Friday, July 21, 2017

"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.

Sophocles

Venerable Simeon of Emessa the Fool-For-Christ

Commemorated on July 21

The Monks Simeon, Fool-for-Christ, and his Fellow-Ascetic John were Syrians, and they lived in the sixth century at the city of Edessa. From childhood they were bound by close ties of friendship. The older of them, Simeon, was unmarried and lived with his aged mother. John, however, although he was married, lived with his father (his mother was dead) and with his young wife. Both friends belonged to wealthy families. When Simeon was thirty years old, and John twenty-four, they made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord. On the journey home the friends spoke of the soul’s path to salvation. Dismounting their horses, they sent the servants on ahead with the horses, while they continued on foot.

Passing through Jordan, they saw monasteries on the edge of the desert. Both of them were filled with an irrepressible desire to leave the world and spend their remaining life in monastic struggles. They turned off from the road, which their servants followed to Syria, and they prayed zealously that God would guide them to the monasteries on the opposite side. They besought the Lord to indicate which monastery they should choose, and they decided to enter whichever monastery had its gates open. At this time the Lord informed Igumen Nikon in a dream to open the monastery gates, so that the sheep of Christ could enter in.

In great joy the comrades came through the open gates of the monastery, where they were warmly welcomed by the igumen, and they remained at the monastery. In a short while they received the monastic tonsure.

After remaining at the monastery for a certain time, Simeon desired to intensify his efforts, and to go into the desert to pursue asceticism in complete solitude. John did not wish to be left behind by his companion, and he decided to share with him the work of a desert-dweller. The Lord revealed the intentions of the companions to Igumen Nikon, and on that night when Saints Simeon and John intended to depart the monastery, he himself opened the gates for them. He prayed with them, gave them his blessing and sent them into the wilderness.

When they began their life in the desert, the spiritual brothers at first experienced the strong assaults of the devil. They were tempted by grief over abandoning their families, and the demons tried to discourage the ascetics, subjecting them to weakness, despondency and idleness. The brothers Simeon and John remembered their monastic calling, and trusting in the prayers of their Elder Nikon, they continued upon their chosen path. They spent their time in unceasing prayer and strict fasting, encouraging one another in their struggle against temptation.

After a while, with God’s help, the temptations stopped. The monks were told by God that Simeon’s mother and John’s wife had died, and that the Lord had vouchsafed them the blessings of Paradise. After this Simeon and John lived in the desert for twenty-nine years, and they attained complete dispassion (apathia) and a high degree of spirituality. Saint Simeon, through the inspiration of God, considered that now it was proper for him to serve people. To do this, he must leave the desert solitude and go into the world. Saint John, however, believing that he had not attained such a degree of dispassion as his companion, decided not to leave the wilderness.

The brethren parted with tears. Simeon journeyed to Jerusalem, and there he venerated the Tomb of the Lord and all the holy places. By his great humility the holy ascetic entreated the Lord to permit him to serve his neighbor in such a way that they should not acknowledge him. Saint Simeon chose for himself the difficult task of foolishness for Christ. Having come to the city of Emesa, he stayed there and passed himself off as a simpleton, behaving strangely, for which he was subjected to insults, abuse and beatings. In spite of this, he accomplished many good deeds. He cast out demons, healed the sick, delivered people from immanent death, brought the unbelieving to faith, and sinners to repentance.
All these things he did under the guise of foolishness, and he never received praise or thanks from people. Saint John highly esteemed his spiritual brother, however. When one of the inhabitants of the city of Emesa visited him in the wilderness, asking for his advice and prayers, he would invariably direct them to “the fool Simeon”, who was better able to offer them spiritual counsel. For three days before his death Saint Simeon ceased to appear on the streets, and he enclosed himself in his hut, where there was nothing except for bundles of firewood. Having remained in unceasing prayer for three days, Saint Simeon fell asleep in the Lord. Some of the city poor, his companions, had not seen the fool for some time. They went to his hut and found him dead.

Taking up the dead body, they carried him without church singing to a place where the homeless and strangers were buried. While they carried the body of Saint Simeon, several of the inhabitants heard a wondrous church singing, but could not understand from whence it came.

After Saint Simeon died, Saint John also fell asleep in the Lord. Shortly before his death, Saint Simeon saw a vision of his spiritual brother wearing a crown upon his head with the inscription: “For endurance in the desert.”

TROPARION - TONE 1

Having heard the voice of Your Apostle Paul: / We are fools for Christ’s sake! / Your servant Simeon, O Christ God, / Lived the life of a fool here on earth for Your sake. / Therefore as we venerate his memory, / We entreat You, O Lord, to save our souls!

KONTAKION - TONE 2

Let us praise with fervent love, / This man who lived in the flesh as an angel, / Adorning his soul with the most radiant virtues! / Simeon, the equal to the Apostles and the Bearer of God. / Together with him, let us honor his companion John, / For they both ever stand before God, interceding for us all!

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Martyr Salome the Georgian

Commemorated on July 20

Very little information has come down to us about the holy martyr Salome of Jerusalem and Kartli, who lived in the XIII century at a women’s monastery in Jerusalem. She was arrested by the Persian Moslems because of her outspoken defense of Christ.

