Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"Main Posts" after Saint or Feast of the Day

Please be sure to scroll down past the Saint or Feast of the day.

After the Saint or Feast of the day I post my "Main Posts". These may be anything including original articles, book reviews, adding new blogs to my web page and just about anything new I may wish the reader to read.

Please note I do not always have "Main Posts" posted.

I tend to leave "Main Posts" up for several days.


St. Serapion, Bishop of Thmuis in Lower Egypt

Commemorated on March 21


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2017(with 2016's link here also and further: 2015,2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cuthbert the Wonderworker, Bishop of Lindisfarne

March 20


Saint Cuthbert was born in Britain about the year 635, and became a monk in his youth at the monastery of Melrose by the River Tweed. After many years of struggle as a true priest of Christ, in the service both of his own brethren and of the neglected Christians of isolated country villages, he became a solitary on Farne Island in 676. After eight years as a hermit, he was constrained to leave his quiet to become Bishop of Lindisfarne, in which office he served for almost two years. He returned to his hermitage two months before he reposed in peace in 687. Because of the miracles he wrought both during his life and at his tomb after his death, he is called the "Wonderworker of Britain." The whole English people honoured him, and kings were both benefactors to his shrine and suppliants of his prayers. Eleven years after his death, his holy relics were revealed to be incorrupt; when his body was translated from Lindisfarne to Durham Cathedral in August of 1104, his body was still found to be untouched by decay, giving off "an odour of sweetest fragrancy," and "from the flexibility of its joints representing a person asleep rather than dead." Finally, when the most impious Henry VIII desecrated his shrine, opening it to despoil it of its valuables, his body was again found incorrupt, and was buried in 1542. It is believed that after this the holy relics of Saint Cuthbert were hidden to preserve them from further desecration.


Third Tone

While still in thy youth thou didst lay aside all worldly care and didst take up the sweet yoke of Christ, O godly-minded Cuthbert, and thou wast shown forth in truth to be nobly radiant in the grace of the Holy Spirit. Wherefore, God established thee as a rule of faith and shepherd of His rational flock, O converser with Angels and intercessor for men.


First Tone

Having surpassed thy brethren in prayers, fasting, and vigils, thou wast found worthy to entertain a pilgrim-angel; and having shone forth with humility as a bright lamp set on high, thou didst receive the gift of wonderworking. And now as thou dwellest in the heavenly Kingdom, O our righteous Father Cuthbert, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.



SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2017(with 2016's link here also and further: 2015,2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Monday, March 19, 2018

St. Innocent of Komel the Disciple of St. Nilus of Sora, Vologda

Commemorated on March 19

Saint Innocent of Komel and Vologda was born at Moscow, and was descended from the Moscow princely family of Okhlyabinin. He became a monk in the monastery of Saint Cyril of White Lake (June 9), and was put under the guidance of Saint Nilus of Sora (May 7).

Sts Innocent and Nilus wandered through the East visiting Palestine, Constantinople, and spent several years at the monasteries of Mt. Athos. Having returned to Rus, the saints did not return to their original Saint Cyril of White Lake monastery, but to solitary cells for monastic seclusion. Out of love for wilderness-life they then withdrew into the impassable forest at the River Sora, some fifteen versts from the monastery. Here they set up a cross, dug a well, and built separate cells, after the manner of the skete monasteries. A church was built on a marshy spot, and there the hermits led strict lives.
Foreseeing his own demise, Saint Nilus sent Saint Innocent to the River Nurma and predicted to him: “God is sending you there, and yours shall be a cenobitic monastery; after my death, my wilderness monastery will remain as it was during my life, with the brothers living separately each in his own cell.”

Upon the death of Saint Nilus, his holy disciple withdrew into the Vologda hinterland and in 1491 he built a cell at the River Eda, which flows into the River Nurma. In a short while disciples began to gather to him. Following the final command of his teacher, Saint Innocent did not seek any donations for it.

Saint Innocent labored for thirty years at building his monastery. He left behind an instruction for the brethren, based on the works of the holy Fathers, particularly the writings of Saint Nilus of Sora. Saint Innocent bade them first of all to avoid wrangling and disputes and asked them to preserve love for Christ and spiritual peace.

The saint forbade young and beardless monks to be accepted and tonsured at his monastery, and he forbid women to enter the monastery. A monk who left the monastery lost his right to a cell, and if he returned, then he could occupy it only with the consent of the igumen and the brethren. The monk asked that a future church be consecrated in the name of Saint John the Forerunner, and Baptizer of the Lord, in commemoration of the Third Finding of his Venerable Head (25 May), because Saint John is a patron for all monks and wilderness dwellers (later, the monastery was called Transfiguration after its chief temple).

Saint Innocent died on March 19, 1521. In accordance with his last wish, he was buried in a corner of the monastery near a marsh. A stone was placed on his grave inscribed with the year, month and day of his repose.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2017(with 2016's link here also and further: 2015,2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Sunday, March 18, 2018

St. Cyril the Archbishop of Jerusalem

Commemorated on March 18

Saint Cyril, Archbishop of
Jerusalem, was born in Jerusalem in the year 315 and was raised in strict Christian piety. Upon reaching the age of maturity, he became a monk, and in the year 346 he became a presbyter. In the year 350, upon the death of Archbishop Maximus, he succeeded him on the episcopal throne of Jerusalem.

