with the brilliance of his words for yet a little while, this much-suffering champion inclined toward the sunset of his life, and, in the year 373, took his rest from his lengthy sufferings, but not before another luminary of the truth, Basil the Great, had risen in the East, being consecrated Archbishop of Caesarea in 370. Besides all his other achievements, Saint Athanasius wrote the life of Saint Anthony the Great, with whom he spent time in his youth; ordained Saint Frumentius first Bishop of Ethiopia; and in his Paschal Encyclical for the year 367 set forth the books of the Old and New Testaments accepted by the Church as canonical. Saint Gregory the Theologian, in his Oration On the Great Athanasius, said he was “Angelic in appearance, more angelic in mind; … rebuking with the tenderness; of a father, praising with the dignity of a ruler … Everything was harmonious, as an air upon a single lyre, and in the same key; his life, his teaching, his struggles, his dangers, his return, and his conduct after his return … be treated so mildly and gently those who had injured him, that even they themselves, if I may say so, did not find his restoration distasteful.”

    Apolytikion of Relics of Athanasius in the Third Tone

    Thou wast Orthodoxy’s steadfast pillar, holding up the Church with godly dogmas, O great Hierarch, for thou didst preach unto all that God the Son is one essence in very truth with God the Father; thus thou didst shame Arius. Righteous Father Athanasius, do thou entreat Christ God that His great mercy may be granted unto us.

    Kontakion of Relics of Athanasius in the Second Tone

    Having planted the dogmas of Orthodoxy, thou didst cut out the thorns of false doctrine; and with the rain of the Spirit, thou didst increase the seed of the Faith, Wherefore, we praise thee, O righteous Athanasius.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Hesperos & Zoe the Righteous
    Boris, King & Enlightener of Bulgaria (Michael in Baptism)
    Jordan the Wonderworker

  • Hebrews 13:7-16
    Matthew 5:14-19
    All day
    02-05-2017

    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.

     

    Removal of the Relics of St. Athanasius the Great

    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.”

     

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  • Martyrs Timothy & Maura
    All day
    03-05-2017-01-05-2018

     The Holy Martyrs Timothy and Maura

    The holy Martyrs Timothy and Maura were husband and wife. Timothy was from Penapeis in the Thebaid, a reader in the Church, and had been married to Maura only twenty days when he was betrayed to Arian, the Governor of the Thebaid, as a teacher of the Christians. Arian commanded Timothy to surrender his sacred books, which he refused to do, comparing it to a father’s giving up his children to death. For this answer, heated iron spits were thrust through his ears. As he was being put to other tortures, Arian summoned Maura, hoping that she would persuade her husband to worship the idols, but she confessed herself a Christian. The hair of her head was pulled out, her fingers were cut off, then she was lowered into a cauldron of boiling water, but remained unharmed. Finally husband and wife were crucified facing each other, and after nine days, received their martyric end, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305).

    Apolytikion of Martyrs Timothy and Maura in the Fourth Tone

    To Timothy let us faithful render homage today together with Maura, his fellow contestant and wife, that most faithful bride of Christ, lauding their brave steadfastness; for by crucifixion they followed with longing in the steps of their Master, Who nailed the sins of all to the Cross when He was slain for us.

    Kontakion of Martyrs Timothy and Maura in the Fourth Tone

    Since ye endured through divers woundings and tortures and have received from God the garlands of vict’ry, rise up in intercession with the Lord for us, who with longing celebrate this, your sacred memorial, O Great Martyr Timothy, and most glorious Maura, that He grant peace to all His Church and flock, for He is truly the strength of all faithful flock.

     

    Father Theodosius, Abbot of Kiev Caves Lavra

    Our righteous Father Theodosius was born in 1009, not far from Kiev, and brought up in Kursk. From early childhood he showed the wisdom of an elder, avoiding childish games and refusing to wear anything but the poorest of clothing. When he was about thirteen years old, and his father died, he began to humble himself even more, going out to work with the serfs in the field. His mother went so far as to beat him in her attempts to make him behave more respectably. Hearing of the labours of Saint Anthony of Kiev, he fled to him secretly and was accepted by him as his disciple. He was tonsured at the age of twenty-four by Saint Anthony’s disciple Nicon, and was elected Abbot of the Caves Monastery in 1057, since Saint Anthony refused this out of humility, and lived his whole life as a hermit. It was Saint Theodosius who introduced in Russia the cenobitic rule of the Monastery of Studium in Constantinople, and under his guidance many monks attained to great holiness, and the monastic life spread. When Prince Svyatoslav drove out his elder brother the pious Prince Isyaslav, and ascended to the throne of Chernigov in his place, Saint Theodosius courageously rebuked him, and continued reproving him even when threatened with exile. At the request of Prince Shimon, the son of a Varangian (Viking) prince, the Saint wrote a prayer for the nobleman’s forgiveness of sins, and, at his behest, had it placed in his coffin, whence arose this custom in Russia. He reposed on May 3, 1074, being sixty-five years of age.

    Apolytikion of Father Theodosius, Abbot of Kiev Caves Lavra in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Raising thyself aloft upon virtue and having loved the monastic life from thy youth, thou didst valiantly attain to thy desire. Thou didst settle in a cave, and while adorning thy life with fasting and purity, thou didst persevere in prayers like one of the bodiless. And since thou hast shone forth in the Russian land as a brilliant lamp, O Father Theodosius, pray Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Father Theodosius, Abbot of Kiev Caves Lavra in the Third Tone

    Today we venerate the star of Russia, the blessed Theodosius, who hath shone forth from the east and come unto the west; for he hath enriched both this whole land with miracles and blessings, and us with the establishment and grace of the monastic rule.

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    03-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Third Wednesday after Pascha
    All day
    03-05-2017

    Apolytikion of Third Wednesday after Pascha in the Second Tone

    When You descended to death, O Immortal Life, then, the light of Your divinity destroyed Hades. When You raised the dead from the depths of darkness, all the heavenly powers cried out, “Glory to You our Christ, the Giver of Life.”

  • Acts 8:18-25
    John 6:35-39
    All day
    03-05-2017

    Acts of the Apostles 8:18-25

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

    Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

     

    Third Wednesday after Pascha

    The Gospel according to John 6:35-39

    The Lord said to the Jews who believed in him: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.”

     

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  • Martyr Pelagia
    All day
    04-05-2017-02-05-2018

    Pelagia the Nun-martyr of Tarsus

    This Saint was from Tarsus of Cilicia and contested in martyrdom under Diocletian, in 284: she was cast into a bull fashioned of bronze, which had been heated with fire.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Pelagia in the Fourth Tone

    O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Hilary the Wonderworker
    Euthemios, Bishop of Madytos
    Athanasios, Bishop of Corinth

  • Third Thursday after Pascha
    All day
    04-05-2017

    Apolytikion of Third Thursday after Pascha in the Second Tone

    When You descended to death, O Immortal Life, then, the light of Your divinity destroyed Hades. When You raised the dead from the depths of darkness, all the heavenly powers cried out, “Glory to You our Christ, the Giver of Life.”

  • Acts 8:26-39
    John 6:40-44
    All day
    04-05-2017

    Epistle Reading: Acts 8:26-39

    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, an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert road. And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless some one guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: “As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptised?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptised him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

    Gospel Reading: John 6:40-44

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him: “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

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  • Great Martyr Irene
    All day
    05-05-2017-03-05-2018

    Saint Irene the Great Martyr

    Holy Great Martyr Irene was born in the city of Magedon in Persia during the fourth century. She was the daughter of the pagan king Licinius, and her parents named her Penelope. Penelope was very beautiful, and her father kept her isolated in a high tower from the time she was six so that she would not be exposed to Christianity. He also placed thirteen young maidens in the tower with her. An old tutor by the name of Apellian was assigned to give her the best possible education. Apellian was a Christian, and during her lessons, he told the girl about Christ the Saviour and taught her the Christian Faith and the Christian virtues.

    When Penelope reached adolescence, her parents began to think about her marriage. One day, a dove flew through the window carrying an olive branch in its beak, depositing it upon a table. Then an eagle swooped in with a wreath of flowers in its beak, and placed it upon the table. Finally, a raven flew in carrying a snake, which it dropped on the table. These events puzzled Penelope and she wondered what they meant. Apellian explained that the dove signified her education, and the olive branch stood for the grace of God, which is received in Baptism. The eagle with the wreath of flowers represented success in her future life. The raven and the snake foretold her future suffering and sorrow.

    At the end of the conversation, Apellian said that the Lord wished to betroth her to Himself and that Penelope would undergo much suffering for her heavenly Bridegroom. After this Penelope refused marriage, the priest Timothy baptized her with the new name Irene (meaning peace in Greek). She even urged her own parents to become Christians. Shortly after this, she destroyed all her father’s idols.

    Since St Irene had dedicated herself to Christ, she refused to marry any of the suitors her father had chosen for her. When Licinius learned that his daughter refused to worship the pagan gods, he was furious. He attempted to turn her from Christ by having her tortured. She was tied up and thrown beneath the hooves of wild horses so that they might trample her to death, but he horses remained motionless. Instead of harming the saint, one of the horses charged Licinius, seized his right hand, and tore it from his arm. Then it knocked Licinius down and began to trample him. They untied the holy virgin, and through her prayers Licinius rose unharmed in the presence of eyewitnesses with his hand intact.

    Seeing such a miracle, Licinius and his wife, and many of the people, (about 3000 men) believed in Christ and turned from the pagan gods. Resigning his administrative duties, Licinius devoted himself to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. St Irene lived in the house of her teacher Apellian, and she began to preach Christ among the pagans, converting them to the path of salvation.

    When Sedecius, the new governor of the city, heard of this miracle he summoned Apellian and questioned him about Irene’s manner of life. Apellian replied that Irene, like other Christians, lived in strict temperance, devoting herself to constant prayer and reading holy books. Sedecius summoned the saint to him and urged her to stop preaching about Christ. He also attempted to force her to sacrifice to the idols.

    St. Irene staunchly confessed her faith before the governor, not fearing his wrath, and prepared to undergo suffering for Christ. By order of Sedecius she was thrown into a pit filled with vipers and serpents. The Saint spent ten days in the pit and remained unharmed, for an angel of the Lord protected her and brought her food. Sedecius ascribed this miracle to sorcery, and he subjected St Irene to many other tortures, but she remained unharmed. Under the influence of her preaching and miracles, more people were converted to Christ, and turned away from the worship of inanimate idols.

    Sedecius was deposed by his son Savorus, who persecuted Christians with an even greater zeal than his father had done. St Irene went to her home town of Magedon in Persia to meet Savorus and his army, and ask him to end the persecution. When he refused, St Irene prayed and his entire army was blinded. She prayed again and they received their sight once more. In spite of this, Savorus refused to recognize the power of God. a bolt of lightning then struck him. After this, St Irene walked into the city and performed many miracles. She returned to the tower built by her father, accompanied by the priest Timothy. Through her teaching, she converted five thousand people to Christ.

    The Saint then went to the city of Callinicus, or Callinicum (possibly on the Euphrates River in Syria). The ruler of that place was King Numerian, the son of Sebastian. When she began to teach about Christ, the pagan authorities arrested and tortured her. She was placed into three bronze oxen, which were heated by fire. She was transferred from one to another, but miraculously she remained uninjured. Thousands of idolaters embraced Christianity because of this wondrous event. Sensing the approach of death, Numerian instructed his eparch Babdonus to continue torturing the saint in order to force her to sacrifice to idols. Once again, the tortures were ineffective, and many people turned to Christ.

    Christ’s holy martyr then travelled to the city of Constantina, 60 km northeast of Edessa. By 330 AD, the Persian king Sapor II (309-379 AD) had heard of St Irene’s great miracles. To prevent her from winning more people to Christ, she was arrested, beheaded, and then buried. However, God sent an angel to raise her up again, and she went into the city of Mesembria. After seeing her alive and hearing her preach, the local king was baptized with many of his subjects.

    Wishing to convert even more pagans to Christianity, St Irene went to Ephesus, where she taught the people and performed many miracles. The Lord revealed to her that the end of her life was approaching. Then St. Irene left the city accompanied by six people, including her former teacher Apellian. On the outskirts of the town, she found a new tomb in which no one had ever been buried. After making the sign of the Cross, she went inside, directing her companions to close the entrance to the cave with a large stone, which they did. When Christians visited the cave four days later, they did not find the body of the Saint.