The SYNAXARION of the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, where she was martyred, tells us that at first, she gave in to the threats of the Persians and denied Christ. Later, however, she repented and publicly confessed Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Saint Salome was tortured by the Persians because of her faith in Christ. Finally, she was beheaded and her holy relics were thrown into the fire.

It is believed that she was executed after the martyrdom of Saint Luka of Jerusalem, which occurred on February 12, 1277.

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

St. Militsa of Serbia



Saint Militsa was the mother of Saint Stephen, and was known for her quick wit and her pious life. She founded the Lubostina women’s monastery, in which she was tonsured with the name Eugenia. She died at the monastery as a schema-nun on November 11, 1405.

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

Monday, July 17, 2017

Passion-bearer Grand Duchess Tatiana

Commemorated on July 17

Saint Tatiana, the daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsaritsa Alexandra, was born in 1897.

St Tatiania was shot by Bolshevik executioners on July 4, 1918 along with her parents, brother, and sisters.







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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Apostle Aquila of the Seventy

Commemorated on July 14

It is possible that he was a disciple of the Apostle Paul, a native of Pontus and a Jew, living in the city of Rome with his wife Priscilla (they are commemorated on February 13 on the Greek Calendar). During the reign of the emperor Claudius (41-54) all the Jews were banished from Rome, so Saint Aquilla and his wife were compelled to leave. They settled in Corinth. A short while later, the holy Apostle Paul arrived there from Athens preaching the Gospel. Having made the acquaintance of Aquila, he began to live at his house and labored together with him, making tents.

Having received Baptism from the Apostle Paul, Aquila and Priscilla became his devoted and zealous disciples. They accompanied the apostle to Ephesus. The Apostle Paul instructed them to continue the preaching of the Gospel at Ephesus, and he himself went to Jerusalem, in order to be present for the feast of Pentecost. At Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla heard the bold preaching of a newcomer from Alexandria, the Jew Apollos. He had been instructed in the fundamentals of the Faith, but knew only the baptism of John the Forerunner. They called him over and explained more precisely about the way of the Lord.

After the death of the emperor Claudius, Jews were permitted to return to Italy, and Aquila and Priscilla then returned to Rome. The Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans recalls his faithful disciples, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, who put forth their heads for my soul, whom I do not alone thank, but also all the Church of the Gentiles and the church of their household” (Rom. 16: 3-4). Saint Aquila did not long dwell in Rome: the Apostle Paul made him a bishop in Asia. Saint Aquila zealously labored at preaching the Gospel in Asia, Achaia and Heraklia. He converted pagans to Christ, he confirmed newly-converted Christians in the faith, he established presbyters and destroyed idols. Saint Priscilla constantly assisted him in the apostolic work. Saint Aquila ended his life a martyr: pagans murdered him. According to the Tradition of the Church, Saint Priscilla was killed together with him.

TROPARION - TONE 1

As a disciple and companion of Paul / you received in your soul the grace of preaching. / You shone in the night of error and struggled for the Lord’s glory. / Sacred minister of the Savior, Aquila, we all acclaim you.

KONTAKION - TONE 4

The Church has acquired you, O Aquila, / who shine like a great sun. / With the splendor of your teaching / she enlightens those who honor you with faith, / glorious Apostle of the Lord.

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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Holy Martyr Golinduc

July 13

Saint Golindoux was a Persian, living in the reign of Chosroes II, King of Persia (590-628), and of Maurice, Emperor of New Rome (582-602). Moved by a divine revelation to become a Christian, she was betrayed to Chosroes by her husband and was cast into a dungeon called Oblivion for eighteen years, withstanding all attempts to make her deny Christ, and preserved by the grace of God. Set at liberty through the visitation of an Angel, she went to Jerusalem, and then to Constantinople, where she fell asleep in peace. She was called Mary in holy Baptism.

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hieromartyr Cindeus the Presbyter of Pamphylia



The Hieromartyr Cindeus was a presbyter in the village of Side, in Pamphylia, Asia Minor. During the time of the persecution against Christians by the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Cindeus was arrested as a Christian and sentenced to burning. The soldiers leading him to execution along the way encountered a wood-cutter with a large bundle of firewood, and they confiscated the firewood as kindling for the fire. Cindeus himself paid the man 30 copper coins for the wood, and then he took up the burden upon his own shoulders and carried it to the place of execution.

With the help of God, Cindeus even in the fire remained a steadfast warrior of Christ, and in the flames he found the strength to urge the people standing about to accept the true Faith and the grace of the Lord. Then a strong thunderstorm sprang up, and the fire went out. When the storm abated, the holy martyr peacefully surrendered his soul to Christ.

A pagan priest who had listened to the preaching of the holy Martyr Cindeus was present at his martyrdom. The priest and his wife were converted to Christ, and were baptized. They arranged for the burial of the holy Martyr Cindeus.