As Patriarch of Jerusalem, Saint Cyril zealously fought against the heresies of Arius and Macedonius. In so doing, he aroused the animosity of the Arian bishops, who sought to have him deposed and banished from Jerusalem.

There was a miraculous portent in 351 at Jerusalem: at the third hour of the day on the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Cross appeared in the heavens, shining with a radiant light. It stretched from Golgotha above the Mount of Olives. Saint Cyril reported this portent to the Arian emperor Constantius (351-363), hoping to convert him to Orthodoxy.

The heretic Acacius, deposed by the Council of Sardica, was formerly the Metropolitan of Caesarea, and he collaborated with the emperor to have Saint Cyril removed. An intense famine struck Jerusalem, and Saint Cyril expended all his wealth in charity. But since the famine did not abate, the saint pawned church utensils, and used the money to buy wheat for the starving. The saint’s enemies spread a scandalous rumor that they had seen a woman in the city dancing around in clerical garb. Taking advantage of this rumor, the heretics forcibly expelled the saint.

The saint found shelter with Bishop Silvanus in Tarsus. After this, a local Council was held at Seleucia, at which there were about 150 bishops, and among them Saint Cyril. The heretical Metropolitan Acacius did not want to allow him to take a seat, but the Council would not consent to this. Acacius stormed out of the Council, and before the emperor and the Arian patriarch Eudoxius, he denounced both the Council and Saint Cyril. The emperor had the saint imprisoned.

When the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363) ascended the throne he repealed all the anti-Orthodox decrees of Constantius, seemingly out of piety. Saint Cyril returned to his own flock. But after a certain while, when Julian had become secure upon the throne, he openly apostasized and renounced Christ. He permitted the Jews to start rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem that had been destroyed by the Romans, and he even provided them part of the funds for the building from the state treasury.

Saint Cyril predicted that the words of the Savior about the destruction of the Temple down to its very stones (Luke. 21:6) would undoubtedly transpire, and the blasphemous intent of Julian would come to naught. Soon there was such a powerful earthquake, that even the solidly set foundation of the ancient Temple of Solomon shifted in its place, and what had been rebuilt fell down and shattered into dust. When the Jews resumed construction, a fire came down from the heavens and destroyed the tools of the workmen. Great terror seized everyone. On the following night, the Sign of the Cross appeared on the clothing of the Jews, which they could not remove by any means.

After this heavenly confirmation of Saint Cyril’s prediction, they banished him again, and the bishop’s throne was occupied by Saint Cyriacus. But Saint Cyriacus soon suffered a martyr’s death (October 28).

After the emperor Julian perished in 363, Saint Cyril returned to his See, but during the reign of the emperor Valens (364-378) he was exiled for a third time. It was only under the holy emperor Saint Theodosius the Great (379-395) that he finally returned to his archpastoral activity. In 381 Saint Cyril participated in the Second Ecumenical Council, which condemned the heresy of Macedonius and affirmed the Nicea-Constantinople Symbol of Faith (Creed).

Saint Cyril’s works include twenty-three Instructions (Eighteen are Catechetical, intended for those preparing for Baptism, and five are for the newly-baptized) and two discourses on Gospel themes: “On the Paralytic,” and “Concerning the Transformation of Water into Wine at Cana.”

At the heart of the Catechetical Instructions is a detailed explanation of the Symbol of Faith. The saint suggests that a Christian should inscribe the Symbol of Faith upon “the tablets of the heart.”

“The articles of the Faith,” Saint Cyril teaches, “were not written through human cleverness, but they contain everything that is most important in all the Scriptures, in a single teaching of faith. Just as the mustard seed contains all its plethora of branches within its small kernel, so also does the Faith in its several declarations combine all the pious teachings of the Old and the New Testaments.”
Saint Cyril, a great ascetic and a champion of Orthodoxy, died in the year 386.


You were seen in Zion clothed in a robe of godliness / As an illustrious pillar of the Apostles’ faith. / You became an heir to their grace, / Setting forth their pious doctrines / And dispensing their talents of wisdom. / O Cyril, our Father and hierarch, pray for us.


With your lips, O wise Cyril, / And through divine inspiration / You enlightened your people / To the worship of the one Trinity, / Undivided in essence, yet divided in Hypostases. / Wherefore rejoicing, we celebrate your all-holy memory, / Offering you as our intercessor before God.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2017(with 2016's link here also and further: 2015,2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Venerable Alexis the Man of God

Commemorated on March 17

Saint Alexis was born at Rome into the family of the pious and poverty-loving Euphemianus and Aglais. The couple was childless for a long time and constantly prayed the Lord to grant them a child. And the Lord consoled the couple with the birth of their son Alexis.

At six years of age the child began to read and successfully studied the mundane sciences, but it was with particular diligence that he read Holy Scripture. When he was a young man, he began to imitate his parents: he fasted strictly, distributed alms and beneath his fine clothing he secretly wore a hair shirt. Early on there burned within him the desire to leave the world and serve God. His parents, however, had arranged for Alexis to marry a beautiful and virtuous bride.