    Apellian returned after only two days, and found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Thus did God glorify St. Irene, who loved Him and devoted her life to serving Him. Although many of these miracles may seem improbable to those who are sceptical, nothing is impossible with God. St Irene led thousands of people to Christ through her preaching, and by her example. The Church continues to honour her memory and to seek her heavenly intercession.

    St Irene is one of the twelve Virgin Martyrs who appeared to St Seraphim of Sarov (commemorated January 2) and the Diveyevo nun Eupraxia on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1831 AD. By her holy prayers, may the Lord have mercy upon us and save us.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Your lamb Irene, O Jesus, calls out to You in a loud voice: I love You, O my bridegroom, and in seeking You, I endure suffering. In Baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and died so that I might live with You. Accept me as a pure sacrifice, for I have offered myself in love. By her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

    Kontakion (Third Tone)

    O pure Irene, you adorned yourself with the splendours of virginity, so you became all-beautiful in your struggle: you were dyed with the blood you shed for Christ and so became all-pleasing to God. Therefore you received the prize of glory from your creator.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Neophytos, Gaius, & Caianus the Monk-martyrs
    The Righteous Martyr Ephraim the Younger
    Euthymios the Wonderworker, Bishop of Madytos

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    05-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 8:40; 9:1-19
    John 6:48-54
    All day
    05-05-2017

    Epistle Reading: Acts 8:40; 9:1-19

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 98.9,1

    Exalt the Lord our God.
    Verse: The Lord reigns; let the people tremble.

    IN THOSE DAYS, Philip was found at Azotos, and passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns till he came to Caesarea. But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, ” I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were travelling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

    Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptised, and took food and was strengthened.

    Gospel Reading: John 6:48-54

    The Lord said to the Jews who believed in him: “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

    The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

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  • Prophet Job
    All day
    06-05-2017-04-05-2018

     Job the Prophet

    The righteous Job (whose name means “persecuted”), God’s faithful servant, was the perfect image of every virtue. The son of Zarah and Bossorha (Job 42), Job was a fifth-generation descendent of Abraham. He was a truthful, righteous, patient, and pious man who abstained from every evil thing. Job was very rich and blessed by God in all things, as was no other son of Ausis (his country, which lay between Idoumea and Arabia). However, divine condescension permitted him to be tested.

    Job lost his children, his wealth, his glory, and every consolation all at once. His entire body became a terrible wound covered with boils. Yet he remained steadfast and patient in the face of his misfortune for seven years, always giving thanks to God.

    Later, God restored his former prosperity, and he had twice as much as before. Job lived for 170 years after his misfortune, completing his earthly life in 1350 B.C. at the age of 240. Some authorities say that Job’s afflictions lasted only one year, and that afterwards he lived for 140 years, reaching the age of 210.

    Job’s explanations are among the most poetic writings in the Old Testament book, which bears his name. It is one of the most edifying portions of Holy Scripture. Job teaches us that we must endure life’s adversities patiently and with trust in God. As St Anthony the Great (commemorated January 17) says, without temptations, it is impossible for the faithful to be saved.

    The Orthodox Church reads the book of Job, the first of the seven wisdom books of the Old Testament, during Holy Week, drawing a parallel between Job and Christ as righteous men who suffered through no fault of their own. God allowed Satan to afflict Job so that his faithfulness would be proven. Christ, the only sinless one, suffered voluntarily for our sins. The Septuagint text of Job 42:17 says that Job “will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up”. This passage is read on Great and Holy Friday, when the composite Gospel at Vespers speaks of the tombs being opened at the moment the Saviour died on the Cross, and the bodies of the saints were raised, and they appeared to many after Christ’s Resurrection (Matt 27:52).

    Dismissal (First Tone)

    On beholding the riches of Job’s virtues, the enemy of the righteous contrived to ruin them; and though he cast down the tower of the Saint’s body, he could not plunder the wealth of his spirit, for he found the soul of that blameless one to be fully armed; but as for me, he hath stripped me and led me captive away. Hasten, then, before the end, rescue me from the wily one, O Saviour, and save me.

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    You were shown forth as blameless, true, God-fearing, just, and sanctified, O you much-suffering Prophet, all-glorious servant of God, most righteous Job; by your valiant endurance and your patience you gave instruction to the world. For this cause we all honour and praise your all-holy memory.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Our Holy Father Seraphim the Struggler of Mt. Domvu
    Sophia of Kleisoura

  • Third Saturday after Pascha
    All day
    06-05-2017

    Apolytikion of Third Saturday after Pascha in the Second Tone

    When You descended to death, O Immortal Life, then, the light of Your divinity destroyed Hades. When You raised the dead from the depths of darkness, all the heavenly powers cried out, “Glory to You our Christ, the Giver of Life.”

  • Acts 9:19-31
    John 15:17-27; 16:1-2
    All day
    06-05-2017

    Epistle Reading: Acts 9:19-31

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 31.11,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, Saul was with the disciples at Damascus. And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all who heard him were amazed, and said, “is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests.” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket. And when he had come to Jerusalem he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists; but they were seeking to kill him. And when the brethren knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus. So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied.

     

    Gospel Reading: John 15:17-27; 16:1-2

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

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

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  • Appearance of the Sign of the Cross
    All day
    07-05-2017-05-05-2018

    Commemoration of the Precious Cross that appeared in the sky over Jerusalem in 351 AD

    On May 7 in 351 AD, not long after Cyril had succeeded Maximos as Archbishop of Jerusalem, during the reign of Constantios, the son of Saint Constantine the Great, on the day of Pentecost, the sign of the Cross appeared over Jerusalem. St Cyril, in his letter to the Emperor Constantios, says, “At about the third hour of the day, an enormous Cross, formed of light, appeared in the heaven above holy Golgotha and reaching to the holy Mount of Olives. being seen not by one or two only, but manifest with perfect clarity to the whole multitude of the city; not, as one might suppose, rushing swiftly past in fancy, but seen openly above the earth many hours in plain sight, and overcoming the beams of the sun with its dazzling rays” (PG 33:1 16q).

    Apolytikion of Appearance of the Sign of the Cross in the First Tone

    The image of Your Cross at this time shone brighter than the sun, when You spread it out from the holy Mount of Olives to Calvary; and in making Your might plain, which is therein, O Saviour You did also thereby strengthen the faithful. Keep us always in peace, by the intercessions of the Theotokos, O Christ our God, and save us.

    Kontakion of Appearance of the Sign of the Cross in the Fourth Tone

    Making its rays to shine above in the heavens, the spotless Cross dawned on the earth, bright with splendour; for it had opened Heaven, which was shut of old. Granted the effulgence of its divine operation, we are surely guided to the unwaning resplendence. In battles we possess it as a true weapon of peace and a trophy invincible.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem
    Akakios the Centurion of Byzantium
    Pachomios the New Martyr of Patmos
    Repose of St. Nilus, abbot of Sora

  • Sunday of the Paralytic
    All day
    07-05-2017

    The life of the Paralytic, who waited at the sheep pool, which in Hebrew is called Bethesda, was dramatic. For thirty eight years he was paralyzed and abandoned. Alone, amongst so many ill people and fellow country men, waited with patiently the miraculous movement of the waters, which cured the first person to fall in. In this environment Christ meets with the paralytic. God meets with His creation. The God-man with man.

    Christ approached with philanthropic intentions the Paralytic and asks him: “Do you want to be sound?” The Lord with discretion asks, in order to cure; with love He seeks, in order to save.

    The Paralytic waited patiently for thirty eight whole years and his hopes were never wear down, he never disbelieved, he never drew back. He awaited, although all his friends and relatives had abandoned him. Everyone returned back to their homes, works, families, because they saw that nothing is happening. In vain they were trying to help their relative, to throw him in the pool. Meanwhile others, more advanced, were healed and he remained ill. Their faith and hopes had wear away and they abandon him. The paralytic expressed his complain to Christ by saying, Lord, I have no one to assist me”.

    Lord, I have no one! I have no relatives! I have no friends! I haven’t any fellow man, who would like to stay with me! I remained alone, in the loneliness of my illness and my sufferings, and no one is found to offer me help!

    Every day, the five galleries of the pool of Bethesda were full of crowds and invalid, but nevertheless no one was willing to share the Paralytic’s sufferings. As, today, millions of people suffer from different bodily or spiritual diseases, and all with one voice cry out: “Lord, we have no one”! Diseases, which torment man and deliver him to depression and affliction; to isolation and loneliness; and man cries out with a loud voice: “Lord, we have no one”!

    Affliction and pain are interwoven with our life. Wealth and material goods do not prevent their invasion into our life. They are brought in by the malaises and sicknesses of our beloved ones. They are brought in by the ingratitudes of friends and relatives. They are brought in by the slanders and mucks. They are brought in by suspiciousness and misunderstandings. They are brought in, when our work and services are not recognized; by feelings, which were reputed and hopes, which were never fulfilled. Affliction and pain stand before man’s life and knock the door of all. They do not know anyone or any society, conditions or positions. They do not distinguish between poor and rich, learned or illiterate.

    The Paralytic of today’s Gospel reading, followed a program of a sinful way of life. The Lord, is not satisfied to cure him. The sins of the paralytic had ruined him. It would be worthy to cure him, but under the precondition, that he will sin no more.

    Sin and the prodigal way of life are the reasons of man’s different tribulations. Our moral and family sufferings have their roots in our own desires. We cause them with our own foolish behavior and sinful deeds. And because of this reason, our Lord commended the Paralytic, “You have become well; sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you” in other words, now you have been heeled, be careful not to practice a sinful life, in order that nothing worse happens to you.

    Unfortunately, although all of us know that this advice is so logical and true, we tend to violate it. We allow our pride to overrule our logic. We run the risk of participating in mischievously amusements, irrational alcoholism, paranoid smoking, unnecessary vigils when playing cards, unlawfully sexual relationships, and calamitous companies with evil men.

    How many times, although we had promise, that we shall not sin, we had found ourselves in the mortal tentacles of sin? How many times, although we had the will to withstand to our sinful desires, we had from the first moments surrendered to the passions of the flesh? How many times we felt strong, but have been proven weak?

    If the soul is not under God’s Grace, sin will always prevail. Sin drags and humiliates man. The Prophet David says, “If the Lord has not built the city, in vain the builders labor. If the Lord has not protected the city, in vain the guards watched all night”.

    When man sins, he sins with an ill will, without moral strength. Thus man, who becomes a slave to sin, is compared to an ungovernable ship, which has no helm, neither compass nor anchor. This condition makes man paralytic spiritually and bodily. At the end he is dragged to death itself. St. Paul, the Great Apostle of the Nations, says, “The bread of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). “How miserable am I’ who will deliver me from this body of death?” and he answers, “through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 7:24-25), because “the grace of God is eternal life” (Rom. 6:23).

    And truly, my beloved friends, sin can be overcome only with the assistance of God’s Grace. Our Lord has assured us saying, “that without Me you can achieve nothing” (John 15:5).

  • Luke 24:13-35
    Acts 9:32-42
    John 5:1-15
    All day
    07-05-2017

    Matins Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35

    At that time, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognising him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

    So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

    Epistle Reading: Acts Of The Apostles 9:32-42

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Psalm 46.6,1

    Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
    Verse: Clap your hands, all you nations.

    IN THOSE DAYS, as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralysed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing tunics and other garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

    Gospel Reading – John 5:1-15

    At that time, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralysed, waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water; whoever stepped in first after the troubling of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.

    Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk.’ “They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterwards, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

     

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  • John the Theologian
    Arsenios the Great
    All day
    08-05-2017-06-05-2018

    Saint John the Apostle, Evangelist and Theologian

    The feast today in honour of the holy Apostle John commemorates the miracle taking place each year in Ephesus, in which a certain dust or powder, called manna, suddenly poured forth from his tomb and was used by the faithful for deliverance from maladies of both soul and body. For an account of his life, see September 26.

    Apolytikion of John the Theologian in the Second Tone

    Beloved Apostle of Christ our God, hasten to deliver a people without defense. He who permitted you to recline upon His bosom, accepts you on bended knee before Him. Beseech Him, O Theologian, to dispel the persistent cloud of nations, asking for us peace and great mercy.