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

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Royal Martyr Mirdat, King of Kartli

Commemorated on July 8

King Mirdat (408-410), the son of Varaz-Bakur, was the first martyred king of Georgia. He was raised by his maternal grandfather, King Trdat.
The faithful grandfather taught the future king to love God and his nation, and the young prince mindfully preserved his grandfather’s wisdom throughout his life. Mirdat was endowed with the greatest of a nobleman’s virtues: wisdom, discretion, physical prowess, fearlessness, valor, and courage. He liberated Klarjeti from the Byzantines, abolished the tribute system (by which Georgia was required to pay taxes to Persia), and prepared for war against the Persians.

The Persian king gathered an enormous army to punish the Georgian nation, and King Mirdat courageously marched toward Gardabani (in eastern Georgia) with his much smaller army. But the selflessness and bravery of the Georgian soldiers were no match for the multitude of Persian warriors. The Georgians suffered defeat, and the Persian conquerors captured the young king.

The Persian king demanded that Mirdat renounce the Christian Faith, but he was firmly rebuffed. Neither intimidation nor fear of persecution would break the will of the king. After torturing him for his love of Christ, the Persians bound him in chains, tormented him almost to death, and cast him into prison, where he gave up his soul to the Lord.

The martyrdom of King Mirdat took place at the beginning of the 5th century, in the year 410.

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

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Icon of the Mother of God of Galatea

Commemorated on July 4

The Galatea Icon of the Mother of God is found in Galatea (one of the districts of Constantinople), at Perge (in a tower). In honor of the holy icon a monastery was formed, which existed until the seventeenth century. An exact copy of the icon is located in Moscow, in the Church of Saint Tikhon, at the Arbat Gate.
The Galatea Icon is of the Hodigitria type.








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Monday, July 03, 2017

Anatolius, Patriarch of Constantinople

July 3

Saint Anatolius was a priest from Alexandria, who had been ordained deacon and perhaps also priest by Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria. In 449, at the Robber Council of Ephesus, Saint Cyril's infamous successor, the violent Dioscorus, unlawfully deposed Flavian, the Patriarch of Constantinople and opponent of the Monophysite Eutyches; Flavian, from the beatings which he received, died soon after. Dioscorus, thinking that the priest Anatolius would support him, consecrated him Patriarch of Constantinople in Saint Flavian's stead. After he had been consecrated by Dioscorus-who at that time had not yet been deposed-Anatolius united with the Orthodox; before the Council of Chalcedon in 451, he held a council of the Bishops in Constantinople, at which the Orthodox "Tome" of Pope Leo (see Feb. 18), which Dioscorus had not allowed to be read at the Robber Council, was read and approved; and at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, he condemned Nestorius, Eutyches, and, for his unlawful actions, Dioscorus. Saint Anatolius reposed in the year 458. Some ascribe to this Anatolius the hymns of Vespers and the Praises in the Octoechos that are labeled Anatolian Stichera; but others (which may be more correct), to another with the same name, who was from the Monastery of Studium, and a disciple of Saint Theodore the Studite, whose epistle to this Anatolius is still extant.

APOLYTIKION OF ANATOLIUS ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE

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

KONTAKION OF ANATOLIUS ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE

Third Tone

Ever bearing in thy soul the shining heavenly Dayspring, which illuminated thee with a divinely-taught wisdom, thou didst shine as a bright beacon of Orthodoxy, scattering the night of heresy and delusion. Anatolius, our Father, we therefore laud thee as a great light of the Faith.

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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Apostle Simon the Zealot

Commemorated on June 30

The Synaxis of the Glorious and All-Praiseworthy Twelve Apostles of Christ appears to be an ancient Feast. The Church honors each of the Twelve Apostles on separate dates during the year, and has established a general commemoration for all of them on the day after the commemoration of the Glorious and First-Ranked among the Apostles Peter and Paul.
The holy, glorious, all-laudable Apostle Simon the Zealot is also commemorated on May 10.
For lists of the Apostles’ names, see: Mt.10:2, Mark 3:14, Luke 6:12, Acts 1:13, 26.

TROPARION - TONE 4

First-enthroned of the apostles, / teachers of the universe: / Entreat the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy!

KONTAKION - TONE 2

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / The rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / Together with Paul and the company of the twelve, / Whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / Giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!


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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leader of the Apostles, Paul

Commemorated on June 29

The hymns for their Feast speak of Saints Peter and Paul as the leaders (koryphaioi), and chiefs of the Apostles. They are, without a doubt, the foremost in the ranks of the Apostles.

The koryphaioi were leaders of the chorus in ancient Greek tragedy. They set the pattern for the singing, and also for the dance movements and gestures of the chorus. Before Sophocles, there were twelve members of the chorus, and Saints Peter and Paul were the leaders of the twelve Apostles.

Saint Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin, and lived in Tarsus in Cilicia. He once described himself as a Hebrew, an Israelite of the seed of Abraham (2 Cor. 11:22). He was also a Pharisee and a tent-maker (Acts 18:3) who had studied the Law with Gamaliel at Jerusalem.