On his wedding night, Alexis gave her his ring and his belt (which were very valuable) and said, “Keep these things, Beloved, and may the Lord be with us until His grace provides us with something better.” Secretly leaving his home, he boarded a ship sailing for Mesopotamia.

Arriving in the city of Edessa, where the Icon of the Lord “Not-made-by-Hands” (August 16) was preserved, Alexis sold everything that he had, distributed the money to the poor and began to live near the church of the Most Holy Theotokos under a portico. The saint used a portion of the alms he received to buy bread and water, and he distributed the rest to the aged and infirm. Each Sunday he received the Holy Mysteries.

The parents sought the missing Alexis everywhere, but without success. The servants sent by Euphemianus also arrived in Edessa, but they did not recognize the beggar sitting at the portico as their master. His body was withered by fasting, his comeliness vanished, his stature diminished. The saint recognized them and gave thanks to the Lord that he received alms from his own servants.
The inconsolable mother of Saint Alexis confined herself in her room, incessantly praying for her son. His wife also grieved with her in-laws.

Saint Alexis dwelt in Edessa for seventeen years. Once, the Mother of God spoke to the sacristan of the church where the saint lived: “Lead into My church that Man of God, worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. His prayer rises up to God like fragrant incense, and the Holy Spirit rests upon him.” The sacristan began to search for such a man, but was not able to find him for a long time. Then he prayed to the Most Holy Theotokos, beseeching Her to clear up his confusion. Again a voice from the icon proclaimed that the Man of God was the beggar who sat in the church portico.

The sacristan found Saint Alexis and brought him into the church. Many recognized him and began to praise him. The saint secretly boarded a ship bound for Cilicia, intending to visit the church of Saint Paul in Tarsus. But God ordained otherwise. A storm took the ship far to the West and it reached the coast of Italy. The saint journeyed to Rome and decided to live in his own house. Unrecognized, he humbly asked his father’s permission to settle in some corner of his courtyard. Euphemianus settled Alexis in a specially constructed cell and gave orders to feed him from his table.

Living at his parental home, the saint continued to fast and he spent day and night at prayer. He humbly endured insults and jeering from the servants of his father. The cell of Alexis was opposite his wife’s windows, and the ascetic suffered grievously when he heard her weeping. Only his immeasurable love for God helped the saint endure this torment. Saint Alexis dwelt at the house of his parents for seventeen years and the Lord revealed to him the day of his death. Then the saint, taking paper and ink, wrote certain things that only his wife and parents would know. He also asked them to forgive him for the pain he had caused them.

On the day of Saint Alexis’ death in 411, Archbishop Innocent (402-417) was serving Liturgy in the presence of the emperor Honorius (395-423). During the services a Voice was heard from the altar: “Come unto Me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt.11:28). All those present fell to the ground in terror.

The Voice continued: “On Friday morning the Man of God comes forth from the body; have him pray for the city, that you may remain untroubled.” They began to search throughout Rome, but they did not find the saint. Thursday evening the Pope was serving Vigil in the Church of Saint Peter. He asked the Lord to show them where to find the Man of God.

After Liturgy the Voice was heard again in the temple: “Seek the Man of God in the house of Euphemianus.” All hastened there, but the saint was already dead. His face shone like the face of an angel, and his hand clasped the paper, and they were unable to take it. They placed the saint’s body on a cot, covered with costly coverings. The Pope and the Emperor bent their knees and turned to the saint, as to one yet alive, asking him to open his hand. And the saint heard their prayer. When the letter was read, the righteous one’s wife and parents tearfully venerated his holy relics.

The body of the saint was placed in the center of the city. The emperor and the Pope carried the body of the saint into the church, where it remained for a whole week, and then was placed in a marble crypt. A fragrant myrrh began to flow from the holy relics, bestowing healing upon the sick.

The venerable relics of Saint Alexis, the Man of God, were buried in the church of Saint Boniface. The relics were uncovered in the year 1216.

The Life of Saint Alexis, the Man of God, was always very popular in Russia.


You budded from a famous and glorious root; / You blossomed from a royal and illustrious city, O supremely wise Alexis; / You disdained everything on earth as corruptible and fleeting, / And you hastened to Christ the Master. / Always entreat Him to save our souls.


Today with hymns and praise / We celebrate the feast of Alexis the blessed and we cry aloud: / Rejoice, gladsome adornment of the righteous.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2017(with 2016's link here also and further: 2015,2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hieromartyr Alexander of Side, in Pamphylia

The Hieromartyr Alexander was from Side, Pamphylia. He suffered for Christ during the persecution under the emperor Aurelian (270-275). The saint was interrogated by the governor Antoninus and given over to fierce tortures.

Miraculously preserved by the Lord, the saint underwent all the tortures with surprising endurance, and finally, he was beheaded. Just as the torturer Antoninus went from the judgment place, he was possessed by demons and perished in frenzied convulsions.


SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2017(with 2016's link here also and further: 2015,2014  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and even 2008!):