    Kontakion of John the Theologian in the Second Tone

    Who can recount your greatness, O virgin, for miracles flow and healing springs forth from you. You intercede for our souls, as the Theologian and friend of Christ.

     

    Arsenios the Great

    arseniosgreatSaint Arsenios was a deacon of the Church of Rome, born of an illustrious family, and wondrous in virtue. In the days of Saint Theodosius the Great, he was chosen to be the tutor of the Emperor’s young sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While living at the imperial palace in Constantinople, compassed with all luxury and innumerable temptations to sin, Arsenios often besought God with tears to guide him to salvation. This prayer was answered one day when a voice came to him saying, “Arsenios, flee from men, and thou shalt be saved.” He sailed secretly to Alexandria, and from there went to Scete, where he became a monk. Yet after he had withdrawn from the world, and was come among the most illustrious monks of his day, he heard, ‘Arsenios, flee, be silent, pray always, for these are the causes of sinning not.” Following this call, he separated himself even from his fellow monks, practicing extreme silence. On Saturday evenings, he would turn his back on the setting sun, and would stretch out his hands in prayer to Heaven, till the sun shone upon his face the following morning, and only then would he sit down. Once a monk came to visit him, and looking into his cell saw Arsenios entirely like a flame of fire. After living some fifty-five years as a monk, and attaining to heights reached by few, he reposed in peace about the year 449, at the age of ninety-five.

    Apolytikion of Arsenios the Great 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 Arsenios, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

    Kontakion of Arsenios the Great in the Second Tone

    Since thou hadst shown forth the life of the Angels while in a body, O God-bearing Arsenios, thou wast also counted worthy of their honour; and with them thou standest before the Lord’s throne, interceding that divine forgiveness be granted unto all.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Emelia, the mother of St Basil the Great
    Synaxis of Saint Koneos
    Synaxis of the Holy Powder (or manna) which emitted from the tomb of Saint John the Theologian

  • John 21:15-25
    I John 1:1-7
    John 19:25-28, 21:24-25
    All day
    08-05-2017

    Matins Gospel Reading: John 21:15-25

    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!” The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “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.

    Epistle Reading: I John 1:1-7

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 18.4,1

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

    THAT WHICH WAS from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete.

    This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

    Gospel Reading: John 19:25-28, 21:24-25

    At that time, standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. 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.

9
  • Prophet Isaiah
    All day
    09-05-2017-07-05-2018

    The Holy Prophet Esaias (Isaiah)

    The Holy Prophet Isaiah lived 700 years before the birth of Christ, and was of royal lineage. Isaiah’s father Amos raised his son in the fear of God and in the law of the Lord. Having attained the age of maturity, the Prophet Isaiah entered into marriage with a pious prophetess (Is 8:3) and had a son Jashub (Is 8:18).

    Isaiah was called to prophetic service during the reign of Oziah [Uzziah], king of Judea, and he prophesied for 60 years during the reign of kings Joatham, Achaz [Ahaz], Hezekiah, and Manasseh.

    The start of his service by him beholding the Lord God, sitting in a majestic heavenly temple upon a high throne. Six-winged Seraphim encircled Him. With two wings they covered their faces, and with two wings they covered their feet, and with two wings they flew about crying out one to another, “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with His glory!” The pillars of the heavenly temple shook from their shouts, and in the temple arose the smoke of incense.

    The prophet cried out in terror, “Oh, an accursed man am I, granted to behold the Lord Sabaoth, and having impure lips and living amidst an impure people!” Then was sent him one of the Seraphim, having in hand a red-hot coal, which he took with tongs from the altar of the Lord. He touched it to the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah and said, “Lo, this has touched thy lips, and will take away with thine iniquities, and will cleanse thy sins”. After this Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord, directed towards him, “Whom shall I send, and who will go to this people?” Isaiah answered, “Here am I, send me” (Is 6:1 ff). The Lord sent him to the Jews to exhort them to turn from the ways of impiety and idol worship, and to offer repentance.

    To those that repent and turn to the true God, the Lord promised mercy and forgiveness, but punishment and the judgement of God are appointed for the unrepentant. Then Isaiah asked the Lord, how long would the falling away of the Jewish nation from God continue. The Lord answered, “Until the cities be deserted, by reason of there being no people, and the land shall be made desolate. Just as when a tree be felled and from the stump come forth new shoots, so also from the destruction of the nation a holy remnant will remain, from which will emerge a new tribe”.

    Isaiah left behind him a book of prophecy in which he denounces the Jews for their unfaithfulness to the God of their Fathers. He predicted the captivity of the Jews and their return from captivity during the time of the emperor Cyrus, the destruction and renewal of Jerusalem and of the Temple. Together with this he predicts the historical fate also of the other nations bordering the Jews. But what is most important of all for us, the Prophet Isaiah with particular clarity and detail prophesies about the coming of the Messiah, Christ the Saviour. The prophet names the Messiah as God and Man, teacher of all the nations, founder of the Kingdom of peace and love.

    The prophet foretold the birth of the Christ from a Virgin, and with particular clarity he describes the Suffering of Christ for the sins of the world. He foresaw His Resurrection and the universal spreading of His Church. By his clear foretelling of Christ the Saviour, the Prophet Isaiah deserves to be called an Old Testament Evangelist. To him belong the words, “He bears our sins and is smitten for us…. He was wounded for our sins and tortured for our transgressions. The chastisement of our world was upon Him, and by His wounds we were healed….” (Is 53:4-5).

    The holy Prophet Isaiah had also a gift of wonderworking. Therefore, when during the time of a siege of Jerusalem by enemies the besieged had become exhausted with thirst, he by his prayer drew out from beneath Mount Sion a spring of water, which was called Siloam, i.e. “sent from God”. It was to this spring afterwards that the Saviour sent the man blind from birth to wash, and He restored his sight. By the prayer of the Prophet Isaiah, the Lord prolonged the life of Hezekiah for 15 years.

    The Prophet Isaiah died a martyr’s death. By order of the Jewish king Manasseh he was sawn through by a wood-saw. The prophet was buried not far from the Pool of Siloam. The relics of the holy Prophet were transferred by the emperor Theodosios the Younger to Constantinople and placed in the church of St Lawrence at Blachernae. At the present time part of the head of the Prophet Isaiah is preserved at Athos in the Hilandar monastery.

    For the times and the events which happened during the life of the Prophet Isaiah, see the fourth Book of Kings [alt. 2 Kings] (Ch 16, 17, 19, 20, 23, etc.), and likewise 2 Chr:26-32).

    Of all the Prophets, Isaiah is called the most eloquent because of the beauty and loftiness of his words. His book of prophecy, divided into sixty-six chapters, is ranked first among the greater Prophets. The Fifth Ode of the Psalter, “Out of the night my spirit wakes at dawn to You, O God…” is taken from his book. It was this holy Prophet who foretold that a Virgin would conceive in the womb (7:14); that not an ambassador, nor an angel, but the Lord Himself would save fallen man (63:9); that the Messiah would suffer, bearing our sins (ch. 53). His name means “Yah is helper”.

    Dismissal Hymn (Second Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    Having received the gift of prophecy, O Prophet-martyr Esaias, herald of God, you made it clear to all under the sun the Incarnation of God by crying with a great voice: Behold the Virgin shall conceive in her womb.

     

    Christopher the Martyr of Lycea

    Christopher_the_Martyr_of_LyceaSaint Christopher was at first named Reprobus. Seeing the Christians persecuted, he rebuked the tyrants for their cruelty. Soldiers were sent to bring him to appear before the ruler; but he converted them to Christ, and with them was baptised, receiving the name Christopher. After he appeared before the ruler, he was imprisoned and two harlots were sent to seduce him, but he converted them also, and encouraged them in their martyrdom. He was subjected to torments and finally beheaded in the days of Decius. Many marvellous and mythical things are said about him out of ignorance and superstition, one of which is that it is impossible for one to die suddenly from some unexpected cause on the day on which one looks at the Saint’s icon.

    This is the origin of that proverb that is quoted in various quarters: “If on Christopher thou shouldst gaze, thou shalt safely wend life’s ways.”

    The etymology of his name, which means “Christ-bearer,” has undoubtedly moved iconographers to depict him carrying the infant Jesus on his shoulders; it is completely erro-neous, however, to depict him, as some uninformed iconographers do, having the head of a dog, because of a statement in his life that he was dog-faced, by which is meant only that his countenance was exceedingly frightful to look upon.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Christopher 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 Christopher in the Fourth Tone

    Thou who wast terrifying both in strength and in countenance, for thy Creator’s sake thou didst surrender thyself willingly to them that sought thee; for thou didst persuade both them and the women that sought to arouse in thee the fire of lust, and they followed thee in the path of martyrdom. And in torments thou didst prove to be courageous. Wherefore, we have gained thee as our great protector, O great Christopher.

    Apolytikion of Second Monday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Monk-martyr Nicholas who lived in Vuneni, of Larissa in Thessaly
    Epimachos the New Martyr of Alexandria
    The New Martyrs of Novo Selo, Bulgaria

  • Acts 10:21-33
    John 7:1-13
    All day
    09-05-2017

    Epistle Reading: Acts 10:21-33

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, Peter went down to the men sent by Cornelius to him and said, “I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?” And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well-spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house, and to hear what you have to say.” So he called them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went off with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his kinsmen and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered; and he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.” And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was keeping the ninth hour of prayer in my house; and behold, a man stood before me in bright apparel, saying, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter; he is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the seaside.’ So I sent to you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here present in the sight of God, to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

     

    Gospel Reading – John 7:1-13

    At that time, Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of Tabernacles was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples may see the works you are doing. For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his brothers did not believe in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil. Go to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” So saying, he remained in Galilee.

    But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

10
  • Apostle Simon
    Isodora of Egypt
    Laurence of Egypt
    All day
    10-05-2017-08-05-2018

    Saint Simon the Zealot and Apostle

    Saint Simon was from Cana in Galilee, and was known to the Lord and the Theotokos. Tradition says that he was the bridegroom at the wedding where the Saviour performed His first miracle. After witnessing the miracle of the water which had been turned into wine, he became a zealous follower of Christ (John 2:1-11; Luke 6:15). Saint Simon was also called Simon the Cananite by Saint Matthew (Matt 10:4). The word “Cananite” used by Saint Matthew is believed to be derived from kana, which in the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic means “zealot” or “zealous”; Saint Luke therefore translates the meaning of “Cananite”. Simon means “one who hears”.

    Saint Simon was one of the twelve Apostles, and received the Holy Spirit with the others on the day of Pentecost. He travelled to many places from Britain to the Black Sea, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. After winning many pagans to the Lord, Saint Simon suffered martyrdom by crucifixion.

    Saint Demetrius of Rostov says that this Saint Simon is to be distinguished from the Apostle Simon Peter, and from the Lord’s relative Simon (Matt13:55), who was the second Bishop of Jerusalem.

    Saint Simon is also commemorated on June 30 with the other Apostles.

    Apolytikion of Apostle Simon in the Third Tone

    O Holy Apostle Simon, intercede with the merciful God that He grant to our souls forgiveness of offences.

    Kontakion of Apostle Simon in the Second Tone

    With praise let us all bless Simon, the herald of God, who established securely in the souls of the pious the doctrines of wisdom; for now he stands before the throne of glory, and exulting with the bodiless hosts, he intercedes unceasingly for us all.

  • Fish Allowed
    All day
    10-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • I Corinthians 4:9-16
    Luke 6:12-19
    All day
    10-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – St. Paul’s First Letter To The Corinthians 4:9-16

    Prokeimenon. Mode 1.
    Psalm 32.22,1

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

    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.

    Gospel Reading – Luke 6:12-19

    At that time, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaios, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and 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.

11
  • Cyril & Methodios
    Martyr Mocius
    All day
    11-05-2017-09-05-2018

    Saints Cyril and Methodios Equal-to-the Apostles and Illuminators of the Slavs

    Born in Thessalonica, Saint Methodios was a military man before becoming a monk on Mount Olympus. His brother Constantine, known as the Philosopher because of his erudition, was Librarian at the Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople; he later became a monk with the name of Cyril. The Emperor Michael sent him with his brother Methodios to the Khazars in response to their petition for teachers to expound to them the Christian Faith. On their way, they stayed in Cherson, where they recovered from the Black Sea the relics of Saint Clement of Rome. Later, they were called by Prince Rostislav of Moravia to instruct his people in the Orthodox Faith (Saint Rostislav died a martyr’s death and is commemorated October 15).