At first, he was called Saul, and had persecuted the Church. He was present at the stoning of Saint Stephen (Acts 7: 58). Then, on the road to Damascus, he was converted when Christ appeared to him. Blinded by the vision, he was healed when Ananias laid his hands on him. After his cure, he was baptized (Acts 9:18).

Saint Paul preached the Gospel in Greece, Asia Minor, and in Rome, and wrote fourteen Epistles. Tradition says that he was martyred in Rome about the year 68.

TROPARION - TONE 4

First-enthroned of the apostles, / teachers of the universe: / Entreat the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy!

KONTAKION - TONE 2

O Lord, You have taken up to eternal rest / and to the enjoyment of Your blessings / the two divinely-inspired preachers, the leaders of the Apostles, / for You have accepted their labors and deaths as a sweet-smelling sacrifice, / for You alone know what lies in the hearts of men.

KONTAKION - TONE 2

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / The rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / Together with Paul and the company of the twelve, / Whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / Giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

Icon of the Mother of God of Lydda or “the Roman”

Commemorated on June 26

The wonder-working Lydda Icon is mentioned in the service for the Kazan Icon (July 8 & October 22) in the third Ode of the Canon.

According to Tradition, the Apostles Peter and John were preaching in Lydda (later called Diospolis) near Jerusalem. There they built a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos, then went to Jerusalem and asked her to come and sanctify the church by her presence. She sent them back to Lydda and said, “Go in peace, and I shall be there with you.”

Arriving at Lydda, they found an icon of the Virgin imprinted in color on the wall of the church (some sources say the image was on a pillar). Then the Mother of God appeared and rejoiced at the number of people who had gathered there. She blessed the icon and gave it the power to work miracles. This icon was not made by the hand of man, but by a divine power.

Julian the Apostate (reigned 361-363) heard about the icon and tried to eradicate it. Masons with sharp tools chipped away at the image, but the paint and lines just seemed to penetrate deeper into the stone. Those whom the emperor had sent were unable to destroy the icon. As word of this miracle spread, millions of people came to venerate the icon.

In the eighth century, Saint Germanus, the future Patriarch of Constantinople (May 12) passed through Lydda. He had a copy of the icon made, and sent it to Rome during the iconoclastic controversy. It was placed in the church of Saint Peter, and was the source of many healings. In 842, the reproduction was returned to Constantinople and was known as the Roman Icon (June 26).

The oldest sources of information for the Lydda Icon are a document attributed to Saint Andrew of Crete in 726, a letter written by three eastern Patriarchs to the iconoclast emperor Theophilus in 839, and a work of George the Monk in 886.

The icon still existed as late as the ninth century.

The Lydda Icon of the Mother of God is also commemorated on March 12.

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata

June 22

After the expulsion of Eudoxius from the see of Antioch, the Arians of Antioch, believing that Meletius of Armenia would uphold their doctrines, petitioned the Emperor Constantius to appoint Meletius Bishop of Antioch, while signing a document jointly with the Orthodox of Antioch, unanimously agreeing to Meletius' appointment (see Feb. 12); this document was entrusted to Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata. Meletius, however, after his Orthodoxy became apparent, was banished, and the Arians persuaded Constantius to demand the document back from Eusebius, as it convicted their perfidy. Imperial officers were sent; Eusebius refused to surrender the document without the consent of all who had signed it; the officers returned to the Emperor, who furiously sent them back to Eusebius with threats. But so great a zealot for the true Faith, so staunch an enemy of the Arians, so fearless a man of valor was Saint Eusebius, that when Constantius' officers arrived, threatening to cut off his right hand unless he surrendered the document, Eusebius held out both hands. When Constantius learned of it, he was struck with astonishment and admiration.

 This took place in 361, the last year of the reign of Constantius; he was succeeded by Julian the Apostate, who was slain in Persia in 363; Jovian succeeded Julian, and Valentinian succeeded Jovian in 364, making his brother Valens Emperor of the East. Valens, who supported the Arians, exiled Eusebius to Thrace in 374. The bearer of the edict of Eusebius' banishment arrived in the evening; Eusebius bade him keep silence, or else the people, learning why he had come, would drown him: and Eusebius, though an old man, left his house alone on foot by night. After Valens was slain at Adrianopole in 378 (see Saint Isaacius, Aug. 3), the holy Eusebius returned from exile under the Emperor Gratian, and he ordained for the churches of Syria men known for their virtue and Orthodoxy. About the year 380, as he was entering a certain village to enthrone its bishop, whom he had consecrated, an Arian woman threw a clay tile from the roof, and it crushed his head; as he was dying, he bound the bystanders with oaths that they not take the least vengeance. Saint Gregory the Theologian addressed several letters to him (PG 37:87, 91, 126-130); he had such reverence for him, that in one letter to him, commending himself to Saint Eusebius' prayers, he said, "That such a man should deign to be my patron also in his prayers will gain for me, I am persuaded, as much strength as I should have gained through one of the holy martyrs.