    The Saints devised an alphabet for the Slavs derived from the Greek, and used it to translate the Greek books into the language of the people. In their apostolic labours throughout the Balkans, certain Germanic bishops who opposed the use of the vernacular in the church services slandered the holy brothers. Summoned to court at Rome in 867 AD, they presented their Slavonic translations to Pope Adrian II, who received them with love and full approval. Two years later, Saint Cyril reposed in Rome on February 14 and was buried in the Church of Saint Clement. Saint Methodios was made Bishop of Moravia, but at the intrigues of certain Latin clergy, was cast into prison by the “Holy Roman Emperor” (the Germanic Emperor of the West), where he was cruelly tormented for some three years. In 874 AD, through the defence of Pope John VIII, he was freed and made Archbishop of Moravia. Because he reproved the lax morals of the German priests in Moravia, he was soon accused of heresy by them, and was forbidden to celebrate the Liturgy in Slavonic. Summoned to Rome again in 879 AD, he was completely exonerated and allowed once again to use the Slavonic tongue for the divine services. He reposed on April 6, 885 AD.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

    Since you were equal in character to the Apostles, and teachers of the Slavic lands, O divinely wise Cyril and Methodios, pray to the Lord of all to strengthen all nations in Orthodoxy and unity of thought, to convert and reconcile the world to God, and to save our souls.

    Kontakion (Third Tone)

    Let us honour our sacred pair of enlighteners, who, by translating the divine writings, have poured forth for us a well-spring of divine knowledge from which we draw abundantly even to this day: We call you blessed, O Cyril and Methodios, you that stand before the throne of the Most High and intercede fervently for our souls.

     

    Hieromartyr Mocius

    The holy Hieromartyr Mocius, who was of Roman parents, lived during the reign of Diocletian, and was a priest in Amphipolis of Thrace. One day as the idolaters were assembled, and the Proconsul Laodicius was offering sacrifice to Dionysus, Mocius entered the temple and overturned the altar. After many torments, through which he was preserved whole by grace divine, he was sent to Byzantium, where he was beheaded about the year 288. Saint Constantine the Great built a magnificent church in honour of Saint Mocius in Constantinople, where his holy relics were enshrined. He is one of the Holy Unmercenaries.

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Mocius in the First Tone

    In serving Christ our King as a priest of His myst’ries, thou wentest forth self-called unto contest, O Mocius, to offer thyself to Him through the pains of a willing death. Wherefore, crowned by Christ both as a priest and a martyr, thou dost heal the ills of all who fervently honour thy holy memorial.

    Kontakion of Hieromartyr Mocius in the Second Tone

    Armed with the breastplate of faith, thou didst turn back the arrays of the ungodly, and didst receive a crown of glory from the Lord, O blessed Mocius. Wherefore, seeing thou rejoicest with the Angels, preserve from all perils them that praise thee, as thou intercedest unceasingly for us all.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Renewal of Constantinople
    Theopemptos the Martyr & his Companions
    Dioscoros the New Martyr
    Argyrios the New-Martyr of Epanomi

  • Acts 10:34-43
    John 8:12-20
    All day
    11-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 10:34-43

    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 opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest; not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

     

    Gospel Reading – John 8:12-20

    Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Pharisees then said to him, “You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know whence I have come and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I come or whither I am going. You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true; I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.” They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also.” These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

12
  • Epiphanios, Bishop of Cyprus
    Germanos, Patriarch of Constantinople
    Theodorus of Cythera
    All day
    12-05-2017-10-05-2018

    Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus

    Saint Epiphanios was born about 310 in Besanduc, a village of Palestine, of Jewish parents who were poor and tillers of the soil. In his youth he came to faith in Christ and was baptized with his sister, after which he distributed all he had to the poor and became a monk, being a younger contemporary of Saint Hilarion the Great (commemorated October 21), whom he knew. He also visited the renowned monks of Egypt to learn their ways of asceticism. The fame of his virtue had spread, and many in Egypt desired to make him a Bishop. When he learned of this, he fled, returning to Palestine. However, after a time he learned that the Bishops there also intended to consecrate him to a widowed Bishopric, and he fled to Cyprus. In Paphos he met Saint Hilarion, who told him to go to Constantia, a city of Cyprus also called Salamis. Epiphanios answered that he preferred to take ship for Gaza, which, despite Saint Hilarion’s admonitions, he did.

    However, a contrary wind brought the ship to Constantia where, by the providence of God, Epiphanios fell into the hands of Bishops who had come together to elect a successor to the newly-departed Bishop of Constantia, and the venerable Epiphanios was at last constrained to be consecrated, about the year 367 AD. He was fluent in Hebrew, Egyptian, Syriac, Greek, and Latin, and because of this, he was called “Five-tongued”. He had the gift of working miracles, and was held in such reverence by all, that although he was a known enemy of heresy, he was well nigh the only eminent bishop that the Arians did not dare to drive into exile when the Emperor Valens persecuted the Orthodox about the year 371 AD. Having tended his flock in a manner pleasing to God, and guarded it undefiled from every heresy, he reposed about the year 403 AD, having lived for 93 years. Among his sacred writings, the one that is held in special esteem is the Panarion (from the Latin Panarium, that is, “Bread-box”), containing the proofs of the truth of the Faith, and an examination of eighty heresies.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Let us the faithful duly praise the most wondrous and sacred pair of hierarchs, even Germanus together with the godly Epiphanios; for these righteous Saints of God burned the tongues of the godless with the sacred teachings which they most wisely expounded to all those who in Orthodox belief do ever hymn the great mystery of piety.

     

    Germanos, Patriarch of Constantinople

    Saint Germanos, who was from Constantinople, was born to an illustrious family, the son of Justinian the Patrician. First he became Metropolitan of Cyzicus; in 715 he was elevated to the throne of Constantinople; but because of his courageous resistance to Leo the Isaurian’s impious decree which inaugurated the war upon the holy icons, he was exiled from his throne in 715. He lived the rest of his life in privacy, and reposed about 740, full of days. The fore-most of his writings is that which deals with the Six Ecumenical Councils. He wrote many hymns also, as is apparent from the titles of many stichera and idiomela, among which are those for the Feast of the Meeting in the Temple.

    Apolytikion of Germanos, Patriarch Of Constantinople 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 Germanos, Patriarch Of Constantinople in the Fourth Tone

    Let us the faithful duly praise the most wondrous and sacred pair of hierarchs, even Germanos together with the godly Epiphanios; for these righteous Saints of God burned the tongues of the godless with the sacred teachings which they most wisely expounded to all those who in Orthodox belief do ever hymn the great myst’ry of piety.

    Apolytikion of the Second Thursday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    12-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 10:44-48;11:1-10
    John 8:21-30
    All day
    12-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 10:44-48; 11:1-10

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 98.9,1

    Exalt the Lord our God.
    Verse: The Lord reigns; let the people tremble.

    IN THOSE DAYS, while Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” But Peter began and explained to them in order: “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me. Looking at it closely I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven.”

    Gospel Reading – John 8:21-30

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” Then said the Jews, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you can not come’? ” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Even what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge; but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he spoke thus, many believed in him.

13
  • Martyr Glyceria
    Sergios the Confessor
    Martyr Alexandros
    All day
    13-05-2017-11-05-2018

    The Holy Martyr Glyceria

    This Martyr contested in 141 in Trajanopolis of Thrace, during the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. At a heathen festival, when Sabine the Governor of Trajanopolis was offering sacrifice, Saint Glyceria entered the temple and declared herself to be a handmaid of Christ. Sabine commanded her to sacrifice. She went to the statue of Zeus and overturned it, dashing it to pieces. She was subjected to many horrible tortures, and finally was cast to wild beasts; bitten once by one of them, she gave up her soul into the hands of God.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Glyceria in the Fourth Tone

    O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

    Kontakion of Martyr Glyceria in the Third Tone

    Loving Mary ardently, the Theotokos and Virgin, thou didst keep thy maidenhood all uncorrupted and spotless; smitten in thy heart with longing for thy divine Lord, thou didst strive even to death with courageous valour. O Glyceria, for this cause, Christ God doth crown thee with an august twofold crown.

    Apolytikion of second Friday after Pascha in the Grave Tone

    Christ our God, You are the Life that dawned from the grave, though the tomb was sealed. Through closed doors You came to the Apostles. You are the Resurrection of all. And, You renewed us through them with an upright spirit, according to Your great mercy.

  • Acts 12:1-11
    John 8:31-42
    All day
    13-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 12:1-11

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 31.11,1

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

     

    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.”

    Gospel Reading – John 8:31-42

    The Lord said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?”

    Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

    They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. You do what your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.”

14
  • Martyr Isidore
    All day
    14-05-2017-12-05-2018

    Saint Isidore the Martyr of Chios

    Saint Isidore was a soldier from Alexandria. He came with the Roman fleet to Chios, where he was betrayed as a Christian to Numerian, Commander of the Fleet. Because he boldly professed himself to worship Christ as God and refused to worship any other, he was tormented and beheaded in 251 AD, during the reign of Decius.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    In your holy prayers to God, you have shone brightly, a great guide for all the world. Therefore, we praise you on this day, O Saint, you Martyr of godly mind and boast of Chios, O glorious Isidore.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Holy Hieromartyr Therapontus
    Holy New Martyrs Mark and John
    Serapion the Holy Martyr
    Leontius, Patriarch of Jerusalem

  • Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
    All day
    14-05-2017

    The New Testament describes the familiar account of the “woman at the well” (John 4:5-42), who was a Samaritan. Up to that point she had led a sinful life, one which resulted in a rebuke from Jesus Christ. However, she responded to Christ’s stern admonition with genuine repentance, was forgiven her sinful ways, and became a convert to the Christian Faith – taking the name ‘Photini’ at Baptism, which literally means “the enlightened one”.

    A significant figure in the Johannine community, the Samaritan Woman, like many other women, contributed to the spread of Christianity. She therefore occupies a place of honour among the apostles. In Greek sermons from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries she is called “apostle” and “evangelist.” In these sermons the Samaritan Woman is often compared to the male disciples and apostles and found to surpass them.

    Later, Byzantine hagiographers developed the story of the Samaritan Woman, beginning where Saint John left off. At Pentecost Saint Photini received baptism, along with her five sisters, Anatole, Photo, Photis, Paraskeve, Kyriake, and her two sons, Photeinos and Joseph. She then began a missionary career, traveling far and wide, preaching the good news of the Messiah’s coming, His death and resurrection. When Nero, the emperor of Rome, began to persecute Christians, Photini and her son Joseph were in Carthage, in Africa, where she was preaching the Christian gospel. After Jesus appeared to Photini in a dream, she sailed to Rome. Her son and many Christians from Africa accompanied her. Photini’s arrival and activity aroused curiosity in the capital city. Everyone talked about her, “Who is this woman?” they asked. “She came here with a crowd of followers and she preaches Christ with great boldness.”

    Soldiers were ordered to bring her to the emperor, but Photini anticipated them. Before they could arrest her, Photini, with her son Joseph and her Christian friends, went to Nero. When the emperor saw them, he asked why they had come. Photini answered, “We have come to teach you to believe in Christ.” The half-mad ruler of the Roman Empire did not frighten her. She wanted to convert him! Nero asked the saints their names. Again Photini answered. By name she introduced herself, her five sisters and younger son. The emperor then demanded to know whether they had all agreed to die for the Nazarene. Photini spoke for them. “Yes, for the love of Him we rejoice and in His name we’ll gladly die.” Hearing their defiant words, Nero ordered their hands beaten with iron rods for three hours. At the end of each hour another persecutor took up the beating. The saints, however, felt no pain. Nothing happened to their hands. Photini joyfully quoted words of a psalm by David: “God is my help. No matter what anyone does to me, I shall not be afraid.” Perplexed by the Christian’s endurance and confidence, Nero ordered the men thrown into jail. Photini and her five sisters were brought to the golden reception hall in the imperial palace. There, the six women were seated on golden thrones, In front of them stood a large golden table covered with gold coins, jewels and dresses. Nero hoped to tempt the women by this display of wealth and luxury. Nero then ordered his daughter Domnina, with her slave girls, to go speak with the Christian women. Women, he thought, would succeed in persuading their Christian sisters to deny their God.