Aplolytikion of Hieromonk Eusebius

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 Eusebius. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Terentios, Bishop of Iconium

June 21

APOLYTIKLION OF HIEROMARTYR TERENTIOS OF ICONIUS

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 Terentios . Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nicholas Cabasilas

June 20

Saint Nicholas Cabasilas was born in 1322 A.D. in Thessaloniki. Very little is known about his life, but he is remembered through two texts he wrote: The Life in Christ and The Exposition of the Divine Liturgy. He lived at the same time as Saint Gregory Palamas (see 11/14 and the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent) and was an ally of his during the Hesychastic Controversy on Mount Athos in the 14th century.

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Apostle Jude the Brother of the Lord

Commemorated on June 19

The Holy Apostle Jude, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, is descended from King David and Solomon, and was the son of Righteous Joseph the Betrothed (Sunday after the Nativity of the Lord) by his first wife.

The Holy Apostle John the Theologian writes in his Gospel, “... neither did his brethren believe in Him” (John. 7:5). Saint Theophylact, Archbishop of Bulgaria, explains this passage. He says that at the beginning of the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, Joseph’s sons, Jude among them, did not believe in His divine nature. Tradition says that when Saint Joseph returned from Egypt, he began to divide his possessions among his sons. He wanted to allot a share to Christ the Savior, born miraculously and incorruptibly from the All-Pure Virgin Mary. The brothers were opposed to this because Jesus was born of another mother. Only James, later called “The Brother of God,” offered to share his portion with Him.

Jude came to believe in Christ the Savior as the awaited Messiah, and he followed Him and was chosen as one of the twelve Apostles. Mindful of his sin, the Apostle Jude considered himself unworthy to be called the Lord’s brother, and in his Epistle he calls himself merely the brother of James.

The Holy Apostle Jude also had other names: the Evangelist Matthew terms him “Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus” (Mt. 10:3). The Holy Evangelist Mark also calls him Thaddeus (Mark 3:18), and in the Acts of the Holy Apostles he is called Barsabas (Acts 15: 22). This was customary at that time.

After the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Jude traveled about preaching the Gospel. He propagated the faith in Christ at first in Judea, Galilee, Samaria and Idumaia, and later in the lands of Arabia, Syria and Mesopotamia. Finally, he went to the city of Edessa. Here he finished the work that was not completed by his predecessor, Saint Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy (August 21). There is a tradition that Saint Jude went to Persia, where he wrote his catholic Epistle in Greek. In the Epistle much profound truth was expressed in a few words.

Saint Jude’s Epistle speaks about the Holy Trinity, about the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, about the good and bad angels, and about the dread Last Judgment. The Apostle urges believers to guard themselves against fleshly impurity, to be diligent in prayer, faith and love, to convert the lost to the path of salvation, and to guard themselves from the teachings of heretics. He also says that it is not enough just to be converted to Christianity, but faith must be demonstrated by good works. He cites the rebellious angels and men punished by God (verse 6) to support this.

The Holy Apostle Jude died as a martyr around the year 80 near Mt. Ararat in Armenia, where he was crucified and pierced by arrows.

TROPARION - TONE 1

Divinely we praise you, O Jude, as a faithful witness, / Knowing you to be the brother of Christ. / You trampled on delusion, / And so preserved the faith. / Today as we celebrate your holy memory, / By your intercessions we receive remission of sins.

KONTAKION - TONE 2

You were chosen as a disciple for your firmness of mind: / An unshakable pillar of the Church of Christ, / You proclaimed His word to the Gentiles, / Telling them to believe in one Godhead. / You were glorified by Him, receiving the grace of healing, / Healing the ills of all who came to you, / O most praised Apostle Jude!

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Translation of the relics of St Theodore the Sykeote

Commemorated on June 15

The Relics of Saint Theodore the Sykeote, Bishop of Anastasioupolis were transferred from Galatea to Constantinople in the ninth century. His relics were seen in the year 1200 by the Russian pilgrim Anthony at the monastery of Saint George.

St Theodore of Sykeon is also commemorated on April 22.









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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

St. James the Ascetic



Saint James had such love for Christ, and so little regard for the things of this world, that he liquidated his entire estate and gave the proceeds to the poor without spending any of the money on himself. Later, he fell into a demonic temptation and became very proud. He would say, “Who knows better than I do, concerning my own salvation?” Following his own self will and personal preferences, he lived in solitude and undertook difficult struggles without first seeking the advice of wise and experienced ascetics.

Once a demon appeared to him in the guise of an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He told James that Christ was very pleased by his labors, and would come that night to reward him. “Clean your cell,” he said, “and make ready by lighting the lamps and burning incense.”

The foolish James, in his delusion, accepted all of this without question. When the Antichrist came at midnight, James opened his door and fell down in worship before him. The devil struck him on the head, then vanished.

James awoke at dawn and went to visit a certain Elder to tell him what had happened. Before James could speak a single word, the Elder said, “You must leave this place, for you have been deceived by Satan.”

James was heartbroken and wept bitter tears. The Elder also advised him to go to a cenobitic monastery, which he did. There he fulfilled his obedience in the trapeza with great humility. Then for seven years he sat in his cell working at some handicraft, and fulfilling his Rule of prayer.

St James acquired the gift of discernment, learned the straight and narrow path of God, and became a great wonderworker. He completed the course of his life in peace.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Uncovering of the relics of the Venerable Ephraim the Abbot of Novy Torg



Transfer of the Relics of Saint Ephraim of Novy Torg (+ January 28, 1053) took place in the year 1572 under Archbishop Leonid of Novgorod. The Feast day was established under Metropolitan Daniel of Moscow (1584-1587).

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Hieromartyr Theodore (Tevdore) of Kvelta

Commemorated on June 8

Saint Tevdore was a simple priest who labored in the 16th century in the village of Kvelta. At that time the Ottoman Empire and Persia were locked in a bitter feud over control of the Near East. At the beginning of 1609 the Ottomans conquered first the city of Baghdadi, then part of Samtskhe in southern Georgia. In June of that year they launched an attack on eastern Georgia.

At that time the Georgian ruler was the young King Luarsab II. When the Ottomans penetrated Kartli, the king was absent, abiding in his summer residence, Tskhireti Castle. But the Ottomans knew the location of his castle, and they also knew that his troops were small in number. They plotted to lay siege to the castle, capture the king, and ultimately annex all of Georgia.

The Ottomans quickly crossed the Trialeti mountain range and advanced into Manglisi, pillaging the lands and laying waste to the people as they went. Miraculously, the Manglisi Church of the Most Holy Mother of God remained unharmed. One chronicler wrote: “A dense fog surrounded the church and village, concealing it from the enemy.”

Saint Luarsab had received no warning of the attack, and the enemy was just minutes from his castle.

In the village of Kvelta, not far from Manglisi, the Turks captured the priest Tevdore, a man sincere before God and devoted to his king and motherland. Fr. Tevdore was unable to escape to the woods with the other villagers, so he locked the doors to the church and concealed its sacred treasures. When the Ottoman Turks found Fr. Tevdore, they commanded him to lead them to Tskhireti Castle and threatened to kill him if he refused.

Hoping to deceive them, Tevdore led the Ottomans along a narrow, rocky mountain path away from Tskhireti Castle. Many horses and soldiers fell from the path to their deaths.

But after some time the Ottomans realized that the priest had led them in the wrong direction. Embittered and hungry for revenge, they beheaded Fr. Tevdore.

As a result of Saint Tevdore’s great sacrifice, Saint Luarsab had time to strengthen his fortifications, assemble his armies, and finally annihilate the enemy.

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

St. Basil of Georgia, the son of King Bagrat III

Commemorated on May 27

Saint Basil, the son of King Bagrat III, lived in the 11th century and labored at Khakhuli Monastery (in southwestern Georgia, present-day Turkey). He was a major figure in the spiritual and educational life of southern Georgia.

The famous 19th-century scholar Prince John Bagrationi describes Saint Basil in his work Kalmasoba: (the tradition of monks journeying throughout the land to collect alms for the Church. In his book Prince John follows a fictional monk traveling throughout the country on kalmasoba. With this literary device he describes the contemporary situation, the life of the people, diverse branches of knowledge, and Georgian literature and folk culture, creating a veritable Georgian encyclopedia.) “Basil Bagrationi was highly educated in philosophy and theology. He was fluent in several languages and translated many books. He was the composer of many distinguished rhetorical works.

Perfected in the monastic life and in the spiritual learning of the Church, our Holy Father Basil was known among the people as the ‘Jewel of the Georgian Church.’”

The 18th-century historian and geographer Prince Vakhushti Bagrationi examined the cultural development of Georgia during the rule of King Bagrat IV in his book The Ancient History of Georgia, and Basil is among the major Church figures he mentions: “The great translators of the time were Basil, son of Bagrat....” In his work The Life of Saint Giorgi of the Holy Mountain, Giorgi the Lesser recalls the pious laborer of Khakhuli Monastery: “The great Basil, son of King Bagrat III, shepherd and enlightener of our country at that time.”

Saint Basil eventually moved from Georgia to Mt. Athos and labored there until his death. It was there that he composed his “Praises to Holy Father Ekvtime.”

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Apostle Carpus of the Seventy

Commemorated on May 26

Saint Carpus was one of the Seventy Apostles chosen and sent forth to preach by Christ (Luke 10:1). He was bishop of Verria in Macedonia. 

TROPARION - TONE 3

Holy Apostles Carpus and Alphaeus, / entreat the merciful God / to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.

KONTAKION - TONE 4

Podoben: “Today You have shown forth...” / The Church ever sees you as a shining star, Apostle Carpus. / Your miracles have brought her great enlightenment. / Save those who in faith honor your memory.


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Venerable Nikita the Stylite, Wonderworker of Pereyaslavl

Commemorated on May 23

The celebration of the Synaxis of the Rostov and Yaroslav Saints on May 23 was established by resolution of His Holiness Patriarch Alexis I (+ 1970) and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, on March 10, 1964.

St Nikita is also commemorated on May 24.









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Monday, May 22, 2017

Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council

Commemorated on May 22


The Second Ecumenical Council was convened in the year 381 and consolidated the victory of Orthodoxy attained in the year 325 at the First Ecumenical Council.