    Domnina greeted Photini graciously, mentioning the name of Christ. On hearing the princess’ greeting, the saint thanked God. She then embraced and kissed Domnina. The women talked. But the outcome of the women’s talk was not what Nero wished. Photini catechized Domnina and her hundred slave girls and baptized them all. She gave the name Anthousa to Nero’s daughter. After her baptism, Anthousa immediately ordered all the gold and jewels on the golden table distributed to the poor of Rome.

    When the emperor heard that his own daughter had been converted to Christianity, he condemned Photini and all her companions to death by fire. For seven days the furnace burned, But when the door of the furnace was opened, it was seen that the fire had not harmed the saints. Next the emperor tried to destroy the saints with poison, Photini offered to be the first to drink it. “O King,” she said, “I will drink the poison first so that you might see the power of my Christ and God.” All the saints then drank the poison after her. None suffered any ill effects from it. In vain Nero subjected Photini, her sisters, sons and friends to every known torture. The saints survived unscathed to taunt and ridicule their persecutor. For three years they were held in a Roman prison. Saint Photini transformed it into a “house of God.” Many Romans came to the prison, were converted and baptized. Finally, the enraged tyrant had all the saints, except for Photini, beheaded. She was thrown first into a deep, dry well and then into prison again. Photini now grieved that she was alone, that she had not received the crown of martyrdom together with her five sisters, Anatole, Photo, Photis, Paraskeve and Kyriake and her two sons, Photeinos and Joseph. Night and day she prayed for release from this life. One night, God appeared to her, made the sign of the cross over her three times. The vision filled her with joy. Many days later, while she hymned and blessed God, Saint Photini gave her soul into God’s hands. The Samaritan Woman conversed with Christ by the well of Jacob, near the city of Sychar. She drank of the “living water” and gained everlasting life and glory. For generation after generation, Orthodox Christians have addressed this prayer to the woman exalted by the Messiah when He sat by the well in Samaria and talked with her:

    Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

    Your confession

    All illuminated by the Holy Spirit, you drank with great and ardent longing of the waters Christ Saviour gave to you; and with the streams of salvation you was refreshed, which you abundantly gave to those athirst. O Great Martyr and true peer of the Apostles, Photini, entreat Christ God to grant mercy to us.

    Kontakion (Third Tone)

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

  • John 20:1-10
    Acts 11:19-30
    John 4:5-42
    All day
    14-05-2017

    Matins Gospel Reading – John 20:1-10

    At that time, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 11:19-30

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.24,1

    O Lord, how manifold are your works. You have made all things in wisdom.
    Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul.

     

    IN THOSE DAYS, those apostles who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabos stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius. And the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who lived in Judea, and they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

    Gospel Reading – John 4:5-42

    At that time, Jesus came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

    There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

    Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

    Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you wish?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the city and were coming to him.

    Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

    Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard ourselves, and we know that this is indeed Christ the Savior of the world.”

15
  • Pachomios the Great
    Achillius, Archbishop of Larissa
    All day
    15-05-2017-13-05-2018

    Saint Pachomius the Great

    Saint Pachomius was born of pagan parents in the Upper Thebaid of Egypt. He was conscripted into the Roman army at an early age. While quartered with the other soldiers in the prison in Thebes, Pachomius was astonished at the kindness shown them by the local Christians, who relieved their distress by bringing them food and drink. Upon inquiring who they were, he believed in Christ and vowed that once delivered from the army, he would serve Him all the days of his life. Released from military service, about the year 313, he was baptized, and became a disciple of the hermit Palamon, under whose exacting guidance he increased in virtue and grace, and reached such a height of holiness that “because of the purity of his heart,” says his biographer, “he was, as it were, seeing the invisible God as in a mirror.” His renown spread far, and so many came to him to be his disciples that he founded nine monasteries in all, filled with many thousands of monks, to whom he gave a rule of life, which became the pattern for all communal monasticism after him. While Saint Anthony the Great is the father of hermits, Saint Pachomius is the founder of the cenobitic life in Egypt; because Pachomius had founded a way of monasticism accessible to so many, Anthony said that he “walks the way of the Apostles.” Saint Pachomius fell asleep in the Lord before his contemporaries Anthony and Athanasius the Great, in the year 346. His name in Coptic, Pachom, means “eagle.”

    Apolytikion of Pachomius the Great in the Plagal of the First Tone

    Thou didst prove a chief pastor of the Chief Shepherd, Christ, guiding the flocks of monastics unto the heavenly fold, whence thou learntest of the habit and the way of life that doth befit ascetic ranks; having taught this to thy monks, thou now dancest and rejoicest with them in heavenly dwellings, O great Pachomius, our Father and guide.

    Kontakion of Pachomius the Great in the Second Tone

    Since thou hadst shown forth the life of the Angels while in a body, O God-bearing Pachomius, thou wast also counted worthy of their glory; and with them thou standest before the Lord’s throne, interceding that divine forgiveness be granted unto all.

     

    Achillius the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Larissa

    achillesSaint Achillius was one of the 318 God-bearing Fathers who were present at the First Ecumenical Council; after returning to Larissa he cast down many pagan temples, delivered many from the demons, and raised up churches to the glory of God. He reposed about the middle of the fourth century.

    Apolytikion of Achillius, Patriarch Of Larissa 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. Achilles, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

    Kontakion of Achillius, Patriarch Of Larissa in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Let us all praise with hymns and songs divine Achillius, the brightly shining and unwaning star of all the world, who is Larissa’s unsleeping and loving shepherd. Let us cry to him: Since thou hast boldness with the Lord, do thou rescue us from every raging storm of life, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Achillius.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Barbaros the Myrrhbearer of Kerkyra
    Andrew the Hermit & Wonderworker
    Placing of the Honorable Head of the Apostle Titus

  • Acts 12:12-17
    John 8:42-51
    All day
    15-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 12:12-17

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.4,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, Peter went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. Recognising Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran and told that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are mad.” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It is his angel!” But Peter continued knocking; and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell this to James and to the brethren.” Then he departed and went to another place.

    Gospel Reading – John 8:42-51

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

    The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I have not a demon; but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it and he will be the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.”

16
  • Theodoros the Sanctified
    All day
    16-05-2017-14-05-2018

    Saint Theodore the Sanctified

    This Saint, who was born in the Upper Thebaid of Christian parents, joined the community of Saint Pachomios at about the age of fourteen years, and became the greatest of his disciples. Because of Theodore’s utter humility and unquestioning obedience, Pachomios called him more and more to his aid in governing the monasteries he had established. Although some found fault with this, because Theodore was younger than they, Pachomios continued to put his confidence in him, to such a degree that once he told the brotherhood, “Theodore and I fulfil the same service for God; and he also has the authority to give commands as father.” Pachomios was succeeded as governor of the monks by Saint Orsiesius in 346, and Orsiesius later took Theodore as his fellow abbot. At Theodore’s death in the year 368, the monks mourned him so bitterly that the sound of their crying was heard on the other side of the river.

    Apolytikion of Theodore the Sanctified in the First Tone

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

    Kontakion of Theodore the Sanctified in the Second Tone

    While flourishing like a palm tree in the house of God, thou broughtest forth fruits of virtues through thine excellence in ascetic labours, O righteous Father, sanctified Theodore. Hence, thou art now called blest by all, since thou art a true peer of the bodiless.

    Apolytikion of third Monday after Pascha in the Second Tone

    When You descended to death, O Immortal Life, then, the light of Your divinity destroyed Hades. When You raised the dead from the depths of darkness, all the heavenly powers cried out, “Glory to You our Christ, the Giver of Life.”

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Holy Martyr Peter of Blachernae
    New Martyr Nicholas of Metsovos (1617)
    Nicholas the Mystic, Patriarch of Constantinople
    Alexandros, Archbishop of Jerusalem
    Brendan the Navigator

  • Acts 12:25;13.1-12
    John 8:51-59
    All day
    16-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 12:25; 13:1-12

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, bringing with them John whose other name was Mark. Now in the Church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

    Gospel Reading – John 8:51-59

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, ‘If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; and he saw it and was glad.” The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

17
  • Apostles Andronicus & Junia
    All day
    17-05-2017-15-05-2018

    The Holy Apostles Andronicus and Junia

    These Apostles are mentioned by Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, where he writes: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the Apostles, who also were in Christ before me” (Rom. 16:7).

    Apolytikion of Andronicus & Junia in the Third Tone

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

    Kontakion of Andronicus & Junia in the Second Tone

    As notable companions of the Apostles and true ministers of Jesus, ye proved to be sacred heralds of His condescension; for having received the grace of the Spirit, O glorious Andronicus and Junia, ye shine like lamps unto the ends of the world.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Holy Godbearing Nectarius, the Builder of the Holy Monastery of Varlaam of Meteora
    Theodotos the Martyr of Ancyra & the 7 Virgin-martyrs
    Athanasios, Archbishop of Christianopolis
    The New Martyrs of Batak, Bulgaria
    Nicholas the Younger who was martyred in Metsovo, Epirus

  • Fifth Wednesday After Pascha
    All day
    17-05-2017

    Apolytikion Of 5th Wed. After Pascha

    Plagal Of The Fourth Tone

    Mid-way in the feast, refresh my thirsty soul with the flowing waters of piety. For You cried out to all, O Savior, “Let him who thirsts come to me and drink.” You, O Christ our God, are the Fountain of Life, glory to You.

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    17-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 13:13-24
    John 6:5-14
    All day
    17-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 13:13-24

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

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

     
    IN THOSE DAYS, Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem; but they passed on from Perga and came to Antioch of Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it.” So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel, and you that fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. And for about forty years he bore with them in the wilderness. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. Before his coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.”

     

    Gospel Reading – John 6:5-14

    At that time, Jesus, lifting up his eyes and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!”

18
  • Martyrs Peter, Dionysius, Paul & Companions
    All day
    18-05-2017-16-05-2018

    Holy Martyrs: Peter, Dionysius, Andrew, Paul, Christina, Heraclius, Paulinus and Benedimus

    These Saints all contested in martyrdom during the reign of Decius (249-251)- Peter was from Lampsacus in the Hellespont. For refusing to offer sacrifice to the idol of Aphrodite, his whole body was crushed and broken with chains and pieces of wood on a torture-wheel; having endured this torment courageously, he gave up his soul.

    Paul and Andrew were soldiers from Mesopotamia brought to Athens with their governor, there they were put in charge of two captive Christians, Dionysios and Christina. The soldiers, seeing the beauty of the virgin Christina, attempted to move her to commit sin with them, but she refused and, by her admonitions, brought them to faith in Christ. They and Dionysios were stoned to death, and Christina was beheaded.

    Heraclius, Paulinus, and Benedimus were Athenians, and preachers of the Gospel who turned many of the heathen from their error to the light of Christ. Brought before the governor, they confessed their Faith, and after many torments were beheaded.

    Apolytikion of Martyrs Peter, Dionysius & Paul 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 Martyrs Peter, Dionysius & Paul in the Fourth Tone

    Ye were born of earth, and came from divers cities, but became the citizens of that blest city in the heights, being united in one great choir, O stalwart Martyrs who championed the Trinity.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Julian the Martyr
    Euphrasia the Martyr of Nicea
    Stephen I, Patriarch of Constantinople

  • Acts 14:20-28;15.1-4
    John 9:39-10:9
    All day
    18-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 14:20-28; 15:1-4

    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, Paul went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to lconion and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed. Then they passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia; and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. And when they arrived, they gathered the church together and declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they remained no little time with the disciples. But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren. And when they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.

     

    Gospel Reading – John 9:39-10:9

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

    “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.”

19
  • Hieromartyr Patrick of Prusa
    All day
    19-05-2017-17-05-2018

    Patrick the Hieromartyr and Bishop of Prusa and His Fellow Martyrs Acacius, Menander, and Polyaenus

    St Patrick was Bishop of Prusa, a city in Bithynia (the presentday Brusa or Bursa). Because of his Christian Faith, he was brought before Julius (or Julian) the Consul, who in his attempts to persuade Patrick to worship as he himself did, declared that thanks was owed to the gods for providing the hot springs welling up from the earth for the benefit of men. Saint Patrick answered that thanks for this was owed to our Lord Jesus Christ, and explained that when He, Who is God, created the earth, He made it with both fire and water, and the fire under the earth heats the water, which wells up, producing hot springs; he then explained that there is another fire, which awaits the ungodly. Because of this, he was cast into the hot springs, but it was the soldiers who cast him in, and not he, who were harmed by the hot water. After this, St Patrick was beheaded with the presbyters Acacios, Menander, and Polyaenos. Most likely, this was during the reign of Diocletian (284-305 AD).