During the difficult years which passed after the acceptance of the Nicene Symbol of Faith (Creed), the Arian heresy developed new offshoots. Under the guise of struggle against the Sabellian heresy, which taught about a blending of the Hypostatic Persons of the Father and the Son [as mere aspects or modalities within the Trinity], Macedonius began to employ the word “homoiousios” “of similar essence” [in contrast to the Orthodox teaching of “homoousios”, “of the same essence”] regarding the essence of the Son and that of the Father.

This formula still presented a danger because Macedonius presented himself as a struggler against the Arians, who used the term “like the Father.” Besides this, the Macedonians, being semi-Arians, depending on conditions and advantages of the moment, sometimes inclined towards Orthodoxy, sometimes towards Arianism. They blasphemed the Holy Spirit by suggesting that He was not “of the same essence” with the Father and the Son.

A second heretic, Aetius, introduced the concept “anomoion” (“different in essence.” He said that the Father has a completely different essence from that of the Son. His disciple Eunomios taught a hierarchical subordination of the Son to the Father, and of the Holy Spirit to the Son. Everyone who came to him was rebaptized into the “death of Christ,” denying Baptism in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, which is commanded us by the Savior Himself (Mt. 28:19).

A third heresy arose from the teachings of Valentius and Ursacius at the Arimonian Council. They attempted to deceive the Orthodox bishops, proclaiming that the Son of God is from God, and is in the likeness of God the Father, and is not a created being as the Arians taught. The heretics did not wish to use the term “one in essence” in describing the relation of the Son to the Father, saying that the word “essence” is not found within the Holy Scripture. Besides these three main heresies, there were also many other false teachings. The heretic Apollinarios said, “The flesh of the Savior did not have a human soul or reason. The Word of God took the place of the absent soul; and Divinity remained dead for three days.”

For dealing with these crafters of heresy, the holy Emperor Theodosius the Great (379-395) convened an Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, at which 150 bishops were present. Upon investigation by the holy Fathers it was proposed to affirm a Confession of Faith from a Roman Council, which holy Pope Damasus had sent to Bishop Paulinos of Antioch. After reading the document aloud, the holy Fathers rejected the false teaching of Macedonius, and unanimously affirmed the Apostolic teaching that the Holy Spirit is not a subordinate being, but is rather the Life-Creating Lord, Who proceeds from the Father, and is worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son. In order to combat other heresies, of the Eunomians, Arians and Semi-Arians, the holy Fathers affirmed the Nicene Symbol of the Orthodox Faith.

In the Symbol (Creed), accepted by the First Ecumenical Council, the divine nature of the Holy Spirit was not addressed, since at that earlier time [in 325] heresies against the Holy Spirit had not become widespread. Therefore, the holy Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council added to the Nicean Symbol its eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth sections. They definitively formulated and affirmed the Nicene-Constantinople Symbol of Faith, which is used even now by all the Orthodox Churches.

The Second Ecumenical Council also established the norms for ecclesiastical courts [Canon VI], and it decided to receive those repentant heretics who were properly baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity through Chrismation, but those baptized with a single immersion were to be received as pagans.


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday of the Blind Man

Commemorated on May 21

After the Midfeast (John 7:14), the Lord Jesus Christ came to the Temple again and taught the people who came to Him (John 8:2). After leaving the Temple, He opened the eyes of a man “who was blind from his birth (John 9:1).

The miracle described in today’s Gospel (John 9:1-38) is even more remarkable than it might seem at first. Saint Basil and other Fathers tell us that this was not just a case of giving sight to a blind man born with eyes that did not function, but to someone who had no eyes at all! The second Exapostilarion for this Sunday says, “Along the way, our Savior found a man who lacked both sight and eyes...”.

The Gospel says, “Since the world began, it was not heard that any man opened the eyes of one who was born blind” (John 9:32). There are examples in the Old (Tobit 2:17) and New (Mark 8:22-26) Testaments of blind people receiving sight, but this is something completely unprecedented.

The Savior placed clay in the man’s empty sockets and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. When he obeyed these instructions, the eyes of clay became living eyes!

In his MENAION, Saint Demetrius of Rostov calls the blind man Saint Celidonius (see his account of Saint Lazarus in the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles on January 4).

KONTAKION - TONE 4

I come to You, O Christ, / Blind from birth in my spiritual eyes / And I call to You in repentance: / You are the most radiant light of those in darkness!

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Monday, May 08, 2017

Venerable Arsenius the Great

Commemorated on May 8

Saint Arsenius the Great was born in the year 354 at Rome into a pious Christian family, which provided him a fine education and upbringing. He studied rhetoric and philosophy, and mastered the Latin and Greek languages. Saint Arsenius gave up philosophy and the vanity of worldly life, seeking instead the true wisdom praised by Saint James “pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits” (Jas. 3:17). He entered the ranks of the clergy as a deacon in one of the Roman churches, dedicating himself to the service of God.

The emperor Theodosius (379-395), who ruled the eastern half of the Roman Empire, heard about his erudition and piety, and he wished to entrust Arsenius with the education of his sons Arcadius and Honorius. Arsenius, however, protested that he had given up secular studies in order to serve God. Against his will, but in obedience to the will of Pope Damasus (December 11), Saint Arsenius agreed to teach the imperial children, hoping to teach them Christian piety as well.

When he arrived at Constantinople, Arsenius was received with great honor by the emperor Theodosius, who charged him to educate his sons not only in wisdom, but also in piety, guarding them from the temptations of youth. “Forget that they are the emperor’s sons,” said Theodosius, “for I want them to submit to you in all things, as to their father and teacher.”

With fervor the saint devoted himself to the education of the youths, but the high esteem in which he was held troubled his spirit, which yearned for the quietude of monastic life. Saint Arsenius entreated the Lord to show him the way to salvation. The Lord heard his prayer and one time he heard a voice telling him, “Arsenius, flee from men, and you shall be saved.” And then, removing his rich clothing and replacing it with old and tattered garments, he secretly left the palace, boarded a ship for Alexandria, and he made his way to Sketis, a monastery in the midst of the desert.

Arriving at the church, he asked the priests to accept him into the monastic brotherhood, calling himself a wretched wanderer, though his very manner betrayed him as a cultivated man. The brethren led him to Abba John the Dwarf (November 9), famed for his holiness of life. He, wishing to test the newcomer’s humility, did not seat Arsenius with the monks for the trapeza meal. He threw him a piece of dry bread saying, “Eat if you wish.” Saint Arsenius got down on his hands and knees, and picked up the bread with his mouth. Then he crawled off into a corner and ate it. Seeing this, Elder John said, “He will be a great ascetic!” Then accepting Arsenius with love, he tonsured him into monasticism.

Saint Arsenius zealously passed through his obediences and soon he surpassed many of the desert Fathers in asceticism. The saint again heard the Voice while he was praying, “Arsenius, hide from people and dwell in silence, this is the root of virtue.” From that moment Saint Arsenius settled in a solitary cell deep in the desert.

Having taken on the struggle of silence he seldom left his seclusion. He came to church only on Sundays and Feast days, observing complete silence and conversing with no one. When Abba Moses asked him why he hid himself from people, Saint Arsenius replied, “God knows that I love you, but I cannot remain with God and with men at the same time. The Heavenly Powers all have one will and praise God together. On earth, however, there are many human wills, and each man has his own thoughts. I cannot leave God in order to live with people.”

Though absorbed in constant prayer, the saint did not refuse visiting monks with his counsel and guidance, giving short, but perceptive answers to their questions. Once, a monk from Sketis saw the great Elder through a window standing at prayer, surrounded by a flame.

The handicraft of Saint Arsenius was to weave baskets, for which he used the fronds of date palms soaked in water. For a whole year Saint Arsenius did not change the water in the container, but merely added a little water to it from time to time. This caused his cell to be permeated with a foul stench. When asked why he did this, the saint replied that it was fitting for him to humble himself in this way, because in the world he had used incense and fragrant oils. He prayed that after death he would not experience the stench of hell.

The fame of the great ascetic spread far, and many wanted to see him, and they disturbed his tranquility. As a result, the saint was forced to move around from place to place. But those thirsting to receive his guidance and blessing still found him.

Saint Arsenius taught that many take upon themselves great deeds of repentance, fasting, and vigil, but it is rare for someone to guard his soul from pride, greed, jealousy, hatred of one’s brother, remembrance of wrongs, and judgment. In this they resemble graves which are decorated outwardly, but filled with stinking bones.

A certain monk once asked Saint Arsenius what he should do when he read the Holy Scriptures and did not comprehend their meaning. The Elder answered, “My child, you must study and learn the Holy Scriptures constantly, even if you do not understand their power... For when we have the words of the Holy Scriptures on our lips, the demons hear them and are terrified. Then they flee from us, unable to bear the words of the Holy Spirit Who speaks through His apostles and prophets.”

The monks heard how the saint often urged himself on in his efforts with the words, “Rouse yourself, Arsenius, work! Do not remain idle! You have not come here to rest, but to labor.” He also said, “I have often regretted the words I have spoken, but I have never regretted my silence.”

The great ascetic and keeper of silence was given the gift of tears with which his eyes were constantly filled. He spent fifty-five years at monastic labors and struggles. He spent forty years at Sketis, and ten years on the mountain of Troe near Memphis. Then he spent three years at Canopus, and two more years at Troe, where he fell asleep in the Lord.

Our holy, God-bearing Father Arsenius reposed when he was nearly one hundred years old, in the year 449 or 450.

His only disciples seem to have been Alexander, Zoilos, and Daniel (June 7).

TROPARION - TONE 8

By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile, / And your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance. / By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe. / O our holy Father Arsenius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

KONTAKION - TONE 2

Arising from Rome, as a sun, you reached the royal city, / Enlightening it, O most blessed one, by your words and deeds. / You drove out the darkness of unreasoning. / Therefore we honor you, Arsenius, the glory of the Fathers!

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