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    Since the Church has you body as a sacred gem of Jesus Christ, she now rejoices, O blest Patrick, and with joy she cries to you, “Through your prayers, O wise Father, all the world is preserved in peace and tranquillity, and it is kept unharmed and unconquered by any heresy.”

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Our Righteous Father Memnonus the Wonderworker
    Theotima & Kyriake the Martyrs

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    19-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 15:5-12
    John 10:17-28
    All day
    19-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 15:5-12

     

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 98.9,1

    Exalt the Lord our God.
    Verse: The Lord reigns; let the people tremble.

    IN THOSE DAYS, some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up, and said, “it is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.” The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

     

    Gospel Reading – John 10:17-28

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father.”

    There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the sayings of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

    It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life.”

20
  • Martyr Thalleleus
    Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow
    All day
    20-05-2017-18-05-2018

    The Holy Martyr Thalleleus

    Saint Thalleleus was from the region of Lebanon in Phoenicia, the son of Berucius, a Christian bishop; his mother’s name was Romula. Raised in piety, he was trained as a physician. Because of the persecution of Numerian, the Saint departed to Cilicia, and in Anazarbus he hid himself in an olive grove; but he was seized and taken to Aegae of Cilicia to Theodore, the ruler. After many torments he was beheaded in 284. Saint Thalleleus is one of the Holy Unmercenaries.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Thalleleus 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 Thalleleus in the Third Tone

    With the Martyrs of the Lord thou didst contest and wast shown forth as a valiant soldier of the King of Glory, Who crowned thee for the harsh and bitter tortures that thou didst suffer, trampling down the pride of them that worshipped the idols. O Thalleleus, we therefore praise thine august and blessed remembrance today.

     

    Father Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow

    Our holy and wonderworking Father Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow, was born in Moscow in 1292, and consecrated bishop in 1350. Chosen as Metropolitan in 1354, he was ordained by Ecumenical Patriarch Philotheus. He founded several monasteries, including the first women’s convent in the city of Moscow. From the Greek he translated and wrote out the Holy Gospel. For the good of the Church and his country he twice journeyed to the Horde and did much to propitiate the Khan and ease the burden of the Tartar yoke; he also healed Taidula, the Khan’s wife. His relics are laid to rest in the Chudov Monastery in Moscow, which he founded on land granted him by the Khan and his wife in thanksgiving. Today is the feast of the translation of his holy relics, which took place in 1485, and again in 1686.

    Apolytikion of Father Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow in the Second Tone

    Like most precious treasure hidden many years in the earth, thy venerable and miracle-flowing relics were found, O most blessed Father and Hierarch Alexis; and receiving healing from them, we are enriched and we glorify Christ, saying: Glory to Him Who glorifieth His Saints.

    Kontakion of Father Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Thy venerable and incorrupt relics, hidden for many years, O holy Hierarch Alexis, shine forth unto us from thy sepulchre like an unwaning sun, and through thee we receive grace. Thou dost enrich the whole land and all of us with miracles and blessings by the working of grace. Wherefore, we chant unto thee: Rejoice, O Father, light of Russia.

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Mark the Hermit
    Lydia of Philippi, Equal to the Apostles
    John, Joseph, and Nikitas the Monks of Chios

  • Acts 15:35-41
    John 10:27-38
    All day
    20-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 15:35-41

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 31.11,1

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

     

    IN THOSE DAYS, Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Come, let us return and visit the brethren in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” And Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp contention, so that they separated from each other; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

    Gospel Reading – John 10:27-38

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

    The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods?’ If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken), do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe my works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

21
  • Constantine & Helen
    All day
    21-05-2017-19-05-2018

    Constantine and Helen, Equal-to-the Apostles

    Flavius Valerius Constantinus, the son of the emperor Constantius Chlorus and Helena, was probably born in Naissus, Serbia, on 27 February in 272 or 273 AD. Soon after his father’s death in Britain on 25 June 306, Constantine was raised to the purple by the army and the Praetorian Guard.

    It was not until 312 AD, after defeating his brother-in-law and rival Maxentius at the Milvinian Bridge, that Constantine became the senior ruler of the Roman Empire. It was at this battle that Constantine adopted his famous battle banner (Labarum) as the champion and sign of Christianity. As it is related, Constantine found himself at a decisive crossroads, not only of his own career but also of the future of the Roman Empire.

    He had defeated Maxentius, but the outcome of the impeding confrontation was very much in doubt. While deeply concerned about his ability to defeat Maxentius, Constantine, on the evening of 27 October 312, had a vision of a cross in the sky outside of the city of Rome. On the four sides of the cross he saw written the Greek words “EN-TOU-TW-NI-KA” (BY THIS YOU SHALL WIN). Constantine immediately ordered a battle standard of the design and words he had seen in the sky and placed it as the head of his army as he began to march against Maxentius. Maxentius’ army was annihilated and he himself was drowned in the Tiber river. Shortly afterwards, the Christian faith not only was tolerated in the Empire but accorded imperial favour. In 313, Constantine and his other brother-in-law and rival Licinius met at Milan and agreed to legally recognise the Christian Church and to tolerate all religions equally without any interference from the state. This decision has come to be known as the Edict of Milan. In 314, 316, and 324, he repeatedly defeated his last remaining rival Licinius. Once he had overcome him, he was the undisputed ruler of the Roman Empire.

    Constantine’s policy from the beginning was to bring the Christian Church into close relationship to the point of identification between Church and State. This resulted in his being concerned with the internal affairs of the Church even though he was not a baptised Christian himself and never became such until shortly before his death.

    Divergent teachings within the Church had appeared very early. Some of them became heresies and began to seriously disturb the Church. In 313, the Donatist schismatics in Africa appealed to Constantine to adjudicate their controversy with the Church of that province. At their request, Constantine referred the case first to a commission of bishops and then to a Synod (Arles 314). When the controversy continued, Constantine decided to hear the case himself in 316. In all trials the verdict was against the Donatists. In answer, they attacked not only their ecclesiastical authorities but also the imperial government encouraged riots and raids. Constantine found himself obliged to apply his verdict with repressive measures. This Donatist controversy is the first instance in which the internal affairs of the Christian Church were brought before an Emperor to be adjudicated. This opened the way for a de facto identification between Church and State and granted the head of the state the right not only to intervene in the internal affairs of the Church, but to issue as well binding decisions. It is from this point on that in terms of reality the Orthodox Church became a state religion with all advantages and disadvantages that a marriage of this kind has yielded to her through the ages.

    A few years later and in answer to another and more serious controversy within the Church, the Arian dispute about the Person of Christ, Constantine convened the 1st Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in Bithynia during June, 325. The emperor himself presided over this very important Universal Council of the Christian Church although he himself was still not baptised Christian. As it is known, this Council resulted in the complete victory for Orthodoxy and in the statement of most of the articles of the Creed which we today and is known as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. The Nicaean Council also established a special, privileged, status for the Bishop of Jerusalem. At the same time, Constantine uncovered the site of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem, and built on it the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

    The Nicene Council was the most profound event of Constantine’s reign because it set a precedent for future Councils. When either the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches have major dogmatic or disciplinary problems to resolve, they would convene an Ecumenical Council to settle them.

    Constantine gradually broke away from the old traditions of Rome and after his victory at Chrysopolis in Asia Minor against Licinius (324), he became sole Emperor and immediately moved his capital from Rome to Byzantium which he rebuilt, gave it his name. Constantine had the city officially dedicated on 11 May. The city was only an imperial residence until 359 when it became the official capital of the empire.

    All through his reign he went to great pains to bring peace within the Church and between pagans and Christians. It is difficult to state at which time he decided to embrace Christianity, but his attitude towards the Christian religion was consistently one, not only of believing but of rearing a deep and lasting respect for it. The fact that he was baptised just before his death does not prove that he was not a practicing Christian before that, but rather points to the practice at the time of deferring baptism because of fear of sinning after it and thus proving unable to be saved – as a current teaching was wrongly advocated. In 321 AD, he decreed that Sunday be observed as a public holiday. He liberally endowed church buildings, especially at Holy Places in Palestine, such as the Church of Resurrection which his mother Helena had erected.

    The centralisation of the Empire at Constantinople as the locus of power, and Constantine’s preference for Christianity opened the way for an increasing control of the Eastern Church by the Emperor of Byzantium. In contrast, the Church in the West and its heading bishop, the Bishop of Rome, was allowed by circumstance to carry on his ecclesiastical leadership unhindered by State influence and intervention. Thus, the Bishop of Rome became the more prominent figure, lay or ecclesiastical, in the west. It is from the 4th century that the Papacy began to assume its ever increasing secular importance and the monocratic position it reached in the Middle Ages.

    Constantine tempered the criminal law and the laws on debts, improved the conditions of slavery, and provided for poor children; as a result exposing unwanted babies was lessened. He freed celibates and unmarried persons from special taxation, introduced laws against sexual licentiousness, and exempted Christian clergy from military service. Constantine died on 22 May 337 AD near Nicomedia on his way east to fight the Persians. For his services to the Christian Church, Constantine has been named the 13th Apostle by the Orthodox Church and is venerated as a Saint together with his mother Helena.

    Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

    Your servant Constantine, O Lord and only Lover of Man, beheld the figure of the Cross in the Heavens, and like Paul, not having received his call from men, but as an Apostle among rulers set by Your hand over the royal city, he preserved lasting peace through the prayers of the Theotokos.

    Kontakion (Third Tone)

    With his mother Helen, Constantine today brings to light the precious Cross: the shame of unbelievers, the weapon of Orthodox Christians against their enemies, for it is manifest for us as a great and fearful sign in struggle!

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Pachomios the New Martyr

  • Sunday of the Blind Man
    All day
    21-05-2017

    At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he”; others said, “No, but he is like him.” He said, “I am the man.” They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

    They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

    The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.”

    So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

    Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe”: and he worshipped him.

  • John 20:11-18
    Acts 26:1,12-20
    John 9:1-38
    All day
    21-05-2017

    Matins Gospel Reading – John 20:11-18

    At that time, Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that He had said these things to her.

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 26:1, 12-20

    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, King Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defence: “I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles-to whom I send you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and perform deeds worthy of their repentance.”

    Gospel Reading – John 9:1-38

    At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he”; others said, “No, but he is like him.” He said, “I am the man.” They said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

    They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put clay on my eyes and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

    The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him.”

    So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

    Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe”: and he worshipped him.

22
  • Martyr Vasilikos, Bishop of Comana
    All day
    22-05-2017-20-05-2018

    Saint Vasilikos the Martyr was from the city of Amasia on the Black Sea, and a nephew of Saint Theodore the Tyro (commemorated February 17). When his fellow Martyrs Eutropius and Cleonicus had been crucified (commemorated March 8), Vasilikos was shut up in prison. As he was praying the Lord to count him also worthy to finish his course as a martyr, the Lord appeared to him, telling him first to go to his kinsmen and bid them farewell, which he did. When it was learned that he had left the prison, soldiers came after him, and brought him to Comana of Cappadocia, compelling him to walk in iron shoes set with nails. He was beheaded at Comana, and his body was cast into the river, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305 AD).

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Holy New Martyrs Demetrius and Paul of Tripoli
    John-Vladimir, Ruler of Serbia

  • Acts 17:1-9
    John 11:47-54
    All day
    22-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 17:1-9

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.4,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, when the apostles had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas; as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked fellows of the rabble, they gathered a crowd, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the people. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brethren before the city authorities, crying, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them; and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard this. And when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

     

    Gospel Reading – John 11:47-54

    At that time, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death.

    Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim; and there he stayed with the disciples.

23
  • Michael the Confessor, Bishop of Synadon
    All day
    23-05-2017-21-05-2018

    This Saint was from Synnada in Phrygia of Asia Minor. In Constantinople he met Saint Theophylact (see Mar. 8); the holy Patriarch Tarasius, learning that Michael and Theophylact desired to become monks, sent them to a monastery on the Black Sea. Because of their great virtue, Saint Tarasius afterwards compelled them to accept consecration, Theophylact as Bishop of Nicomedia, and Michael as Bishop of his native Synnada. Because Saint Michael fearlessly confessed the veneration of the holy icons, he was banished by the Iconoclast Emperor Leo V the Armenian, who reigned from 813 to 820. After being driven from one place to another, in many hardships and bitter pains, Saint Michael died in exile.

    Apolytikion of Michael, Bishop Of Synnada in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Michael, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.

    Kontakion of Michael, Bishop Of Synnada in the Fourth Tone

    Having dawned upon the world like a great daystar, thou dost shine upon all men with thy great virtues as with light and with the rays of thy miracles, namesake of Angels and worker of miracles.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Mary the Myrrhbearer and wife of Cleopas

  • Acts 17:19-28
    John 12:19-36
    All day
    23-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 17:19-28

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

     

    IN THOSE DAYS, the Athenians took hold of Paul and brought him to the Areopagos, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you present? For you bring some strange things to our ears; we wish to know therefore what these things mean.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the middle of the Areopagos, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’

    Gospel Reading – John 12:19-36

    At that time, the Pharisees took counsel against Jesus and said to one another, “You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him.”

    Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.

    “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show by what death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

24
  • Symeon the Stylite
    All day
    24-05-2017-22-05-2018

    Symeon the Stylite of the Mountain

    Saint Symeon, the “New Stylite,” was born in Antioch; John his father was from Edessa, and Martha his mother was from Antioch. From his childhood he was under the special guidance of Saint John the Baptist and adopted an extremely ascetical way of life. He became a monk as a young man, and after living in the monastery for a while he ascended upon a pillar, and abode upon it for eighteen years. Then he came to Wondrous Mountain, and lived in a dry and rocky place, where after ten years he mounted another pillar, upon which he lived in great hardship for forty-five years, working many miracles and being counted worthy of divine revelations. He reposed in 595, at the age of eighty-five years, seventy-nine of which he had passed in asceticism.

    Apolytikion of Symeon the Stylite in the First Tone

    Thou becamest a pillar of patience and didst emulate the Forefathers, O righteous one: Job in his sufferings, Joseph in temptations, and the life of the bodiless while in the body, O Symeon, our righteous Father, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of Symeon the Stylite in the Second Tone

    Desiring the heights, thou wast translated from the earth; thy pillar was made a second Heaven by thy toils; by it, thou didst shine with the splendour of great wonders, O righteous one. And thou ever prayest to Christ the God of all in behalf of all of us.

     

    Saint Vincent of Lerins

    Saint Vincent was born in Toul in Gaul; he was the brother of Saint Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, who was a companion of Saint Germanus of Auxerre. Saint Vincent was first a soldier, then left the world to become a monk of the renowned monastery of Lerins, where he was also ordained priest. He is known for his Commonitorium, which he wrote as an aid to distinguish the true teachings of the Church from the confusions of heretics; his most memorable saying is that Christians must follow that Faith which has been believed “everywhere, always, and by all.” He wrote the Commonitorium about the year 434, three years after the Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus, which he mentions in the Commonitorium, and defends calling the holy Virgin Theotokos, “She who gave birth to God,” in opposition to the teachings of Nestorius which were condemned at the Third Council.

    Without identifying by name Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Saint Vincent condemns his doctrine of Grace and predestination, calling it heresy to teach of “a certain great and special and altogether personal grace of God [which is given to the predestined elect] without any labour, without any effort, without any industry, even though they neither ask, nor seek, nor knock” (Commonitorium, ch. XXVI). See also Saint John Cassian, February 29; Saint John Cassian wrote his refutations before, and Saint Vincent after, the condemnation of Nestorius at the Third Council in 431, and the death of Augustine in 430. Saint Vincent reposed in peace about the year 445.

    Apolytikion of Saint Vincent of Lerins in the Fourth Tone

    With wisdom hast thou made plain to all the Orthodox Faith as that which alone hath been believed and honoured by all men, always and everywhere, also showing heresy to be innovation, groundless and unstable as a gust in a tempest. O Vincent, thine invincible prayers shelter the Church of God.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Meletios the Commander and his Companion Martyrs
    Gregory, Archbishop of Novgorod

  • Fish Allowed
    All day
    24-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Apodosis of Pascha
    All day
    24-05-2017

    Apolytikion of Apodosis of Pascha in the Plagal of the First Tone

    Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.

    Kontakion of Apodosis of Pascha in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades’ power, and You rose the victor, Christ God, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, “Hail!” and granting peace to Your disciples, You who raise up the fallen.

  • Acts 18:22-28
    John 12:36-47
    All day
    24-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 18:22-28

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

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

     

    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.
     

    Gospel Reading – John 12:36-47

    The Lord said to the Jews who came to him, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.” Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

    And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”

25
  • Third Finding of the Precious Head of St John the Baptist
    All day
    25-05-2017-23-05-2018

    Because of the vicissitudes of time, the venerable head of the holy Forerunner was lost for a third time and rediscovered in Comana of Cappadocia through a revelation to ‘a certain priest, but it was found not, as before, in a clay jar, but in a silver vessel, and “in a sacred place.” It was taken from Comana to Constantinople and was met with great solemnity by the Emperor, the Patriarch, and the clergy and people. See also February 24.

    Apolytikion of Third Discovery of the Head of the Forerunner in the Fourth Tone

    Christ God hath revealed to us thy truly venerable head as a divine treasure that had been concealed in the earth, O Prophet and Forerunner. Wherefore, as we gather on the feast of its finding, with our hymns inspired of God, we praise Christ the Saviour, Who by thy mighty prayers save us from every kind of harm.

    Kontakion of Third Discovery of the Head of the Forerunner in the Second Tone

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Therapon the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Cyprus
    Memory of the Finding of the Holy Icon of Saint Demetrios the Great-Martyr and Myrrh-Streamer in Syria
    Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne

  • Mark 16:9-20
    Acts 1:1-12
    Luke 24:36-53
    All day
    25-05-2017

    Matins Gospel Reading – Mark 16:9-20

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

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

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

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

     

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 1:1-12

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

     

    IN THE FIRST BOOK, O Theophilos, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, for John baptised with water, but before many days you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel?” He said to them, “it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said,”Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Then they returned from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

     

    Gospel Reading – 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.

  • Holy Ascension
    All day
    25-05-2017

    The Lord Jesus passed forty days on earth after His Resurrection from the dead, appearing continually in various places to His disciples, with whom He also spoke, ate, and drank, thereby further demonstrating His Resurrection. On this Thursday, the fortieth day after Pascha, He appeared again in Jerusalem. After He had first spoken to the disciples about many things, He gave them His last commandment, that is, that they go forth and proclaim His Name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. But He also commanded them that for the present, they were not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait there together until they receive power from on high, when the Holy Spirit would come upon them.

    Saying these things, He led them to the Mount of Olives, and raising His hands, He blessed them; and saying again the words of the Father’s blessing, He was parted from them and taken up. Immediately a cloud of light, a proof of His majesty, received Him. Sitting thereon as though on a royal chariot, He was taken up into Heaven, and after a short time was concealed from the sight of the disciples, who remained where they were with their eyes fixed on Him. At this point, two Angels in the form of men in white raiment appeared to them and said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, Who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). These words, in a complete and concise manner, declare what is taught in the Symbol of Faith concerning the Son and Word of God. Therefore, having so fulfilled all His dispensation for us, our Lord Jesus Christ ascended in glory into Heaven, and sat at the right hand of God the Father. As for His sacred disciples, they returned from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, rejoicing because Christ had promised to send them the Holy Spirit.

    It should be noted that the Mount of Olives is a Sabbath’s day journey from Jerusalem, that is, the distance a Jew was permitted to walk on the day of the Sabbath. Ecumenius writes, “A Sabbath day’s journey is one mile in length, as Clement says in his fifth Stromatis; it is two thousand cubits, as the Interpretation of the Acts states.” They draw this conclusion from the fact that, while they were in the wilderness, the Israelites of old kept within this distance from the Holy Tabernacle, whither they walked on the Sabbath day to worship God.

    Apolytikion Of Holy Ascension

    Fourth Tone

    O Christ our God, You ascended in Glory and gladdened Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Your blessing assured them that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.

    Kontakion Of Holy Ascension

    Plagal Of The Second Tone

    O Christ our God, upon fulfilling Your dispensation for our sake, You ascended in Glory, uniting the earthly with the heavenly. You were never separate but remained inseparable, and cried out to those who love You, “I am with you and no one is against you.”

26
  • Carpos & Alphaeus of the 70
    All day
    26-05-2017-24-05-2018

    Carpos and Alphaeus, Apostles of the Seventy

    Saint Carpos and Saint Alphaeus were numbered with the Seventy, and ministered to the holy Apostle Paul, journeying with him and conveying his epistles to those to whom they were written. Saint Carpos became Bishop of Beroea in Thrace, where he endured great tribulations while bringing many of the heathen to holy Baptism, and suffered martyrdom there. Saint Paul mentions him in 2 Timothy 4:13.

    Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

    O Holy Apostles Carpos and Alphaeus, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

    Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

    Having you, O venerable Apostles Carpos and Alphaeus, as bright and shining stars, the Church is ever made to shine with your innumerable miracles. Save them that faithfully honour your memories.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Alexandros the New Martyr of Thessaloniki
    George the New of Sofia
    Augustine, Archbishop of Canterbury

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    26-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • II Corinthians 4:6-15
    Matthew 11:2-15
    All day
    26-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – St. Paul’s Second Letter To The Corinthians 4:6-15

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

     

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

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

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

     

    Gospel Reading – Matthew 11:2-15

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

27
  • John the Russian of Evia
    Hieromartyr Helladius
    All day
    27-05-2017-25-05-2018

    John the Russian of Evia

    The Holy New Confessor John, a native of Russia, was captured during the Russian campaign against the Turks in 1711 and was thereafter sold into slavery in Asia Minor. In this condition he struggled to serve God in piety even while he served his earthly master in all that was needful. He remained steadfast in the Christian Faith in the face of the many enticements the Moslems provided to lure him to their error, and was granted the grace to work miracles by his prayers. He reposed in peace in 1730. His relics remained incorrupt and are found at New Procopion of Euboia in Greece.

    Apolytikion of John the Russian Confessor in the Fourth Tone

    He that hath called thee from earth unto the heavenly abodes, doth even after thy death keep thy body unharmed, O righteous one; for thou wast carried off as a prisoner to Asia, wherein also, O John, thou didst win Christ as thy friend. Wherefore, do thou beseech Him that our souls be saved.

    Kontakion of John the Russian Confessor in the Fourth Tone

    The all-holy mem’ry of thy splendid contests on this day is come to us, and it doth gladden and rejoice the souls of all them that honour thee with faith and rev’rence, O most righteous Father John.

     

    The Holy Hieromartyr Helladius

    Concerning Saint Helladius, little is known except that he was a bishop who refused to sacrifice to idols, and that during his martyrdom our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him and healed him of his wounds, after which he was cast into fire and was preserved unharmed, suffered further torments, and finally was beaten to death with the blows of fists.

    Apolytikion of Hieromartyr Helladius in the Fourth Tone

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

    Kontakion of Hieromartyr Helladius in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    Since thou didst flourish like a fair and fruitful olive tree, thou as an athlete that contended well and won the crown showest kindness unto all that seek grace and mercy. Do thou guide us unto knowledge of the Most High God as a Martyr and bright luminary of the Faith; for we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Helladius.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Theodora the Virgin-martyr & Didymos the Martyr
    Venerable Bede

  • Acts 20:7-12
    John 14:10-21
    All day
    27-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 20:7-12

    Prokeimenon. Mode Plagal 2.
    Psalm 31.11,1

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

     

    IN THOSE DAYS, when the apostles were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered. And a young man named Euthychos was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer; and being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and embracing him said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the lad away alive, and were not a little comforted.

     

    Gospel Reading – John 14:10-21

    The Lord said to his disciples, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.

    “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

     

28
  • Hieromartyr Eutychius
    All day
    28-05-2017-26-05-2018

    The Holy Hieromartyr Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene

    All information concerning this Martyr has been lost, except that he presented himself before the tyrants, mocked the idols, suffered many unspeakable torments, and was finally drowned in the sea.

    Apolytikion of Martyr Eutychius in the Fourth Tone

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Nikitas, Bishop of Chalcedon
    Helikonis the Martyr
    Heladios the Hieromartyr of the East
    Zacharias the New Martyr

  • Fathers of the 1st Council
    All day
    28-05-2017

    The heresiarch Arius was a Libyan by race and a protopresbyter of the Church of Alexandria. In 315, he began to blaspheme against the Son and Word of God, saying that He is not true God, consubstantial with the Father, but is rather a work and creation, alien to the essence and glory of the Father, and that there was a time when He was not. This frightful blasphemy shook the faithful of Alexandria. Alexander, his Archbishop, after trying in vain to correct him through admonitions, cut him off from communion and finally in a local council deposed him in the year 321. Yet neither did the blasphemer wish to be corrected, nor did he cease sowing the deadly tares of his heretical teachings; but writing to the bishops of other cities, Arius and his followers requested that his doctrine be examined, and if it were unsound, that the correct teaching be declared to him. By this means, his heresy became universally known and won many supporters, so that the whole Church was soon in an uproar.

    Therefore, moved by divine zeal, the first Christian Sovereign, Saint Constantine the Great, the equal to the Apostles, summoned the renowned First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea, a city of Bithynia. It was there that the shepherds and teachers of the Church of Christ gathered from all regions in the year 325. All of them, with one mouth and one voice, declared that the Son and Word of God is one in essence with the Father, true God of true God, and they composed the holy Symbol of Faith up to the seventh article (since the remainder, beginning with “And in the Holy Spirit,” was completed by the Second Ecumenical Council). Thus they anathematized the impious Arius of evil belief and those of like mind with him, and cut them off as rotten members from the whole body of the faithful.

    Therefore, recognizing the divine Fathers as heralds of the Faith after the divine Apostles, the Church of Christ has appointed this present Sunday for their annual commemoration, in thanksgiving and unto the glory of God, unto their praise and honour, and unto the strengthening of the true Faith.

    Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Second Tone

    Angelic powers were above Thy tomb, and they that guarded Thee became as dead. And Mary stood by the grave seeking Thine immaculate Body. Thou hast despoiled Hades and wast not tried thereby. Thou didst meet the Virgin and didst grant us life. O Thou Who didst arise from the dead, Lord, glory be to Thee.

    Apolytikion of Fathers of the 1st Council in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

    You are greatly glorified, O Christ our God, who established our Fathers as luminaries upon the earth, and through them led us all to the true Faith. O Most compassionate, glory to You.

    Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone

    O Christ our God, upon fulfilling Your dispensation for our sake, You ascended in Glory, uniting the earthly with the heavenly. You were never separate but remained inseparable, and cried out to those who love You, “I am with you and no one is against you.”

  • John 21:1-14
    Acts 20:16-18,28-36
    John 17:1-13
    All day
    28-05-2017

    Matins Gospel Reading – John 21:1-14

    At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

    When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

     

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36

    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.

    IN THOSE DAYS, Paul had decided to sail past Ephesos, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. And from Miletos he sent to Ephesos and called to him the elders of the church. And when they came to him, he said to them: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

    Gospel Reading – John 17:1-13

    At that time, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, you glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.

    “I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are mine; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

29
  • Martyr Theodosia
    All day
    29-05-2017-27-05-2018

     Theodosia the Virgin-Martyr of Tyre

    The holy Virgin-martyr Theodosia was born in Tyre of Phoenicia. At the age of eighteen she was seized in Caesarea of Palestine during a persecution and was brought before Urban the ruler. Because she refused to offer sacrifice to the idols, her sides and breasts were mercilessly scraped even to the inward parts and bones. She endured this in silence with astonishing courage. When Urban again asked her to sacrifice, she mocked him, and after being tormented even more horribly than before, she was cast into the sea in the year 308 AD.

    The Virgin Martyr Theodosia of Constantinople lived during the eighth century. She was born in answer to the fervent prayers of her parents. After their death, she was raised at the women’s monastery of the holy Martyr Anastasia in Constantinople. St Theodosia became a nun after she distributed to the poor of what remained of her parental inheritance. She used part of the money to commission gold and silver icons of the Saviour, the Theotokos, and St Anastasia.

    When Leo the Isaurian (717-741 AD) ascended the imperial throne, he issued an edict to destroy holy icons everywhere. Above the Bronze Gates at Constantinople was a bronze icon of the Saviour, which had been there for more than 400 years. In 730 AD, the iconoclast Patriarch Anastasius ordered the icon removed.

    The Virgin Martyr Theodosia and other women rushed to protect the icon and toppled the ladder with the soldier who was carrying out the command. Then they stoned the impious Patriarch Anastasius, and Emperor Leo ordered soldiers to behead the women. St. Theodosia, an ardent defender of icons, was locked up in prison. For a week they gave her a hundred lashes each day. On the eighth day, they led her about the city, fiercely beating her along the way. One of the soldiers stabbed the nun in the throat with a ram’s horn, and she received the crown of martyrdom.

    The body of the holy virgin martyr was reverently buried by Christians in the monastery of St. Euphemia in Constantinople, near a place called Dexiokratis. The tomb of St. Theodosia was glorified by numerous healings of the sick.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

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

    Kontakion (Second Tone)

    Through labours you have inherited life free of pain; with streams of your blood, O all-praised maiden, you drowned the vile lion, who is the most abhorrent enemy of Christ’s Church. As you now rejoice with Christ, unceasingly pray on behalf of our soul’s.

     

    Theodosia, Virgin-Martyr of Constantinople

    Theodosia_the_Virgin-Martyr_of_ConstantinopleThe Righteous Martyr Theodosia, having Constantinople as her homeland, struggled in asceticism in her own convent, which was located in that same imperial city. Filled with zeal for the veneration of the holy icons, she withstood Emperor Leo the Isaurian’s impious command that the icons be destroyed. She received the martyr’s crown when a soldier of the imperial guard plunged a ram’s horn through her throat, about the year 717.

    Apolytikion of Virgin Martyr Theodosia of Constantinople in the Fourth Tone

    O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

    Kontakion of Virgin Martyr Theodosia of Constantinople in the Second Tone

    Through labours hast thou inherited life free of pain; with streams of thy blood, O all-praised maiden, thou didst drown the vile lion, who is the most abhorrent enemy of Christ’s Church. As thou now rejoicest with Christ, unceasingly pray thou in our soul’s behalf.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Andrew the New Martyr of Argentes
    John of Smyrna the New Martyr

  • Acts 21:8-14
    John 14:27-15:7
    All day
    29-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 21:8-14

    Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
    Psalm 103.4,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, the apostles departed and came to Caesarea; and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. And he had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. While we were staying for some days, a prophet named Agabos came down from Judea. And coming to us he took Paul’s girdle and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this girdle and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’” When we heard this, we and the people there begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “The will of the Lord be done.”

     

    Gospel Reading – John 14:27-15:7

    The Lord said to his disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence.

    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”

30
  • Isaac founder of Dalmatos
    All day
    30-05-2017-28-05-2018

    Isaac, Abbot of the Monastery of Dalmatus

    “Saint Isaac lived during the fourth century, received monastic tonsure and pursued ascetic labors in the desert. During the reign of the emperor Valens (364-378), a zealous adherent of the Arian heresy, there was a persecution of the Orthodox, and churches were closed and destroyed. Hearing of the persecution, Saint Isaac left the wilderness and went to Constantinople to console and encourage the Orthodox, and to fight against the heretics. At that time, barbarian Goths along the River Danube were making war against the Empire. They seized Thrace and advanced toward Constantinople.

    When the emperor Valens was leaving the capital with his soldiers, Saint Isaac cried out, “Emperor, unlock the churches of the Orthodox, and then the Lord will aid you!” But the emperor, disdaining the words of the monk, confidently continued on his way. The saint repeated his request and prophecy three times. The angry emperor ordered Saint Isaac to be thrown into a deep ravine, filled with thorns and mud, from which it was impossible to escape. Saint Isaac remained alive by God’s help, and he emerged, overtook the emperor and said, “You wanted to destroy me, but three angels pulled me from the mire. Hear me, open up the churches for the Orthodox and you shall defeat the enemy. If, however, you do not heed me, then you shall not return. You will be captured and burned alive.” The emperor was astonished at the saint’s boldness and ordered his attendants Saturninus and Victor to take the monk and hold him in prison until his return.

    Saint Isaac’s prophecy was soon fulfilled. The Goths defeated and pursued the Greek army. The emperor and his Arian generals took refuge in a barn filled with straw, and the attackers set it afire.

    [When his surviving soldiers returned from the war, wishing to tempt the Saint, they came to [Saint Isaac] and said, “Prepare to make thy defense before the Emperor, who is coming to fulfil what he spoke against thee.” But the Saint answered, “It has already been seven days that I smelled the stink of his bones, which were burned in the fire.” Thus the righteous one was released from prison. After receiving news of the emperor’s death, they released Saint Isaac and honored him as a prophet.

    Then the holy Emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395) came to the throne. On the advice of Saturninus and Victor, he summoned the Elder, treating him with great respect. Obeying his instructions, he banished the Arians from Constantinople and restored the churches to the Orthodox. Saint Isaac wanted to return to his desert, but Saturninus and Victor begged him not to leave the city, but to remain and protect it by his prayers.

    Saturninus built a monastery for the saint in Constantinople, where monks gathered around him. Saint Isaac was the monastery’s igumen and spiritual guide. He also nourished laypeople, and helped many of the poor and suffering.

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Macrina, grandmother of Saint Basil the Great
    Barlaam the Monk of Caesarea
    Natalios the Martyr
    Emilia, mother of Saint Basil the Great

  • Acts 21:26-32
    John 16:2-13
    All day
    30-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 21:26-32

    Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
    Psalm 63.11,1

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself with them and went into the temple, to give notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and the offering presented for every one of them. When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, who had seen him in the temple, stirred up all the crowd, and laid hands on him, crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching men everywhere against the people and the law and this place; moreover he also brought Greeks into the temple, and he has defiled this holy place.” For they had previously seen Trophimos the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. Then all the city was aroused, and the people ran together; they seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. And as they were trying to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. He at once took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them; and when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

     

    Gospel Reading – John 16:2-13

    The Lord said to his disciples, “The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.

    “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

    “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”

31
  • Hermias the Martyr at Comana
    All day
    31-05-2017-29-05-2018

    Hermias the Martyr at Comana

    Holy Martyr Hermias suffered for Christ in the city of Comana during the persecution under the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). The governor Sebastian, who was in Cappadocia to arrest Christians, urged the saint to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, promising him honors and mercy from the emperor.

    The old soldier bravely confessed his faith in Christ. After long exhortation, the governor gave orders to torture the saint. They beat him on the face so that the skin peeled from his face, and they threw him into a red-hot oven. When the oven was opened after three days, the martyr Hermias emerged from it unharmed.

    The governor Sebastian ordered the sorcerer Marus to poison St. Hermias with a potion. The poisonous drink did the saint no harm. A second goblet with even stronger poison also failed to kill the saint. The sorcerer believed in Christ the Savior, and was immediately beheaded. St. Marus was baptized in his own blood, and received a martyr’s crown.

    St. Hermias was subjected to even more terrible tortures. They raked his body with sharp instruments, threw him in boiling oil, and gouged out his eyes, but he gave thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they suspended the martyr head downward. For three days he hung in this position.

    People sent by the governor to verify his death found him alive. Struck by the miracle, they were blinded with fright and began to call out to the saint to help them. The holy martyr ordered the blind to approach him, and healed them in the Name of Jesus Christ.

    In anger the governor ordered the skin flayed from the saint’s body, but he remained alive. Then the crazed Sebastian beheaded him with his own sword. Christians secretly buried the body of the martyr Hermias, whose relics bestowed numerous healings.

    Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

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

     

    We Also Celebrate Today:

    Martyrs Eusebios & Haralambos
    Eustathios, Patriarch of Constantinople

  • Oil & Wine Allowed
    All day
    31-05-2017

    No additional detail for this event.

  • Acts 23:1-11
    John 16:15-23
    All day
    31-05-2017

    Epistle Reading – Acts Of The Apostles 23:1-11

    Prokeimenon. Mode 3.
    Luke 1: 46-48

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

    IN THOSE DAYS, Paul, looking intently at the council, said, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience up to this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ” But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamour arose; and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them and bring him into the barracks. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also at Rome.”

    Gospel Reading – John 16:15-23

    The Lord said to his disciples, “All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

    “A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me.” Some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’? ” They said, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he means.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him; so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day, you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.”

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